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Opening Tools

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Selection | Creation | Overlay | Openings | Color | Editing | Orientations | Viewing

Rectangular Opening Tool

For cutting four-sided rectangular openings in solid objects. To cut an opening, first select a 3D object. (The Opening tool is only available when a solid object is selected.) Move the cursor over the object you want to cut an opening into, and notice that a 2D crosshair appears in perspective on the face of the solid object. With this crosshair, drag out the opening, just as you would draw a rectangle on one of the object faces. (In a shaded view, with a fast Mac, you can see through an opening as you create it, although you will probably mostly model in wireframe views for responsiveness.)

Openings can be selected after creation by clicking in them, and then moved or resized with the crosshair, or single-duplicated from the Edit menu with the Duplicate command. To move an opening, select it and drag on the opening anywhere except on its corner handles. To change the size or proportions of an opening, select it and drag on any of its corner handles. A selected opening can also be moved around in its parent object by nudging with the arrow keys.

While using the Opening tool, the Location Bar absolute coordinates read from the object reference point, so you can position the opening precisely within the object. A selected opening can be set to a particular size and/or position in an object with the Object Info box.

Rectangular openings can be reshaped after creation just like poly-openings.

Poly-Opening Tool

For cutting openings with any shape or number of sides in solid objects. Cutting a poly-opening works like drawing a polyline on one of the object faces -- click to place each vertex, and complete the operation either by double-clicking or by clicking on the starting vertex. In a shaded view, you won't see through a poly-opening until it is finished, unlike when making a rectangular opening..

Poly-openings can be moved, resized, and duplicated in the same way as rectangular openings. Resizing poly-openings differs slightly from resizing rectangular openings, in that the corner handles appear at the bounding box of the poly-opening, instead of at the corners of the rectangular opening.

In addition, poly-openings and rectangular openings can be reshaped, in the same way as solid extrusions are reshaped. In reshape mode, (see the next section of Tools Reference) the shape of the opening can be adjusted point by point. To perform a reshape on an opening, either select the opening in Select mode and then click on the Reshape tool icon, or just select the opening in Reshape mode., Then drag on the vertex handles of the opening.

The Poly-opening tool is useful for cutting arched openings and circular or diamond-shaped openings in walls, or for cutting irregular, circular, or other openings in floor and roof slabs. To make poly-openings with accurate curves, it can be helpful to first create guidelines with the circle or arc tools. Handle snapping makes it easy to precisely follow construction lines, like a circle or arc previously drawn on the face of an object. See Arches, in the DesignWorkshop Techniques chapter, for more detail.

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