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Introducing surfaces

From: AutoCAD 2011 New Features

Video: Introducing surfaces

If you've ever created a 3D model using surfaces, you know how static they tend to be. In fact, once you created a surface, there was really no easy way to edit its shape. Because of this, over the last few years, surfaces have fallen out of favor, and most modeling has been done using Solids or Mesh. Well, surface modeling has been completely reborn in AutoCAD 2011. Surfaces are now easy to create, easy to edit, they can maintain their association to the geometry that created them, and they can also be sculpted into freeform shapes.

Introducing surfaces

If you've ever created a 3D model using surfaces, you know how static they tend to be. In fact, once you created a surface, there was really no easy way to edit its shape. Because of this, over the last few years, surfaces have fallen out of favor, and most modeling has been done using Solids or Mesh. Well, surface modeling has been completely reborn in AutoCAD 2011. Surfaces are now easy to create, easy to edit, they can maintain their association to the geometry that created them, and they can also be sculpted into freeform shapes.

To introduce you to the new surface modeling capabilities, I'd like to do something a little different in this chapter. Rather than doing several small lessons with multiple examples, I think it would be fun to do a project. I'm going to open a rendered image. This wagon was created almost entirely with surface objects. Over the next few lessons, we're going to create this assembly, one component at a time, and while creating each component we will focus on one of the new aspects of surface modeling. This way we'll cover all the features, we will see the tools used in a typical workflow, and when we're finished, we'll produce a photorealistic rendering of our final model.

Let's return to AutoCAD. Since we're going to be working on a comprehensive multipart project, I have got a couple of ground rules for you to consider as we work. First of all, make sure you're familiar with using the Orbit command. We'll be using that tool a lot. To orbit your view, you can hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and the scroll wheel on your mouse, and then as you move your mouse you can orbit your view around the outside of your 3D part. That's why I have given you this drawing of this airplane, so you can practice. Make sure you are very comfortable with adjusting your view in 3D space.

Now let's talk about what you can do if you have problems. For instance, if you see something is working for me on my screen but it's not working for you, I'd like you to try some things. If you're having trouble selecting your geometry or editing your model, I'd like you to do this. Right-click on your ViewCube and change your view to Parallel. sometimes making this change is enough to fix the issue. Another thing you can try, you can open up your Subobject panel and try turning off Culling. Culling controls the highlighting of our 3D objects on screen.

It also controls how AutoCAD sees our geometry. So turning this feature off might also solve your problem. Finally, and most important, be careful with your running object snaps. I'm going to right-click on my Object Snap Mode because I want to show you that I'm going to be running a center as well as an endpoint object snap, and that's it. If you have too many running object snaps, you'll run the risk of grabbing a bad coordinate. Well, whenever you are ready, we'll get to work on our first component. I think you're going to find with all of the new changes made to surface objects, they just might be the tool you look to first when you're creating a conceptual design.

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AutoCAD 2011 New Features

39 video lessons · 4076 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 28s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 14m 2s
    1. Adapting to the updated Drawing window
      4m 4s
    2. Introducing the Navigation bar
      5m 28s
    3. Accessing the web-based help system
      4m 30s
  3. 27m 36s
    1. Understanding the new visibility controls
      3m 5s
    2. Selecting objects that have similar properties
      3m 24s
    3. Creating new geometry based on existing objects
      2m 20s
    4. Making selections when entities overlap
      4m 11s
    5. Applying transparency to objects
      5m 44s
    6. Controlling text alignment within linetypes
      8m 52s
  4. 16m 38s
    1. Automating the creation of geometric constraints
      5m 35s
    2. Applying constraints to text rotation
      3m 8s
    3. Using the updated Parameters Manager
      7m 55s
  5. 38m 40s
    1. Streamlining hatch creation
      5m 56s
    2. Editing hatch objects dynamically
      4m 36s
    3. Editing polylines using multifunctional grips
      6m 14s
    4. Creating splines using fit points or control vertices
      10m 30s
    5. Editing splines using intuitive grip menus
      8m 17s
    6. Using the JOIN command to connect contiguous geometry
      3m 7s
  6. 18m 56s
    1. Exploring the updated 3D working environment
      6m 50s
    2. Simplifying the creation and editing of solid models
      5m 59s
    3. Introducing new tools to edit mesh models
      6m 7s
  7. 1h 25m
    1. Introducing surfaces
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding associative surfaces
      7m 9s
    3. Creating composite models using surfaces and solids
      9m 3s
    4. Producing a smooth blend between surfaces
      7m 20s
    5. Trimming and extending surfaces
      10m 55s
    6. Projecting geometry onto a surface
      5m 29s
    7. Filleting the edge between two surfaces
      6m 37s
    8. Creating offset and network surfaces
      8m 45s
    9. Pushing and pulling surfaces into freeform shapes
      10m 52s
    10. Analyzing surface continuity
      6m 15s
    11. Assembling the composite model
      10m 40s
  8. 22m 2s
    1. Introducing the new Materials Browser
      6m 10s
    2. Applying materials to an assembly
      6m 2s
    3. Customizing render materials
      5m 17s
    4. Creating a high-resolution image
      4m 33s
  9. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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