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In Rhino 4.0 Essential Training, author Dave Schultze shows how the 3D NURBS-based modeling tools in Rhino 4.0 are used to engineer products from toy robots to full-sized aircraft. This course concentrates on using Rhino 4.0 for industrial design and rapid prototyping, with a review of common 3D terminology using specific examples. Along with a comprehensive exploration of the Rhino interface, the course includes an introduction to building 3D objects with Rhino's three primary entities: the curve, the surface, and the solid. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this movie, we'll review two commands that are probably the easiest to use in Rhino, the Undo and its exact opposite, the Redo. These will work equally well on any command like Extrude, a transformation like Move, and even deleting objects or changing layers. As you can correctly assume from other software, the Undo command goes backwards in time, and the Redo goes forward in time, although of course it cannot go into the future. In that sense, it's probably better described as a way to undo the last undo. Before I start the demo, let's check some options which you might not think about.
I'm going to go to the gear here to access the options. Under Rhino Options > General, we've got the default set to only 1 as the minimum number. Of course, this can vary depending on the file size and the amount of memory you have in your computer. But in any regard, one is too low. Let's just go ahead and type 20 as a bare minimum, and that should be fine. So, if you're ever run into problems, this is the first place to check if you're finding yourself unable to go back more than a few steps. I'm going to demonstrate some of the Undos and Redos by just moving the arm around, but as I said earlier, it works equally well on building geometry or editing geometry.
So, I'm going to go ahead and just move it a couple of different times. Now if it's too far, I can go backwards. Ctrl+Z is the shortcut for Undo, and each time I press it, it reverses backwards in history. Now I can hit Ctrl+Y if I want to undo that undo. A word of warning though. This Undo and Redo does not carry over after you've closed the Rhino session.
Also, I don't recommend that you use the Undo or Redo to go way, way back to a much earlier version, like let's say 30, 40, 50 steps. In those situations, what I recommend doing instead, just make a copy of the geometry and place it on a layer that is turned off for future retrieval. So, let's do that now. I'm going to select the arm and do a quick Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste. There is now two on top of each other. I've already created the storage layer. You'll notice this is turned off. So, I'm going to right-click on that layer name and just change it.
So, we now have one copy here on the current geometry layer, and a second backup on the storage layer. So, let's proceed to do some edits. Let's say I worked on it for quite a while, and I've changed my mind. That is no longer what I want. So, going back 50 steps would take actually a lot of time. So, in those situations I recommend just select the object, deleting it. Let's turn the storage layer back on. There is the original in its original position. So, you can just make another copy, paste it back to the current work layer, geometry, and then turn the storage back off.
Probably an even better tip, if you're going to do extensive design explorations, is to be saving the file on a regular basis with a new name. So, you do that by Save As. What I'd used to recommend is you would save it as robot10, then robot11. That's unnecessary now. With the Incremental Save feature, it'll do automatically, adding numbers and indexing them each time you use this command. My suggestion is to do it every 30 minutes. So, no matter what happens, you've only lost at most 29 minutes of work.
3D modeling is all about using digital tools to explore new directions and experiment to get the best results. Part of that experimentation is two- fold, to build the comfort level with the software, but also knowing that anything you do can be reversed. So, the use of the Undo and the Redo helps build that comfort level.
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