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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.
Rhino has a unique way of providing a variety of feedback information to the user. So, in a way, Rhino is communicating with you and keeping you informed at all times, even during the middle of a command. So, in this movie, we'll learn where to look for that feedback and then get more predictable results and increase your accuracy. Now be aware, many of these commands have multiple steps with options available at every step. So, it's very easy to miss some of those options or even misread what Rhino is asking. To fix this, we're going to make sure that our Command area has got enough space. Right now, it's a single line, which is nowhere near enough.
I'm going to drag on the border here, by clicking and dragging, and then releasing. You typically want to have about three lines, so that you know what's going on and what's being asked. So, for the first method, which I'm nicknaming Eyeball, we're going to draw a 16-sided star and just make it look good and not care about the size at all. So, this star is located in the Curve menu, under Polygon. We're going to create a star. Check the options here. We've got three of them. I'm going to click on the first one only to switch from 4 sides to 16, and then it's asking now for the center.
Now it needs the first corner. Before I select the second radius, I want you to take a look down at the Status Line here. This tells me the current X, Y, and Z position of the cursor. This number here is the most important. This tells me the size of the radius as I move. So, I'll go ahead and pick somewhere where I think it looks great. There is the star. This is the Eyeball method. We don't know what the sizes were, but it looked good.
Now let's try to build another star, but this time with more accuracy. So, I'm going to repeat the command, Polygon: Star. We're going to switch from 16 sides to 5, and we'll start at the same way by snapping to the intersection. Now, instead of just clicking anywhere, I'm going to type in its exact size. I want the outer radius to be 24, so I'm going to type in 24 on the keyboard, hit Enter. Now you'll notice it's kind of constrained to that radius.
So, I can just click in any angle, if it's important to me. So, I want to maybe have it go out vertically. Now we have the second radius. If you check the Status Line, you can see things moving. I'm going to have that be exact and type in 12. I'm going to do one more edit to the star, go ahead and rotate it. This is a transform called Rotate 2-D. So, we'll just select the star. As its center, I'm going to pick here in the middle of the intersection.
Now the first angle doesn't really matter, because it's all relative. So, I'm just going to pick somewhere here to the side. Notice the Status Line giving me numerical feedback, so right now it's about 28 degrees, 30 degrees. I'm going to go ahead and type in 35, so that's a 35 degree rotation. It's the exact size with an exact rotation. Now for the next example, we're going to use kind of a hybrid approach. I'm going to activate something called the tooltips, where we get all this information right at the cursor without having to look down below.
So, we access this through the Options, which is the yellow gear on the command line. I'm just going to browse down. If this is not already open, you want to go to Rhino Options > Modeling Aids > Cursor toolTips. I'm going to go ahead and turn those on. Make sure you have the same three selected. I want to know what I'm snapping to, the distance I've moved, and the Command prompt tells me exactly what the command is asking for, or the next step. I'm going to go ahead and do one more star. Go to the command line, right-click.
There's our Star Command. Notice now, right by the cursor, we have a lot of information. It's telling us that we need to select the center. It's kind of waiting for that. It's also telling what I'm snapping to. So, I'm going to go ahead and pick the intersection. I can then move away for the other corner, and that top number is the current radius, so I don't have to look down. So, I can eyeball things or type in a numerical value at any time. So, it gives you the best of both. Then give it a second radius, although I'm going to hit the Enter key here to see what this Automatic Command is.
So, that makes a perfect geometric star. So, the feedback areas can greatly aid in the reduction of errors for providing real-time updates. They not only tell you every available option for the command, but also your current size, distance or angle. You don't need to use these feedback features near as often when you get more comfortable with Rhino, but they're always there. It can be a great way to identify problems before they happen.
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