In the massing family environment, you can use a divided path instead of an array to repeat the nested model text letter family along a curved path. When using a divided path, you must use an adaptive component to repeat along the path. Consider the orientation of this component carefully for reliable results
- [Voiceover] In this video we'll continue our exploration of placing model text along a curve and this time we'll look at an alternative technique in the massing family editor. So our goal is to create that word restaurant there along that curve in this logo. And I have this starting file here that already has a curve in place in the massing environment and of course my single letter generic model family that's been inserted in and placed off to the side. Now if you're unfamiliar with the massing environment it is another form of family editor.
It has many of the same functions as the traditional family editor, but it also has many additional functions that are not available in the traditional environment. It also looks a little different, as you can see. We're working in this 3D view and we have this sort of gradient background to the screen. One of the things that the massing environment has that the traditional does not is these reference points. And this is why you don't see any reference planes controlling the shape of this curve, that's because I can just simply use these point objects here to control the curve and it's an alternative way of working.
So I'm gonna undo that. So I do encourage you to explore a little bit more if you like in the massing environment, but we're gonna be focusing on one very particular tool here that's available in the massing environment, and that's called divided path. So if I select this curve, and that curve is actually a reference line, so I'm gonna select that reference line curve, up on the ribbon you'll see a divide path button. When you click that it will place small little points along the curve and the default quantity will be six divisions.
So it actually creates, rather that's six points rather, so there's really five divisions, so it creates six points along the curve, including the two ends. Now you can change that quantity to anything you want. So in our case, because we're trying to create the word restaurant, we need 10 points, so one for each letter. So I'll change that to 10 and you'll see the additional points get created and everything gets respaced. So that's a little bit quicker and easier than what we looked at in the previous video with using an array in the traditional family editor.
Now here's where it gets a little bit tricky. This family right here is the same family that we used in the previous video. And just to quickly show you what that looks like in case you need a review on that, it's just a face-based family that has a single model text element in it, that model text element has several parameters associated to it to control the text and the height and the depth and so on. So I'll do Control + W here to close that file. So what we wanna do is take this element and repeat it along that curve one at each of those point locations.
Now to place one of these things you actually have to drag it from project browser in order to get it to recognize points correctly. So if you look over here at project browser under families we've got a generic model branch and I've actually got two different generic models in here. This one is called one letter FB, for face-based. You need to take the type within that family and drag and drop it into the canvas. So I'll take the word flex here, which is what I called the type, drag from project browser out to the canvas, and then just let go.
Now I'll get the can't do cursor at the moment here, because right now it wants to place on face. So if your mouse was over an appropriate face, like the face of another instance of this, then the object would appear. What we wanna use is the place on work plane instead. Then we're able to place it on any selected work plane. Well, the trouble is the next thing I have to do is actually set one of those points as the appropriate face.
So right here on the work plane panel we've got a set button and you can use that to click on any one of those points in the divided path. Now when you do that it resets the placement option back to place on face, I'm not sure why, but we can just switch it again. And now you can see that it's matching the orientation of that point. And I can highlight where that point is, I'll type S + X, which is the keyboard shortcut for snap to point, to make sure that I'm getting it directly on that point, and then click to place it.
Now you could continue the process to set other points, they would change the orientation, and you could place those. Now you certainly could place them one at a time like that, but that would actually be the slow way to do it. A faster way to do it would be to select the one that you placed and then use the repeat elements command. Now unfortunately repeat elements is currently greyed out. Now that's not the only problem we have. The other problem we have is obviously the orientation of this letter is incorrect.
So let's address both of those with a single solution. In order to change the orientation we need to adjust this family a little bit. Instead of just using a face-based family, which works, but we have no control over the orientation, what we're gonna do instead is create what's called an adaptive component. Now it's in the name adaptive, it's able to adapt to the situation that it's in. So by creating an adaptive component we get a little bit more flexibility. Furthermore, the repeat functionality that's currently greyed out works on adaptive components.
So if we have an adaptive component it will solve both problems, it will allow us to change the orientation and it will allow us to repeat it along the curve. So I'm going to select this one and delete it, and then I already have a completed adaptive component right here, but let me open that up and show you how it's put together before we place it. So I'll just simply right-click it and choose edit and that takes me into another form of the massing environment, as you can see here it's just the same thing we were looking at, and then this right here is actually that same family once again just placed in here.
Now if I delete that what we also have here is this single point. And if I highlight it you see it says it's an adaptive point. Now the way that was created is over here on the draw panel you just create a point element, you place it anywhere on screen, select it, and then right here you click this make adaptive button. Now because I already had one adaptive point that becomes adaptive point number two. So what's really interesting about adaptive components is you can have as few as one adaptive placement point or as many as you need.
And so when you place one of these things it will prompt you to place the points in the order that they're numbered here. So it would first place this one, then this one, that would be a two point adaptive component. Well, in our case I only need the one point, because I want to repeat it along that path, and when I place this family in here and use the place on work plane, now because this adaptive point has those little intersecting work planes I can place it in any direction that I want.
Now I have to admit that I did a little trial and error here to figure it out. So I'm gonna hold down my key, drag my wheel, just to show you those points, or those surfaces. And if I go to the set work plane this is a work plane, this is a work plane, and this is a work plane. So I did a little bit of trial and error and I figured out that it was this work plane that I wanted right here, the one kind of running in the, I guess that would be the Y direction, and then when I place it, again, I'll snap it right to that point.
And if you tap your Spacebar you can rotate in 90 degree increments and again, I sort of figured out that that was the orientation I wanted, but I wanted it flipped the other way here. So now if I take this, tap the Spacebar a couple more times. It took a little trial and error, but I was able to flip it around and get it to that correct orientation that we were looking for. Now the last thing is because you're nesting this family inside of an adaptive family you do have to hook up each of the parameters.
So I click the associate family parameter button here and I associate that with the parameter that I called contents, and then I go down and I find the depth parameter here, and I associate it with depth, and the text size here, and I associate it with text size. If you don't have these parameters you can just create them on the fly. And then that makes this element fully flexible, fully parametric, and then when we load it back into the other family we'll be able to flex those parameters.
Now I'm gonna do Control + W and close this without saving, because we already have that one right here. So if I drag flex from the project browser, drop it in, you can see that blue dot where my cursor is, that's the adaptive point, and now if you just simply highlight the divided path notice that it snaps to it automatically, we now longer need to do the set work plane, so it saves us that step, and I can just simply click to select that point. Once I've done that I select it and now notice the repeat is available and I click repeat and just like that it repeats that element on every point along the divided path curve.
Now at this point this is all one thing, so the final step, because I need to change each of those individual letters, is you could Tab in here, but the trouble is when you Tab in and you change it it will change all of them. So the final step is to select the entire group there, the repeater they call this, and you just simply click this to say remove repeater. That will not remove the individual instances, but it will make them individual and now I'm able to just simply click in each one and change the values to whatever they need to be to finish typing in the word here.
And then after you've done that you can adjust any of the other parameters. So it's an alternative approach to creating it in the traditional family editor we use an array, here we're using a divided path. There's a few gotchas along the way, you have to be familiar with adaptive components to make this technique work, but it is a quicker technique to get the individual elements along the curve, but unfortunately it takes the same amount of manual modifications to go ahead and modify each of the letters to indicate what they should say.
- Creating model text
- Lighting 3D signs
- Making 3D signs scalable
- Modeling text along a curve
- Using Dynamo to process signage text
- Using decals
- Creating logos, smooth text, and outlines
- Configuring signage families
- Creating a signage package