Openings are created in closed geometry. The process involves projecting or pulling curves onto surfaces, and then using the result to split. The separated piece can then be offset if thickness is required.
- [Instructor] In this video, we cover strategies for designing and modeling realistic openings. Now these openings could be a battery door on your product. A window on your building. Or an access hatch on your spaceship. Before we get started, let's highlight a couple of the tips I recommend. We're going to be working with curves. We're going to project those onto the surface that we want to split. We want to make sure that surface is a single surface and not joined with other stuff around it. And we can also make gaps by adding additional curves.
We'll get into that in just a minute. Let's select the spacecraft here. And I can tell by the fact that highlights, we have a lot of stuff connected down below, here on the underside. So I want to make sure this is a single piece, like I just mentioned. Now a lot of people would just go over and explode it. And that'll break it into who knows how many pieces. So I prefer the more surgical right click, which is extract. So we just pick the spacecraft hull. And then right click. Now that is separated from all the other geometry down here below.
Those stay joined. And in fact, if we don't move either of these you can rejoin them back later. So a lot of people don't know that. Now we're ready for the projection. Remember if you see the construction plane, that means the projection will go perpendicular in both directions and to infinity. So we can go over to the curve from objects, it's right there. We also have curve tools. So projection is right there. The third place you can find this, depending on how you're set up is curve from objects project.
So I'm going to select this curve down here on the ground plane. Right click, select the spacecraft hull. Right click again and there we get two. However we only need one. So what I typically do is just hit the control key here. And deselect the one we want. And then going to hit delete. So get rid of that extra one. Now depending on our geometry, you could have a lot of extra curves, all over the place. So that's a good little trick. Just to get rid of the ones you don't need. And only focus on, typically, it's just one that you want.
Okay, the next step we discussed, we're going to split this out. And that's the whole reason this curve is exactly touching. Here in the main toolbar we split. And we'll be splitting the hull. Right click, with the curve, right click to accept. Now that breaks it apart. And a lot of people get a little bit confused. But we're doing this just as a little bit of a shortcut. We want the recess to go from here, down. So we're breaking it out to make our job a lot easier. We're going to do that by going to the solid menu.
Select offset, now when curves or surfaces are offset, you have a choice between one of two directions, sometimes both. However this is going out. So we want to switch those arrows. So just select anywhere, with a left click. And they go the direction you want. If you want to type in a value, do that right now by clicking on the distance here up in the command line. I'm going to make mine eight. And then just right click to accept all the other options.
So after the offset is done, this is part two of the confusion. People will often say, "Well okay, "that's really nice but it looks the same." Well, we got to go ahead and extract that outer surface. That's the very last step here. So I'm just going to select that top part. Right click to get it away and then hit delete. So now we're got that recess exactly eight units and perpendicular from every point, pretty sweet. Now if you want, you can go ahead and join this recess with the hull and even run fillets or chamfers around the edge.
We'll worry about that some other time. This is, two lines here, ready to make the glass canopy. So the thought was, if we provide a little bit of gap we can have this come together without exactly touching. However, this is not always a good way to do it. So instead, I'm going to show you a different, little more accurate way to do it. Let's go over to the view port where we need to do this operation from. So by double clicking on the label we get all four. And here is the extra line.
The thing I'm worried about, is it may vary between this point and then somewhere right along here. And again, back over there. Let's just go ahead and delete this little offset curve and do it a different way. Let's go ahead and project this now and you'll see what I'm talking about. So we've got the curve tools open, we can just try it this way. There's the project. Remember, this right view port has a construction plane. That tells the projection which direction to go. So I'll select that surface. Right click and you can see what happens in the perspective window.
So I'll go ahead and maximize that by double clicking on the label. So that was easy enough. The cool part I want to show you. So if you want to get an offset, exactly a certain number of units, all the way around. That's a very complicated curve. Okay, so we're going to go do the curve menu. Under offset, we're going to offset a curve on a surface. This is pretty cool. The curve's already selected. So I don't have to answer that question. It asks me for the base surface.
And again, we've got directions. Which way do you want to go? So I'm going to keep it that same direction. I do want to change the value here. I'll type in point five. And there is an exact offset on a very complicated surface. Let's go ahead and wrap this up. And give this glass canopy a little bit of thickness. Okay, with those two curves on there. Let's go ahead and split them out. So I'm going to zoom in here so I can actually see them better. Split command, we're going to split the overall object, which is the hull.
Right click and then these two curves, which are touching. I know because they projected on there. Right click and now we should have three separate pieces. We should have the glass canopy, the rest of the ship, and this little tiny gap providing the clearance we talked about. I'll just hit delete and get rid of that guy. So you can see this is a really effective way to get accurate offsets. So I'll wrap it up by doing an offset on this. Giving this a little bit of thickness. Let's switch to ghost view. So we have a little bit better sense of what's going on here.
Especially since this is supposed to be glass. So we'll just use solid offset. Select the direction. Do want to change the distance here to point five. And then right click to accept. So there is a thin layer of glass with a little bit of a gap. The key to creating openings easily and accurately is to leverage existing surfaces. First, create a profile of the opening, usually in an ORTHO view port, like the top, front, or side.
And then project it. After that critical step it's relatively easy to split and edit as needed.
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Skill Level Intermediate
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