Join Chris Reilly for an in-depth discussion in this video Moving objects with Drag, Move, and Gumball, part of Learning Rhino for Mac.
- Let's talk about a fundamental modeling skill you'll need for just about any job in Rhino 5 for Mac. That is the ability to move objects around in Rhino's 3d space. Now, we've got a few different options for how we can move things. We can simply click and drag in the viewport, we could use the move command, or we could use the gumball tool, and they all accomplish pretty much the same thing, each just in a slightly different way. So, let's get moving with transform-move.3dm from the exercise files, and here I've just got a few simple shapes for us to practice with.
Now, the simplest way to move an object in Rhino is to click and drag, and this is also the least precise way to move something. And a lot of times, that's just fine to move something just so it looks good visually. So I can click and drag on any object to move it, or I could shift select to grab multiple objects and move those all at the same time. And we can do this from any of the viewports. Now, depending on which one we're in, our movements will be constrained to one of the default construction planes. So, notice when I click and drag in perspective, I'm moving along the XY or top construction plane, and this is the same construction plane that's in the top viewport, so that move should look the same in top and perspective.
Similarly, when I move in the front viewport, I'm moving in the XZ or front construction plane. And then in the right viewport, I'm moving in the YZ or right construction plane. So with click and drag, we're moving in at most two directions at once. Now, I can modify the direction by using what's called elevator mode, and to do that, we just hold the command key and then click and drag, so let's try that in perspective. So, I'm holding down command and just clicking and dragging. So notice now, instead of moving along the top construction plane, I'm moving actually up and down, that's kind of why it's called elevator mode.
And basically, elevator mode lets us move in the direction that's perpendicular to the construction plane of whatever view we're in. So I could do that from the front, and also from the right. I'm just going to hit command z a couple times to get these objects back lined up to how I had them originally. So, sometimes when we're modeling in Rhino, we need to make more precise movements, and for that was can use the move command, which we can find under the transform menu. And move is great, since we can use it in combination with object snaps, or by typing precise numbers into the command prompts.
So, for example, let's say that I'd like to place my cone right on the very tip top of my sphere. Now, if I were doing that with click and drag, it would be really hard, so if I was trying to sort of line this up, I'd have to go through multiple viewports, and even then, it might not line up as precisely as I'd like it to, so I'll hit command z to go back, and let's try that again with the move command. Before we start, I'll go ahead and activate my end and center object snaps, and then let's bring up the move command, so transform move.
So I'll pick my object to move, which is the cone, and hit Done, and then I'll pick the point to move from, and while this could be any point, in this case, since I'd like the cone to be right on the tip top of that sphere, I'll pick the center point of the cone's base for the point to move from, and, since I have object snaps on, I should be able to snap right to it, and I can see I'm snapping right to center of the base of that cone. So I'll click to set that point, and then for the point to move to, I'll pick the end point that's right at the top of the sphere.
Let's go over there on that, zoom in a little bit. And you can see I'm snapping right to the top of that sphere. And I'll just click once more, to set that point. And there you go! My cone and sphere are perfectly aligned. Okay, lets try another move, and, this time, I'd like to move these shapes exactly 10.25 units in this direction, so kind of diagonal in the Y and Z directions at the same time. So let's bring up move again, so transform move, and I'll go through the same steps, I'll select my objects, and this time I'll grab all three of these, so I'll just do a window selection to grab these objects here.
And I'll click done. Now, for the first point, in this case, it really doesn't matter where I pick since these objects just need to move relative to where they are right now, so I'll just go ahead and type in zero here, rather than having to even mess with the viewport. And Rhino's smart enough to know that that's shorthand for using the world origin as our first reference point, so you can see we're basing everything off of the world origin, and for this case, that's fine. Now for the second point, I'll just type 10.25, since I know that's the distance I want to go.
10.25, click done. And again, Rhino's smart enough to know that that's a relative distance from my starting point. So then I just need to set the direction that we're moving in, so you can see as I'm move in the right viewport here, anywhere I'm placing the cursor, Rhino's maintaining that distance that I typed in, which is 10.25, so I'll zoom in a little bit here, and we'll see if we can get this set up just right. So you can see I'm going on at kind of a 45 degree angle here, and I'll just click to set that point, and there we go. I've moved exactly 10.25 units in that diagonal direction that I wanted.
And we also have a tool for moving objects that's a bit like a combination of the click and drag and the move command, and that's called the gumball. So, we can toggle the gumball on and off with this button just above the viewports, and so now any time I have a selection, there's this set of handles here, the red, green, and blue handles, and that's my gumball. And gumball lets us do lots of different edits, so things like scaling, rotating, copying, and, of course, moving, but for now, we'll just focus on these handles with the arrows, so the green, red, and blue handles with the arrow tips, and those are the move handles.
So I have one for each direction, I have X is red. Y is green. Z is blue. And I can click and drag on any of them to move my selection around. Now, if I need to do a precise movement, I could also just single click on any handle, and I get this little pop-up. So here, I can type in a precise direction, so let's say I want to move eight units down in the Z direction. So I'll type in negative eight, just hit enter, and you can see I drop right down to where I'd like. So you can see we've got a few different options for moving things around, and once you're familiar with all of them, you'll be a wiz at basic modeling.
- Installing Rhino for Mac
- Viewing a 3D model in Rhino 5
- Manipulating objects with commands
- Creating curves, surfaces, and solids
- Applying transformations to 3D objects
- Creating unique shapes with Boolean operators
- Snapping to objects and planes
- Prototyping a 3D model
- Lighting and rendering