This course was created by Dave Schultze. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Beginner
- [Instructor] I may have mentioned that a higher-degree curve means that your geometry is smoother which is usually a good thing. In this video, we learn how to change the degree of our curve by using a command called rebuild. So where would we find this? Well, there's a couple places on the menu. We can look under edit and rebuild is right here. We can also go to the toolbar under curve tools. And there is a guy with a hammer. That's rebuild curve. And you could also type it into the command line. So there's at least three places to find it. Let's go ahead and do rebuilding on three different examples here, just to see how it works. I'm going to hit the hammer guy here, curve tools. And we're going to start off with this shape. Now, it should be obvious to you that it's a degree one series of poly lines. These are all attached. And there should be a control point at each corner. So a degree one for sure. We're going to select this and then right-click. And now we get this dialogue. It'll tell us degree one first, like I predicted. We're going to go up to degree three and we want to change the point count. So these values here in the parentheses are current. Over here in the input box, this is where we can change the number of points we want to rebuild to. So four gives us what looks like a circle. Let's try eight. And we get more of a freeform half-square, half-circle. We could type in another number. Let's try 12. And you notice as you give it more points it will get closer to the original shape. I'll just leave it at that. Make sure you select delete input. We don't want the original. It might be a little confusing. We're going to rebuild it and only end up with the solution. Let's hit okay. And now just for fun I'm going to select this. I'm going to turn off my gumball for a moment. Make sure your end point is on. We're going to now move some of the control points around. So we do that with the standard toolbar in the main menu here. You can select control points on or with a PC hit F10 as a shortcut. This may seem like a minor detour but I want to call your attention to the fact you rarely change something with the rebuild command and then you're done. Typically, they'll be some editing. So you want to move things around. So that rebuild command is beautiful to simply, clean things up, or just reduce the point count. Let's look at the next example where we have some points to reduce. Now, you notice that it says here, "Import glitch." What does that mean? I'm going to turn the control points on and you'll see. There's a lot of extra control points that are unnecessary. So let's clean this up right away just by getting a lower number of control points. So I'm going to select that curve there. There we go. Make sure we don't get the individual control points. And we can get to the command by just right-clicking in the command area. And there's the rebuild curve command from one or two things ago. Now, here's the same menu asking us how many points. It tells us currently that we're at 29. Way too much. Let's knock that down to the bare minimum. And this is where it becomes very important to always understand simpler is better. We can probably define this with only five control points. So the preview is really pretty close. We might be able to get away with four. I'm going to leave it at five just for now and hit okay. And now you can see the beauty of this command. We can make additional changes or tweaks very, very easily. Okay, and this last example, which I've cleverly called Example C, I'm going to show you how to use the edit rebuild as kind of an intermediate or construction step to give you better results with what may seem like an extra step but it actually is a beautiful shortcut. So let's build just a straight line. That we're going to get swept down this rail. But we don't want to use a straight line. We want to use a degree three curve. So that's coming up. Let's just do a basic straight line with this poly line command here. And O snap on the end point is on. I'm just going to snap from those two points. Now, that straight line only has two points as I just mentioned. So we definitely want to rebuild this, make it a little more organic. Otherwise you could just do like a simple loft here. But you want to have a more freeform shape before we do the sweep to rails. So again, we'll go back up to the command line. Rebuild the curve. And right now it's got two points. Degree one, we're going to go to degree three. And we could probably type in a four right there. Just something super-simple. Hit okay. Now, nothing changes. We just got additional points in there. But we'll have to move 'em around to get the benefit of the rebuild for the higher degree three. Okay, let's turn the control points on just so I can show you what I'm talking about. And there you go. Another thing you might notice is they are equally spaced typically when you get the rebuild command. So I'm going to go ahead turn the gumball back on. So I can just easily move these guys in three-dimensional space. I'm going to move one out a bit and we'll move the other one just a little bit less. So now you can see the rebuild is really powerful. I just made a straight line because it was easy. It would've been really hard to draw a four-point control point curve and snap at the two ends and then get these points right where they are now. Remember this when it seems like it's an extra step. It actually gives you more control. And it's actually fewer steps because we're going to have to do far less tweaking or moving or changing. Okay, we can right-click if you want to turn all the points off or F11 on the PC only. And let's do a surface sweep to rails. So the first rail is either the top or bottom. Then we select the other side, making sure they're at the same end. You don't want to switch to the opposite ends. And it'll get a lot of twisting. So the cross-section curve is that single line we just rebuilt and tweaked. So right-click and I'm just going to accept all the values here. Hit okay. So we're able to get some nice free-flowing curves. But I was able to snap them from end to end and then just rebuild quickly and easily. So degrees are tempting to ignore mostly because they might seem a little too technical. But the theory behind them is really simple. And as you get better, the command edit rebuild is not needed very often after you understand that the goal is really about drawing things very simple first so you don't need to rebuild.