Castlemania Stage Four: The King is Coming!
The king is coming! It’s time to get everything as ready as it can be. The town and its defenses are growing stronger every day, but the king’s approval is necessary before real work can get started on the castle itself.
The main defensive ditch and berm for the Town Wall has been completed, and the palisades are starting to go up. The defensive dry moat separating the town from the castle has also been finished.
Much more detailed castle plans have been laid out and temporary residences for the king and his attendants have been built. You can see from the tiny size of the workers that this is a big castle!
The master engineer will be able to show the king his drawn out plans, and then they can walk the full-size layout to work out the last details. (Click on the image above or on this link to go to the model, which you can download and work on yourself.)
How to Revolve Geometry (follow the link to watch the video)
We need to keep pace with the workers, so we’ll be learning how to build a section of fence. This will help teach us a lot of new tools that will be useful throughout our castle-building project. In the image above, the fence sections are combined to form a ring of protection around the temporary royal residences.
Even though the fence post will be vertical, I’m drawing it on the ground plane because it gives me more control. The post will be 9′ long and about 1′ in diameter with a bevel around the top. This is the size of the palisade posts. Once we’re done it will be easy to scale the whole thing down to the size needed in other places, like around the royal residences.
In the left image, you can see it is easy to draw the 9′ long line when I’m zoomed in so the boxes of the ground grid are 1′ square with 12 minor divisions for the inches.
In the second image, I’ve zoomed in a little, and the grid has stayed the same. I can still draw a 6″ line for the radius fairly easily.
In the third image, you can see I’ve had to zoom in a bit more so the grid is now made up of 1″ squares. Now I can draw my bevel much more precisely. This is always true – when you need more precision, zoom in closer to the model. The grid will change in precision as you zoom in and out.
Now I’ve completed the post outline/profile with the small bevel at the top. To revolve this profile, I select the “Push n Pull” tool and move it over the profile. That’s when the “Revolve” tool will appear; this is the one we need.
Move the mouse over and select the “Revolve” tool; it will be the only tool you see, and the profile will change to orange. Now it wants to know what line (axis) it should revolve the profile around.
As you move the mouse over various lines, you’ll see the little arrow appear (inside the yellow ellipse), which means you can revolve around that line; select the line as shown. The axis will now appear as a heavier orange line on the profile and as a dashed line beyond the profile as shown by the red arrows.
As you move your mouse, a little box will appear with the number of degrees it has been revolved. Just as with other rotation tools, if you move your mouse farther out from the center of the rotation, you’ll get smaller increments, and if you stay in close it will snap to the standard larger increments.
In this case, we want a completely round post, so pull it around until it snaps to 360 degrees – then click the mouse button and you’re done.
Even though half of the post is “underground”, that is not a problem. Think of the ground plane as a semi-transparent plane we can see and select through. We can still select and infer from those parts that are underground. We can also rotate our view to see, select and act on parts of the model that are underground. Later we will rotate the post so it is properly upright.
Since we’re going to be using this fence post as a pattern for a fence section which will be used to make a lot of fences, let’s make sure we put in the important details. The fence sections will need cross braces, so let’s put the cuts in now.
To create the slots for the braces, I need the right size shape to cut with. For the first slot, I’ve picked a spot about 1′ from the bottom of the post and drawn a vertical line (red arrow) up to an arbitrary spot above the post. This line will keep the new geometry as part of the whole model. Then I drew the rectangle using lines along the axis to keep everything lined up.
Draw a 3′ long horizontal line from one corner of the rectangle.
Copy (“CTRL +C”) and then paste (“CTRL +V”) the first rectangle, and then move it along the line until it snaps into place at the end.
Now use the “Push n Pull” tool, and pull the first rectangle down until it is past the bottom of the post.
Do the same with the second rectangle, and if you move the mouse over to the corner of the first rectangular column, it will snap to the same length.
Now you can erase all the planes we won’t need. As the rectangles were pulled through the post they created new planes as needed inside of the post, so when we erase the outside planes we still have the planes we want (red arrow). Just be sure you don’t click on the “Select All” icon (yellow arrow), or you’ll delete the whole model. If you do this by mistake, just use undo (“CTRL +Z”) to bring it back.
One last thing to do is to draw a line from the edge of the post to the center. We’ll use the center point in our next construction stage.
How to Use the “Reference Point” to Move Geometry (follow the link to watch the video)
You can select the whole post and then the “Deform Tool”, or the tool first and then the post. The results look complicated, but the tools can be figured out quickly:
- The red arrow points to one of the yellow directional arrows. Selecting one of these and then dragging will move the post along that axis.
- The orange arrow points to one of the yellow rotational curves. Selecting and dragging one of these will rotate the post around the center point.
- The yellow arrow points to one of the yellow scaling handles. Selecting and dragging one of these will increase or decrease the size of the entire post in the direction that the handle indicates.
- The red ellipse shows the reference point tool. When this is clicked, the white reference point will move to the center of the other tools as shown below.
When you hover the mouse over the white point it will enlarge a little to let you know you can select it. Left click on it and hold the mouse button down…
…then drag it down the post to the center point we created earlier. Once it snaps into position release the mouse button. Now any changes you make using the arrows, curves or handles will be centered on this point.
Select the rotational curve indicated by the red arrow. You may need to rotate your view to make sure you select the correct curve.
Once you’ve selected the curve, hold the mouse button down and move the mouse. You’ll see the degrees of change in the little white box. Rotate the post 90 degrees, and it will now be standing up straight and be on the ground where we want it to be.
How to Create a Pattern (follow the link to watch the video)
After adding color or textures to the post, it will be complete and ready to use to copy as many times as we want. It’s a good idea to publish this single post all by itself, in case you want to modify it and make a different post later. Once you have created copies and joined them together, your single post will no longer be a separate part.
Select the post and use copy and paste. Then move the copy along the yellow line that will appear when you have it in the same plane as the original. Now you can move it back toward the original until it snaps to the point on the edge of the cut. There will be a slight overlap, but this is not a problem here. To make additional copies, just use paste again and place the new post where you want it. Continue the same steps until you have five posts all lined up together.
You can now copy the whole section of five posts and follow the same steps to quickly create a much longer fence. In this case, I’ve kept it to a section of ten posts.
Remember if your pasted copy is not lining up using the point that you want, just hit the space bar to show all the available points, and you can choose the one that you do want.
To add the cross braces, I’ll create a rectangle that matches up with the cut using the inferencing lines to guide me.
Then all I have to do is use the “Push n Pull” tool to drag each rectangle to the other end of the fence section and let it snap to the point on the cut in the last post. Be sure to publish your results so you can use it to create other fences. You can also keep copying and pasting this first section to make a completely new fence. Just be sure to use “Publish As” so you don’t overwrite your first ten-post section model.
At the other end of town, the full size fence sections, with braces added, are being used to construct the defensive Palisades. This initial Town Wall will be replaced by a stone version once time and workers are available, but some protection is needed as soon as possible.
We’ve certainly learned a lot of important new tools in this Stage Four lesson! You’ll use them over and over to quickly create lots of new models. Bring on the king!
Check out the new Castlemania Group!
It has all of the models that are part of the Castlemania 3DVIA Shape Tutorial Series in one easy-to-access place. You can join and add your own models to the group too!
Links to other Castlemania Stages: