Tracing an outline of a shape with the polyline

I wanted to make a dog treat (I know there is a nice set of chewy things in the DAZ store) and I used the polyline tool to trace an outline that I drew.

I extruded the basic shape from the finished polyline, but when I accidentally rotated the object I saw that the "outline" and the extruded shape were two separate things. Huh? This came as a bit of a surprise... I guess I had assumed that the polyline was converted to a loop of edges and points when you extruded.

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  • atoxicatoxic Posts: 50

    I work sometimes with lines and extrusion. Hexagon creates a new 3d object from the "curve" which it keeps separate.
    At this point  i save for back up if I would use the curve shape again, delete the curve and start working on the 3d object.

  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 822

    A line and a mesh object are two different kind of things. Just means you can re-use your helper lines.

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865
    edited July 5

    Ah!!  Naturally I blew it the first time around - didn't save the basic scene, and had to re-create the shape. Too bad there isn't a "Magic Wand" that follows a rasterized bitmap automatically? Just saying...

    I had some issues with extruding the sides and then closing or bridging the hole, and smoothing. Specifically, this particular, irregular shape does not smooth over nicely the way a round cookie or button shape does when you make each successive loop a bit smaller than the previous one.

    When I sent the object to Daz Studio I duplicated it and I put one "half" on top of the other.  Not bad.

    At first I had trouble with the shading - there would be seams where the two halves did not match up, but when I had an idea to turn the object into a biscuit-shaped electric guitar, the shading was almost perfect!  I got the body outline for the presumably fiberglass (?) guitar body when I used the "Thicken line" function in Hexagon. This (thickening) was another surprise but the final glossy render was totally over the top. laugh

    So I did a quickie sandwich in an image editor, putting a render of Merlin's electric guitar together with the biscuit-shaped body. Obviously in any final art the guitar strings would be perfectly straight... anyway comments and suggestions appreciated, especially about ways to overcome the smoothing of the top. Maybe there needs to be a bridge welded over in the middle, to make two smaller holes as opposed to one large one.

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    Post edited by Roman_K2 on
  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 822

    Well yeah, you've got a concave, high-vertex count cap shape there. That requires some thought when closing it. But really, splitting the cap into convex polygons ist almost a no-brainer and just a few seconds' work.


    And yes, I have left some large ngons in the picture. it's just an exaple of the rough general division that D|S can't fuck up too badly on import.

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  • Wee Dangerous JohnWee Dangerous John Posts: 1,323

    Very nicely done Ascania.

  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 822

    Very nicely done Ascania.

    Now what if I told you I used nasty nasty booleans to make that?


    Because yes, you can use booleans on lines and it is much easier and cleaner than with mesh objects.

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865
    Ascania said:

    And yes, I have left some large ngons in the picture...

    I finally had an "aha" moment after I successfully traced a shape with the polyline tool, the extruded the sides slightly (two heights) and then closed it off. I was trying to make some metallic-looking lettering for the gumball machine in the corner of my scene. Prior to this I have never successfully triangulated a piece of typography for sending to DAZ Studio. smiley

    Although I liked my own early biscuit shape, I did not use it in this assembled render. I still don't understand how I was finally able to achieve such a smooth glossy surface on something I made in Hexagon.

    After trying to put a store-bought picture frame on the left-hand side I made a couple myself in Hexagon... these are the two black shapes on the wall and I will fill them in with "concert" pictures later on.

    For now the biscuits in the gumball machine are from the store - Predatron's Chew Time Toys for DAZ Dog 8.

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  • Glad to hear things are starting to click into place :)

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865
    edited July 31

    ♣@#$%^&*!!! So I wanted to make a power cord for Merlin's electric guitar. I started out with a circle in Hexagon, which I tried to sweep out, hoping to make a long snake or rope-like shape. Nope! All I got was wild looking martial arts "throwing stars". I guess sweeping a line is different from a circle, or?? I have certainly extruded steel rails (as in "railroad rails) in the past... wonder why Hex is giving me a hard time.

    After a couple of tense hours I switched to a cylinder, but could not figure out how to input values to make a long one at the outset, eg. so that I could avoid the tedium of extruding a segment, validating, and extruding another one ad infinitum.

    I finally stretched a cylinder but in the process I may have given myself too few segments because the end product was a bit jumpy. Still, it seemed to "bend" to my will and two levels of smoothing seemed to give me nice curves.

    I worked in a single viewport to make the interpolated curve that the Bend function was based on... which I think is not the way to go when you are drawing something in 3-D.

    The typography is based on a separate 2-D render in Corel Draw.

    I have an acoustic guitar but I know zilch about the electric ones - metal strings give me the willies (heh) but I was fortunate to have a friend with an electric guitar handy, and he gave me a few pointers.

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  • Catherine3678abCatherine3678ab Posts: 2,407

    I tend to use the Curve Tool for such projects. Thicken, smooth, remove excess horizontal lines. Tool utilities to merge duplicate points.

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865

    I will try it in the next iteration. It just occurred to me that if a pile of rope or some twists of flexible cable are desired then the object will be lying flat, so it would be better to model it looking down for the most part.

  • Catherine3678abCatherine3678ab Posts: 2,407

    "5" on the numerical keys will give that view.

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 865

    I see... and do you usually invoke that view from time to time, in your work-style, or do you have multiple panes/multiple views going most of the time?

    Also... (duh!) while loading Merlin's guitar into DAZ Studio I noticed that the guitar cables and amps and things come with the set. My bad! But not having something (at least for starters) that I kind of wanted forced me to venture into parts unknown in Hexagon, so that's kind of good. (-:

    Also, my "cabling" might look a bit nicer. smiley

    I've noticed this before, eg. that sense that some products in the DAZ store could benefit from a trip to Hexagon for smoothing. A random example - just picking something out of the blue - is that the shields on one of the Viking ships aren't perfectly round.

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  • Catherine3678abCatherine3678ab Posts: 2,407

    As much as I love modeling I am somewhat 3D challenged ;-) I work with one pane and no I don't invoke the numbers very often, usually I just rotate my view around. My eyes don't like things "jumping" all over the place.

    Yes many items can benefit from a little tweaking, a morph or two and Hexagon is very handy for that. Open a purse, prop a shoe, whatever.

  • Wee Dangerous JohnWee Dangerous John Posts: 1,323
    edited August 13

    Roman_K2, DAZ Studio does have a some smoothing options, here are a few -

    Iray (surfaces), Scroll down to - Smoothing then set the Angle.

    Edit-Object, Geometry, Convert t Sub-D (same works in the Figure option).

    Added a screen grab. You may want to add a DS cube and try different options and see what happens (some you may only see when rendered, not sure as I have not tried them all).

    DS Smoothing.jpg
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    Post edited by Wee Dangerous John on
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