ZModeler2 Lesson#2: "Create..." tools

"Create..." tools in commands bar

The first drawer of commands bar is labeled "Create" and obviously relates to creating of Vertices, Polygons, Edges and Objects.

The first tool in "Create..." branch is labeled "Copy". This is tool works on objects level only and creates a copy of nodes. Additional buttons shown on the left means that this tool depends on Axes modes, Pivot helper, supports Selected Mode and works on Objects level only. Additional options for this tool include the following:

These three tools create a different types of lights in scene: Directional light, point (omni) light and a spotlight. Each of these tools contain Color selection in options box. Once light is created, it can be switched to manipulators level to change it's parameters: range, direction and spot cones.

Lights created with these tools are physical light sources which illuminate the scene geometry. They are not light-effects or light-glow effects. Moreover, game engines usually place lights dynamically, depending on players position and direction of view. Lights computation is expencive, so these lights are used, in general, to make a render of geometry in ZModeler, and rarely used when exporting scene to the game.

"Polygon..." is a common options box placeholder for the three tools under it's branch. Options define which type of polygon will be created and whether "smart depth" will be used for vertices placement. All three tools below (Fan, Single and Strip) work on vertices level only in existen mesh object. So, to apply any of these tools, you need any mesh object created and switched to vertices level. All these tools create polygons on existen vertices or create new vertices under cursor wile you create polygons.
An animation on the right shows the use of Fan tool to create a set of polygons. They are created in an object that consist from single recrangle polygon - the first "shared" vertex used for polyfan was choosen among existen vertices and all other were created by the tool during creation process. Right mouse button was clicked to stop creation process.

Single polygon creation tool creates single polygon with tree clicks (if Triangles are selected in Polygon... options box), four clicks (if Quads are selected) and several clicks (until right mouse button pressed, if Polygon selected). Since triangles are the most commonly used type of polygons, we shall discuss only triangles here.

Strip polygon creation tool is the most recently used for creating polygons by hand. You just start whereever you want in the mesh and lead the strip of polygons in any direction. Animation on the left shows creation of quad polygons in existen mesh.

In the last example, I've disabled Smart depth option to show how polygons are created in 3D. I've created them in front view and new vertices that were created (a pair on the left and a pair on the right) need to be positioned in 3D space. When smart depth is turned off, the tool uses Pivot helper position as a "depth" where to place the points. Notice on the image below, in the top view, that "in depth" new points are positioned on the same "depth" as pivot helper. In most of cases I don't use smart depth feature. Instead, I pay attention where pivot helper is located before I create new polygons with these tools and, if required, I place pivot helper where needed before new vertices are created.

We shall discuss only one tool in this branch: Grid. This tool creates flat grid surface (patch grid). Grid can be used as a start point of your meshes - it's the easiest way to create a new object in a completely blank workspace. As it is prompted in status bar, you need to click and drag a rectangle - grid will be created. Additional options called Columns and Rows - they are selfexplaining.

Among several options inside Surface... options box we are interested only in Produce: Triangles/Quads switch. As you quess, grid surface can be either triangle-based or quad-based. All other options among Surface... settings as well as Revolved and Loft surfaces will be discussed in advanced lessons. On the right an examples of triangle-based surface with 3 columns, 2 rows and a quad-based surface with 4 columns and 1 row.