Copy and Paste with DT 2.0

A shared Toolbox set for the easiest part of using Copy and Paste.
A shared Toolbox set for the easiest part of using Copy and Paste.

Hello again, Dimensionerds!  When talking about Copy and Paste of items, there are a whole lot of other areas that fall into the realm.

Copy and Paste

You can copy and paste with a distance offset, a rotational offset, or a scaling offset.  That doesn’t include flicker reductions or custom pivot, which will have it’s own, separate guide.  How complex you want to get with Copy and Paste is entirely up to you, but this one tab has more functionality than pretty much everything else combined.

But how does it work, at the basic level?

At its most basic, you can use DT–or any addon, for that matter, to reskin something, as with this shared set.  I generally do my mockups in building blocks I have on hand, and if I don’t have enough, I go cheap and use wood planks and crafted materials.  Pre-building sets like this frame gives me an idea of how many other, more expensive materials I’ll need, and I can set a shape and boundaries without too much waste.  I also like using dimensions like this Anywhere, because it’s flat, and there are no distractions like landscaping that’s not quite right.  More, it’s on axis, which means it’s straight to perspective–and if it’s not, there’s nothing there to try to line up with anyway!

At any rate, both DT 1.0 and 2.0 have the functionality built in to copy and paste where if you’re using identical items, you don’t need to manually place the new item first, it automatically pulls from your bags and your bank.

In the above example, you’ll notice a distance offset in X of -1.5.  How did I get that number?  The offset calculator, which is also it’s own guide.  For standard building blocks in standard rotations (i.e, 90 in one 2 axes, at the default, or with the detect function), the offset calculator can let me know the distance between these two planks that will have the smallest amount of overlap and eliminate flicker.

If I end up having to shift the second plank a little bit and flickering starts because the two planks are layered so closely together, all I need to do is a Relative Move of .001 in the Y (looking at the arrows), and the flicker will go away.

If I know how long I want the wall to be, I can select to paste multiple items on the same offset, and those successive pieces will each paste -1.5 from each other.

What causes flickeringFlicker is cause when two items are overlaid directly on top of each other and your video card can’t differentiate between the two (or more, which does sometimes happen).  When you’re trying to make a horse of many colors, it’s a cool effect. When you’re building walls, not so much.  .001 is enough of a shift to not really be visible to the naked eye (and thus causing a noticeable mismatch) but will allow your PC to be able to “see” two distinct blocks.  Video settings can also have an effect here–lower settings tend to see more flickering.

So, we’ve covered basic copying and pasting, now onto Rotational offsets, which is what I usually call spinning.  Spinning is when you make square things round.  In the scaling segment, we scaled a lot of closed circles (the outside is filled in), but how do you make that circle in the first place?

There are a couple of ways, and one of those is with custom pivot.  The other way is by copy and paste with a rotational offset.

One of the updates for the offset calculator would be for it to detect the offsets for angles like this one, but for now, you can either do the math to figure the offset, or just move it by hand.  Personally, I just move things by hand.

It’s the same principle for making a circle as opposed to making an arch, the only difference is you’re using a full 360 degrees instead of 180.  But we’ll get more into that with the rotation segment.

You don’t have to spin just building blocks, you can spin, literally, anything, and how it looks at the end depends entirely on if you spun it in the Yaw, the Pitch, or the Roll.

Depending on the original rotation of the selected item, results will always vary, and this is perhaps one of the most fun areas to experiment with.

Next, we’ll do a multiple item paste with a rotation and a scale:

Experimentation is key, especially with spinning, until you can regularly get the desired effects that you want, in the amount of items that you can live with.

Happy Building!



%d bloggers like this: