Rotations are one of the most intimidating factors when it comes to building dimensions, particularly for those who feel they are math challenged–when the math involved in figuring out a rotation is the easiest, because the largest number is 360, the number of degrees in a circle.
The most commonly used rotation is 90 degrees, for flipping things upright. Another is 180 degrees, to flip something upside down or backwards. Less commonly used are 45 and 30 degrees, as well as 20 and 15 degrees. Very rarely will you see smaller rotations, because then an arc starts to take up too many items.
Just as with Move and Scale, Rotate also has an Absolute and a Relative modifier. Absolute means exactly what it says–you want to turn something exactly that rotation, from it’s default position. Relative means turning something from the position it’s currently turned. Selecting the As Group button under the Relative check box enables you to turn items in a group–a huge time saving feature.
Most building blocks in Rift have some sort of grain line or texture. A tile will be the same height regardless if it’s flipped in the Pitch or the Roll, but with something like the brick shown, if I don’t want the bricks running horizontally on one tile and vertically on the other, I need to rotate in two axes instead of just one:
If I want to keep those lines running the same way, I can also use a Relative rotation, by using Copy and Paste on the second tile, then rotating it 90 degrees in the Roll to just turn a pasted tile sideways, like so:
Either way works out the same, and since I’m not using any offsets, I still need to manually position the tiles or use a Relative Move to get them where I want them. For my own builds, when putting together the initial framing, I generally just use an Absolute rotation, then go from there once the main frame is put down.
Where Relative movement really shines is when you’re trying to rotate items in a group. Once upon a time, I would build a set, then want to use that same set either going to the side or the reverse of the original. I would have to place the set, then laboriously rotate by hand using planks or any other item that could be used as a guide for straightness.
Beyond making it easier to create multiples of the same set facing in different directions, relative rotations are amazingly helpful when you build a set in one location and decide to move it to another, because not just coordinates differ from dimension to dimension, very often, the orientation is different, too.
In the previous guides, you may have noticed that an Anywhere was being used, because I like to test out theories and ideas and often prebuild in that dimension, because there are no distractions to bother me, such as landscaping issues or pathing problems. For the next example, however, we’ll use a set that was started in Anywhere, then moved to Moonshade Pools and expanded on, now it’s in Castle Fortune–which already presents orientation problems if you show the base dimension, because it’s roughly 30 degrees off axis (which means your perspective isn’t straight to the alignment).
I’m not too concerned in this instance about how far off axis Castle Fortune is, I just want the door of the house to face the entrance of the dimension–so that means a 180 degree turn. I don’t necessarily advocate using a 490 item set for the first time you try out using group rotations, but it was a convenient example to use for this guide without having to build something new from scratch.
Just keep in mind that the more items involved in any relative movement or rotation, the longer the action will take, to avoid ruining any completed masterpieces.
We’ll get a lot more into rotations when we get to the section regarding Copy and Paste, this guide is an overview of how it works in both Absolute and Relative. Very soon, we’ll be tying everything together, and making magic happen.