Custom Pivot with Tinker Tools

This onion was created with Custom Pivot, 400-ish cubes, and being able to copy and paste multiple items.
This onion dome was created with Custom Pivot, 400-ish cubes, and being able to copy and paste multiple items.

Custom Pivot is one of those functions that seems impossibly complicated…until you realize it really isn’t.  What does it do?  Custom Pivot allows you as a builder to rotate items that might not have a convenient selection point (like planks!), around a single, common point.

Not everyone is going to want to spend the 400 items on a dome like the one shown at the top, it’s a demonstration of one of the things that are possible.  You can make incredibly complex circular designs and rotations using Custom Pivot, or something as simple as a rounded building frame.

For the first example, we’ll make a simple circle at the default size, using Custom Pivot, the Offset Calculator and the Move windows.

If you don’t wish to use math to make anything, some trial and error is involved.  With this, as with all things, the way I do it isn’t necessarily the only way there is, and each person should find out the way that works best for their particular style.

One of the most common things I’m asked is how to make a spiral staircase, using planks instead of corner posts or poles–and how to mirror that staircase in the opposite direction.  Planks have a very inconvenient selection point compared to poles and corner posts, because if you use the plank’s point for the pivot, you end up with the rotation coming at the middle of the block and either a ton of manual manipulating or something that looks like a double helix.  With Custom Pivot, however, you can make a perfect spiral staircase in about 10 minutes:

I fixed my stairs and risers by shortening the rotation to 6 degrees and adding a few more items to the multiple item offset. Instead of placing the steps, then doing the risers, I used the pole again for the pivot point (PICK), then copied both the bottom stair and the bottom riser, then pressed Paste.
I fixed my stairs and risers by shortening the rotation to 6 degrees and adding a few more items to the multiple item offset. Instead of placing the steps, then doing the risers, I used the pole again for the pivot point (PICK), then copied both the bottom stair and the bottom riser, then pressed Paste.

Using the same steps as shown above, I can add a side wall for the outer edge, by copying another plank and rotating it 90 degrees in the Roll, then keeping the identical offsets to continue the pivot so it follows the same line and curve.  The only time things would change would be when I added a railing:

To make a mirrored staircase that follows this exact same curve, I would just need to offset a -6 rotation in the Yaw, instead of a positive 6.  The example above assumes a pole or wall would occupy the area where the pivot is, also.

To make cylindrical walls, it follows the same principle, the only difference is going to be the amount of the rotation and the number of items.  In some instances, you may wish to make a hexagonal shape instead of truly round, in the interest of saving the item limit.

To make something like the onion dome–or any dome–it follows the same principle, but there may be a couple more steps involved.

Once I’ve got my settings in a place where I’m comfortable things will turn out right, I’m going to finalize the offsets, then press PICK for the granite pole, then COPY for the entire first rib and the following:

Since I'm making a full circle, I'm going to use the offset of 12 degrees in the Yaw, so I want 30 copies of the rib (12x30=360). Once I press Copy, I'll remove the rib, press Paste, then go make a sandwich while it puts itself together.
Since I’m making a full circle, I’m going to use the offset of 12 degrees in the Yaw, so I want 30 copies of the rib (12×30=360). Once I press Copy, I’ll remove the rib, press Paste, then go make a sandwich or something while it puts itself together.

I went AFK while the dome put itself together, because pasting that many items is not an instantaneous thing.  I didn’t save any of the settings for the original dome experiment, but widening the rotation by a single degree (I used an 11 degree offset on the original dome) saved me nearly a hundred items–not that an onion dome is something you’d make for every build anyway.  When I came back, I found this:

It's not exactly the same as the original, but I kind of like that embellishment at the top of the dome.
It’s not exactly the same as the original, but I kind of like that embellishment at the top of the dome.

Keep in mind that there are often selection errors, where all your items may not be selected, so either saving this as a set to try to reuse it or moving it may result in breaking it.  If something like this is something you want to keep, I strongly recommend performing a restart of the client, then manually selecting everything through the item list, then saving or moving it with a relative move–or just make it in the position where you intend for it to be used.  Another thing to keep in mind is the Rift client (there were actually 360 cubes used in the dome, not the 293 shown) will crash if you try to remove that many items from your dimension all at once.

So let’s revisit a more common usage–making a cylindrical body, this time using a premade spire.

Custom Pivot is not just for building blocks, you can make your circular or rounded objects from whatever you choose, but my recommendation is to use either a pole or a corner post for the pivot point, just to help with simplification.

Happy Building!

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