What is Toolbox? It’s an addon that you can install on your computer to work with game files that will allow you to adjust angles precisely, and to copy and paste items in the exact same way every time. It will also allow you to save complicated (or simple) morphs as a set as well as sharing those sets with others through a variety of sharing media. In other words, as long as whatever media you’re sharing on can paste from something as basic as Notepad, you can download a Toolbox item set from someone else.
Let’s get started by breaking down the sections of the addon:
To open Toolbox, in your chatlog, type /toolbox and the interface above is what will appear. As you can see, the interface is broken down into seven main sections. Unlike the newer Dimension Tools, everything in Toolbox is from the main interface, and it cannot be resized, so there may be some getting used to this big box taking up a goodly chunk of your screen. Don’t let the boxes and numbers intimidate you, we’re going to break each section down and explain exactly what it does and how it works. This article, however, is just an overview of the functions of the addon, so that you can get a grasp of what each function is.
Taking it from left to right:
1. The very top left gives you all the information about the particular item you have selected. As you can see from the picture, I’ve got a Wood Tile selected. The numbers in X, Y, and Z are the tile’s current location within the dimension I’m using to write this. You can also see that in the Roll rotation (we’ll get to that, trust me), I’ve got a rotation set of 90 degrees, and my tile is scaled to size 12, which is the largest the standard building blocks get.
2. Right below the information of my item, I have options for movement. These boxes are useful for manual offsets, and eliminating flicker. For example, if I put .001 in the Y text box (don’t stress over what X, Y and Z mean just yet, that’s coming), but leave the Absolute box checked, Toolbox will attempt to move my tile to location .001 in that axis within the dimension. In other words, my tile is going to go shooting off to somewhere I can’t find it, and likely throw up some kind of error. But, if I leave that same .001 in the Y text box, and then check Relative, that will move my tile .001 from it’s current position. This is very useful when making minute adjustments, and more precise than what can be done by hand.
3. The third section is the one that gives Dimensionerds the most grief, by far, and it’s the rotation box. As with the movement boxes, you can either rotate in absolute degrees–the most common are 90, 45 and 180–or in relative degrees–say, in making a spiral staircase and adjusting the rotation of the curve to save items or for aesthetic reasons. For example, if I have a rotation I’ve set to 10 degrees, and the next item I place isn’t rotated correctly, I can shift through the relative rotation function by changing it by one or two degrees until I get the right number that suits whatever I’m building.
4. The scale section is pretty self-explanatory, it’s how big or small I want to make my selected item. How far each item will scale will depend on what it is. Most building blocks scale to 12, but planks only scale to 6, and many other items only scale to 2. Within that range, from .25 (the minimum size, for everything), to 2 or 6 or 12, items can vary greatly over how much they change in size.
5. This big section right here is for copying and pasting, and we’ll be spending lots of time here later on. Aside from set saving and importing/exporting, this is the most commonly used feature within Toolbox, and the thing that actually makes it fun to work with if you like to experiment. You can copy/paste with sliding sizes, in different rotations, and in differing offsets. This one little area is what makes those complex spirals a snap and will turn any square thing into a circle.
6. Save/Load Item Sets. This function is a lifesaver when you’ve spent a lot of time making a particular morph–then find out you need forty of those same morphs. Make it once, save it, and reuse it again and again as long as you have the materials. This section is also where you can import sets received from other people.
7. When you save a set, it will be saved to a directory within the Toolbox folder inside your RIFT folder, and accessible from the dropdown menu in this area. From here, you can also export sets, to either save on a desktop or thumb-drive (as a backup, and a habit I’ve gotten into), or to upload to an external site for sharing.
I hope that this clears up any confusion about the functional areas of Toolbox and what each area is for. Coming up, I’ll have detailed explanations of what X, Y and Z are, as well as Yaw, Pitch and Roll, as well as how to make those letters and words do what we want them to do with our items.