A Word About Offsets

Offsets are what allows stairs like these to be created evenly and quickly.
Offsets are what allows stairs like these to be created evenly and quickly.

What are offsets in Toolbox?  Offsets are a way of copying and pasting items to your dimension in slightly different locations.  If you need to line up six tiles to make a wall, using an offset can align that wall without your having to squint and curse as you try to manually get things just right.  Need to make a set of stairs like those pictured?  Offsets make creating stairs a breeze.  The instructions for how to make stairs are at the bottom of the guide, beneath the reference numbers I’ve provided here.  Offsets also work with rotations for things like spirals, arches, curves and circles, even though with some things, manual manipulation is still necessary.

Offsetting in Toolbox is second only to rotations in the intimidation factor when it comes to using this dimension addon, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you use Dimension Tools, it has an offset calculator built in, that will automatically calculate the size in game units of your building block so you know how much to offset.  If you use Toolbox instead, we have to do things the old-fashioned way, but I’ve got some common game unit sizes listed here, that can be referenced at any time.  Please note that these are for standard building blocks ONLY.  To offset atypical materials, well, experimentation is a key to success in many things.

Standard building blocks are also of a standard size, so my breakdown here will only be in planks, cubes, poles, tiles and rectangles, and all sizes are only in increments of whole and half.  I’ve never researched the sizes of the modular building pieces, so they are not included.

Length: From end to end.  Height:  From top to bottom.  Width:  From front to back.
Length: From end to end. Height: From top to bottom. Width: From front to back.

Planks:

Size .5:   Length: 1.125    Height: .025    Width: .125

Size 1:  Length: 2.25    Height:  .05    Width: .25

Size 1.5:  Length: 3.375    Height:  .075   Width:  .375

Size 2:  Length:  4.5    Height:  .1    Width:  .5

Size 2.5:  Length:  5.625    Height:  .125    Width:  .625

Size 3:  Length:  6.75    Height:  .15    Width:  .75

Size 3.5:  Length:  7.875    Height:  .175    Width:  .875

Size 4:  Length:  9    Height:  .2    Width:  1

Size 4.5:  Length:  10.125    Height:  .225    Width:  1.125

Size 5:  Length:  11.25    Height:  .25    Width:  1.25

Size 5.5:  Length:  12.375    Height:  .275    Width:  1.375

Size 6:  Length:  13.5    Height:  .3    Width:  1.5

Because they're square, cubes are the same in all directions.
Because they’re square, cubes are the same in all directions.

Cubes:  The offset is the same in all directions.

Size .5:  .375

Size 1:  .75

Size 1.5:  1.125

Size 2: 1.5

Size 2.5:  1.875

Size 3:  2.25

Size 3.5:  2.625

Size 4:  3

Size 4.5:  3.375

Size 5:  3.75

Tiles will be the same for length and width, only the height (the thickness of the tile itself, will be different).
Tiles will be the same for length and width, only the height will be different, and I didn’t have those numbers in my spreadsheet.

Tiles:  The width and length offsets are the same.

Size .5:  .375

Size 1:  .75

Size 1.5:  1.125

Size 2:  1.5

Size 2.5:  1.875

Size 3:  2.25

Size 4:  3

Size 4.5:  3.375

Size 5:  3.75

Size 5.5:  4.125

Size 6:  4.5

Size 6.5:  4.875

Size 7:  5.25

Size 7.5:  5.625

Size 8:  6

Size 8.5:  6.375

Size 9:  6.75

Size 9.5:  7.125

Size 10:  7.5

Size 10.5:  7.875

Size 11:  8.25

Size 11.5:  8.625

Size 12:  9

For rectangles, I'm only giving the length number here, as the width is the same as for a tile.
For rectangles, I’m only giving the length number here, as the width is the same as for a tile.

Rectangles:  Remember, since the width of a rectangle is the same as that of a tile, I’m only listing the length here.

Size .5:  .5625

Size 1:  1.125

Size 1.5:  1.6875

Size 2:  2.25

Size 2.5:  2.8125

Size 3:  3.375

Size 3.5:  3.9375

Size 4:  4.5

Size 4.5:  5.0625

Size 5:  5.625

Size 5.5:  6.1875

Size 6:  6.75

Size 6.5:  7.3125

Size 7:  7.875

Size 7.5:  8.4375

Size 8:  9

Size 8.5:  9.5625

Size 9:  10.125

Size 9.5:  10.6875

Size 10:  11.25

Size 10.5:  11.8125

Size 11:  12.375

Size 11.5:  12.9375

Size 12:  13

Poles are blessedly easy to offset--so easy, I never wrote out the thicknesses.
Poles are blessedly easy to offset–so easy, I never wrote out the thicknesses.

Poles:

Well, here’s a testament to my laziness, when I was doing my spreadsheets, I never measured the poles for thickness.  For their length, however, poles are very easy to offset because their length directly correlates to game units.  That is, a pole at size 1.5 will offset in length 1.5 to butt directly against another pole.  If you set a pole at 5.9658 and want to offset it lengthwise, you’d do it by that exact number.

The numbers are great, but how did you make those stairs?
The numbers are great, but how did you make those stairs?

The numbers provided above aren’t meant as anything other than a reference.  Normally when offsetting, you don’t really need to have that much precision.  I do, however, wear my nerd hat proudly, and I set about calculating those offsets months ago.  But how do those numbers apply, say, to making a set of stairs like these?  Well, if the planks are small enough, I’ve got a guideline as to how high of a step I can set.  Knowing that square edged stairs tend to snag and catch, however, I’m not going to offset any higher than .25 in the Y axis, regardless of the size of the plank.

Step by step, here’s how these stairs were made:

1. Place a plank on the ground, without rotating it, scale it as desired and press COPY.

2.  I used 18 planks going up, so I placed 17 more planks from my bags, then selected all those planks.

3.  To offset the stairs, I entered the numbers .25 to offset in and .45 to offset in Z.  Since I’m going with the direction of the arrows, all offsets are positive numbers.

4.  Be sure to check the little box that appears once all items are selected that reads:  Offset each item.  This will offset each plank from the one that preceded it, so there aren’t 17 planks in a pile offset from the first plank.

5.  With everything selected and the box checked to offset each item, press PASTE.  The stairs will build themselves before your eyes.

This is for one half of the stairs, and screenshots of the process are here:

I’m going to do the exact same thing for the risers, but rotate the first plank to a rotation of 90 degrees in the Pitch.  Aside from that, everything else, including the offset, will be exactly the same, as shown here:

The height and scale of the stairs is entirely dependent on each build.  My recommendation?  Experiment with different sizes and heights and when you find stairs you like, save the set, so you only have to make them from scratch once.  After the set is saved, modifying is easy enough, and then you can save subsequent sets and have a variety of your own premade pieces available whenever you need them.

Happy Building!

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