Transforming objects

The Transform suite contains five direct methods for transforming entities, such as objects, object parts, lights, and guides: move, rotate, uniform scale, independent scale, and mirror. Each has its own tool. In the tool options palette, there are options that allow to transform an entity with or without copying it. Copying only affects objects, lights, and guides, but not parts of objects, such as faces, segments or points. Segments of objects can also be transformed with the Extend tool, which is also contained in the Transform suite.


Transform Texture Map Control is an option for all of the transformation tools (Move, Rotate, Independent Scale, Uniform Scale, Mirror, Mirror About, and Transform). When this option is on, an object’s texture map control is transformed with the object. This option is on by default and represents how texture controls were handled in prior versions. When this option is off, the texture map control is not transformed with the object. This can be useful, for example, when scaling an object where the texture scale is important, such as a brick pattern.



layout_move.bmp Move

The Move tool options palette.

When entities are prepicked, the first click in the window defines the start point of the move and the second click the end point. Between the two clicks the entities are moved interactively. By default, the two clicks are mapped on the current reference plane or are snapped to object parts or guides. This will allow you to move the entities parallel to the reference plane or from one snapped point to another. To move the entities perpendicular to the plane, hit and release the command key (Macintosh) or ctrl key (Windows), which will constrain the move to the plane’s perpendicular direction. Hitting the command/ctrl key again restores the parallel move direction.


When the Move tool is activated and no entities are prepicked, the first click picks an entity and also starts the move.




layout_rotate.bmp Rotate, layout_iscale.bmp Independent Scale, layout_uscale.bmp Uniform Scale

Unlike the Move tool, when no entities are prepicked, the first click only picks an entity. A second click defines the base point of the transformation (center of rotation, fixed point of the scale, etc). A third and fourth click determine the beginning and the end of the transformation, respectively. No perpendicular option is applicable to these tools.


As already mentioned, the tool palette for all the transformation tools contain a set of icons for specifying whether to apply the operation to the entity itself or to one or more copies.


layout_self.bmp Self: When on, it applies the transformation to the entity itself.


With Self on, the Allow Snap To Original option appears in the tool options palette and may be turned on or off. If on, the cursor snaps to the original object, which allows, for example, to move an object exactly on top of itself.


layout_one_copy.bmp One Copy: Makes one copy and transforms the copy.


layout_continuous_copy.bmp Continuous Copy: Continues to make a copy at the location of each click of the mouse, until the mouse is double clicked, which terminates the operation.


layout_repeat_copy.bmp Repeat Copy: Continues to make a copy with each click of the mouse by repeating the original transformation. Double clicking terminates the transformation.




Additional options in the tool options
palette when Multi Copy is on.

layout_multi_copy.bmp Multi Copy: When this option is selected, additional options appear in the tool options palette. The number of copies to be made is entered in the # Of Copies field. These can be made by repeating the value applied to the first copy (Even Increment) or by subdividing that value by the number of copies (Divide Distance).


When applying the latter option to rotations, there are two complementary angles that may be subdivided. Which one is used depends on whether the Big Angle For Rotation option is on or off. When Self is on and an object part is transformed, it stays with its object. If one of the Copy options is on, a copy of the part is made as a separate object and is transformed, while the original object remains intact.


When one of the copying modes is on, the Make Component and Per Object/Group options appear in the palette. When the former is on, a component is automatically made from the selected entities and the copies become instances of the new component. If more than one entities are picked, they all become a single component, unless Per Object/Group is on in which case each original object becomes a separate component.



layout_mirror.bmp Mirror

This tool dynamically reflects an object about an axis. It operates only on complete objects and not on object parts. With the tool active click on an object to select it, then click twice on the reference plane to define the axis of reflection. The line defined by the two points is the axis itself, if the Drawn Line option is on. If instead the Perpendicular To Drawn Line option is on, the axis is a line perpendicular at the midpoint of the line you draw. See examples on the right.


The Mirror tool can be applied on the object itself or on a copy. When Copy is selected, you can also instruct the program to make a component from the copy.




The Mirror Tool Options Palette
(a) Applying the Mirror tool with the Drawn Line option:
Clicking on 1 selects the object. Then clicking on
2 and 3 defines the axis of reflection.
(b) Applying the Mirror tool with Perpendicular To
Drawn Line on: Clicking on 1 selects the object.
Clicking on 2 and 3 defines an axis of reflection as a line
perpendicular to the line drawn.

layout_mirror_about.bmp Mirror About

This tool reflects objects in one step rather than dynamically. With the tool active click on an object then on a surface, a line, or a point, which becomes the entity of reflection. See example on the right.


As with the Mirror tool, the Mirror About tool can be applied to the object itself or to a copy. When the latter is selected, you can also instruct the program to make it a component.


When an object is reflected about a line or a point, it will be reflected relative to the three axes (X, Y, and Z). If Relative To Reference Plane is on then it will be reflected relative to the axes of the reference plane only.



The Mirror About Tool Options Palette
Applying the Mirror About tool: Clicking on 1
selects the object. Clicking on 2 selects the surface
about which it will be mirrored.


Translate (Move).tif Repeat Last Transform

This tool repeats the transformation that was applied most recently.