Hatching is a graphic technique used to create effects on surfaces for illustration proposes. Hatching (also known as cross-hatching) initially used parallel lines at intervals and various angles to create patterns, but has been extended to include a variety of patterns that can be meaningfully applied to surfaces. Hatching is an attribute that can be added to an object or face of an object.

In form•Z, hatches are applied using the Hatch tool and the Hatch palette. The hatch palette contains a set of preset hatches. Additional hatches can be loaded from industry standard .pat files, using the Load .Pat File button at the bottom of the palette. One hatch pattern is always selected in the Hatch palette and is the active hatch. It is indicated by a bold box around it.

A hatch can be applied at the Object or Face topological level using either the Hatch tool or the drag and drop method from the hatch palette to the desired object or face.



text_note_icon.png Hatch

The Hatch tool is used to apply the active hatch pattern to an object or face and to control the placement, orientation, and scale of the hatch. It is initially applied at the default scale. The hatch is initially aligned with the selected face or with the first face of an object, when it is applied at the Object level. Hatching can only be applied to planar faces. Rotation and other parameters can be set in its Tool Options dialog:

Type: This popup menu contains two items: World and Screen. With Screen the hatch size is specified in points and is displayed the same size on the screen, regardless of the zoom factor. With World the hatch size is subject to the zoom factor of the current view.

Origin: The defaults for X, Y, and Z are 0's, but you can enter other values to move the origin of a hatch pattern to another location. This is sometimes necessary when you try to align hatches.

Scale: Changing the value in this field will change the scale or density of the pattern.


Rotation: Entering a value other than 0 in this field will rotate the hatch pattern, which again may be necessary when trying to align hatches among different faces.

Once the hatch is applied, a graphic controller is displayed representing the origin, rotation and scale, of the hatch. The controller is used to interactively change the parameters of the hatch. Selecting a different hatch in the hatch palette while the controller is present changes the hatch pattern.

When using the pre-pick method, the hatching is applied with the same parameters to all of the pre-picked entities. This creates a common origin that can be useful when it is desirable to have patterns on different objects be aligned to each other. The tool can be used on entities that have already had hatching applied to change the pattern or any of the placement parameters of the hatch.

When an object or face is picked, the Hatch can be changed in the Hatch menu of the Attributes tab of the Pick tool options palette. This displays the hatches that are applied to the selected entities (if any). The placement parameters can be changed numerically and a different pattern can be selected by dragging the desired pattern from the hatch palette.



text_note_icon.png Edit Hatch

This tool is used to revise the parameters of a previously applied hatch, either at the Object or Face topological levels. Its tool options palette is identical with that for the Hatch tool.