Third Guild

ARCH ESSENTIALS: User Guide

Sweep Tool

Use for

  • Window and door trim or moulding;
  • Fascia, rafters, soffits, drip edges and some types of guttering;
  • Baseboards (skirting boards) and other mouldings around the inside of a room;
  • Door liners and door stops;
  • Window and picture frames;
  • Shiplap cladding;
  • Curved walls;
  • Architectural window shades;
  • Plus much, much more...

Overview

An enhanced version of the original Sweep Polygon tool that enables groups of profiles - ngon islands and open-loop beziers - to be sweep simuklansouly along a path defined by selected points.

This new sweep tool (a custom tool written in C++) has many advantages over the original,

  • Sweep multiple profiles simultaneously whilst maintaining their relative positions to one another.
  • Support for open-bezier profiles with subdivision control.
  • Polygon-part names taken from the original profile and applied to the swept geometry.
  • Peel UVs option, which is great for sweeping along curved paths.
  • Scale UVs by distance, which is useful for matching texture coverage to distance in 3d view.

Workflow

To use this tool,

  1. Select a single mesh item layer with two or more points selected (the sweep path); or
  2. Select two mesh items. One item with one or more points selected (the sweep path) and the other containing your profile/s.
  3. Left-click the Sweep button in the Arch-E UI, Labs kit section.
  4. Left-click in the 3D viewport.
  5. Select options as required.

Please note,

  • Custom profile/s must be aligned to the world origin, with their normals facing the Z+ axis. You can use the new Prep Profile command to quickly centre and flatten your profiles.
  • The maximum number of profiles that can be swept simultaneously is 25. This arbitrary limit will likely be increased in future.

Modo Scene File

The 'bearing profiles' scene is included with the kit. You'll find it in the 'nx_scenes' folder.

Sweep Tool Workflow

Gizmo Handles

The gizmo contains eight handles that form a bounding box around the profile with a ninth handle at its centre. Clicking on any of these handles will pin the selected handle to the first selected point in your 'path of points'.

Sweep Tool Bounding Box

Clicking on one of the four corner handles, of the bounding box, that surrounds the profile will also cause 4 additional handles to appear. These are used for rotating (handle with circle) and rotating plus scaling (handle with square) the profile to a target point in the same plane as the gizmo.

Sweep Tool Rotate

Selecting a rotate/scale handle will change its colour to green to indicate it's active and the swept geometry will no longer be drawn. At this point simply left-click on a polygon in the, same plane as the tool, close to the desired target point (do not click on the point itself) and the profile will rotate and/or scale to the target point.

Sweep Tool Scale

Please note that the target point must be in the same plane a the gizmo (tool handles) and,

  • If the closest point to when you clicked is invalid, then the tool bounding box with turn red for a short time; or
  • if you click away from any geometry then the rotate/scale handle will remain green, allowing you another chance to click on a polygon close to your desired target point.

User Interface

Sweep Tool UI

Profile Shape

Select the shape of the profile to use. This can either be one of the built-in shapes or a custom polygon (single n-gon polygon).

To use custom shapes place a single 'profile' polygon in a separate mesh item layer and select that layer along with the mesh item layer containing your path points, prior to activating the tool.

Subdivision Level

This allows you to interactively change the number of points (smoothing) in the built-in Cavetto, Ovolo, Half-Round, Quarter-Round and Round profiles. (Added: v1.2.0)

Width

Set the width of the profile.

Height

Set the height of the profile.

Uniform Scaling

Set the profile to scale uniformly. When this attribute is disabled you can set individual values for Width and Height.

Enabling this after is has been disabled will have no effect until the Width or Height is changed at which point the original width-to-height ratio of the profile will be applied to scale the profile.

Reset Width / Height

Resets the width and height to their original values. For built-in presets this will reset the profiles to their predetermined sizes, whereas, for custom profile this will set the height and width to match that of the original profile.

Timber Sizes 1: 12-36mm (Width x Height)

A drop-down containing a wide range of commonly used timber size presets with a width between 12mm and 36mm. Use these presets to quickly set the size of the profile.

Timber Sizes 2: 38-300mm (Width x Height)

A drop-down containing a wide range of commonly used timber size presets with a width between 38mm and 300mm. Use these presets to quickly set the size of the profile.

Rotate

Manually rotate the profile around the pinned gizmo handle. Switching the pinned handle will reset rotation.

Spin CW 90 and Spin CCW 90

Spins the profile clockwise(CW) or counter-clockwise (CCW), in 90 degrees increments, without altering the alignment of the gizmo (tool handles). Use this to quickly align the profile to the correct facing.

Sweep Tool Spin

Flip / Mirror Axis A

Flips the profile shape along its A axis; i.e. along the width dimension direction. The axes are indicated in brackets above or to the size of the gizmo's handles.

This option is only available for single 'polygon island' profiles.

Flip / Mirror Axis B

Flips the profile shape along its B axis; i.e. along the height dimension direction; The axes are indicated in brackets above or to the size of the gizmo's handles.

This option is only available for single 'polygon island' profiles.

Close Path

When enabled the path is closed between the last and first point, creating a closed-loop of geometry (end and start are joined). This option is only available when the path contains three or more selected points.

Orient Cap Start and Oreint Cap End

Sets the orientation of the geometry at start or end of the path; It can be set to follow the path or aligned to the vertical (Y-up) or horizontal. This is very useful when sweeping along pitched roofs, for example, because you can control how the end is cut.

Sweep Tool Orientation of Ends

Position Offset A and B

Offset the position of the profile, from it's pinned position, by the given distance along its local A or B axis; Axes are indicated in brackets above or to the size of the tool handles.

Sweep Tool Position Offset

Reset Pos Offsets

Sets the value of both 'Pos Offset A' and 'Pos Offset B' to zero.

Show Dimensions

When enabled, the width and height dimensions (mm/m) are displayed to the side of the tool handles.

User Interface: Bezier Profile

Points Per Curve

Sets the number of points per curve in the bezier path; i.e. controls the level of subdivision.

Linear Curves SubD

Choose whether or not to sub-divide linear curves within a bezier path profile,

  • Standard: Sub-divide linear curves within the profile.

  • None: Leave linear curves (straight sections) un-divided, which can reduce polygon count considerably.

User Interface: UV

Method

Choose between,

  • Segments: Creates individual UV islands for each segment of geometry along the path. Use for paths with hard turns where you want mitre-type joints between each section of geoemtry.

  • Peel: Creates UVs that follow along the path in a single continuous section; i.e. Produces a result similar to modo's built-in UV peeler. Use for curved paths.

Scale: UV tile width

Exposes the sweep tool’s UV scaling parameter. Changing this value enable you to match the UVs to the stated coverage of an image/megascan; e.g. if you have a wood scan that is stated to cover 5m you can set this value and it will cover the equivalent distance over the swept geometry in the 3d view.

Reset Scale

Resets UV scaling to the same value used by the other Arch-E tools. All tools already share the same UV scale factor to spare you from having to scale one set of UV islands against another.