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    Post Complex Shapes Tutorials: The Visual Guide

    Complex Shapes Tutorials: The Visual Guide


    If you wonder how people make corners so perfect, shapes so complex, and curves so realistic, you've come to the right place. This visual walkthrough will explain step-by-step how to create flawless geometric shapes that can make any object look a whole lot more proffesional.

    Section: Pressing And Cutting

    Introductory Example: Cleaning Up Mistakes

    As you create, you're bound to make mistakes, and there are many ways to fix them. But in this section you'll learn about one method, what I call pressing and cutting, pressing squares against other shapes and cutting or adding new segments, which can be a great basis for making any complex shape.


    Here we have a crazy shape, with lots of cuts and corners. But what if we wanted to keep some of them, but simplify it?


    First, make a few default squares, the basis for pressing and cutting. Every default shape works in different ways, and the square is no exception. When "smearing" a square, or cutting away at a material with an unplaced square, it always works in 90 degree angles. That is why squares are important to many complex shapes. Unlike circles and triangles and most other default shapes, they can easily be smeared into, or cut off a straight line.


    Place the squares on some of the edges, and resize them appropriately. Make sure they are on all the way.


    Select a square. Press R3 to copy it, and then, with an unplaced square, press triangle to delete the placed square. Then, press triangle and move your unplaced square along a straight line to delete any edges that are jutting out. After that, do the same with the other square.


    What if we didn't want to cut off a piece jutting out, but fill a piece jutting in? Take another square and press it against the side again.


    After that, thicken it in the thick layer in front of the shape.


    Take one more square and press it on the bottom of the other one.


    Copy it, delete it with an unplaced square, move your unplaced square outline to the crazy shape layer, and smear a line that fills in the gap.


    Delete the unused squares. That simple introductory example should now let you know how many of the game commands and techniques work that will help you in these next examples, which won't be explained as thoroughly.

    Tutorial: Division of a Shape


    If you have any shape you want to divide into sections, it may be easier than you thought.


    Move the shape into a middle layer and make a copy of it in the layer in front of it.


    Cut the shape any way you want.


    Copy the new shape, use the unplaced copy to delete the old copy, cut the shape out of the original square, and place it down. You should now have a square made of two perfectly fitting parts.


    A shape can be made of as many pieces as you want, with the only limit being the thermometer and your imagination.

    Tutorial: Ungridded Parallel Lines

    The grid is a valuable asset to many geometric figures, like parallel lines and perfect stairs, but parallel lines don't always look natural.


    Create a simple line that you'd like to be the shape of it.


    Take the line, copy it, move the unplaced copy left of it, and smear a line that will be the distance between each parallel line.


    Take the placeholder and press it against the first line. Copy another line and place it against the placeholder.


    Keep making copies of lines and placeholders, and box-select sections to make the pattern longer.


    Delete the placeholders, and you'll now have a perfect row of parallel lines.

    Tutorial: Equidistant Complex Shapes

    Creating parallel lines is easy, but complex objects that don't press together evenly are a different story.


    To give yourself room and to make a base, create a long line in the air.


    In this case, the complex shape is a tilted heart.


    Create a heart-sized cut into one side of a square, with enough room on the other side for another cut.


    Make a copy of the cut-out square to the right of the heart.


    Delete the left cutout square, and replace it with the one on the right.


    Slide the heart into the hole, and it should snap in. If it doesn't, or if you use complex shapes that aren't symmetrical, try panning out while you cut its shape from the square.


    Continue to repeat the pattern.


    Delete the placeholders, and you should have a perfectly equidistant row of hearts. In this case, decorated a wuvewy pink.

    Tutorial: Extension of a Premade Line


    Here, I'll show you a complicated process, an extension of a premade line. To make the scenario more complicated there are too lines about to intersect, where I'll show you two different ways to do it.


    Press two squares along the right sides of the two lines.


    Smear both squares into a line in the direction of where the two lines that need to be extended are going to intersect.


    Place two more squares on the left edges of your two new lines.


    Delete the two new lines that you made.


    Smear the left square in the direction where the lines should intersect.


    Use a square you pressed along the left edge to cut in the direction where the lines should intersect to shave off the extra width of the line extension. The left line should now be extended.


    For the right line you can use a different method, which requires a more careful hand. Press a square onto the left side of the line and shave off the extra width of the square so it becomes the same width as the line.


    The next part can be tricky. Like squares, rectangles can go in 90 degree angles when smearing. But, they have a bigger tendency to smear diagnally too. But with a careful hand and eye you can extend a line by doing this just as easily as pressing and cutting.


    Oh no! You made a mistake! Just another example of what can be solved through cutting and pressing.


    Paste a square over the gap. Then press two squares against both sides of the line.


    Cut the extra width off by smearing two cuts with the unplaced squares, and then you have two, perfect, intersecting extensions of a premade line.

    This set of tutorials was made mainly to demonstrate pressing and cutting, so there will be more tutorials up ahead.

    Section: Using Sprung Bolts as Protractors

    Introductory Example: Three-Armed Windmill


    Turn on the medium grid and make a four-by-four square in the back thin layer.


    Smear a windmill arm upwards from the same area of the square with a circle.


    Put a sprung bolt on the windmill arm in the place where the middle of the square would be, aligned with the grid.


    Tighten the bolt to 10 so it won't wobble, and unpause. Watch where the arm points to and tweak it so it points upwards.


    Copy the arm into the layer in front of it. Again, unpause so you can see your results of the wobble bolt moving the windmill arm while you tweak it.

    Remember, circles have 360 degrees and a sprung bolt's rotation is no different. To make a three armed winmill, divide 360 by three to get the number of degrees between each arm, 120. Because I was lucky with the first one and it pointed upwards at 0 (/360), the math will be easier. Tweak the middle layer arm to be at 120. Then create another in the front layer and tweak it to be at 240.


    Copy each arm to the back layer and delete the originals.


    Delete the extra dark matter and sprung bolts that will gather in the fused windmill's surface. You'll now have a geometrically perfect three-armed windmill.

    Tutorial: Six-Pointed Flower

    Making a relatively simple object with only three arms that can fit into the three layers has been explained. But making a more complex shape with more points than layers can be trickier.


    Do what you had to do with the three-armed windmill. Align a four-by-four square with the medium grid. Place down a default sharpened ellipse(?) shape and align it with the grid, and again, place a sprung bolt onto the "flower petal" where it's in front of the dark matter square. Set the strenth to ten. Then, tweak it appropriately. This time 0 didn't happen to be the degree where the petal pointed upwards. Simply tweak it until it does go upwards, which should be a multiple of 10, in this case 90.


    As stated, the interval of degrees between each segment depends on the number of segments. To make six petals, divide the number of degrees in a circle, 360, by 6. There should be an interval of sixty degrees between each petal. Add 60 to 90, because 90 is where the first petal points upwards. Tweak the second petal to be at 150.


    Detach the petal from the dark matter block, copy it, and paste a copy onto the first petal. When you copy the petal, it will automatically re-attach itself to the dark matter, indicated by a screw-in noise. Exit out of your poppit to unselect the petal so that you can see it move while you tweak it.


    Tweak it again, adding another 60 degrees.


    Again, detach and paste another copy to the back layer. Exit out of your poppit, and start to repeat the cycle.


    On the last petal, we passed 360 degrees but continued adding 60 to each petal.


    Delete the extra petals, wobble bolts, and dark matter, and you'll now have a perfectly symmetrical six-pointed flower.

    For the future: A Revised Equidistant Complex Shapes Tutorial, With A New And Better Technique, Tutorial For Making Molds Of Objects, Tutorial Of Protraction On The End Of A Protracted Segment, Tutorial Of Protractor Patterns, and possibly a Corner Editor Tool Section.

    I hope you learned something to help your creations become better! Don't be afraid to comment on questions or suggestions.


  2. #2
    Junior Sackperson thefrozenpenquin's Avatar
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    I'll be back to read that again. Bit of a family emergency going on right now. They seem like common sense steps that you just didn't think of though.
    I use the word "alot" a lot. Seriously, read anything I say in any post. I even tried to add "alot" to that sentence. A lot of thought into trying. Okay, I won't say alot again. ALOT ALOT ALOT ALOT ALOT ALOT ALOT, ok, now I'm done, ALOT. sorry

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  3. #3
    Sackperson Private piggabling's Avatar
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    Thank you for this nice guide! Is there any way to maybe put a picture of the finished products? I understand it but it would probably help the more visual learners...



  4. #4
    FatSacks TheAdipose's Avatar
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    I think this tutorial is a great idea... but i'm confused.. it says it is a visual guide - but I don't see any visuals. Some pictures would really help me understand it.

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    Toolmaster of LBPCentral v0rtex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAdipose View Post
    I think this tutorial is a great idea... but i'm confused.. it says it is a visual guide - but I don't see any visuals. Some pictures would really help me understand it.
    lol - I was thinking the exact same thing. How is this a visual a guide? What you've described without visuals though, is very well thought out and nicely articulated.

  6. #6
    Sackperson Sergeant
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    Maybe it's a guide to visuals.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Incinerator22 View Post
    Code:
    [ CENTER][ IMG]http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=1098&pictureid=9906[/IMG][/CENTER]
    I'm sure it's meant to have pictures.


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  8. #8
    Sackperson Demagogue Incinerator22's Avatar
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    What the heck? There's like sixty pictures in it!

    Edit: I think it's because they were from an album that was private. Should be fixed

  9. #9

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    Now that's a useful tutorial.

    Even if I'm sad because I already knew about most of those, and in fact, I use them regularly (great minds think alike!) I'm glad I got to read about the last section, about lenghten in a line.

    You see, just today I happened to be in a situation where knowing that would have known in handy. Now I feel like a *******, thanks to you.

    Now in all seriousness, thanks for this tutorial, it will help unexperienced and not-so-unexperienced LBPers.


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    Sackperson Private piggabling's Avatar
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    There you go! Haha!

    Very nice guide and those pictures really help! *wink, wink*

    Thank you!



  11. #11
    Used to be famous Kern's Avatar
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    S'good I suppose. But you didn't explain what cutting and pressing was...

  12. #12

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    Cutting and pressing seems pretty straightforward. And I have used a sort of variation on this for a while now. I also like to use a straight edge block with pause on to line items up prior to gluing.

    I'm intrigued by the sprung bolt protractor idea though. Also, a creative stickering tutorial might be very helpful to others also.
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    Sackperson Demagogue Incinerator22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kernelm View Post
    s'good i suppose. But you didn't explain what cutting and pressing was...

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    KernelM, I spent a day making this. The least you could do is read the post instead of criticizing me for something that's right there in black and white.

  14. #14
    Used to be famous Kern's Avatar
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    What? I can't see anywhere the explanation of what cutting and pressing is?

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    About the Equidistant Complex Shapes thing with the heart: You could just change the heart to a different material and then copy and paste it into the background. Then just change the heart back to the same material. Because it was originally a different material , it wont smear. Was this the effect you were trying to achieve? Or have I gone and got myself confused :s

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    Thanks for fixing the images, it really explains a lot this way!


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    Sackperson Demagogue Incinerator22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theamilien View Post
    About the Equidistant Complex Shapes thing with the heart: You could just change the heart to a different material and then copy and paste it into the background. Then just change the heart back to the same material. Because it was originally a different material , it wont smear. Was this the effect you were trying to achieve? Or have I gone and got myself confused :s
    You're the one confusing me. lol

  18. #18

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    Some of these things could really help me out in the future. I don't understand the first tutorial though, can't you just use the corner editor?

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    Dormant, but will return! Hibbsi's Avatar
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    These look like pretty useful tips! The thing about equidistant complex shapes, though.. I think I have an alternative, and I think theamilien was saying something like this, too, is to make the shape you want, copy and place it into a block of another material, copy the whole block, and do the same technique you used for grid-less parallel lines. Then, delete the material surrounding the original shape, and there you go!

    I have a feeling I may add to the confusion, I tend to do that.

  20. #20
    Sackperson Demagogue Incinerator22's Avatar
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    Oh, God... I know what you mean now. That's a better way to do it. I'll update

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