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  1. #1

    Default Stretch Objects To Any Height/Width Ratio

    Tutorial: Stretch Objects To Any Height/Width Ratio

    Whether you have a strong creative vision that won't be compromised, or you're looking to imitate something as accurately as possible, at some point regular material shaping will not be good enough for the perfectionist in you. You need some curves or slopes that go outside the flat 2.5D layers. Decorations are nice, but they cannot be stickered to the appropriate colour. So you turn to the collected objects section and browse the polygon meshes Media Molecule has bestowed upon us. And behold, there's a microphone object with just the right roundness, and some nice ridges to boot, except... it's way too long! This tutorial will explain how to predictably reshape objects into the height/width ratio you need, to help create complex models like this:

    Move ZIG. For great justice!!

    There are no new glitches in this tutorial, it's simply a technique developed from the result of my experiments combining existing glitch tools. I couldn't find this information anywhere, so I thought I'd share it here. In a nutshell, you will be using lve_msg's top down rotation tool to turn an object on its side, resize it, and turn it back in its original position. So if you don't have this tool, create one from this tutorial or get the one called Twist 2.0 from his Twist Glitch Tutorial level.

    Also, the thing about glitches is, they're bugs in the software. Strange things can happen. In particular, long objects will reach into the extra layers and mess with your view, and I sometimes find my front view has turned on automatically. Always backup your profile before working with glitches, just to be safe!

    Changing an object's height/width ratio

    1. Choose and object and place it to stretch upwards.
      Choose a polygon mesh aka Mm object from the collected objects section in the goodies bag to stretch. You will be stretching it vertically, so if you have an object that you want to make wider, just rotate it 90 degrees with angle snap or the grid.

    2. Determine the desired dimensions.
      Determine how high the object should be with the current width to give the ratio you want. I like to turn on the small grid and front view, so I can easily count the squares. Make a note of the desired height so you can use it in step 4.

      The microphone is 12 squares wide. I'd like its height to width ratio to be 3:2, so I'll need to stretch its height to 18 squares.

    3. Use the top down rotation tool to rotate the object on its vertical axis.
      Place your top down rotation tool next to it, and make sure the grid is off. While holding R2 select the tool and then your object, then hold the right analogue stick up to rotate it until the side turns all the way towards you. Delete the used tool afterwards.

      Amazingly useful, this top down rotation tool!

    4. Resize it to the height chosen in step 2.
      One easy way to do this is turn it sideways and use the grid to get the exact height. The resize is where you actually do the stretching of the ratio.
      What happens here is, because resize affects height and width but not depth, you're resizing what used to be the width and depth, thus changing the ratio between width and height. We can fix the depth later if needed.

      The grid lets you increase the height exactly one grid at a time after turning it on its side.

    5. Rotate the object so its right side is now facing left.
      The tool will have slightly tilted the object. To make sure the second top down tool fully reverses the first, you'll need the object turned exactly 180 degrees from where it started. You may find the 90 degree angle snap doesn't align it properly. Instead you can push the object against a large flat surface created on the grid to correct its angle.

      Pushing the microphone's back against the block for perfect alignment.
      Just for show though, the microphone aligned just fine using angle snap.

    6. Apply the top down tool again to turn the object back to its original orientation.
      Same as step 3. With the grid off hold R2, select a fresh top down tool, then your object, and hold the right analogue stick up. And that's it, your object should now be oriented normally, and stretched as desired.

      Et voila!

    Fixing the object's depth

    As I mentioned above, the trick in changing the width to height ratio lies in applying the resize to width and depth instead. Of course, this means your object will become thicker or thinner as a side effect, which may not be what you want. Furthermore, once objects become thicker than their layer you'll see some visual distortions:
    • An object thicker than its layer will still be drawn behind everything in the layers in front of it and in front of everything behind it, even though realistically it should be drawn intersecting or even covering the other objects. When the camera turns around the object it will appear as though everything moves around it (similar to the decoration Z-order bug).
    • Depending on lighting conditions the thick object may cast a weird shadow across objects in the other layers, darkening materials, objects and even sackfolk.
    • Your popit cursor does take into account the object's thickness, so be careful when selecting things in front of a thick object. Even though it looks like you're pointing at some shape in front, it will select the object behind the shape if it is thick enough.

    Three identical groups of stretched microphones and cardboard squares, yet the microphones seem displaced.
    Also note the shadows on the cardboard and sackboy.

    Luckily, GlitchMaster7 published a LBP2 Glitch: 3D and Thin objects video tutorial that can fix our object's depth. The version shown there is a bit too coarse for our purposes, so have a look at the video, then make the tool but with the following changes:
    1. In stead of placing just any hologram and making it huge for the thick tool and tiny for the thin tool, turn on the grid and place a hologram of exactly ten squares.
    2. After tweaking the emitter to emit the hologram dynamically, resize the hologram to 7 squares for the thin tool, and 9 squares for the thick tool.
    Then attach the close-level post, trigger the emitter, destroy the hologram and capture the close-level post as shown in the video to get the final tools.

    In stead of creating objects that are either flat or stretch far into the extra layers, these two resulting tools will only slightly increase or decrease an object's thickness. Now you can take your stretched object from before, place a few copies of the thinning tool, and apply them one at a time (hold R2, select the tool, select the object, nudge right analogue stick up) until the object reaches the desired thickness.

    About 5 applications of the thinning tool seem to have done the trick here.

    As an aside, for my ZIG fighter I decided to leave its hull slightly larger than the layer to give it more body when looking at it sideways, and to make the cockpit decoration fit better. I reduced the visual distortions by using theck material, which is drawn further into the front. So experiment and use whatever looks best.

    Well, that's it. Special thanks to lve_msg and GlitchMaster7 for their tutorials. If you're hungry for more, here are some related tutorials I came across:

    • Since I published this tutorial JimmyJ75 released a new emitter-based tool to change an object's visual thickness, and GlitchMaster7 made a video tutorial about it. It's a lot easier to use.
      Thanks to Bonnell7 for letting me know, and for pointing out that if you don't need precise ratios you can just change the thickness after rotating in stead of resizing both X and Y. That way you only affect one dimension, and don't need to fix the thickness afterwards.
    • Merging is the core of intricate modelling. If you're not familiar with it yet, check out the wiki, or this video by Comphermc.
    • If you want to modify an object's gameplay layer thickness in stead of its visual thickness, visit this Thickness Tool level by Stellakris, or make one yourself using LBP2 Glitch: Layer Tweaker and Invisible Objects video by GlitchMaster7.
    • The Nudge Tool by Pookachoo grants you more control over positioning in the Z-order (depth). There's also a demo level, with lots of giveaways like the 1 layer tin can I used for my ZIG hull. Yup, this tool also has a similar effect to the gameplay thickness tool I mentioned above.
    Last edited by Rogar; 09-21-2014 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Added new emitter thick/thin tool.

  2. #2
    LBPCentral Spotlight CrewLBPCentral Spotlight Crew biorogue's Avatar
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    wow! excellent tutorial! Thank you. saved.

    Follow me on the twitterz @bioswoop

  3. Thanks!

  4. #3
    Sackperson Sergeant Lord-Dreamerz's Avatar
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    I've known a bit about this trick and seen others use it before. But I never knew how to do it very well myself. Thanks man. I'll try to go learn how to do this soon. *mew
    ~Lets go on a fantastic ADVENTURE!~

  5. Thanks!

  6. #4


    Wow! Really cool tutorial, and well written! Im not a big glitcher so all these things where newd to me! Thanks!

  7. Thanks!

  8. #5


    Cool, gotta try it out! Thank you!!

  9. Thanks!

  10. #6
    German Community Moderator avundcv's Avatar
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    Well done

  11. Thanks!

  12. #7


    Very nice tutorial and thorough to say the least. Thanx so much for this

  13. Thanks!

  14. #8


    If you want to elongate a mesh in any direction in the 2D plane, you don't need to resize this way. Doing so has many undesired outcomes.
    One of which being how the object expands or shrinks in a plane you didn't intend it to. Only to have to shrink the errors with other glitches.

    Here's a worthwhile replacement to the resizing step:
    After rotating your mesh 90° with the Rotation Tool...
    (Ex: Make an object wider? Rotate it 90°s to the right/left)
    (Ex: Make an object taller? Rotate it 90°s up/down)

    … the side of the mesh that you plan to elongate should now face toward the camera.
    From here, we deploy a clever tool made by JimmyJ75, and explained by Glitchmazter7: -video link-
    This tool stretches a mesh in the depth axis. Which is just what we want!

    Stretch your mesh's depth the way you're told to in the video. Then, after you're done, get out another 90° rotator.
    Rotate your mesh in the opposite direction you rotated it the first time.
    (Ex: If you rotated right the first time, now you should rotate left)

    There you have it! The object was stretched in just the axis you wanted it to!
    No having to use glitches to undo the silliness of resizing.
    Last edited by Bonnell7; 09-19-2014 at 04:31 AM. Reason: Revisions

  15. Thanks!

  16. #9


    I use his old thick/thin tool already, to fix the depth afterwards, but I never thought of using it while the object was rotated. That's pretty clever actually, thanks!

    I tried out the new thick/thin tool last night. It's a lot easier to use, too bad it wasn't out back when I made the tutorial. But I would probably still use my old method if I wanted to get really precise ratios. The emitter tool doesn't work well with grids, and you'd need sub-grid measurements anyway if you want to stretch it to less than double or shrink to less than half the original size.

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