Welcome to the article, in which we are going to learn about SelfCAD's 3D modeling tool called Reshape. I am going to explain all of its ins and outs and present its general applications. On top of that, I will share a few Tips and Tricks that you could use with Deformations.
Reshape is one of the Deformation tools available in SelfCAD, and you will find it in the main Toolbar, in the Deform drop-down list. As its name suggests, it allows you to deform selected objects by reshaping their topology.
Deform is a unique category because tools in it rely heavily on the level of the detail of the objects. It means that by increasing their Resolution, you will achieve a much smoother and detailed deformation.
Follow along to learn all about this tool!
Select the object
The first step of using any modeling tool is selecting the object on which you want to use it. You can select objects by either left-clicking on them in the workspace or by selecting them in the Object Management section, in the right-side panel. The second option has an in-built search engine, which is extremely useful when you are working with multiple objects.
Activate the tool
Once the object is selected, you can activate the Reshape tool by selecting it from the Deform drop-down list or use a shortcut by pressing the ‘D+R’ combination on your keyboard. This way, you’ll open a Tool Setting Panel with all of the customizable options for this tool on the left side of your screen.
Select a region
Reshape is a unique tool amongst others in the Deform category, as you cannot use it on the object itself, but rather on its regions. To do so, you need to select them first. In the Right Side Panel, you will find an Interactive Rectangle, where you can enter one of the following selection modes: Face, Vertex, and Edge. Then, you can select the parts of the object that you want to reshape.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Reshape is a unique one amongst the Deform tools. To use this tool, you have to select regions of the object first that you will be able to convert into one of the three types of Paths. Those are Closed Paths, Open Paths, and Unresolved Paths. You can reshape the first two into other geometrical shapes, while the last one cannot be reshaped.
Closed Paths are rather self-explanatory. Because of their characteristics, you can transform said paths into geometrical shapes such as the Rectangle or a Circle. The process of reshaping is an easy one - after selecting the shape, you can drag the cube to reshape the path or type in the exact size into the small text-box at the bottom of the screen. As is the case with all Deform tools, the more detail the selected path has, the more detailed the Reshape will be.
Open Paths work on the same premise as the Closed Paths do, with the only difference being the shapes that you can Reshape them. You can deform Open Paths into a Line, Spline, or an Arc. The reshaping process is the same - you can either drag the cubes to change the size of the path or type in the values into the text-box at the bottom of the screen. Only the Spline feature differs from them, as it allows you to choose the number of Control Points, which allow you to reshape it with more precision.
As mentioned before, Unresolved Paths, unlike the others, cannot be Reshaped. By their definition, they are too convoluted for the software to find a clear path to apply the transformation. They are the result of selecting too many regions that lack a clear Path.
Another thing unique to the Reshape tool is that it relies on the position of the camera to apply deformations. It adds them in 2D, on the plane parallel to the camera. In practice, it means that changing the position and rotation of the camera will influence the direction in which you will reshape the selected Path.
Automatic Loop Finding
As explained in the previous paragraph, Reshape applies deformations in 2D, in a plane parallel to the camera. This option, however, changes that. By enabling this feature, the selected Path will deform on its original plane, regardless of the position of the camera. For this feature to work correctly, you have to enable it before selecting a Shape for the Reshape.
Connect Similar is a feature available for both Closed and Open Paths. It appears after you select at least two separate paths from the same category. Enabling this feature will connect control points of similar paths, allowing you to manipulate them at the same time.
Thanks to the Reshape tool, you can add changes to the existing topology structure without breaking it.
You can use up to four Viewports to see the changes made to the model from different perspectives.
And that’s about it for the Reshape. After reading this article, you should know the basics of the Reshape tool and how to use it, know about its different applications and how to implement and customize its settings. Of course, the graphics shown here were just examples, and using this tool on other shapes and Paths will give you slightly different effects, but its underlying principles will always stay the same.
That's all I have for you today. I wish you success in your future projects. See you, and stay tuned for more content to come!