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Complex Surface: Modeling with a Twist

Author: Samanthie

Tools Needed

* Hexagon


This tutorial was inspired by the wonderful Carafe tutorial found within the Hexagon documentation. How to create a complex twisted surface in Hexagon; a technique that could also have applicability to other similar apps.


Step 1 - Base

Begin by launching Hexagon. Dynamic Geometry is set to full.

Go to View and from the list choose Top view.


Click on the Lines tab and choose the Circle from Center icon.


Just before you make the circle press once on the shift key and you will see a little white mark at the center of the grid. Now when you make your circle it will be centered exactly.


Click and drag outward to create your circle, as in the image, and validate.



Step 2 - Base Shaping

Go to Selection/Select '1 over n'.


In the Properties panel type '2' in the box as shown. Click on Validate.



Drag on the little yellow square of the universal manipulator and pull the selected points inward as shown.


Go to View again and this time choose Front view. Adjust your grid as necessary to get a good view of the circle from this view using the navigation tools at the bottom of the interface.


Step 3 - Curve

Now we will build the shape for the body of the vase.


Click on the Lines tab and select the Curve tool.


Position the cursor a little bit to the right of the circle. Place the cursor exactly on the center line and press on the Shift key once. A little white mark will appear to mark your starting point for the curve we are about to make. Zoom out as needed to see the curve as you create it.


This may take more than a couple of tries. Just click and release and repeat to shape the curve. I made the curve with about 9 or 10 clicks. Hit the enter key when you make the last click. You just want to make a subtle curve as shown.


Click on the little lightning bolt in the Dynamic Geometry panel.


Step 4 - Oh Snap!

Now in the Utilities tab choose the Snap Align tool.


Zoom in for a closer view. Move your cursor over the bottom point of the new curve and hold down the Shift key. The bottom point is what we want to select. When you see that the point is selected move over to the center inward point of the circle and use the Shift key again to select it.


The new curve will 'snap' onto the selected point of the circle!


Zoom out for a better view.


Step 5 - Body

It's time to add form to our vase. First we need to select the base of the vase. In the Scene tree tab click on curve0 at the top of the list to select it. This is the base.


Go to the Surface modeling tab and click on the Extrude line tool.


Click on the curve that will be the body of the vase. The effect is instant!



Now rotate your view so you can see the bottom and click inside the white outline to close it.


Step 6 - Thickness

Validate and click on the lightning bolt to apply the last step.


In the Surface modeling tab click on the thickness tool.


Click on the word 'Inside' in the Properties panel. I wanted a good amount of thickness so I applied a value of 0.286. Validate and click on the lightning bolt to apply.


The vase so far..


Step 7 - Do the Twist

In the Utilities tab click on the Twister deformer tool. You will see a box frame around the vase.


Depending on where you click within the frame you can get different twist effects. For this vase though just click near the top of the frame and drag to the right to give the vase a twist. Pull to the right until your frame looks like mine in the image. Click on Validate.


Step 8 - Mouth Detail

I want to make the mouth of the vase a little larger. Click on the Select edges tool and zoom in close to the top of the vase.


Select the lower top edge as shown in the image. Then hit the letter 'L' on your keyboard to loop around it.


In the Properties panel select Soft selection and use these settings;


Use the universal manipulator's center yellow square and click and drag to enlarge the mouth of the vase.


Now zoom in again to the top of the vase and select the top edge this time and loop as you did before.


Step 9 - Adjust and Smooth

Pull down just a little on the green square just under the green arrow of the universal manipulator. The curve of the vase just under the lip will move up into a subtle but more elegant sweep.


Here's what we have so far.


Uncheck soft selection in the Properties panel.

While we have been busy using the various tools the curves were collapsed into what is now called a Form or object. We can give the Form a new name. Just type Vase as the new name into the Properties panel at the top and hit enter.


Time to add a bit of smoothing. In the Properties panel next to the word smoothing click on the number 1. Click on the lightning bolt.


And here is the vase after smoothing.


Step 10 - Material and Transparency

In the Shading domains panel click on unassigned faces and then on Select. The entire vase will be selected.


Click on the word 'new'. A new domain will appear in the list. Click on it and then on rename.


Type Crystal for the new name in the pop up window and hit validate.


A new material will be listed in the Materials panel. Click on it and rename it to Crystal as well and validate.


Time to choose our colors from the Materials panel.

The image shows the settings I used for the materials and transparency. To apply the settings to the vase hold down the Ctrl or Shift keys and click on the name Vase in the scene tree tab.


Step 11 - The Result

Here is the vase after materials and transparency have been applied.


Unfolding, mapping, and setting up the results will be a topic of future tutorials.

Lead Crystal Vase tutorial by Debbie Overstreet