Loft Shapes Editor

Boxshot provides quite a limited shapes editing functionality and the suggested way is to make shapes somewhere else and import them as SVG files by dragging and dropping them into the shapes collection panel. However, sometimes it is needed to make a small modification of the shape or make it non-flat and here comes the built-in loft shapes editor.

Let’s start with a simple cylindrical loft object and add a circle shape to its middle:

Do this, then click Edit Selected Shape button in the toolbar to open the shape editor:

The main part of the window is shape preview area, there is a toolbar at the top and parameters panel at the right. From the top to bottom at the right there are:

Selection Types

Loft shapes editor has three types of selection:

There is another field Selection Range that lets you enter the numbers of selected points instead of manually selecting them with your mouse. Shapes usually have 512 points, so in order to select half of them you can type “0-255” into the field.

Let’s Make It Wavy

Let’s make the shape wavy, so it height varies. To do so, we need to select the first and third quarters of the points. You can do so with your mouse, or by entering “0-127,255-384” into the selection range field:

Now switch to “Soft Inner” selection mode and see the difference:

You see the color of selected points changed. The more reddish they are, the more they will be affected by the changes we’ll make. The more blueish they are, the less they will be affected.

Now go to the Z field of the “Move Selected” section, enter “1” there and press “Enter”:

Rotate the shape with right mouse buttton and see the selected points moved up, and their offset depends on the selection level. The most selected one in the middle now has its Z coordinate of 1, the other ones have lower Z values from almost 1 to almost 0, depending on their distance from the center of selection.

Now we need to do the same for the rest of the points, but move them down. Select the other quarters of the shape by clicking Invert Selection button in the toolbar, then enter “-1” into the same Z field:

We’ve got a nice wavy shape that we can use in our loft object. We’ll need it more than once, so click Save Shape button and save it under “My Wavy Circle” name:

Now you can click OK to close the shape editor and get your shape updated in the loft editor.

Using Edited Shape

You will see your saved shape in the shapes collection. It is also applied to the currently edited loft object, but it is not visible, as it is still round:

Let’s add the newly selected shape above and below the middle layer:

The shape contour is still not visible, so we need to make one last move. Select the middle layer and move it slightly right to scale it down:

And here it is! You see all the three middle layers are now visible and make a nice wave around the shape, like you see on the plastic bottles.

Let’s add some final touches by making the middle layer soft-edged and make both segments curvy:

Note that Boxshot displays such “non-flat” shapes differently in collection: it displays both top and side views in preview, so you can see the shape is non-flat.

More Tutorials