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 parameters - the controls here let you see and configure the current selection. All the tools in figure editor work with currently selected points and sometimes it is essential to have precise control over them;
- Absolute positions editor - this panel has four fields and modifying any of them automatically updates all the selected points directly;
- Relative positions editor - this panel looks pretty much as the previous one, but instead it has Offset button, by clicking that you add the entered values to all the selected points.
Loft shapes editor has three types of selection:
- Hard - each point is either selected or not, no soft selection;
- Soft Inner - when you select a range of points, Boxshot makes the selection “soft”, so the further is selected point from the center of selection, the less it is selected. Soft selection does not leave the selection range, so points outside of the selection are not selected;
- Soft Outer - Boxshot does hard selection for all the points you selected and also extends soft selection up to the Selection Distance away from the selected area. To make selection soft, Boxshot reduces the selection level with distance, according to the Selection Exponent parameter.
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.
- Realistic Rendering — improving scenes visual appearance;
- Decals — applying decals and configuring them;
- Lighting — control environment and directional lighting;
- Saturated Reflection — make "rich" colorful reflections;
- Floor Reflection — reflecting scene objects in the floor;
- Complex Shape Rotation — how to do more than the rotation gizmo can handle;
- Loft Objects — Quick Start Guide — making loft objects from scratch or configuring the built–in ones;
- Loft Objects — FAQ — frequently asked questions about lofts, when the quick start guide is not enough;
- Lathe Curve Editing — editing lathe curves using the built–in editor;
- Glass Materials — how to make semi–transparent objects look attractive;
- UV–Spot — how to make a UV–spot effect easily;
- Depth Of Field — adding more realism to your renderings;
- Semi–Transparent Labels — how to make semi–transparent and partial labels on bottles;
- Foil Effect — how to add foil–finishing to your shapes;
- 3D Text — making 3D text objects in Boxshot;
- Extruded Objects — how to make thick 3D object of your flat 2D curve;
- Conical Labels — making conical labels with distorted artwork.