Loft Objects - Quick Start Guide
Let’s start with adding a loft object to the scene. Find Loft in objects panel at the left and drag it to the scene:
You will see a simple cylinder and Edit Loft button at the right. Click it to open Loft Editor window:
From left to right you see:
- Collections panel - here you find sample shapes and lofts that you can use in your design. You can add your objects there to re-use them later;
- Blueprint panel - displays front or side view of the currently edited loft shape. You can select and drag layers here, add or modify layers and so on. That’s the main loft editing tool;
- Parameters panel - diplays the properties of the currently selected layer(s). Good for fine-tuning parameters and assigning materials;
- 3D preview panel - here you see the current low-poly version of your shape.
There is also a toolbar at the top of the window that lets you do most common things with loft objects. More controls are available at the right click menu of the blueprint panel:
Here you can choose between front and side views of the loft, decide what to do for horizontal or vertical dragging of layers and also zoom the shape to fit the preview area.
Let’s Make It Square
So far our object looks pretty simple, let’s make it slightly more complex. For instance, let’s make it square. Locate “Square” shape at the collections panel at the left and drag it onto the top layer of the loft object in blueprint panel:
When you drop it you’ll see that the top part of our cylinder became square. That’s how loft objects work. Do the same for the bottom layer:
You can also drop shapes into the space between layers, just move them to the line that connects two layers and Boxshot will highlight the dropping place:
Let’s add one more square layer so there are 4 of them and select the top two by holding left mouse button and dragging around them as you usually select objects in any other 2D graphics editor:
Now hold left mouse button over one of the control points of selected layers and move it to the right:
You see the changes in 3D preview: the top part of the shape gets smaller. You might also note that both width and length of the shape were affected by the move. You can change this using right click context menu, there is a section called Horizontal Movement there that controls what happens when you move layers left or right. Let’s switch it to Scale on visible axis:
This means that moving control point left or right will only affect the visible side (Front, as you may see in the popup menu). Let’s now move the selected control points slightly left:
You see that our square top became rectangular, as it was resized along just one axis. Now if you switch between front and side views using the context menu, you will see they are different.
There are more options like this in the popup menu:
- Scale on both axes - horizontal move changes both width and length of the currently selected layers;
- Scale on visible axis - this way it affects only the visible side of the shape (either front or left, depending on what you see at the top of the context menu);
- Move selected side - by selecting this your movement will affect only the control point you drag, not the opposite one. This makes asymmetric shapes;
- Move the whole shape - this way you move the layer instead of scaling it;
- Do nothing - horizontal movement does not affect the selected layers at all. This is good if you want to adjust just the height of the layers.
There are also options for vertical movement, but they are much simpler and only let you define if you want vertical movement to change the height of selected layers or not.
Let’s cancel the current changes and start with a brand new cylindrical loft. Then add another circle layer somewhere in the middle and click Make Curvy button in the toolbar:
This button updates all the selected layers and sets their curve radius to “40”, making them non-flat:
The button itself became inactive, but the shape has been modified and now doesn’t look like a flat cylinder. Also note the yellow dot on the edge in the blueprint panel. By dragging this dot you can control the curve.
Now make the bottom layer curvy, as well and drag the yellow dots to make this shape:
Also select the middle layer and uncheck Hard edge box in the parameters panel to make the edge soft. The shape now looks pretty much like a beer glass, except there is no space for beer itself. Lets fix that by clicking the special button in the toolbar:
Magic just happened! When you click the button, Boxshot checks if the shape is simple enough (basically, each new layer is above the previous one) and automatically generates the inner part of the shape to make it hollow.
Let’s add a final touch and make the glass slightly more complex. Select all the layers in blueprint editor, then find “Polygon 4” shape in the shapes collection panel and drag it onto the selected layers:
You see the glass got edges. You can make it even more interesting by adding a circle near the top and make the very top edge circular, as well:
You can add more layers, adjust their size and positions, make them flat or curvy, hard and soft to make a perfect design.
Do not close your beer can model yet, there is one more thing to do.
Although you can simply click OK and get the loft object added to the scene, it might worth saving it for further usage by itself. Boxshot lets you do so, as it has a collection of loft objects. Click the Lofts button at the toolbar to see them:
Scroll down to see sample lofts that come with Boxshot. You can use them as a starting point for your own ones, or simply use them “as is”. The main thing is that you can add your own loft there by clicking Save Loft button in the toolbar:
Enter the name you want and click Save, then find your shape saved to the collection:
Anytime later you can simply drag that loft into the blueprint to get it loaded instantly.
Right click saved lofts to reveal their saved location or delete them.
Definitely, but the tutorial gets too long for that. See our Lofts FAQ page for more questions and answers regarding lofts.
- 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 — FAQ — frequently asked questions about lofts, when the quick start guide is not enough;
- Loft Objects — Shape Editor — editing loft shapes using the built–in editor;
- 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.