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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Parkaboy's building class: lesson 1

I've been teaching this "class" on creating buildings at the Sporeuni forums, and I thought I should post those tips here too. So I'll be slowly publishing the lessons on the blog, too.

LESSON 1: Review

In this lesson we are going to review some basic features. It may not seem much, but will be enough to allow an inexperienced creator to make a set such as this:

Advanced Part Handles:
Hold down the "tab" key with a part selected. That will show more handlers that allow you to rotate or distort the part.

Copying Parts:
Click on an existing part while holding the "Alt" key, and drag the copy to another spot. Some parts can be copied to the same spot, and you can then rotate the copy to create some nice symmetric forms.

Directional Placement:
Hold the "Ctrl" key to move a part in a vertical axis (up and down, even hovering in thin air or underground - see the image 1 below) or hold the "Shift" key to move a part in a horizontal plane (see image 2).

In the "Paint Mode", holding "Alt" lets you copy the texture style and colors of a part; holding "Shift" lets you paint an entire part with a single click, and holding "Ctrl" lets you paint the same feature of a part on all of those parts that exist.

Also, you can import textures from the vehicle creator by using the "Paint Like" option.

Most parts - as well as the very base where we build in the editor - have an useful characteristic: snapping points. They work like this: parts tend to "snap" to a point located on the center of a part's "face" or the editor base; also, if you place a part on the base or on another part's face, other parts will tend to align with it. Check the image 3 below. If you place a part in a spot (let's say, that part "a"), it's as if other parts will be attracted (and will "snap") to imaginary lines crossing the center of the original part.

This feature is useful to align windows in a building side, for instance. If you want to place a part in a specific point and the "snapping" is getting in the way, use the "Ctrl" and "Shift" keys; parts don't "snap" when you're holding those keys.

I know this is a very basic lesson, but I felt this review was necessary, to allow less experienced creators to get up to speed. In the next lesson, I'll share a few "secrets". See ya!

1 comment:

graveyardgreg said...

I agree. Creatures should be creatures. Ships should be ships. Very nice stuff you have there, sir. Very nice indeed.