3DDabble Tutorial : In The Spotlights

finished example

shot 1

shot 3
    1.The fitting
  1. in the path editor (PE) draw something simular to shot 1 (X0 Y31 W96 H114). Use the Path tool for drawing the Cusp Curve point.
    It is important that the crosshair is at the same vertical level as the middle of the left line (adjacent to the blue indicator). With this you control the rotation-center of the object.
  2. set Object Style/Bevel : None 1 # # # 3.
  3. apply Object Effects/Bend : Y-X Symmetric 50 50 shift objects center checked.
  4. next give the object a color with Object Style/Light & Color.
    Once you are satisfied with the color add the current setting to the presets, this way I can easily reset the correct color to a future object in this project if I mess up.
  5. Name this object 'fitting' in the Object Manager (ObjMngr). When you're done, close the ObjMngr. Always!! Or it gets messy.
Now you can have a look at the object : swirl it around using the rotation tool. But keep the mousebutton pressed and once you're done looking, release the mousebutton and press the Undo button. Now the object is back in its original state.

shot 4

shot 5
    2.The bracket
  1. In the Object List select the "fitting" and do a copy & paste (CTRL+C followed by CTRL+V for Windows users).
    Go to the ObjMngr and rename the hightlighted object to "bracket", close the ObjMngr.
  2. in PE : copy the path, remember how wide the object is, resize it from left to right and make it the same width, stick them together, select both objects, set the X position to 0.
  3. draw the bracket path as shown in shot 4.
  4. delete both fixing path from the bracket object.
  5. unapply the Bend Effect.
  6. apply Object Style/Bevel : round 15 15 30 30 9.
And it should look like shot 5. For this shot I've set the Object Quality to Optimal. I always do that when creating the finished graphic, the curves and coloring look perfect. But when working I always set it to Fair, the computer takes less time to compute. The Output Quality is always set to Optimal while the Display Quality is always set to Draft, to speed up the computer. To view the composition in Output Quality press F8 or click the Preview button (follow the arrow in this screenshot).

shot 7
    3.Both small axis
  1. insert a Geometric Object/Cilinder 2 2 7, name it "axis 1".
  2. move and rotate it to its position to the side of the fitting.
  3. copy & paste the cilinder, remember its Y position, name it "axis 2".
  4. position axis 2 to the other side of the fitting. If you hold the SHIFT key and then move the mouse to the left or right the vertical movement of the mouse will not be acknowledged by the program, but you can always insert the Y position to be sure it is at the same level as the other axis.
And it should look like shot 7.
In this screenshot the Object Quality is set to Fair. Note the difference with the object in shot 5.

shot 8

shot 10

shot 11
    4.The reflector and the lighting element
  1. Copy & paste the fitting, name it "reflector".
  2. You did well to close the ObjMngr.
  3. Now some cheating in the PE using the adjust tool : we want to preserve the curve pointed at by the arrow in shot 8. Delete and edit the curve points until it looks like the after picture. Both lines don't have to be parallel since this part will be hidden inside the fitting, it can look like this; as long as the arrowed curve remains untouched.
  4. lower the path object by 2 on the vertical axis and exit the PE.
  5. copy & paste the reflector and draw a path to look like shot 10 (zoomed). It should be vertically shorter then the reflector path, which you delete once the bulb path is positioned 0 0. The bulb was 17 wide and 35 high.
  6. group the fitting, reflector and bulb creating Subgroup1. Pick this subgroup and enter -90 in the X parameter of the rotation tool.
  7. now pick the bulb (in the object list) and position it so it attached to the middle of the reflector.
  8. select the reflector in the object list and adjust the Color settings Surface and Specular until it looks like shot 11.
  9. do the same thing for the bulb, give it a very light blue surface color (R147 G255 B255) and lots of white shine.
  10. satisfied? Now pick Subgroup1 and reset (all zeros) the rotation and position of Subgroup1 and ungroup Subgroup1 in the ObjMngr.

shot 12
    5. The fixings
  1. pick the bracket or another object that's grey and not bent, this way the new object will have the same properties as the last picked object.
  2. add a path with the PE : a perfect circle (50 50), right in the middle (0 0)
  3. name it "lower fixing" (or "whatever", as long as you can distinguish it in the list)
  4. apply Bevel : round 180 0 3 10 3
  5. position it and copy & paste it and name this one "upper fixing" (or "upper whatever") and position it right ontop of its "lower" friend, like in shot 12.
Make one Subgroup of all the objects and name it Godzilla. Now mess around with Godzilla : swirl it around.
finished single unit

shot 15
    6. More fixings
  1. pick the upper fixing and copy paste it and rename it "bar".
  2. resize the path with the PE : W60 H60, right in the middle (0 0).
  3. put the camera further away and rotate (0 -90 0) the bar.
  4. again pick the upper fixing and copy paste it and rename it "ceiling unit".
  5. set the rotation for ceiling unit : 90 0 0.
  6. apply Bevel : round 800 0 10 15 3
  7. position the bar slightly in the middle of the base of the ceiling unit.

shot 16

finished example
    7. More groupy spots
  1. pick Godzilla and hide Godzilla
  2. in the ObjMngr : collapse the subgroup Godzilla (press the - to its left)
  3. copy & paste Godzilla and unhide and then ungroup this new Godzilla
  4. in the ObjMngr using the loose objects : group fixing, reflector and bulb. Exit the ObjMngr.
  5. pick this new subgroup and rotate it -only X (mouse up/down)- at your discretion.
  6. then ungroup this subgroup.
  7. Make a new subgroup using the loose objects : fixing, reflector, bulb, bracket, axis1, axis2, upper fixing and lower fixing.
  8. Name the new subgroup "spot1" rotate spot1 -Y only (mouse left/right)- at your discretion and position it onto the bar.
  9. pick Godzilla and repeat the previous 6 steps to add the rest of the spots 2 to 4, making sure they are all at the same Y level.
Once you've done all that you can rotate and position the "Group" (the entire composition). If you want to add more to the composition or use the lighting unit in another composition, ungroup all but Godzilla, then group all the loose objects, except Godzilla. This new subgroup is your managable lighting unit.

©GATEZ Didier aka Guinness aka gtz70@hotmail.com http://surf.to/gtz70