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Manipulating meshes

In this section we will outline what you can do with the meshes within botcha3d. We offer a number of tools to manage the meshes and adapt them to the model the product you want to generate.

Mesh view

In the side panel you immediately notice that you have the option to transform the mesh by inputting the values of the translation, rotation and scale that you want or by using the appropriate command on the side command bar. In the panel you can also change the base colour of the mesh, its PBR properties and add so-called modifiers.

The top contextual toolbar in the mesh view allow you to change the view, similar to what happens without selection, and to hide the "base mesh". This is a relevant operation when you are using the thickness generation and layering that botcha provides for soft products such as shoes and bags. The trigger will hide your mesh and keep only the layered thickness materials you created.

Unwrapping a mesh

In order to be able to map a 2D image to the 3D mesh you are dealing with it is important to use the unwrapping command to generate the 2D version of the mesh. The command itself will only let you choose how many iteration of the algorithm to run and what are the target DPI for your texture. Once you press OK, the software will squash the mesh on the plane and relax it until the 2D version is less distorted as possible.

Before you unwrap you should be aware that it is important that the mesh should be properly cut so that it can be put in a 2D version easily. If you are using a mesh from our generators those will be ready for unwrapping straightaway. If the mesh is imported then you should check that there are enough cuts so that the 2D parametrization will not be distorted. More on cutting on the next section.

Cutting, welding and extracting components

As we stated in the previous paragraph, in order to properly unwrap, the mesh need to be properly cut. You should select the cut in a position where the final render will not be impacted too much as there will be a seam in that specific position. It is possible, by careful adjustment of the materials, to minimize the visibility of the seam. Botcha offers several options for cutting, welding (which is the opposite of cutting) and extracting a component.

  • Cutting, in order to cut you can use the cutting tool. You can click on the mesh and it will pick the closest vertex to where you clicked and initiate the cut. You can then add as much points as you want and the cut will run through the shortest path between all the points that you have laid out.

  • Welding, in order to merge serval components of a mesh you have some options and parameters you can tweak. With the tolerance and angle tolerance you can control how the vertices are stitched together, the tolerance represent the absolute distance at which two vertices will be merged, the angle tolerance represent the maximum allowed difference between two normals of connected faces to be merged. Botcha allows you to use existing UVs also to merge vertices, if you tick the option for UV consensus then the texture coordinates will be used to merge vertices, the tolerance then will be applied between two UVs.

  • Extracting components, if a mesh is made out of several disconnected components this command will allow you to separate a component into a new mesh. If for example you want to only keep a certain part of a mesh, you can extract said part and then delete the rest of the mesh.

Modifiers

Modifiers are objects that can be attached to an existing mesh and apply several effect without changing the original geometry. They act as parametric modification objects, they can be later baked if you are satisfied with the result you have. Currently we support a number of modifiers:

  • Shape deformation: this modifier will allow you to pick a vertex or a group of vertices with either a sphere or a box to block or move those vertices around. When applying the deformation the algorithm will use the constraint you specified and relax the rest to minimize distortion and keep the same surface area.

  • Cage edit: this modifier will allow you to selectively deform some areas of your mesh. You will be able to subdivide the object into several small boxes and act on each small box to change the geometry locally on that box.

  • Offset: this modifier will expand the mesh along their normals of the specified amount. Please note that at the moment the self-intersections are not removed from the generated offset mesh.

  • Subdivision: this modifier will subdivide your mesh, generating a more dense mesh. This could be useful when you want to have a higher resolution mesh from a low-res one.

Modifiers can also be stacked on top of each other and they will be processed in order of creation with the output of the one on top fed to the next one as input.

Vector object transforming and management

If you have a canvas attached on the mesh you are working with you will be able also to draw and modify curves and vector objects from the 3D view. There are a number of commands that allow you to edit and change vector objects from the mesh view.

  • Curve drawing: will allow you to draw curves from the 3D view directly on your mesh.
  • Curve editing: will allow you to edit curves from the 3D view.
  • Object transform: will allow to move, rotate and scale vector objects from the mesh. This is particularly interesting if you are moving a logo or similar.

Editing curve in 3D

Thickness generation

One peculiar workflow that we support is the ability of generate and layer thickness parts from 2D vector curves. This has been specifically designed for the creation of soft products such as shoes, bags and other similar leather/textile goods. Each path that you create on a canvas can become a thickness layer. The same order as in the canvas applies in the layering, the intersection and falloff with other parts is controlled by the property of each layered thickness.

Thickness editing

  • Amount, the amount specify how high the thickness should be in current units of the model.
  • Rigidity, the more a material is rigid the less it will fall on the layers that are beneath it. If you want to mimic a soft and sloppy material you should set the rigidity low. If you want to mimic a firm material you should use a high rigidity.
  • Detail, the detail instruct the software how dense the thickness mesh should be. The more you put details the more triangles will be generated, with high detail meshes the overall falloff effect will be better looking but it will be heavier in terms of rendering speed and file size.

Groove paths are a way to specify parts where a thickness should be push down, to mimic something like a stitching or a skiving in soft products. It is possible to use any kind of path to generate a groove. If you use compound paths to generate a thickness the holes in the path will be used as holes in the thickness layer.

Measuring distances

Often when iterating on a product you will be required to adjust something by a given amount or to understand the distance between two points. Botcha offers a quick way to measure the distance between two points both in 3D and on the 2D surface.