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Author Topic: Creating stairs with Z offset  (Read 606 times)

QE2393

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Creating stairs with Z offset
« on: September 09, 2016, 05:42:14 AM »
Is it possible to create a simple parametric array where you create a horizontal spline to define the length of the stairs (as seen from overhead)... and then you can have each step height defined by a vertical offset one after the other.  Basically it would work like the array tool where you would define the total length with the spline and the height would be defined by a vertical offset between each step.

Ideally -- it would be great if it didn't need the spline at all and the steps could be defined by both horizontal and vertical offsets.

Possible?

(I know I can create an descending spline (as seen from side) to get stairs, but I wondered if the slope can be defined numerically without the spline).

Paul Roberts

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Re: Creating stairs with Z offset
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 12:35:19 PM »
Hi, Thanks for the interesting question. It would certainly be possible to do this for the treads. I've attached a sample file with some examples of varying sophistication for you to check out. Here's a video of it in action.


Most of the editable parameters in that video are acheived by exported simple Fixed Size parameters but the trick to get the incrementing step heights is to use a very basic expression that multiplies the current segment count by a Rise value. Here's how this looks in the graph:



If you need handrails and strings however this approach will not work so well as a spline is needed to use Vertical Deform mode to that segments follow the slope correctly.

I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Many Thanks,

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

QE2393

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Re: Creating stairs with Z offset
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 09:05:49 PM »
Thank you.  This is very well-done, and impressively flexible.

Still, I would like to put in a request for Rail Clone 3.0.  While your solution is excellent, I would like to be able to create a simple array (very similar to the native max tool) but with parametric control that doesn't disappear after you create the array (very unlike max).  RailClone can do so much more than this of course, but I think a simple function like this would be very helpful.






Paul Roberts

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Re: Creating stairs with Z offset
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 03:01:45 PM »
Hi,

Thanks for the suggestion. RailClone is already capable of reproducing the functionality of the Array tool parametrically. But if you want something simpler you might find our free Clone modifier helpful. It reproduces the functionality of Max's array tool but as a modifier. The advantage RailClone has over this is that it also allow for instancing, but for small objects like stairs, this might be enough. You can get it here: http://www.itoosoft.com/freeplugins/clone.php

Many thanks!

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software