### Author Topic: Modelling a Lumiblade  (Read 2328 times)

#### BG2291

• Newbie
• Posts: 21
##### Modelling a Lumiblade
« on: March 11, 2015, 08:09:19 PM »
Ive not yet actually modelled anything with Railclone but eager to start & working through the tutourials whenever i get some spare time. Currently I need to create a large ceiling feature kind of like this http://www.lumiblade-experience.com/assets/livingsculpture00.jpg
Would this be a good example of something that can easily be done in railclone ?  The components of the model are extremely simple - just a 6"x6" rectangular LED pad & a rectangular support tube connecting it to the ceiling. I'd like to be able to make this and play around with the wavy form of the overall 'sculpture'.  I have a spline that defines the outline of this thing on plan, so i assume i could trim the whole thing to conform to that spline. How do you get the LED pads to vary in the Z axis (on both the x & y axis) ?

#### Paul Roberts

• iToo Software
• Hero Member
• Posts: 1762
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 10:51:08 AM »
Hi!

Thanks for contacting us. This is an interesting challenge and is certainly possible with RailClone, however it's not the easiest style to create if you're brand new to the plugin, as you'd need to use some expressions to get the wave like effects. In the attached style I've played around with sin() to get a wave pattern but you can use other equations.

The crucial thing is that the the expression is wired to the exported Z Position of a  Transform Operator, in that way we can change to position of the lights programmatically. The same arithmetic node is also connected to Z Fixed Size property of the support cables so that they lengthen to match the position of the lights.

I've also added some randomisation to the position of the lights and a control to adjust the hanging distance. These are simply added to the value outputted from the arithmetic operator. The full style looks like this:

I've attached the file for you to take a look, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

#### BG2291

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• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 06:16:45 PM »
Wow - that preview looks amazing. thanks for looking into this !

#### BG2291

• Newbie
• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 06:42:23 PM »
im blown away by how great this is - im going to try explore the max scene to see if i can understand it all - no doubt i will have questions   One thing that pops to mind - if i wanted to constrain the overall shape of this lighting feature with a spline - how do i do that ? I do not want the spline to trim any of the led lights - i just want the LED lights to follow a basic shape (as you would see it on a reflected ceiling plan).

#### BG2291

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• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 08:01:19 PM »
As i proceed through this, one thing i am stumbling with in the early stages - I have added two "transform" nodes as you did which are plugging into the "Compose" node. When i try to export from those transform nodes a "Z position" it does not give me that option. I was able to add the "Z fixed Size" but there is no 'Position' option under the sub-menu. When i open your file and right click on your transform node i can see it has a load of options in the sub-menu that i cannot see when i open my file (attached).
If i were to take your style, save it to a library, would it work in a scene with different units ?

#### BG2291

• Newbie
• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 06:52:07 AM »
I'm a bit further along with this now (i attached an updated scene file of progress) but ive made it a bit of a dogs breakfast:-
1. the model seems to be upside down & im not sure how or why that has happened. In order to get the LED pads down & below the ceiling connection plates I have to give the ceiling distance a negative value - which i can see was not what you had done in your model (& anyway when i do that the connecting rods are not extending as they should do).
2. The connecting rods (when i use a negative value for the offset from the ceiling) seem to be extending past both the LED pads and also past the ceiling plates - i cant see how to make sure that the rods do not go past those two cut off planes.
3. in the Y axis i seem to have the LED pads arrayed OK, but in the X axis they seem to be spaced apart by way too much. Ideally there are no gaps (on plan) between any of the pads
Those are my current stumbling blocks......

#### Paul Roberts

• iToo Software
• Hero Member
• Posts: 1762
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 11:49:37 AM »
Hi,

Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you're finding the example useful. Please find answers to your questions below.

Quote
if i wanted to constrain the overall shape of this lighting feature with a spline - how do i do that ? I do not want the spline to trim any of the led lights - i just want the LED lights to follow a basic shape (as you would see it on a reflected ceiling plan).
In order to do this you can add a spline base object to both generator's clipping paths inputs. Select your spline from the scene and then for each generator change the following properties: Turn on Properties > Clipping Area > Extend X/Y Size to area. Change For No Slice to Preserve

Quote
When i try to export from those transform nodes a "Z position" it does not give me that option.
My apologies, I should have been clearer. The Z Position value is found in Fixed Transform >  Position > Z

Quote
1. the model seems to be upside down & im not sure how or why that has happened. In order to get the LED pads down & below the ceiling connection plates I have to give the ceiling distance a negative value - which i can see was not what you had done in your model (& anyway when i do that the connecting rods are not extending as they should do).

I must admit, I cheated by rotating my RailClone object through 180 degrees. My lights also extended upwards originally. It's necessary to do it this way because you cannot have a negative fixed size value for the connecting rods.

Quote
2. The connecting rods (when i use a negative value for the offset from the ceiling) seem to be extending past both the LED pads and also past the ceiling plates - i cant see how to make sure that the rods do not go past those two cut off planes.
This should be fixed by rotating the RC object and using a positive value.

Quote
3. in the Y axis i seem to have the LED pads arrayed OK, but in the X axis they seem to be spaced apart by way too much. Ideally there are no gaps (on plan) between any of the pads
Those are my current stumbling blocks......
Instead of using evenly, wire the segments to the Default input. You may now need to adjust the Right Padding values for the Lights and the Connecting rods to manouvre them into the correct position. I've also set the light's top padding value to 0 to so that there are no gaps at all in the array.

I hope that helps,

I've attached a revised style, please let me know if you have further questions.

Many thanks,

Paul

p.s. I'm afraid your attachments don't seem to have worked. This may be because we have a files size limit of 1024kb in the forum.
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

#### BG2291

• Newbie
• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 04:43:11 PM »
When i select a transform node I am not getting the same sub-menu that you appear to have - the closest option i could find was "fixed translation" and then select the "z" option. Would that have the same effect as "fixed position" "Z".  I am trying again to attach my scene file (50kb zip)

#### BG2291

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• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 05:29:20 PM »
I also attach a screen shot showing the sub-menu that I refer to above - which does not seem to have the same options as yours.

#### Paul Roberts

• iToo Software
• Hero Member
• Posts: 1762
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 05:30:36 PM »
Hi,

Apologies again, I'm using the current beta. We reorganised and categorised the Export > Parameters menus so they are appearing a  little different for me. You're correct, Fixed Translation > Z is the equivalent in the current stable release.

Thanks for sending your style. I've made a couple of small changes:

• Wired the segments to the default input
• Changed the LED.LightPad. segment's padding to -9cm and set Alignment > Z to Bottom. This and the subsequent alignment changes are to prevent the overlaps between the cable and the lights/ceiling
• Changed the cable Segment's Right Padding to -9cm and set Z alignment to Bottom.
• Changed the LEd Base Segment's Z alignment to Automatic.
• Wire a Spline node to the Clipping Area input of both generators
• For both generators turned on Properties > Clipping Area > Extend X/Y Size to area. Changed For No Slice to Preserve
• Exported the Properties > Clipping Area > Extend X/Y Size to area parameter and wired to a Numeric node set to Boolean. This lets you turn off this feature and use measurements instead from the Parameters rollout (may not work in the older version)

I hope that helps. Please find attached the revised style.

Many thanks,

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

#### Paul Roberts

• iToo Software
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• Posts: 1762
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 05:33:05 PM »
I should have added, You can read more about the current beta here. It's due to be released in the next couple of weeks so it will likely be virtually unchanged from this build.

Thanks,

Paul
Paul Roberts
iToo Software

#### BG2291

• Newbie
• Posts: 21
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 06:02:31 PM »
Thankyou. what a superb response - best forum experience ever !  Maybe its just the honeymoon phase
Currently, the only concern for me is that the arithmetic portion (for example the formula you used in the arithmetic) is akin to magic and not something i'm going to be able to conquer ! Well, maybe when i retire i'll have more time to figure out how to do the magic part

#### Paul Roberts

• iToo Software
• Hero Member
• Posts: 1762
##### Re: Modelling a Lumiblade
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2015, 06:10:56 PM »
Hi,

Glad I could help out. I understand your concerns about the Arithmetic part of the style, it's probably one of the most advanced parts of RailClone. We actually have plans in the near future to release a detailed guide to using expressions.  I might use this as an example

Thanks,

Paul

Paul Roberts
iToo Software