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Pen Clone

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The Pen tool is useful in creating linear paths that have perfectly straight line segments between each user defined point. Geometry or items may be cloned along this path defined by the settings of the clone effector. Each cloned item will be duplicated as a straight mesh, increasing the polygon count within the scene file. MODO also offers users options to clone items as 'Instances' or as 'Replicator' items which do not increase scene geometry. The Pen Clone tool is available in the menu bar under "Geometry > Duplicate > Pen Clone". Users may also select the tool directly in the 'Duplicate' subtab of the modeling toolbox found in the 'Model' and 'Model Quad' interface tabs. Users can LMB+click and hold the toolbox button to open a fly out menu providing the alternate tool options.

To use, simply activate the tool by LMB+clicking the tools icon, once active the following properties will appear in the tool properties panel of the default interface. Users can then LMB+click in the 3D viewport to create path Points at the intersection of the mouse click in the viewport and the Work Plane. Lines will be created between each path point as subsequent points are added. Users can edit selected path points using the Position input field. Users can select a particular path by hovering the mouse over the point until it changes to yellow, then LMB+click and drag to modify its position. Users can also add points between existing positions by selecting a point and then LMB+clicking away from the selected point adding the intermediate point. Once the tool has been dropped by pressing the 'Q' key the cloned items will be in effect set and no further editing of the path is possible.

Pen Clone PanelPen Generator--

Type: This option determines the termination of the path, whether is stays 'Open' as the user creates the path, or if it is 'Closed, where a line is drawn between the first and last points making the path a continuous loop.

Align to Path: This option, when enabled, will rotate the cloned items to align along the paths directional vector, meaning the objects will be rotated to match the direction of the path at the clones position.

Align to Normal: When this option is enabled, MODO will try to align the direction of the source objects to a straight up position before cloning the source item(s). If the item is already upright when cloned, this option will likely have no effect.

Start at Source: By default, MODO will attempt to place the base of the cloned geometry at each path Point, useful when cloning items in the same layer, the 'Start at Source' option, when enabled, will position cloned items based on their Center point.

Corner Scale: The path tool, when used in conjunction with the 'Corner Scale' option for creating geometry will automatically scale corners to make a path have a consistent thickness, this same option is also available for cloning items should the user desire their clones match a previously created pen tool path.

Current Point: This option displays/determines the currently selected path 'Point'. Users can select any point along the path by LMB+clicking directly on the 'Points' handle when yellow, or specify a 'Point' manually by adjusting the value in this field.

Position: This trifecta of position values determines the point in 3D space where the current Point is positioned. Users can manually enter a new position with the input fields, or select the Point in the 3D viewport and position it via the mouse.

World Axis Snap: When this option is enabled, MODO will attempt to snap Path line segments to 90° angles relative to the World axes.

Straight Line Snap: When this option is enabled, MODO will attempt to snap Path line segments to straight lines aligned with the previous two Points in the path.

Right Angle Snap: When this option is enabled, MODO will attempt to snap Path line segments to 90° angles relative to the previous path segment.

Clone Effector--

Replace Source: When this option is enabled, MODO will remove the source geometry and position it at the first Point in the path.

Invert Polygons: This option, when enabled will invert the normal direction of the cloned geometry.

Merge Vertices: This option, when enabled will merge coinciding vertices into a single vertex.

Distance: Used in conjunction with the 'Merge Vertices' option, the Distance value determines the maximum distance between vertices where merging will occur. Vertices outside this value will remain unchanged.

Source: Determines the mesh that will be cloned along the Pen tool path-
Active Meshes- This option will use the currently selected geometry as a clone source.
Specific Mesh- This option allows the user to specify a specific Mesh item as the clone source using the 'Mesh Item' option below.
All BG- This option will combine all the currently visible background items cloning them as a single mesh.
Random BG- This option chooses a random background item from all the currently visible background items at each clone position.
Preset Shape- This option allows users to clone Profile shapes from the Preset Browser. Open the Preset Browser 'F6" and select a profile before activating the tool.

Mesh Item: This option works when the Source is set to 'Specific Mesh' and allows users to set the mesh to be cloned.

Profile Attributes--
When users define the 'Source' as the 'Preset Shape' above, the following Profile attribute become active to determine the size and position of the cloned Preset shape.

Size: Determines the size of the cloned Preset Shape.

Curve Subdivision Tolerance: When the preset shapes curve is converted into a polygon once cloned, this option determines the fidelity of that conversion.

Pivot: This option determines the position of the cloned Preset Shape in relation the Point of the path.

Offset: This option provides finer control over the Preset Shapes position in relation to the path itself. This value is additive to the Pivot position specified above.

Reverse X/Y: This option flips the Preset Shape in either the 'X' or 'Y' direction.



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