7.4 Object Tools

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Logo. The logo tool allows you to import any black and white picture and convert it to voxels. You can convert images that are .bmp, .tga, .jpeg and .png formats. Click on the Logo tool and select image. As you import it, it will bring you in with then default to the merge tool, so you can use the standard merge gizmo here.
Videoicon.png Logo tool demo video

Cut&Clone. The Cut&Clone tool will let you do just that, you can cut and clone the volume of a voxel object based on the type of brush parameters, and defaults to the drag rectangle pen mode. It will copy the whole volume of the object underneath. You can also adjust your border parameters with three different types: Round, Plane & Sharp.

Videoicon.png Cut&Clone tool demo video

Split. The split tool is very similar to the “Cut&Clone tool”. It also has the exact same border settings. The only difference is that when you use this tool it actually tears a chunk of the object that you are operating on and creates it’s own object layer in the VoxTree.
Videoicon.png Split tool demo video

Merge. Simply put this tool allows you to import polygonal meshes to convert to voxels. It has a much more advanced usage of course, as well. First let us go over some of the functions of this tool:

Select mesh. Use this to select a mesh stored on your hard drive.
Pick from retopo. If you have something retopologized in the Retopo tab, then you can use the mesh to merge to voxels.
On pen. Will turn any merged mesh into a pen to sculpt with.

(Note: If you are using a high-res object and then click that, you’ll be painting high-res objects all over something, and that can cause a lot of lagging if it is very high-res.)

Subdivide. Will of course subdivide your unmerged mesh.
Transform. Will change to the transform gizmo, allowing you to transform the unmerged mesh.
Shift (X, Y & Z). Shifts the unmerged mesh along the selected axis inside a bounding box in local space.
Presets. This tool has a number of presets, you are encouraged to explore them.

Some of the more advanced functions of this tool are:

Merge separate volumes. Merges each sub-object to it’s own unique layer in the VoxTree.
Respect negative volumes. This is a new function in v3.1. If an unmerged object has “_negative” somewhere in it’s name upon selecting the mesh, it will subtract this volume from before merging with other sub-objects. Generally you should know when you are going to use this feature, as the file must have “_negative” in it’s file name. It is great for creating greebles & nurnies. Let’s take a more detailed look at this feature in the usage of this feature, to create greebles & nurnies (Thanks to user Tinker for the description):
Greebles or nurnies can be created in any application for 3D modeling, usually with a series of arbitrary extrusions.


Details with angled surface look better than with parallel to horizon. For easier placing of details on a model create a contour for the detail (that’s an object with a name “_negative” which excludes from the model automatically and leaves a slot for the detail.)

It’s important to turn on ‘respect negative volume’ in the Merge Params tab to permit contour exclusion. Because of “negative volume” width is bigger than detail’s width we have an interesting effect:

There is a joint between the body and the object. The detail looks as if it stands right on its place, and the body looks as if it has a special slot for the detail. Such joints look good with ambient occlusion. Above is an example of how would it look without that effect. Looks not so interesting, and also there is a problem that was caused by different curvatures of the body and the detail – the detail looks tumbled down (it wouldn’t happen with negative volume). Negative volume shouldn’t have the exact form as the body. You may change its form to get various effects. It’s time to detail the object. Load the greebles using Merge tool. Use ‘on pen’ mode. Use “9” and “0” keys to rotate the brush.

Videoicon.png Merge tool demo video

Sketch. This is a new tool in v3.1, and is a very important addition the the toolset. It allows for the creation of a volume object with 2 or 3 images. If you use 3 images of course the voxel object will be more detailed. You are strongly encouraged to try this new tool out, it is great for creating basic shapes of a more detailed objects very quickly. This tool has a few operations, all of which are very self explanatory. You are strongly encouraged to explore the options for this tool.
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Curves. One of the most powerful tools in the voxel arsenal, this allows you to place points of a space directly into your scene with the LMB. This tool also uses a gizmo for transformations. The arrows will translate, the boxes will scale or stretch, the inner white ring will translate on all axes, and lastly when using the function, “apply to whole curve” there will be another white ring which allows for viewport based rotations. This allows for quite a number of things, including pipes, chains, basic character or creature shapes and bodies, and so on.
There are now 4 modes in addition to the standard curves tools, they are:
Extrude. This tool allows for the extrusion of new hierarchies from an existing point of a curve. To use simply click and hold the LMB, then drag in the desired direction you wish to create the extrusion. Holding SHIFT will default to the new Rotate mode. It can also be activated by hitting the “Q” key.
'Move. By default this tool allows for the moving of points of a curve individually, holding the SHIFT key will move it’s child or parent hierarchy, depending on the direction of the manipulator arrow. It can also be activated by hitting the “W” key.
Rotate. This mode allows you to rotate the child or parent hierarchy of a point with viewport based rotations. It can also be activated by hitting the “R” key.
Scale. This mode allows you to scale the child or parent hierarchy of a point. It can also be activated by hitting the “E” key.
Curvetools.jpg Archer-curves.jpg

NOTES: Remember, you need to click the LMB to edit a point, ESC to stop editing a point. When using one of the four new edit modes, you do not need to have a point selected. Simply hold SHIFT (or have “Invert SHIFT action” turned on) and you’ll see green cones allowing you to edit the point and it’s hierarchy. Lastly, the affected direction of the hierarchy is the larger side of the green cone.

These tools allow for quite a number of things, including pipes, chains, basic character or creature shapes and bodies, and so on.
Some of the parameters of this tool:

Fill Inside. Fills the entire space between all points to create a solid volume object throughout the entire space.
Run brush along curve. Is a tool all on it’s own, it allows for perfectly indented or protruded areas along the spline. It has a number of options which are all self explanatory. You are strongly encouraged to explore this setting for the curves tool.
Stick to ground. When this option is turned on, it forces points of your curve to constrain to the surface of a volume object, with which you click on.
Jagged line. By default the curves tool will create a smooth TCBspline. With this option turned on, you can create a linear spline, essentially creating “pointy” intersections.
Snap to symm plane. This will force any newly created points to be created on the symmetry plane when you click on or near the plane.
Invert shift action. This option exclusvely effects the four new curve modes. By default in any of these modes you must hold SHIFT to perform their alternate functions. This will invert this setting, so that by default you use the alternate functions, and the normal default methods require you to hold down SHIFT.
Extrude same radius. With this option turned on, in the Extrude mode, it will create a new point which is the same size as the point that you extruded from. By Default a newly created point is the size of your pen cursor.
New curve. Will add another curve to your scene, in addition to your existing curve(s).
Tube. Resets the curve back to it’s default state.
Reset scale/angles. These two tools will reset any scaling or rotations you have done to the selected curve.
Hardness. To use this you must have a point on a curve selected, upon pressing this button It will cause the selected point to become very sharp and pointed.
Closed. Allows you to close the spline curve between the first and last points on the spline. You can of course still add or remove points while using this function.
Del curve/point. These two functions allow you to delete curves and points on a curve respectively. You can also hover over a point on a curve and hit the DELETE key.
Clear all. This will clear all curves from the scene.
Save/Load. You can now save and load entire sets of curves for use at a later time, or distribution to other users.
Profile. This drop down list contains a number of profiles, each will change the over all shape of the spline curve.
Apply to whole curve. With this turned on, any rotations, scaling or translation you do will apply to the whole curve centered from your current selected point on the spline. When using this function the gizmo for the point will change, adding a new large white circle around the rest of the gizmo. This new circle will allow for viewport based rotations.
Spline presets. There are a number of other self explanatory settings for this tool. But one thing that stands out, and that you should definitely explore, are the spline presets. These allow for some very unique voxel sculpting techniques and styles. You are strongly encouraged to explore these and add more by using external files like .obj or .lwo formats.

Videoicon.png Curves tool demo video

Snake. Clicking and dragging with the LMB with this tool creates a snake like shape in your viewport. It’s position is based on your first click and your viewport perspective. As with the curves tool, you can reset it back to it’s default with the “Tube” button, you can select a number of profiles and of course use spline presets. One unique parameter for this tool is called “Smoothing speed”. What this does, at higher values as you drag out, the snake will smooth along it’s entire lenght, causing it to move. At lower values it will move less, or not at all, causing no smoothing to occur. (Min/max values 1-5).
Videoicon.png Snake tool demo video

Spikes. This tool functions exactly as the snake tool, however it’s only difference is that it tapers on the end point of your stroke, causing a spike-like appearance.
Spikes tool demo video

Muscles. This tool allows you to sculpt muscle & tendon looking shapes simply with a stroke of your stylus. You can achieve different looks by using this tool in different ways, for instance, if you sculpt with this tool outside of a volume, you can create objects that look to be wings very quickly.

There are a number of settings of this tool:

Smoothing Speed. This allows you to manually key or use the slider to adjust the rate at which your stroke is smoothed.
Stick to ground. This option forces your stroke to append to the surface of the object instead of smoothing through it as it does when this option is turned off.


Muscle types. You can select between two different muscle types and a tendon. In the image on the previous page, you can see from left to right: Tendon, Muscle 2 and then Muscle 1.

Videoicon.png Muscles tool demo video

Toothpaste. This tool shares all of the options other then the muscle types with the muscles tool. It’s function is similar to it’s name, it is like applying toothpaste or tubes to a surface. A huge different and benefit to this tool, is that it respects pen alphas, so you can use it to create some rather unique looking rake brushes.
Videoicon.png Toothpaste tool demo video
Primitives. This is a pretty powerful tool for voxels. While it’s name is misleading in this regard, you should certainly explore each one of them thoroughly. They are: Sphere, Cube, Ellipse, Cylinder, Cone, Capsule, Tube, N-Gon and the Gear. A few of them are very similar such as the sphere and ellipse. The difference between is the ellipse has a different gizmo for adjustments. Another set are the cylinder and tube, the difference is the tube is hollowed out at its center. Each tool also have a set of parameters, ranging from adjusting scale, position (some have two positions: top & bottom), radius, and with the n-gon and gear primitives, you’ll have unique options like number of sides, inner radius or number of gears. These settings are of course self explanatory and you are strongly encouraged to explore these settings further.
There are now a new Free Form Primitives (ffPrimitives)! These robust and powerful primitives let you create very complex shapes with just a few easy tweaks of the vertices, edges or faces of the lattice cage.
There are a number of preset ffPrimitives, and you can also create your own using .obj files – see more on that below. A few of the parameters for the new ffPrimitives are as follows:

Transform as whole. Gives you the ability to translate, rotate and scale using the default transform tool.
Local Symmetry. Enables local symmetry of the ffPrimitive, which gives you more creative freedom and control.
Misc. ResetPrim. Lets you reset any changes you’ve made to the object.
EditPoints. Allows numerical values for each visible point of the lattice cage. Inner/Outer Radius & Thickness are only applied to some of the ffPrimitives, such as ffDisc and ffTube, they allow for the radius of the inner section or outer section of the tube and the thickness of some of the primitives with keyable values. The dropdown list also has a few more options, usually different .obj files with different cages for similar shapes, such as ffDisc. When holding CTRL you can constrain the movement of your selection along its normal.

Videoicon.png Primitives tool demo video

Text. Allows you to place text along a spline curve, and create text in voxel form. It’s parameters are identical to that of the curves tool so you should already be familiar with it after reading that section above. It has a few unique features: You can select a font for your text, you can of course type in the text you would like to make volumetric, and you can adjust the thickness of this volumetric text.
Videoicon.png Text tool demo video

Cloth. This tool is a cloth simulator which you can use to drape a polygon mesh over another object. There is a default “cloth” with which you can test, but you are not limited to this as you can also import an external polygonal mesh. The parameters for this tool are:

Select mesh. This will prompt you with a file requester which allows you to select a file (.obj, .lwo, ,fbx, .stl, .ply, and .3b) on disk to use as the object to be draped.
Subdivide. This will subdivide the object you have imported. It can be used before or after you run the simulation.
Start/Reset. These two buttons will start and reset the simulation, respectively.
Pick from retopo. If you have retopologized something and it is in the Retopo tab, then you can use this button to select that mesh as the object to drape.
To retopo. By clicking this, the recently draped mesh will be sent to the Retopo tab for further retopologization.
Other. You can set a number of other parameters, such as the graviy, and the friction of the draped object on the object you are draping over, as well as set the cloth thickness. For the thickness, the higher the value, the thicker the cloth.

Videoicon.png Cloth tool demo video

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Go to Voxels Video Manual