Design in Detail
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The Flatten Relief command will set all points on the relief to Z=0. This command is generally used after an image is loaded since it will default to a height map rather than a flat plane suitable for creating a new relief. Flatten relief creates an undo point so the user can force the relief back to its previous state with the Edit->Undo command or by pushing Crtl-Z.
The Shape Relief command is used to apply 3D profiles to a 2D image. Through several applications of this command a useful relief can be generated. The command proceeds in two steps, selecting a region and setting the profile type.
The first step of the shape relief command is to select the region to be shaped. Below is a sample of the dialog using one of the samples included with MeshCAM. The right side of the window lists all colors contained in the image while a scaled version of the image is shown on the left. Regions are formed by selecting one or more of the colors on the right. If the image contains multiple areas with the same colors then they are treated as separate regions that but are all processed at one time.
After selecting a region you must define the profile to be applied. This is accomplished using the Select Shape dialog shown below. There are three mail parameters that the user must set, the shape, the height, and the merge type.
One of three shapes can be must be selected for the region:
There are several height options:
Once a shape is generated it must be combined with the existing relief. There are several options for this operation:
The Shape Relief command will create an undo point that allows the user to revert the relief to it's previous state with the Edit->Undo command or by pushing Ctrl-Z.
The Scale Region command is used to change the height of a selected region. Like the Shape Relief command the region to be modified is selected by color. After selecting the region the following dialog is shown:
The current height of the region is shown in the Before column. The users can scale, shift, or invert the region by manipulating the height values in the After column.
The Flip Relief command flips the relief horizontally or vertically. If will only flip the relief- the source artwork will keep its original orientation.
The Smooth Relief command is used to reduce the roughness that can occur when importing an image for direct machining or in a relief after using the Shape Relief command. The level of smoothing can be adjusted from 1 to 100 using the slide in the dialog below. A smoothing level of 1 will retain the detail in the original relief will little smoothing applied. A smoothing level of 100 will give a much smoother model but at the cost of lost detail.
The Smooth Relief command updates the 3D window in real time as the smoothing is applied. If the relief becomes sufficiently smooth before the command is complete it can be canceled at any point and the current state of the relief can be kept.
Smooth Relief will create an undo point that allows the user to revert the relief to it's previous state with the Edit->Undo command or by pushing Ctrl-Z.
The Show History command shows the user all of the steps taken from the time the file was loaded until. Any operation can be modified and the model can be rebuilt. Additionally, the history can be saved as a script that can be loaded later. This allows the user to experiment with different techniques without losing any work.
Move selected operation up.
Move selected operation down,
Displays the properties of the selected operation. If the parameters are changed the relief will be rebuilt to reflect the changes.
Deletes the selected operation.
Saves the history as a script that can be loaded later.
A pink background behind an operation signifies that the operation has not been executed on the current model. Clicking Rebuild will execute all operations and bring the relief up to date.