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CAD workflow/ tracing images.

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:19 am
by Nerfherderp
Relatively new to blender :D really enjoying everything about it.

I am coming from experience with software like AutoCAD and Sketchup where I understand the workflows can be rather different (at times). The simple one I am trying to tackle at the moment is tracing simple images as flat 2D entities.

In AutoCAD I would just use the polyline command and generate closed regions, which I would then extrude and edit in 3d. I am having trouble figuring out the analogous workflow in blender.

I would like to be able to trace the outline of an image with straight lines, and when a curved area comes up switch to a curve (on the fly), then back to a straight line, and when finished with that area, close the region.

I apologize for using terminology from other software, as they can sometimes have different meanings, but I am still learning the "Blender" language. I am willing to forget all I have learned and approach it differently though!

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:56 pm
by stiv
Blender makes a distinction between Lines and Curves (and between Curves and Surfaces, but that is another story)

Make sure you are in Ortho view so you can see your background images.

In Edit Mode, add points via CTRL-Left Mouse Button.

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:39 pm
by Nerfherderp
So I should just always start by adding a mesh plane, then deleting one of the edges (and the one face) so I am left with a U shape that has only 3 edges and 4 vertices, resulting in essentially a "polyline".

From here I should use the ctrl click method to add additional vertices to the existing U shape correct? If I want to add a curved segment I have to make it separately with the curve tool and then add it to my working polyline, and so on until I want to close the area using Fill?

I am willing to accept that this is the way to do this, however it just seems very convoluted for one of the most basic CAD commands.

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:34 pm
by rudysplif
No, I'd think a much easier way is to use curves to trace out your images then you can extrude them up and lastly convert to mesh. You can adjust the vertex handles to make hard edges for straight lines.

I've never gone through that workflow, but I'm once you learn the right quick keys it would be pretty efficient.