Editing Curves

uMake gives you control of curves even after you’ve sketched them with powerful editing tools. You can move curves, rotate and scale them, as well as add and remove control points and move control points around to get the curves exactly the way you want. You can even split curves or connect two curves. These seemingly simple features give you significant control over your designs.

Anatomy of a Curve

A NURBS Curve in uMake is made up of several parts. While you mostly see just the curve, when you edit curves there is more to a curve than just a simple line. Curves have the following parts:

  • Curve: This is what you see most of the time. The curve is black by default or any color the user chooses.
  • Hull: The Hull is the dotted blue straight lines that appear when a curve is being edited. THe hull lines are the ‘framing’ lines for the curve and go between the control points of a curve.
  • Control Points: Control points are the points that dictate the shape of a curve. Moving control points will change the overall shape of the curve. There are three kinds of control points.
  • End Points: The first kind of control points are End Points – These are found at each end of a curve. They are green to display where the ends of a curve are.
  • Standard Control Point: These are the blue and white points found along a curve. These dictate the shape of a curve. Moving a standard control point results in a smooth change in shape between other control points.
  • Merge Points: Merge points are solid blue points that are found usually when a curve has a sharp change in direction. A merge point denotes two separate curves that have been merged together. When merge points are moved they often result in a sharp change in direction in a curve.

How to Edit Curve

Curves made with Precision Curve pen tool or the Standard Pen tool can be edited with ease. 

To edit a single curve, simply tap once on the curve to enable the edit mode. When edit mode is enabled on a curve, you will notice the appearance of the curve changes. The curve will change to a blue color. At each end of the curve you will find green control points (end points) Along the curve you will find blue control points and dotted blue straight lines (hull) connecting the control points.

To edit the curve, simply tap and drag on any of the control points (end point or normal control point) and you will see the curve will change shape. Orbiting the camera around will let you move the points in any direction. This lets you take a curve made in only 2 dimensions and transform it into a more complex curve made in 3 dimensions. Dragging points around is the primary way to edit curves and get curves just the way you want. To exit out of the edit mode, simply tap once anywhere on the canvas.

Selecting Control Points

When you tap on a control point you will notice that it changes color to yellow to indicate it is selected. Taping once on a control point will select the point. You can tap once on more than one control point to select more than one point at a time. Any movement of points will move all selected points. To deselect any single point, simply tap on a selected (yellow) point once to deselect it. 

In addition to tapping on each control point, you can select multiple control points by using the Multi-Select Tool to select multiple points at once. In addition to selecting multiple points, if you tap and hold on the multi-select tool and draw a small circle in empty space, this will deselect all control points.

Editing Multiple Curves

Sometimes it may be necessary to edit multiple curves at the same time. With uMake, this is a relatively easy process. Simply select the curves you wish to edit, and then tap ‘Edit’ in the side menu. All selected curves will go into edit mode, and you will be able to work with the control points of multiple curves. 

Moving Control Points

Moving control points is easy. Simply select one or more points, and then either drag on a point in any direction, or use the small arrows to move points along specific axes.

Adding Control Points

If you need more points on a curve to make the curve even more complex, you can add control points. To add control points, simply tap and hold on the dotted line (hull) where you want to add a control point. A small dialog to add a point will pop up. Tap on Add and you will add a point on the curve. Each point you add will change the shape of the curve.

Deleting Control Points

If you have too many points or wish to remove points from a curve, tap and hold directly on a control point until the dialog for ‘Delete’ pops up. Tap on delete to remove the point. When you delete points, the curve will change. 

You can delete multiple control points by tapping on multiple points or using the multi-select tool to select several points, and then tap and hold on any selected point until the delete option appears. Tapping on delete will delete all selected points.

Splitting curves

Curves can be split into smaller curves by using the ‘Split’ tool. To split a curve, simply tap and hold on any point along a curve (directly on the curve) until the ‘Split’ dialog appears. Tap ‘Split’ to split the curve into two curves at that point. You will now have two separate curves.

Merging Curves

Curves can be merged using the merge tool. If you have two curves you would like to merge, first move the end points of curves so that they are touching one another or overlapping. You can use the snap tool to snap the ends of curves together to make this easier. When the ends of two curves are snapped together, you may see a ‘Merge/Blend’ dialog pop up at the intersection of the two curves. If this does not automatically pop up, select the two end points (the easiest way to to do this is to use the Multi-Select tool) and then tap and hold on one of the points. When the Merge/ Blend dialog comes up, tap ‘Merge’. Merging two curves makes a single curve out of two curves. You can merge more than two curves by repeating the merge process. Merging two curves DOES NOT change the shape of the two curves. It simply connects them at their end points, and creates dark blue ‘Merge Point’ control point.

Blending Curves

Curves can be blended as well. Blending is different from merging in that it takes two curves and blends them into one curve, often resulting in a changed shape or a curve. For example, if you blend two curves that connect at an angle, the new blended curve will have a smooth arced curve to change the direction. To blend a curve, first, move the endpoints of curves so that they are touching one another or overlapping. You can use the snap tool to snap the ends of curves together to make this easier. When the ends of two curves are snapped together, you may see a ‘Merge/Blend’ Dialog pop up at the intersection of the two curves. If this does not automatically pop up, select the two endpoints (the easiest way to to do this is to use the Multi-Select tool) and then tap and hold on one of the points. When the Merge/ Blend dialog comes up, tap ‘blend’. The new blended curve will be the sum of the previous two curves and look quite different.

Disconnect Curves

In some cases, it may be necessary to disconnect merged curves. To disconnect merged curves, locate the merge point (dark blue control point). Next tap and hold on this point, until the Delete | Disconnect point pops up. Simply tap “Disconnect” and the two curves will be disconnected.

Intersecting / Overlapping Curves

When you sketch curves in uMake, sometimes you may sketch over another curve. If this other curve is on the same plane, or if the curve intersects another curve, this will automatically split 1 or both curves. You can use this to your advantage as a way to easily split curves, but keep in mind that curves that overlap one another ON THE SAME PLANE will split into multiple curves. for example, two curves overlapping on the same plane will now be 4 separate curves. Keep this in mind when sketching as it can be both helpful at times, and create issues at other times.

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