Brep Slicer Alignment Quick Help


Align Options Dialog
The Alignment Options dialog with default options.

The Alignment options are used to quickly change the rotational or translational orientation of the slicing shape in a Brep Slicer object. They are intended to simplify the process of positioning the slicer. They are covered in detail below:

  1. Alignment Axes (X, Y, Z)
  2. Center to Base Shapes
  3. Fit to Base Shapes
  4. Align to View
  5. Align to Surface Normal
  6. Reset Alignment
Example Before Aligns
Example slicer before application of alignment options.

In the align option detailed descriptions, some 'before/after' examples will be provided. The screenshot in this section is the 'before' picture for those examples, unless otherwise specified.

Default Alignment Axes (X, Y, Z)

Example After Align to Y-Axis
Example after alignment to the Y-axis.

Changing the default alignment axis serves two purposes: it will immediately rotate the slicing shape to be aligned with the chosen axis, and it sets that axis as the default, so that the next time the Reset option is used, it will reset the rotational orientation of the slicing shape to the chosen axis.

The X, Y, Z axes used by this option are the ones local to the overall Brep Slicer object. Thus if the Brep Slicer's node is rotated relative to world space, these alignment axes will also be rotated relative to world space.

Center to Base Shapes

Center will translate the slicing shape so that it has the same center as the base shape bounding boxes. It does not affect the rotational orientation of the slicing shape.

Currently, this option works correctly only when there is a single base shape. When there are multiple base shapes, one is used to do the centering, and the rest are ignored.

Fit to Base Shapes

Example After Fit
Example after using the Fit option.

This option centers the slicing shape relative to the base shapes, and changes the dimensions of the slicing shape to approximately 'fit' the base shapes. It does not change the rotational orientation of the slicing shape. The re-dimensioning is done based on the bounding boxes of the base shapes. The centering side-effect works the same way as manually using the Center option would.

Currently, this option works correctly only for the single base shape case. If there are multiple bases, it ignores all but one for purposes of calculating the new dimensions of the slicing shape.

This option doesn't actually change the slicer alignment at all. It is in this dialog more to maintain consistency with similar dialogs on some Max tools (e.g., the UVWMap modifier).

Align to View

Example After Fit
Example after aligning to View.

The View option rotates the slicing shape to 'align' it with the viewport camera. That is, the local z-axis of the slicing shape is made parallel to the camera direction. This has a slightly different effect depending on the slicer type ( plane, box, cylinder, sphere). This option does not affect the position of the slicing shape.

Align to Surface Normal

The Normal option allows the user to pick a point on a surface in the current Brep Slicer result. The slicing shape is rotated such that its local z-axis is aligned to the surface normal at that point. If the picking mode is broken out of without a point being selected, no re-alignment occurs. This option does not affect the slicing shape's position.

Reset Alignment

The Reset option resets both the position and rotation of the slicing shape. The rotation is aligned so that the slicing shape's local z-axis is aligned along whichever of the overall Brep Slicer object's local axes is currently chosen as the default. The position is re-centered as if the Center option had been used.

Document last updated: April 2010 (nPower version 7.0). Tested with Firefox 3.6.3, Internet Explorer 7.0.6002.