More Alignment Tools

During this phase of the modeling process it will become obvious that there is more tweaking to the surfaces that needs to be done to make an airtight model. Most of these methods relate more to technique than tools.

The methods used during this phase of the process are:

1. Align Tool
2. Align Mesh
3. Attach and Detach
4. Attach-Smooth-Detach
5. Attach-PropMod-Detach
6. Pulling Points
7. View Move Plugin
 
1. Align

Align can be found in the Object Edit menu. As with all items in the Object Edit menu, this tool can be used on surfaces and curves. By bringing up the option box for this tool you can see how it works pretty well. It is important to remember to try to tweak the values in the option boxes before you finish the align operation. By adjusting the different values you can really get different results for the align. Notice how by adjusting the rows the alignment occurs in a more gradual way.
Align Dialog Box Align Example
align mesh panel align mesh
 

2. Align Mesh

Align Mesh can be found in the Surface Edit menu. This tool works very differently than Align. The process is very simple. Pick all of the surfaces you would like to have aligned, then use Align Mesh. The problem with align mesh is the surfaces do not behave the way they should all of the time.

Rules for using Align Mesh:

1. Always save just before using Align Mesh.
2. Try to use Align Mesh with the "Keep Originals" button OFF. (The button is shown "ON" in the illustration so the before and after results can be viewed.)
3. Try to Align only the surfaces that you need aligned. Sometimes if you choose all of the surfaces, you may get yourself into trouble. Until you can get all of the surfaces to get most of the way aligned, Align Mesh can do more harm than good.
 
Align Mesh Dialog Box Align Mesh Example
align mesh panel align mesh
 
Remember that Align Mesh is an important tool and if used correctly can save you hours of work. If used without caution, it can cost you hours of work.