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Chapter 7. Precision Modeling > Working with Arrays

Working with Arrays

An array is nothing more than a number of similar objects arranged in a regular pattern. Although it can seem a little daunting at first, max's Array tool is invaluable for laying out many copies of identical objects such as tiles. You know that your tile is 20 units on each side and that the floor is 300 units wide, so some simple math (300 divided by 20) reveals that you need 15 copies in the X axis. Let's create these.

Now that you have a solitary tile, let's duplicate it to cover the floor. Right-click in a blank area of the Main toolbar to bring up a list of available toolbars, and choose Extras from the list. With the ChamferBox still selected, choose Array from the Extras toolbar to bring up the Array dialog.

Enter 15 as the 1D Count value in the Array Dimensions area and 20 as the value in the Incremental X axis. Set the Type of Object to Instance and click Preview to see the results (Figure 7.3).

Figure 7.3. Previewed Array in one axis.


Pressing Control-N when the cursor is in a spinner or value box will bring up the Numerical Expression Evaluator. You can use this to perform calculations like the one above and the result will be pasted as the new value.

You can also tell the Array to duplicate the tiles in the Y axis. Turn on the 2D button and set the Y Incremental Rows Offset to –20. Now, when you increase the value of the 2D Count, you can see the rows moving down. Set the 2D Count to 20 and hit OK to complete the tiled floor (Figure 7.4).

Figure 7.4. Creating an Array in two axes.

Since you have used Instances for the floor, you can alter the scale of all tiles simply by changing the values for one tile. To see this in effect, select any one of the tiles and change the Height value to 3.0 and the Fillet value to 0.5 (Figure 7.5).

Figure 7.5. Altering the tiles via Instancing.

You're now going to create the basis for your kitchen's cupboards.

Each cupboard is going to be 60 by 60 units in dimension, and you'll need to clear some space. In the Top viewport, select and delete three rows of 15 tiles from the left down and three rows of six tiles across (Figure 7.6).

Figure 7.6. Top view of the deleted tiles.

Remaining in the Top viewport, create a Box primitive anywhere in the scene, entering the Length, Width, and Height values as 60. Name it Unit01.

Bring up the Grid and Snap Settings dialog and set the snapping to Grid Points and Endpoint. In the Perspective viewport, select the corner of the box and drag and snap it to the grid point (Figure 7.7).

Figure 7.7. Snapping the box to the grid.

Use the Array tool again to create five Instanced duplicates of the cupboard in the Y axis, incrementing by 60. Then create three duplicates in the X axis by the same amount (Figure 7.8).

Figure 7.8. Duplicated boxes.



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