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ebeneezergoode 08-11-2012 06:58 AM

Tips and thoughts on group select.
Firstly, I feel like a bricklayer who's been given an industrial replicator, there're many uses, especially for those building interiors from scratch high up on exterior maps.:D

The first tip I've found is that the last object selected acts as an anchor point for the formation. If you rotate it, everything will rotate relative to the last part selected, it also means you've got a fixed point of reference for where it's "middle" is.

This allows you to replicate corridor sections, move a room to another part of the map, and it also allows for perfect rotational symmetry. This may not sound like much, but if you've ever tried making a transporter pad or a large round room, this will be a god send.

I've also found naming objects more useful as a result of this, as you can designate an "anchor piece", or a "feeder" or a "pivot" piece etc. For example, in creating a circular wall. I've got a feeder piece off centre, but at the right height, and the Pivot point at the middle of the circular room. It can be anything, as it's essentially just "scaffolding" so to speak, but it helps to name it "Pivot" or whatever to make it easy to find in the list.

Then I copy the "feeder" wall, position it directly above (same X value) the pivot, and at the desired distance away from it (Z value + desired radius), this essentially becomes your radius. You then select the wall, then select the pivot, then rotate the pivot; the wall moves around the edge relative to it, to the desired angle and at the desired radius. No more trigonometry and/or guess work! For the next section, rotate the pivot (but do NOT undo, or you'll move the wall back) back to zero degrees, and copy your feeder piece again for the next part. Rinse and repeat until you've got lovely circular walls or transporter pads etc.

Also, once you've got say the first 45 degrees filled out, select the wall sections you've placed, select the pivot, copy all of them, then select the walls, and then lastly the pivot again so it becomes the anchor, you can move everything's X value back on center, and rotate the whole lot for the next 45 degrees, then the next 90, then the last 180.

If you replicate all of your pieces first, and then space their height 0.3 from eachother, then when you need to position it, sync it's X value with the Pivot for rotation, you can also make a spiral staircase around the inside of a circular chamber with this method. 0.3 I've found is the best interval between steps to create a walkable staircase, 0.4 works if you're close to your limit of pieces, but can get choppy.

By placing parts at 90, 45, 67.5 etc degrees, you'll quickly get an idea of how many pieces you need to fill the circle and it helps to have a calculator handy to work out the amount of rotation required to get an even equidistant spread around the circumference. Snap to angle can be useful, but it can also hinder, so make sure you check whether or not it's on.

Stair cases are another use however. You can place your first step .3 below and out from the initial one, then copy both, and go to .6, then copy all four and go to 1.2 etc, and then you can copy the whole staircase if you need one elsewhere. This speeds up the creation of things composed of several equally spaced objects exponentially.

The most important thing to remember is that the part of the group selected last becomes the "anchor" of that group.

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