Create a curtain wall building
Using RailClone it is possible to make sophisticated two dimensional arrays using rule sets that allow you to
allocate different geometry segments to each part of the array. The size of the array can be entered manually in
scene units for the X and Y dimensions, or splines can be used to define paths for both axes. When using curved
splines, the geometry will be deformed to follow the path, creating single and double curved geometry. In this
example we will create a simple curtain wall style as shown below.
This tutorial uses more than three segments and requires RailClone Pro. See the differences between Lite and Pro versions.
This style demonstrates the majority of the inputs of the Array 2S generator. This Generator has input slots for each
part of the array, the exploded view of the curtain wall example shows the names of these slots and the geometry
applied to each part (note that there is also an X-Evenly option that is not used in this example).
The exercise files contain all the geometry and splines required to complete this tutorial. The final wall comprises
8 small modular elements as shown below. The windows have been constructed in such a way that the the floor-to-floor
height to be easily adjusted simply by repeating the window element.
There are also two splines in the scene. "Baseline" is used to determine the width of the curtain wall and
was derived from the top edge of the first floor. "Wall_height" governs the height of the wall and the
profile, should you want it to be curved.
Create a new RailClone object
- To get started we'll create a new RailClone object by going to Create>Geometry>Itoo Software>RailClone
and dragging out a new RailClone icon anywhere in the viewport.
- To create a new Style go to the modify panel and find the Style rollout. Click on the Open
Style Editor button () The image below illustrates
the node tree we are going to create.
- In the Style Editor create a new Array 2S Generator () by dragging its icon from the Items
List to the Construction view
- In this example we are going to use 2 splines to determine the height and width. Drag two new
Spline objects () into the Construction view.
- Rename the Spline nodes from the properties panel on the right of the Style Editor. Name one
"Width" and the other "Height".
- Connect the "Width" spline node to the X Spline input and connect the "Height"
to the Y Spline input of the A2S Generator node.
- The spline will now be visible from the Base Objects rollout in the Modify Panel. To pick a
spline from the scene, click on the input name from the Base Objects list, click the Pick Spline button, then
simply pick a spline from the scene. In this example, Assign the "Baseline" spline to
"Width" and "Wall_Height" to "Height".
To add default geometry
Default geometry displays in the event that another input slot is not being used. In this example we'll use
this slot to add the window panes to the style first.
- Drag a new Segment object () from the Items List to the
Construction view and connect it to the Default input slot of the A2S Generator
- To see a little clearer how this style should look we'll apply the appropriate material. Open the material
editor and apply the "Curtain Wall" material to the new RailClone object.
- Before going any further we'll limit the RailClone object to a small portion of the "Baseline" Spline
this will restrict the amount of geometry being generated and allow the style to update responsively in the
viewports while we create the style. To do this, go to the Base Objects rollout and select the "Baseline"
spline. Turn off Full Length and set the Length to 500cm
To add the top segment:
With the default segments established we'll add the top to the curtain wall, this incorporates a glass railing
with brackets that descend onto the windows below. We'll use the segments Transform parameters to move the
geometry and create an overlap.
- Add a new Segment node () to the Construction View and choose
"Curtain_Wall_Top" from the scene. Connect this to the Top Side
input of the A2S Generator
- The windows and top don't align. This is because they have different depths. The Window geometry's pivot point
has been positioned to align these segments but the Style is not currently using it, instead aligning to the
bounds of the geoometry. To use the pivot point select the "Windows" node, go to Properties>Alignment>Z
and set it to Pivot.
- To close up the gap between the top segment and the windows, select the "Curtain_wall_top"
node, go to Properties>Transform>Fixed>Y and set the value to -21.6cm
To add the bottom segment:
- Create a new Segment node, pick "Curtain_wall_bottom" from the scene, and connect it
to the Bottom input slot.
- To line up the segment with the floor level we need to move it down. Since we want the adjacent geometry to move
as well use padding instead of transform. Go to Properties>Padding>Bottom and set it to
- There are two bottom segments in the scene, one with lights and one without. To create a pattern whereby we get
a light every 6th segment we can use a Sequence node.
- Drag a new Sequence node () into the Construction View and
connect the Bottom node we just created to it.
- Duplicate the segment node by right clicking and selecting Copy. Right click anywhere and
select paste. In the properties panel, change the new Segments geometry to "Curtain Wall Bottom
2" by picking from the scene. Wire the new segment to the second slot in the Sequence node.
Now wire the node into the Bottom input Slot of the A2S generator. This will create an alternating pattern
between these to items.
- To repeat the second segment 5 times, click on the Sequence node, go to properties and change the second
segments Count to 5.
To create evenly spaced transoms:
- Create a new Segment and pick "Curtain wall transom" from the scene. Wire this to the
Y-Evenly slot of the generator.
- Regularly space rows will now appear, but they're too close together. To change this click on the generator and
go to Properties>Rules>Y Evenly and set the distance to 300cm to match
the spacing of the floors.
- Turn of Justify to stop the first and last spaces from being equal. In this case it prevents
the transoms from lining up with the floor correctly. Set Adjust to End to
100% to stop a transom from appearing close to the top of the curtain wall and turn off
Extend to Side to stop them from continuing right to the edge when we add the sides later.
To add the sides:
- Create a new Segment and pick "Curtain_wall_sides" from the scene. Connect this to
the Left Side and Right Side inputs
- Go to General>Alignment>Z and set it to Pivot to correctly align the
The side are now working but because the top and bottom segments are different heights, they are not aligning
properly. To fix this we'll use different geometry for the top and bottom corners
- Add new Segment and pick "curtain_wall_bottom_sides" from scene, set the Bottom
Padding to -130cm and ensure the Z Alignment is set to Pivot.
- Wire this to the Bottom Right and Bottom Left input slots.
- Create another new segment and select "Curtain_wall_top_sides" from the scene and
wire this to the LT and RT input slots. Adjust the Y Fixed
Transform settings to -21.6cm to close up the gap caused by moving the top section
down in the step earlier.
This completes the curtain wall style, to see the full effect turn back on Full Length from the
Base Objects rollout. To try the wall in another context there is some other geometry in the scene. To use it,
try the following
- Go to Display>Viewport and set the mode back to Points_Cloud, the other
building is much larger so it's probably not wise to display the full mesh.
- Go to the layers palette and unhide the "Building 2" layer. This reveals a simple
building to try the style on, there is another RC object creating a Curtain wall for the first 3 floors, we'll
complete the model by adding our new wall to the upper floors.
- Ensure your curtain wall is selected and go to the Modify panel, from the Base Objects rollout
select the "Width" spline.
- Click on the spline picker and select the "Cresent_baseline" spline. Your Curtain
wall should update to cover the new object. Change the Viewport to "Camera_Building_2"
and render to see the results.
Having completed this tutorial you should have a good understanding of the main input slots of the A2S generator and
how they relate to the finished array. You should also be able to overlap segments using fixed transformations, move
segments using padding, and create sequences. For more information about every aspect of RailClone's features please
see our reference section or visit the tutorials page for more advanced videos.
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