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Somnium Space Builder, part 2: Vector snapping, rotations and how to create a glass box

The Somnium Space Builder is an easy to use tool to for creating structures and uploading those to your parcels in Somnium Space. It has a simple, clean interface and although it is not a full blown 3D modeling tool, you can make beautiful and elaborate objects.

This article is part #2 of a series of Somnium Space Builder tutorials. Stay tuned for more.

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Vector snapping

Being able to align objects is a crucial feature for creating great looking structures. For instance, if you want to create a facade with windows and doors you want things to look as smooth as possible.

So not like this:

But like this:

To align/snap objects, select the object you want to align and press V on your keyboard and move your mouse to the corner you want to align. A white square appears.

Still holding down the V-key, click and hold down the left mouse button and drag the object to the object you want to snap to. If you drag it to a vector edge of another object it will snap to it. Release the mouse button and V-key and voila: Perfectly aligned objects.

It takes a little practice, but just try it out with various objects. You will quickly master it.

Rotations

Just like vector snapping, being able to rotate objects accurately can make the difference between a perfect build and one that is still great, but has some imperfections. Not that that’s a problem, we’ve seen awesome constructions that may not have had perfect alignments but were both original and cool.

Nevertheless, especially for more complex structures you want to get your rotations and alignments right from the very start otherwise you’ll keep adjusting.

First of all, to rotate select the object and select rotation mode at the bottom left of the UI. Now, move the mouse pointer over the red, blue or green circle, click and hold down the left mouse key and move the mouse pointer. The object will now rotate.

While this allows you to rotate, it is difficult to rotate – let’s say – exactly 90 degrees. There is no rotation property you can set or check so you will need to trust your eyes.

A better way, is to rotate while holding down the CTRL-key on your keyboard. This will increment the rotation in steps of 15 degrees. Six of those steps and you rotated exactly 90 degrees.

After rotating 90 degrees, use vector snapping to snap your object to another one and you’re all set!

How to create a glass box

Let’s practice vector snapping and rotation and create a glass box.

In the Inventory Category control select Glass. Click the square object.

Now change the Opacity of the glass by using the Opacity slider on the bottom right of the UI. You can also change the color if you want.

Select resize mode.

Resize the glass object. Make sure you resize it by using the little white box, there where the red, green and blue handles meet. This will ensure the glass object is stretched equally on the red and green axes.

After resizing duplicate the object.

Now select Rotate mode for one of the objects.

Make sure you hold down the CTRL-key and rotate the object along the green axis.

After six increments you have rotated the object 90 degrees.

Use vector snapping by pressing down the V-key.

Drag the object and snap its edge to the edge on the other glass object.

Zoom in a bit to verify the connection. Beautiful!

Repeat the process of duplication and vector snapping.

Almost there.

And voila! A beautiful glass box.

You may wonder, what do I need a glass box for? Well you tell me. Unleash your creativity and build something beautiful, original, creative, outrageous!

The thing is that with these few tricks, vector snapping and rotation you can build almost anything. Obviously, the glass box was just a little example. The same features can be used for any object.

Once you have build something, do not forget to share your creation with the Somnium Space community on Discord in the #show-your-build channel. It is also an excellent place to connect with other members and ask questions. They’re there to help you!

1 reply »

  1. Thank you for these articles, @marcdemar. They were very helpful in getting me started with the builder.

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