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Tutorial:
EZ Stairs in Bryce


 

EZ Stairs   

Yea, I know there's a spiral stair in the presets. But what does that teach yea? And what if you want to add a handrail or straighten it out. There's a distinct lack of stairs in 3d artwork and they are found in almost every building, often the focal point of the house. Let's try to whip up a few!

Begin by starting a new scene, sized to your liking. Create a "brick-oid", you know, the small horizontal rectangle. Use the default size (5.12x5.12x20.48) and leave it un-rotated and at the world center. This will be our 'step'.

Next, create a cylinder. Use the wide vertical one so you don't have to rotate it. Re-size to approx. 1.02 x 1.02 x 18.60 (not critical).This will become our "balluster". Center this balluster on the brickoid and then move it to the right, just back from the edge of the step. Duplicate the cylinder and move the duplicate left with about the same distance from the edge. You should have something like this..............

stairtutor1.JPG (17025 bytes)

Next, the trickiest part, the handrail sections. Create a cylinder using the small horizontal  cylinder. Size it so that it's a little wider than the balluster and about as long as the short dimension of the step.  Rotate it to align with the short dimension of the step. Move or use the align buttons to get it to the top of the right balluster.

Once positioned, duplicate this handrail and move the copy to the top of the left balluster. (note, these handrails determine the shape of the handrail system so you could also use ovals or squares for a different look. We will stick with the cylinders for now though)

Select the right handrail and picking the "A" for attribute box, enter the value shown below in the Z rotate box. Dis-regard the other values shown in the picture below, yours may or may not be the same.

stairtutor2.JPG (28753 bytes)

Next select the left handrail and do the same. Please note, depending on which way you rotated your handrails when created you may have to rotate them 180 degrees to get these figures to match mine. Otherwise subtract my figures from 180 for the inverse figure.

stairtutor3.JPG (26847 bytes)

Also note that these figures are for a stair that turns to the right as it goes up. Just as in real life stair construction the rate of rise on the outer radius handrail must be different than the ROR on the inner radius. If you would like your stair to go right you can flip my figures or just mirror a left handed stair.

If you would like a carpet runner, select the step, duplicate, and resize the runner in from the ballusters a bit and larger on top and in front of the step.

One other thing to do, select the right balluster and handrail and move them both towards the front of the stair just a little. This keeps the next set of steps from cutting the balluster off.

Now apply your materials to your objects. You must apply now or you will have alot of picking to do later. When thats done be sure to GROUP all the objects together. This will not work if you don't group. Once grouped it's a good idea to save your starting step to the presets so you don't have to go through all this again.

stairtutor4.JPG (9299 bytes)

Make sure your group is selected and enter the above values in the multi-replicate box. In our example we are making a stair with 18 treads and are turning 90 degrees to the right. (18 x 5 =90) You may adjust the quantity and the rotation degrees for diffent angles of turn. ie a 45 degree turn with 9 treads would be quan. 9 rotation 5 etc..........

We also must offset a couple of units so that there are no cracks between the treads as we rotate. Hit the check mark and BOINK!!!!!! there's your stair.

If you would like a straight stair, do the same process but use 0 as a rotation value. You will have to adjust the angles of the handrail pieces to be equal and lined up so that the sections don't show.

Here's a couple of examples.........

stairtutor5.JPG (11782 bytes) stairtutor6.JPG (16674 bytes)

As always, I hope this inspires you to experiment. The multi-replicate function is a very powerful tool once you get the gist of it.

 

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