Modifying existing Smart Symbols (before v2003)...
pre-version 2003 but general principles still apply for creating foils...
Before starting on creating symbols - a note about modifying existing smart symbols...
There is a Smart Symbols module -
but for some reason one tool does not appear in it...
Modify Smart Symbol
For this you need to go to Tools on the main menu.
It is useful if you want to change pens or pen colours or fills of existing smart symbol 'foils'.
Note that the animation window cannot be open when you start this tool or an error message will appear.
'Foils' are the component parts of a smart symbol - each one is a drawing or model in itself and when defining the smart symbol you can choose whether each foil is visible in 2D and 3D or just 2D or just 3D and also at what scales they are displayed. The collection of foils is assembled into the complete smart symbol.
Click on Modify Smart Symbol, and then click on the smart symbol you wish to modify.
It will flash once but no other indicator appears.
However the tool is active and you can now use Modify Format Properties - and probabaly other tools... this is the only one I have tried - to change elements of the smart symbol.
ESC out of the tool and then ESC again will produce an alert box asking 'Save modified smart symbol in catalogue? Yes/No'.
Click Yes to update the smart symbol.
The many other tools in this module look interesting but I have yet to fully explore them.
Some relate to the attributes you can also attach to smart symbols.
Creating New Smart Symbols...
My intention here is to explain how I attached a 2D representation to an imported 3D object so that it looked 'normal' in plan - i.e. without all the extra lines a 'dumb' 3D object produces in plan - particularly a curved object. At the same time I wanted to attach surface colours to the 3D object to improve its appearance in the animation window and have the whole available as a smart symbol.
As a starting point I used one of Luca Dalla Benetta's excellent free models from his site at geometrica.it. (See page on importing symbols on some ways to import these)
Setup in Plan View...
Start defining foils...
'Tools->Smart Symbol->Define Smart Symbol' Version 2003 just called ->Smart Symbol
There is an awful lot more you can do with smart symbols - linking them together, unlinking, modifying, replacing - and of course multiple inserts of a smart symbol are just 'instances' of the one symbol and so use up little memory or space.
[to be continued]