Taper, Top, Shear and Dimple

You have already come a long way in learning how to edit and change basic prim shapes. Now things are about to get really interesting. Different shapes can react much differently to the same control. Two of those controls are Taper and Top Shear.


When you taper something, you usually make it smaller at one end. When you shear something, it usually looks a little lopsided – like it’s leaning over a bit. However, how Taper and Top Shear look with different basic shapes can be very different! For this mission, your job is to really experiment with all the different basic shapes to see what happens. Note: As you follow along, you will notice that different shapes show Taper and Top Shear in different places in the Object tab of the Edit window.


Step 1: Taper

When a prim is tapered, the top end usually becomes smaller. A prim can be tapered from 0.00 to 1.00 percent on both the X (red) and Y (green) axes. If you can choose negative taper values, such as -0.01 to -1.00, [for a prim, the bottom end will be tapered.

Rez a cube and a cylinder. For both, use the Taper control up/down arrows to taper both the X and Y axes to 1.00. Did you get a pyramid and a cone? Experiment to see what happens if you use smaller taper values.

[image – intro2build.08.a]

Step 2: Tapering other shapes

While a sphere cannot be tapered, the other shapes can. The results can be really surprising!

Rez all the other shapes (except for the sphere and half sphere). Really experiment with the amounts of X and Y taper. What is the most surprising shape you have discovered so far?

Step 3: Dimple

Spheres and half spheres cannot be tapered. Instead, they can be dimpled Just like the dimples on someone’s chin, a dimple on a sphere makes a small dent, just at the end.

[image – intro2build.08.b]

Rez a sphere. Change the numbers in the Dimple Begin and End control to see what happens. What might you make if you also hollowed that sphere?

Step 4: Top Shear

For some prims, such as cubes and cylinders, the Top Shear control will make them look like they are leaning to one side. For other prims, such as toruses, or rings, Top Shear will distort them in unexpected ways! You can use Top Shear on the X (red) or Y (green) axis – or both!

[image intro2build.08.c]

Rez each basic prim shape and experiment with the Top Shear control. Change the settings for both the X an Y axes and see what happens.

Are you beginning to see how much you can change those basic prims? It can really be fascinating to play with shapes. At this point, you are probably surrounded by your strangely-shaped objects. Take a moment to clean up. Name and save shapes you really like and delete the rest.

Now travel around the OpenSimulator Hypergrid, and R-click (Cmd-click) on objects you see and choose Edit. The prims will be outlined and you can see what kinds of shapes are being used in some of your favorite builds!

If you are using the PRIMLAND Tutorial game, stop here and continue on the path!