Tool in Depth - Transform Cage

Detailed explanation about node manipulation techniques

The following page explains all you need to know about the NX Realize Shape Transform Cage tool.



The transform tool within the NX Realize Shape toolbox looks like the picture to the right, with 4 different sections with various options. The most important, however, would be section 1 and 2.

In section 1 you have the objects you want to transform, where you either can select multiple/single nodes (points), edges or faces which you want to manipulate.

In section 2 you’ll find the different methods in order to move your selection, either it’s across a chosen plane, edge, vector, or simply perpendicular to the direction you are looking at the cage geometry.

In section 3 we have the Falloff option, where you can select objects which can move simultaneously with a different rate than the main object you are moving.

The fourth and final section has a checkbox with Microposition, which simply allows you to move your selection with a slower rate than normal.

The transform tool consists of 4 section with options that allows you to manipulate your cage geometry in different ways.

The transform tool consists of 4 section with options that allows you to manipulate your cage geometry in different ways.



There is no immediate surprises with this section, but notice how is tightly dependent this is with the filtering settings set in the selection bar. In the drop-down menu shown in the first picture to the right, you can see the different kinds of filtering you can select which allows for more effective cage geometry selection.

If you click the box below to the right, you can see an animation of how the Face Loop filter works. This makes you able to select all the faces across a loop, and it chooses the loop which your cursor is closest to.

Utilizing this filter settings is increasingly important along with the level of detail you need for your design, and may have a huge impact on your workflow effectiveness, reducing the number of clicks.


Selection Filter


The filtering settings in your selection bar allows you to efficiently select cage geometry.

Filtering Example Using Face Loop


This animation shows the filter Face Loop in action.




See the overview image above for reference. The different movement methods are also an important aspect to make sure you are moving your cage geometry in the direction you actually want it to move. As the details increases, it can be a bit hard to keep track of all your points, and it may be confusing just which direction you are actually moving the nodes, faces or edges.


2.1 Drag

The Drag options offer a “Click & Drag” method and provides the fastest way to quickly shape your design.

Click the different tabs to the right which shows the various movement settings, and how they work.



The blue WCS in the center of this animation controls the movement direction of the geometry. Your cursor snaps to the inferred vector direction when you click and drag. The WCS can be moved independendtly to gain access to additional directions.


This setting allows free movement of cage geometry normal to your immediate view direction.


Select a desired vector direction to move your geometry along.


Select a desired plane for your cage geometry to move on.


This setting makes the cage geometry move normal to it’s closest geometry. (Tip: Can be a good tool for scaling geometry!)


This setting snaps and moves nodes along and parallel with existing cage edges.

 2.2 Transform

The Transform options offer a more controlled way of manipulating your cage. This one is more suited if you want to have larger control when shaping your design, or if you want something scaled.

Click the tabs to the right to see the different settings.



Use the coordinate system to manipulate cage geometry. This coordinate system offers more accurate manipulation of cage geometry, where you also can input parameters to manipulate the cage.


Move tool only – Does what it says. Typically used if you want to change direction of the coordinate system without moving any geometry


This checkbox makes your coordinate system automatically move to the center of gravity for your entire selection. The movement occurs immediately after selecting cage geometry.


This checkbox adapts the vector directions of your coordinate system to follow your selected cage geometry.


The poles in the coordinate system can be dragged in order to scale geometry. The linear method simply scales your selection in the direction you choose.


The poles in the coordinate system can be dragged in order to scale geometry. The planar method scales the geometry in a planar direction.


The poles in the coordinate system can be dragged in order to scale geometry. The uniform method scales the geometry in every direction. This is a great method to utilize if you need to scale entire subdivision models.



This options gives the possibility to make related cage geometry follow a general movement in a linear or non-linear way. The Falloff Curve shows how strictly the chosen geometry should follow the general movement.

Click the tabs to the right to see examples of how it works.





With this option, you can select nodes, edges or faces to follow the origin node at different magnitudes. The slider bar below which shows the Falloff Curve indicates how strictly the selected geometry should follow the original movement.


Works similarly to the Selected mode, but this setting includes every node geometry belonging to a cage (subdivision body).



 4. Microposition

The microposition settings allows you to move the cage geometry at a more accurate rate. typically suited for polishing the geometry, when you need to carefully fine tune your design.




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