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Drawing Exercises

These exercises use simple drawing commands for you to be able to follow easily. You are also provided with the command lines used to produce the drawings so you can follow them step by step. Notes are added in boldface to help you further understand.

Exercise 1: Smiley

Set the limits and zoom all if necessary.

Command: c
CIRCLE Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/Ttr (tan tan radius)]: 200,150
Specify radius of circle or [Diameter]: 120
Command: just press enter; the previous command will be re-activated
CIRCLE Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/Ttr (tan tan radius)]: 160,190
Specify radius of circle or [Diameter] <120.0000>: 15
Command: just press enter again
CIRCLE Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/Ttr (tan tan radius)]: @80,0 (ACAD stores the previous point entered, in this case the center of the first eye. This allows us to specify relative coordinates rather than absolute.)
Specify radius of circle or [Diameter] <15.0000>:
Command: a
ARC Specify start point of arc or [Center]: c
Specify center point of arc: 200,150
Specify start point of arc: 160,100
Specify end point of arc or [Angle/chord Length]: 240,100



Exercise 2: Funky Yin Yang

Think it’s cool? That is just a couple of polylines. Take a deep breath and let’s go through it:

Command: pl
PLINE
Specify start point: 200,275
Current line-width is 0.0000
Specify next point or [Arc/Halfwidth/Length/Undo/Width]: w
Specify starting width <0.0000>:
Specify ending width <0.0000>: 50
Specify next point or [Arc/Halfwidth/Length/Undo/Width]: a
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: @0,-250
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: w
Specify starting width <50.0000>:
Specify ending width <50.0000>: 25
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: @0,125
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: w
Specify starting width <25.0000>:
Specify ending width <25.0000>: 0
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: @0,125
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: w
Specify starting width <0.0000>:
Specify ending width <0.0000>: 50
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: @0,-250
Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/Undo/Width]: press enter to terminate the polyline command. Finally!
Command:
Command: donut here goes another command for you! The shortcut for drawing a donut is ‘do’.
Specify inside diameter of donut <0.5000>: 0
Specify outside diameter of donut <1.0000>: 15
Specify center of donut or : 200,87.5
Specify center of donut or :
Command: just press enter and you should know what happens by now!
DONUT
Specify inside diameter of donut <0.0000>: 25
Specify outside diameter of donut <15.0000>: 30
Specify center of donut or : 200,212.5
Specify center of donut or :

This exercise will not work out for you if you have set the included angle to be anything else than 180 degrees before you start. If you think that this is the case, specify the angle as soon as you turn the polyline into arc mode and enter ‘180’. Draw a couple more donuts here and there just to practice. Once you have enough to feed Homer Simpson for a couple of days, go to the next exercise.



Exercise 3: Superstar

Command: pol
POLYGON Enter number of sides <4>: 6
Specify center of polygon or [Edge]: 200,150
Enter an option [Inscribed in circle/Circumscribed about circle] <I>: Specify radius of circle: 125
Command: POLYGON Enter number of sides <6>: 3 this will draw an equilateral triangle
Specify center of polygon or [Edge]: 200,150
Enter an option [Inscribed in circle/Circumscribed about circle] <I>: Specify radius of circle: 75,150 here, rather than the radius we have specified the absolute coordinates of one corner of the polygon
Command:
POLYGON Enter number of sides <3>:
Specify center of polygon or [Edge]: 200,150
Enter an option [Inscribed in circle/Circumscribed about circle] <I>: Specify radius of circle: 325,150 same polygon as before, but pointing in the opposite direction

Easy right?? The only problem is that we can’t afford to make a mistake if we are not able to erase or undo it. Here are a couple of options for you:

Erase

Command for erase: erase or e

You can also activate the erase command from the ‘modify’ toolbar / panel, and from the modify menu. As you invoke the erase command, the cursor will turn into what is known as a pick box. In order to erase anything go over it with the pick box, select it and press enter. You can select more than one item. Another way to erase items is to first select the items you want to erase and then enter the command erase or e, or even just press delete. If you select the items first, you can also right click anywhere in the drawing area and select erase from the shortcut menu that appears. Pick your favourite way to erase, make sure it’s a speedy one and stick with it. This is quicker than playing around with the various ways every time you need to erase something.

Undo

Command for undo: undo or u

To undo the last action, the command to use is ‘u’ or use the shortcut menu that appears when pressing the right mouse button, or the keyboard shortcut ctrl+z. In the menu bar, undo is found under the ‘edit’ menu. You can also invoke this command while another command is active. For example, if you invoke this command while drawing a series of lines it will undo the last point you have entered. Typing the whole ‘undo’ command works in a different way. Try it out and type ‘undo’ in the command line; you will be prompted to enter the number of operations you want to undo, the default being one. If you press enter right away, only the last action will be undone, but if you type 3 and press enter, you will undo the last three operations.

If you undo an operation by mistake you can redo it by typing ‘redo’. A command that might prove useful is the ‘oops’ command. Seriously, oops! This command is used to undo your last erase. So if while you are drawing you erase something, continue drawing and then realise you shouldn’t have erased it, oops will do the trick. Whenever possible do not rely on this command to bring back items you have erased or you might be yelling another, quite different kind of oooooops!



Selecting objects

There are various ways to select objects. For now it shall suffice to know the three most basic ways. Firstly, you can select objects by moving your cursor over them and clicking them one by one! So if you have a couple of objects that may be alright, but if you just have like twenty items to choose, this method will get quite time consuming. The other two methods are the window, and the crossing.

Draw some items, five would be enough. To select those items using the window option, draw a rectangle around them by clicking a corner on their left hand side, and then clicking the diagonally opposite right hand corner. Note that with this method all objects you wish to choose must be completely enclosed in the window that you define. If one or more of the objects is not completely enclosed, then it will not be selected. To select the items using the crossing option, you do exactly the same thing but start by specifying the window from the right to the left hand side instead of left to right. All objects crossing the window will now be selected, thus the name of this method. ACAD 2009 further emphasises the selecting option you are using by shading the window blue or green. It does not matter if you start by selecting the lower corner or the upper corner first.

If you wish to completely deselect your current selection press esc. If you wish to deselect one item out of a number of items that are selected, press shift and click on that item.

With the window selection, only the two circles forming the eye and the nose rectangle will be selected. The other eye and the mouth are not completely enclosed in the window shown.

With the crossing selection, all the objects in the drawing will be selected, even the eye and mouth which are not completely enclosed in the selection window.

Now that you had enough fun with that, try playing around with the ‘spline’ or ‘spl’ and the ‘revcloud’ command just to add some more to your arsenal. Splines are smooth curves that go through or pass near specified points while revclouds are used to mark out specific areas in your drawing. We will be learning more commands and how to use them as we go along, in the meantime let’s get to one of the most powerful tools used by most graphics and CAD programs; Layers.


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