Viz Artist User Guide

Version 3.13 | Published March 28, 2019 ©


Creates a number of clones of a given container (target).

Note: This plug-in is located in: Built Ins -> Container plug-ins -> Tools

This page contains the following topics and procedures:

Cloner Properties


  • Clones Count: Specifies the maximum number of clones to be created.

  • Clones Rows: Defines, together with Clones Cols, how clones are being laid out. Layout depends on the Shape parameter which can be Matrix (grid), Ellipse and Sphere.

  • Clones Cols: See Clones Rows description above.

  • Shape: Sets the different shapes. Available options are Matrix, Ellipse and Sphere.

  • Rename Subtrees: Clones are labeled "group_x_y" per default. If this flag is set, clones are labeled "<name of target>_x_y". Only takes effect upon future changes in the subtree.

  • Rename Excess Containers: Suppose a matrix of 10x10 clones. If you now change the matrix to be made of 5x5 clones, you are left with 75 orphans, which are removed if this flag is set. Only takes effect upon future changes in the subtree.

  • Remove All (button): Removes all clones immediately.

  • Remove Only Excess (button): Removes excess clones immediately.

Matrix and Ellipse shape specific settings:

  • Plane: Specifies along which axes, newly generated clones are going to be laid out. Default is XY, alternatives are XZ and YZ.

  • Delta X, Y and Z: Specifies an relative offset in X,Y and Z axis between each clone. Actually defines how closely clones are being packed into the matrix or ellipse.

  • Delta represents:Step directly affects the translation matrix of the clones 1:1. For example a value of 200 for Delta X means that clone A (located at position 0) is followed by clone B translated 200 units in X. The container’s transformation matrix is being modified accordingly. Bounding Box does not affect the clones transformation matrix 1:1, but instead applies the transformation relative to the bottom-left edge of the target’s bounding box in matrix mode. Suppose a rectangle of 100x100 is used as target. Delta X of 100 in Step mode causes all clones to be positioned with an offset of 100 units in X. In Bounding Box mode a value of 100 produces an effective offset of only 50.

  • R1 and R2: Specifies values of radius 1 and radius 2, defining the ellipse. Used in ellipse mode.

  • Min and Max Angle: Specifies an open ellipse from for example 45° to 175° instead of 0° to 360°. Used in ellipse mode.

  • Offset Angle: Rotates the individual clones along the axis. This is not affected by setting of Plane. If the ellipse is laid out in XY this parameter affects the Z-axis. Used in ellipse mode.

Sphere shape specific settings:

  • Radius: Specifies the radius of the sphere composed by the given number clones.

  • Min and Max Azimuth: Same as Min and Max angle for the ellipse.

  • Min and Max Pitch: Specifies the position of the poles of the sphere. The poles can only be shifted towards the center of the sphere. This actually results in a sphere with its poles being cropped.

To Clone a Container

  1. Add a new group to the scene tree, and add the Cloner plug-in to it.

  2. Add the object (target) to be cloned as the first child of this group.

    • By modifying parameters Clones Count, Rows and Cols a corresponding number of clones are created.

    • Operating in shape mode Matrix you can alter Delta X, Y and Z parameters to create a layout for the newly generated clones.