In it’s simplest terms: a component arrayed across a face.
Yes, I could do this manually, BUT a 3D texture would have the following advantages over duplicating a component lots of times:
- no clutter of snap-to points: the underlying geometry’s bounding edges, end points and mid-points would be snapped to or moved with the normal tools.
- scaling/stretching/re-shaping the underlying geometry would not deform the 3D texture and automatically trim the 3D texture to the face’s shape.
- automatic array: new instance of the 3D texture buts against the previous one and a grid is formed of the component. If the component’s scale, dimension or position changes, then the array would automatically grow/shrink to accommodate (like textures do)
- image/colour textures could be applied to elements within the 3D texture component that differ from the underlying geometry.
- tic-box for “solid” would take solid geometry components and form faces where they are ‘cut’ at the edges of the underlying face.
- anything drawn above the blue plane would be additive geometry to the face. any shape drawn on the blue plane would be subtracted from the face it’s applied to. any shape drawn below the blue plane would be deducted from the underlying face the texture was applied to.
- this could be “Exploded” into one group that could be edited as any other geometry. (and would be exploded in any export for other packages.)
- the “width” & “depth” could be numerically set in a selection/edit dialogue, along with off-set x&y, rotation and height (scales would be able to toggle between % and actual dimensions)
- the component could be used/edited like any other component - it would just have a tag to say that it could be used as a 3D texture.
I can think of millions of practical applications for this: from grill cut-outs to brick walls to grass to pipes to bubble wrap to ceiling panels to toothed cogs to screw holes & rivits to aztec carvings to carpentry beading…
(Not sure if DC’s would be a good thing to use in this context, but I suppose they could be used to add a random element to the texture or do other funky things like animate)