Automatic Writing by Tony Carretti (
Here's a simple tutorial for Newtek's Inspire 3D program that will show you how to model a pencil and then animate it to create an effect of "automatic" writing.
Click on image for full view (image6)
Click on image for full view (image7)
Click on image for full view (image8)
Click on image for full view (image9)

(image6 and image7) Now zoom in on the bottom portion of the pencil so you can do some precise modifications. Switch to the Points selection mode and choose the very bottom points in the Face view. Using the Stretch tool again, bring the pencil down to a "point" by dragging the selection in the Top view.(image8 and image9) Now that you've created the point, deselect everything and Fit the entire selection to get a better view.

Not bad! Let's start assigning some surface options so that we can see the differences in our model. Select the top section of Polygons. Then under the Objects tab go to surfaces and type in "Body". Select a yellowish color like you would see on a common pencil. Do not check Smooth so that it retains its

hexagonal appearance and accept these values.(image10) Next select the bottom polygons, go to the

Surface button and type in "Point" Choose black and accept the values.(image11) Now when you look in your Perspective view you should see a nice rendition of a pencil.

Click on image for full view (image10)
Click on image for full view (image11)
Click on image for full view (image12)

If you really want to create some more realism, you can select individual points and use the Move tool to simulate the jagged line you sometimes see near the point of a pencil after it's sharpened.

(image12) It's time to save your pencil object now, but first do one more thing so that animating it will be a little easier.

Under the modify tab click the Center button. The pencil will now be centered at the all axis lines. Click on the Move tool and in the face view, move the pencil up so that the point sits on the intersection of the dark lines of the X and Y axis'. This way the pivot point of the pencil will be at the "Point" rather than in the middle of the pencil body. You can now click on File, Save Object As, and save as pencil.lwo

Now clear the modeler so that we can create a simple surface that will be the "paper" surface that the pencil will be moving on. Using the Box tool create a rectangle in the Top view. Click on make without giving it any depth. You now have a plane object that will serve nicely as your "paper".

Click on Surface and name it "Paper" and choose an off white color. Make sure that you center the object and then save the object as paper.lwo.