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Author Topic: Initial CAD-style feature  (Read 13581 times)

Steve

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Initial CAD-style feature
« on: March 26, 2014, 01:38:42 am »

Build 1075 introduces the initial step towards adding a few CAD-style feature to Anim8or. To enable it click on the new button in the top toolbar that looks like a little ruler, or type Ctrl-D. Then select a single item. Anim8or will show the minimum and maximum coordinates,horizontally and vertically, relative to that view.

Note: this only displays in non-perspective views, and is limited to the Object editor for now.

The next part I have planned is to add alignment tools.  You'll be able to click on the horizontal and vertical edges of the window to set "sticky" plains. When you move an item so that it's bottom, axis, or top is close to a plain it will align exactly, similar to how Align To Grid works.  Moving spline points, points in the point editor, etc. will do something similar.

There are a lot of other things that Anim8or could potentially do.  Feel free to post you feedback :)
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Raxx

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 04:54:59 am »

This is quite interesting, Steve. The dimensions display works well :)

I've got some kind of related feedback. Forever now, Grid Snap hasn't been Grid Snap. Rather, it's just snapping to intervals offset from its original position. I think it'd be more useful if Grid Snap actually snapped elements to the grid positions instead.

What do you think about having orthographic view-specific guides? Similar to photoshop, gimp, inkscape, etc, where you can click and drag guides from the edges of the workspace, and then have a snap-to-guide option as well. Perhaps hold shift while dragging to snap the guides to 1-unit intervals. Combine this with rulers on the left and top to show the units, and it'll provide a ton of precision to the tool set.
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thecolclough

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 11:37:43 am »

Forever now, Grid Snap hasn't been Grid Snap. Rather, it's just snapping to intervals offset from its original position. I think it'd be more useful if Grid Snap actually snapped elements to the grid positions instead.

could i amend the suggestion to 'as well as', rather than 'instead'?  i sometimes use the 'Grid Snap' control to make a very specific length of movement (usually for fine-tuning details of a model), so it does have its uses!
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argee

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2014, 09:30:21 pm »

Really liking this new CAD feature!

Are you thinking of adding the ability to edit the numbers that appear?  In-place would be nice, but even edit boxes at the bottom of the screen (like a lot of CAD programs) would be OK with some kind of indication of which number is in edit mode.

Thanks!
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Raxx

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 11:07:16 pm »

thecolclough, if I may make a counter argument...

What you're describing is not grid snap, but rather just a move operation with defined values. For that, there are already tools to move things specific lengths.

You have:
  • Double-click an element and type in a value
  • If moving multiple points or edges, go to Edit->Move Points

Whereas there's no option for true snap-to-grid. If multiple elements are selected, it should snap each element to the closest grid location while being moved.
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thecolclough

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2014, 01:36:30 pm »

thecolclough, if I may make a counter argument...

i get that the current 'grid snap' isn't a real grid snap, and i never said i thought a real grid snap would be a bad idea (i guess what i said could have been misconstrued that way, but it wasn't intended) - on the contrary, i'm sure it'd be a very useful function.  :)

re: the alternative tools you mentioned:
  • if i'm looking to edit a mesh, then 'move points' does exactly what i'm talking about.  no problems there.
  • but there isn't an equivalent tool to move entire elements in bulk.  i've sometimes found myself having to move several elements by the same amount, with the final resting places being off-grid, and it'd be a right nuisance having to do all the maths and then type in separate position values for each of the elements.  this could be done with a 'move elements' tool that behaves the same as 'move points' (except for whole elements, obviously), but said tool doesn't yet exist that i'm aware of, hence my fondness for the current pseudo-grid.  but i agree that a proper grid-snap and a 'move elements' function would make for a better tool set than the current pseudo-grid.
i think i might have accidentally ended up making a feature request there, mightn't i...  :o
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Steve

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 12:15:43 am »

OK we can have it both ways.  As a first try, the next update will use Absolute values by default, and Relative values when the Shift key is held down at the start of the edit operation.  I've implemented this for Point-Edit Move for meshes and splines as a start and will look as others.
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thecolclough

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 08:44:04 am »

sounds like a good solution to me, steve  :D
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jwalt

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 09:21:03 am »

May be side tracking the thread, since I have not played with the "ruler," but wondering if there is a way to "lock down" the background grid to keep it from resizing. Locking the grid down would give me a consistent size "reference" and help me keep things to scale. Sorry if this has been asked/answered or in the manual.
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Raxx

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2014, 09:23:19 am »

Options->Grid

Set to Fixed.
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jwalt

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2014, 10:29:59 am »

Thanks, Raxx. That was pretty obvious. Sorry I missed it.
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cooldude234

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2014, 12:33:36 am »

I know this just the ground work for the CAD features to come but is it just me or does it feel a little clunky and in your face (it takes a lot of work space and kinda is distracting). I don't really know but I think it might be other anim8or elements interfering with the ruler. Like the mesh's bounding box. But when ever I use it with lots of things on the screen it looks really busy.
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Steve

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2014, 05:57:37 pm »

cooldude234 do you have any suggestions on how to make it less cluttered? (Hope I didn't make it worse by adding a numeric scale on the grid :) )
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cooldude234

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 02:56:28 am »

cooldude234 do you have any suggestions on how to make it less cluttered? (Hope I didn't make it worse by adding a numeric scale on the grid :) )

If I come up with any I will be sure to let you know of them! I love constructive criticism, I just can't always provide some :P
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Unobtainium

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Re: Initial CAD-style feature
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2014, 05:16:00 pm »

Perhaps a "CAD mode" button is suitable if more CAD tools are implemented, that way the CAD tool buttons can be hidden when "CAD mode" is inactive?
Alternatively just throw the CAD tool buttons in a menu (tab?) like what's done for the Object/Edit and Object/Point edit buttons.

Here are a couple of CAD style tools that comes to mind:
- Measure volume & surface area (of entire model and of selected faces).
- Duplicate or repeat a model with array / matrix like functions (duplicate along splines & edges, duplicate over an X*Y area, duplicate over a face/surface).
- Proper working & fast boolean operators (maybe a tough nut?).
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 05:15:43 pm by Unobtainium »
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