General Category > Ongoing Anim8or Development

Fast Selection

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Steve:
Fast Selection is enabled by default in the Object editor as of build 1086. This allows you to click on an unselected shape and immediately edit it, without changing to Select mode and back or using Control-Shift. It works for the Select, Move, Rotate, Scale and Non-Uniform Scale tools in the base Object editor. It is enabled by default but you can change back to the old behavior in the GUI dialog.

I've had portions of this ready for a while but couldn't decide on the details. I'm reluctant to change the behavior of something so fundamental to work flow but, as many of you have suggested, there are better ways to handle selection. I'm interested in your feedback on what you like and don't like about how I've implemented it and whether you want this enabled by default. So don't be shy about replying!

Raxx:
I like it, though I can see how there might be issues when dealing with shapes within/around other shapes (accidentally clicking and dragging on unintended shapes). I think it'd be nice if it got switched to using helper widgets for move/scale/rotate, with them being toggle-able buttons. This way you only need the select tool and the three transformation buttons (say, right below the xyz buttons).

A few problems I uncovered:

* You can no longer deselect shapes by clicking in the empty workspace.
* While in point edit mode, if you have the move tool active and click/drag over a shape, it selects the entire shape.

Steve:
Thanks I missed the deselect problem.

* Uniformity in the interface is important. The more one tool works like another the easier Anim8or is to learn and use. What about using the original Select tool semantics for Move, Rotate, etc.? I'd have to remove the ability to move in the Z direction (i.e. into/out of the screen) with the right mouse button because that button would add shapes to the selection.

One advantage of the original design was that you didn't risk accidentally deselecting anything when moving or rotating something.

* Widgets are both a lot of code and a big change in the workflow. I'm thinking about doing something in this area but want to take things one step at a time.


--- Quote ---though I can see how there might be issues when dealing with shapes within/around other shapes (accidentally clicking and dragging on unintended shapes).
--- End quote ---
But that's how the select tool works now. If I change everything to use Widgets then that's how thew would behave, or do yo have something else in mind?

Raxx:

--- Quote ---Uniformity in the interface is important. The more one tool works like another the easier Anim8or is to learn and use. What about using the original Select tool semantics for Move, Rotate, etc.? I'd have to remove the ability to move in the Z direction (i.e. into/out of the screen) with the right mouse button because that button would add shapes to the selection.
--- End quote ---

I was thinking about that. The fast selection disrupts that uniformity. The original select tool semantics applied to fast selection would feel a bit odd to me, personally. I can't imagine right-click and dragging to both add a new object to the selection and move it with the selection at the same time. And middle-click dragging to remove and move? Seems like it'd feel weird.

Fast selection (I'm going to call it tweaking) is nice, but I'm not convinced it's the best answer as the main force behind editing shapes. It eliminates the back-and-forth switching between tools, but seems to sacrifice too much of the flow for general editing. Also, it promotes more carelessness. I don't know about you, but I think transforming whole shapes in the object editor, or whole objects/figures/sequences in the scene editor, should be done with deliberate care first. Then adjustments can follow.

As you know Steve, I'm all for a tweak feature, but I think it should be treated as a separate tool for making adjustments. What if the original select/edit system was in place, and there was a nice big tweak/fast selection mode toggle button (like in the image below -- or in the top toolbar somewhere) that enables tweaking (can be used for all elements across all the editors)? This tool would be used extensively in point edit mode (I'm drooling just thinking about it) and when editing figures/sequences, and likely when fine-tuning animations in the scene editor, but the original select-then-transform method is a solid foundation that (in my opinion) should be kept for the sake of precision editing.

Attachment 1


--- Quote ---
--- Quote ---though I can see how there might be issues when dealing with shapes within/around other shapes (accidentally clicking and dragging on unintended shapes).
--- End quote ---
But that's how the select tool works now. If I change everything to use Widgets then that's how thew would behave, or do yo have something else in mind?
--- End quote ---

Well, from my experience, you select the element first, then the widget appears on the element, then you click-drag on whatever part of the widget to transform it along the axis. Click-dragging outside of the widget leads to transformation on all axis, etc etc. Some editors allow you to just click on another element to select it and activate the widget on that element (like blender), other editors require you to change between a select tool and the individual transform tools (XSI). Multiple selections would have a single widget at the center point between those elements. There are benefits:

* It's universal across nearly all 3D editors. Users coming from other programs will know exactly how to use it, and new users, well, they wouldn't know the difference :P but if they need to use another 3D editor, it'll be nothing new to them
* The widget that's being displayed is a solid reminder of what transformation mode you're in.
* Right and Middle mouse buttons could potentially be freed up, assuming selection methods change (technically, only one button needs to be used to both add or subtract from the selection. If you click on an already selected element, then it deselects it. Otherwise selects it. Might be a bit drastic of a workflow change though)
* It helps ground the user. There's a lot of different types of elements that have to be transformed. But there's one singular widget used for all of them. A lot of times, it's easier to understand the effect of your actions by looking at where the widget is moving or rotating, rather than the element itself.
I recognize that widgets would be a lot of work, and I'm betting a lot of users would rather have something else first. I mentioned widgets mostly as an alternative to having fast selection as the primary method of editing. If fast selection/tweaking were just supplementary to the original system, I think the need for widgets would become more supplementary as well.

Anyway, that's all my 2 cents on the subject. Many thanks for all the hard work, Steve 8)

Steve:
How do you move multiple objects the same amount? Can you do this with widgets? Currently Anim8or moves all selected objects in unison - is this capability important enough to preserve?

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