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Frustration with Face Selection + possible BUG in UNDO stack.

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chuft-captain:
Hi,

I'm working on a mesh which is essentially like a curved box with windows. (I'll attach a couple of screenshots to this post to give context to what follows.)

What I need to do is to split this into 2 separate meshes; One mesh containing only the inward facing faces, and the other mesh with all outer facing and other faces (such as those making up the "window sills").

So the approach I've taken is to work on 2 copies of the mesh. In one I'll strip off all the inner faces, and on the other I'll strip off all faces except the inner faces.

This however is proving to be impossible to do in an efficient way (if at all) for a number of reasons.
I'll describe the workflow I'm using step-by-step so hopefully you can see what the issue is.
(Let me know if you need to see screenshots of any of the intermediate steps in order to understand.)

Mesh 1: (get rid of internal faces, leaving outer faces and window sills)
1. Face select mode; Restrict to BACK faces only; In the LEFT viewport, select the lot using area select.
2. Re-enable FRONT selection. In the front viewport, use the MMB to de-select any faces I want to keep (eg. outer faces and windowsills on the opposite side of the mesh ... selected by the previous step).

At this point, the inner faces on just one side of the model are selected, and I should be able to delete them and then perform a similar procedure for the other 5 sides.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple because a number of "window sills" are still selected (by step 1) on the side of the model I'm working on, because very few of these faces are perfectly orthogonal to any given viewport.
So before I can hit the delete key to get rid of the inner faces, I have to laboriously find and de-select those extra faces on the window sills, else they will be deleted as well.

This is a laborious and error prone process, and during this process I have to be careful also not to de-select any of the faces I actually intend to eventually remove.

The problem is that I have to find and deselect ALL of these ectras without making a single mistake before I can hit the DELETE key. This is turning out to be virtually impossible due to a BUG (or a functional flaw) in the UNDO history...
It appears that only actual modeling changes are being pushed onto the UNDO stack, which means that if at any point in this laborious process I make a simple de-selection error, or click the wrong mouse button, or forget to change modes between operations, there's no way to undo that single action.

At that point I have to go right back to step 1 and start all over again ... only to fail again.

So far I haven't been able to do even a single side of this mesh to completion, despite multiple attempts.

IMO, all actions (not just model changes) should be pushed onto the UNDO stack, as it's just too easy to make a single mistaken select / de-select, or mis-click in this long process.

I'd appreciate it if anyone has any clever techniques / suggestions to get around these issues in order to achieve the original goal.

Be interested also to know your opinion on the UNDO issue Steve, as it's all to easy to make accidental de-selection errors (putting me back to step 1) when using a MMB which also doubles as a scroll-wheel. If only I could just UNDO the last "action", then I wouldn't be forced back to square 1 every time I make a mis-step in the process.

Regards
CC

Trevor:
I would say try doing a small group of faces and pressing Ctrl-D (Detach faces) then go to object mode and press H (Hide).
this will detach and hide faces you want removed.
At the end of the process press Shift-H to unhide all the detached faces, select the main object then go edit>Select>invert selection
then go mesh>Join Solids
then go back to VEF mode and to Ctrl-A Shift-L, enter a very small number (0.001) and press ok, this will rejoin all verticies that were detached before, now you have 2 objects, inside and outside.

Trev

chuft-captain:
Trev,

Thanks for the suggestion.
That sounds like it will work but also probably just as tedious, if not more so, than my original approach. A lot of mode-switching, but it might lessen the risk of my finger sometimes missing MMB and clicking on the LMB instead. (We all know what happens then ...)

I suspect I'll still encounter issues with not being able to UNDO certain actions when I make a mistake using your approach ... which again might set me back to the beginning, but it's worth a try I guess

I do think however that the issue of the restricted UNDO functionality should be addressed. If that was resolved then accidental clicks or inaccurate selections would be easy to roll back which would make both of these approaches much more robust, not to mention making all anim8tor workflows much more robust.
Any thoughts wrt UNDO functionality STEVE?

Thanks
CC

ENSONIQ5:
I can't comment on the undo function, but your workflow is not how I would do this.  I'm a bit old-school, rather than working with faces I'd be deleting lines and points in a click, delete, click, delete fashion.  I'd also be making it as easy on myself as possible, since your object is symmetrical in two dimensions I'd be splitting it through the middle in the X and Z dimensions, leaving a quarter of the model to work with.  After creating a copy I'd delete all inside lines, leaving the outer shell with sills.  On the copy I'd be deleting all sill vertex points leaving only the inner faces.  Then both models can be mirrored in X and Z, points merged and you're done.

It would be tedious but I don't think you're going to be able to avoid tedium at this stage.  To be honest it would probably just be simpler to re-build the model from scratch in two separate pieces but I don't know the project so maybe that's not feasible.

Trevor:
Agreed, I forget about mirror, mainly because last I used it - it was buggy.

As for undo, wanting every click to be stored in the undo buffer would lead to filling the buffer with a LOT of commands, potentially loosing a meaningful edit later, especually in your example where you have lots of clicks.
Lets say you accidently delete an object before starting the selection Operation. You get to the end then realise the object is missing, instead of undo-ing the 1 operation (allbeit tedious) you have to undo all only to find that the buffer runs out and your other object is gone forever.
As it currently stands you could undo twice, copy the lost object, redo twice and paste.
Admitably, my group method does increase the undo buffer too, but not as much as every click.

Trev

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