Anim8or Community

General Category => Ongoing Anim8or Development => Topic started by: Steve on March 26, 2014, 01:38:42 am

Title: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on March 26, 2014, 01:38:42 am
Build 1075 (http://www.anim8or.com/download/preview/files/animcl1075.zip) 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 :)
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Raxx 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.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: thecolclough 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!
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: argee 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!
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Raxx 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:

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.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: thecolclough 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:
i think i might have accidentally ended up making a feature request there, mightn't i...  :o
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve 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.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: thecolclough on April 02, 2014, 08:44:04 am
sounds like a good solution to me, steve  :D
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: jwalt 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.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Raxx on June 06, 2014, 09:23:19 am
Options->Grid

Set to Fixed.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: jwalt on June 06, 2014, 10:29:59 am
Thanks, Raxx. That was pretty obvious. Sorry I missed it.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 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.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve 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 :) )
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 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
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Unobtainium 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?).
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on September 07, 2014, 07:31:57 pm
Unobtainium: Good ideas. I'm already planning on a surface area metric in the properties dialog. Selected surface area is essentially the same. Volume is a great idea that goes along with 3D printing.

I've made some attempts at boolean operators before but never had time to finish. They are challenging to do well - floating point numeric inaccuracies present a variety of problems with thing like almost parallel faces - but I agree that they would be a good addition to Anim8or.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on September 24, 2014, 05:35:11 pm
The Boolean Scripts developed on this forum are pretty good.
Theres a few limitations I wish they didnt have, like, not being able to cut a hole in a floor because a level mesh is considered an open body...

On basic elements like 2 cylinders converted imediatly to mesh and then Operated on it works great.

On complex mesh's they start to falter and complain of convex faces etc.

I commented in the development thread but it seems to have been burried so Ill re-comment here.
I Like the ideas produced on the previous page except for the cluttered comment.
The ideas of surface/tri area and object volume are excelent.

I still suggest having every line draw its legnth and angle to previose point when using the line tool (Object Mode) or on selection of a 'line' in Vertex Edit Mode.

I dont think that this could be considered 'cluttered'

I just quickly painted a mock-up (lacking rotated text and drop shadows etc) of both examples.

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Unobtainium on September 24, 2014, 08:32:08 pm
I like the suggestion of showing line lengths & angles. The boolean scripts are nice to have by the way, albeit slow at times (no way around that with ASL I guess) and yeah, on more complex meshes problems tend to occur.

Personally I don't think the interface looks very cluttered in image you attached, however with a denser set of lines... I don't know. Perhaps, as said earlier, a CAD mode button is an ok solution to fit everyone's needs? (Just thinking "out loud" here.)
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 on September 25, 2014, 02:49:17 am
Trevor I 100% agree!
I think that mockup is exactly how it should be layed out (with the idea from unobtainium of having a cad mode button).
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on September 25, 2014, 11:15:17 pm
Yes, so when Steve applies rotation and drop shadows to text it will look sooo much better.

I was trying to think of an architecturial subject item that would be more complex but forgot that text is considered a 'line' and so that would be thousands of little straight lines.

If im not mistaken though, text uses 'Smooth Line' which I deliberatly left out of the CAD Measuring system for this reason.

As soon as this is implemented though I can start modeling rooms and buildings with confidence by Y-Extrusion.

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 on September 28, 2014, 09:53:07 pm
If im not mistaken though, text uses 'Smooth Line' which I deliberatly left out of the CAD Measuring system for this reason.
What do you mean text uses smooth line?
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on September 29, 2014, 05:25:23 pm
If you look at my image above, the left window uses the 'Line' Tool (Pressed) the button next to it (little squiggle) is 'Smooth Line'

Actually... I just found the tooltip button again and they are called
Straight Path and Curved Path.

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 on October 01, 2014, 12:31:08 am
Actually... I just found the tooltip button again and they are called
Straight Path and Curved Path.
Okay that makes more sense because smooth line usually refers to AA (anti-aliasing).
But you say that text is made out of lines.
but forgot that text is considered a 'line' and so that would be thousands of little straight lines.
Which I am sure isn't true. I wouldn't even say Steve is rastering it to the screen. It look's like the majority of text (in the Opengl viewport) is being blit straight to the framebuffer itself (woo! old school).

ALSO (just to be clear)
I think this feature should have it's own button (the CAD button) which would enable the ability to edit paths based mathematics and with an overlay.
Just that way you can separate the simpler modeling tools from the CAD ones to make the UI more organized.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on October 01, 2014, 01:27:54 am
You're correct, cooldude234. Text in Anim8or is raster not vector. Vectors can look fairly ugly, especially when small. Plus OpenGL drivers have a lot of latitude in how the draw lines so it's hard to make vector text good looking on all graphics chips.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on October 01, 2014, 12:38:10 pm
hmm... if text if raster then for do you do the modeling commands to it like fill and extrude, or even lathe if you want :P.

This is why I assumed it was a curved path, because it uses the same tools.

Trev

As for Seperate CAD button, it is already. the rullers dont show up unless you enable CAD mode.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on October 02, 2014, 09:33:52 pm
Trevor and Unobtainium: Check out the CAD line lengths in Spline and Add Edge modes in Build 1112. To keep the clutter down I only show the lengths of selected segments.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Unobtainium on October 04, 2014, 11:09:59 am
Good work. There seems to be a tiny bug: Sometimes when selecting splines/edges, two lengths are shown as if another spline/edge is selected as well. The "ghost" selection seems to depend on which previous spline/edge was selected.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on October 04, 2014, 07:55:32 pm
If you can send me an example or a screen capture that would help.

It's tricky to show the right balance of information on the screen. For splines, I'm showing the length of all selected segments and the coordinates of selected knots that are not next to a selected segment.

One thing I did to reduce the clutter is to deselect all the previously selected segments and knots when you add a new segment. It can be useful to keep them selected, though, and I can see how it could be useful to keep them selected. Any feedback is appreciated.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Unobtainium on October 04, 2014, 10:38:46 pm
I meant to say it happens when one spline/edge is selected at a time - if one segment is mouse pressed by me, it's length shows at that segment as expected, but then another segment's length also shows at that unselected segment, be it spline or edge. (This is what happens some times. A pattern has so far eluded me though I think there may be one.)

When selecting several splines/edges at a time things work fine. Deselection of previously selected segments & knots when adding a new one works fine, display of knot coordinates works fine.

I will throw together a picture with several screen captures to show how the unselected segment length jumps between segments when I click around on splines/edges.

EDIT: Picture is attached along with system specs.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 on October 06, 2014, 02:49:23 am
To keep the clutter down I only show the lengths of selected segments.
I think this kinda defeats the purpose a bit. I noticed that it wasn't too cluttered with the line segment lengths being shown on both high res monitors and low res monitors (as I show in the attached image). I think most of the clutter comes from the 'ruler' and when you select an object (especially when you have bounding boxes enabled).
Personally when I am wanting to know the lengths of things, I want to know the lengths of everything else so I can compare them even while editing them. I also noticed that even if they are selected if you select another tool that isn't the line or spline tool (eg the selection tool) it will not show the lengths.

Another thing, why can't I edit the lengths by typing in the numbers manually. I know of a couple pieces of cad software that allowed you to do this by typing in the numbers down at the bottom where it displayed it's lengths (where anim8or displays positions and tool effect info).
And another thing :P when I press the alt key it enables and disables the camera movement. I was trying to alt print screen to capture just the window and ended up capturing the giant green circle as well :| maybe I should call over the golly green giant and have him play hula hoop for a while.

But thank you for listening to all our complaints and doing something about them because most developers suck when it comes to that :P
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on October 06, 2014, 09:57:58 pm
cooldude234: I added a temporary option to Build 1113 to see is it's going in the right direction. You can use the Options->Debug->DebugA command to toggle showing all spline lengths and selected knots coordinates when editing splines. Let me know what you think :)
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on October 06, 2014, 11:00:18 pm
Oh WOW, Downloading new an8 now.

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: cooldude234 on October 07, 2014, 05:14:55 am
I think 99% of the time it doesn't bother me having all the lengths displayed at once. However I have made a picture to go in-depth on my opinion on the matter to help illustrate what I am trying to say.
Also the alt thing is still being a pain, I can't alt print screen with the camera movement coming up, although I do like having a keyboard shortcut for this I don't think having it bound to the alt key is in any way convenient.

EDIT: DARNIT I did it again, I forgot to attach the image  :\
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on October 07, 2014, 10:30:46 am
oh wow... I wish I could test this, it looks awsome.

Yeah, 3D co-ords that are Backfaces and in a complex model can overload the screen.

I really think my idea was purly a drawing aid rather than an everything aid. That said, did I not read that it only showed on selected lines which is awsome.

[edit] I think I just read those lines are showing as debugA, I guess i really need to test myself before passing comment[/edit]

Am I right in saying the boundry measurements override the line legnths? If so then I probably wont be using the boundry tool.
While levels in GoldenEye are limited to 65,534cm (+/-32,767 (15Bit)) I just use a large cube and make sure my mesh does not excede it.

I do like the vert co-ords, they look good and could also show me out of bounds

Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: MvGulik on October 18, 2014, 12:39:40 am
I think the point position data could probably use a bit of spacing after the comma to improve the general readability of the coordinates.

Current: (12.3,45.6,78.9)

+Spacing: (12.3, 45.6, 78.9)


Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on October 19, 2014, 11:14:28 pm
MvGulik: Good idea. I'll for it for the next drop.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on March 21, 2015, 11:35:50 am
Ok, So comeing back to this in 1164 I have a few Queries.

Normal Meshes display the bounding box size but in PLF mode there are no 2P, L or F measurments.
(By 2P I mean to select 2 points and have the distance between them displayed.)
This, must be with arrow select tool and not fast select. That would get confusing.

Path Tools work for the most part.
It shows the current drawing lines mesurement and with DebugA you can show all measurments. Can you move DebugA to an official button either next to or as part of the CAD mode button.

Angle between last line and new line is still required

I just found the point Co-Ords, you click a point in Path tool and it shows Co-Ord, nice.

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on April 01, 2015, 01:24:45 pm
Can I also add that the use of Scientific Notation is a little exessive.

eg, 65535 is displayed in an8 as 6.554e+004 which is actually more charactures than the original number.

Scientific Notation should only be used if the number displayed is smaller than the original number. In this case the original number would require more than 10 Chars to be of benifit.

Most elements in an8 complain if e > 6 anyway, so I guess there is really no need for it.

Thanks,
Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on April 01, 2015, 04:59:43 pm
Yes, 6.554e+004 is a bit annoying. I'll work on this.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on February 09, 2016, 09:30:22 pm
Just thought Id Highlight a few needed features that were stated previously.

DebugA works great, I forgot about it and needed it, thanks to a few posts up I was able to see all legnths of lines.

Corner Angles are still needed (Maybe toggle like DebugA)

Splines need the ability to join or else, what does "Convert to spline" work on, so far it has never worked for me.

Lines need a tool to add "Thickness", I tried my making a line path a mesh and used "Extrude Edges" but nothing happened, I also tried "Inset" but that requires a face.
It would be good if that could work with lines from the offset (just like shell mode, add thickness would draw aditional lines a set distance away from the original line with mouse drag (or dialoge per line segment))

Then the line can be extruded or lathed with the thickness already set.

The reason for wishing the feature at the line stage is for drawing more CAD style with the numbers.

If we drew a single line and then lathed/extruded into a mesh and then shelled, we loose the line legnths.
I am not requesting line legnths on mesh as we have already seen the mess, so Im requesting a feature to be brought forward to the planning stage of drawing.

Thanks,
Trev

EDIT
I  have just realised how "Convert to spline" works.
You have to go to PEF mode and then select on edges that dont connect back over themselves (eg, on a cylinder, cut the top off, then only select the perimiter and ignore the crossing lines(Triangulation)) then click "Convert to Spline"
So, this should be dissabled on object mode to denote it cannot be used.

With this method I extruded a line, used shell tool on it, deleted the "Raised" verticies, removed all faces and cross connecting lines on bottom, then finally selected the Inner and Outer Perimiters and said "Convert to Spline" to get back legnths on screen.

This is a very long way round, but at least I know it can be done now.
Im not sure I want to teach my dad how to do that though....

Attached was suppoosed to be a working example, however it crashed when I edited the path/spline
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Unobtainium on March 22, 2017, 03:40:04 am
Steve, are you considering adding more CAD features? (I know this is an old thread, but starting a new one feels unnecessary).
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on March 22, 2017, 05:38:02 am
I'm always open for suggestions. What do you have in mind?
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on March 22, 2017, 06:29:35 pm
You still don't have Angle to last point, that would be nice.

Would be nice if at least selected edges had lengths and angles between connected selected edges.

I know there was talk of there being too much clutter, but selected edges should be ok.

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Unobtainium on March 25, 2017, 02:01:02 am
Well, I'm a fan of the Add edge, Cut Faces, Topographical knife, and Straight / Curved Path tools, and I feel a few more basic tools dealing with 2D curves would be alright. The same goes for more helpers for getting correct positions on faces, along edges, correct angles, and alignments to lines (MOI 3D has these, see 3rd attached image. I can elaborate later or just have a look online yourself :) ).

Holding Shift while rotating something could show at mouse position, an overlaid (HUD) wheel with lines divided into 45 degrees that you can snap the rotation angle towards. See the 2nd attached image.

It would also be nice to have an integrated "Select similar faces" in the program (by default) and with a similarity threshold variable (range (0, 1] with 1 meaning only identical faces get selected).

Lastly, perhaps some extended repeat / copy tools.

-- Everything is shown in the 1st attached image. Inspiration comes mostly from Moment of Inspiration 3D (MOI 3D) and SolidThinking. I know Anim8or is a polygonal modeler, and that several of the shown tools would require various settings for adjustment of this & that, but they would be practical, imho. In the other programs, these tools are k-step procedures, that is "select point 1", "... point 2", ..., "select point k" in order to finish the procedure. I'm not sure how things should be done in Anim8or, but at least the suggestions are here now for everyone to give feedback on. :)

Last but not least; I know there exists a bunch of neat scripts already, but I feel that Anim8or can be even easier to use if some more functionality is more readily available like buttons on a ribbon etc. This is partly why I suggest these tools in this post, say there exists two Loft scripts already but they are hidden away in the Scripts list, and would be handy to have by default anyways. :)

I'd like to explain better but it'll have to be in later posts, not atm.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on March 25, 2017, 04:11:46 pm
These are all nice features but I'm not sure they are CAD functions, at least not as described in An8.
The CAD functions tend to revolve around snaps and measures.
Modeling functions would encompass selection of faces and Booleans (Booleans also have a script, but I agree that it would be awesome if it were built in.)

That all said, CAD literally does mean "Computer Aided Design" so anything that Aids is a CAD function.
But, there are many Aids that are enabled without entering "CAD Mode" in An8 (Icon = Ruler standing on end)

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Steve on March 25, 2017, 09:17:49 pm
Unobtainium: these are good suggestions, and well illustrated. High on my list to add are alignment, size matching (i.e. scale shape A to have the same height as shape B), paste multiple (array, along path, etc.), and "punch a hole" tools. However I want to be careful and not make the basic operation too complex because that can make it quite difficult for new users.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: selden on March 26, 2017, 02:25:40 pm
"Punch a hole" is high on my wish list.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Raxx on March 29, 2017, 02:48:02 am
I've found myself really wanting annotations and the ability to set the unit of measurement lately.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: Trevor on March 29, 2017, 05:16:08 pm
An8 seems best suited to cm units as far as camera work goes, but I know other games use m as units and some mm as units.

In the end it makes no difference so long as you know the target unit.

Annotations in CAD more would be awesome

Trev
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: danielstritt on April 19, 2017, 10:11:35 pm
However I want to be careful and not make the basic operation too complex because that can make it quite difficult for new users.


How about selectable "modes". The default is "basic" mode where the tools available are common ones new people will be using, basic usage tools and "advanced" mode shows more special purpose tools that the average new person will not be using right away, but in any mode all keyboard shortcuts are available. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Initial CAD-style feature
Post by: selden on September 12, 2017, 11:55:57 am
A visibility problem: engineering values often are drawn on top of the lines of bounding boxes of selected objects, making their numbers hard to decipher. It'd be nice if they could somehow avoid that placement or could use a contrasting color palette. See the attached example.