From:  Michael Gibson
4513.4 In reply to 4513.3 
Hi Felix,

> but shouldn't this behaviour be adapted to recognize that we
> are in a 2D view and behave like the circle command.

The problem is that I can't tell in advance if you're going to be doing all the picks in a 2D view - it's totally possible to do something like pick the first 2 points in one view and then switch to a different view for picking the third point.

> By the way, the circle command could benefit from a similar
> behaviour (ellipse) while in 3D view and wait until we choose
> the desired axis especially when we specify the radius manually?

If you need to control the orientation of the circle, it's possible to control that fully by setting up the cplane in the orientation you want before drawing the circle. The tool for that is under View > CPlane - when you enter in a numeric value for a circle the orientation of the cplane where you clicked the origin point in will be used. In some cases snapping the point on to some geometry while in the 3D view can use that geometry as a temporary cplane, like if you snap on to a center point of a box face for example. So if you have some planes in your model you can actually draw on to them directly in the 3D view without setting a cplane first in that case.

Several other commands are similar - for example if you want to control drawing a rectangle on a particular plane, set the cplane to the plane you wish and then 2D type drawing commands will go in that particular plane.

> I learn recently that we can click on the line below the style
> that gives us info on the selected object and edit some
> "properties". Maybe, you could expand from there instead
> of adding a buttons or maybe just use something like
> mouse_over to give a clue to what's possible.

That particular line in the UI that you're talking about there gives a size readout of the current selection - so it seems pretty logical that when you click on it you will get some controls to alter size properties, but it doesn't seem quite as logical to think to go there for other kinds of properties totally unrelated to size though...

> In some program I've used, I've seen a property page like
> thing that allow us to enter values to translate, rotate and
> scale on X,Y and or Z maybe something like that would be
> sufficent, just a thought.

Probably these other programs have the concept of a kind of local axis point that is associated with every object, and those controls that you are talking about deal with manipulating that local axis origin and orientation.

MoI doesn't currently have that same kind of additional local axis point associated with every object - it's something that is kind of weird in a certain sense with CAD programs because stuff like having little axis lines associated with every little 2D line in your drawing is kind of a strange thing.

That could be something to add in the future but I'm not entirely certain about that since like I mentioned it's kind of odd with lines and other construction geometry. It's something that's more prevalent in software that is more focused on generating animations of all the various stuff in the model.

One thing that I'm worried about is that people seem to get a kind of false sense of accuracy with that local origin system where they feel that setting its x y and z position means that they are positioning "the object" at some specific location, but what's actually happening is that they're positioning a kind of arbitrary local origin point that's just associated with the object and may not even be touching or inside the object geometry at all.

In MoI if you want to position a point of an object at a specific x,y,z location you can use the Transform > Move command to do that.

- Michael