v1 beta - axis snap + IGES (old thread)  1-20  21-34
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.1 
EDIT: (Oct 21 2008) Note - this is an older message and the patch mentioned here is for a v1 beta release in Sep-2007. The stuff here has already been incorporated into the released MoI v1 and all v2 betas.

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Ok, there is a new patch available here: http://moi3d.com/beta/Sep4_patch2.zip .

To install it unzip it and copy the moi_lib.dll file over top of the old version in C:\Program Files\MoI beta Sep-4-2007\ .

There are a couple of new things.

First is a new snap - Axis snap. This snaps on to the major axis lines of the grid in any viewport, just as if there was a permanent construction line there.

I have been noticing that I tend to create a lot of axis-aligned construction lines for building many kinds of simple shapes. So I figured it would be a good idea to just build those in so they are always available to snap on to without doing any extra action.

I could use some feedback on this whether it seems like a good idea or whether it gets in the way, please let me know what you think.

At the moment there isn't any UI to turn them off, but you can set up this keyboard shortcut to do it:
code:
script:moi.drawingAids.objectSnapAxis = !moi.drawingAids.objectSnapAxis;



The other major thing is an update to IGES import - now when you import an IGES file that has individual surfaces in it, those surfaces will be automatically joined into a solid. A lot of people are using MoI as a converter from IGES to OBJ, and to get the best quality output with no cracks between surfaces, the surfaces should be joined so there are common shared edges. This now makes that happen automatically instead of as an extra step. The auto joining can be turned off in moi.ini under this section:

[IGES]
JoinOnImport=n


Also you can now pass moi.exe the name of a script file (enclosed in quotes if there are any spaces in the file name or path) and it will run that script on startup. This allows MoI to be used for automatic batch processing type operations.

There are also a few assorted minor bug fixes.

Please let me know if you have any problems with these new functions.

- Michael

EDITED: 21 Oct 2008 by MICHAEL GIBSON

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.2 In reply to 1013.1 
Are you sure of the fonction Snap axis?
Seems nothing special appears different than previus??
A syntax error? a good dll? ...
And this function is enable / disable when you press the shortcut key for a second time?

Must some snap options must be enable also?
I have enable all and disable all snap: same result !

Can you put an image of what this "snap" suppose to do?

Or I don't remember how it was in the past :)




is that? the helpers is drawing without clic drag unrelease? So just clic & move?

Ps and other Lines Helpers are not keep too ?


EDIT But curiously that works not the first time I launch the prog but When I relaunch it, that works fine :)
And seems there is perpetual! :) no need to call the shortcut ???
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 11 Oct 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  Paul (AIRGLASS)
1013.3 In reply to 1013.1 
Thanks, Michael!
You're fast! I'll give it a spin this evening.

Paul
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 From:  Val (GAT)
1013.4 
thanks for the update.

So far I don't see any use in the axis snap, as far as i can tell it can only snap to axis extended from the origin, in 3D view it only works in x and y axis no z axis. So, I would definitely want an option to turn it off.
For now I assigned G to turn of those guides.

When making guide lines to snap points to and you get that box it has options in it, I think it would be nice to include an option to delete the last line, sometimes I accidentally make a line that gets in the way, and if I already have a network I have to reset everything and then rebuild that network of guides.
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.5 In reply to 1013.4 
But curiously that works not the first time I launch the prog but When I relaunch it, that works fine :)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 11 Oct 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.6 In reply to 1013.2 
Hi Pilou,

> And this function is enable / disable when you press the shortcut key for a second time?

It should have been enabled by default, and that shortcut key that I posted would switch it on or off each time you pressed it. The setting is stored in the moi.ini file so it will persist between sessions as well.

The one that you are showing there is snapping in the axis direction on the second point of a line. That's called "straight snap", it's been in there for quite a while.

The new one is being able to snap on to the world axis lines, the thicker lines that you see here:



The new snap enables you to snap on to these for the first pick of a drawing command, like the start point of a curve, the one you were showing was for the 2nd point.

So for example, after starting one of the drawing commands, move your mouse nearby one of those thicker grid lines and it will snap on to it:



Previously it would not automatically snap on to that axis line.

Basically it is the equivalent of 2 built-in construction lines that run through the origin, providing snaps along these lines shown in red here:



I'll post some examples in a minute of the kinds of simple shapes that this helps with.

You could previously get these snaps by just creating a construction line through the origin. However, I think it will save a bit of time to have these ones permanently built in and always available, and it will especially help beginners who would like to snap there but don't know that you can create construction lines.

- Michael

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.7 In reply to 1013.6 
yes now it's an automatic helpers under steroïds :)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.8 In reply to 1013.6 
< The new snap enables you to snap on to these for the first pick of a drawing command
Sorry but on my computer it's not working ? Only the straight Snap!
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.9 In reply to 1013.4 
Hi Val, thanks for the feedback,

> So far I don't see any use in the axis snap, as far as i can tell it can
> only snap to axis extended from the origin,

Yup, that's all it is. But these are pretty strategic areas to snap on to for several kinds of simple symmetrical shapes.

For example if you watch the video tutorial here: http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=975.1 - there are 3 times in that tutorial where I create construction lines in order to snap on to these axis lines.

With the new axis snap there isn't any need to create any construction lines for building that shape, the snap points are just immediately available when you move to that area.

Here are some simple example shapes where Axis snap is useful.

Profiles in the front view for creating a revolve:







Profile in the Top view for mirroring and extruding into a base shape for a mouse:




It should also make it easier to grab points for some operations that commonly use an axis line like mirror or revolve - instead of going to the origin point which may be congested with other objects, you can just find any open spot along an axis now.


> in 3D view it only works in x and y axis no z axis.

Yes, this is intentional because it is very unusual to need to snap to the z axis in the 3D view while drawing a profile curve. It just doesn't come up very often. I worry about adding too many snaps automatically because each one takes away some freedom of movement for more fine tuned placement. The z axis in the 3d view kind of cuts across a section of the x/y plane, so automatically snapping there would prevent you from picking certain points on the x/y plane. If you need to snap there you can always drag out a construction line to do it.


> So, I would definitely want an option to turn it off.

I've attached here a patch to the UI that you can install to get the option. Unzip the attached ObjectSnapMenu.zip, and copy the ObjectSnapMenu.htm file over top of the old version in the C:\Program Files\MoI beta Sep-4-2007\ui folder.

Now if you go to the menu that pops up over the "Object Snap" button on the bottom toolbar, there will be a new "Axis" entry near the top of the menu underneath Origin.


> I think it would be nice to include an option to delete the last line,

That's definitely a good idea. I will have to wait until after V1 to add this though (because it would effect the docs). In the meantime with that latest patch it is possible to write some script macros that target construction lines, so now you can set up this keyboard shortcut which will remove the last added construction line:

code:
script:var gd = moi.geometryDatabase; var clines = gd.getObjects().getConstructionLines(); if ( clines.length > 0 ) gd.removeObject( clines.item(clines.length-1) );


- Michael

EDITED: 11 Oct 2007 by MICHAEL GIBSON


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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.10 In reply to 1013.8 
Hi Pilou,

> Sorry but on my computer it's not working ? Only the straight Snap!

Please check that you have the new DLL installed in c:\Program Files\MoI beta Sep-4-2007, it should have this date and file size:

10/11/2007 02:48 AM 3,124,224 moi_lib.dll

Also, did you set up the keyboard shortcut that I mentioned for turning it on and off? Did you ever push the key for it? If so then you may have turned it off, press the key again to turn it back on.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.11 In reply to 1013.9 
Ok I have found the error ;)
I had taken the script as "enable" the snap !!!
So I go to the Moi.ini and write y :) ObjectSnapAxis=y
Now that works fine :)

And sure it's more easy to re press the key :)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 11 Oct 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.12 
< Also you can now pass moi.exe the name of a script file (enclosed in quotes if there are any spaces in the file name or path) and it will run that script on startup.
can you give an example? it's enigmatic for me :) What script and where put it?....
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.13 In reply to 1013.12 
Hi Pilou,

> What script and where put it?....

A script that you write to do some automated actions, you put it wherever you want, you have to tell MoI where it is by supplying the full path when you pass it to MoI.exe

So for example if your script is in c:\Scripts\MyScript.js, you would call MoI.exe in this way (probably from a batch file):

"C:\Program Files\MoI beta Sep-4-2007\MoI.exe" c:\Scripts\MyScript.js

For more information, please see this thread:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=987.1

There I give an example of how to call MoI with a script to have it load several IGES files and save them out as OBJ files, all without ever actually showing the MoI window.

- Michael
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 From:  Val (GAT)
1013.14 
I guess you are right if I was doing that kind of modeling. It is different when someone is modeling an object, especially one that was already designed. What I am doing is free form modeling, I don't even have any sketches in the background, only simple ideas. So far the tools that you provided has met my modeling needs. Everything else would be just a bonus to maybe make the work a bit easier. For example, Rhino has the ability to turn a curve into a pipe, where each end's radius can be resized. Same thing can be done in MoI, only it takes a few more steps and no live preview, but I am sure you will address things like this in future versions of MoI. I remember the first version of rhino.
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1013.15 In reply to 1013.13 
thx : ok so that is for specialists :)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 11 Oct 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  Paul (AIRGLASS)
1013.16 In reply to 1013.1 
Hi, Michael,
Tried out the new patch and it works fine, especially the persistent construction lines, once I figured out how to activate the persistent behavior. One quirk I noticed though, is that in the middle of a command,
pressing a single letter key to activate a script doesn't work, because the keystroke gets intercepted and sent to the coordinate box at the bottom (which is what it's designed to do ), Modifier+key works fine. Maybe a filter on the input boxes to reject any kind of keystrokes other than numerals would work better?
I noticed this awhile ago, doing something else, but since it wasn't affecting what I was doing, it kind of slipped on by.
At any rate, thanks for the construction line work, it works well having them stay on screen :)

Paul
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 From:  xrok1
1013.17 In reply to 1013.16 
while playing with the axis snap i noticed what i percive to be a general snap problem; if you are drawing or making a construction line starting along the major x or y axis lines, you can not snap to any other grid point directly in the x or y direction??
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.18 In reply to 1013.16 
Hi Paul, thanks for the feedback.

> Maybe a filter on the input boxes to reject any kind of keystrokes other than numerals would work better?

There is actually a filter in place already. But there are a few keys other than numbers that are valid to type into that point coordinate box: R, @, < , W .

R and @ are used for relative point entry, < for entering an angle constraint, and W for world polar coordinates.

Did you happen to be using one of those keys? Other keys should work, for instance here I set up "K" for keeping construction lines and I don't have any problem triggering it while inside the line command for example.

- Michael
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 From:  Paul (AIRGLASS)
1013.19 In reply to 1013.18 
Yep, that was it :) I assigned the shortcut key to W. (Slaps self in head, looks around sheepishly...)

Paul
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1013.20 In reply to 1013.17 
Hi xrok1 - yes good call that one is going to be a problem.

Object snaps have priority and if one of them is activated then grid snap will not kick in.

At the moment you can work around it by disabling Object Snap temporarily which will then let the grid snaps come through.

But this definitely needs to be fixed.

I think what makes sense is if there is an "on" snap (axis is kind of a variety of "on"), and the object snapped on to is a line running coincident with a grid line, I'll take a look and see if there is a grid intersection close by and redirect to that.

Other than that issue, what do you think of the new axis snap - worthwhile or does it get in the way?

I wouldn't normally be messing with a major new feature like this right before release, but it just seems like this can replace a lot of basic construction line creation, which is especially good for beginners since they don't even know about construction lines.

Thanks for your attention to the details here!

- Michael
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