Feature request and a few other questions

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 From:  Dan (LICHENROCK)
2249.1 
Hi Michael and all,
I’ve been using MoI for some time and have been recommending it to family, friends and associates. (anyone who will listen to me, that is). Having used other 3d modelers, I am amazed at what Moi can do. I am also amazed at what my fellow MoI users can do. This is my first time writing.
Feature request: In a reply to Daniele (BADANS) posted on 21 September 2007, you mentioned the possibility of including a Tapered Extrude in a future version of MoI. Is that still a possibility? I have been using the work around, using OFFSET + MOVE + LOFT between the two curves, but I would find a dedicated control so much easier to visualize and work out the final proportions of my projects.
Question 1: When offsetting a curve, such as ellipse or freeform, the resulting new curve has so many more control points, especially along the tighter bends, even though the newer curve doesn’t seem to be that much more complex than the original. I can often delete many of these “extra” control points without any perceivable effect on the curve at all. Why? I’m just curious. If the answer is too complex you need not answer.
Question 2: Maybe this is a bug; or maybe I have wrongly adjusted some setting. I did not notice before today. When I offset a curve, then try to move the original, there remains a connection between the original and offset curves, such that moving the original changes the shape of the newer curve. I notice that the connection breaks if I move the newer curve, even if I move it away from and back to its original position.
Michael, thank you for your patience and your sense of craftsmanship.
Dan
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2249.2 In reply to 2249.1 
Hi Dan, thanks very much!


> Feature request: In a reply to Daniele (BADANS) posted on
> 21 September 2007, you mentioned the possibility of including
> a Tapered Extrude in a future version of MoI. Is that still
> a possibility?

It will definitely be in at some point!

I think this is still in the cards for v2 but it will probably be near the end... It also depends a bit on how long some of the other v2 pieces yet to be done take up. If some other pieces take too long I'm not sure that it will get in for v2, but we'll see.


> Question 1: When offsetting a curve, such as ellipse or freeform,
> the resulting new curve has so many more control points,
> especially along the tighter bends, even though the newer
> curve doesn’t seem to be that much more complex than the original.

I did a little bit of loosening up of those in the last v2 beta, there should probably be a somewhat less density with this version but still not exactly simple.

The fundamental problem is that the offset of a NURBS curve is not another NURBS curve except in certain special cases. I mean a mathematically exact offset. The offset has to be formed by a kind of fitting process to sampled points, and those kinds of fitters tend towards dense output, it is difficult to do a fitting mechanism that only uses a smaller number of control points.

It may be possible for me to improve this in the future by licensing some other toolkit's fitting mechanisms, but it is not a very easy problem to solve very soon though.

The density usually comes by trying to get an accurate result, the fitting process has to refine further and kind of getting the last 0.001 units of accuracy involves putting in more points.



> Question 2: <..> When I offset a curve, then try to move the
> original, there remains a connection between the original and
> offset curves, such that moving the original changes the shape
> of the newer curve.

This is actually a feature :) - it is the history mechanism in action where editing an input to a command will do an automatic recalculation of the command and update the result.

For another example, if you do an extrude of a curve, you can edit the curve and the extrusion updates - it's the same thing happening in this case but with the offset updating.

You can turn off the history update of the object to stop this - to do that, select the offset result, and then go to Edit/History and pick "Disable update".

With history updating disabled on the output object, it will not get recalculated when the original object gets edited.

I've tried to have history updating turned off by default for several kind of "low level" working commands like Copy for instance. Maybe it should be off by default for Offset curves as well, I'm not quite sure..

Anyway, that's what is happening in this case.

- Michael
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2249.3 In reply to 2249.2 
And then we have the serious request for V2!

"Brians" UI !!!!!

Brian

EDITED: 31 Dec 2008 by BWTR

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2249.4 In reply to 2249.3 
Hi Brian, some notes on how you can set your UI up like that are here:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=1996.13

- Michael
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2249.5 In reply to 2249.4 
Thanks Michael.
I am avoiding adding things--- at this stage. (When will the next beta come out/when the actual V2?---it drives me crazy trying to adapt updates---ages me a couple of years each time!!!!)

Personally, how people adequately work without the side pane deselect surprises me.

The Brian bottom setup----the extra mouse work flow/contortions required for the default setup is a lot--really, really suprised that others have not requested similar to mine.

The right side layout, as I think originally suggested by Steve, would be a big bonus for easy work flow. The more proficient I become the more I appreciate the better work low potentials of Steves suggestion. (I have a 24" wide screen)

Just adding thoughts.

Brian

PS---in the V2, under "Options", a variety of UI options to select?

EDITED: 15 Dec 2008 by BWTR

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2249.6 In reply to 2249.5 
Hi Brian,

> I am avoiding adding things--- at this stage.

That's probably a good idea as I'm also making changes so it is kind of a moving target.

But if you really want to set it up like you described, you can edit some things in notepad to get what you requested there, the instructions are in that link I posted.


> (When will the next beta come out/when the actual V2?

It tends to be difficult for me to know in advance how long it will take to finish any particular piece. It usually takes me a while longer than I initially expect to drive it to a high level of quality and not have many bugs, have a nice UI design, etc... So it just tends to be pretty easy for any guess at a timeframe to just be wrong, sorry! But my current guess would be maybe 2 weeks for the next beta and final v2 sometime around March or so.

I guess I could put one out earlier than that if you would like a version that crashed a lot and generally didn't behave well... Do you think that would be better to have stuff out quicker but less quality?


> really, really suprised that others have not requested similar to mine.

I think that so far you're the only one who requested that particular arrangement...

It's just a far more common and typical style to have horizontal things start with a left-alignment, at least in the English language...

Most every kind of UI that you will see will tend to stack things up on the left, like other program's menu items (File, Edit, etc...) - tabs in web browsers, etc.. etc... they all tend to start with items on the left and then stack towards the right, it's just the more typical convention.

There have been more requests about putting the entire side pane from the right side to the left side, for left-handed people, and the last beta has a new option to control that.


> The right side layout, as I think originally suggested by
> Steve, would be a big bonus for easy work flow.

Which one was this? Do you have a link? I'm not quite sure which one you're referring to.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2249.7 In reply to 2249.5 
Hi Brian,

> PS---in the V2, under "Options", a variety of UI options to select?

There is a new one in the most recent beta, under General / Side pane position.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2249.8 In reply to 2249.5 
Hi Brian - the other issue that tends to be a big factor is that not every person has the same kind of screen that you do, like with resolution, size, aspect ratio, etc...

Believe me, it would be a lot easier if I could make a design that only targeted a specific sized screen like you want to do for your screen!

But for example on my screen which is smaller than yours, having the UI setup the way you want with right-alignment would really look pretty weird, I don't have a whole lot of empty space down there so the file menu would be shifted over just a little bit from the left hand side and would be kind of hanging away from the edge...

If you can get everyone in the world to use the same sized screen that you are using, then it would be a lot easier to tune the UI up for that specifically! :)

- Michael
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2249.9 In reply to 2249.8 
Michael
Thanks for your responses.
The 24" inch screen is new for me--but it only accentuates the better workings of the layout option suggestions.

Steves RH layout'
It was suggested a week or so ago that the option for having all the current basic things open at once would be good.
(As shown on my screen shot)
It seems a pretty simple and logical request to me as I think, if you compare it with say the icon sizes on say Photoshop--most other apps!--I don't think there is a serious degrading to MoI if the icons are reduced a bit in size to enable all those options--even on smaller screens.

Edge Deselect
Some apps also deselect (option) if you take the mouse outside of the screen to click! I think, from my experience, that an alternative to deselecting in the work space (without a keystroke) is fairly normal.

Brians RH Bias bottom of screen.
Are you trying to justify the bad habits of most other apps for us RH users?
I think the basic great principle you have derived for the default RH side UI workings conflictcs with the current default lower layout--The Brian layout being more in line with the MoI RH UI principles?

Anyway, food for thought.

Small steps between great and brilliant!

Brian
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2249.10 In reply to 2249.9 
Hi Brian,

> The 24" inch screen is new for me--but it only accentuates
> the better workings of the layout option suggestions.

The problem is that works better for you on a 24" screen will appear weird to other users on a 19" screen.

Those users would perceive an odd slight shift of what is normally left aligned to the right, with no benefit to them... The result for those users is just negative with nothing gained.

That's the kind of problem that tends to happen if I try to totally optimize for just one certain screen size.

It's a tough problem, I kind of have to limit some things so that MoI is usable for people working on laptops or on screens without giant monitors.


> It was suggested a week or so ago that the option for
> having all the current basic things open at once would be good.

Yes, but once again it would be good for people with large monitors and cause problems for people who have smaller monitors.

I also described some of the other issues back then - filling up the whole side doesn't allow very well for expansion of new items in the future.

I would definitely like to make more options to make it easier to re-arrange the UI in the future!

But currently more modeling and 3D oriented tools are a much higher priority than that.

It would be cool if I could make everything happen all at once, and make advances in 3D modeling functions and in UI re-arrangement functions all at the same time. But I haven't figured out yet how to do more than 24 hours of work in a day, sorry! :)

- Michael
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
2249.11 In reply to 2249.6 
<It tends to be difficult for me to know in advance how long it will take to finish any particular piece. It usually takes me a while longer than I initially expect to drive it to a high level of quality and not have many bugs, have a nice UI design, etc... So it just tends to be pretty easy for any guess at a timeframe to just be wrong, sorry! But my current guess would be maybe 2 weeks for the next beta and final v2 sometime around March or so.

I guess I could put one out earlier than that if you would like a version that crashed a lot and generally didn't behave well... Do you think that would be better to have stuff out quicker but less quality?>

Hi Michael ...

My two cents ... quality / not quicker.
There is nothing much more frustrating that a really buggy beta. True that a beta is a beta and there are always opportunities for improvements or the fixing of the unexpected but I prefer that betas and releases be as bug free as possible.

Keep up the good work and thanks again for being so responsive to your users,

eric
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 From:  karter
2249.12 In reply to 2249.1 
Dan:

>>Question 1: When offsetting a curve, such as ellipse or freeform, the resulting new
>>curve has so many more control points, especially along the tighter bends, even though
>>the newer curve doesn’t seem to be that much more complex than the original. I can often
>>delete many of these “extra” control points without any perceivable effect on the curve at all.
>>Why? I’m just curious. If the answer is too complex you need not answer.

Something to try :- Extrude a surface from the base curve, offset the surface, then copy/paste extract the edge you need. This is a long winded way of offsetting the base curve but often reduces point count. Another option would be to model using line/arcs if possible this will help your case dramatically and keeps geometry much simpler for further feature editing ;-) (Micheal is 'simplify curve' or the list?)

EDITED: 15 Dec 2008 by KARTER

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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
2249.13 In reply to 2249.12 
A future Forum post?

" A survey of the UI options available in the current version of MoI indicate that 90% of MoI users prefer the, highly acclaimed, 2008, "Brian" collection.

The survey also found 10% of MoI users did not know UI options existed."

Brian
(Always hoping for my 5 minutes of fame!)
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