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 From:  Michael Gibson
2470.1 
Ok, I've made some good progress on the scene browser / object organization tools.

Still a ways to go, and not everything shown here is actually fully functional but I wanted to show what I'm currently doing to gather comments / ideas, etc...

The main function of the scene browser in v2 is to enable you to perform operations (particularly hide/show) on sets of objects. In the future it will also be a good place to access lists of certain kinds of entities like saved views and cplanes, but for v2 it will work with 2 different categories of things - groups and styles.

Groups will let you define a container that can hold other objects or sub-groups that you assign to it, to manipulate them as a set. I'm not ready with this part quite yet, I'm working on the styles part first.

Styles define the visual presentation of the object on the screen, for v2 this will be just its color but in future versions I would like to expand this to other kinds of visual properties as well (textures, line styles, etc...).

In the scene browser, styles give similar functions as a group, where you can for example hide or show all objects that have been assigned a particular style.

My current WIP scene browser looks like this (Styles section shown expanded):



This is a new panel that can be opened up which goes adjacent to the regular side pane. There is a button to open or close it in the bottom of the side pane next to where help is currently:



You can also set up a keyboard shortcut to toggle it open/closed.

There is also a second optional mode for how the browser is positioned, this will be a new setting under Options / General / Scene browser position:



The options are "Adjacent" or "Inside". If you choose "Inside", then the browser will appear as an additional palette inside of the side pane, like so:




The idea for that is that if you have a high resolution display with a lot of empty space over there, you can place the Scene browser in that empty space rather than as a new panel. I was thinking of making this the initial default mode if you have a screen resolution of 1600x1200 or higher.


Then for assigning styles, there is a new entry in the object properties panel that shows the current style of the selected objects:



And if you click it it will pop up a style menu that lets you pick a style to assign to the selection:



In the future there can probably be things like different categories, with some tabs along the left side similar to how the Options dialog works, but for v2 this is just a simple list.

I've tried to think if it is possible to move the style display of the current selection to be somehow embedded within the styles section of the scene browser itself so that things related to styles could be more concentrated all in just that one area, but I have not been able to figure out a good way to do that.

Another thing that I don't really like is the "Tools" entry that pops under Styles in the Scene Browser - this will be a place where you can launch a menu with some various things on it, like "Edit styles", stuff like that. I'd kind of like to build this menu into the "Styles" line itself that has the +/- thing on it. But when I put something like a drop-down arrow in that same line, it makes it look like it is similar to the +/- control so it doesn't really draw enough attention to it as a separate function from the +/- ...


Then as far as how the show/hide works, that part is not actually hooked up yet but the idea will be that when the eye is shown it means that all the objects that belong to that group or that have that style are not hidden. If you left click on that eye, it will switch all the objects associated with that to be hidden and the eye will disappear.

If you click on that area where the eye is not showing, it will show all the objects for that thing and the eye will then appear.

If you click anywhere else to the right of the eye (either on the swatch or the name), then I'm thinking of popping out a flyout menu with a few different actions on it, probably locking will go under this menu and when all objects are locked then that icon will display a lock rather than the eye.

One thing that I'm not quite sure about is whether it would be good to make it very easy to select all the objects belonging to a group or style with a single click somewhere on that line. The other idea is to put selection as an action on the flyout menu which then makes more area set to trigger the flyout which makes the flyout function easier to find.


Also I think that right-click on the eye will turn off all the other objects and only keep just those ones visible.


Anyway things are still in flux but it is starting to come together.


If you have any comments, ideas, or questions, please let me know!

- Michael

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2470.2 In reply to 2470.1 
Appetizing :)

No more than 7 colors in the same time?
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2470.3 In reply to 2470.2 
Hi Pilou, you'll be able to have any number at the same time, 7 is just the default initial number of styles.

If you add more, the style picker will expand to include them, like this (here I just repeated those 7 some extra times but you can get the idea of the size expansion):



But currently the purpose of styles is not so much about coloring your objects for artistic purposes - the focus right now is more about organizing your model into a few different categories.

In the future that may change when there are more properties available for the visual appearance of your objects, I'll probably try to expand the initial default set of styles at that time. That will be some time after v2 though.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2470.4 In reply to 2470.3 
Yes I just talk of "Work's colors" :)

Maybe the white internal background of the panel of colors is too "light" against the rest of the UI?

EDITED: 9 Mar 2009 by PILOU

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 From:  okapi
2470.5 
Michael, great to see the progress on the scene management!
Hope to see a beta with this soon.


Some very important questions:

- will the group be recognized as separate layers by Rhino?
- will the layers from a Rhino file be recognized as separate groups?
-will it be possible to export OBJ models that preserve the grouping mode.

These are the most important points that I can think of.
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 From:  DannyT (DANTAS)
2470.6 In reply to 2470.1 
Just what we've been waiting for Michael :) I was just thinking about should I start a discussion to ask you to give us some snippets on what you have been working on, to get the salivary glands started again, they were getting a bit dry there ;)

So far you've woken me up from this otherwise boring night I was having, just enough adrenalin has kicked in to cause some excitement to get my head around the proposals that you have presented here before us :)

OK! please treat this as a brainstorming session where anything goes even if it sounds stupid, ridiculous or unachievable, I'm just going to throw it out there.

Question:

> Groups will let you define a container that can hold
> other objects or sub-groups that you assign to it, to
> manipulate them as a set. I'm not ready with this part
> quite yet, I'm working on the styles part first.

I like the logic so far, styles and groups. I know you don't like the word 'Layers' but does 'Styles' equate to layers in the simplest form ?
With groups, have you thought how you are going to define them, titles,numbers......?

Suggestions:

> There is also a second optional mode for how
> the browser is positioned, this will be a new
> setting under Options / General / Scene browser position:
> The options are "Adjacent" or "Inside". If you
> choose "Inside", then the browser will appear as an
> additional palette inside of the side pane, like so:

Maybe a third option "Side" which would throw it to the opposite side of the the screen to the command palettes, I feel organisational work flow should be separate from the modelling work flow, my feeling anyway.

> I've tried to think if it is possible to move the style
> display of the current selection to be somehow embedded
> within the styles section of the scene browser itself so
> that things related to styles could be more concentrated
> all in just that one area, but I have not been able
> to figure out a good way to do that.

I know you're always trying to keep the UI clean and simple but sometime you can only do so much and eventually sacrifices have to be made, I don't think anyone will complain :)
Here's one idea, maybe start using the second click option to open another palette, same action as you have for the Viewport configuration tabs.

That's all I have for now, Oh! and what okapi asked as well.

Cheers
~Danny~
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 From:  Grendel
2470.7 
Looking good so far Michael, when you say "selecting the whole group somewhere on that line" could that not be when you select the group header and it is collapsed or expanded?
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 From:  marcorhino
2470.8 
Hi, Michael

Very very interesting.

when trying new feature ?

Thanks
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 From:  BurrMan
2470.9 In reply to 2470.1 
The way my mind works it would be ok to grab a bit more attention here as it seems like 2 seperate workflows to me. In my MoI...I start modeling and need access to basic organizational methods, a simpler styles and groups, but then when I pause for a bit, I want the full power to open up...It could even take over some of the modeling area for the moment. So possible a 2 step entry into the browser???


ie; Simple quick out of the way access to basic functions....ooops, I need to stop and focus on setting up the scene and plan a bit more....Ok, Back to MoIdelling!

2 cents.

PS: Dont forget "Position" popup as you have done with "Size" popup. That would be way cool!
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 From:  PaQ
2470.10 
Hello Michael,

Trying to translate this in my world, so basically, style is some kind of material editor at his simplest form for the moment (color assignation).
While groups are groups :) So far it's simple, excepet that I'm not used so hide geometry throught the material editor ... So I don't completely get why separate this 2 things.

- Is it possible to hide/unhide group ? Or do I have to assign a style ?

- As MoI slow down a little bit with the edges drawing, I was thinking that maybe we could create a 'no edges' style for exemple, but then, what is I want
hide edges from a group ? I do have to change the syle of the entire group and losing all the color assignation allready made ? Or is it possibel to assign a style to the container name, and keep the child style safe ?

- Will the style be editable/showed in the group tree too ?

- Is it possible to assign a style to a surface that is joined ? (I mean coloring one face of a cube without having to split it)

- Wil the colors (syles ?) be preserved and export as material in the .obj export ?

- Can we ... group styles ? (I mean easily select every objects sharing the same style and group them) ... starting to be a little confused myself so I stop for now :o)

(I probably need to get my hand on it so have clever questions ^^)
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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
2470.11 In reply to 2470.1 
Hi Michael ...

Yes, it is exciting to see this progress ... so far it looks good to me.

I have the same questions posted by okapi ... identical, in fact.

thanks,
eric
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 From:  Marc (TELLIER)
2470.12 In reply to 2470.1 
Looks great, can't wait to try this...
Keep up the good work!

Maybe tiny lightbulbs icons to indicate visibility would be in context!

Marc
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 From:  Schbeurd
2470.13 
Hi Michael

Looks interesting so far.
I think I have a few questions very similar to the ones PaQ asked previousely.
Will it be possible to hide/unhide a group.
Will we be able to select objects by groups or by styles or both ? Difficult to figure out how we can mix the best of both worlds...

Can we assign a style (a color) to a part of a polysurface without separating the object ?
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2470.14 In reply to 2470.4 
Hi Pilou,

> Maybe the white internal background of the panel of colors
> is too "light" against the rest of the UI?

I actually tried making it the same background initially, which ended up looking kind of weird, here is what that looks like:



It doesn't really separate out the "list container area" as a separate enough thing.

It is really most common for such list control type things to have a light colored background, in many things. For example in the standard File open dialog, notice how the "list container" control that lets you pick out of a list of things, has a light colored background:



So that's why I ended up with that light colored background, it actually seems more normal to me and kind of more typical of other "list control" UI in general.

- Michael

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 From:  -ash-
2470.15 In reply to 2470.12 
Once again, Michael, great to see you seeking feedback when you introduce a new feature. If only other companies were as interactive.


I like the hide/show based on colour as well as having groups. I see this as a quick way of grouping things - possibly on the fly, using grouping for more structured organization of the model. At first glance it looks like you have 2 things that are the same. But I can see the value in having both methods.

For example: I might set up two groups, control panel bottom and control panel top. In these groups I can have sub groups for the lights, switches, buttons etc.. But then I can style things differently too. So all lights can be green regardless of which group they are in. So I could hide all the lights with one click (see next comment).



>>One thing that I'm not quite sure about is whether it would be good to make it very easy to select all the objects belonging
>>to a group or style with a single click somewhere on that line.

Yes, I think this is a great idea!! Please don't put it in a flyout. Once people get to use this I don't think it will be a problem and it will be a super quick way to create a kind of 'selection set' as well as setting visual cues around how the model is organized. Maybe should there be a select by colour command too? I'm maybe muddying the waters here I think :-)



>>Also I think that right-click on the eye will turn off all the other objects and only keep just those ones visible

Another good one - please keep this in. How would you will bring them all back, though?



>>The idea for that is that if you have a high resolution display with a lot of empty space over there, you can place the Scene browser in that empty space
>> rather than as a new panel. I was thinking of making this the initial default mode if you have a screen resolution of 1600x1200 or higher.

This is a nice idea but please, please, please make an option for the browser to work in a separate window (like the options does).

Based on other tools I use, I can see the browser getting very busy in a complicated model (100s of items). The minimal space used in the 'inside' mode will be very quickly filled up, even on a 1600x1200 monitor.

I, personally, would like to be able to keep the browser open at all times and using the 'adjacent mode' would take space away from the modeling view which I would rather not have to do if possible. If the browser is in a separate window it gets the benefits of, resizing , minimizing, moving, as well as being able to be placed on another monitor if you have one, and it can be re-scaled to suit both the user and the model.

There is some good stuff here, but at the moment I am not at all sure about the placement of this stuff in the interface and the possible encroachment on the modeling area.

Regards
Tony

(aka HamSoles)

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2470.16 In reply to 2470.5 
Hi okapi, I'm mostly focused first on getting the UI nailed down, but I can give you at least the general ideas so far on how I think file transfer is going to be handled.


> - will the group be recognized as separate layers by Rhino?

Right now the way that I'm thinking of doing it is that "Styles" in MoI will map to layers in Rhino.

I want groups in MoI to be more flexible than layers - for example in MoI you'll be able to have one object belong to multiple different groups. It is not possible in Rhino to have a single object belong to more than one layer at the same time, so that kind of makes it a bad match up between MoI groups and Rhino layers.

However, styles in MoI are assigned as one style per object, this seems to make them a better thing to match up as layers.

Also you'll use styles in MoI to control the visual appearance of your object, and often in Rhino layers are used to control the visual appearance of your object as well, so again that is a good correlation.

So I think that if you want the organization to come across you'll want to use Styles in MoI to organize your objects and control visibility using the Styles section of the scene browser rather than the Groups section.



> - will the layers from a Rhino file be recognized as separate groups?

I'm thinking that probably layers from a Rhino file could open as Styles inside of MoI, to match up with the export mechanism as described above.


> -will it be possible to export OBJ models that preserve the grouping mode.

OBJ files have a few different methods that can be used to tag different parts of the model data.

I'm thinking that groups in MoI can translate into groups in the OBJ file (which at least in the file spec allows for one object to belong to multiple groups) and I think that Styles will go out as material assignments.

- Michael
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 From:  guneriussen
2470.17 
Hey Michael, everybody,

Just thought I would throw some ideas out there.

As a long time user of Adobe Illustrator I`ve taken some features from there.
It has a lot of good organize functions that could be implemented in Moi although it is a 2D program.

I know a lot of the functions would make it more complex, but I think it gives great control over your scene.
I`ve tried to think flow and intuition although it`s more complicated than what`s been shown so far.
Personally I like having everything in one place, two "browser" makes me feel like having less control, but I may be wrong.

Michael, like always, I really dig the way you operate and let us users participate in the development.
You`ve figured out what other software developers should have figured out a long time ago.
When it comes to brainstorming/idea collecting, it is not the initial quality of the ideas that matters, but volume.
Then you have a huge idea base that you can tap into and play around with and combine etc.
In this case you can have ideas that are half good and combine them to make a great one :)
(used to do that a lot when I was doing projects as a graphic designer, long time ago)

Mind, I`ve made this in Excel with no intention of illustrating the design, just the functions that could be implemented.
Anyway, here it is (cluttered, but hopefully readable).

PS
For making a new group or style: they can be individual "objects in the browser without being connected to physical object.
Then you can drag/drop these on to a object in the organizer, and it will organize itself under the physical object definition.




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 From:  Michael Gibson
2470.18 In reply to 2470.6 
Hi Danny, thanks for the feedback - yes it's fine to just brainstorm and throw out some ideas!

> I like the logic so far, styles and groups. I know you don't like
> the word 'Layers' but does 'Styles' equate to layers in the
> simplest form ?

Yeah, I think it has pretty much turned out that way, which I think will be good because then styles can be used to transfer into "Layers" when doing import/export to some different formats.

You'll be able to use Styles if you want to organize your object primarily based on visual appearance, like Red objects = one category, Blue objects = a different category, etc...


If you want to organize your objects in a separate way than its visual appearance, like make hierarchies and things like that, then you can use Groups to do that. That will then get into some kinds of arrangements that are not possible to do with regular traditional layers. (and will also therefore not map so easily to them during import/export though).


I'm trying to avoid using that term "Layers" because if I name something Layers it will make it look like that is the main thing that you should use for organizing objects.


> With groups, have you thought how you are going to
> define them, titles,numbers......?

Currently the idea is that groups will have a name assigned to them, like when you do a "New group" probably a dialog will pop up at that time to let you enter a name for it.


> Maybe a third option "Side" which would throw it to the
> opposite side of the the screen to the command palettes, I
> feel organisational work flow should be separate from the
> modelling work flow, my feeling anyway

I've generally tried pretty hard to keep the top and left sides clear of UI, it kind of helps to make for a kind of "open" feeling to the viewport with the spotlight kind of put more on your objects rather than on the program UI.

UI that surrounds your objects on all sides gives me a kind of "boxed in" feel that I'd like to avoid.

Anyway, that's kind of the philosophy for not doing that...

If it seems to come up a bunch more then I could certainly add in an option for it! It will be pretty easy to actually make your local copy behave like that by editing a UI file though (I'll give instructions after it is out there) so you'll be able to try it out like that.


> Here's one idea, maybe start using the second click option to
> open another palette, same action as you have for the Viewport
> configuration tabs.

This kind of works best when that second click would otherwise do nothing.

Like for example with the viewport tabs, once you have clicked on "Top" and made it active, it's not like you would expect for a second click there to do the opposite (since that one is a button that is part of a set). So for a while there that second click was not doing anything until I made it do the reversing function instead.

But with the Tree buttons that have a + / - on them, if one click opens that tree item, then a second click would be normally expected to already do the opposite, so it doesn't quite have a "do nothing" state that I can leverage for that case...

- Michael
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 From:  yannada
2470.19 
Cool progress Michael...just some thoughts (no idea if that is possible)...also do not pay atencion to the material editors layout is a very quick draft...

EDITED: 17 Mar 2009 by YANNADA

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2470.20 In reply to 2470.7 
Hi Grendel,

> Looking good so far Michael, when you say "selecting the
> whole group somewhere on that line" could that not be
> when you select the group header and it is collapsed
> or expanded?

You mean like clicking on the text of the name rather than on the +/- button?

Yes - I definitely want to assign something to that action but I also have another big thing that I already need to assign to an action which is to pop out a menu with more stuff on it.

I'm thinking of putting a "Select objects" button on that pop-out menu instead.

That would make for just a few actions directly on the "top level" UI of an item - clicking on the eye would handle hiding/showing it, clicking on a +/- of a parent group would open up its child items, and otherwise clicking on anywhere else on it (like on the text of its name or its swatch) would open up the menu with a bunch more actions on that menu.

I would like to have a select function on the "top level" item as well, but I have not yet figured out a good way to make the pop-out menu work easily at the same time as a select function.

Maybe I could make it so that if you go to the far right side of the item's line you could click in a zone there to select its objects rather than open up the popup menu.

- Michael
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