sliders for input numerical values  1-20  21-35

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 From:  steve (STEEVE)
2553.1 
Hi Michael

just a thought. may have been mentioned before.
i've been playing around with k-3d lately
it has a cool feature where you can change numerical values by holding down the mouse over an icon and sliding the mouse up or down to change the values. now that i think of it blender also has this feature.

anyway it allows you to see the model changing in a real time way

have no idea how hard that would be to implement
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.2 In reply to 2553.1 
Hi Steve, one thing that can be difficult with that kind of thing is figuring out what scales should be applied to the "mouse waving".

Like for example should moving by 10 pixels change the value by +1 ? But what if you are working on something that is slightly bigger where 1 unit is not very big... Or what if you want to make an adjustment by only a small amount like 0.01 units?

Generally I've tried to focus on using the mouse in a different kind of a way than that "just wave the mouse up and down" kind of thing - more by picking points in the viewports so that distances are defined by snappable points that more directly reference distances in your actual model instead of being arbitrary values disconnected from your objects.

Extrusion is a good example - with MoI's extrude command you can either enter a value, or if you want to use the mouse for real-time changes, then you can pick a point in the viewport and the distance value will update as you move your mouse up and down in the viewport, like this:



That keeps the values generated by the mouse to be connected to the current scale you are working on, and also allows you to reference points on other objects in strategic ways like to get the same height as some other object already in your model like I show at the end there. That kind of accuracy is generally not possible with that other style of using the mouse, that's why I haven't really focused on that type of a method so far.

- Michael
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 From:  Micha
2553.3 In reply to 2553.2 
Couldn't be possible, that the values of the distance moved by the mouse are rounded, if no reference point is used? How much it is rounded could be calculated by the shifted value (for example values between 1 and 10 could be rounded by 0.2 ...) or could be calculated by the viewport scale.
Attached two screenshots from the old ProDesktop during extrude different sized circles. The increment of the big circle extrusion is 2 and of the small circle 0.1.



This CAD software made by PTC was very well-thought-out and I liked the workflow. Could be nice to see some features at MOI. An other feature of ProD I liked is, that if an edge is selected and the user click the right mouse button, than a context menu popup an showed all possible commands for edges - at the example here it are rounde and chamfer.

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.4 In reply to 2553.3 
Hi Micha,

> Couldn't be possible, that the values of the distance moved
> by the mouse are rounded, if no reference point is used?

Hi Micha, it is possible, but I don't think it would work well in all situations - for example if you are working on something where a value of 10 produces only a small sized result.

Focusing on doing interactive mouse-based modifications by picking points inside the viewport tends to avoid this kind of problem.


> or could be calculated by the viewport scale.

One thing that can tend to be difficult is that a perspective viewport does not have just a single scale factor associated with it. For example, a cylinder of the same height will take up more pixels on the screen if it is closer to the eyepoint, and less pixels if it is far away from the eyepoint. In this case there is no longer a simple universal mapping between pixels and distance like there is in an orthographic viewport.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
2553.5 In reply to 2553.4 
Hi Michael, perhaps somewhat related to this thread - is it feasible to add to MoI what Newtek does with Lightwave's Grids?


With Lightwave, you can "zoom in or out" of the workspace and that changes the resolution of the grid units - I've always like that feature about LW; you can guessimate the sizes your working with by looking at the current "size" display of each grid square.

If 1 meter is too small, you roll the mouse wheel to zoom out the view until each grid unit is say 5m or 10m, likewise if you need a smaller size, you can zoom in to like .1m per grid unit etc.

I've always found it helpful to be able to see the grid units and zoom in or out to the size I need to work with at that particular moment.

Perhaps having something like this could also help people avoid when they're working "too small" and get close to that what? 0.001 precision limit?

Now I'll admit that to date, I've always run MoI with the "no units" setting but I believe, I would specify units more often if the grids worked in such a familiar fashion...
(Of course having INI file option(s) for this would be just fine etc.)

Just a thought while reading this thread...

-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.6 In reply to 2553.5 
Hi Will - actually I've tried to generally avoid that kind of "grid changes automatically" kind of a thing since I find that it destroys my sense of visual scale pretty easily.

When the grid stays to a fixed size, you just always know what one grid square means, you don't have to try to look at a different number and incorporate that into the equation.

It is something that I could add an option for in the future, but it is a kind of finicky thing, like there is not quite an exact rule for how it would work in the perspective view since there is not a constant relationship between pixels on the screen and distances in that projection.

Also it would need some additional kind of size display to try and counteract that problem of not knowing automatically what size the grid is...

That kind of adds up to enough stuff that it is just not a completely simple thing to add in, it is not like a minor tweak to the existing system. So that means that it will probably be a while before I'll be able to dedicate the time it would need to make that happen.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
2553.7 In reply to 2553.6 
Are we talking about the same thing, Michael?

I'm not sure if you've ever used Lightwave before but in all of the views (including perspective) you can dynamically change your grid size measurement by "zooming in or out" the viewport.

No, this isn't actually zooming, in the pixel sense, it's actually changing the grid unit size (which by effect makes the model get smaller or larger) so if my grid size is current 1 meter and I "mouse wheel" the view, I can get it to change to 5 meters per grid unit and so on.

It's just a shortcut to change the grid size.

Yes, you would have to know (see) what your current grid units are when working but instead of having to go into an option dialog, you can change the value in >increments<.


I've just always found it handy when working on models that try and use real-world sizes (I guess that's what most people do anyway - again, my model sizes are usually arbitrary, since I've always used no units with MoI...)

Okay I just tried this in MoI - I created a cube that 4 units in all directions, my grid was set to 1 meter.

I went into the dialog and changed the grid to 10 meters - the number of grid lines became "less" (the space between the grids got larger) but the cube size didn't change as I would expect in Lightwave. (In LW, the box would have got smaller because I'd be "seeing more" of the area since I'm now seeing 10 meters per grid instead of just 1 meter.)

In LW, I guess the not only does the grid size change but the >view< is altered as well - the cube gets smaller in LW.
(Is the camera pulling back at that point by 10m? Or is it stationary but the view port size is changing?)

That's all I was suggesting - I'm not trying to do arbitrary pixel based zooms (like PS or Illy) here unless you're saying that what takes place behind the scene in MoI?

I was just looking for that nice grid size short cut for when I want to "drill down" in size and create a detail and then "zoom back out" to view the whole model...

-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.8 In reply to 2553.7 
Hi Will, maybe I don't follow exactly - when you talk about zooming do you mean that your camera is actually changing, like would happen in a regular zoom where objects also get bigger or smaller in size?

If so then that's the same thing that I'm talking about - that's kind of mutating the grid size automatically in response to alterations in the view.

The way that usually works in programs that do that, is that you are not directly manipulating the grid when you zoom in or out - you are manipulating the camera just as you would for any regular zoom and then there is something that modifies the grid to adapt to the current level of zoom.

When things are set up like that, it means that you no longer would get a consistent grid size displayed in every viewpot, it would be different in each view depending on how much that view happened to be zoomed in or out.

That can cause problems because there is no longer any guaranteed consistency with the grid - instead of it just being the same size everywhere which you specifically set it, which is much more predictable.

I find that kind of automatic morphing of the grid to actually be a kind of "mis-feature", by which I mean that it is a feature that can easily cause problems or confusions in many situations instead of only being a positive thing in all situations.

Like I mentioned previously, maybe it would be possible to add in for the future as an optional thing to turn on, but it is not really a totally simple thing to add, it would need some additional settings, and it is somewhat finicky to handle in the perspective viewport, it is enough work that I probably won't be able to do it for some time.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
2553.9 In reply to 2553.8 
Hi, I'm at home now, and of course a picture is worth 1000 words... ;-)

In LW, the "zooming" is controlled in 1, 2, 5, 10 increments and yes, I believe looking at it now, it's the >camera< that's moving in and out not just a change of the grid size.

The girid size value >snaps< to the next grid "level" and that's what I was wishing for in MoI - observe how the grid size only changes in snaps even though you do get some zoom "play" between the grid size snaps:




Is zooming like this in MoI still as bad and you mentioned earlier?


-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.10 In reply to 2553.9 
Hi Will, yeah that clearly shows the problem there, that the grid becomes different just depending on what your current zoom level is.

That means that you can't easily immediately know what you are looking at when you see a grid cell on the screen - you also have to check out some other piece of UI in addition to the grid to know what size you are dealing with, kind of make an adjustment in your head to apply the changing value to what you see...

Meanwhile if the grid stays fixed in size like how MoI currently works, then you always know what you are looking at - if you set the grid to be 1 unit per cell, when you see a cell you know for sure it is a 1 unit cell.

Also it looks like the view that you are showing there is an orthographic view, with no perspective applied, is that true?

Also what happens in a split view where 4 viewports are visible each of which is at a different level of zoom, do you have 4 different sizes of grids to deal with, with 4 values being displayed for the grid size?

- Michael

EDITED: 6 Apr 2009 by MICHAEL GIBSON

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 From:  eric (ERICCLOUGH)
2553.11 In reply to 2553.10 
It's coffee break time in my schedule so another 2 cents worth.

The ever changing grid would be very confusing to me. I don't like the idea.

I have to admit, though, that I am not much grid oriented ... I tend to type in all dimensions that I am sure about and use object snaps (end, mid, etc) to fill in the ones that simply connect. Mostly I work with the grid off.

eric
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 From:  WillBellJr
2553.12 In reply to 2553.10 
Michael wrote:
"That means that you can't easily immediately know what you are looking at when you see a grid cell on the screen - you also have to check out some other piece of UI in addition to the grid to know what size you are dealing with, kind of make an adjustment in your head to apply the changing value to what you see..."



Well for me, I think that was actually what I was looking forward to - being able to change the grid size without having to stop and go into a dialog.

As you can see, yes, Lightwave has UI to always display the grid size - I don't see anything wrong with that since you can change it at dynamically while you're working.

That was the perspective view that I captured - each viewport can be configured to change seperately or together (similar to what you recently added to MoI.)

I typically have the ortho views change together, and the perspective view to change independently both in MoI and LW. The grid UI displays the grid unit size for the currently active view...


I'm sorry to hear you feel this is a bad setup, I find it quite natural when modeling in LW - I thought it would be nice to have in MoI.

I definitely didn't want arbitrary zooming like "Grid: 1.03mm" but just a shortcut for changing the grid size >in controlled steps< - Lightwave uses the 1,2,5,10 scheme going up or down when you zoom...


The one disadvantage I see in MoI currently is that the more you zoom out, the grid becomes a useless haze of lines. Similarly when you zoom in, you can no longer see the grid...


In LW, the grid is always the same size (and usable for snaps) no matter how far in or out you zoom because the grid units change to reflect the visible distances; you could be a mile out and still see and have a usable grid to work with...

-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.13 In reply to 2553.12 
Hi Will,

> As you can see, yes, Lightwave has UI to always display the
> grid size - I don't see anything wrong with that since you can
> change it at dynamically while you're working.

It's just another thing you have to look at and incorporate into your head before you can really understand what scale you are seeing with the current grid.

That's just more complex than the grid staying at a particular value which you have told it to be...


> I typically have the ortho views change together, and the
> perspective view to change independently both in MoI and LW.

Yeah, that is a new setting you can turn on for MoI v2 to keep the ortho views at the same zoom level. But the default is to allow different each view to have an independent zoom.


> The grid UI displays the grid unit size for the currently active view...

I see... But then if you have a split view you have to activate each view in order to know what sized grid you are seeing in each one. That would be possible to have 4 different sized grids displaying on the screen all at the same time.


> Well for me, I think that was actually what I was looking forward
> to - being able to change the grid size without having to stop and
> go into a dialog.

If you want to have a quick grid adjustment without going to a dialog maybe these keyboard shortcuts would be useful:

Increase grid by a factor of 2:
script:moi.grid.size *= 2.0; moi.grid.snapSize = moi.grid.size;

Decrease grid by a factor of 2:
script:moi.grid.size /= 2.0; moi.grid.snapSize = moi.grid.size;


> The one disadvantage I see in MoI currently is that the more
> you zoom out, the grid becomes a useless haze of lines.

Yeah, but it gives you information about what scale you are currently seeing - you know by seeing all those grid lines packed together that your current grid size is a really small value in your current zoom level.

That's the main problem that gets lost with that auto-changing grid method, the grid is no longer a visual indicator of one particular size anymore.


> In LW, the grid is always the same size (and usable for snaps)
> no matter how far in or out you zoom because the grid units
> change to reflect the visible distances;

Well, it stays at the same general visual size exactly because it is not always the same size in units - the unit size is changing all the time...

That's exactly the problem, that it does not always stay the same size in actual model units.


At any rate, each method has some different benefits and problems to it - personally I find that the auto changing method gives more problems than benefits but I can understand that for other people with other ways of working it could be useful.

Eventually I would hope to make an option for that, like I mentioned previously that will take some work to make that happen so it may take a while before I can get to that.

Because it can cause problems, it is just not something that I would really be able to change over completely in MoI to make it only behave that way and not in the current way.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.14 In reply to 2553.12 
Hi Will - maybe a better way for me to describe the problem is that the grid is not always used only for snapping on to, it also serves as a visual indicator of scale.

It works for that just when doing any normal kind of drawing or modeling, even if your current operation does not involve snapping to the grid.

With the automatic-changing kind of a grid, this other purpose of the grid tends to be degraded, the grid is no longer like a legend showing you one particular unit size anymore.

That tends to be frustrating if you were relying on the grid to provide visual cues for what size you are currently viewing.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
2553.15 In reply to 2553.14 
Hi, well again for me, my initial request for this >was because of scale< - typically when working on spaceships, I need to zoom out to a coupla hundred meters to move around to different parts of the ship and then "dial in" to work on say a window or a hatch or vent area etc.

When I got home, I had MoI and LW open and that was when I noticed how MoI's grid becomes unusable when you zoom in or out while in comparision, LW's grid maintained the same visual distance but your "view" of the visible space within your scene became either more or less.

My thought there was "wow!, I'd still be able to have all of MoI's great snaps working for me if the grid worked this way" - that's why I brought up the snapping part there at the end.


If you look at my GIF again, as I zoomed out to 20m level, your objects just keeps getting smaller, which to me, is my indication of scale.

Say that cube was a "man" floating in space and I wanted to rough out the size my Rescue Shuttle next to him - I can sorta judge the scale of objects I need to create by dialing up or down and seeing the amount of space I have available relative to other object(s) in the scene.


I thought the problem with this in MoI would have been wheeling arbitrary zoom values again like 1.82cm or similar - THAT would be horrifying for me also to work with!

However I can easily grasp creating my objects when I can see my grid is say 1, 2, 5 or 10 (20, 50, 100) units etc., it's not distracting at all.

Mentally for me, it's like a multiplier; "hmmm, let me zoom out 10 units and add this...", "this part should be 50x larger..." - that's typically how I use this kind of grid.

I thought if it was trival or not too hard to implement, it would have been a nice INI file option.

Yes, you'd need a UI to display the current grid value, but looking at MoI just now, I could see a small text item right below the viewport axis icons for each viewport " G:10m " or " G:50' " in that same nice light/semi-transparent font.

OR (looking again), right next to the viewport name "Top (20mm)" may be a good spot to display the grid unit - it could also be made to fade out similar to the viewport controls as well so it's not distracting...

-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.16 In reply to 2553.15 
Hi Will, I wish it was actually as easy as you make it sound to do alterations like this! :)

But that kind of a system with different possible grids for every viewport is not necessarily easy to integrate with MoI's current system which has some pieces of the UI that are built on the current idea that there is one global grid size.

Changes need to be reconciled with the existing UI, like what should the Options / Grid / Grid size control say when you have this situation that you want where there would be 4 different grids on the screen at the same time?

What kind of UI is necessary to control the new system, do you need to specify what kind of increments are possible?

Does there need to be a control to switch between this system and MoI's current system?

Does LightWave actually have a way to manually set the grid to a specific value at all? If so, what happens if you set the grid size to something that happens to be dense in the current zoom level, does it immediately shift it away from the specific value that you entered?


> and that was when I noticed how MoI's grid becomes unusable
> when you zoom in or out

Actually when you zoom out and the grid gets dense that does not mean it is totally unusable, it is still doing that job of serving as a visual scale reference which is one of the other things that it can be used for aside from snapping.


At any rate, I would like to do this at some point of time in the future but it is not just a matter of writing a couple of lines of code and it's done, there are quite a few things to consider about how it would integrate, I already mention several issues above those are just the ones right off the top, it takes time and careful consideration to change things like this, and it doesn't help that the end result would cause problems and not really be good to have turned on by default.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
2553.17 In reply to 2553.16 
Hi Michael, being a programmer myself, I wouldn't expect implementing something similar to what Newtek does to be all that simple - that's why I had initally asked was it feasible.

Not knowing how you've implemented your grid system, I was just wondering if it was a matter of just adding some kind of switch that could be enabled that would let you "zoom out the object" on a locked grid step in a similar fashion.


I didn't realize until I got home and tried it that it was the camera that is pulling back when I zoom out, not changing the grid size and have the object scale follow to indicate the change in distance between the grid units.


However you managed the zoom between your viewports now is fine for me, (it can be locked for all I care), I wasn't expecting a whole lot of fancy, I was just looking for a way to be able to zoom up and down my grid resolution so I can work with large structures or fine details in a similar, continuous flow...

-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2553.18 In reply to 2553.17 
Hi Will,

> that's why I had initally asked was it feasible.

Well, not without solving the problems I previously mentioned about how to integrate it with the existing UI...

That last problem that I mentioned seems to be a particularly big one though - I assume in LightWave that there is some method for you to choose a specific grid cell size?

Or does it not have any ability to do that, with having that dynamic changing size grid system completely in place of a user settable grid size?

I'm not quite sure how it would work to have both - what if you were zoomed out and then you enter in a grid size that would normally make the grid show up as a dense set of lines, does it immediately switch out to a different scale factor, shifting away from the value that you just entered?


> I was just looking for a way to be able to zoom up and down my
> grid resolution so I can work with large structures or fine details
> in a similar, continuous flow...

Probably the closest thing to this right now in MoI would be to set up some keyboard shortcuts for moving the grid up or down in increments, like this:

Increase grid by a factor of 2:
script:moi.grid.size *= 2.0; moi.grid.snapSize = moi.grid.size;

Decrease grid by a factor of 2:
script:moi.grid.size /= 2.0; moi.grid.snapSize = moi.grid.size;


- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
2553.19 In reply to 2553.18 
Another option that may solve part of Will's issue is to have a "readout" of how far away from me (the center of the universe) his view is.

He could then do the math as to the relative size of his objects. The snapping wouldnt follow but his mind would.
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 From:  steve (STEEVE)
2553.20 In reply to 2553.18 
Thanks Michael, I get your point.

i was just playing around with the circular array variables in MoI, when i thought how cool it would be if the vertical step or the radial step could be changed in an organic way.

having said that though I have to say that the available array possibilities in MoI are excellent
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