re Sketchup Export  1-20  21-33

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 From:  igor
3790.1 
A short question re Sketchup Export

I have tried help but couldn't find anything..

I appreciate MoI ability to translate solid geometry so neatly into Sketchup entities

The only thing I haven't got a clue to is how do I export MoI solids as grouped entities?

This question is raised because Autocad exports solid geometry as Sketchup Groups which makes it possible to further process the geometry in Sketchup - unlike (if I'm not missing anything) MoI which does a pretty good job of creating correct geometry but not useful for further processing..

I'd appreciate if anyone could guide me or explain how to make solids as groups in Sketchup.

Thanks

Igor
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.2 In reply to 3790.1 
Hi Igor, currently there is not any mechanism built into MoI's SketchUp exporter to make group entities.

It seems like it could be a bit odd to just create a group for every object, for objects that did not have any kind of special grouping specified for them inside of MoI itself...

What specifically is the problem that you're having with processing the objects after importing them into SketchUp? SketchUp seems to have some built-in support for only grabbing connected objects for selection, for example if you export a scene with 3 separate box solids out of MoI into SketchUp, if you triple click on one of the boxes, that whole box will select and you can do things like move it, rotate it, etc...

You can also draw directly on objects transferred from MoI, push/pull them, etc.... is that the kind of further processing that you're talking about? That kind of stuff seems to be working already though.

Is there some kind of special processing that SketchUp is only able to do with groups and not with regular non-grouped objects?

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.3 
Since the V8 is released any volume waterproof without hole is named "solid" in Google sketchup!
Just right click on it / Infos and you will see "Solid" if it is of course :)

As all volumes from Moi arrive in one component

Explode it and use the plugs below depending of what do you want

And if you want make any selection of separated volumes as groups(separated) or components, there are some scripts that make that in a seconde ;)
like this free one for example by Chris fullmer ;)
This one make Groups
http://www.smustard.com/script/Loose2Groups

and some other if you want convert Goups in components
Make_components by Matt 666
http://rhin.crai.archi.fr/RubyLibraryDepot/plugin_details.php?id=583

so any problem with any volumes from Moi export ;)

EDITED: 26 Sep 2010 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.4 In reply to 3790.3 
Hi Pilou - actually exploding does not seem to be required.

Try the following - create 3 boxes in MoI and export it to SKP format and then go to SketchUp and open the file.

Now triple-click on one of the boxes - doesn't just that 1 box select for you so that you can move or rotate it separately from the other pieces? It seems to do that over here fine...

> As all volumes from Moi arrive in one component

It should just all be plain geometry, I don't think that there are any components defined at all.

- Michael
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 From:  igor
3790.5 In reply to 3790.4 
Hi Michael

Thank you for your comments

I'm a veteran Sketchup user from version 3 I think - so I have some experience with the program..

Unfortunately tripple clicking isn't working on entities which have been merged by MoI on export (eg two boxes touching each other)

The core foundation of working in Sketchup is that any closed volume and even polygon must be group - by that I mean that groups in sketchup isn't the same thing as any other groups in any other programs

This is why in my case I need all my components(actual objects in MoI) grouped in Sketchup to be able to edit them

ps and what you refer to as possible "groups" in Moi in Sketchup would be a group of groups.

ps2 in su 8 they introduced "solids" - this is something MoI should arrive at in the end when exporting its entities for SU (amendments in api have also been made) and solids can only exist as groups(components) as is anything in sketchup

Regards
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.6 In reply to 3790.5 
Hi Igor, thanks for the additional explanation - I can see that something like 2 boxes touching each other is going to be a problem, I guess because SketchUp does not seem to include a good selection mechanism for that case?

The same problem seems to happen just drawing in SketchUp directly, for example if I draw 2 adjacent squares in SketchUP and then push/pull each of them up, then triple-clicking gives the same effect of selecting both pieces together and not just one of the boxes.

Is the only solution to this selection difficulty in SketchUp to use groups? If so you may want to request some other kinds of selection options in SketchUp, something being able to select 1 individual solid instead of always selecting everything connected to every vertex.

In some programs a way to avoid this would be to have each object just have independent vertices instead of being connected together. But as far as I could tell SketchUp does not like to have more than 1 vertex stacked up on the same exact location, in fact it doesn't even seem to like to have any vertices closer than 0.001 inches apart from one another.

You might try looking for a plugin that would automatically assign all polygons that make up a closed solid into its own group, something like that would possibly solve the problem for you currently.


> The core foundation of working in Sketchup is that any
> closed volume and even polygon must be group

Sorry, I'm not sure if I understand this part - if you just draw some polygons and lines and push/pull in SketchUp, aren't those basic things created just as simple geometry and not as a group unless you specifically group them later on?

Also one thing that could be troublesome is that editing of geometry in groups seems to be done kind of differently, from what I can see you can't just immediately push/pull on a face that's in a group, you first have to double-click on the group to put it into a kind of edit mode first? I would be a bit worried that some people might get confused with this and think that their exported geometry was not actually editable since it behaved differently from regular simple drawn objects...


> (amendments in api have also been made)

So unfortunately in newer versions of their API they have dropped support for the particular compiler that I'm using (it's a bit older one), and they only distribute the API as an already compiled binary DLL only and not as a source library that could be compiled anywhere. So this unfortunately makes it somewhat difficult for me to use their newer APIs.

But it would be nice if they would just consider any closed set of polygons to be a solid, rather than having to mark it in some special way or create it as some specialized kind of entity or something like that.

What happens with objects brought in from previous versions of SketchUp? Like for example if you had a box in SketchUp 6, and you bring it into the new SketchUp does it not consider it to be a solid?

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.7 In reply to 3790.5 
I guess I see now how the "stacked vertices" type thing is possible using groups.

The "no stacked vertices allowed" thing seems to be within a single "entity container".

There is one entity container that just is part of the SketchUp document - this is where MoI currently writes all of its objects to, I think it's the same as if you had just drawn them all directly in SketchUp.

But it looks like when you make a group, the group has its own separate entity container and vertices that are created in there do not have to be fused to vertices in other containers.

I never really figured this out before from looking at the API, the API itself doesn't really have much documentation with it or descriptions of these kinds of issues, and that term "group" is not often used with other software to mean "the way to make non-fused vertices in the same x,y,z locations".

In MoI v3 I should be able to make an option that would write each MoI object into its own separate group so that they could remain more independent from each other.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.8 In reply to 3790.4 
> Now triple-click on one of the boxes - doesn't just that 1 box select for you so that you can move or rotate it separately from the other pieces? It seems to do that over here fine...

Yes Triple click is the normal way for select anything that have commun edges
(so as you can see on the image there is a little problem in case of commun edges of 2 differents objects from Moi! )



> As all volumes from Moi arrive in one component

> It should just all be plain geometry, I don't think that there are any components defined at all.

You right when you make "Open" in Sketchup

I have forgetten to precise that they arrive in one component when you make "Import"!!! :)
It's the same with import a true skp file (saved from sketchup) :)

PS As I reed and answser post in oder, maybe I made a redondant double answer :)

EDITED: 26 Sep 2010 by PILOU

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.9 
Maybe this can explain all things ;)



When you move A over b, or Draw A from the middle of B
Automatically segmented and "welded! A et B don't exist anymore !
so when you move the blue part, that make a sort of trapeze!

EDITED: 26 Sep 2010 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.10 In reply to 3790.9 
Hi Pilou,

> When you move A over b, or Draw A from the middle of B
> Automatically segmented and "welded! A et B don't exist anymore !
> so when you move the blue part, that make a sort of trapeze!

Yup, but try moving A over B after having made A and B each into a separate group and you should see different behavior.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.11 In reply to 3790.10 
< A and B each into a separate group and you should see different behavior.

Of course : it's for that group exist ;)

and for that export from Moi volumes (named or colored...) in groups or components will be fine :)

Because plugs that i shown above can't resolve case of 2 volumes intersected with a commun edges :)

EDITED: 27 Sep 2010 by PILOU

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 From:  igor
3790.12 In reply to 3790.11 
"the group has its own separate entity container and vertices that are created in there do not have to be fused to vertices in other containers."

Michael, I'm happy you have figured it out - this is how an skp assembly works

"core foundation" - is a fundamental core (my English fails me sometimes))

Therefore I hope you'd release a point release as waiting for two years and using AutoCAD all this time to translate MoI sats isn't just a really pleasant prospect

Regards

EDITED: 27 Sep 2010 by IGOR

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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.13 In reply to 3790.12 
Hi Igor, this would be something that I could add in to MoI v3 - but it should not take 2 years for that to come out, something more like a couple of months before the first beta would be ready.

My policy is to only release point releases for major bug fixes, things like data loss bugs, etc...

This is necessary for me because of my limited time and resources - it takes a lot of time to try and work within multiple streams of development simultaneously, so when I make a release I try to work hard on it _before_ the release to polish it up as well as I can, so that once it is released I can then move on to work on the new development stream as much as possible instead of bouncing around back and forth.

In this particular case, SKP export was added into the MoI v2 Sep-21-2008 beta, 2 years ago, and this is the first time someone has mentioned this grouping thing as a particular issue with it.

If this request would have come out during the v2 beta period, then that would have made it possible to work on incorporating the option into v2. But now v2 is finished, and I'm working on v3, so that's the next opportunity for this feature enhancement to be added in.

- Michael
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 From:  igor
3790.14 In reply to 3790.13 
Michael

Thank you for the continued best support I've ever seen!

One more issue for the SketchUp export I would like to mention.

First - you were right - if you export a MoI solid object as a group - it will automatically become a solid in SU 8 (not straight away but upon transformation into a component) so there is a research to be made on whether place MoI objects(solids, surfaces) in a group container or a component container - for now I'd highly recommend a group container with an option in the future to also place objects into a component container (as soon as you release your instancing system)

Second - styles - these are an equivalent to SketchUp layers and therefore it would be logical to further (besides grouping) assign MoI objects residing in a particular style - a corresponding layer in SketchUp (I mean to create corresponding to MoI styles SU layers) and - further (what is even more important!) assign those layers a corresponding to MoI style color! - as SketchUp Layers also have colors assigned to them!

I guess you have not sorted MoI objects via an SU exporter by styles before as you hadn't the styles system fully setup and released - now that we have styles I believe the time has come to update the exporter to reflect the latest changes in MoI

PS re grouping - there are sometimes unconnected stray lines, curves in a Moi scene alongside with Solids and surfaces - I think that if they should come in as groups as well (those which are connected in MoI - should go into one group container)
also a consistent naming for the groups would be highly welcome eg - solid001, curve001, line001, polyline001 - this way we will be ably to quickly isolate stray objects and delete them just by looking in the outliner(object explorer)


Best regards

Igor

EDITED: 27 Sep 2010 by IGOR

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.15 
< consistent naming for the groups would be highly welcome eg - solid001, curve001, line001, polyline001 - this way we will be ably to quickly isolate stray objects and delete them just by looking in the outliner(object explorer)
or / and why not the named object given in Moi ? so if i have a hull, hull__curve001, hull_line 001 etc ..:)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.16 In reply to 3790.14 
Hi Igor,

> I guess you have not sorted MoI objects via an SU
> exporter by styles before as you hadn't the styles
> system fully setup and released

Well, yes partly that but also partly I was not quite sure whether Styles in MoI should be mapped to Layers in the SKP file or whether it should be mapped to a materials list in the SKP file.

From what I could tell, there seems to be these 2 different ways that you can use in SketchUp to control an object's color and it was not very clear to me which of these ways I should decide to use...

So you would think that making Styles into Layers would be better than Styles into materials?

- Michael
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 From:  igor
3790.17 In reply to 3790.16 
Michael

That depends on the methodology of an assembly in MoI - I once heard from you - that styles is a different name for layers - but if one uses styles as layers in MoI then SKP layers would be a best match, but if one uses them as a way to assign a color for an object then it should be a material with equivalent rgb and same name as a MoI style..

My personal preference is layers as I do layered assemblies and until MoI groups are released there is no other way to control visibility of a group of objects

But the best solution would be to make an export option (Styles Mapped To: Layers; Materials) as methodologies may evolve

Yeah and Pilou was right - the best would be to name objects as they are in MoI - a brilliant thought! (and also su groups have a definition name to them - something to be filled in)

If we choose map styles to layers as a first step then I forgot to mention that all geometry itself should go to layer0 and a group(or component) container should go to a respective layer - only containers should be sorted into layers - not geometry itself

Regards
Igor
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.18 In reply to 3790.17 
Hi Igor, well all these kinds of many various options are kind of something that I rather hope to avoid if possible.

If there is some way that would be the most common way that everyone wants to use it, then I'd prefer to just make it work in that way instead of making both more complex code and more complex UI to control so many different various ways of generating the output.

With many different options available, I'm also then left with the problem of having to decide what the defaults should be. And if I get that wrong and make some kind of unexpected configuration the default it leads to quite a few people being confused about why they are not getting the results they expect.


> If we choose map styles to layers as a first step then
> I forgot to mention that all geometry itself should go
> to layer0 and a group(or component) container should
> go to a respective layer - only containers should be
> sorted into layers - not geometry itself

Sounds like another potentially complex "bag of worms" - is this a common practice with SketchUp to not put the actual geometry on layers? If so, then I guess it makes me wonder why SketchUp would be set up to allow it if it should not be done. All these many various kinds of choices (output geometry to the document's entity container? Or a group container? or as a component? etc...) add quite a lot of complexity and potential for confusion. I know it does not seem like that to you since you've got a lot of experience with SketchUp so having a panel full of all these options with all these particular terms in them (and implicit stuff like geometry not going to the layers, ...) is not going to be a problem for you, but try to think about what it will appear like to someone who is far less experienced...


> That depends on the methodology of an assembly in MoI -
> I once heard from you - that styles is a different name
> for layers

Well, sort of - I've tried to make it similar in many ways to how layers work, but it's not quite exactly the same. But it's also similar to how materials work as well since it controls the visual appearance of your objects. And when you export to a rendering program through OBJ format (which doesn't have any concept of layers in it), they become materials at that time.


Anyway, when there is not a clear answer for how something should work and instead it needs some kind of choices and configurations, that just in general often times makes me tread slowly and cautiously because it tends to be difficult for me to remove complexity like that later on, and generally adding more and more complexity all the time is one way that UI in general gets bogged down and turns into something that is difficult to use rather than something that is easy to use.

- Michael

EDITED: 28 Sep 2010 by MICHAEL GIBSON

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 From:  igor
3790.19 In reply to 3790.18 
Michael

At the moment SKP export is neither usable for an experienced user nor for a starter - and I use Autocad to export

My suggestion doesn't change anything in visual appearance of a model and people who don't know SU won't notice anything all SU styles will be applied as normal

You may leave number of options available currently via UI as it is and the rest (for "experienced users") hide in the ini file - so everyone would be happy - people who just need to export for a Sketchy View and experienced users who need to post process the model

But in my experience the common SU practice is taught in the very first lesson about SU - nothing really any deep

Regards
Igor
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.20 In reply to 3790.19 
Hi Igor,

> At the moment SKP export is neither usable for an
> experienced user nor for a starter <...>

I know for sure that this is not correct, because the only feedback that I've had up until now is from people who are using it successfully for their work.

Yours is the first feedback about the groups issue.


> You may leave number of options available currently via UI
> as it is and the rest (for "experienced users") hide in the
> ini file

The UI is only one of the issues (although certainly a big one) - it also takes me a lot of effort just to implement numerous configuration options, especially in a case like this where the documentation for the library is poor and where the overall mechanism has many things to look out for.

Just writing the geometry well involved quite a lot of work due to various issues that had no mention in documentation, like vertices cannot be closer than 0.001 units apart, exporting polylines will crash if you create them with line segments and the vertices of the line segments get merged with existing geometry, etc.., etc.., etc... it's not like I can just throw a switch and instantly have new export features working totally smoothly, on the contrary it takes a lot of effort to make them work well. Particularly in something that has proven to be delicate and have numerous issues.

So in general these things get developed at a somewhat slower pace - it is not feasible for me to just load in a ton of options "just in case" for things that I'm not sure are even going to be used or not.

So instead of just saying you want options for all kinds of different behavior, it helps me a lot if you could prioritize what would be the most important for you, so that I can implement things one step at a time with the most important stuff getting implemented first.

From what it sounds like, an option to export each MoI object as a separate group would be the highest priority thing, is that correct? I think that I understand how that should work. That seems like it could be the best starting point for the next feature work on SKP export.

For layers or materials, that one could need to wait a bit until I get some more feedback on what would be the most expected way to have that work...

> But in my experience the common SU practice is taught
> in the very first lesson about SU

Are any of these lessons online or in the official SketchUp documentation? If you can point me towards some documentation that gives some official recommendation to not assign geometry to other layers than layer 0 for example, that would definitely help make it easier for me to focus on that as the main method to process stuff.

- Michael
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