re Sketchup Export
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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: 27 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: 27 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!
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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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 From:  igor
3790.21 In reply to 3790.20 
Thanks Michael!

ps At the moment SKP export is neither usable for an
> experienced user nor for a starter <...>
in terms of post-processing I meant - otherwise export is the best of the best

The groups is the highest priority - you are correct!

I'll point you to the relevant Google training vids when I get home for general method with layers

Regards
Igor
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.22 In reply to 3790.20 
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
3790.23 
Else big difference with other prog
Layers are only for visibility not for the geometry!
(a window layer a, glass layer b, you change size window, glass is changed also)
so you must make groups or components for avoid that
Something drawn on a layer is visible on all other layers!!!
Something on calque 0 inside a group on layer b will be visible on layer b even you hide Layer 0
it's not the case for layers different than layer 0

Ideal is drawing something in layer 0, then dispatch it on a other layer

it's for that than some people don't never use layers but just the Onliner!
(only layer0 as you can't kill it)
all is managed by the arborescence and names object
so you must be just well organised and all works perfectly without layers!
No problem of a groups in layer a, other part in layer 0 etc...
only one layer :)

you don't want see something? Select & Right click on the name(s) in the Outliner / hide et voilĂ  :)
Of course you can make anything in the Outliner
group anything, make component anything, move anything etc

So yes "group" first from Moi to Sketchup will be very fine :)
Components will be more complex because they can be also gluying, cutting...

EDITED: 28 Sep 2010 by PILOU

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 From:  igor
3790.24 In reply to 3790.23 
Michael

Let me be clear - We have two issues - one is grouping - the other is style translation

As for the first - as we have agreed - it will be useful.

As for the second - there's not yet a clear vision what would be the best but i want to make a suggestion.

As I had some time to think over where styles should go (layers or materials) I came to a conclusion that it should be materials

Sorry I misguided you first as I was mislead by what you once said regarding styles as layers. Layers are of no particular use in Skp (as Pilou also mentioned) so I suggest a new paradigm - say I need to model a pen or a teapod which isn't quite easy to do in su
So i go moi and model it there - then i assign different styles for different parts of a model and them export it to su (for presentation)
In su the moi styles automatically traslated into materials and if there is an already setup material named same as style - then style becomes that material
By that I have fully prepared beautiful materials in su as well as entourage and a moi model ready to be styled, rendered or documented. That makes sense to me. I Mean I assign SKP materials right inside MoI

And when you introduce groups in MoI those may become layers or a group of groups as i previously mentioned.

this paradigm will significantly intensify use of MoI in my everyday practice

what you think?

Regards
Igor
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 From:  unclecharlie
3790.25 In reply to 3790.24 
I do a lot of Sketchup work so here are my opinions:

Export objects as groups. Assign style colors as materials. All geometry and groups placed on Layer 0.

It is possible to also export geometry as locked groups, which can be safer but is not actually high on my list. When you import landscape geometry from Google Earth into Sketchup it comes in locked.

That's all; keep it as simple as possible.

Stay away from Layers. I have read that the only reason Sketchup has layers is because they knew they would have to import AutoCad layers somehow. Beginners can really screw up their geometry if they don't know how to use layers.

As the discussion has shown, edges, faces and vertices of two different objects can be stuck together if they get too close in Sketchup. This can happen between two objects that are on different layers if they are not grouped, even if one of the layers is turned off. So you can drag around all kinds of invisible stuff if you aren't careful. I don't use layers much. I prefer to hide/unhide groups and components in the Outliner.

It would be impractical to export objects as components because each component has its own axes. Well designed components require well placed axes which is a step you might as well take in Sketchup rather than an export dialog. It is easy enough to select a group and make it a component once it is imported.

unc
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 From:  Michael Gibson
3790.26 
Thanks Igor & Pilou & unc for the additional feedback, that's helping to get things on a clearer track.

This whole business of "SketchUp has layers but you shouldn't use them" is kind of weird.

Also the interaction in SketchUp between groups and layers was somewhat baffling to me for a bit, but I think I've figured out now that layer0 is treated in a special way, with geometry set to layer0 taking on the color of the group's own layer, while geometry in other layers retains its geometry's own layer color or something along those lines.

The whole idea of a group having its own layer assignment as a separate thing from its geometry's layer assignments just seems like a kind of strange thing, particularly with the idea of overriding just some of those children's layer assignments but not others...

Some of this appears to apply to materials as well, since there seems to be a concept that a group can have its own material assignment as a separate thing from the materials assigned to faces within the group. It looks like if the faces are assigned to their own materials, then assigning a material to the group (or using the paint bucket on the whole group object) does nothing at all, which seems like it may be confusing to people.

On the other hand if I assign materials only to groups then that doesn't seem like it will be compatible with multiple materials within the same solid (if solids are exported as groups), like if you assign the top face of a box in MoI to be Style = Red, but have the side walls be Style = Blue...

I guess that I would assign materials to the faces so that multi-material solids would work as expected, and then just hope that people will know that they need to double-click or explode the group before their paintbrush tool in SketchUp would actually do anything to it. These kinds of things may be why I would not export objects as groups by default but have it as an option that you could turn on.

- Michael
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 From:  igor
3790.27 In reply to 3790.26 
I totally support this approach with just one little notion,

If a solid in Moi would have a single style assigned to it - I would go and assign a material to a group in Sketchup. If multiple materials are assigned to different parts of a solid in MoI - then I'd assign a material to each respective geometry part inside a group in SU

I personally always on purpose model solids as one style and if i get a group which has a mat assigned to geometry inside of a group in case of a multifaceted solid - I'd have to manually repaint each and every facet if i need to change a mat.

(of course there are plug-ins in SU - but that's not a neat way but a workaround)

No matter how you do eventually implement the feature I'm already happy as it's already looks like a good upgrade for me))

Thanks
Igor
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