Object grouping and organization.  1-20  21-32

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 From:  JTB
384.1 

This thread is supposed to be a help for Michael... I believe that almost all of us have some experience with other 3d apps.
The question is:
"WHAT METHOD DO YOU PREFER FOR OBJECT HANDLING AND GROUPING?"
For example... Do you want a layering system? Do you want object names and group names?
Do you want a simple object hierarchy tree?
My experience is from AutoCAD, Revit and a little of Max. They use different grouping and naming methods.

I start this thread because it is very difficult for me to tell what method is best for MoI.


Please write your opinion, avoid -if possible- to answer to everyone else unless there is something important to clarify.
Let's keep this thread as small and readable as possible. I would make a poll if there was such possibility.

I have to go immediately so I will write my opinion later...

EDITED: 6 Feb 2007 by JTB

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 From:  jbshorty
384.2 
Since there is a very strong connection with Rhino and Moi, it would also be very nice if Moi had a system that transfers layer data to and from Rhino... In general i think Rhino's sytem of layer management (speaking of Rhino 4) is very simple and effective. It's also nice because groupings are layer/sublayer independent, and you can assign group names, object names, etc... The only thing missing is hierarchies. If Moi used Rhino 4's system but added the (optional) function of hierarchies into the sublayers that would be pretty ideal for me. My idea is just a small button which drops down to show a list of hierarchy options :

**no hierarchy connection, after selected the button will display as " T "
**link to next level in the branch, after selected the button will display as " + "
**link to top level in the branch, after selected the button will display as " - "

jonah
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 From:  JTB
384.3 

OK, this is what I think so far...I will try to find the best way by analysing the way three apps work... AutoCAD, Revit, Max. This is the only experience I have from 3d apps.
Layers are very easy, very fast and very flexible since you can change an object's layer whenever you want. AutoCAD for example, needs layers because it is a general drafting application so there are no categories by default... You can draw what ever you want and the layer shows where the object belongs to... The grouping method was always blocks...AutoCAD objects where always "dead" objects... You want to change something, you have to do all the work again, no connection between them and there was no way to update the changes in real time... For example when I move a wall to a floor plan, the section will not be updated, I have to move the wall there too.
Revit has no layers at all... Because it is fully oriented application there was no need of them... We have categories, names, group names...styles... things that can help identifying all objects... For example we have a "Brick wall 20cm" from level 1 to level 2, and level1 has a distance of 3 meters from level2, so the wall is too 3m high, and it has a door and a window that can't exist without the wall... Everything is connected, I move the window and I have all sections and elevations updated in real time.Revit has objects so layers are not needed.
Max, has layers to be compatible with other Autodesk products. When we start a scene in max, we have objects that get a name by default but can easily be renamed by the user. We have a list of objects and we can pick by name, by material, by layer... Also we can group objects so that they behave as one (moved together for example) and also create named sets so that the objects are not connected like groups but they can be selected together.

I think that the system Michael should choose for MoI depends on what kind of features will be added. For example, if we have object modifiers and modification history, layers don't work... We got to have named objects. Also, if curves and solids are connected (as they should in my opinion) we need some hierarchy tree like Max's modifier stack.
Since sub object handling (vertex, edge, surface) will be added the hierarchy tree will be important.

EDITED: 6 Feb 2007 by JTB

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 From:  Ray
384.4 In reply to 384.2 
Regarding object grouping and organization I would like a method comparable to
* Blender's "outliner",
* Cinema 4D or
* SolidThinking.
All these programs have a kind of object hierarchy that allows to select object, surfaces and also curves. Selecting objects in the 3D view can be very difficult, especially when you want to select a large number of objects. For example, to model an aircraft fuselage using a "loft" you have to select a number of cross sections in the correct order. The nice thing about the hierarchy is that it also allows to hide/unhide certain objects. Although the method used by MoI works, it is not always practical.

Of the programs mentioned above Cinema 4D has the most interesting feature, namely that when you build an object out of curves or surfaces the original curve is kept in the hierarchy. You can then later change this curve and this alters the complete object.This is also the case for mirrored objects and booleans. A number of objects can be grouped to a larger part.

So the wish list would be
- being able to name objects/curves and place them in an hierarchical list
- being able to select objects/curves from the hierarchy
- being able to hide/unhide objects using the list
- being able to combine objects/curves into parts by selecting and grouping them
- being able to combine objects/curves into parts by using construction commands (sweep, boolean etcetera)

Note that I find MoI already very useful in the state it is now! The above would make it better but amazingly enough you can build very complex objects without any of these fancy features.

Yours sincerely,

Ray.
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 From:  okapi
384.5 In reply to 384.4 
I would also vote for something similar to C4d's new release (r10).
It combines as mentioned already a scene tree, which allows you to parent objects, organize your scene etc....
Attributes ( such as visibility) are inherited from the parent, unless specifically defined for an object).
You can also define any object to serve as the root for the diplayed tree, which allows you to easily navigate through complex scenes.
This is combined with a search filer and selection filter system,
and with a layers system.

Quite good really in my opinion.
I have experience with Maya, 3dsmax, Acad, FormZ and Rhino other than Cinema4d, and I would say that I like the C4d system best.
MOI may not need something as elaborate as C4d, since it is only a modeler, and not an animation package.

What would be important to have as well is a good Isolate implementation, to work on just part of a scene.
And as mentioned already, a good way of importing / exporting file - organization structures ( be it layers or otherwise)
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 From:  JTB
384.6 
I was expecting a very big participation to this thread... I was wrong... Is it something I don't know? Did Michael announce something or is it that you don't find this important? Maybe it is because you trust that Michael will choose the best way... So do I, but I think we can help him a little.
If there is any other opinion, I think it would be useful to have it here.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
384.7 In reply to 384.6 
> If there is any other opinion, I think it would be useful to have it here.

Yes, let me second this. If anyone has any ideas on what they'd like to see in this area, or recommendations on other programs that handle this area well, please post your thoughts here.

The more information that I have about this the better.

- Michael
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 From:  Fitz (3DARTZ)
384.8 In reply to 384.7 
Well there is plenty of room under the right hand side tool buttons. or above it.
Also, I wouldn't mind seeing the group window as a floating window that can be called up
via a button that would sit with the other tool buttons.
That way, it's gone unless you need it.

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com
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 From:  Satoribomb
384.9 
Hey Michael,

You might take a look at Wings 3D & Adobe Illustrator for ways to organize the Grouping/Layering functions. Wings' "Geometry Graph" window allows you to select, name, view/hide, and change the shading options of individual objects. See the "Wings" image below. However, it is limited by not being able to handle re-ordering, hierarchies or "group operations" (like multi-selecting to change the shading or visibility of many objects at once). As well, each object has its own entry making objects composed of a lot of primitives- like the spider tank rough-out in my screen capture - take up a lot of space in the window.

Illustrator uses a similar approach but allows parenting, multi-select and group operations within and across layers - see Illustrator image below.

Both examples use a tabular layout, almost like a spreadsheet, which keeps navigation simple, direct and easy. Using this kind of layout would also allow you to move some of the commands (like "hide", "show points", etc) off of the edit panel, and onto this new panel. Like the rest of the GUI, the Geometry/Layer section could be added to the right hand side as a collapsible panel, perhaps as part of the middle edit/view panel. This approach would keep current the look and feel intact, adds to the functionality, provides ease of use and doesn't have to hog precious UI real-estate. A win for everyone, provided the coding isn't too back-breaking!

Hope this is helpful info. I know this functionality would benefit me greatly and improve MoI's already fast and comfortable workflow.

Thanks for soliciting and valuing our input.

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 From:  JTB
384.10 
I am terrified with what I see here... I fear that this is the most difficult decision for you Michael...
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 From:  Fitz (3DARTZ)
384.11 
the wings and illlustrator windows scare me.... they almost look like command prompt windows and don't fit with the elegent
design look of MOI.
I say we leave the graphical look to Michael, but submit any sort of advantageous workflow....
2cents.... right there!

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com
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 From:  JTB
384.12 In reply to 384.11 

Fitz wrote:
the wings and illlustrator windows scare me.... they almost look like command prompt windows and don't fit with the elegent
design look of MOI.


I agree 100%. What we should have (instead of a scene hierarchy tree) is an object and subobject hierarchy tree.
I have to say this again... Max's object grouping with MoI's ease of use, powerful commands and perfect UI will be a best seller. To be able to have this combination MoI should have a kind of modifiers and a very detailed editable modification history

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
384.13 
My 2 cents :)
As Moi is used principaly without the keyboard insert Text of name of Object will be painful
So just use the "Palett color of windows" with 3 levels of depth for group "objects colored"
So you obtain
48 * 3 = 114 virtual "boxes" inside you can put any numbers of objects!
And you can select or unselect any "boxes" that you want !
so 48 *48 *48 = 110 592 combinaisons only by clicking color boxes ;)

Advantage : you will see all the arborescence hierachy in a wink ;)

Seems it's ilusion to list 100 000 or more objects by "text"
Just colored objects in a "box" seems sufficient :)
Colorisation of objects will be Enable/ Disable

@Michael : the little yellow line over blue object (or elsewhere) is my fault and not a default of the Moi system image :)
One more time : at first view I believed that we can only put "one "image" by "Window, Face, Top..." but there is not limit!!! :D
Transparency seems woks very well this time :)


---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 21 Feb 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  JTB
384.14 In reply to 384.13 

PILOU wrote:
...As Moi is used principaly without the keyboard insert Text of name of Object will be painful

My opinion is:
The ability of using tablet PC with MoI cannot possibly change the fact that MoI is a CAD application using NURBS. There could never be a decent CAD application without text writing, editing and formatting capabilities. Also dimensions will probably need some editing too.
I understand what you mean PILOU but there is another way to minimize keyboard entry... Automatic naming for curves and predefined solids, for example circle1, circle2, box1, box2 etc...There will be a way for all others, I'm sure. After all, what is important is the ability to change and re-model the objects, not selecting them or naming them... Names are important when other things are involved, like bill of materials or quantity schedule for example.
Selecting the object [solid3245] you will be able to see [circle74] and the [rectang35]. Then by changing the diameter of [circle74] (two clicks or a simple slider) you have a new [solid3245]
Now, if for a reason you want to rename [solid3245] to [main connector] for example, it is up to you.
I can't think of a faster way of modeling and re-modeling an object.

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
384.15 In reply to 384.14 

@ JTB : Agree with you if you not consider MoI as a speedy "Pre Modeler"
Depend of the finality of the conceptor :)
Sure if you can name each object that will be an ideal terrific thing!

---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 12 Feb 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  JTB
384.16 In reply to 384.15 
@Pilou

>Agree with you if you not consider MoI as a speedy "Pre Modeler"
I think you see MoI as it is right now, I am thinking of how it will be as a future version. I believe that Michael is not preparing a Pre-Modeler, and Rhino for example is not at all a pre-modeler...
I can understand your problem with too much use of text but the automatic naming can be a solution. After all, every program I know has some kind of object naming, so it will be easy to find a way on that.

BTW, the idea with the boxes was very original!
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 From:  Fitz (3DARTZ)
384.17 In reply to 384.13 
I don't think that this is the way to go.
We run out of quickly identifiable colors very quickly.
As the number of the objects build up so will the similiar colored groups and
that will be confusing.

And besides it starts to look very "toy" like this way.

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
384.18 In reply to 384.16 
@JTB
< and Rhino for example is not at all a pre-modeler...
Of course yes!
But maybe you can see MoI as a pre Modeler for Rhino for example :)

@Fitz
< it starts to look very "toy" like this way
Of course I drew some colorful objects :)
Life is not also a sort of "Game of Life"? So...;)

Serious pieces can be colored too :)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery

EDITED: 13 Feb 2007 by PILOU

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 From:  Crusoe the Painter (CRUSOE)
384.19 In reply to 384.13 
Pilou:

Naming objects and groups of them though is a important part of organizing. If I'm modeling a castle, and want to hide everything but the north tower, having a name allows me to see this, and in a heirarchy tree, I can show it, and hide the others. I don't have to remember that the North tower is the green box 4 levels down.

Colors are cute, but it's easy to run out of them. In a complex scene, and the fact selecting currently changes the color of the item selected, how many objects till "Pumpkin" becomes indistinguishable from "Orange"? It can quickly become difficult to tell closely related colors apart, especially since silo has shading. So "Orange" in the shadow may look like brown.

Minimizing keyboard interaction is good, but I want labels.

I want my tank model to have a "Barrel" group, and a "Turret" group, and a "Tread" group. And I may want to assign a custom color. And I want my reference image, and starting curves assigned to a different layer so I can hide/show them as needed.

And trees of heirarchal boxes leads to box shuffling hell, as you move them up and around, and organize them. Anyone who has dealt with filesystems knows this.
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 From:  Fitz (3DARTZ)
384.20 In reply to 384.19 
yeah, what he said:)
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