Basic "how-to" video on XYZ, distance, angle functions ?

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 From:  Alomphega
5200.1 
Hello,

I am still learning this amazing and brillant software, and I thank again Michael for this excellent tool he made for us.

But as a real beginner I have to say some functions like sizing objects sounds strange for me, and I do not understand clearly while reading the manual how it can work (or at least if it can do what I think).

Is there somewhere any video tutorial showing the basics of how to use the "XYZ, distance, angle" boxes ?
Or/and how to (re)sizing (with exact measurement) an already drawn item ?

Thank you very much for your time answering to me,
Best Regards,

Guy Capra,
always working on few funny projects :
www.nauticaerium.com ; www.conceptarum.com and so on...

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 From:  Michael Gibson
5200.2 In reply to 5200.1 
Hi Guy,

> Is there somewhere any video tutorial showing the basics of how
> to use the "XYZ, distance, angle" boxes ?

I don't think that there is a video tutorial for that, but their use is fairly straightforward - those controls can be used for numeric input anytime MoI is asking you to input a point location, like for example when drawing a line MoI will ask you to input a point location first for the beginning point and then for the end point of the line.

While MoI is asking for those points instead of picking the point with the mouse, the XYZ input box allows you to specify a numeric value, like for instance if you want the line to start at coordinate x = 50, y = 25, z = 5 you can type in the coordinates:

50,25,5

To put the point at that location - one thing to note though is that if your country locale uses the comma as the decimal point separator (like if you represent the fraction 1/2 in decimal as 0,5 with a comma as the decimal point), then you should use spaces to separate the x y z components of the coordinate rather than commas. Is that possibly what got things confused for you initially here?


You can use the distance input to activate "distance constraint" - this will have an effect on the second point picked in drawing commands - you use that to draw a line of a specific length. So for example if you want to draw a line that is constrained to be 5 units long then you can make that happen by placing the first point of the line and then before finishing drawing the line enter 5 in the distance input box and then after that you will see the line constrained to that particular length. You can also activate distance constraint by typing in a single number into the x,y,z control instead of a 2d or 3d coordinate. That can be the most convenient way to activate it actually since your keystrokes will go to the x,y,z coordinate input if you just start typing numbers without clicking on any controls.


The angle input allows you to draw lines at a particular angle - if you enter in a value of 30 for example in that field when you are drawing the second point of a line, you will see the line snap in 30 degree increments. You can activate that from the x,y,z coordinate control as well if you put in an < sign at the beginning of the number, so for example if you want to draw a line at a 30 degree angle you can type in <30 and push Enter without needing to click on any of those fields.


Is there any particular situation that you're trying to achieve with numeric input that you're having difficulty with? It may be easier to help you if there was some specific scenario that you are having problems with which I could then walk you through.> Or/and how to (re)sizing (with exact measurement) an already drawn item ?

When you select an object, there is a size readout that displays in the upper right properties panel area - if you click on that line a menu will pop out which will allow you to edit the size values. See the #4 labeled thing shown here:
http://moi3d.com/2.0/docs/moi_command_reference11.htm#propertiespanel

But note that MoI does not have the exact same functionality as a "constraint based parametric" style modeling program, if you need something where you want to edit one dimension of a sketch and have the sketch change just in that one area with other parts of the sketch adapting to that, you may want to look into some programs like SolidWorks, Pro/E, Alibre, etc... which are focused on that kind of editing by constraints mechanism.

- Michael

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by MICHAEL GIBSON

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 From:  Marc (TELLIER)
5200.3 In reply to 5200.2 
In Moi, the coordinate plan is on the floor, with z pointing towards the zenith.

It can be sometimes confusing for those who comes from a polygonal 3d software.

Marc
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 From:  Alomphega
5200.4 In reply to 5200.2 
Hi Michael and Mark and all,

Ok now !
Thank you very much for your explanations :-D

What was confusing for me was my computing reflexes : when I typed numbers I validated with [Enter] waiting the object understand the typing and draw itself consequently.
Well, I waited the automatic drawing... And now I understand I can continue to wait if I have time enough ! ;-)

The same for re-sizing objects : after selecting the object to re-size I typed measurements within the "XYZ" boxe and after [Enter] I thought the object could redraw itself... Astonishing, no ? ;o)

For all newbies as me, maybe it could be cool to explain exactly the sequence needed for Distance and angle tools as for the properties panel ; for instance for a line :

Distance & angle :
1) after selecting the line tool clic the first point of the object to draw the beginning of the line
2) then directly on keyboard type a number and do [tabulation] to let the system understand that you typed something or clic within the distance box and type your number on pad then clic OK button.
3) with your mouse in the drawing window choose the direction you want for your fixed measured line and clic to fix and draw it.
3bis) you can do the same within the angle box to constrain some angle directions before your last drawing clic.

Properties panel (to change dimension of an object after drawing) :
1) clic on the object you want to change measurement and clic dirdctly on the text showing the size on the top right corner of the MoI window.
2) clic within the box you want to change, type new number and [tab] or [Enter] to validate.

There a small flv video file showing the process helping to understand it is not needed to complicate the life as I have done ;-) :
http://www.adalius.fr/media/20120619-4MoI-forum/MoIDistanceAngleProperties.flv
(download the link to your disk to open it with VLC for instance)

Hoping this will help a bit some newbies to keep it simple !
Best Regards,
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5200.5 In reply to 5200.4 
Hi Guy - it sounds like you've got it all figured out now!

So yes, the XYZ input area is for typing coordinates in right when MoI is asking you for a point coordinate, like for example during the line command or during some kinds of actions like transform commands too.

If you type coordinates in that particular area after the command is totally finished it won't do anything then, numeric object resizing is separate from point input - object sizing is handled by that separate place in the properties panel which shows the different properties of the selected objects.

- Michael
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