A feature request

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 From:  boatstalker
686.1 
Michael,

Do you plan to include some kind of a measuring tape function in the first commercial version?

All the best,

Boatstalker
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 From:  JTB
686.2 In reply to 686.1 
I guess what you need is a 3d tape measuring tool with object and/or face snap capabilities...
What you are asking would be very useful...
For simple measurements just draw a line and read the length.

 
***There is always a better way to do things... Just find your Moment of Inspiration***

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 From:  boatstalker
686.3 In reply to 686.2 
JTB,

You are 100 % right. This is exactly the tool I need and it´s a one that would be extremely useful.

All the best,

Boatstalker
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 From:  Michael Gibson
686.4 In reply to 686.3 
Hi Boatstalker, I do want to add some measuring tools, but currently I plan on doing this with a batch of "Analyze" tools for V2.

Just to be clear, the thing that JTB is talking about is the number that shows up in the bottom toolbar that is labeled "d", right below the current x,y,z coordinate readout. The d stands for distance, and this box will show you the distance of the line that you are currently drawing. So using that box you can use just a regular line as a basic measuring stick. (Also you can enter a value into that box to constrain the length of the line that you are drawing).

One other option - Petr made a custom measure command that you can also use, he's got it here: http://kyticka.webzdarma.cz/3d/moi/

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
686.5 In reply to 686.4 
If I could have just one wish of mine implemented in MOI it would be for it to have curve tools similar to LWCAD:
http://www.wtools3d.com/swf/tutorials/RTboolean/RTboolean.html
http://www.wtools3d.com/swf/tutorials/primitives/primitives.html

I feel these realtime curve boolean and measurement displays would be wonderful addition to MOI! (Having those adjustment handles while creating curves would make editing so much faster as well - I won't even try and think about a similar shape library!)

I'm constantly reading so many comparisions of MOI to Rhino "MOI isn't needed if you have Rhino..." which for the most part is probably true EXCEPT when you're interested in getting your NURBS object into a polygon or SDS modeler.

MOI does have its advantages - the GUI and simplicity being at the top of the list. Case in point - I"ve had Rhino since v1 but what got me insterested in NURBS modeling again? MOI! So apparently there is a difference even if it's an internally felt one (being able to finally get my NURBS objects out to my poly apps isn't no small thing either...)


Anyway, I'd like to see MOI distinguished from Rhino and I believe GUI features like these would set MOI way ahead!

Since curve drawing is so important in MOI, having a GUI similar to this when working with curves would be in my opinion, just awesome!

-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
686.6 In reply to 686.5 
> I feel these realtime curve boolean and measurement displays would be wonderful addition to MOI!

Hi Will, it will probably be a while before these will happen. I'm just not quite so sure about the true benefits that would be involved.

You can currently do curve booleans in MoI just using the regular boolean tools... I'm just not sure if realtime booleans would be much more effective than a non-realtime boolean.

The realtime booleans would have some negative consequences. First of all there would be additional UI required to turn on or off "boolean draw mode". I generally worry a lot about each additional bit of UI that is added to MoI because it doesn't take very long for the UI to get bloated and complex. So each additional bit has to provide some pretty significant functionality for it to "validate its existence" so to speak..

The other negative thing about it is setting a drawing mode means you have to remember to go back and unset it later on. That can actually add an additional step if you just want to do simple things, and it can also lead to some confusion if you forget that you were in a special mode and just try to draw something new.

I'd also worry a bit about hiding parts of your drawing while creating new shapes, sometimes you may want to snap on to various existing parts using construction lines, etc... If they were disappearing on you that wouldn't work...

So these are some concerns that I would have about it, it certainly does look cool though... :)


The measurement displays are not quite as problematic, but they seem a little "in your face" to me. The same information is already available off to the side of the working view (like the length of the, radius or diameter of the circle you're drawing, width and height of the rectangle). In a certain sense repeating this information into the view itself seems like unnecessary duplication... In general this is kind of the same concern as the UI, I've tried to keep things streamlined all around. I can see this one could be a lot more up to personal preference so maybe I will be able to add this in the future.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
686.7 In reply to 686.6 
Hi Michael, thanks for the consideration...

Of course I have no idea of your vision for MOI and how it is to progress over the version changes, to me, using mostly polygon and SDS modelers, I feel there's an advantage to having immediate construction modes that can be switched by keystroke or some kind of UI instead of always dealing with commands and stepped parameter entries.

I'm not sure if you watched the video or not, but that interface is clear, there's no forgetting what modes you're in since you can see what modes are activated by highlighted GUI indications (property dialog).

With LWCAD you can also snap to other geometry, in fact, basically LWCAD uses NURBS in the background within Lightwave (replacing LW's lowly geometry types until you convert them back if desired)

I just felt being able to draw one curve on top of another and have them boolean together in realtime (as shown) instead of stopping, selecting curve 1, then curve 2, hitting done etc., would have been a real speed advantage and perhaps set MOI apart from an already similar application.

I'll admit I'm jaded coming from apps like XSI, Silo et al., with their quick mode changes and sticky tools...

I don't believe I'd want MOI to be like Amapi either (I'm not yet familiar with its GUI but I think Amapi may be the best merge between polygon and NURBS methodologies in a single application - I've been keeping my eye out to see what's going to happen with Amapi 8...)

I just know using MOI for this little pet project of mines has been a complete joy and I was thinking that being able to do what's displayed in the video within MOI while developing curves would be nice.

I'll admit it needs to be determined what precentage of time is spent developing curves and would a similar boolean toolset for curve generation in MOI be overkill?

I guess if others chime in yay or nay that would be an indication as well - I would certainly enjoy hearing from all the real NURBS engineers around here...

-Will

PS - Reading your response again, I'll add that for me, yes, having the length and width displayed next to the cursor or geometry would be redundant in MOI - where I find that LWCAD feature comes in handy is when actually dragging out the lines and curves; being able to see the lengths and angles right next to your drawn entities helps you get it placed exactly where you'd like it - after that they can definitely go away!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
686.8 In reply to 686.7 
> I just felt being able to draw one curve on top of another and have them boolean
> together in realtime (as shown) instead of stopping, selecting curve 1, then
> curve 2, hitting done etc.

The thing is that the current method that involves selecting and pushing done is just more general purpose...

I mean, what happens if you want to boolean some curves that are imported from an IGES or AI file instead of ones that you immediately draw? Should the "draw boolean mode" setting also change the way that file opening works? What if you only want to boolean out 2 of the imported curves instead of all of them?

Does LWCAD have a way to deal with this? I mean do they have 2 sets of boolean tools, one for "real time" drawing booleans and then a completely different one for select-existing-curve booleans?


> where I find that LWCAD feature comes in handy is when actually
> dragging out the lines and curves

Right - but that information is available to you in MoI when you are initially dragging things out, it's displayed either in the bottom toolbar (for x,y,z location, distance, and angle), or the command options area (stuff like currently dragged width and height of a rectangle).

This is actually one of the big benefits of MoI's UI structure - for example in Rhino if you create a rectangle you do not get a chance to see the dynamic dragged values for a rectangle's width and height. It's a pretty subtle but big limitation of a command-line style interface.

Displaying these in the actual view while dragging in MoI would be repeating this information that is already being displayed, just kind of more "in your face".... I can see doing this eventually, it just doesn't seem quite so high priority since that info is already there in a different spot.


By the way, please don't get discouraged when I mention that some particular request isn't going to happen anytime soon, I just want to explain what my current thoughts on it are. Discussing problems can sometimes help to clear them up and clear the path towards implementing the request.

- Michael
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 From:  boatstalker
686.9 In reply to 686.8 
Hi guys,

Thank you for your replies. Using a simple line as a measuring stick is of course something one can easily do. Not such a bad idea and these scripts Michael mentioned seem to be cool (haven´t tested them yet, but certainly looking forward to experiment). I am quite sure V2 will turn out absolutely wonderful to work with.

P.s. These LWCAD tools are quite cool too ( noticed afterwards that I had been drooling while watching these flash videos) :-)

EDITED: 19 Jun 2007 by BOATSTALKER

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 From:  WillBellJr
686.10 In reply to 686.9 
Well I guess that's one vote for a realtime GUI when performing curve booleans...


--------- M.G. Wrote:
The thing is that the current method that involves selecting and pushing done is just more general purpose...

I mean, what happens if you want to boolean some curves that are imported from an IGES or AI file instead of ones that you immediately draw? Should the "draw boolean mode" setting also change the way that file opening works? What if you only want to boolean out 2 of the imported curves instead of all of them?

Does LWCAD have a way to deal with this? I mean do they have 2 sets of boolean tools, one for "real time" drawing booleans and then a completely different one for select-existing-curve booleans?
--------------------

WOW, I didn't even think about trying to boolean curves opened from an existing file - these tools are strictly for entity creation and drawing

Watching the LWCAD boolean video, I could immediately envision creating things like these City Block objects for my games and stuff: http://www.cornucopia3d.com/purchase.php?item_id=3241

I could see myself creating some really cool cityscapes using MOI by Quick Boolean'ing together shapes in prep for extrusions, lofts and sweeps etc.


I certainly wouldn't expect to try and boolean seperate files and stuff - that's scary - my suggesttion was just for creating the inital curves - hence the benefit of it being realtime.


I'd imagine for Illustrator curves and other existing stuff you'd use the present way by positioning and selected objects and specifying the boolean parameters as done now??

Again I'll admit I'm no ways a professional NURBS engineer - those STL's and stuff be scaring me and poor Lightwave! :-p (I can hardly get OBJs working in LW much less try to do any kind of serious IGES machanical stuff etc!)

So I'm thinking purely creative 3D design stuff here - obviously you need to consider the more serious side of things and how anything you add to MOI would affect those customers also...

I'm just wishing that there was simiar way in MOI to fly my curves together when I'm in a creative flow...

-Will
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 From:  rayman
686.11 
I am happy the way it is .....
I loved working with moi for the last couple of days ... I am new to
it and I must say I´m hooked ....
Working with it i found three tings for the moment that I would
have liked it to have that are not included
1. A bend tool ....... preferable a version that can bend over a curve !
2. A taper tool ........ preferable a version that can scale with a curve too !
3. Import of an image (jpeg or bitmap or whatever for reference ) as a plan or map
How do you guys feel about that .......
I´m brand new to this forum ... this is my first post : )
I like it here ....
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 From:  Johnny (JOHN_A)
686.12 In reply to 686.11 
There is an image tool. You can bring in an image and set it's transparency and whether it draws over or under an object and in which view it's shown in. It's in "View" menu next to the "Edit" menu.

Can't help you with the other two....although they would be nice.

Cheers.

EDITED: 20 Jun 2007 by JOHN_A

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 From:  Michael Gibson
686.13 In reply to 686.11 
Hi Rayman, welcome to the forum.

Also see here for some more info on what the Image options do: http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=325.1

re: bend and taper - unfortunately these are pretty difficult to do on Solids and not have different surfaces pull apart where they are joined at common edges. I don't expect to be able to do this anytime too soon, it's just takes quite a lot of work to make it work very well. Rhino version 4.0 does have some tools to do this kind of stuff, and it is easy to bring your MoI models into Rhino (they use the same file format), so for a while if you want to do those kinds of deforming operations, you'll need to do those in Rhino.

- Michael
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 From:  rayman
686.14 
Didn´t know about the image options ... thank you very much for that
and for the others I understand : ) .
At first glance these were the only ones I missed
other then that I came along very well : )
Thank you for the fast reply and for the
warm welcome : )
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