Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

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Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby BrooksL » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:00 pm

Thought this wish worth mentioning because I (and it seems others) was having quite a frustrating time trying to get a rectangle to draw on the desired plane or rotate it when it didn't draw on the desired plane.

I kept looking in the SketchUp help doc for how to force the inference to the desired plane and found the normal behavior seems to be undocumented and the tools do not respond to the arrow keys for forcing the inference.

I understand now that the Rectangle and Rotate tools tend to stick to the plane most parallel to the screen.

I see this as a novel and sometimes convenient way of determing the active drawing or tool plane, but really I don't understand why the Rectangle and Rotate tools should not respond to the arrow keys being used to force an inference similar to how they do for the Line tool, Move tool, or Tape Measure tool:

Locking an inference http://support.google.com/sketchup/bin/ ... swer=70142

...I think the Rectange tool and Rotate tool _SHOULD_ respond similarly to the arrow keys by setting the infered plane because there are often times when the desired drawing location is not easily viewed from an angle that will cause the inference engine to automatically select the desired plane.

Of course, please let me know if there's a better way or work around.
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby jeff hammond » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:25 am

google has a ruby called 'rotated rectangle" (to me, it should be called 3point rectangle but whatever)

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/down ... ripts.html

I think I use it more than google's regular rectangle tool.
(I have it assigned to the R key while the regular one is shift-R)

it's easier to draw a vertical rectangle with the 3pt version. as well as easier to draw rectangles that aren't on the x or y (or z) axis.. I also like using it because you can enter one dimension at a time as opposed to x & y separated by a comma then hoping you put them in the proper order ;)
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby jeff hammond » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:39 am

regarding the rotate tool..

it has some pretty slick ways to control its orientation but it's not very well known

choose the tool then click and hold the mouse button.. move the mouse around while continuing to hold the button..

see the different orientations you can get accomplish?

(try it on edges of faces etc too)
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby utiler » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:34 am

Jeff Hammond wrote:google has a ruby called 'rotated rectangle" (to me, it should be called 3point rectangle but whatever)

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/down ... ripts.html

I think I use it more than google's regular rectangle tool.
(I have it assigned to the R key while the regular one is shift-R)

it's easier to draw a vertical rectangle with the 3pt version. as well as easier to draw rectangles that aren't on the x or y (or z) axis.. I also like using it because you can enter one dimension at a time as opposed to x & y separated by a comma then hoping you put them in the proper order ;)


Thanks Jeff, gee, I can't beleive I keep learning little trick about SketchUp so often.....!
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby gilles » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:04 am

I would wish the circle tool (and all others surface tools ) to work like rotate tool.
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby BrooksL » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:49 am

Re: Jeff Hammond;

Thanks for the tip about the Ruby Rectangle tool! ...but still, it seems resonable that the SketchUp rectangle tool - and all other surface tools - should respond to a forced axis inference via the arrow keys...

Re: the Rotate tool "slick ways to control its orientation but it's not very well known" - it's only slick if you have existing geometry to infer to -- you can't enter two precise angles manualy to set the orientation. [to be fair, it is a helpful behavior but would be more useful if you could read and enter the two angles]

Of course, these current, basic behaviors (or lack of) really need to be documented because they are fundamental for new users being able to get their geometry into the desired positions with maximum efficiency and minimal frustration. (when they frustrated, they give up on the tool and tell all their friends about how bad they think is)

-- BrooksL
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby BrooksL » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:12 am

Re: gilles;

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the Circle tool also does not respond to a forced axis inference via the arrow keys -- and this has caused some frustration.

Not sure what you mean about wanting the Circle tool to behave like the Rotate tool...? Are you talking about being able to select and draw it at a compound angle to being with?...that would just be adding double features into a tool and it's probably less complicated to keep that function separated to the Rotate tool.

-- BrooksL
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby brookefox » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:54 am

BrooksL wrote: I don't understand why the Rectangle and Rotate tools should not respond to the arrow keys being used to force an inference similar to how they do for the Line tool, Move tool, or Tape Measure tool:

Locking an inference http://support.google.com/sketchup/bin/ ... swer=70142

...I think the Rectange tool and Rotate tool _SHOULD_ respond similarly to the arrow keys by settign the inferred plane


Pardon the quote from the other, similar thread: Perhaps the reason the rectangle tool doesn't work with the standard inferences is that it requires two directions rather than just one, so any single inference is not enough. They work for a line (an edge), as it may be defined in one direction, not so a face (a rectangle) which has two dimensions and thus two directions.

For instance, first click you have a point, a corner of the rectangle, second click you have the opposite corner. If the second click is on any axis relative to the first you cannot have a rectangle, only a line or an edge.
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby jeff hammond » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:08 am

brookefox wrote:[

Pardon the quote from the other, similar thread: Perhaps the reason the rectangle tool doesn't work with the standard inferences is that it requires two directions rather than just one, so any single inference is not enough. They work for a line (an edge), as it may be defined in one direction, not so a face (a rectangle) which has two dimensions and thus two directions.

For instance, first click you have a point, a corner of the rectangle, second click you have the opposite corner. If the second click is on any axis relative to the first you cannot have a rectangle, only a line or an edge.


right brooke.. i agree with what you're saying

it could sort of work but problems will arise..

i could click the first point to set one corner of the rectangle, then push the up arrow to make it vertical.. but then what? should the 2nd direction now be placed on the green axis? or should it go along the red? or should we be able to push another key at this point to describe the 2nd direction?

i mean realistically, that's how you would have to do it (define first direction with a key press then the 2nd) but that type of complexity isn't in the sketchup dictionary ;)… it'd be pretty confusing, especially for newcomers so i'm assuming the developers just made it default to the ground plane and let the user orbit to determine the orientation (which in reality, isn't even bad.. it takes, what, .2 seconds to orbit to the proper view which will define both axes for you ?)


BrooksL wrote:Re: the Rotate tool "slick ways to control its orientation but it's not very well known" - it's only slick if you have existing geometry to infer to -- you can't enter two precise angles manualy to set the orientation. [to be fair, it is a helpful behavior but would be more useful if you could read and enter the two angles]


hmm.. i don't think i'm following you.. you only need one angle to rotate (in sketchup, we can only rotate around one axis during a rotate operation)

but of course you need to have some geometry in there.. the same goes for the standard use of the rotate tool.. you can't use it unless you have something selected.. (though you can use the protractor in the same way i describe above without anything selected or geometry present in the model)

[Edit] oh wait, i guess you mean which angle to place the rotate tool's protractor at? in which case there are three different angles (up/down - left/right - front/back).. entering those angles manually is going to be a pita even for experienced users.. i don't think i'd ever want to be faced with that type of situation and would much rather prefer using a piece of setup geometry then infer to it..

but i though the thread was about the 3 main axis (getting the protractor to be blue, green, or red) without orbiting the view.. in which case, you already can accomplish that very easily in sketchup without needing to use keystrokes..
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby jeff hammond » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:22 am

BrooksL wrote:Re: gilles;

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the Circle tool also does not respond to a forced axis inference via the arrow keys -- and this has caused some frustration.

Not sure what you mean about wanting the Circle tool to behave like the Rotate tool...? Are you talking about being able to select and draw it at a compound angle to being with?...that would just be adding double features into a tool and it's probably less complicated to keep that function separated to the Rotate tool.

-- BrooksL


just a quick example of what you could do if the circle tool behaved like the rotate tool…

try doing this manually:
screen 2012-04-20 at 9.17.04 PM.jpg


a random line floating in space (not on any particular axis).. then draw a circle perpendicular to it..

with the rotate tool, you can quickly orient the tool to this way.. with the circle, you can't..
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby TIG » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:20 am

Chris Fullmer's perpendicular_face_tools add circles, rectangles and other shaped faces squarely onto the edges of selected lines, so in effect you have got effective ways to do this, albeit not in the native toolset... viewtopic.php?p=139064#p139064
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby gilles » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:48 am

Chris Fullmer's perpendicular_face_tools have issues to draw radius under 1" and if edge is connected to a face and it makes group instead of components.

Hi Giles, I did a very poor making this plugin international. It does not work well with metrics AND with comma decimal separators. In the US we use a decimal separator. So 23,12 for us is written 23.12 for example.

The 25.4mm limit appears to be a an inch conversion thing. 25.4mm = 1 inch. I really don't remember if I set this up to work with metrics at all. And I'm so busy I will not be able to fix it anytime soon. If you would like to tweak though, feel free.

Chris
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby TIG » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:50 am

Sounds like an 'easy fix'... I'll look at it...
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby gilles » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:24 am

Thanks in advance TIG.
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby TIG » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:51 am

I have a fixed version of Chris's tool.
I'll PM it to you and Chris.
He can update his toolset as he sees fit...
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby jeff hammond » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:10 pm

TIG wrote:Chris Fullmer's perpendicular_face_tools add circles, rectangles and other shaped faces squarely onto the edges of selected lines, so in effect you have got effective ways to do this, albeit not in the native toolset... viewtopic.php?p=139064#p139064


that's what i used for the example picture ;)
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby BrooksL » Fri May 04, 2012 1:42 am

brookefox wrote: Perhaps the reason the rectangle tool doesn't work with the standard inferences is that it requires two directions rather than just one, so any single inference is not enough.


Uh, my original post referred only to setting/forcing the inferred drawing plane, not the axis for the second reference point. [trying to set bot successively would require another keystroke inbetween there that might make the sequence string too complex to be very worthwhile.

Pressing a single keystroke to quickly set the infered plane perpendicular to the x, y, or z axis would typically be much faster than orbiting to a different view to modify the default ground plane...where you might then not have a good view to acces your next point of inference to end the operation.

...also, orbiting to a different view to reference the desired ground plane and then trying to lock that reference by holding the shift key while you orbit back...that often doesn't work reliably...not to mention it's cumbersome.

Really, it would be very helpful if the arrow keys worked to force an axis or plane reference for all linear and plane tools instead of only the line, move, and tape measure.

[I just realized the arrow keys don't work for the dimension tool either if you want to measure from a point along the x, y, or z axis. ...man, consistent arrow-key axis/plane forcing functionality across all the tools would simply be worlds of convenience to have in the native tool set!]

-- BrooksL
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby BrooksL » Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 am

Jeff Hammond wrote: i guess you mean which angle to place the rotate tool's protractor at?


Yes, kind of -- first, it would be slick to be able to precisely set a piece of geometry at a compound angle (typically not parallel to any axis) in one operation, such as:

select the geometry edge, select the rotate tool, set the reference axis/plane (possibly using the arrow keys that it _SHOULD_ respond to), then enter angle1 comma optional angle2 enter (or click to select last inference).

you could still infer or enter the first angle like normal while the act of pressing the comma "," key signifies it's a compound-angle rotate operation and a second angle will be entered or inferred.

Second and similarly, reading a compound angle measurement with the protractor tool would also be nice.

just a quick example of what you could do if the circle tool behaved like the rotate tool…


I hadn't yet run into the need, but yes, that _WOULD_ be convenient, consistent tool behavior - AND, applicable to all plane tools, I think, right?

-- BrooksL
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby brookefox » Fri May 04, 2012 5:26 pm

BrooksL wrote:
brookefox wrote: Perhaps the reason the rectangle tool doesn't work with the standard inferences is that it requires two directions rather than just one, so any single inference is not enough.


Uh, my original post referred only to setting/forcing the inferred drawing plane, not the axis for the second reference point.


I see. I guess the same thing goes, even though I understand what you mean. The more literal use of the arrow keys is to define a direction not a plane, so to have them define a plane rather than a direction would involve a stretch of the meaning, perhaps something the SU programmers are not willing to do. A ruby author might, though.
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Re: Forcing Inferences - Rectangle and Rotate Tools

Postby AirWindSolar » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:22 pm

jeff hammond wrote:try doing this manually:
screen 2012-04-20 at 9.17.04 PM.jpg


a random line floating in space (not on any particular axis).. then draw a circle perpendicular to it..

with the rotate tool, you can quickly orient the tool to this way.. with the circle, you can't..


This is exactly the situation I use the perpendicular face tool for daily; when I need a circle (or more often a cylinder) to pass through a plane centered on an exact spot, but not perpendicular to the plane itself. Draw a line where I need the cylinder's access, then create a circle perpendicular to the line and push/pull it through.
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