[Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

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[Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

Postby JQL » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:53 am

Hi again, I hope you don't think I'm trying to spam here but I'm in the process of trying Skatter and sharing every question I have.

When trying several new Skatters I got myself into trouble several times with denser distributions (I talked about this in UI and preview lines thickness, but this is another version of the same story)

1 - Select surface and some lines 1m apart immediately show.
2 - Next it asks for Distribution and you input the actual distance you want. In this case .01 for 1cm.
3 - Next it asks for Areas... I want to choose a closed curve that it's in the center of my flat rectangle. However I can't, my red lines are all over it. making a solid red hatch wich makes it impossible to see the selection.

If Distribution would come after Areas this wouldn't have happened so it got me thinking on Tab's order wich lead me to the following observations on what the order could be:

1st - Surfaces - You pick the landing geometry and only some slight red lines show up
2nd - Areas - You pick the islands on geometry easily

These two seem to get well together and the few red lines that show up make you easily know things have been setup correctly.

3rd - Scattered Objects (Now it's time to define what to put on the surface. While still having few lines this would be the perfect time to pick on objects, so one gets the hang of the actual scale of the stuff you're inserting.
4th - Random Transform - Now that there are a few objects only it's ideal to fire up some renders to get the hang of the transformations we want on the objects. This renders will be faster with less objects so so one can test the objects actual transformation prior to distributing them heavily.

Until this point, nothing very heavy will get generated on the model so the probability for failure is scarce. (And so many failures can happen from rendering memory, to accidentally generating too much geometry on sketchup model and hanging it.)

5th - Distribution - The grand finale! The effect everyone is waiting for! But also the potentially slower operation that should only be made after all is more or less set. Of course your plugin couldn't be ligher, but with 1cm density and on my PC, it still gets slow (amazingly fast if you ask me!)

My final remark on this workflow/parameter tab's order goes to Falloff.

What to say about Falloff? Unbelievable features! =)

However I noticed that Density Falloff and Scale Falloff are inside Areas Tab, but they also work with a surface if no area is assigned. If you don't need to assign an Area you shouldn't even need to open this tab so why not make the Falloff parameters part of distribution? They seem like they fit well at the end, along with altitude range and slope range, wich seem to be similar concepts. It also seems to me that they are the fine tune one does at the end for details (such welcome details)

Thanks again, congratulations once more and I'm sorry for being such a picky fella... I mean well!

Best regards,

João
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Re: [Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:33 am

Thank you for all this. All very good points.
I don't agree with everything, but I'll take your remarks in account when modifying the UI ;)


JQL wrote:they also work with a surface if no area is assigned

Do they? This is not normal. Although I do want to make them work with surface boundaries, I did not acheive that yet, so if you are seeing this, it is a bug.

As for where to put the falloffs parameters, I think I will leave them in the area tab. There are other types of falloffs (altitude and slope, and more in the future), so moving them would be confusing. They are related to areas, nothing else (even though I want to have the possibility to treat surface boundaries as areas, they're still areas)
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Re: [Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

Postby JQL » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:08 pm

jiminy-billy-bob wrote:
JQL wrote:they also work with a surface if no area is assigned

Do they? This is not normal. Although I do want to make them work with surface boundaries, I did not acheive that yet, so if you are seeing this, it is a bug.


Really? It happened to me yesterday. I'm thinking that in the process of choosing the area in the middle of all that red I might have choosen the same group as surface. If your plugin is able to take the same surface as an Area too, then it's not a Bug, it's a feature! You just have to put it on manual later :D
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Re: [Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:14 pm

Yeah it might work fine with really simple surfaces (like a rectangle). But on more complex stuff, it'll pick up every line it finds ;)
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Re: [Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

Postby JQL » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:52 pm

jiminy-billy-bob wrote:Yeah it might work fine with really simple surfaces (like a rectangle). But on more complex stuff, it'll pick up every line it finds ;)


Well, I guess you're the expert... There goes my small programming contribution to the trash!
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Re: [Q] Workflow and Parameter's Order

Postby JQL » Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:10 pm

Thanks for this change, I feel it's much more in touch with a possible workflow people might have.
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