[FR] More options for managing Skatters

General discusson for Skatter for SketchUp

Moderator: jiminy-billy-bob

[FR] More options for managing Skatters

Postby JQL » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:45 am

Jiminy,

I just made my skatter while working on a door/window DC... (I was just too eager to test it on Thea.)

Then I went back to my doors and erased the surface and area I'd been using when it suddenly stroked me. What if I render this now.

BAM there they were the photoreal real fast handles floating in front of a Physical Sky. Wich reminded me of Skatter list and a lot of options for managing skatters.

- Hide Skatters?
- Assign skatter to layers so they can be hidden by scene?

Finally, I tried to force skatter to crash or fail drastically and I edited the Skatter that already had no Surface or Areas. Su didn't crash and you had already predicted I'd do that... Frustrating.

I got a Message Box when trying to edit my skatter with no surface or area around. You even thought I would have moved it to other context in model...

But, as you're anticipating my every move, could you create a Message Box advicing me to not delete areas and surfaces assigned to skatters?

I mean if it doesn't slow down SU of course!

Maybe save a component with the Skatter name and put the surface and area inside. If this component could be somehow locked from purging, Skatter could bring back the missing objects from the other world. Would this still keep Skatter simple enough or would it bloat it or slow it down? If so then forget it!
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Re: [FR] More options for managing Skatters

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:17 pm

JQL wrote:- Hide Skatters?
- Assign skatter to layers so they can be hidden by scene?

I was thinking of having a checkbox to enable/disable a Skatter setup.
Layers are a really good idea, but may be a bit tricky to implement, I'll think about it.

JQL wrote:could you create a Message Box advicing me to not delete areas and surfaces assigned to skatters?

I'm not even sure that's possible. I could fire a warning after it's deleted, so the user can undo. But in that case the object would get assigned a new ID by Sketchup, and my plugin would not be able to track it down.

JQL wrote:Maybe save a component with the Skatter name and put the surface and area inside. If this component could be somehow locked from purging, Skatter could bring back the missing objects from the other world. Would this still keep Skatter simple enough or would it bloat it or slow it down? If so then forget it!

It's not possible to prevent the purging of an unused component, unfortunatly.
I could potentially save the data structure, but I'm afraid this could increase the file size too much.

Although, I could add an option to lock the picked groups/components, so they're not easily erased.
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Re: [FR] More options for managing Skatters

Postby JQL » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:26 pm

jiminy-billy-bob wrote:Although, I could add an option to lock the picked groups/components, so they're not easily erased.


That doesn't make them easily editeable neither. Maybe this is a bit superfluous feature though.

The idea behind Skatter is that you have two sets of objects to configure your component distribution.

I think skatter's workflow implies this objects should stay in the model and it's pretty obvious that if you delete one of them the distribution will get lost. It's already interesting that the last applied settings are kept even if the groups are lost.

However another possibility would be for you to associate with a plugin store author you see everyday on the mirror, and manage skatters automatically into predifined layers and Layer groups:

- Skatter [Layer Group (name could be user defined)]
- Skatter Area#n [Layer Inside Group (when clicking on an area the object would be assigned to layer and hidden when closing the skatter tool for impossible deletion) Alternatively this layer could be auto created using the name of the choosen group/component]
- Skatter Object#n [The same thing would happen to objects. Alternatively this layer could be auto created using the name of the choosen group/component too. (I don't know what happens when you delete an object you previously chose for skatter, will the skatter work well? And if you purge the model? With proxies I suppose it could always work because they're external models...)]
- Surface layer - Wouldn't exist as we wouldn't want our terrain to suddenly disappear from model, would we?

Either way, Layers would be a good option for managing Skatters or Skatter objects and if your plugin won't do that automatically I'm sure users (I will) manage them with layers to the maximum extent possible.
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Re: [FR] More options for managing Skatters

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:02 pm

JQL wrote:However another possibility would be for you to associate with a plugin store author you see everyday on the mirror

Yeah, I never into the bathroom, so that's never gonna happen.




I'll think about it. I'm not quite comfortable to mess with existing geometry, so that would definitly be an option off by default.
What would you expect to happen if the user doesn't use Layers Panel? Wouldn't it flood SU's layers dialog with Skatter-related layers?

In any case, I will at least have an option to move the Skatter group/setup to a user-defined layer.
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Re: [FR] More options for managing Skatters

Postby JQL » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:35 pm

I guess you're right, the less you impose your plugin to user model, the better.
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