[REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

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[REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby plot-paris » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:08 pm

Hello everyone,

Easy grouping of geometry is one of SketchUps most valuable features. However, when browsing the warehouse you will find many badly structured models, with loose geometry all over the place.

So I was thinking: Maybe it would be a good idea to force people to group things!
It would work like this: When you draw some geometry on the canvas (while not residing inside a group that already contains raw geometry), a new group will automatically be created.

AutoGroup2.gif

To make it more obvious what just happened, there could be additioinal information at the top of the screen, helping to create even cleaner models (e.g. "Solid Models").
By clicking inside this info-text (or pressing a shortcut key) one could quickly rename the group.

This way users would be forced to group their geometry and - hopefully - be encouraged to have a look at nesting groups / components for a better model structure.


Also for beginners it isn't obvious that one should always keep edges/faces on the default layer and only move groups/components to different layers. With this new Auto-Grouping behavior, SketchUp could at last stop the ability to place raw geometry (edges/faces) onto layers.

Would this help new users to create clean, structured models? Would it speed up the modelling process? Or would it make the worklfow more complicated and confusing?
What do you think?
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby HornOxx » Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:46 pm

:thumb:

Considering the fact that we all have been more or less "angry" about non grouped models, this a great idea !!!
Perhaps SketchUp should actually start automatically with the mode that you have recommended.
The one, who does not want to draw geometry in group mode can deactivate this mode consciously - somehow as sketched below or as a setting in the preferences (of course in a better English)?

Your Layer suggestion is good as well! - Even after many years of SkUp usage I've learned this year at last, that I should better use the default layer 0 :oops:
For this reason I even gave me a template for reminding me to work this way...

So it makes sense to lead all these errors in a automatically corrected workflow.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby Dave R » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:22 am

Interesting idea. It is annoying to download poorly made models from the Warehouse and there's so much bad stuff out there that I rarely bother looking and just things myself.

How would SketchUp know you've finished drawing in that group?

What if it should be a component instead of a group? How would SketchUp know?

While I can see some merit to the idea, it seems like there should be some requirement to actually learn to use the program correctly. If you take away the learning curve, there's nothing to learn.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby pbacot » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:50 pm

Yes. It will not change behavior or that many warehouse items are not even made in SketchUp. It might be interesting to be able to put a simple group into your drawing with a click to begin work on. ( A group instead of component, as a component might cause problems if you forget to rename or make unique. Or a component with a new unique definition each time).

I still sometimes just draw away and a have to go back to make components. Having a tool that invites proper use is nice.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby plot-paris » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:15 pm

Dave R wrote:How would SketchUp know you've finished drawing in that group?

What if it should be a component instead of a group? How would SketchUp know?


Well, you are finished, when you exit the group (by hitting ESC or double-clicking outside the bounding box with the selection tool).

If it should be a component: select the group, context-click and choose "Make Component".


Hmmm, but its true. Its not wholly intuitive. One would probably need a little explainer about groups / components when first starting SketchUp as a new user...
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby Dave R » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:14 pm

plot-paris wrote:Hmmm, but its true. Its not wholly intuitive. One would probably need a little explainer about groups / components when first starting SketchUp as a new user...


And maybe they should just get the "explainer" about making groups/components up front and learn to do it as part of the proper process for using the software. ;)

I'm not trying to shoot down your idea by the way. I do think that there's such a thing as too much automation, though.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby plot-paris » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:07 am

Well, yeah. The Auto-Grouping would be a way of forcing people to do it right (or at least push them in the right direction).

Its similar to the plans of forcing people to take videos on smartphones in landscape mode. Most people don't think about it. But if there were a big onscreen message, telling people to hold their phone horizontally, most folks would do it.

I guess we would have to test it. Maybe this auto-grouping would introduce speed-bumps in the workflow that can not yet be forseen...
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby ParallelProjection » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:57 am

This really interests me - but I think I have a band-aid solution that a plugin could solve for thise users that already understand group/component etiquette....

How about the ability to create a group or a component with no current selection - you could create a keyboard or mouse shortcut for this command. The group/component wont know where its axis should be placed, i hear you say. Let's assume that the first click to create a line etc then defines the axis origin and away you go.

Anyone seen anything like this around?

Maybe even add a preference to prompt for group name/description/layer etc on creation or not. Maybe there is a separate command for one with name prompt and one without.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby ParallelProjection » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:12 am

Not sure what happened to my post - so here's a abridged version...

For those of us that already know the value of grouping geometry - a helpful tool/feature would be the ability to initalise a group BEFORE any geometry was selected or drawn. In order to create a group or component now you need to have created part of the contents and this can be a pain if you are creating nested groups where you want to limit the number of groups within (an onion type arrangement where each group level has ungrouped elements as well as groups which themselves have ungrouped elements etc etc....)

Issue - SKP wants to create a axis point for the group or component on creating. Two possible solutions:
- The files origin becomes the default until you change it later....
- Better still, the group is "initialised" but not created until the first element is selected or drawn at which time the first click becomes the axis/insertion point.


This would help my workflow....anyone seen anything like this about the forums?
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby wfair » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:29 am

I know i am kicking a thread that is almost 4 years old...but this would be very helpful. I have no idea how to write plugins/extensions for SketchUp, but it seems to me that all we need is any time any geometry is drawn that is not already part of a group, it should automatically become a group once it is a solid. This would not get in the way of drawing the way we already do...and once you have a 3-d solid it would group itself. That group could then be converted to a component or edited to expand the shape further (but at least for me 98% of the time i group each solid separately and put my groups together to form larger shapes...rather than making complex single shapes).

Does anyone know how to create a plugin that could do this? I have looked for something like this on-and-off for several years with no success.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby Dave R » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:32 pm

Please explain how this plugin, if it existed, would know when to create the group. What would be the trigger to get the plugin to create the group?
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby Box » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:41 pm

There is a plugin called Loose to Groups that will take all individually connected geometry and make it into groups. No automagic grouping tho.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby srx » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:42 pm

Interesting idea. There are already tools that do similar. For example a s4u Make Box.
Regarding components, I think that next logical step would be: If one tries to copy a group, sketchup asks to make components from both of them...
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby DOD3R » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:07 am

Hi, guys
I recommend to not use groups. I use components only.
Whenever I need to do extra geometry, that would differ from each other I make it a unique component.
I would very much appreciate if I could assign a shortcut to the "make unique" command instead of being forced to use only the right-click menu option.
Another thing that would speed op component creation is the ability to "confirm" component creation with the same key "G" instead of Enter, that forces me to do unnecessary gymnastics on my keyboard.
I am using SU for 12 years now and never made a group. Now I am wondering what do you use it for?
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby Box » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:12 am

DOD3R wrote:Hi, guys
I would very much appreciate if I could assign a shortcut to the "make unique" command instead of being forced to use only the right-click menu option.

Select a non unique component, then open preferences and set the shortcut to make unique.
Without having a suitable object selected the make unique option will not appear in shortcuts.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby DOD3R » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:24 am

Maaan, I didn't know that. that is a big Duh moment for me.
Thanks a lot.
For what else do you use shortcuts from the right-click menu?
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby Dave R » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:12 pm

DOD3R wrote:For what else do you use shortcuts from the right-click menu?


I have shortcuts for the Flip Along commands among others.
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby TIG » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:42 pm

Reverse Faces
Orient Faces
Explode
Soft/Smooth Edges
Divide [edge]
Mirror Selection [my own tool]
Intersect [the three permutations]
SolidSolver [my own tool]
Explode-to-Layer0 [part of my LayerWatcher toolset]
Selected-Geometry-to-Layer0 [part of my LayerWatcher toolset]
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Re: [REQ] Auto-Group Geometry

Postby DOD3R » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:28 pm

cool, I am glad I learned something new today.
Thank you all.
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