Jump to content
  • 5

"Edit features" for solids history - some suggestions


line-weight

Question

I've just spent some time fiddling with the "edit features" option that's been added to the editing of solids histories. Some comments -

 

1. I think calling it "edit features" is misleading. It gives the impression that you can edit various features of the solid independently and in a non destructive way. But that's not what you are doing. You are editing the steps that have been used to create the final solid. They happen in a sequence and the sequence is significant to the end result. They are not necessarily independent 'features'. I know Vectorworks and its ways, and it took me a little while to understand what was actually happening when I chose a "feature" to edit. It's simply taking you back to a step in the edit history. One consequnec of this is that certain other "features" do or don't vanish, according to where they are in the edit history. I would imagine it's entirely baffling to a new VW user.

 

2. The cursor prompts that I'm given after I choose "edit features" are not that useful. Let's say I have a cube to which I've added a cylinder somewhere and subtracted a cylinder somewhere else. And then I've applied a fillet. I therefore have 3 "features" that I can edit. So I hover the cursor over the object - if I hover over the filleted edge, the prompt says "fillet". But if I hover over the added cyclinder, or the hole from the subtracted one, it just says "extrude". That's not very helpful. Why can't it say "added solid" and "subtracted solid"? Furthermore, what it highlights in red is not the whole of the added object, or the whole of the hole... it's the individual faces. That adds another layer of uncertainty - does it matter which face I click on? If I click on the faces of the inside of the whole, am I clicking on the solid that's been subtracted from or the solid that's been subtracted?

 

3. It's a bit disappointing that I'm not given any kind of edit history. I'd actually been led to believe we were getting something like that, from some of the initial promo stuff. I thought maybe we'd be given a kind of edit tree, a list with each subtraction, addition, fillet, etc listed in order. A visual guide to what order everything happened in, and which bit we were currently modifying. Something like this would be really useful for complex objects where it's hard to keep track of what's happened in which order.

 

As an aside - it's really stupid and confusing to call the result of a fillet operation a "fillet". No, the fillet is the fillet, the thing that's been applied to an edge. I might have a complicated object with multiple additions and subtractions, and one minor filleted edge somewhere, and this complex object is called a "fillet" in the OIP. At least call it something like a "filleted object". Why does this matter? Well, just for example: if I want to use the "edit features" approach to change the fillet on that object, what do I do? I double-click, choose edit feature, hover over the filleted edge itself which highlights red and click on it. What happens? Actually nothing happens, because the fillet was the most recent operation, and what is sitting there is what Vectorworks calls a "fillet" and all I need to do is change the "radius" value in its OIP. What would happen in a programme that was designed not to be confusing? I think ths is what would happen:

-the object would be called something like a "filleted object" and maybe the box in the OIP would say "fillet radius"

OR the object would be called something like "editable solid", and I would need to ask to edit it before being presented with the option to change the fillet radius

- either way, if I choose "edit features" and then highlight the filleted edge, it is in some way made obvious to me, where I change the value for the fillet radius, and I do it and it takes effect.

 

As far as I can see, this "edit features" functionality doesn't really change or improve anything about the method used to modify solids with edit histories. It's just offering a shorcut to get to somewhere in fewer clicks. That's good of course, and for someone who already understands VW solid modelling it's useful and I'll make use of it, but it offers nothing to a new user in terms of making things more intuitive or less confusing.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

6 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
17 hours ago, line-weight said:

I'd actually been led to believe we were getting something like that, from some of the initial promo stuff. I thought maybe we'd be given a kind of edit tree, a list with each subtraction, addition, fillet, etc listed in order. A visual guide to what order everything happened in, and which bit we were currently modifying.

 

Thought I might have imagined this. But no, here it is, in the VW2020 "what's new" brochure.

 

1688685685_Screenshot2021-02-25at16_52_40.thumb.jpg.4f80636adfdb618961013b4201dd739d.jpg

 

That history menu in the top left - that's just fictional right? It doesn't actually exist anywhere in the application? Or am I missing something?

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
  • 0
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@line-weight Hi,

 

Thanks for your feedback.  Following information would be helpful to understand this behavior.

While pre-highlighting a face it always says the basic primitive names, like extrude, fillet, etc., not the boolean operation name (solid addition/subtraction/intersection).  Since boolean operations may occur multiple times in the history, which override the previous boolean operation.  Tracking the basic primitive object would be helpful in editing that portion of solid, user no need to worry about how and where it was combined into the model.

 

(A cube and a cylinder added together, all the faces of the resultant solid belongs to “solid Addition”.  Let us take your fillet case and further model with different boolean and fillet/chamfer/shell operations to 50 steps.  If the 50th operation is solid addition, then all faces are resultant of that solid addition.)

 

With the existing workflow, if you want to edit the hole (which created by solid subtraction in the second step), user can highlight the hole face and click it, user will be travel back in history to see the cylinder object (just inside the solid subtraction, where this object combines with history, obviously you can see all other siblings involved in that operation also).  Now based on the change user want, he can move the hole (cylinder), copy/paste to make more hole, edit the depth, or edit its profile from circle to something etc.

 

Highlighting all the faces of feature:  After highlighting a face if you right click to see the context menu, the system will highlight all the faces of the feature.

Context menu will help you furthermore editing like delete and modify (for fillet, chamfer, and shell) feature.

 

We are considering to providing a tree view, it is in our radar.

 

Thanks,

Senthil Prabu

  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 0
12 hours ago, Senthil Prabu said:

@line-weight Hi,

 

Thanks for your feedback.  Following information would be helpful to understand this behavior.

While pre-highlighting a face it always says the basic primitive names, like extrude, fillet, etc., not the boolean operation name (solid addition/subtraction/intersection).  Since boolean operations may occur multiple times in the history, which override the previous boolean operation.  Tracking the basic primitive object would be helpful in editing that portion of solid, user no need to worry about how and where it was combined into the model.

 

(A cube and a cylinder added together, all the faces of the resultant solid belongs to “solid Addition”.  Let us take your fillet case and further model with different boolean and fillet/chamfer/shell operations to 50 steps.  If the 50th operation is solid addition, then all faces are resultant of that solid addition.)

 

With the existing workflow, if you want to edit the hole (which created by solid subtraction in the second step), user can highlight the hole face and click it, user will be travel back in history to see the cylinder object (just inside the solid subtraction, where this object combines with history, obviously you can see all other siblings involved in that operation also).  Now based on the change user want, he can move the hole (cylinder), copy/paste to make more hole, edit the depth, or edit its profile from circle to something etc.

 

Highlighting all the faces of feature:  After highlighting a face if you right click to see the context menu, the system will highlight all the faces of the feature.

Context menu will help you furthermore editing like delete and modify (for fillet, chamfer, and shell) feature.

 

We are considering to providing a tree view, it is in our radar.

 

Thanks,

Senthil Prabu

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

 

I hadn't realised about the right-click option. Thanks for pointing that out. As you say, it highlights all faces of the feature and this is more useful in giving a visual clue of what's happening. I think it would be helpful if that was the highlighting you got when you hover the cursor, before right-clicking.

 

I still think it would be helpful for the prompt to say something like "added extrude" or "subtracted extrude".

 

By way of example... see the attached video. Two identical cubes, but one has been created from an addition and one from a subtraction. You can see that in "edit feature" mode, none of the prompts or highlighting gives me any clue that the two objects have been created differently.

 

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...