Categories: SketchUp Pro : PC :

Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable?

Showing 1-8 of 8 messages
Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? ertyqway 5/14/12 10:50 AM
Preface: I've been a Sketchup Pro power user for ten years or so (and have taught advanced Sketchup modeling classes at the university level), so this really is not a n00b question.
 
Is there a workaround or hidden hotkey that allows me to force the inference engine to use one particular non-axis snap type, or possibly to disable axis snap while leaving the other snaps turned on? That seems like a really basic functionality (for instance, in most CAD and modeling programs you can control each snap type individually with a preference switch) that Sketchup entirely lacks. Maybe it's there but hidden away? At any rate, I need it.
 
Here's the situation: there are often times where I need SKP to snap arcs to lines or lines to arcs tangentially. The SKP inference engine does have a tangent snap, but it almost never activates on its own (except in very particular circumstances, such as continuing a new arc off the end of an existing arc). I'd like to be able to force the inference engine to use tangent-only or perpendicular-only or parallel-only snap modes, disabling everything else with a hotkey. In practice, this is nearly impossible to do by letting the inference engine snap on its own. So, for instance, if I start an arc on a line, I want to be able to hold down the "T" key or something and have the arc be forced tangent to the line. What's the secret to doing that? It's eluded me for years.
 
Similarly, there are often times when I'm creating 2D components of alpha-channel images (such as trees, people, etc.). This involves a fair amount of tracing, which is made highly frustrating by the axis and point extension snaps over-riding other settings even while I have the inference engine shift-locked on plane snap. How do I make it stop doing that? It's really irritating.
Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? Gully Foyle 5/14/12 6:25 PM
Notwithstanding many other requests for selective snapping we've seen in this forum, some impassioned, some cerebral, there does not seem to be any way to constrain the behavior of the inference engine (by disabling certain snaps); the inference engine constrains everything else. I think you would agree that if you attempt to fight with the inferencing engine, it will win.

As far as drawing a line to the point of tangency of an arc or circle, that might be a somewhat dubious capability, since I find that as a concession to the segmented nature of arcs and circles in SU I generally fudge the tangent as joining at the closest endpoint. If there were such a thing as perfect curves in SU, I would certainly look for much more refined tangency inferencing, but given the overall blocky nature of curves, blocky tangencies aren't all that jarring, and the same mechanism that makes segmented and faceted curves look acceptable--smoothing/softening--also improves the appearance of the tangency. Just my opinion.

You might have much better luck tracing the outlines of 2D images used in "face me" components outside of SU. There are many (some) image-to-vector tracing programs out there that do a fairly creditable job, either automatically or semi-automatically. Then you can just import the vector tracing into SU and mount the image on the resulting face. I've had a certain amount of success using the tracing application that comes with CorelDraw.

There is also another option. Smustard offers a Ruby plugin called Image Profile that traces images for this very purpose.

-Gully
Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? Curator 9/27/13 10:01 PM
Gully,

When you say that "there does not seem to be any way to constrain the behavior of the inference engine (by disabling certain snaps); " this must be as a user. However there may be a way to do it by Plugin or Ruby Script. I am a novice and have tried out Sketchup for several weeks. I wanted it to be a tool to do some plant layout concept studies. On the inference engine limitation that the original post in here says, I have also seen the limitation of not being able to draw an arc that is tangent to the start point, despite the inference engine saying so. In my effort to do concept studies, I will not be doing much of concepts if I am to struggle all the while with such nags. How likely are these things to be fixed by Trimble. There is also the Sketchup core not being able make use of hardware improvements that has happened. I suppose this will be one of the key questions any one who wants to take up Sketchup for a use. 


This is what led me to think that I may be able to a bit of plant layou concepts in real 3D. Now I know that it is not as easy as I thought.

Sajit
Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? wo3dan 9/28/13 2:40 AM
Curator wrote:
.....I have also seen the limitation of not being able to draw an arc that is tangent to the start point, despite the inference engine saying so.  .....
 
Why not? The blue arc, tangent at vertex, will be tangent albeit displayed as a segmented arc. It's up to you to (pre-)select or edit the number of segments to suit yout needs.
Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? Curator 9/28/13 4:53 AM
Even if I select a large number of segments for the arc, the first segment instead of being tangent (90 deg) to the perpendicular, it starts off with a small angle. This causes the problems for the follow me extrusion. There may be ways to circumvent this. I wish it were done right without having to discover the round about method.

Sajit
Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? catamountain 9/28/13 11:17 AM
Even if you draw a tangent line with a pencil and straight edge, it will only touch an arc at one point - small angles will be on either side.

Interestingly, being able to work out simple concept studies was one of the original goals of SU use.  With time you'll come to appreciate the beauty of the inference engine function - like myself and other in the forums have as well as millions of other individuals and the people who offered the engineering case studies you referred to above.  I find using SU fluid and natural, like having mastered a second language.

Read 64-bit reality check and Photoshop & 64-bit registers if you are referring to SU being a 32-bit program (these PS blogs apply to SU too.)  The main thing with 64-bit is the bus to the RAM is twice as large, so more RAM can be accessed.  But there is no bottleneck accessing RAM with SU except in some rendering cases, and since a SU8 maintenance release, one can now make SU large address aware.  
Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? Curator 9/28/13 12:15 PM
Agree that the tangent will touch at one point. Geometrically, this unique point has a radius that is always perpendicular to the tangent line.


Will not multi core processors not benefit SU?

"I find using SU fluid and natural, like having mastered a second language"

I wish I could do that as well, I will try again when time permits.

Sajit


Re: Force Inferencing by Type or Hotkey Disable? catamountain 9/28/13 6:52 PM
To-date, all 3D modeling apps use only single core.  SU is no different.   It hasn't stopped anyone from making very complex and large models.  The largest reported size I've seen was close to 300 MB.

As SU is a 3D modeler, a point at the end of your cursor can represent an infinite number of points in 3D space.  The inference engine is what SU uses to help you to infer which point you may want in relation to other stuff in your modeling space.  It is not a mind reader though.  And sometimes you have do things like draw line segments at the end of arcs to make a Follow Me extrusion work.