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Old 2nd July 2006, 03:43 PM   #1
Spinner
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Cool Bookmark Selection.

Some selection combinations can be difficult and time consuming to make. When one of these has to be repeated every couple of selections we're talking about a real work-flow issue. A 'Bookmark Selection' or 'Save Selection Setting to Memory' tool could be a usefull feature.
It shouldnt be too hard to add to AC3D. Possably Dennis could create a script to save/load current selection.
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Old 2nd July 2006, 04:22 PM   #2
Dennis
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Default Re: Bookmark Selection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner
It shouldnt be too hard to add to AC3D. Possably Dennis could create a script to save/load current selection.
It wouldn't be insurmountable at all, and is a feature I've wanted from time to time.

Perhaps I'll drum up something. Keeping in mind, this would only apply for an active document. The selection would not be saved with the document (so if you close the document, the saved selection would need to be "rebuilt" by the user).

Or were you looking for something to be saved with the document? That would be very difficult in a plugin, not to mention kludgy and messy...not something I'd want to take a swing at...
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Old 2nd July 2006, 04:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bookmark Selection.

One trick you can use, too, is to assign a different material to the current selection. Then, you can go into Surface mode later and right click the material and perform a "Select surfaces with this material".

You can do this for multiple materials at once with the "Select surfaces with material" plugin, if you're on Windows/Linux ( http://supercoldmilk.com/ac3dplug/selmat.html ).

Of course, if you've already assigned materials to your model, this may cause confusion.

I almost never assign materials to surfaces in AC3D, so I use this trick when I need to "save a selection". This also allows your "selection" to be saved with the model.
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Old 3rd July 2006, 06:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bookmark Selection.

No, I'd be happy if the feature lived only for the current session. A couple more than just one reselectable choices would really help though.
Since we cant hide selected vertex, looking into a Front view containing many cross sections is difficult.( An aircraft fusilage, boat hull etc). Several saved selections that were switchable would allow you to jump the selection from the vertex before and after the cross-section you are manipulating giving a way to 'see' the relationships out of whats often a visual mess.
Obviously I'd like 5 selection bookmarks with each having their own load shortcut key intergrated into the gui but if wishes were horses beggers would ride.
It would be great if you could give us a script to use and pioneer the feature untill the next large overhaul.
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Old 5th July 2006, 05:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bookmark Selection.

Assigning different materials to selected surfaces is an excellent idea and works fine. However unfortunately you cannot assign a material to vertices, and sometimes the difficult and time-consuming selections concern individual vertices. Thus Spinner's request looks still soundly based.
About saving such a selection, why should it be done in the main .ac file? At least in principle it could be just another plugin to write and load small ASCII files containing the selected items, whose name might be, for instance, mainname-n.sel (n in case more than one selection is to be stored separately). Maybe not a de-luxe solution, but it might work.
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Old 5th July 2006, 10:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bookmark Selection.

Hmm - interesting idea Coldby.

To me, though, the main obstacle to saving selections is identifying the vertices/surfaces on reload. Take the following example, where I have these vertices in a document:

1: { 0, 0, 0 }
2: { 0, 1, 2 }
3: { 0, 2, 3 }
4: { 0, 1, 2 }
5: { 0, 0, 0 }
6: { 0, 0, 3 }

Note that vertices #1 and #5 are at the same location, as are #2 and #4.

When AC3D saves these vertices, there's no way to identify which one is which between #1 and #5 / #2 and #4 --- therefore, when we reload the vertices, it makes identification tough.

We could identify them by the surfaces to which they are attached. We may still get vertices located in the same location in a single surface (this should be a rare case).

Surfaces pose similar challenges --- we would have to store/get the vertex locations/ordering/UV/normal of the vertices in the surface, the parent object properties, and surface properties, and match those up on reload. Not insurmountable, but definitely some pain...

The other challenge is that there's no callback/interface for when an AC3D document gets saved. Meaning that, the user would be responsible for saving the .sel file. The problem arises when a user does this:

1. Saves the .ac file
2. Saves the .sel file
3. Moves a vertex
4. Saves the .ac file without saving the .sel file.

This would make any moved surfaces/vertices drop out of the selection.

So it could be done --- none of these issues seem to be outright show-stoppers --- but it will be much easier to write the plugin without a save feature .

I'll try to get around to this plugin (without saving) soon.

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Old 20th August 2006, 07:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bookmark Selection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner
No, I'd be happy if the feature lived only for the current session.
Hi Spinner,

I finally got around to mocking this up:

http://supercoldmilk.com/ac3dplug/selbank.html

This saves selections for a single editing session.

A word of warning, however --- because of some optimization steps made by AC3D and by certain plugins, the bookmarked selections may become invalidated. For example, if you select all surfaces in an object and bookmark it, then you delete one of the surfaces, *all* of the surfaces will be invalid in the bookmark (i,e, won't be remembered).

Hopefully this won't cause you any major issues, because, honestly, I know of no practical way to work around this...

Let me know how this works for you.

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