Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shape tagging... how it works

I had announced some time before about a new concept of shape categories.

Why is a need to tag shapes first of all? Designers want to split complex designs in simple components. Like a sketch design, or only solid components, etc. Naro did it using a concept named "layers". A layer was an identifier that you were able to attach to any shape and you could hide, show them. The problem is that most users do not know about this feature from one side, and from other side, is hard to attach a meaningless number to a shape. So the solution is to add labels to a shape that have a meaning. Not a number, but a name.

Right now the ongoing implementation was done to replace the layer identifiers to names, but it will continue to simplify the user interface. By this it will be created a new action to set specific tags/names to any shape you create. Also, it will be an easy to use UI to create a new tag.

How it works: you want to define a shape in a sketch:
- you define the tag named "Sketch" and you set as active tag. Any created shapes from now on will be created with this new tag. This is possible to be done because of our previous refactor that not only make possible with no extra code for actual shapes, but also reduce the lines to do so. Because all other tags are inactive, the scene goes blank, so you will not be distracted by other geometry
- after you finish to draw with the sketch, you can define another tag, SketchTools and you will be able to create a feature like extrude
- if you will want to see the end result, you will disable filtering of all tags, so at the end you will see the geometry of all tags

The tag system for now works with OR convention, meaning that you will see a shape containing at least one tag of the filtered ones.

After the UI is cleaned a bit you will see a screenshot.


Yorik said...

That's a totally excellent idea... A tags system is very advanced compared to more traditional systems. If later on you make support for multiple tags, then all kinds of custom organization (a la becomes possible. Brilliant!

ciplogic said...

Hi, thank you for your feedback!

Yes, multiple tags should work out of the box using current trunk SVN codebase. At the end of September we will release 1.2 that will contain tags. Hope we will make it even better and because is opensource, we really like to see feedback and fixes (if appears some bugs) on this area.