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Tool Simplification / Consistency

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I would like to make the suggestion that some tools are removed/simplified/blended/given consistency.

 

There are a few tools that could use this treatment, but I recently took some time to look at the Extrusion, Reshape, Extend, and Thicken tools when applied to surfaces; all these tools essentially do the same thing, but with a few inconsistencies.

 

Let's say you have 30 separate square surfaces.  If you want to thicken/extrude/reshape/extend 20 of them, one would pre-pick these surfaces select a tool, then click on the screen to do them all at once.  The interesting thing here is that the RESHAPE tool and the EXTEND tool will unpick the surfaces while EXTRUSION and THICKEN will not.  Naturally, it took me 3 tries to figure this out after trying to use Reshape and Extend before using Extrusion.

 

It's also interesting that each of the Tool Options are slightly different, so it's not like you can just remove 2 of the tools and let the other tools do their jobs, there has to be some sort of simplification here.  

 

Perhaps you can add all these abilities to one tool?  Let Reshape be given a fixed distance with In, Out, and Center, as well as dynamic, the ability to pre-pick, and also work on smooth objects?  I think that covers all ground for what this tool could do.

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+1 for Reshape with fixed numeric amount.  A request I have made before.  I believe this would in fact made the Extrude tool redundant.  

 

Not sure about Extend and Thicken being combined.  They are distinct tools in my opinion with different functions.

 

 

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I was just using the Extend tool with it's tool options set to "To Face."  Super nice function!  But I think this could be an option for Reshape (along with a fixed numeric input).

 

I think you're right that Thicken should be a tool by itself, though. 

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If you have i.e. the 30 rectangle surfaces to work with, reshape and extend tool does nothing as your objects are 2D (No direction vectors for the face). That makes sense to me.

Extrusion and thicken will work and turn these into solids, pre or postpick, which makes sense too. (THEN Reshape /extend/thicken/extrude faces of these)

Thicken gives a fixed height and direction, extrude allows dragging and num input.

Reshape has numeric input and keeps the moved face "as is" , in face direction or reference plane based; while extend will also work numerically and to a tilted surface and also alter the Face dimension.

 

Enhancements are of course always possible but you would have to be more specific in detail (or maybe I got the question wrong)

 

I find the diverse functionality of this set of tools is one of FZ major strengths.

 

 

 

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R2, 

 

Every 2D surface in formZ has a direction.  Draw a square and turn on Face Normals in its Attributes.  Now activate Reshape and it will work on this object... which makes we wonder why Extend wouldn't work on the object.... but Reshape won't work pre-pick.... but you can Pre-Pick with Extrusion.  

 

There's a weird back and forth battle between certain tools and their functions.  Maybe you don't need to consolidate them just so long-time users won't have to search endlessly for another tool to use, but I would like to see them be consistent with each other when trying to do certain tasks. 

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Posted (edited)

I wasn`t referring to the face normal but the segments direction towards the face.

in the plane example, no segments run towards that face thus it can not "extend" somewhere. (But you can extend the side segments)

 

(You are right, extrusion and reshape on that square face give the same result, just like "thicken" can do too.)

 

Reshape does not work when you prepick different objects I think. It does work when prepicking several faces of a (simple) object to an extent though.

(Generally it works best using just no picking at all - so that it finds the face automatically)

 

 

Draw a pyramid and cut off the tip now you can:

 

reshape the upper face up - all remains one object, face dimensions remain (or reshape down, substracting volume)

extrude the face, making a new object

extend the face numerically, where the face is scaled

thicken the face (or the whole object)

(just as a quick example)

 

My point is I don`t see it as a battle of the tools but as possible ways to get different results, depending on what geometry you work on.

 

Edited by R2D2

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I second R2D2's comments.  All are similar but deliver subtle but very different results.  I use all four extensively depending on the situation.  The benefit of having separate tools is that they can be individually key short-cutted.  Making fewer tools with more options would require more mouse action choosing options which slows down the modeling workflow.

 

My one comment is that I would like to see a Dynamic option added to the Extend Tool so that it would operate similarly to the Reshape Tool with the difference being that rather than extending the face related to Reference Plane direction or to Face Normal direction, the extend would adjust all the perpendicular segments actually changing the shape of the extruded face.

 

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I think the discussion of tool condensing is more appropriate for Reshape + Extrusion not Reshape + Extend.  

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Hi,

I second @setz explanations! Don´t separate them!

The extend tool is one of my favorite tools in FormZ, it is brilliant and a huge timesaver (extend to arbitrary spaced and rotated Plane!)!

Dynamic options would be welcome, like @setz explained(but I don´t understand @setz explanations about this topic  :huh:) !

 

Michael

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Why couldn't hot keys be set to choose options within a tool?  This way, consolidation and shortcuts could be added for distinct behavior.

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for me, it is the extrusions that should be consolidated.  and in the subdivision edit tools  grow F  and offset F tools do the exact same geometry... only offset F has a little more nuanced editing.   these could easily be combined into the offset, with options to behave, constrained as if it were the grow F tool.

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SpaceClaim is a good example of how to approach tool consolidation for a cleaner workflow.

Initially, I thought it would be a good replacement for FormZ as it addresses my frustrations with components and exported project hierarchies.

However, I now feel it is a good companion to FormZ and perhaps should replace my other CAD tools instead.

This means that I am now looking to sell my licenses of SharkCAD Pro + Power Pack and possibly Vectorworks Fundamentals too.

Both are up to date and current, please PM if interested.

 

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