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Editing: Allow Face and Edge selection and edit modes

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:26 pm
by malCanDo
Hi there,

I just posted this on the main page, but this might be a better place for feedback etc.

The one major feature that is currently missing from Blender as a modelling package is IMHO the ability to simply select and modify a singe face or a section of faces ( with an ignore back face option ). The current method of selecting the various vertices of the face is way to complex for novice users, and can be tough for even experienced users, when working on large meshes ( going into face mode, selecting faces, and then entering edit mode shows that the functionality could be easily achieved, but it's not in an intuitive place for novice users ).

Most modellers in other 3D packages work mainly on a face basis, and only revert to the vertex level when fine tuning a model.

Here are some animated examples to show what I'm talking about... ... rocket.wmv

- This will make more sense the second time you watch it... notice how the selection / editing mode is switched between object, face, edge and vertex, allowing the user to model different parts of the rocket using the most relevant mode. Vertex editing is still important, but face editing is the easiest for most tasks. ... eglass.wmv

- Again, you'll see that the artist spends most of the time in face selection and editing mode.

Some other ones.

This is a large Quicktime movie, so broadband users only... ...

Some notes:

a) In order to extrude a face, the user has to select say 4 vertices ( which can be tricky on complex meshes ) and then effectively extrude a face. Using face selection mode, this would only require one easy selection for the same result.

b) When the user has selected the 4 vertices, they highlight yellow. Having the outline of the selected face ( or faces ) hightlighted yellow ( in face selection mode, something similar to the functionality that already exists in face mode ( press 'F' when you have an object selected ) ) would make it a lot easier to visualise what is happening.

c) Every other major modelling package uses face / vertex / edge / object modes within their editing mode ( Max, Soft, Maya, Wings ), so if you're looking to attract existing 3D modellers, make it easier on them by giving them what they are used to. Some modelling tasks really need face editing, and of course some require vertex editing.

d) For hardcore traditionalists, having these features wouldn't change their current workflow, as they'd be effectively staying in vertex selection mode within the new editing mode.

Have a look at at least the first two links above, and let the developers know your thoughts / comments.

I'll see if I can put together an online, interactive example of what I'm talking about, using Shockwave 3D..


Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:28 pm
by malCanDo
I was hoping that a few more artists out there would like this feature added...

if enough people request it, the developers will be more likely to start working on it.

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:01 pm
by jm
I'm also waiting for this option. I hope that some one work on it. I hope.


Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:01 pm
by malefico
Well, this was discussed before. The face selection in edit mode WAS implemented in Tuhopuu, and it worked fine (ALT+V). Somehow it wasn't ported to BF, I guess there was something about structures rewriting or something alike.
Even in Tuhouu, the hotkey stopped working but I think you can enter this mode from the Mesh or Select menu...

From my user poit of view, even when it might have problems, this should be ported to BF and hotkey should be available till a better code solution show up.



PS: For a workaround you know you can select edges keeping CTRL and SHIFT pressed, right ? That way you save part of the time instead of selecting four vertices you only need to select two edges.

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:32 pm
by malCanDo
> PS: For a workaround you know you can select edges keeping CTRL and SHIFT pressed, right ? That way you save part of the time instead of selecting four vertices you only need to select two edges.

Cheers for the info, Blender usually has alternative ways of doing things hidden in shortcut keys... if only there was a CTRL SHIFT ALT SPACE selection for faces, I'd be even happier ;)

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:01 pm
by Doogs
I agree wholeheartedly, its tough designing/modelling by vertice every single time.

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:16 am
by Monkeyboi
There is a big difference between quickly selecting vertices that make a face and actual face/edge selection. Real edge/face selection would enable selection possobilities not possibly currently. Examples:

This selection is currently impossible to do in Blender. The middle face will be selected if you select the others:

And again, selecting these three edges without selecting the fourth that compromise the face is not possible in Blender:

Sometimes it is a huge pain to not have this freedom in Blender, especially after working in apps that do offer these possobilities. That said, with recent improvement to import options, users can pretty easily import Wings models and use them perfectly in Blender - so it might not be the biggest deal, but still...

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:04 pm
by shadowdragon
I totaly agree with MonkeyBoi, not being able to select just certain faces, yet still leaving the ones in-between unselected. Is a major pain in the ass.

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:39 pm
by joeri
I'm not saying I disagree with the face selection, I'm just wondering what you are going to do with thoose red squares.
If it's an extrude then I can understand what will happen, but it's not so clear to me what will happen with a scale, move or rotate.

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:25 am
by matt_e
Move, scale, rotate will generally take the same effect as if the transformation was happening to the underlying vertices. It's for other tools (like extrude, loop cutting, etc) that having separate selection modes really becomes useful. You can download Wings for free and give it a try if you like :)

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:59 pm
by joeri
No no, you read me wrong.
I think it's good to discribe what you want it to do, so people who implement it can implement it the way you want it to behave and you wouln't be surpriced by 'misbehaving' afterwards.
In this case if the middle square is forced to rotate with the other 4 squares thats fine with me. If you want it to 'snap it loose' because you didn't select it thats fine with me too. I'm only saying you should discribe what it should do. Don't assume others to know what you know :)

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:16 pm
by matt_e
Ah gotcha, understood. Oh, the joys of internet communication...

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:53 pm
by Doogs
To be honest, I believe that this type of mode should have been one of the mandatory coding projects. The features that we DO have are pretty nice, but seriously, there should have been some sort of priority. Sure, raytracing was nice, but in order to create obejcts properly should have included this.

Oh well


Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:32 pm
by Bellorum
To be honest, I believe that this type of mode should have been one of the mandatory coding projects.
Hear, hear.

Tweak tool

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:18 am
by poutsa
Something like the Tweak Tool in Wings 3D:Vertices-Edges-Faces !!


Vassilios 8)