BIM workbench UI discussion

A forum dedicated to the Draft, Arch and BIM workbenches development.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:37 pm

carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
I'd like more tools, but grouped by common behaviour or result you expect, or... else? It is to say i'd like less tools, but more powerful:
Indeed that's the purpose of this post.
carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
on the create toolbar for example: just one arc, but with tasks pannel showing the possibility to create it from center point, from end/end/mid, from end/mid/end
Not a bad suggestion indeed.
carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
or in alternative a dropdown button that let you chose which tool to use, but in the toolbar definitely just one arc.
Yeah i've been wondering what a tool bar with the drop downs (for the fewer tools view) and no drop downs (for the display all tools options - extended views) i'm actually curious about this aswell. Good mention.
carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
in the modification tools:
- i'd like to group copy clone and unclone, or at least clone and unclone in one dropdown button
Can't be too certain about this, It think we can put them close together, but I think it is best we go with color coded options, they are simpler to identify although clone and unlcone sounds similar I understand. But for the sake of consistency lets go with colors. They will be easier to identify and manage.
carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
- Offset should be grouped again into one tool with the possibility to select different behaviours
Obviously this has been my mantra all along aswell.
carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
- TRIMEX: i like how it works, but i'd like to make it more consistent: to me it's a tool that operate on just ONE object and modify it along one of it's axes (don't create new objects).
I agree with you, it works great, but I think we could have a check box to tell it to either Create or not to create a new object as in some workflows i'm familiar with (especially architectural detailing) creating new objects have their use. So the default can be at not to create new object perhaps, with a checkbox option to Create new object. and it saves the last options state etc.
carlopav wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:22 pm
this could work on lines, rectangles, arcs (moving end points along circumference), circles (transforming into arcs or making the circle tangent to selected destination shape and keeping center point fixed), boxes, spheres (like circles), walls, wires, slabs (stretching it), ecc. (this could have a special mode to select a destination line and trim/extend lot of other lines like autocad, but thats not necessary). Reference behaviour could be sketchup push/pull. I think this tool could also incorporate the "cut object with a plane" command since that's actually a trim or an extend to a plane.
Absolutely agree 100% here.
carlopav
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby carlopav » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am

Hello everyone, i feel a bit intrusive in the project, so forgive me if i'm stalking you all ... :)

But.... i hade some other thougts on the draft wb:

TAB at the moment seems to be used just to tab tasks panel imput boxes, but it could have a very powerful behaviour depending on several starting conditions.
When snapping cicle through objects that provide snap like others already proposed.
When highliting object for selection, selection cicle through object selection candidates list (like revit)
When an object is selected enter draft edit mode (like blender)
When in draft edit mode, exit draft edit mode (like blender)

Edit mode:
I think it's mandatory to give some love to that feature...
i think it's important that the draft edit mode could work also on walls and other BIM object like beams and slabs, but also windows (for ex. displaying handles that could control size and position)
that could implement more handles, that could launch other tools on the object. just an example on the possible behaviour:
- additional arrow handle tracker at the two ends of lines could call the Trimex command to the object


Trimex:
make it dependent from the point clicked when selecting object: that's to say that if i click next to one endpoint of a line i expect to trimex the object on that side, and instead the result could also affect the other vertex.
That goes on the side to offer tools that have more and more attention to user i think...

Shapes (or compounds):
About "join shapes into one non parametrical shape". I noticed that with drawings that contains lots of parametrical shapes, freecad suffers from low performances. That's to say that if i import a big dxf with lots of lines (a small size residential block floor plan for ex.) i am forced to import it as a single shape, and then it's difficult to modify it. But also i probably don't want it to explode into parametrical objects, since it would be not useful to me. Maybe i just want to change some of the lines or add new ones. So the question is: is it possible to enter kind of "edit mode" where commont tools (like Line, Wire, Trimex, Move) work inside the shape or on single shape objects?
I know that working with non parametric objects is not at all the purpouse of freeCAD, but i think also that that's a condition that one could encounter in everyday job.

a big hug to everybody and have a nice sunday :)
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:19 am

carlopav wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am
TAB at the moment seems to be used just to tab tasks panel imput boxes, but it could have a very powerful behaviour depending on several starting conditions.
When snapping cicle through objects that provide snap like others already proposed.
When highliting object for selection, selection cicle through object selection candidates list (like revit)
When an object is selected enter draft edit mode (like blender)
When in draft edit mode, exit draft edit mode (like blender)
Yes not a bad suggestion indeed. I find it quite useful to have a blender approach here, and it's not just blender. Even Revit and Archicad have a few of these kinds of Edit options where you enter a different mode that has been created to help address such edits. So I definitely find it quite interesting and useful as an approach aswell.
carlopav wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am
Edit mode:
I think it's mandatory to give some love to that feature...
i think it's important that the draft edit mode could work also on walls and other BIM object like beams and slabs, but also windows (for ex. displaying handles that could control size and position)
that could implement more handles, that could launch other tools on the object. just an example on the possible behaviour:
- additional arrow handle tracker at the two ends of lines could call the Trimex command to the object
Indeed, along with the suggestion of @Moult to relook into how to model objects and assign them their properties based on what they do, I think there is a fundamental need to rethink "some parts" of the workflow tools from the ground up. i.e the Draft tools, The Edit tools, The overall approach at modeling so it is consistent through out.
carlopav wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:29 am
Shapes (or compounds):
About "join shapes into one non parametrical shape". I noticed that with drawings that contains lots of parametrical shapes, freecad suffers from low performances. That's to say that if i import a big dxf with lots of lines (a small size residential block floor plan for ex.) i am forced to import it as a single shape, and then it's difficult to modify it. But also i probably don't want it to explode into parametrical objects, since it would be not useful to me. Maybe i just want to change some of the lines or add new ones. So the question is: is it possible to enter kind of "edit mode" where commont tools (like Line, Wire, Trimex, Move) work inside the shape or on single shape objects?
I know that working with non parametric objects is not at all the purpouse of freeCAD, but i think also that that's a condition that one could encounter in everyday job.
Certainly you are again right here, CAD/DXF imports are very common and will remain so for quite a long time. It is true that Freecad suffers from a lack of attention to this regards. So I absolutely think you have a valid point with all that u've mentioned. above. We just need to start looking carefully step step at how to get started and integrate these. Something i'm in constant re flexion of as it is no easy task and requires substantial coordination with the community aswell. Starting from the most easy and immediate onces to fix to the more complex ones.
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Moult
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby Moult » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:27 pm

Continung on the idea about separating "building modeling" and "building information" (combined, we get BIM!)...

Yorik and I noticed the other day that basically everything can be done with the wall tool. An open wire with the wall tool applied is an axis extrusion, and a closed wire is a profile extrusion. I then further noticed that the "trim" tool when applied to a closed wire is essentially also a profile extrusion, except that it is more user friendly because there is a visual feedback on how far you extrude and the user does not need to think about units. I think this interface should be adopted for the profile extrude tool and taken out of the trim tool so that it is more discoverable and makes more sense (trim rarely means extrude in other programs!)

I propose the toolbar look like this:

==== Building modeling =====
----- 2D Drafting -----
Sketcher, line, wire, circle, etc
----- 3D Drafting -----
Axis extrude, profile extrude, boolean, bevel, mesh, etc
----- Geometric modifiers -----
Move/Copy combined, rotate, scale, stretch, array, clone, etc
===== Building information =====
----- IFC containers -----
IFC project settings, IFC site, IFC building, IFC building storey (spatial containers?), IFC building element aggregates (groupings of building elements), other
----- IFC products -----
IFC wall, IFC slab, IFC door, IFC window, IFC covering, IFC furniture, other
----- IFC data -----
IFC relationships, IFC type mangement, IFC psets, IFC quantities, IFC documents, other

Each toolbar can have icons colour coded for usability.

I hope it makes sense. If you like the idea, I can start working on a mockup and maybe we can start requesting some icons.
I also blog about 3D rendering, architecture, software and other on thinkMoult.com. RSS / Atom feed available for your convenience.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:16 am

Moult wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:27 pm
I hope it makes sense. If you like the idea, I can start working on a mockup and maybe we can start requesting some icons.
I would say just get started on it, and we'll create an experimental workbench, if all works well on it we'll can integrate? I'm also creating a few other icons, but this is for the Edit material property dialog box that i'm learning to create with Qt designer at the moment.
Current looks like this
Screenshot from 2019-02-01 12-18-45.png
Screenshot from 2019-02-01 12-18-45.png (30.49 KiB) Viewed 271 times
My attempt is already looking like this
Screenshot from 2019-02-02 10-42-23.png
Screenshot from 2019-02-02 10-42-23.png (16.08 KiB) Viewed 271 times
but it's not working well yet as you can see, lots of figuring out still to do.
Some Icons I made, you guys can help me decide which is best for the library?
Screenshot from 2019-02-04 19-46-36.png
Screenshot from 2019-02-04 19-46-36.png (22.04 KiB) Viewed 271 times
Screenshot from 2019-02-04 20-10-50.png
Screenshot from 2019-02-04 20-10-50.png (31.63 KiB) Viewed 271 times
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:38 am

So far Icon result
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paullee
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby paullee » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:02 am

Moult wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:27 pm
Continung on the idea about separating "building modeling" and "building information" (combined, we get BIM!)...

Yorik and I noticed the other day that basically everything can be done with the wall tool. An open wire with the wall tool applied is an axis extrusion, and a closed wire is a profile extrusion....
Hi, the separation of tool for 'modeling' like axis / profile extrusion and applying e.g. wall / column / etc seems to be a very logical approach.

Any idea what you would do with Window, Stairs, Panel, Frame ...?

Currently, it seems the alternative is to e.g. 'house' a Wall object into a Structure object etc.


Recently glad to see your recent development of Arch WB :D
triplus
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby triplus » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:10 pm

In general i like such discussions as things can (slowly) progress further. From current state of things point of view here are some observations.

All tools won't fit in BIM workbench. On the long run. Therefore Arch and Draft workbench tools likely don't belong in BIM workbench. Just like Transportation and Pipe/Flamingo tools don't. What belongs in BIM workbench is the BIM related toolbar tools. And things like that. Simple commands that do something are usually the preferred choice. Complex commands usually provide options in Tasks panel. Some commands have too complex Tasks panel ATM and that should be addressed in the future by solution like a (modal) dialog. For everything else i guess the FreeCAD paradigm would need to change. And to rethink on how to:

https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?t=32381

Put a few thousands commands in a single application window. And for end users not to complain after. :)
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:44 pm

triplus wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:10 pm
All tools won't fit in BIM workbench. On the long run. Therefore Arch and Draft workbench tools likely don't belong in BIM workbench.
There is a valid point to what you say here, this is why a careful methodic approach to arranging all this is necessry, Whilst i've been pondering about the embrace of these tab menus as you can see in Revit, it helps tremendously in the organisation of all these tools and workbenches. Even the new blender could not resist it (and we know that blender is deep with all it's thousands of functionalities aswell). I saw Libreoffice also embrace that style of organisation. Freecad is a bit unique and different so if it is meant to be designed in this context it needs to be properly thought off. But in general a major rethinking of all these is required at this point. I've been having sleepless nights trying to get started with this, because I think if successful will represent a good base for future good stuffs.
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triplus
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby triplus » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:42 pm

I couldn't resist too, and did have created some tabs:

https://github.com/triplus/TabBar

:)

Blender in my opinion has a rather complex user interface. All the modes user is confronted with and needs to think about. Complex sidebars and things like that. I don't know if it makes sense to go down that path. In addition they have a rather intimate relationship with their viewport, everything is custom made, we are far from that. As for the commercial CAD packages, like Revit. They have (Microsoft) Ribbon. FreeCAD could have one. After figuring out things like what happens when you reduce the width of the FreeCAD window and things don't fit in anymore. Anyway, that would just be a different container for commands in the end. You would still need to manage commands. And FreeCAD in reality does that rather good. There are Architectural, Sketcher, Drafting, Drawing ... capabilities. Usually sorted in groups we call workbenches. What (new) users usually complain about is on why must i use more workbenches. To get the job done. Why can't just all the tools i need be in one workbench. In my opinion this is rather unsolvable problem. If you have a few thousand commands and a few thousand users and more. One set up just won't do. There will always be a piece of functionality somewhere else. Not where one would expect it. Moving some of the Draft/Arch/Part tools in BIM workbench therefor in the end won't result in BIM end users not relying on Draft/Arch/Part workbenches anymore. Said that, i agree, lets move things forward, whenever and wherever that makes sense and we can do it.