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Feedback wanted on Selection Focus


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3 hours ago, greebo said:

I got a feature in the works, allowing to select and manipulate only "focused" items, which should hopefully be useful for manipulating grouped items without having to disband the group. There's a demo video here:

https://www.darkradiant.net/images/videos/selection_focus.mp4

It works like this:

  • You select some items in the map. It doesn't matter what it is, it can be a group or many groups or just two unrelated brushes.
  • Hit Ctrl-F to enter focus mode (the command is called "ToggleSelectionFocus" if you want to bind your own shortcut)
  • Your actions will be restricted to just that selection
  • You cannot select other items that are not in the group (unless you use Layer or Filter selections, or Invert selection)
  • You'll get a visual indication about the focused items in the ortho view
  • Grouping information is ignored while in focus, you can select single parts of any group
  • You can select, move, rotate, delete, edit vertices etc.
  • Hit Ctrl-F again to exit, or (maybe more intuitively) hit ESC until you left the focus
  • The previous selection (before entering focus) is now active again, you can proceed manipulating that

I'd appreciate if you folks could have a go and try it and then give feedback about it. There's no release yet, but you can grab a portable release from Github: https://github.com/codereader/DarkRadiant/actions/runs/3403010325

This is super-handy, loving it already.  A couple of minor things:

  • I couldn't download the release from Github until I signed in - does everyone have a Github account?
  • ToggleSelectionFocus wasn't bound to Ctrl-F by default - it was unbound.
  • When you enter selection focus mode, because all the colours change to white/black it sometimes hard to find the focus group in the ortho view if there is a lot of stuff in the map. I see the light highlighting around it, but it doesn't help that much.  If it's an existing group of items I want to manipulate, I would probably select it using the camera view, and manipulate it using the ortho view, meaning I have to find it.  Some suggestions to help might be to change the focus group items to a brighter colour (blue/red/green?), or automatically focus the ortho view onto the focus group.  I'm using 'Super Mal' colour scheme as well which is grey background, so maybe that combination of black/white/grey doesn't help.

I've only just started using playing around, will leave more feedback in future comments if I have any.  But yeah this is great!

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1 hour ago, Frost_Salamander said:

I couldn't download the release from Github until I signed in - does everyone have a Github account?

Probably not, but a couple of people around here have. I can upload it to my google drive if people don't want to create a Github account.

1 hour ago, Frost_Salamander said:

ToggleSelectionFocus wasn't bound to Ctrl-F by default - it was unbound.

That is something I need to look into, probably the user-defined input.xml is interfering, I have to check out how to properly override that without disrupting all the user bindings. I also thought about adding a button to the top toolbar next to the selection modes.

1 hour ago, Frost_Salamander said:

When you enter selection focus mode, because all the colours change to white/black it sometimes hard to find the focus group in the ortho view if there is a lot of stuff in the map. I see the light highlighting around it, but it doesn't help that much.  If it's an existing group of items I want to manipulate, I would probably select it using the camera view, and manipulate it using the ortho view, meaning I have to find it.  Some suggestions to help might be to change the focus group items to a brighter colour (blue/red/green?), or automatically focus the ortho view onto the focus group.  I'm using 'Super Mal' colour scheme as well which is grey background, so maybe that combination of black/white/grey doesn't help.

As a workaround I can suggest pressing Alt-Tab since that will re-focus the ortho views to the selection OR the focus area if nothing is selected. So hitting Ctrl-F and then Alt-Tab should bring the ortho view into place.

What about aligning the ortho view automatically to the focus once activated? Is that always desirable?

I also have to make the involved colours configurable and come up with usable default colours for every colour scheme DR is shipping. I'm using the Maya/LW colour scheme since forever, and that's probably why I didn't notice it being less than helpful in Super Mal.

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53 minutes ago, greebo said:

As a workaround I can suggest pressing Alt-Tab since that will re-focus the ortho views to the selection OR the focus area if nothing is selected. So hitting Ctrl-F and then Alt-Tab should bring the ortho view into place.

Did you mean Ctrl-Tab (next view)?  Because that worked.  Alt-Tab for me switches between windows (in Windows 11).

55 minutes ago, greebo said:

What about aligning the ortho view automatically to the focus once activated? Is that always desirable?

Yes this is what I suggested above ("..automatically focus the ortho view onto the focus group").  I think I would want that - but maybe need to find out of everyone else would want that as well.

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Just now, Frost_Salamander said:

Did you mean Ctrl-Tab (next view)?  Because that worked.  Alt-Tab for me switches between windows (in Windows 11).

D'oh, sorry yes, of course I meant Ctrl-Tab. :)

1 minute ago, Frost_Salamander said:

Yes this is what I suggested above ("..automatically focus the ortho view onto the focus group").  I think I would want that - but maybe need to find out of everyone else would want that as well.

I'll wait a bit before doing anything, but I think it's desirable. Since the whole point of entering focus is to manipulate it in the orthoview, it makes sense to align the view to that area.

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I'm going to ask about a couple of things here because they are related to grouping - feel free to tell me they should be part of a different discussion/feature instead.  Perhaps they may factor into how this works.

  1. with selection focus on, grouping information is ignored.  Makes sense as you want to manipulate the individual objects.  But what if you want to clone one of the objects and include it in group (if it is in fact a group you are focused on)?  Say you are working on a staircase and need to add a couple more steps.  Could cloned objects just be automatically added to the group? 
  2. I kind of wish there was an 'add to group' or 'merge groups' command in the mouse context menu.  Unless you want a bunch of nested groups, you need to select all the objects, then 'ungroup' followed by 'group' to do this.
  3. (probably a separate thing but will ask anyways): Is it possible to disable drag select in the camera view?  Frequently I'll be selecting objects one-by-one in the camera view to add to a group.  The mouse will drag very slightly and all of a sudden loads of stuff in the background will get selected.  You then have to press escape and start all over again.  Gets tedious. 
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42 minutes ago, Frost_Salamander said:

with selection focus on, grouping information is ignored.  Makes sense as you want to manipulate the individual objects.  But what if you want to clone one of the objects and include it in group (if it is in fact a group you are focused on)?  Say you are working on a staircase and need to add a couple more steps.  Could cloned objects just be automatically added to the group? 

The focused elements are not necessarily from the same single group, right now any selection can be focused on. When cloning or creating objects adding it to a group might not be what's intended. Of course, selecting just a single group would make that desirable, not sure if the logic determining that would be a nightmare or not.

44 minutes ago, Frost_Salamander said:

I kind of wish there was an 'add to group' or 'merge groups' command in the mouse context menu.  Unless you want a bunch of nested groups, you need to select all the objects, then 'ungroup' followed by 'group' to do this.

This would be a separate feature request. It's similar to the reparent primitives or merge entities commands. There'll be need for some conventions when having more than one group selected.

46 minutes ago, Frost_Salamander said:

(probably a separate thing but will ask anyways): Is it possible to disable drag select in the camera view?  Frequently I'll be selecting objects one-by-one in the camera view to add to a group.  The mouse will drag very slightly and all of a sudden loads of stuff in the background will get selected.  You then have to press escape and start all over again.  Gets tedious. 

I see the point, and yes, it's possible to disable drag-selection for cam views. Separate feature request of course.

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ok thanks.  Yeah the first point is probably too specific to that single group use case. 

I'll raise the other 2 things in the tracker.  If feature 2 is implemented, it would make adding stuff to a group easy anyways and feature 1 would be almost redundant.

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I like this feature - especially because it allows you to select and manipulate objects that are in a group, something I just complained about a few days ago. Good timing! I played around with it for a few minutes, didn't see any issues.

However, I did notice something in this version of DR. The Camera view does not behave as expected. Examples:

  • In Camera view, the ESC key no longer deselects. In ortho views, ESC deselects fine, but in the Camera window, it doesn't do a thing.
  • Undo doesn't seem to redraw in the camera window either. 
  • Selecting an object in ortho view doesn't highlight it in the camera window.

Are these known issues?

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On 11/8/2022 at 12:00 AM, joebarnin said:

However, I did notice something in this version of DR. The Camera view does not behave as expected. Examples:

  • In Camera view, the ESC key no longer deselects. In ortho views, ESC deselects fine, but in the Camera window, it doesn't do a thing.
  • Undo doesn't seem to redraw in the camera window either. 
  • Selecting an object in ortho view doesn't highlight it in the camera window.

Are these known issues?

I can't reproduce this. Anything you need to do before this happens? Any layout/camera adjustments that I might not have on my end?

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56 minutes ago, greebo said:

I can't reproduce this. Anything you need to do before this happens? Any layout/camera adjustments that I might not have on my end?

Hmm. Just tried it again, and it all works fine. Maybe one of my keyboard keys was stuck or something. Or maybe I was dreaming. Anyway, all is well now. Sorry for the false alarm.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for this beautiful and much needed change! One of the biggest limitations in DR was that you couldn't edit items in a group without first ungrouping everything, and since you want things like prefabs to stay grouped having to group it all back after making changes was the other part of the pain. Now we finally no longer need to ungroup / change / regroup and the feature also allows preventing changes to other areas you aren't working on :)

Gave it a quick test in latest Git and it seems to be working great. Only thing I'd change is adding a toolbar icon for this: I'll likely be using the Control + F shortcut exclusively but that's good to have in case we ever forget it.

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