Friday, September 14, 2012

'Layered Cake' Concept Explanation

The most interesting approach implemented in version 2.0 of 'LSS Toolbar' is that result of each tool processing is a parametric object, so it is possible to continue interaction with it any time later after tool termination. Each 'LSS Object' has two basic parts:

  • 'passive' part — new geometric entities (a direct result of tool processing)
  • 'active' part — existing (initial) and/or newly generated (utility) entities

So it is possible to continue interaction with an object by modifying its 'active' part.
The significant side effect of the above mentioned approach is that it is possible to make 'layered-cake' objects: use 'passive' parts of some already made objects as an 'active' part of new ones. Extension refreshes the whole 'layered-cake' object in a cascade manner after an active part of a 'bottom level' object changes. It is also possible to play with 'active' parts at any level to affect 'top level' results obviously. The combine use of multiple 'LSS Toolbar' tools for object creation demonstrates synergistic effects of the whole extension.

'LSS Toolbar' Productivity Hints

Usual way of 'LSS Toolbar' typical tool processing has following steps:

  • activate a tool dialog
  • pick all necessary entites in an active model one by one
  • adjust then apply settings to generate results
But actually it is possible to select all necessary entities before tool activation if you know in advance what entites are needed for tool processing. The more entities are to be picked the more handy 'preseleciton feature' becomes, because it is possible to select all necessary stuff at once using selection rectangle instead of picking objects one by one.
'Make 3D Mesh' tool demonstrates 'preselection trick' advantage in a most clear way when it is necessary to make terrain surface from existing point cloud. Preselection becomes actually the only reasonable way to solve such task when point cloud has hundreds or thousands of points.

Note that obtaining a point cloud from CSV file feature added in 'beta 1' of 'LSS Toolbar 2.0'.
It is not an intellectual CSV parser yet, so this functionality has a lot of limitations and it processes only properly formatted CSV files. Appropriate file has to contain only XYZ values separated by comma.
Here is an overview of steps to prepare CSV file for processing with 'LSS Toolbar' when it does not match required formatting.