2D : Rectangle (?)

Why doesn't have Bricscad a real Rectangle Object,
like it has e.g. a parametric Circle Object ?

I think the Rectangle is the most important Object in 2D Drawing.

Currently, what is called "Rectangle" is only a standard PolyLine
(not even a Polygon that could have a Fill Color)
that will just be "created" in the same fashion as a Rectangle would,
but immediately loses all its intelligence.

1.
I am missing an Option to see AND edit Length and Width in Property Palette.
(like a Circle has)

2.
I miss the Option in Edit Mode, to grab a Vertex, to change its Dimensions graphically.
Currently its Rectangle-ness will be destroyed by losing parallelism as it is a only a
PolyLine. (+SHIFT option, to keep its Aspect Ratio while dragging)
Currently I would need to grab 2 Edges after each other to get the same result.

3.
I would like to have a DTP-like approach of choosing the Origin, from where numerical
input changes (like in #1) will be applied, in Property Palette.
(mid point; bottom left; bottom; left; top; .....)

4.
I miss a simple color Fill option for (any closed!) 2D Objects
(separate Stroke+Fill color welcome, but even a single color would help)
Currently I would need to convert into an Area Object, which will lose all parametric.

5.
And of course with not in a one-time-only command behavior but multiple use default
option like the Line Tool.

The reason, beside just 2D CAD Drawing in general, I recently did a 2D Layout (Brochure)
in familiar Vectorworks (Instead of a real DTP App like Scribus) as I am more used to it
and it worked great.
I tried to test if I could find Workflows in Bricscad do similar and was a bit shocked
how much more unneeded complicated it is there and how much more Clicks I will
need for similar operations.

«13

Comments

  • BTW

    current a "Raster Image" already(!) behaves nearly as fine is I would ask from a
    Rectangle Tool !

  • Dear Michael
    Don't blame BricsCAD, it's an AutoCAD thing. Not only rectangles are not what they pretend, also polygons are in fact closed polylines ...

  • Hi Louis,
    yes, I am pretty aware of that ACAD drama.

    But would such an addition really necessarily brake ACAD compatibility ?
    I mean, we have Walls and Windows inside DWG Format.
    I can see them and ergonomically work with them,
    while shortsighted ACAD may only see a bunch of standard Solids.

    Couldn't there just be a extra Rectangle Tool with all features for us,
    while ACAD sees just any kind of Polyline.
    While the Rectangles extra data is kept in a hidden way,
    but Bricscad recognizing, that a ACAD user or ACAD compatible Plugin in Bricscad,
    may have destroyed the Rectangle with their Polyline Operations and Bricscad
    recognizes it as being degraded to a simple Polyline, in the worst case ?

  • Hi Michael, send in a support request, which can then be classified as a 'Feature Request' ...

  • Hi Louis,

    do you think that my first post's Text is suitable or even understandable
    for anyone behind the SR send button ?
    I doubt I could achieve a much better result even if I Tried harder ....
    If you give a yes, I will do.

  • Yes MIchael, your first post will do perfectly. Maybe you can add your third post also.

  • Dear Michael,

    besides compatibility with thousands of 3rd party applications (which would all be gone, with your proposal) - there is no real "rectangle" entity defines for a dwg dtaabase ...
    if we would add such, then no other dwg compatible CAD system would be able to recognise that BricsCAD-specific entity (think of the proxy problematic, i tis a nightmare).

    So as usually, the context & view is much much wider than only "rectangle should be a rectangle" ...
    many greetings !

  • Michael Mayer
    edited January 2019

    @Louis Verdonck said:
    Yes MIchael, your first post will do perfectly. Maybe you can add your third post also.

    I did anyway without waiting for your ok.
    ;)

    @Torsten Moses

    Thorsten, I see the dilemma.
    But maybe my "Feature Wish 2.0" revision for Support has some other
    approaches or workarounds.
    (Intelligence inside the Tool only - on top of dumb but compatible Polyline Data)

    I'll attach my extended Feature Set from SR.
    .
    .
    most Polygon Tools in Bricscad are just simple Polylines only,
    that loose all intelligence after creation.
    .
    I wish that there would be a real Rectangle Tool beside those
    Autocad compatible Polyline options.
    .
    A Rectangle Tool should have following features :
    .
    0. Keeping Autocad Compatibility :
    a)
    In a way like parametrical Walls or Windows do exceed
    Autocad feature set in DWG Files already do.
    (By hiding extended Data and only showing standard Solids to Autocad ?)
    b)
    Bricscad AI,
    So maybe the data still stays a unintelligent Polyline,
    but only the Tool itself will offer the intelligence.
    c)
    By Bricscad AI,
    recognize all unintelligent Polylines that have a Rectangle Quality
    (parallel Edge Pairs and 90° Angles)
    and let us work by the Tool more intelligently than a Polyline.,
    .
    1. Parametric :
    Length and Width values should be readable and editable from
    Property Palette.
    (E.g. like the 2D Circle Tool does already)
    .
    2. Sub Edit Modes :
    a)
    Edge Manipulation
    A Rectangle should keep its Parallel Constraints and 90° angles.
    So when you grab one of its Edges to move,
    it should move perpendicular to that edge only.
    (Currently, moving an edge can destroy a Bricscad "Rectangle" and
    degrade it to a Parallelogramm.
    b)
    Vertex Manipulation 1
    When you grab a Vertex, the Edges shall also keep their
    Parallel Constraints and 90° angles.
    But moving the Vertex will change both at the same,
    Length AND Width,
    and therefore also the Aspect Ratio of the Rectangle.
    c)
    Vertex Manipulation 2
    If you want to keep the Aspect Ratio while Vertex moving,
    you need to hold SHIFT - as an option which will constraint
    Vertex Movement along the initial Diagonal Angle
    (This is how it works for a "Raster Image", but by default
    and without holding SHIFT)
    .
    3. Manipulation Centers or Origins Widget :
    Like in a Desktop Publishing App (DTP),
    it would be nice if there would be kind of a Bounding Box Dummy
    for selected Rectangle(s!) in Property Palette.
    This Boundary Dummy lets you choose a Vertex or Center Point
    for from which Center the Numerical Manipulations will happen
    (E.g. Selecting the bottom left Vertex, plus increasing Length input,
    will extend the Rectangle to the right side ....)
    .
    4. Fill :
    b)
    It would be very useful for Layouting and preliminarly Design Stages
    if Rectangles could have a simple Fill Color.
    (Or if any closed Polygon/Polyline would have a option to show a Fill)
    E.g. Like Areas do have
    (but not even any parametric or intelligence or an own Tool to create them)
    b)
    Even nicer if there is an additional color option for Fill,
    beside the overall Object/line color in Property Palette.
    c)
    even more more nicer if both Colors controllable from Layers
    .
    5. Rectangle Tool Default Behavior
    Most important, if such a new, additional Tool already exceeds Autodesk
    capabilities, there is no need for familiar Autodesk usage behavior
    anymore and instead of one-time usage only,
    I would vote for a repeatable usage behavior Default like the Line Tool does.
    To allow faster, repeated creation of multiple Rectangles in a row.
    .
    .
    6. very welcome Optional Features
    a)
    Manipulation Center Dummy Option
    Welcome if the Dummy will automatically follow to View Orientations
    like Rotations, as Isometrics,
    to make it easier to read
    b)
    Parametrics :
    It may be useful that Property Panel's Length+Width Values would
    automatically adapt to Rotations of Rectangles by switching Values.
    E.g. switching when the rotation angle exceeds 45°.
    To make user input more predicatble by always having the same
    field order for vertical vs horizontal extensions.

  • @Torsten Moses said:
    besides compatibility with thousands of 3rd party applications (which would all be gone, with your proposal)
    if we would add such, then no other dwg compatible CAD system would be able to recognise that BricsCAD-specific entity (think of the proxy problematic, i tis a nightmare).

    Please don't see it as being impolite when I try to directly make my point.

    But one of my first naive feedback to Bricscad Support was
    that I personally don't care at all what File Format Bricscad uses,
    for me it could be *.brx or *.bcd - as long Bricscad "exports" proper DWG.

    As I was looking at 3D direct Modeling only, It took me nearly 2 years to realize that that
    a) Bricscad, behind its wonderful Bricsys features, behaves 1:1 Autocad
    b) 100% Autocad compatibility for Bricscad is important. It is in fact essential.
    c) my worst problem,
    Bricscad also has to feel 100% Autocad, for Autocad User Compatibility.
    (Which I am aware of is the target group and the market - not me)

    All CADs I worked with had always lots of individual Features that were better implemented
    than in the CAD I currently worked in and I missed now.
    But the only Autocad Feature I would wish to have in other CADs may be the left/right
    blue/green Marquee. So my Autocad enthusiasm is pretty low level as my rants
    redundantly expressed.
    But that is just my personal opinion and the majority very likely sees this completely different.
    (Even after filtering all subjective personal "got already used to", "am familiar with",
    "learned to use it that way" arguments out)

    So now I can accept and live (ok, hardly) with Autocadness in Bricscad.
    But I think it is a pity and wasted potential in so many areas.
    As I am totally impressed overall and by all pure native Briccscad in Bricscad.
    So I still try to find any small niches and gaps where my usage and workflows could improve
    and get a little more pleasant by Support Request Wishes.

    I don't want to be the one who endangers Autocad Compatibility at all.
    Just any potential optional small Shifts, away from Autodesk, more towards the rest of the world,
    but in form of additional Settings or Extensions, beside Autocadness, are very welcome from
    my side. (And potentially attract other new users too)

    If there is no way beside braking Autocad Compatibility,
    I will reject my Feature Request.

  • I see my Microstation (old V8 XM from 2006?)
    has no real Rectangle either.
    It is also named as Polygon Area(?)
    (So also typical Lines/Points dimensions + location + Area
    display like in Bricscad Properties,
    instead of a condensed Length, Width + Origins)

    But it behaves like a Rectangle.
    When I grab one of the corner markers, it will keep its 90° angles.

  • In a way like parametrical Walls or Windows do exceed
    Autocad feature set in DWG Files already do.
    (By hiding extended Data and only showing standard Solids to Autocad ?)

    Maybe I have a naive and totally wrong imagination of how
    those ACAD extending objects work on top of DWG ?

    I think I thought it is saved or organized something like :

    • a Wall Object with all extended data
    • everything ACAD should not see is commented out
    • ACAD gets only a Solid to see

    So a Wall is more like :

    • standard Solid or ACAD object type
    • all extended BIM extension data hidden somwhere completely else ...

    So a Rectangle,
    as there is nothing like a rectangle in DWG,
    would never be possible in such a way.
    And creating a new Object Type that DWG didn't know so far
    is also impossible.
    So Rectangles stay Polylines forever.

    In the best case a Tool intelligence could fake a Rectangle behavior
    when editing Polylines that "look like" Rectangles.

    So realisticly, my Feature Request conclusive enumeration may
    be a bit toooooooooooooo optimistic and demanding.
    :)

  • There are 2D parametrics. I have created a few shapes blocks, like rectangles, that have all the corners set to be perpendicular, and with some dimensions on a standard layer I created called "Parametric Dimensions-Don't print". To use them, I just insert and then explode them, and finally, edit those dimensional constraints. However, I have no idea if the BricsCAD parametrics survive a round-trip to/from AutoCAD.
    Perhaps a program can be used to edit the rectangle. It would read the coordinates of each of the points, and calculate the lengths of the sides. I suppose it would first need to figure out if the 4 points actually form a rectangle, since user may have stretched it into a parallelogram, or other non-rectangular shape. Then it would show the user an illustration of the rectangle with its current dimensions. the user can edit those values, and then the program should not have much difficulty in changing the dimensions of the rectangle. You probably would also need to first ask the user where is the fixed point that the rectangle would expand/contract around. It could be geometric center, any corner, or perhaps a mid point on one of the lines.

    The above type of object wold never be anything other than the simple polyline it originally way. So, I think the rectangle feature is a very doable thing.

    For a different approach that Bricsys may consider... it may also be viable to create a very simply dynamic block to do what you want. I suspect that Bricssys could come up with a few of the features that the AutoCAD Dynamic blocks have, and not violate their copyright. They might also be able to save the objects as dynamic blocks. After all, parametrics have been around for several decades. Back during version 10's reign, there were even 3rd party add-ons to AutoCAD to do things that are comparable to some of what dynamic blocks can do.

    -Joe

  • ^ these are some very good ideas Joe.

  • Roy Klein Gebbinck
    edited January 2019

    Gilles Chanteau has posted a reactor-based Lisp application 'True rectangle' @ TheSwamp.
    Although I do not think Michael is interested in such an add-on solution.

  • Yes Roy,
    as frustrating for others it may sound, out of the box solution highly preferred.
    And if not available or possible, for me it might be easier in some cases to
    try to live, get used to and not get annoyed by current state,
    than more complex custom changes, while they may look so obvious and
    easy for other people.

    Adapting a handful of tools to repeat and maybe even recall selections may be
    feasable even for me though.

  • This link is to an article that says AutoCAD used to have rectangles as a type of entity. I started on version 10, but don't recall that.

    Anyway, the article adds a LISP routine to provide a type of editing on rectangles.
    https://autocadtips1.com/2011/11/20/autolisp-make-a-real-rectacgle/

    -Joe

  • They had one but skipped it,
    interesting ....

    Hey, you can create a Box with Z=0.00
    It has even a nice fill
    :)
    Isn't as easy to edit though ....

  • I always hoped dwg would sometime have a rich set of primitives (both 2d and 3d), since this would greatly facilitate dealing with entities programmatically. But this does not seem to happen, and even if Bricsys would share my opinion, they would not be able to help it.

    So IMO the way to go is not faking 'real' rectangles (or other primitives), but providing editing possibilities such that the user does not feel a need for them. When it comes to 3d solids, Bricsys already pushed this quite far, but on the 2d side, there remains room for improvement: You should be able to dmfillet, dmmove, dmextrude and pushpull edges of polylines, regions and (not associative) hatches.

    Regions already allow you to dmmove their edges (see screen capture), if this behavior would be bound as default to midpoint handles of polylines, few would miss true rectangles...

  • @Joe Dunfee said:
    This link is to an article that says AutoCAD used to have rectangles as a type of entity. I started on version 10, but don't recall that.

    Anyway, the article adds a LISP routine to provide a type of editing on rectangles.
    https://autocadtips1.com/2011/11/20/autolisp-make-a-real-rectacgle/

    -Joe

    Joe,
    That routine is a line for line copy of the one by Gilles that Roy pointed to.
    ... but I'm not sure if it is the most recent build :)

    Regards.

  • @Michael Mayer said:
    Hey, you can create a Box with Z=0.00

    One job I had, we normally used 2D solids (this was a 2D figure with 3 or 4 points) Similar to your mention of the 3DSolid created using the Box command, the 2d Solid was stretchable using the normal stretch commands. We used these to create 3D objects using AutoCAD LT (which ddin't really have 3D features) I was mostly representing plywood. So, setting a thickness to these "solids" would give them depth. What was nice about them, is that once you set a piece of plywood to be, for instance, 3/4" thick, it always stayed that thickness. Whereas 3D meshes could accidentally have their thickness changed by stretching.

    -joe

  • Anthony Apostolaros
    edited January 2019

    It's interesting that Bricscad's rectangular viewports work just like VectorWorks rectangles, i.e. you can grab a corner or midpoint of one and drag it to any chosen point and it remains a rectangle. That's a very nice feature. In Autocad the last time I looked there were no grips on the midpoints of rectangular viewports.

  • Yes, like Raster Image Objects too.
    Only that these are limited to keep their aspect ratio.

    One other thing about reactivating a Tool.
    I think I could live with a RMB click.

    That is what is always mentioned.
    But there is the Quad and this by default (?)
    At least I need the Blank Space RMB neutral Quad sometimes.
    Then you would need to retarget your cursor and an LMB click
    to reactivate the last used tool.
    Which I think is too much.

    How do you work and setup ?
    RMB Quad off ? SPACEBAR ?

    If there were a way to get neutral QUAD by RMB+ holding a Key,
    I would go for the RMB-re-activation.
    And maybe there is a way already or by customizing UI.

  • @Anthony Apostolaros said:
    It's interesting that Bricscad's rectangular viewports work just like VectorWorks rectangles,

    Viewports can't be rotated. I don't know about VectorWorks rectangles. This may be a limitation for some situations, though I suspect most of the time a rectangle is orthogonal towards the World Coordinate System.

    To add to my prior post concerning how the feature could be added, I've seen some amazing stuff done by Lee Mac, who used reactors to make things like text that stays along a curved line, even as the line changes. But, I think this type of object has to be pre-set to use reactors. So, you might create a program to set a rectangle to be one of those objects that automatically triggers a rectangle editing routine. But, the user would not be able to see that the rectangle has a reactor until they try it. Sol, I suspect that a special rectangle editing routine should be chosen first, and then the routine is responsible to see if the object is truly a rectangle.

    -Joe

  • I don't know about VectorWorks rectangles. ... though I suspect most of the time a rectangle is orthogonal towards the World Coordinate System.

    That is similar to BC Rectangle.
    Default is orthogonal which is faster by 2 clicks,
    while "rotated" Rectangle is one of the placement options.

    And you can set or edit the angle in OIP (=Property Palette)
    While the Gizmo/Dummy to set Edit From Origin follows both,
    the Object's or View's Rotation to show something similar like
    the object orientation on screen.

    That Origin From Dummy is available for most 2D Objects or even
    3D Objects like Walls. (Origin = Start, Middle or End)

  • Anthony Apostolaros
    edited February 2019

    Another nice thing about VW rectangles is that you can specify the second corner point by entering the width and height on the numeric keypad. I loved that feature of VW, since that's the only way I've ever wanted to draw rectangles, other than by picking both corner points.

    And I've never wanted to enter an absolute coordinate, except for 0,0 (which can be done just by pressing the space bar), so I've never understood why absolute coordinates are the default in AC and relative coordinates require the infernal @ symbol.

    So I made a custom command to draw a rectangle by entering width and then height on the keypad, without having to jump over to the keyboard to find the @ and comma keys. It also eliminates the need for a negative sign, since a second pick point shows the direction in which width and height are to be measured from the first pick point. It assumes a two-handed drawing style, in which the left hand is picking points in the drawing window while the right hand is issuing commands on the keyboard or entering dimensions on the numeric keypad.

    (defun WaitCom () (while (> (getvar "cmdactive") 0) (command pause) ) ) (defun c:RR ( / p1 p2 x1 y1 inp1) (setq p1 (getpoint "First corner of Rectangle: ")) (initget 129) (if (setq inp2 (getcorner p1 "Second corner or width: ")) (progn (if (listp inp2) (progn (setq p2 inp2) (command "Rectang" p1 p2) ) (progn (setq x1 (read inp2)) (if x1 (progn (setq y1 (getreal "Height of Rectangle: ")) (command "Rectang" "D" x1 y1 p1) (WaitCom) ) (progn (command "Rectang" p1) (WaitCom)) ) ) ) ) ) (sssetfirst nil (ssget "L")) )

  • Michael Mayer
    edited February 2019

    @Anthony Apostolaros said:
    And I've never wanted to enter an absolute coordinate, except for 0,0 (which can be done just by pressing the space bar),

    Even didn't know that :)

    so I've never understood why absolute coordinates are the default in AC and relative coordinates require the infernal @ symbol.

    I always thought it is the opposite way ?
    (Or another letter ?)

    But when I draw a BC Rectangle, I see DYNDIMs with relative values,
    Length+Width. Do I use different Settings ?

    EDIT,
    Ah, you use Command Line input.
    (I avoid that as possible)

  • With dynamic input, relative coordinates are the norm (at least for me), because in the same breath I'll say that pressing the space bar does nothing just repeatedly asks for the starting point of a rectangle

  • pressing the space bar does nothing just repeatedly asks for the starting point of a rectangle

    I thought that was meant for Vectorworks ...
    doesn't work for me.
    It just pans ...

    But I am happy that also BC recently learned that you can snap a origin symbol.

  • Enter sometimes means 0,0 with some other commands, such as Move and Copy.

    If you enter coordinates as the start point of a Move, or as the second point, after picking the first point, you're entering absolute coordinates unless you type @ before the coordinates. I don't understand why anyone would want to do that.

    With Rectangle, if you start by picking the first point, and then enter 4,3, the second point will be at absolute 4,3, not 4 to the right and 3 above the first point. Again... why?

  • Again... why?

    I asume because it is working as in ACAD ?

    (which can be done just by pressing the space bar)

    I still did not get where it works and under which circumstances
    that way. But I think that is pretty cool.

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