Attach Command

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Attach Command

Postby sgladfelter » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:08 pm

Anyone else noticing that attach now converts lines to beziers instead of polygons? I know a bezier can be converted to a polygon, but it puts an extra point in the middle of each line. Not a tragedy, but the behavior seems to have changed with PC 9.1.3. I'm on 10.9.1 fwiw.
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Re: Attach Command

Postby huc » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:09 pm

page 252 of the good book of powercadd... see picture below... it's a feature that's been there all along that you can control
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Untitled - 2 Export.JPG
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Re: Attach Command

Postby sgladfelter » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:43 pm

Well look at that, problem solved. Thanks,
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Re: Attach Command

Postby jcarcht » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:47 pm

In my experience with the Attach command, it's only worth it if the result is a single shape that can be edited as such, not a grouping of lines and arcs, for example.
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Re: Attach Command

Postby huc » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:54 pm

jcarcht said:
In my experience with the Attach command, it's only worth it if the result is a single shape that can be edited as such, not a grouping of lines and arcs, for example.


I respectfully disagree: (not intended to flame or shout anyone down)

The history of Attach... is worth considering

Originally (way back in PowerDraw 2 or 3? circa 1989ish?)

Attach... always yielded a polygon UNLESS the selected path (objects to be attached) contained higher level objects like an arc. In that case a group was always created which TRACED the selected path with a new Polygon. In effect always keeping the higher level geometry. This made a lot of sense - and that's still the case today. I say it made/makes sense because a higher level geometric object (e.g. an arc ) can always be converted to lower level geometry (e.g. lines or a polygon) -- but -- lower level geometry can never be converted to higher level geometry (e.g. I can't convert a polygon to a circle but I can convert a circle to a polygon)

How, in more recent versions (PCD8) we've been given a lot more control and the manual does a great job of describing those optional settings for Attach...

There are now choices - two of which nuke/delete/replace (i.e. convert) the higher level geometry to lower level geometry:

Convert to Béziers: All objects to be attached are converted to a Bézier curve; the original geometry is changed. For example, if the objects to be attached included a line and an arc, the original arc is replaced with a Bézier.

and

Convert to Polygons: All objects to be attached are converted to a polygon; the original geometry is changed. For example, if the objects to be attached included a line and an arc, the original arc is replaced with a polygon.

And one which retains the higher level geometry (i.e. it works like the old old days):

No Conversion: If the items to be attached include arcs, this setting will not change the original arc geometry. The results will be a Group containing the original objects and a new polygon (pen pattern of None) which is the bottom most object in the group. This setting has no affect when attaching lines or polygons; the result will always be a polygon.

There are times when I need all three options and am very happy having the No Conversion option as it does have a practical use in production. In fact I had quite the lengthly discussion during beta testing of PCadd 8 (around 2007?) and the behaviors that were being added. I absolutely believe (then and now) that the No Conversion is critical simply because of the need to retain higher level geometry in many cases.

A classic example is a road center line/alignment is drawn and dimensioned to arc/tangent standards and dimensioned to that standard. However I often want to do an offset polygon from that center line in order to get a fill pattern to render the road surface (width) and to calculate it's area for cost purposes, etc.. I can even offset that for filling the curbs or offset the original arc/line tangent geometry for curbs and sidewalks. If Attach... had blown my arcs apart to a polygon (or bezier) I've lost the ability to dimension or go back and accurately modify the design layout.

Point being Attach... come a long way and I'm glad for the choices. Everyone's workflow is different and likely changes depending on circumstances (mine surely does). In light of that, there are definitely times when having that 'group' automatically created is very helpful. It protects/retains my higher level geometry but gives me the polygon to whatever else is fastest, easiest, and most appropriate for the next stage of the workflow.

Just another opinion
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Re: Attach Command

Postby jcarcht » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:20 pm

The Paint Tool is actually far more useful to me than the Attach tool. With the Paint Tool I can actually fill a closed series of lines with a color or hatch pattern and create a polygon practically in what amounts to one fell swoop. I hardly use the Attach tool any more.
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Re: Attach Command

Postby huc » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:16 pm

Paint Bucket is a great tool and excellent choice for many situations -- and it's gotten appreciably better (smarter) since PowerCADD 7 days!

My biggest issue with the Paint Bucket tool is when the areas are very complex it still has a tendency (albeit much less) to create criss crossing polygons. At first look they don't appear to be an issue but the geometry can get crazy enough to cause some problems. I've been burned on that a few times over the years when files wouldn't print well to postscript or would print fine full size but not at a reduction -- offending objects were over 90% of the time related to a funky criss crossing polygon or vertices that ended up crossing on each other as the paint bucket polygon got reduced at print time.

As a related example, I recently had a client send me a file they couldn't get to translate via DXF. After troubleshooting the file I narrowed the offending objects down to two layers - both of which contained numerous filled/hatched polygons created with the paint bucket. These areas were so complex the level of criss crossing/clipping was something I hadn't seen since PowerDraw 3 day sand wonky inbound dxf translations. Deleting the objects or cleaning up the geometry corrected the problem.

Again - I love the tool but it can cause problems depending on the complexity of the geometry being filled. It sure is FAST and makes life easy!
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Re: Attach Command

Postby sgladfelter » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:46 pm

I agree with huc's comments on preserving arcs - not previously exploring the options within the attach command I always just duplicated the objects prior to attaching - and I agree with jcarcht's observation that the paint tool can be substituted for attach in some circumstances - but do either of you actually use the paint bucket tool over the flood tool? I find the flood tool much more precise (but not perfect!) than the paint bucket tool - so I am truly curious - what are the merits of the paint bucket tool?
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Re: Attach Command

Postby huc » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:29 pm

sgladfelter said
...but do either of you actually use the paint bucket tool over the flood tool? I find the flood tool much more precise (but not perfect!) than the paint bucket tool - so I am truly curious - what are the merits of the paint bucket tool?...


Yes - I use them both -- just depends on the circumstance and sometimes which is more convenient to grab. However, generally I default to the PowerCADD Paint Bucket and here's why (see attached). Both have a place in the workflow.

Hope that helps

EDIT: Forgot to add the second image... showing why I prefer Flood to Paint Bucket. Again - both have advantages/disadvantages
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FloodPaint2.JPG
WToolsFLood PCD Paint Bucket Export.JPG
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Re: Attach Command

Postby Alfred Scott » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:59 pm

The Flood tool works by tracing along an object's perimeter until it comes to something that crosses the perimeter, so if you want it to 'see' a hole inside an object, draw a single line from outside the object to inside the hole. That way, it will 'run into' the line and create a single object that looks like it has a hole in it.

This is an exceptionally difficult thing to program. It will never be 'perfect' and I doubt that's possible. Joe Burke talked me into doing this many years ago, and I've often been tempted to fly to Hawaii to skin him alive. We will all have to live with the Flood tool the way it is because there is no way I will ever work on it again. It just takes too much out of me to work on it.

There is also the Join tool which is similar to the Attach command but has some differences. There's no one right way to do any of these things, and we have an embarrassment of riches to choose from.

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