I don’t know how I could survive without using components and groups. Currently, I’m dealing with a kitchen/living room design and without components or groups, it’d be a nightmare moving anything.
I wonder if much of my “issues” with Sketchup is because I come from Photoshop and Illustrator which relies on Layers which in Sketchup is really the Outliner (OL). So I use the OL A LOT. I use it to tell me the structure of the items I’m looking at - the nests and whatnot.
But I’m also a former programmer so naming things is an obsession as well. I don’t think it’s SU’s responsibility to have naming conventions. I was just getting frustrated because no matter what style of naming I seemed to use, it didn’t seem to resolve some of my frustrations with OL and the Component Inspector (CI).
For example, the CI allows us to Expand All, but when we do that, it doesn’t display the components in a tree structure. It’s just displayed in a list alphabetically so we can’t see the nesting of components within components. I realize one component can be used in multiple parent components, but a notation next to it or some style formatting might resolve that confusion.
If we could see the components nested, we might be able to name them better. For example, say I have a 6" drawer with a 7.5" drawer pull that’s obviously part of a cabinet. I use that drawer in other cabinets but all those cabinets are part of a set and each cabinet is a different size. To have these components show up together in the CI when I click Expand All, I need to start their names with the same letters/numbers. And when you have a lot of parts of a cabinet that will be used in multiple cabinet components in a large kitchen, you end up with really long component names. And you really need to use components because you need to save on file size.
So right now, I could have something like this in terms of a component with sub components:
- GRANDPARENT: Cabinet Lower 3 Drawer 17x 24
Right now, if I wanted them to show up “nested” in the CI, I’d have to name them like this:
- Cabinet Lower 3 Drawer 17x 24
- Cabinet Lower 3 Drawer 17x 24 - Drawer 6"
- Cabinet Lower 3 Drawer 17x 24 - Drawer 6" - Drawer Pull 7.5"
It would be nice if I could just name them like this:
- Cabinet Lower 3 Drawer 17x 24
It’s still a long jumble of stuff but it’s a heck of a lot shorter than what I’d have to do now in order to nest them. The problem, obviously, is that if I name them like this and I click Expand All, they don’t show up nested nor near each other. So I can confuse myself with my own naming conventions.
It’d be great if SU could upgrade a bunch of different things or if plugins were available to resolve some user interface issues. SU is fantastic but the Outliner and Component Inspector need improvement.
That said, I gotta get me some useful naming conventions before I lose my mind. My models are just too large not to nest components.
How do landscape architects do it? How do they handle plants? One tree could have hundreds of leaves but if they’re all the same shape and size, you’d be crazy not to use a component. But then if you have multiple trees of different species with different styles of leaves and branches and flowers and berries, what would your CI look like?
Not to mention, in the OL, when you have a tree component with a lot of leaves that’s fully expanded, SU seems to stop to reload the OL any time you do anything. I’ve got a potted plant that was causing this to happen. It was only 1024kb using 1 leaf component and two branch components. But because I expanded it in the OL, every time I did ANYTHING, the OL would reload and take forever because it had to reload the list items of this tiny shrub with 300 leaves (just guessing on the number of leaves). I obviously collapsed it and then removed it but it took a while just to do that because just clicking out of the component nest took forever - the OL kept reloading. I tried scrolling to the top of the component in the OL, but even that caused the same problem. Ugh.
Anyhow, I digress. I do love you, SU. Really, I do. There is a lot to love about SU and I’m 100% addicted. But we do need to work on our relationship.