Flip along issues

This is a bit of a followup from the Twitch modeliing demo.

From my perspective, the Flip along description is not intuitive, flip across would make more sense (I expect an object to flip across an axis for some reason and maybe tumble along an axis).

I have put in a lot of effort developing my visualization skills (picturing the movement in your mind) which I find is required to be consistent in using flip along.

Visualization requires effort, but my brain is generally busy with other concurrent modelling challenges
so I am only 75% successful when using flip along (not acceptable from a Pro app).

A likely solution - add visual helper (translucent image) to indicate how the component will flip as you hover over red, green or blue. I would expect 100% success rate using flip along then.

EDIT: there may be extensions with similar function, but I am not aware of them, and SU would benefit significantly from built in function.

In implementing this type of UI innovation, it could lead to many other UI innovations that can speed up modelling.

Hmmmm… I guess I don’t seem to have the same issue. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. My thought process is in terms of mirroring to create a counterpart to the first one (even if I’m actually flipping the original and not a copy) and the Flip Along direction is the color of the axis line between copies. I find this to be very intuitive and I have a 100% success rate with it. I’ve set up keyboard shortcuts for flipping components and flipping multiple selections. Since I don’t use groups in my modeling I haven’t bothered to set up keyboard shortcuts for flipping groups.

There are extensions such as TIG’s Mirror Object which requires you to specify a mirroring plane but for the vast majority of my modeling, the Flip Along commands work just fine.

I should have mentioned I am left handed, so my brain is wired a little differently, which may explain my intuitive rational.

Either way, I stand by my suggestion that showing how the flip will occur would be quicker for a wide range of users at different stages of development (in general, if you see a picture of how something should perform, it is an order of magnitude faster than reading the instructions and trying to picture it yourself).

EDIT: @DaveR with your extensive experience including giving advice, it all helps reinforce the quality of your SU working practices making them more consistent and reliable, which few other SU users are likely to attain.
The other key issue would be how successful were you in using flip along in the first year or 2 of using SU?

Flip along a direction causes me no issues - seems pretty unambiguous. But, despite years of using SketchUp, I sometimes get confused about which way a component’s axes are pointing, especially if I have already flipped a copy or otherwise manipulated the axes. So, I can understand your request. I suppose the idea is that a ghost copy would appear when you move the mouse over one of the “Flip along” choices before you click that choice?

Yes exactly - a “ghost copy” is a good description.

A lot of my perspective on this type of SU issue is how new or relatively new users handle this function, so making it “idiot proof” is always a helpful solution, as long as it doesn’t reduce performance for the pros.

Other than visual distraction I don’t see how it would reduce performance for the pros - unless of course it turned out to be a compute-heavy operation. Of course, for those who don’t like it, there could be a preference to turn it off.

Same here…maybe a ghosted image of the selected group/components axes as a guide to discern RGB?


I would have been able to get my point across much better (an order of magnitude faster) if I had included an image…

This is a rough idea - red ghosted image, color coded to axis - doesn’t indicate whether you would access function via a tool, right click, hover or some combination.

Please let me know if I flipped it the wrong way :grin:

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I’m left handed, too. Except for scissors. In school there were never any lefty scissors. Oh and computer mice. I use the mouse right handed because for the first years I used a computer, it was always at work and the mouse was always on the right.

Very shortly after starting to use SketchUp for modeling woodworking projects, I found out about components. And then I found out about Flip Along. Most furniture is symmetrical about at least one plane so mirrored instances of components are key. The Flip Along direction was never ambiguous to me once I saw what it does. I think another thing that helps eliminate questions about flip direction is that I model everything in situ so I’m usually not rotating components after creating them. Their axes are generally aligned with the model axes.

For new users I can see the benefit of the ghost component that you talk about although I wouldn’t want to see it myself. When I’m teaching my students about Flip Along (and the related Scale, -1) I usually show putting "cabinetmaker’s marks on the component so they can see the result because components frequently don’t look any different after being flipped.

Same here :joy:

Can you show an image of what cabinet makers marks look like?

In SketchUp they might be like these. Push the parts together and get a diamond. or a triangle.

Put them off center and so they can’t be confused.

I don’t use them in my own modeling because I can keep track and I’m kind of AR about flipping components right after copying from the left to right or front to back so there’s never any question later. Disciplined work flow.