At Issue with "Distribute" Command

In Rhino 8, I have five rungs of a short step, they are not grouped, I choose the five rungs, evoke the “Distribute Command” choose Centered and Automatic then choose Z axis. Nothing happens until I reselect and choose Y axis (which is Wrong).

Here is the file:
Distribute Issue File.zip (30.9 KB)

Hello- in Right, run Distribute > YAxis. Does that get you what you need? Centered is not an option in Distribute; ‘Concentric’ is an option in Align.

-Pascal

“Center” vs Gap is a Mode option in Distribute. Also as I am trying to Distribute the rungs vertically (Z Axis) Why would I select “YAxis”?

Hello- Distribute is a 2d operation - no Z available- , that is why I suggested working in Right, where the Y axis makes sense.

-Pascal

I appreciate your consideration for trying to explain and help me understand “distribute”. I don’t find this a Logical Command… In its own instructions it lists the ZAxis . See Attached

Yes, sorry, I am juggling too many things here - apologies, I will look more closely at the file.
It seems to work fine here using Z axis -
image

Are those the settings you used?

-Pascal

I used ZAxis and got no result. See my opening post at the top of this page.

Hello- can you please run that again and copy/paste the command history? Note the active view needs to have a CPlane where Z axis makes sense - this is a CPlane Z and not World… so if the active CPlane is Front in your file, Z will do nothing…

-Pascal

Which also means that Auto CPlane could be getting in your way - is it on in the status bar?

Yes: Auto CPlane is on.

And if you turn that off, do things improve?

-Pascal

Sorry, No. Same result, In the Right Viewport, only YAxis has any result (and the correct result).

Enabled automatic CPlane alignment
Command: _Open
Successfully read file “C:\Users\pelic\OneDrive\Desktop\Truck Images & Files\Distribute Issue File.3dm”
Creating meshes… Press Esc to cancel
Disabled automatic CPlane alignment
5 extrusions added to selection.
Command: Distribute
Mode=Center
ZAxis
Gumball Off
5 extrusions added to selection.
Command: Distribute
ZAxis
4 extrusions added to selection.
5 extrusions added to selection.
Command: Distribute
YAxis
Command: _CommandHistory

In the Right viewport, Y is up. That’s why you need to use Y there - this is a CPLANE oriented command, not world oriented.

If you do this in the Top viewport, or Perspective viewport, then Z would distribute properly there.

While the lower left corner shows “Z” up, that’s the "World axis icon. The green line on the CPlane indicates that “Up” for the CPlane is Y.

image

In the Top Viewport ZAxis works, and in the Front Viewport YAxis works (same as Right).

It would be easier to understand if it just Worked. Thats why we have computers…

On the other hand I find the Align Command very understandable, logical and workable.

I understand your confusion. Maybe we need an option on Distribute to orient to the world instead of the constuction plane.

RH-78770 Add World option to Distribute

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In general, commands in Rhino are CPlane based and with that in mind they do ‘just work’. Array for example. It might make sense to add more command line options, sure, but the way Rhino works is CPlane based for the most part, that is an important part of the UI.

-Pascal

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I think what I would like to see regarding “Distribute” is a highlighted section near the beginning of its definition called “Command Notes” that would give examples of practices that demonstrate how to get the most from that command. This format could be implemented for any commands that users find difficulty with. The three lines of text that Pascal wrote above me, are a good example!

-Greg

Hi Greg -

“Command Notes”, isn’t that the Help panel?

-wim

Hi Wim,

It is, if you understand, “Distributes objects based on x-axis of the active construction plane”.

I am a technical illustrator,(now retired). I produced: Annual Reports for Oil Companies, Patent Drawings for Law Firms and many and varied illustrations, logos and computer GUI’s for the balance of my clients.

The Help Panel feels like it is written from a very knowledgeable and correct person, who uses as few words as possible to describe the topic at hand. This format is great for the well educated, as for myself it takes a few passes to earn the understanding.

I also watch a good number of your tutorials (created by Rhino), and I can’t remember the last time I heard the words CPlane or Construction Plane, or saw an example of its implementation or use.

For my money, Pascal said it best!

-Greg