Is there any way to directly adjust the position and rotation of individual or multiple control points with “arrow manipulators” similar to the ones shown in the following video at 5:14?
I regularly use the UVN tool, and I’m also aware of the holding down the Alt key while building a “Blend surface” to rotate it’s end control point manipulator, but I often need to manually adjust already built surfaces and it’s a lot slower and less interactive to move control points indirectly from the separate window of the UVN tool.
Not to mention that when the surface control points are turned on and the UVN tool is active, there are no visual indicators with letters on the surface to tell which direction is U, which V, and which is N, nor it will show whether it’s positive or negative direction (left and right in the UVN window). A few simple letter icons (U, V and N) would do wonders and prevent frustrations with moving the wrong slider, resulting in often use of Undo.
Arrow manipulators are a great way to directly interact with the control points exactly where they are located and I see them as a good alternative of (and sometimes better than) the UVN tool. Until then, I mostly use Scale 1D to move the control points, as well as UVN tool and the Gumball.
Currently, the closest thing to the arrow manipulators is the Nudge keys functionality (Rhino options > Modeling aids > Nudge), but this only works with presets of distances and forces the modeler to often leave the mouse and move his or her left or right hand to the arrow keys. I use 3d Connexion mouse with my left hand and Logitech G502 with the right one, so obviously working with the keyboard’s arrow keys (and Ctrl and Shift keys as modifiers for the alternative Nudge distances) at fixed preset distances is not the most effective way to manipulate the control points.
There are also two things that could be improved with the “Pickable polygon” setting (Rhino options > Mouse > Selecting > Make control polygon pickable).
It’s fairly easy to accidentally select couple of control points instead of a single one. If there was some way to disable picking the control polygon in less than 10-15 pixels next to a control point (the so-called dead zone), that would be resolved just fine. It’s even better if the modeler could choose custom dead zone measured in pixels.
While holding down Shift and clicking on the next control polygon to select additional control points, that will actually de-select previously selected control points. This is something that needs to be fixed, because it’s confusing to de-select with Shift, which is always used as “add to selection” for the rest tools in Rhino.
It would also help a lot if it was possible to right-click while dragging a UVN slider, in order to cancel the current adjustment of the control point(s) and move it back to its original location. This kind of right-click cancel/undo command is already implemented in many other tools in Rhino, but it’s really pity that the UVN tool lacks it.