Two wishes for Gumball

I have a proposal for a little but important upgrade to the Gumball.

Wish 1: What about adding the ability to repeat the last used distance while dragging (or copy dragging) with the Gumball via tapping the “R” key on the keyboard? That way, the modeler will be no longer forced to manually write long and complex numbers while dragging the object or making copies of it, ultimately saving time and reducing the chance for an input error for repetitive actions. Obviously, Rhino should remember the last distance separately from the main clipboard, because the latter is much more important for storing copied geometry.

The automatic repeating of the distance could be also combined with the following. Upon dragging an object with the Gumball and pressing the “R” key, the last used distance should appear automatically on the command line, so that any further writing of a certain number or a mathematical notation should add, deduct, divide or multiply the input number. Here are a few examples:

  1. Gumball drag + releasing the LMB = dragging via the Gumball manually (just like what’s possible now).

  2. Gumball drag + typing a number such like “6” + releasing the LMB = dragging via the Gumball to a manually set distance of 6 mm (again, just like what’s possible now).

  3. Gumball drag + pressing “R” + releasing the LMB = dragging via the Gumball using the last used distance (no need to write the distance in the Command line).

  4. Gumball drag + pressing “R” + writing “/” and “3” (without the commas) + releasing the LMB = dragging via the Gumball using the last used distance divided by 3 (example: if the last used distance was 6 mm, that command would result into moving the object by 2 mm). Note: In this case, the stored last used distance remains 6 mm even after being used to divide the distance by 3, because it could be needed for the next moving of objects by 6 mm.

  5. Gumball drag + pressing “R” + writing “+” and “2” (without the commas) + releasing the LMB = dragging via the Gumball using the last used distance plus 2 mm extra (example: if the last used distance was 6,795 mm, that command would result into moving the object by 8,795 mm).

P.S.: The standard mathematical symbols in Rhino’s Command line are:

+ add
- subtract
* multiply
/ divide
** exponentiation (raise to the power of)

Wish 2: Add ability to lock the moving distance while clicking and holding the LMB on the tiny square of the Gumball that combines two axis (XY, YZ or XZ). Rhino only does that with the ! _Move command. The Gumball’s square won’t be locked; instead, it moves the objects along the plane shared by two axes freely even after a fixed numerical value is being set (unlike the moving with the Gumball arrows).

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If you click on the gumball axis you’ll input the distance you want, however complex. If you click again on the gumball axis you’ll have to press only enter as the previous value is already prefilled. What you propose is already possible, except not on drag.

The input will be remember for each of the separate axis types. All translate axes have the same memory, all rotation axes have the same memory, all scale axes have the same memory.

If you type in for instance 13/2 then this will be what you get the next time as well, exactly that.

Does this work for you?

I’m aware about that approach, but it’s a bit different of what I usually use, because it’s less safe* (at least for my taste) than clicking and holding the LMB on Gumball’s x-, y- or z-axis arrow, then write the desired numerical value in the command line and release the LMB. Being able to tap the “R” key to repeat the distance is also safer, because it means it will be impossible to accidentally move the part by the given amount unless that key is pressed.

*By “safe” I mean that the default repeating the last used distance (which you mentioned above) could lead to accidental moving of the object upon each press of the Gumball’s arrow and then clicking in a blank space somewhere in the viewport. The problem in this case is that instead of cancelling the moving after clicking on a blank space, Rhino will consider that as a confirmation and will actually move the object by the remembered distance from the previous moving operation. This kind of accidental unwanted moving of objects has happened several times in the past while working on an important car project and it made me avoid using this particular approach for good :slight_smile: , even thought it was helpful when it worked predictably. I find the moving of objects with Gumball while holding the LMB much, much safer. This is why I proposed the alternative way of using the remembered values from previous operation.

Confirmation of command in Rhino usually happens via the RMB or the “Enter” key. Clicking on a blank space with the LBM deselects the selected objects in all other cases, but in the case mentioned by you it will actually activate the moving. This makes it inconsistent in comparison with many other commands.

Another reason to use moving with Gumball while holding the LMB is the ability to change the distance on the go as I put different number while the command is still not finished. This helps me find the appropriate distance that I need to use to move the object. Also, I’m not forced to write “-” before the numerical value if I want to move in the opposite direction. :slight_smile:

Also, tapping with the LMB on the Gumball arrow limits the possible directions to just 6 total and it can’t be used to move with repeated distance in different directions other than the axes.

I see what you mean. This part is a bit inconsistent in my opinion. For instance starting a drag with the mouse on the gumball while holding LMB then RMB will cancel that operation. Personally I use the Esc key for cancellation of actions, especially now on my new keyboard since the Esc is easy to reach with either my pink or thumb (yes, I have it currently programmed on two locations).

I can see the value in having r recall the previously input number.

Anyway, I see here three wishes. Use of mathematical notation is separate from the recall function.

  1. RH-65296 A way to recall previously used measure while dragging gumball
  2. RH-65297 Allow mathematical notation on gumball drag number input
  3. RH-65298 Allow distance locking also on gumball plane grips
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Great! This is exactly what I meant. Thank you for considering these improvements of Gumball for future Rhino releases! :slight_smile:

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That reminds me of another old suggestion I had, similar to Bobi’s. Once the Gumby is “on the move” while dragging it, more key shortcuts could be enabled since the command line input is not critical.
We could add more keys for interactive transforms like scale and rotate, the step values could be defined in Gumbal options…

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The approach from the video you posted could be handy in the jewelry business to arrange ornaments with different size and orientation. :slight_smile:

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It’s very nice that one of my proposals for Gumball from this topic have been implemented ( https://mcneel.myjetbrains.com/youtrack/issue/RH-65480 ), and I especially like that dragging via Gumball’s plane handle while tapping the Tab key and using grid snap locks the movement at full numbers, just like it does with the regular movement with the arrows. :slight_smile: This is soooo good!

Is it possible to also add the ability to remember the last distance for dragging with the plane handle, so that a single click on it afterwards will result into moving with the same distance again? (just like when one clicks on the arrows).

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