Using Snap efficiently

Hi,

Great program. I’ve only been using uMake for a week or so, but I’m already very impressed. I do have a question about the best usage of snapping in conjunction with groups and layers. I may have missed a setting and I’m far from being an expert (or even a fairly competent user), but I would like to be able to snap to various points on “protected” objects. I primarily intend to use uMake for woodworking projects, and once I’m satisfied with a particular component, I like to lock it somehow to prevent accidental alterations.

The problem is that when I do that, I can no longer snap to any endpoints, midpoints, etc. I can understand how this might be problematic for grouped items because the snap points might only be on the bounding box which may not even be located on a “real” curve or plane. However, I had hoped that ungrouped items on a visible but locked layer would still be snap-able. I can’t see how this would cause a problem since the individual snapping tools are easily toggled. Although I suppose people with a different method of working might see it otherwise – perhaps an additional layer property to control snapping when visible would be possible.

On the subject of snapping in general, I’ve worked through most of the tutorials (which are excellent BTW), but none so far seem to spend much time on using snap efficiently. And the current version of uMake has more snapping options than are available in the tutorials. I would really appreciate a current tutorial video explaining the various snap options.

Speaking of tutorials, I do understand that as long as you keep adding new features (which I heartily endorse), you will never be able to be completely up to date. And there will always be the question of whether to devote scarce resources to adding new features (and fixing inevitable bugs) or to developing documentation and training materials. No easy answers, but perhaps it would help if there was a master “change log / cross reference” which could ease confusion when viewing the older tutorial videos. All of the videos I’ve watched have had lots of good information and valuable tips, but it would help prevent confusion when following along if I’d had some forewarning on functions that had moved or were implemented slightly differently.

Once again, great program – and just plain fun. It is great to be able to use my iPad with touchscreen and pencil to accomplish what formerly could only be done on a much larger and less convenient system.

Thanks,

Steve Cross

Hi @SteveC,

Thank you for your feedback! This is very helpful.

Here are my comments/answers to your questions:

  1. Snap with Groups - you right. Snap tools would not work on curves within a group. That’s part of the logic groups have in uMake, but might be something we would change in the future.

  2. Snap with Locked Layers - the idea we had around this feature is that in case you wanted a locked layer, you just want to see it, but not to interact with it in any way (snap tools included). I agree with you that it might be easier to enable snap tools. Let me check with our developers on how easy it is to enable this in future updates.

A workaround, for now, would be assigning each group of elements on a different layer and to lock/unlock them when necessary. This is how you can still treat them as a group without using the “Group” command. You can quickly select all the layer’s content by double-tapping on the layer (in the Layers panel).

  1. New tutorials - we’re in the middle of updating our help videos and hope to complete it by the end of the week. Currently, the new added help videos are available on our website (http://umake.xyz/learn) under “The Basics” and “Sketching”. We will update all of them in the app itself once everything is ready.

  2. Changelog - I agree, a change log/indication that something has changed would be beneficial. We will improve on how we can notify about an updated or new features.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate. We’re here to help!

Thanks again,
Evi

Evi,

Thanks for the very fast response. And thanks for the tip about double-clicking to select the layer objects. I’m sure it will be useful. But the thing I’ve found most useful is the “swipe right” on the layer name to quickly lock/unlock a layer. I was just hoping I had overlooked something even a little quicker – perhaps in the future. For now, one thing that would be really helpful is a “Layers” mini-menu – similar to the quick menus for symmetry and snapping. But with a little more functionality such as “layer name” (or partial name), and toggles for “active”, “visibility”, “snapable”, and “select all”. Admittedly, this is a lot to ask to be both small and easy to use, but the current system requires several clicks to activate and takes up too much room to be left on the screen all or most of the time. IMHO, something like the first 6 or 8 characters of each layer name could be the “icons” which could then be “made active/current” by a single click, made visible (or not) by a long press, all layer objects “selected” by double-click, and locked or unlocked by “swipe right” – each action fairly similar to the current process but taking a lot less space and a little bit faster. The text “icon” could change colors, be underlined, etc. to indicate current status.

Something to think about anyway. I suspect others would find this feature to be useful as well. I have a few other feature suggestions but I’ll post them in the appropriate section

Thanks again for the fast response and a very useful program.

Steve

@SteveC thank you!

You right. We have plans to improve this experience. Hopefully by Fall we would have some solution for that. Layers is an important part of the experience and should be simplified.

Thanks,
Evi