Idea: Easier method to lock to an axis

Hi again. The current method to lock to an axis when drawing a line involves clicking the first point, dragging the line out, wiggling around until you snap to the desired axis, then using your opposite hand to hover into the line and click to lock (while dodging the dimension text, which will bring up the calculator). I use this function constantly, and this sequence becomes rather cumbersome after dozens of repeats. It seems that the thumbstick is free during lines and rectangles, so might it possible to simply thumb up for blue axis, right for red axis, and left for green axis? That mimics standard sketchup which uses the arrow keys for locking to axes. That would be a much smoother experience.

Also, is there a way to lock the orientation of circles? My circles are often snapping in all sorts of undesired directions.

Many thanks!

Hi! That’s a good idea. However, the thumbstick is not available in all tools where locking the direction makes sense (e.g. the Move tool). We need to find another way…

The thumbstick is available for left and right movements. Maybe we move in the rough direction we want to stick to, and then thumb left or right, which would fix to the closest axis?

Hmmm, that seems like a good solution. It sounds initially less intuitive, but with the advantage of being consistent across all tools, and it is still a one-click solution. What do you think about constraining it to only one thumbstick direction (right, for example) so the left direction remains open for any future functions?

I think that by default we should avoid piling more features on the few remaining buttons. There is only so many features one can add without making the experience messy to use for newbies (and we’re already having that problem a bit, I believe). And for experienced users, as you know, there are still a lot less buttons than keys on a real keyboard.

The left-right joystick movements are so far almost completely unused, so I’m open to making their action customizable. By default it would do nothing, but you could go to the settings dialog box, and select from a list of actions what each of the left or right direction should do. I would certainly be very receptive for any idea about what actions we could add. “Lock to axis” would be the first one but there are certainly others that some people might like. I can also imagine that you could set several actions in order of priority, depending on the currently selected tool. Or you could pick a quick way to switch between tools, like “toggle between Select and any other tool”, or the same with Teleport.

Yes, the ability to choose a custom function for the left-right joystick sounds very useful. A quick toggle for select or teleport, like you mentioned, would speed up modeling quite a bit. I look forward to seeing what you come up with in future versions