Selecting Entities

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Every object is made of several different parts, also know as entities. For a simple cube, the entities include faces, vertices, and edges. Being able to select these individual entities is the key to editing objects. Entities can be selected just like selecting objects by clicking on them with the Selection tool.

Multiple entities can also be selected in the same manner using the Shift and Ctrl keys. When a line entity is selected, it is highlighted in blue; face entities are highlighted with a dotted pattern, as shown in Figure 5.6.

STIP If you keep the Entity Info palette open, it confirms which entity of the number of entities that are selected.

Selecting surrounding entities

When a single entity is selected, you can expand its selection to include the surrounding entities such as the bounding edges or connected faces using the Select submenu in the right-click pop-up menu. The available options depend on the type of entity that is selected, but some available com- mands include the following:

  • Bounding Edges: This command is available when a face entity is selected and lets you select all the adjacent edges.
  • Connected Faces: This command selects all the adjacent faces to the currently selected face.
  • All Connected: This command quickly selects all the entities that make up the current object.
  • All on Same Layer: This command selects all the objects that are on the same layer as the current selection.
  • All with Same Material: This command is used to select all entities with the same material applied to it such as the windows in a building.

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FIGURE 5.6 Face entities are filled with a dotted pattern when selected.

Expanding a selection

In addition to the right-click pop-up menu, you can also expand the current selection by double- or triple-clicking on an object or entity. For example, if you double-click on a face entity, the face along with its bounding edges are selected and if you triple-click on the face, then all face and edge entities in the cube are selected.

Tutorial: Practicing selecting objects

The best way to figure out how the selection features work is to practice using them. For this example, you’ll practice selecting objects in a simple maze scene. Follow these steps:

1. Open the Friends in maze.skp file from the Chap 05 folder on the CD-ROM. This scene includes a simple maze with several people positioned around.

2. Select all the people. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on each of the people. Each is highlighted blue when selected.

3. You can also select all people by dragging from right to left with the Select tool or by choosing Edit Select All (Ctrl+A). Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys and drag over the edges that make up the maze to deselect them from the selection set.

4. Finally, you can select all the people using the Outliner palette. Choose Window ➪ Outliner to open the Outliner palette, and click on each of the people objects. Figure 5.7 shows the selection of people.

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FIGURE 5.7 Using the selection tools you can select just the people in this scene.

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