Storing and Retrieving with AttributeDictionary

Posted on November 22

The AttributeDictionary class allows you to store information into a SketchUp Entity. A good way to demonstrate this is to store camera settings into an object in an AttributeDictionary, then activate a context menu on the Entity to get these camera parameters and return to the same camera. This is also a great way to visualize important views in 3D space.

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Our first method definition will create the camera geometry and put it into a group Entity. Then we will create an AttributeDictionary in the group and store the camera settings into the

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We will start by getting the current camera parameters and storing them into variables:

def reveal_view

   m.start_operation(“reveal view”)

Next, we’ll make a simple representation of the camera, using the stored camera settings to determine the geometry,

   target_pointer = ents.add_cline(eye,target)
   eye_point = ents.add_cpoint(eye)
   target_point = ents.add_cpoint(target)
   circle = ents.add_circle(eye, focus_ray, 20, 8)

and store them into a group. For better organization, create a “cameras” layer and put the group into this layer. Also, be sure to lock the group, so the camera geometry can’t move.

   camera_geom = []

We will then be storing the camera settings into the AttributeDictionary called “is_a_camera”.
Create the AttributeDictionary in the cam_group Entity:

   is_camera=cam_group.attribute_dictionary(“is_a_camera”, true)

The “true” indicates that the AttributeDictionary doesn’t yet exist and needs to be created. AttributeDictionary objects store arbitrary amounts of key/value pairs. Add key/value pairs to AttributeDictionary for the camera settings,



and commit the undo operation.

end“Plugins”).add_item(“reveal view”){reveal_view}

Finally, we add a context menu option to call a method only on objects which contain the AttributeDictionary “is_a_camera”. If the AttributeDictionary exists, then the option “go to view” is added to the context menu.

UI.add_context_menu_handler do |menu|
   if select_one.class==Sketchup::Group
      if select_one.attribute_dictionary(“is_a_camera”,false)!=nil
         menu.add_item(“go to view”){go_to_view(select_one)}

When this is clicked, it calls the go_to_view() method. Our second method, go_to_view(), will take a selected Entity and recall the values stored in the AttributeDictionary “is_a_camera”. It then uses these values to return to the stored camera position and settings.

def go_to_view(sel)

:: Source: Google Sketch

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