I think you have a valid request an I'd encourage you to submit an ER for this on our website. I was not personally involved in this functionality (pre-2005) but the suppression of the sketch, goes to workflow. If the sketch picture is used in reverse engineering something or of inital creation (Industrial Design) then at some point after you capture the intent of the sketch, it makes sense to suppress it so that it is not dealt with again, but could be accessed and as a result, there is a big performance difference between hide/show and suppress in your display depending on the size of the image.
One thing that works for me is to create my two to three sketch picture sketches (top, front, side etc.) in near empty sketches and label them "ID reference." then when I'm working on actual sketches for modeling, I have a hotkey to toggle Hide/show All types that I can use to hide/show these sketch pictures while I'm sketching in the sketch.
Thanks for the reply Mark,
I was using the pics for ID reference purposes.
After some sketching and modelling operations I wanted to flash up the pics to sort of see how it was conforming to my overall vision and prompt my memory about various thoughts and considerations I had had about the project earlier.
One idea tends to lead to another so as I complete something in 3d its handy to be able to look at other sketches and pics and get some prompts about the next bit.
It also helps to keep seeing your sketch in the context of what you have already constructed in 3d rather than look up and down to the same sketches on your desk I think.
Of course having lots of sketches and pics visible is a nuisance so you want to have only a few relevant ones showing at once or just take a peek and then move on.
Un/suppressing takes quite a bit of processor time and you need to traverse the FM looking for them all..and deal with any unwanted sketches..
If you have busy sketches like I do then the 3d window can quickly become a riot of competing lines.
My sketches are usually ball point pen drawings and somewhat rough.
They can contain quite a few scribbled notes, calcs and alternative lines..um..gestures and notions..as well.
Rather than being something final to trace over and bury my sketch pics tend to have an on going live role in the creative design process.
I often try to retain a certain style or spirit that I happened to capture in a particular sketch in the object otherwise the 3d model takes on an identity and direction of its own...sometimes that is not a bad thing though.
To an observer that may be just a messy wobbly blob in the sketch but it has other meaning and intent for its creator.
EDIT: also it occurs to me that with the rise of Instant3d and 'blue' work where you can reach back in and access the geometry at any time quick access to sketchpics would be useful for those cases as well.
I have a sort of photoreal imagination in that I often can conceive, explore and envisage the whole finished product in my minds eye before I actually bring it to CAD but I need to have the relative size and position of stuff sorted out in 2d to successfully turn it into 3d.
It would be good to be able to manage these pics more easily.
I dont really understand why you would want to suppress a picture to deal with it cos it has no geometry - for a feature of course it makes sense -
If it was handled as a graphic object it could be very quickly displayed - as you say they are for reference.
I guess a lot of pics could become a burden on the graphics card as large textures? (not sure how this works?..) but I would have thought a hide would be a lot quicker than suppress. Perhaps graphics cards are more capable now than when sketchpics were introduced?..
Perhaps there could be a little widget right in a visbile sketch in the window to hide/show any sketch pic(s) it may have?..but may be not..
Going off on a tangent some time ago I had the idea that I wanted to access a project scrapbook in the 3d window.
sort of a live extension of the Design Binder idea and sort of a cross between MS Seadragon, the new SW gestures ring and this forum's attached pic zooming viewer.
A transient place where you could pull up all sorts of relevant info about sketches, parts and assemblies.
I guess this stuff sort of fits in with what I am saying about sketch pics should be handled as graphics..
Perhaps this leads to a live scrapbook where you can make use of the MS screen gesture stuff to pull around examine the contents and sketch pics could be just a portion of a collage of sketches, illustrations, digital photos.
Lots of people reading this will recoil at the prospect of this I am sure but maybe it could be done well...dunno
Anyway you seem to see some merit in the general idea of sketch pics as graphics objects and some view options so I'll do an ER...not that I have a lot of faith in them...and I hate the process..
You knew I'd turn out to be someone who doesnt fit in with the usual SW workflow didnt you?