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Hi all,

This weekend I finished the first beta of LDCad 1.4, it took a bit more time than I planned but hopefully it's worth the wait.

Some new features are:
  • Script based animation.
  • Groups are now stored in the LDraw file.
  • Updated GUI (font and some icons wise).
  • Made it easier to interact with session mode's and options
  • Experimental support for the LDraw texture meta (all three variants)

See the changeLog.txt for the full list of changes and additions.

Animation is of course by far the most important new feature, animaitons are done using lua scripts. I added three animations to some of the example models (5510, 5580 and 8248).

Here's a clip of 8248 and 5580 in action.

I also added a full api reference to the LDCad site at

http://www.melkert.net/LDCad/docs/scriptAPI

and some getting started pointers concering making animations at

http://www.melkert.net/LDCad/docs/scriptExamples


With the 1.4 version I also changed the license a bit, it adds an exception to the non commercial use only part. As I received questions from people wanting to use LDCad for making building manuals in order to sell them.

Final note due to the new font rendering I'm not completely sure the 1.4 version will work on all Linux distributions currently compatible with 1.3a, so part of this first beta will be fine tuning that aspect of the Linux versions. But I can only do that if people report problems (or success) to me so I can make adjustments etc.

Thanks to Willy for tweaking some of the navigation arrow icons for me.

In closing some screenshots , hope you like the new version.

[Image: 1-4-ForumScrShot1Tmb.png]
[Image: 1-4-ForumScrShot2Tmb.png]
[Image: 1-4-ForumScrShot3Tmb.png]
Looks great. Font rendering works on Slackware.
I won't have a chance to look at the animation stuff until maybe this weekend. The examples are looking really impressive.

One feature request would be to separate the config from the install.
On Linux you should be able to use $XDG_CONFIG_HOME


genDskEntry.sh is a nice addition.
Thanks,

If you really want to split the app into binary and config etc, you can do it with the current versions using a LDCad.cfg in the same location as the main executable (this is essentially what the windows setup version does, as it's exe etc is identical to the archive one).

In the LDCad.cfg you just point to the absolute locations of the various locations.

Example LDCad.cfg (only config is redirected, rest uses the default)

Code:
[paths]
logDir=<appDir>/logs
cfgDir=/path/to/config/location
guiDir=<appDir>/gui
resourcesDir=<appDir>/resources
colorBinDir=<appDir>/colorBin
partBinDir=<appDir>/partBin
examplesDir=<appDir>/examples
templatesDir=<appDir>/templates
donorsDir=<appDir>/donors
shadowDir=<appDir>/shadow
dirSeeds=<appDir>/seeds

This is somewhat untested for the linux version though.
Hi Roland,

I'm trying to build a model using LDCad, and I have a few questions/remarks...
- Is there a convenient way to insert a building step if I realize that I forgot it and the model is completed?
- How do I find a part by it's name or part number if I don't know in which category it belongs? the filter is great, but works only if I am already in the right category (or deep enough in "function" tree)...OK, just found the "Search the inventory". I thought it was a minifig generator Wink
- I would appreciate if it was possible to filter out dithered colors and show only LDConfig ones.
- Some of the category icons are not iconic at all... I guess they are auto generated from first part in each category? Dunno what you could do better...

Edit: Found also how to remove dithered colors (Prefs/Ldraw/Calculate missing dither off)
Philippe Hurbain Wrote:Is there a convenient way to insert a building step if I realize that I forgot it and the model is completed?

You mean the step it self (step label click, insert) or moving some parts to a different step? (right click when a selection is active) 'move to step'. That will open a submenu (you can keep open if you need to move to multiple steps) which lets you choose the destination step for the selection.


Philippe Hurbain Wrote:Edit: Found also how to remove dithered colors (Prefs/Ldraw/Calculate missing dither off)

Disabling that option will cause models using those colors to render in grey, alternatively you could add 'exclude calcedDither' to the end of 'solid.cbg' file to just hide them in the 'Solid plastic' group. Or create an additional color bin group file for it altogether.


Philippe Hurbain Wrote:Some of the category icons are not iconic at all... I guess they are auto generated from first part in each category? Dunno what

You are right the mascots for the by category groups use the first one as those groups are auto generated as an alternative to the sorted tree. I'll see if I can add better default mascots at some point, never really thought about it as I don't use those groups myself. If you really want you can edit the pbg files (in partBin/default/cats) though, but beware program updates can overwrite them at some point.
Thanks Roland!
As for the steps: I have a bunch of bricks added more or less with the right sequence but forgot to add steps. In MLCad or SR3D a text window with allows me to place the step at the right point in brick sequence. How do I do this in LDCad?
A 'source' (or at least a list of bricks in placement order) window is on my to do list, maybe in version 1.5.

In the mean time I could add an 'insert step after (last item in) selection' feature in the next beta as it is very easy to implement.
OK... not a big deal for me now anyway, just wondering...

...and another question: is it possible to move a rotated part in the directions its local orientation, instead of world main directions?
You can change the grid orientation through the editing plane menu, or by simply pressing 'o' while the part is selected.

Pressing 'o' while nothing is selected changed the grid back to absolute space.
Excellent!
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