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LDCad 1.4b (win+linux) - Printable Version

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Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Roland Melkert - 2015-07-21

Milan Vančura Wrote:Nice document, Roland. I was almost perfect 'testman' because I did not work with shock absorbers etc. before. So I followed all your examples and I may confirm they all are well understandable, I was able to learn everything you mention there. And I even learned some new tricks with Nested mode.
Good to know thanks.

Milan Vančura Wrote:The only point the text was unclear to me was near the beginning of 'Nested editing' chapter where you refer to 'Insert into'. That confused me a little. At first, it's called 'Change insertion target' in 1.5Alpha3 (maybe you describe older version. 1.4 ?). And the trick with RMB at session panel was surprising for me so much that it took me some time to find that menu. Another confusing point is that a hot-key for that is 'n', same as for starting the nested mode. I know there cannot be a conflict because 'Change insertion target' makes sense only in the nested mode but that's clear AFTER one understands the problem, not at the learning time Smile
The 'insert into' references to the text on the zoomed session panel, the text you mention is the item in the menu which indeed does the same. But you are right all those different names (submodel, subfile, level, insert into, etc) can be very confusing I'll try to smooth them out in both the documentation and program it self. Only difference you should know about is the one between subfile and submodel though. Basically submodel is a subset of subfile as subfile is the general name of any item inside a mpd (or the single thing in a ldr) which can be a model or part etc.

Milan Vančura Wrote:Also, I believe it would be easier to understand if one can simply make a selection and open a menu with all submodels to choose where to put it, comparing to the 'put to current level' workflow. BTW, what's 'level' here and why it is not written as 'submodel'?
This used to be possible in an earlier version, but I dropped it because it caused some logic and potential rounding problems. The thing is you don't actually select a model you select a branch which leads to a model. This is especially important when a model is used multiple times in the main model. Hope that's somewhat understandable Smile

Milan Vančura Wrote:The example with shock absorber reminded me another idea: I also found, same as Philippe did, that one can use part snapping instead of setting the absorber length in the menu. And so the generic idea: wouldn't be usable if one can not only move but also rotate the new part or selection in LDCAD with part snapping turned on? Just an idea - I do not have details solved yet (how exactly it should behave, in all which cases this would be useful etc.)
You can rotate parts in 90 deg steps (45 if you hold down ctrl) while dragging them using the arrow and pageup/down keys. But to get it perfectly to align in any situation its best to set the relative grid as it forces the exact mufti digit base rotation. Or do you mean automatic alignment through part snapping when e.g. placing a 2x4 brick on a 4x12 plate while the plate and new part are not aligned rotation wise? This is something I have in the pipe line for the next next version together with occupied connection tracking.


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Philippe Hurbain - 2015-07-22

Quote:I added it as I thought not many people would realize bands and hoses use the exact same generator guess I was right Smile
Also very useful to add natural looking slack to tank treads! The spool control is a very good idea too.

Quote:Maybe I should add a new page for the advanced advanced stuff, e.g. a 'tips and tricks' page?
Maybe later yes. So many things to cover...

Quote:Which step should have a picture, imho I gave all important stages a picture.
After thinking more, maybe you could simply add a link to your pneumatic hose video.


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Milan Vančura - 2015-07-22

Milan Vančura Wrote:The only point the text was unclear to me was near the beginning of 'Nested editing' chapter where you refer to 'Insert into'. That confused me a little. At first, it's called 'Change insertion target'

...

And the trick with RMB at session panel...

Mea culpa. Your documentation says nothing about RMB, it describes clearly how to click (LMB) on "Insert into" text. And there is also a help in LDCad itself, at status line. I simply overlooked all that.

On the other hand, it means your documentation is even better, as I was able to understand it and do all examples at 2am Smile

This also reminds me the font of te status line is so huge that many texts cannot fit there.

Milan Vančura Wrote:Another confusing point is that a hot-key for that is 'n', same as for starting the nested mode.

However, this is still true, even at 4pm Smile Esp. there is no visible indication of the current mode (one must place a mouse cursor over session panel). Now I understand why strange parts appeared in some submodels in my past editing sessions: I thought I entered Nested mode but, instead, I was already there and the same hotkey ('n') silently changed the current target.

Roland Melkert Wrote:But you are right all those different names (submodel, subfile, level, insert into, etc) can be very confusing I'll try to smooth them out in both the documentation and program it self.
Thanks! The simpler the better.


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Milan Vančura - 2015-07-22

Roland Melkert Wrote:Or do you mean automatic alignment through part snapping when e.g. placing a 2x4 brick on a 4x12 plate while the plate and new part are not aligned rotation wise? This is something I have in the pipe line for the next next version together with occupied connection tracking.

Yes, something like that. It's a volatile idea only, now. As you have part snapping while you move the part (when using mouse) it might be useful to have the same for a part rotation: rotate the part, rotate, rotate until it snaps.

Thinking about it more now, this feature will be useful alone (for Pythagorean triples or for a part alignment as you described). But if two movements were allowed at the same time it adds even more use cases... Imagine dragging the black end of the shock absorber causing the absorber both rotating and stretching at the same time - following your the mouse cursor - and snapping when it 'meets' the pin. Or another usage: an interactive solving a triangular situation using a similar method - no computing... GUI for two moving parts/groups at once is a challenge, I know. But I believe it's doable and I already have ideas how to make it simple to use.

But stop now. You asked for opinions about your new documentation of this version - not dreams for the next-next one Smile


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Philippe Hurbain - 2015-07-22

Speaking of flexible things, do you think it would be possible to extend the mechanism for sheets (canvas, etc...)? Implementing something for ruled surfaces would already be a giant step forward...


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Roland Melkert - 2015-07-22

Philippe Hurbain Wrote:Speaking of flexible things, do you think it would be possible to extend the mechanism for sheets (canvas, etc...)? Implementing something for ruled surfaces would already be a giant step forward...
Programming wise it indeed wouldn't be a big deal as it boils down to a subclass of the generated parts managing stuff.

Also generated stickers/cloths is something on my long term list but I'm not sure how to let users control the shape in an easy way. Only thing I've come up with so far is a grid of linked control points so when you move one it will drag others deforming the mesh. But I'm not sure this would be very handy in reality.

Maybe I'll try something in 1.6 depending on the time and impact of the already planned features for that version (mostly animation/scripting/macro's).


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Roland Melkert - 2015-07-22

Milan Vančura Wrote:However, this is still true, even at 4pm Smile Esp. there is no visible indication of the current mode (one must place a mouse cursor over session panel). Now I understand why strange parts appeared in some submodels in my past editing sessions: I thought I entered Nested mode but, instead, I was already there and the same hotkey ('n') silently changed the current target.
I'll add a nag message (dialog with the "don't ask again' option) so you know you are changing the 'insert to' model.

Also some visual indication to show you're in nested mode will be better indeed, maybe some icon behind the filename or something. I'll look into it.


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Jaco van der Molen - 2015-07-27

Very impressive stuff there.
I have to try this out some time, though I am not yet very comfortable with the controls in LDCad, because I am so used to MLCad.
I'd probably "cheat" and create most of the model in MLCad and then add hoses and advanced stuff in LDCad.


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Philippe Hurbain - 2015-07-27

Quote:I'd probably "cheat" and create most of the model in MLCad and then add hoses and advanced stuff in LDCad.
You're going to lose something, LDCad is such a pleasure to use Wink - granted, I never liked MLCad...
And of course the best tool is the one you know well!


Re: LDCad 1.4b Documentation (hoses etc) - Milan Vančura - 2015-07-27

Philippe Hurbain Wrote:You're going to lose something, LDCad is such a pleasure to use Wink

Exactly. Roland makes a great job here.

In fact, with the Source window (LDCad 1.5 Alpha), I know about only two or three big features missing in LDCad comparing to MLCAD and SR3D Builder. On the other hand, it offers several features more than those two editors. Much more - so the result score is highly positive, from LDCad point of view Smile

For those who are interested these are those three missing features - as I see it:

1. to be able to modify LDraw parts as MLCAD knows - but this is questionable, doesn't it make better sense to use a special tool for that? My opinion is that only a part of it is needed - what's the next point:

2. to be able to edit snapping data comfortably - directly from the editor, visually

and my another (big) wish:

3. to know the basics of physics or model logic - like SR3D Builder knew: to be able to bend a hinge including parts snapped to it, or to be able to turn gears if (and only if!) they are in the correct position for that. This is great feature not only for advanced editing but also for model checking (that everything fits at correct positions).

The unique features of LDCad, are, from my POV:

Organizational ones: it is a living project with very active author, the author promised making LDCad open-source if he cannot spend enough time on it (so the project does not die as both MLCAD and SR3Dbuilder did)

Technical ones: it is multiplatform, it is FAST even on my Thinkpad X61s, it is highly configurable what saves my time a lot, it knows to work with instructions steps very well, it does not mess up the model file even if there are comments from other SW like LPub, it knows to work with belts, strings etc. directly from the editor, it contains a source window for more precise/advanced editation, it knows part snapping, it knows to work with submodels really well - including advanced methods not seen in any other editor...

And I'm sure I forgot something. The short summary is: it's so comfortable and fast it allows me to sketch my ideas and models for (real) LEGO models exhibitions, even on my ways with my small and old laptop. And I can do that fast and comfortably so I can concentrate on my ideas and not on technical limitations of the editor.

Again, Roland makes a great job. Thank you, Roland!