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LDraw App for iOS - Printable Version

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LDraw App for iOS - Renaud Breard - 2011-12-02

My application for iOS (iPad and iPhone running iOS 5 or newer) is in AppStore today. It's a very basic application now, you can view a ldraw file full and step by step. It's called brickView. Files can be loaded from "iTunes files sharing" or from other application (ex : mail, dropbox ...), from safari I have some issues that depend how the web server send the file.
brickView is a free App, development is not my job, and development of brickView is just a hobby. I have developed it because I want to view my ldraw models on my iPad, but there is not app until now for that.
I hope that you have fun with brickView if you try it...


Re: LDraw App for iOS - Jim DeVona - 2011-12-02

Great work! It works seamlessly with the few models I've opened so far. Conveniently, I already keep my LDraw models in Dropbox. Opening them in BrickView works as expected. Models load pretty quickly (at least the relatively small ones I've tried) and the spin/zoom/pan touch controls work exactly as expected based on other apps. Here's a screenshot:

[Image: brickview.png]

The alert that appears when you open a model containing parts not in the embedded library is reasonable. (Another reason to make it easy to include such parts as sub models.)

I hope this encourages other LDraw software authors to consider developing for iOS too. It most certainly is feasible, as Renaud has shown.

Re: LDraw App for iOS - Orion Pobursky - 2011-12-02

[Image: IMG_0001.png]
And here's the obligatory iPad shot.

I stress tested it. Works well. Wouldn't load the Super Star Destroyer Wink

Also, it throws up a missing parts error even if the parts are imbedded in the MPD. I'm curious if this is due to the "/" in name of some of the submodel. I'll do some further testing.

very nice, and one thought - Steffen - 2011-12-02

since I'm on the Android side of the world, I cannot checkout your app,
but it looks very, very nice!

The problem with the Apps like Apple and Google intend to push them into the market is, IMHO,
that they break the universal structure of the internet.
Instead of using HTML5 to simply design a webpage, companies like newspapers seem to instead prefer
to have programmers write specific apps for iOS and Android (and, maybe tomorrow, another App technology X
and another App technology Y and another App technology Z).
So I see the universality of the internet drown and drown by these developments.
That's the reason why I would prefer a more OS-independent approach over an OS-specific one:
I would prefer to have some webpage, embed some (admittedly, ugly) JavaScript into it,
and use WebGL to paint the 3D object. Doing it this way could be seen by any browser supporting
these technologies, and the browser would take care of doing this as quickly as possible on its given hardware,
not the content supplier.

Just wanted to share this thought, it is mainly an extended version of this:

Re: very nice, and one thought - Jim DeVona - 2011-12-02

I understand and in principle agree with your objection to the proliferation of native apps for jobs better served by web pages. However, not all jobs are better served by web pages. Do you think it would be better to shoe-horn the functionality of sophisticated native apps like MLCad, Bricksmith, or LDView into a web browser? If not, then why the different attitude about desktop and mobile platforms?

Anyway, to be clear, I am enthusiastic about the prospect of web-based LDraw viewers too. I just think there are plenty of reasons and plenty of room for both approaches.

Re: very nice, and one thought - Jean-Philippe Ouellet - 2011-12-02

Such a universal application as you described is in the works.

Edit: Finally got a chance to try your app. Quite nice indeed. One question though, is it rendering conditional lines?

you are right - Steffen - 2011-12-02

Yes, the discussion pro and contra apps is not a black/white one.
I see your arguments and agree. Of course, not everything is possible in a web browser or should be done there.
I just wanted to emphasize the 2 sides of the medal.

Re: LDraw App for iOS - Ramón Figueroa-Centeno - 2011-12-03


Very nice! It works well in my iPad.

Now, it would be nice to be able to delete models from within the app, without going to iTunes.



Re: LDraw App for iOS - Transparency bug? - Jean-Philippe Ouellet - 2011-12-07

I believe I found a bug.

I loaded the very awesome 75174p01c01.dat and rotated it such that one transparent wing overlaps the other transparent wing.

From a side view, I would expect the back wing to be visible through the front wing (both wings are transparent) however this is only true when viewing from one side, not the other:

View from right side of dragon (as expected):
[Image: whQyE.jpg]

View from left side of dragon (back wing invisible behind front wing):
[Image: LF2mt.jpg]

Re: LDraw App for iOS - Transparency bug? - Orion Pobursky - 2011-12-07

This may actually be a side effect of how the model is lit. Notice that the right side is darker than the left side.