Rendering instructions, old-style

RE: Rendering instructions, old-style
(2014-07-06, 14:45)Luc Miron Wrote: Greetings.  :-)

This is my first post on these forums, so hello to you all. I'm about to start studying LDraw, SR 3D Builder, and everything else that I need to learn about, in order to produce custom Lego instructions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all these tools are going to work properly under Windows 8.1...

I have a sort of introductory question, as someone who is completely new to all this. I see that there are some very nice rendering tools to create instructions, but is there a particular tool among them that allows configurable old-style rendering? My definition of "old-style rendering" is:

- All studs with black sides regardless of the brick color
- Black pieces rendered in different shades of dark grey depending on the surface angle (like it's done in the official Blacktron and Blacktron II Lego instructions) except for tires where the surface color is pure black with white outlines.

As you can guess, I would like to create instructions that look "authentic" in an old-style kind of way. If not, I guess I'll have to make due without it... Sorry if that has been discussed before, although I did search for it and found nothing.

Thanks in advance for any tips and/or general information on this topic.

Hi Luc,

If you check the second page of the Bill of Materials shown in this article

You can see that I achieved most of what you are looking for.  Because we were building a set of TECHNIC instructions for that project, I chose to stick with non-lit elements, with uniform coloring. This was not due to lack of technology, but rather a desire for a specific look matching TECHNIC BI style at the time.  Had I used a light source in my image generation, we could have approached exactly what you're looking for.

That's the good news.  


The bad news is, I didn't use a specific application to achieve these results.

First, as Travis mentions in the thread, I have an OBI enabled library that achieves the "shaded stud" look, and I used LDView to generate all my views, both images in BOMs and assembled partial models in steps.

I also have specific LDView commands that shut off lighting (deliberately -- this could have been done differently had I wanted that lit look), set the viewpoint (and achieve uniform scale), and enable OBI.

Finally, I used command line unix scripts to post-process the .ldr files (after saving from the modeling program) to recolor specific black parts (for example, 6558) from the color 30026 to a local color code "901".  901 is a magic-number-pulle-from-a-hat called PURE_BLACK, and has an RGB of 000000 and an edge of ffffff in my ldconfig.ldr file.  That allows those parts (they would be tires in your example) to render in a different black from the "normal" rather-dark-grey TLG black.  Again, during this period, TLG BI would render some black in dark-dark grey color, and other black in the black-body/white-edges style.  As it happens, I have a bit in my database for each design that marks the right parts for that treatment, making my command-line scripts adaptable in their use (not just a hard-coded "for 6558, or 3705, or 3706, change to...").

Since that time, I've built a full items/ library in my LDRAW folder and all my rendering is now done via items rather than designs.  The bit in the database for each design means that items based on designs that have traditionally always rendered as PURE_BLACK now always render as PURE_BLACK for me, whereas others render as TLG black.  My database also generates all the assemblies from loose parts, so the same coloring rules apply to parts that would normally have hard-coded colors applied in normal use of the LDRAW library.


I'll be keen to see if you're able to get what you want with existing toolsets.  I wasn't able to, and had to craft my own.

     -- joshua
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RE: Rendering instructions, old-style - by Joshua Delahunty - 2018-01-24, 18:18

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