LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)


LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#1
Hello All,

I've found some semi serious bugs in the 1.2 version, so I've decided to release a bugfix only update.

So no new features only bugfixes in this one.


You can also keep an eye on my LDCad youtube channel playlist. It features tutorial and demonstrations, I will try to add clips to it now and then. If you would like something demonstrated etc just ask.


You'll find all available versions at the usual place:
LDCad home page

Any questions and suggestions are welcome.

[Image: 1-2-ForumScrShot.png]
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#2
Looks great! Will give it a shot when I get back home on Monday.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#3
Could you add an option to lock the y axis so that it always stays upright when moving the camera? Thanks.

[edit]

LDView's Lat. / Long. option would be excellent as well.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#6
That shouldn't be to hard to implement, in the meantime you could also use the little arrow icons on the compass' grid those allow for single direction movement.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#4
I'm trying to work on Datsville's "layer_streets.ldr" and the frame rate is very low. I guess my specs are not up to it. Moving the camera is very erratic. Small motions translate to large movements, and there is a considerable delay. Even the menus are very unresponsive.

Is there a way I can select the angle of 3D view? "Top-left quadrant" maybe?

[edit]

Repacing the bricks with Tore's "boxes" significantly speeds up rendering, but it turns everything red. Not sure what is happening here.

http://i421.photobucket.com/albums/pp292...aac44a.png
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#5
Actually the streets layer has about two thirds of the total datsville brick count if I remember correctly Smile

The red crosses are 'file not found' indications. You can add additional search path to LDCad's config using prefs/LDraw/search...

You could also try playing with some of the rendering options in the same LDraw menu. For example turning off edges might help with the large models.

edit: using stipple transparency instead of alpha blending is probably the biggest save, because it's might become very cpu intensive if there are a lot of transparent parts in a model.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#7
OK, I will try those settings.

However, I added "D:\LDraw\parts\b\" as a search path and the custom parts are still not showing up. These are Tore's "boxed" parts and they are in the "b" sub-directory. How do I set these up?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#8
Strange, I believe the boxed versions are referenced including the 'b\' so they should work without any additional paths when placed in the parts folder. Did you restart LDCad? cause it only scans for new/updated parts on startup.

Can I download the boxed version somewhere in order to check if this is a bug ?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#9
I've attached the model as well as the boxes themselves. Thanks!!

[edit]

Never mind! It was my fault. The boxes were referencing a part that no longer exists.


Attached Files
.txt   ldr_boxes_01.zip.txt (Size: 116.82 KB / Downloads: 0)
.txt   datsville_terrain_01.zip.txt (Size: 776.19 KB / Downloads: 0)
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#10
Ah I see what's going on, it references "box.box" which isn't present in the boxes lib. You need to rename box.dat to box.box. there might be more misnamed items.

It then loads find the next time you start LDCad.

Anyway this is not an LDCad bug Smile
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#11
I did the opposite. I changed all the calls to box.box to box.dat.

Anyway, the performance is much improved after replacing the parts with boxes! I now get 2-3 fps when viewing the model in LDCad.

Thanks so much! I can't wait for the improved camera controls!!


Mike
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#12
Michael Horvath Wrote:I can't wait for the improved camera controls!!

I'll going to add something to the compass for this, but it will take sometime before it's in a release, I'm concentrating on spring and (mini)figure generation at the moment.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#13
Could you maybe make a video tutorial showing how to use the compass? I still am not sure how camera rotation works using it. Thanks.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#14
Rotation inside the compass or main editing view works using a so called tracking ball. You could imagine it like a big beach-ball that fits in the window. When you click the mouse somewhere and keep it down it's like you grab the ball and pull on it in the movement direction.

This kind of rotation interaction is very different to basic y/x rotation (like e.g. LDView uses), but imho it's much more user friendly (once you get used to it).

As for a tutorial, in the 'basic editing 2' and 'pneumatic demo' is use the compass quite a lot. I would like to make a better demo but the capture software I'm using doesn't record keyboard activity, so it very hard to show non mouse only interaction.

As for basic movement, you can use the arrow icons on the compass grid or use shift+move (relative to the projection), of shift+ctrl+move (relative to the editingplane/grid).

Also you can use the zoom to cursor behavior to move to another place by first zooming out and then zoom in again pointing at the generic place you want to be.

Third way to skip around is using 'c' on a selection, which centers the view on it.

Also zooming in the compass is somewhat different, it will ignore the zoom to cursor option (and thus leave the lookat point unchanged)

Personally I like to use: zoom out, select, 'c', zoom in using the compass.

Hope this helps.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#15
It would be cool to be able to grab one of the axes in the compass and rotate only around that axis. Or something.

Also, are there keyboard controls for panning and rotating the camera? I really miss those!

[edit]

Could you add an option to turn off smooth lighting? It is very important that I be able to see every triangle.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#16
Grabbing the axis seems like a decent way to do this, I'll note it in my todo list.

You can already turnoff smoothing, but it will only be applied on parts loaded afterwards. You do this in the prefs/LDraw menu using the 'vertex processing' item. Click on it until it says 'minimal'.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#17
Thanks.

Also, I added edge lines to the attached model, but they are not showing up in LDCad. Is there a setting I need to turn on?


Attached Files
.ldr   terrain_complete_lines.ldr (Size: 3.01 MB / Downloads: 0)
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#18
The type 2 lines makes the file a part, and parts are handled slightly different in LDCad.

The lines will show up when you use the file from another ldr.

Also using type 2 lines will break smoothing of the surface (if enabled) cause type 2 lines indicate a 'sharp' edge.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#19
I've loaded it inside another model and the lines still don't show up. Here's a screenshot also showing the settings I am using.

http://i421.photobucket.com/albums/pp292...7bc8a9.png
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#20
Do you see purple edges when you go over it with the mouse?

Edges are only drawn up to al certain distance, so with models this big you will only see them when you are very close up. This is to prevent all gray models because of far away edges bleeding together.

you can override this by increasing the 'edgesVisibilityFactor' option in the main.cfg file, but I don't recommend it (performance wise).

You probably better of by using a stand in version of the landscape using two alternating poly colors (like in the povray renderings)
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#21
Roland Melkert Wrote:Do you see purple edges when you go over it with the mouse?

Edges are only drawn up to al certain distance, so with models this big you will only see them when you are very close up. This is to prevent all gray models because of far away edges bleeding together.

They don't seem to show up however close I am to the model.


Roland Melkert Wrote:you can override this by increasing the 'edgesVisibilityFactor' option in the main.cfg file, but I don't recommend it (performance wise).

Where is main.cfg located? I only see LDCad.cfg in the program directory.

Roland Melkert Wrote:You probably better of by using a stand in version of the landscape using two alternating poly colors (like in the povray renderings)

That is an excellent idea! Do you know how I might accomplish this? There are way too many polygons to do this by hand.

Thanks!!


Mike
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#22
Not even the purple 'hot' indication?


main.cfg is located outside program files as per MS guidelines.

It's usually something like:

C:\Users\Roland\AppData\Roaming\LDCad\config\main.cfg

replace ''roland' with your windows user name.


As for the mixed color landscape, doesn't the generator offer this option?

If not writing some post processing script shouldn't be to hard. Replacing the first 16 of each line starting with 3 with e.g. alternating 1 and 4. Or alternate per 2 lines to form quads. This assuming the generator wrote in a row/col or col/row manner.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#23
Roland Melkert Wrote:Not even the purple 'hot' indication?

OK, I had changed the "Selection Indication" setting by mistake. I can see them now.

Roland Melkert Wrote:main.cfg is located outside program files as per MS guidelines.

It's usually something like:

C:\Users\Roland\AppData\Roaming\LDCad\config\main.cfg

replace ''roland' with your windows user name.

Thanks. Problem is, whether or not the edges appear depends on the distance of the camera from the /center/ of the part as opposed to the nearest polygon. Which can be quite large if I am focusing on a distant piece of landscaping.

Roland Melkert Wrote:As for the mixed color landscape, doesn't the generator offer this option?

I am using about a half dozen tools. Are you referring to any one in particular? The output generally doesn't have any materials at all until I assign one in MLCAD.

Roland Melkert Wrote:If not writing some post processing script shouldn't be to hard. Replacing the first 16 of each line starting with 3 with e.g. alternating 1 and 4. Or alternate per 2 lines to form quads. This assuming the generator wrote in a row/col or col/row manner.

I'm not much of a programmer unfortunately. Can one of the LETGUI tools do this?

[edit]

I tried setting edgesVisibilityFactor to 100 but the program seems to be reverting my changes each time it starts.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#24
FYI, somehow my LDCad installation got borked. The program would only load in a tiny window in the top-left portion of the screen, and would not function properly after maximizing. I should have taken screenshots or a video.

All is well now after deleting "AppData\Roaming\LDCad" and re-installing the program. The edge lines show up now like they should.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#26
Strange, I do know of a minor issue resulting in a tiny window (closing the app from the taskbar while it's not active) but it shouldn't need a reinstall.

Also you don't need to reinstall after a deletion of the roaming files. The default situation will be recreated the next time you start the program.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#27
Michael Horvath Wrote:I'm not much of a programmer unfortunately. Can one of the LETGUI tools do this?
I don't know, maybe one of the script wizards on this board can whip something up for you.

Michael Horvath Wrote:I tried setting edgesVisibilityFactor to 100 but the program seems to be reverting my changes each time it starts.
I don't remember putting limits on the value, I'll have to check this might be bug.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#28
Roland Melkert Wrote:I don't remember putting limits on the value, I'll have to check this might be bug.

It's working OK now, so I don't think it's a bug.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#25
A couple of observations:

1. I wish you had retained LEdit/MLCAD's part movement commands. For large models like Datsville the on-screen controls are too sluggish/unresponsive to be really useful.
2. I think you should map the middle mouse button to panning the camera. The Selection Properties menu is already accessible from the right-click menu which is already pretty convenient IMO.
3. Is there a way to switch to a "camera movement only" mode where dragging the mouse across the screen does _not_ move the selected part?
4. The part bounding boxes seem to be exaggerated a bit. I.e. they're slightly larger than the actual part. This is a little confusing when trying to align parts next to each other. Is there a way to make the bounding match the part's contours exactly?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#29
Michael Horvath Wrote:1. I wish you had retained LEdit/MLCAD's part movement commands. For large models like Datsville the on-screen controls are too sluggish/unresponsive to be really useful.
Moving parts using the keyboard is posible, but you need to set the editing pin in the correct mode. By default it's a rotation tool. Using the arrow keys while rotate on step. When set to move the arrow keys will move the selection by one step. You can also use the manual input dialogs (located in the menu bar) for setting exact location/rotation for the selection. Or use the seleciton propery dialog (click on coord panel or enter key)

Michael Horvath Wrote:2. I think you should map the middle mouse button to panning the camera. The Selection Properties menu is already accessible from the right-click menu which is already pretty convenient IMO.
The middle button currently opens a (property)dialog associated with the selection or gui item below the mouse. But you are right panning etc could use some extra attention, I will try to improve general camera interaction in the 1.3 version.

Michael Horvath Wrote:3. Is there a way to switch to a "camera movement only" mode where dragging the mouse across the screen does _not_ move the selected part?
There is a view mode (menu: model/model interaction), but it still uses a rotation dominant interaction.

Michael Horvath Wrote:4. The part bounding boxes seem to be exaggerated a bit. I.e. they're slightly larger than the actual part. This is a little confusing when trying to align parts next to each other. Is there a way to make the bounding match the part's contours exactly?
Yes they use a small margin in both perspective and ortho mode. I could make that optional in a future version.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#30
Are there hotkeys to control the "pin"? I would like to be able to switch between translation and rotation with just a key press.

I want to avoid using the mouse as much as possible.

Mike

[edit]

Also is there a way to get a list of parts and select parts using the list like in MLCAD?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#31
You can use 'm' and 'r' to change the pin mode to 'move' or 'rotate'.

List of used parts can be viewed using the two last items in the overview group (same location as the 'all models' group). They show the (recursive) unique parts in the current model or step. I'm not sure this is what you mean though.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#32
No, I meant the Model Part List as seen in the MLCAD help files:

MLCad_V3.40/Help/English/default.htm

Quote:The pane top, rigfht containing a list of text, keeps information about the parts and commands used in the model you are working with. The list is in processing order. That means: During viewing mode the program goes through this list from top to bottom, like executing it line by line. Here you can select, copy and delete parts, as well as changing the execution order.
See "view mode" for more information about this list.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#33
O the source panel. LDCad doesn't have such a panel at the moment.

At one point I wanted to add something similar, but I kept pushing it back in favor of other features. I might still add it someday though.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#34
That's fine, thanks.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#35
I also noticed that you cannot start LDCad by dropping a file on its shortcut, by supplying the name of a file as a command line argument, or by right clicking on a model file and selecting "Open with' in File Explorer. This is a major convenience in Windows (but not Linux AFAIK). I hope to see this feature in a future version.


Mike
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#36
I'm probably adding this to 1.3, it's no big deal in Windows but I have zero experience setting it (file association) up in Linux.

Because I want to keep the versions identical I didn't add the feature to the Windows version ether.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#37
Note that in Windows, if you don't do things just right, it will work as Michael describes, but not in the Windows 7 Start Menu itself (where there is a menu attached to the right of the button for programs that have opened files). I suspect that Windows 8 may have some comparable feature on its Start Screen, and I would guess that if the file associations aren't set up enough to work for the Windows 7 Start Menu, they also won't work for the Windows 8 Start Screen.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#38
Thanks,

I'll keep an eye on that.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#39
How do you add an existing sub-model to a model? In MLCAD I usually do "Add>Part>Custom Part>Browse".

Also, I do not want to create an MPD.

Thanks!
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#40
For showing a submodel in a model, just reference to that part. So you have a linetype 1 line in your code.
In this case you need to ship two files to the guys that should see all the beautiful models.
If you want to have all in one file you have two possibilities. MPD file is not what you want, so the only possibility in that case is inlining of the submodel. We discussed "inlining" already.

Hope this helps.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#42
Michael Heidemann Wrote:For showing a submodel in a model, just reference to that part. So you have a linetype 1 line in your code.
In this case you need to ship two files to the guys that should see all the beautiful models.
How do I do this in LDCad? Which menus and commands?

Michael Heidemann Wrote:If you want to have all in one file you have two possibilities. MPD file is not what you want, so the only possibility in that case is inlining of the submodel. We discussed "inlining" already.

No, I don't want this.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#43
Code:
How do I do this in LDCad? Which menus and commands?


That is a good question. I can only find the possibility to add files from the library.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#44
Michael Horvath Wrote:How do you add an existing sub-model to a model? In MLCAD I usually do "Add>Part>Custom Part>Browse".

Also, I do not want to create an MPD.

Thanks!

You can reference any model just like normal parts, Just open both models into LDCad. Afterwards you open the 'all models' part bin group (sub of the 'bulldozer' picture in the bin root). From there you can drag the model like any normal part insertion activity.

LDCad will complain about resolving issues if the submodel isn't in the same folder as the target model. But otherwise it won't care if it's an normal ldr, a part or a mpd.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#46
Ok, got it - thanks.

I think it would be more user friendly if there is the possibility to just add a file by menu command. The way you discribes is not very intuitive I think. There are at least two people that did not find that solution. Smile
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#47
Yes, I think the main problem is the root part bin group pictures kinda suck Smile

But you are right adding a right click menu option wouldn't hurt ether.

Also in my 1.3 dev version I've added file drop, which will offer to ether open the file or add it as a reference to the current model.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#41
OK, somehow my installation got messed up again. Now when I try and load a model all I see is a yellow cross in the center of the screen. Are there log files somewhere that I might post? Do you need a screenshot?

[edit]

This was somehow due to my setting my working directory as one of LDCad's library paths. I removed this directory, and the models now load properly. Can you explain why this is the case?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#45
Yellow cross means render preparation error, I need the log to see what happened there.

You'll find the last three log in the logs folder. The locations differs on Windows, it's at the same place the config and examples files are stored. Usually this is 'C:\Users\userName\AppData\Roaming\LDCad'. If you using the Linux or archive version it's in the same place as the main executable.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#48
I don't need the log afterall, I know what's going wrong.

Any file in a library location, which has unknown content (missing meta) is assumed to be a part. This means the whole file will be flattened in the render preparation stage, with a model this causes a HUGE mesh which could lead to very long loading times or even crashes due to out of memory stuff etc, so when a large mesh is detected it will be canceled leading to the yellow cross.

Anyhow this all is because my render need to differentiate between parts and models.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#49
Which metadata is needed in particular?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#52
If you place:

0 !LDRAW_ORG Unofficial_Model

somewhere in the header (e.g. below the author line), it should force the (all type 1 lines) file to be used as a model no matter where it's located.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#53
Do I need to do this for each and every sub-model in an MPD file?

[edit]

Also, a lot of my models have "0 Unofficial Model". Will that suffice?
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#54
'0 Unofficial Model' will do in 1.3 but 1.2 only recognizes the !LDRAW_ORG meta at the moment.

Every model need that line.

But why are you placing the model files in the library location anyway? Why not use a different location and add that location to the ldraw search paths.

It's good practice to keep the parts and models separate hence the assumption I made when stuff is located in a part source.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#55
Roland Melkert Wrote:'0 Unofficial Model' will do in 1.3 but 1.2 only recognizes the !LDRAW_ORG meta at the moment.

Which is the official method?

Roland Melkert Wrote:Every model need that line.

Including MPD sub-models?

Roland Melkert Wrote:Why not use a different location and add that location to the ldraw search paths.

That *is* what I am doing.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#56
I'm sorry I thought you were loading models from the parts location, the meta is only needed if you do that. If you get the yellow cross while loading from a non library location something else is going on.

I'll do some test tomorrow to see if things work like they should concerning the 'assume part' stuff and models in non library search locations.

I'm sorry about the confusion.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#57
Roland Melkert Wrote:'0 Unofficial Model' will do in 1.3 but 1.2 only recognizes the !LDRAW_ORG meta at the moment.

FYI, I also have a lot of models with "0 Unofficial Datsville Minifig Model" or "0 Unofficial Datsville Model". These were all created before I started working on Datsville.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#58
I've tested loading a model from a location that's in the search paths, but for me it loads like it should without any meta etc.

So unless you place a model inside the parts or p folders the meta shouldn't be needed. Only exception on this is the presence of a 2..5 line in the model file, which will degrade the model to a part. Which for large models causes the yellow cross and all others will be read only after loading.

If you think things aren't like I saying, could you send me your log files please (you'll find my email on the LDCad site). That way I see your search order and model locations etc in one go.
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#59
I can't reproduce the issue either. Maybe it went away when I fixed some of my models.

However, I still don't understand how I can add models from my Datsville directory. I added the path to the search vector as a "User Folder" type. When I click on the "Model (content) overview/information groups" button I get five sub-buttons: "All models currently loaded", "Content of current models file", "All models used by the current model (recursively)", "All parts used in the current model (recursive)" and "All parts used in the current step". There's no option for "All models in the search path".
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Re: LDCad 1.2a (win+linux)
#60
The all models group displays all models currently loaded, so to place one model into another you have to load both models first. I was thinking about adding a new overview group able to list all models in some folder but I'm afraid that will take forever to load in large folders.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#50
1. I frequently work on the same model in multiple editors simultaneously. Therefore it would be nice to have a "Reload" command in LDCad to update the model to its latest version.

Thanks!
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#51
I have that on my to do list for quite some time, I'll see if i can implement it in one of the upcoming 1.3 beta's.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#61
2. In Windows a lot of programs allow you to associate a file extension with a program. When I try to do this with LDCad an error is spawned when double-clicking on a model file. It would be nice if LDCad could handle this situation.


Mike
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#62
I agree with you.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#63
It's in the planning Smile The problem I'm having is this functionality is somewhat difficult to implement for the Linux version and I like to keep the two versions identical feature wise.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#64
3. Could you change the color of the program icon? I keep getting it confused with MLCAD and vise versa. Thanks.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#65
I want to make a different one altogether (along with the main part bin pictures), but it's very low on my todo list.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#66
Might it be possible to have the option (toggled in Prefs) to limit the free view rotation to only 2 axes; like in LDD? It's hard to explain, but right now I can rotate around models in LDCad in 3 axes, which can cause the model to "tumble" and make it harder to orient than it should be. An example: in LDD, if I want just look at the top, it's much easier. I just hold down the right mouse button and drag down. In LDCad, if I just want to look at the top, I have to keep my mouse as close to the center of the screen as possible when dragging, otherwise the model starts to rotate around the screen instead of pivoting the top of the model toward me.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#67
It's been requested before, and I have looked into it but locking the y axis isn't that easy in my current code. This is because you could lock it at any time, and the whole LDD system is based on Y always being vertical.

So I decided to implement a complete second rotation system (and some additional camera improvements) at some point, but I want to first release 1.3 beta 1 somewhere soon so it probably be in beta 2 or the final 1.3 version.

I did however implement right mouse button rotation, so you can rotate/move at any time (not just by background clicks) even during part placement.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#68
4. Could you add an additional camera feature where the camera remains at the same altitude above the ground plane no matter what direction the camera is pointing in? This is kind of like a video game where the camera remains at the same height, but you can scroll left, right, forward, backward, etc. Thanks.
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Re: LDCad feature requests
#69
I actually considered a sort of a walk though mode at some point, but shelved it thinking you could do such things more dynamically once the animation engine is in place.

In the mean time you can sort of fake what you want by using ctrl+shift+left mouse (inside the compass), this moves the lookat across the editing plane, so when you set an appropriate editing plane you can float over it at a static height that way. In 1.3 that will be even easier as it offers right mouse rotate/move so you can use it anywhere in the editing space.
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