Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D


Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#1
Hello everybody!

I have recently started to use LDCad and LPub3D to create building instructions. I read many tutorials and discussions about both softwares, but I still have some questions.


Substitute parts (LPub3D):

I have tried to use the function "Substitute part" to replace universal joints or motors, as these parts has been modified in my modelization and I have 2 different universal joints in a PLI.. I wanted to change a motor with its cable by a motor without cable for examble. The function seems to be very simple to use, but every time I try, the app crashes. Any ideas?


Group/Remove group (LDCad & LPub3D):

I have read that it's possible to use a function called "Group/Remove group" in MLCad, when you want to use a buffer exchange on more than one step. So it's possible to put a straight flex, and then to replace it by the final oriented flex some steps after. But I didn't found how it's possible to do it with LDCad. So is it really possible?


Step numbers (LPub3D):

In LPub3D, the numbers of the steps are not like in the LEGO manuals, the software counts the steps of the main model independently from the steps of the sub models. But I wonder if you have a tip to change this even if I think it's not possible. ^^


PLI and Step number placement "bug"?

Sometimes it's pretty difficult to place all the elements correctly. I would like to have the step number and the PLI at the top left of the assembly image, with the step number at the left bottom of the PLI. But sometimes there is like a "bug", it's impossible to place all the elements correctly. I have tried different setups, but sometimes, as in the example below, when I want "Step number: Left Bottom of the PLI" it is not placed correctly. How is it possible to fix that?

To have the same positions as in the LEGO manuals, what do I need to place relative to what element, and how?

[Image: 48453850246_f5c2733e80_b.jpg]

In the previous page, it worked as I wanted, and I used this:
Code:
0 !LPUB MULTI_STEP STEP_NUMBER PLACEMENT LOCAL BOTTOM LEFT PLI OUTSIDE
0 !LPUB MULTI_STEP PLI PLACEMENT LOCAL TOP_LEFT ASSEM OUTSIDE

But it doesn't work for the page above when I use the same code.
I have even tried to remove all the LPub commands for that page to restart, but I still don't reach to do as I want...

In other steps, I have done this, and it also worked perfectly:
Code:
0 !LPUB MULTI_STEP STEP_NUMBER PLACEMENT LOCAL TOP_LEFT ASSEM OUTSIDE
0 !LPUB MULTI_STEP PLI PLACEMENT LOCAL BOTTOM LEFT PLI OUTSIDE
But it doesn't work for the step above.

Is it possible to place all the elements manually on a Multi step page (using a grid to place them easily)? Actually I can place the Step number, the PLI and the Assembly image manually on a single step page, but not on a Multi step one.


Add captures - Zoom on a part of the model (LPub3D):

I don't know how, but I know it's possible, as in the page 6 you can find in this manual made with LPub3D (Available here - By Trevor Sandy). So I'm asking: how to proceed?


(I'm working with the LDView render and not the Native one)

Any help is welcomed! Big Grin
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#2
There is a Continuous Build release at the LPub3D production repository. You can download the latest build for Windows (installed and portable distros), Linux AppImage, Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora and macOS platforms.

FYI, you can follow the production repository commit (push) status from the LPub3D GitHub Page. A continuous build release exists when the Revision badge is greater than 0. At present the current revision for v2.3.12 is 68, you can also check if an update (commit) interesting for you is available from the list of recent commits (i.e. corrections) available at the Last Commit badge.

(2019-08-04, 14:51)Anto Wrote: Substitute parts (LPub3D):

This behaviour is corrected and is available in the Continuous Build release.


(2019-08-04, 14:51)Anto Wrote: Group/Remove group (LDCad & LPub3D):

See GitHub ticket #149


Step numbers (LPub3D):

See GitHub ticket #179

(2019-08-04, 14:51)Anto Wrote: PLI and Step number placement "bug"?
To have the same positions as in the LEGO manuals, what do I need to place relative to what element, and how?

Can you provide a snapshot of the LEGO manual page you are trying to replicate? Also, can you share a sample model file with the steps you intend to configure as described? You can PM the model file if you do not wish to share it publicly.

(2019-08-04, 14:51)Anto Wrote: Is it possible to place all the elements manually on a Multi step page (using a grid to place them easily)?

No. There is no capability that enables this behaviour in LPub3D.

(2019-08-04, 14:51)Anto Wrote: Add captures - Zoom on a part of the model (LPub3D):
This behaviour is not currently possible from the LPub3D user interface. However, I've just finished the preliminary implementation and expect to push it to the DevOps Continuous Build in the next few days.

Upd: There is now the possibility to animate the zoom and look-at settings and save the current step's CSI and Submodel images interactively from the 3DViewer. This behaviour uses the Native renderer exclusively and can be used to update CSI and Submodel preview images. See GitHub ticket #327 for more info. 

   

This updates has been pushed to the DevOps repository and will be available for download if there are no build breaks.

Cheers,
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#3
Quote:Anto Wrote:
Group/Remove group (LDCad & LPub3D):

See GitHub ticket #149

Did not realize you added support for this, very nice.

One note though, you might want to reference groups by their GID as the LID can change if a user deletes a group.
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#4
(2019-08-04, 18:50)Roland Melkert Wrote: Did not realize you added support for this, very nice.

One note though, you might want to reference groups by their GID as the LID can change if a user deletes a group.

Very well. Thanks for the note, I'll update the code accordingly.

Cheers,
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#8
(2019-08-04, 18:50)Roland Melkert Wrote: Did not realize you added support for this, very nice.

One note though, you might want to reference groups by their GID as the LID can change if a user deletes a group.

I've enabled LPub3D to use the LDCad group GID or name - see GitHub ticket #149 for further details.

Cheers,
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#5
Thank you so much for the answer! Wink


What do I need to download to get the last release (I'm on Windows)? Just the files I want then I have to put them in the good repertories? (I'm a bit lost ^^')


I have read the page about the Group/Remove group, but I have not understand everything. Confused Is there something to do before in LDCad? When a group is defined, the LID is its reference, as for example, the group "Motor_without_cable" with the LID "1"?

So we define a group (LID "0") and then we use:
Code:
0 !LPUB REMOVE GROUP "0"

So it works like this? (the part [ids=...] is the LID and [nrs...] is what?)
Code:
0 !LDCAD GROUP_NXT [ids=1] [nrs=0]
1 Part 1
0 !LDCAD GROUP_NXT [ids=1] [nrs=0]
1 Part 2
1 ...
1 Last part of the group
0 STEP
0 !LPUB REMOVE GROUP "1"
0 !LPUB PLI BEGIN IGN
1 New group
0 !LPUB PLI END

// Part 1 and Part 2 have been removed, and they have been replaced by "New group"


So the group is deleted, and after this we just add the new group, and add the command to ignore it in the PLI?

What is the utility of this command?
Code:
0 !LDCAD GROUP_DEF [topLevel=true] [LID=0] [GID=1pCINOPEy7y] [name=sec1] [center=0 -15 40]



About the steps placements, here is what I wish so make: (my own instructions below)
[Image: 48461556397_3acea1e047_b.jpg]

[Image: 48461393271_4ce1290622_b.jpg]

But sometimes it's not possible or all moves when I re-open the file, like this:
[Image: 48461556722_73952801c7_b.jpg]

I think the problem appears mainly when there are callouts. I can send you my file by private message, however I can't because as I am a new member I haven't access to this function yet (or I have just not found how to do ^^').


To zoom on a part of the model, I need to switch to the Native mode. I have tried, but I have got many error messages, and that doesn't work (I may have some meta commands that work only with the LDView renderer). In the instructions of the telehandler available on your website, this has been made using the Native mode or is it possible to make screenshots and to add pictures in a page to get the same result? (Using LDView)
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#6
(2019-08-05, 11:39)Anto Wrote: I have read the page about the Group/Remove group, but I have not understand everything. Confused Is there something to do before in LDCad? When a group is defined, the LID is its reference, as for example, the group "Motor_without_cable" with the LID "1"?

So we define a group (LID "0") and then we use:
Code:
0 !LPUB REMOVE GROUP "0"

So it works like this? (the part [ids=...] is the LID and [nrs...] is what?)
[code]0 !LDCAD GROUP_NXT [ids=1] [nrs=0]

From the LPub side of things you only need to worry about the GROUP_DEF line, that line defines the group and contain its LID, GID and name properties.

The GIT page states LPub uses the LID to in the REMOVE GROUP lines but as I wrote above this is probably not fail proof as the LID can change between saves. So if Travis changes this to the GID (and or name?) you would need to adjust your code.

The GROUP_NXT lines you don't need to edit, LDCad will (re)generate those during save. The only thing you need to know is not to insert something in between a GROUP_NXT and the "1 ...." line directly below it. That will remove the part from the group on next load.

If you (still) want to know more about the group meta's see also:
http://www.melkert.net/LDCad/tech/meta
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#7
(2019-08-05, 11:39)Anto Wrote: What do I need to download to get the last release (I'm on Windows)? Just the files I want then I have to put them in the good repertories? (I'm a bit lost ^^')

Trevor Wrote:There is a Continuous Build release at the LPub3D production repository. You can download the latest build for Windows (installed and portable distros), Linux AppImage, Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora and macOS platforms.

Click on the embedded link and follow the steps to download and extract (.zip), insall (.exe) your preferred distribution. Note: If a build is in progress, not all distributions will be available. In fact, the Microsoft builds are the last to be produced.

(2019-08-05, 11:39)Anto Wrote: I have read the page about the Group/Remove group, but I have not understand everything. Confused Is there something to do before in LDCad? When a group is defined, the LID is its reference, as for example, the group "Motor_without_cable" with the LID "1"?

Answered by Roland but I can add that with the latest build (2.3.13 r88), you must use the LDCad group's GID or name - see GitHub ticket #149 for further details on the recent updates.

(2019-08-05, 11:39)Anto Wrote: About the steps placements, here is what I wish so make: (my own instructions below)
...
But sometimes it's not possible or all moves when I re-open the file, like this:
...
I think the problem appears mainly when there are callouts. I can send you my file by private message, however I can't because as I am a new member I haven't access to this function yet (or I have just not found how to do ^^').

If you want, you can send the model file using my email address - available at Help->About LPub3D...->Credits.

(2019-08-05, 11:39)Anto Wrote: To zoom on a part of the model, ...is it possible to make screenshots and to add pictures in a page to get the same result? (Using LDView)

Yes. However, be advised that taking this approach is a bit advanced. There are several ways to generate images outside of the default page build. If you take a look at the LPub3D log (Help->View LPub3D Log), you can see the exact command passed to the renderer. For LDView, you can use the online user manual to set the precise flags you need to achieve the rendering you want - including changing the look at position of your model (-ModelCenter 0.0,0.0,0.0) and zooming (-ModelSize 0.0). You can also edit the LDView.ini, and many others, file from Configuration->Edit Parameter Files... Use this capability to render a single step or combine all the steps you wish to customize and render accordingly. After that, you can transfer the images to your main project. Keep in mind that if you should ensure the 'Last Update' date on your images is the same or newer than the same setting on your model file. If you make an update to the model file, LPub3D will automatically overwrite the image during the render process. I think with this new information, you can use your insights to create the appropriate environments(s) to get the result you're looking for going forward.

Cheers,
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#9
Roland : thank you, finally for my current building intructions I could do without this function, but this will be useful for the next time, and it's always good to know how it works. Smile 

Trevor :
I didn't see the .exe file, so I didn't know which one I had to use. ^^ Now I have installed the last release. (What is the utility of the other files?)
Now I can use the function "substitute", however, when I do right click / substitute on the part I want to change, if it's a sub model (as a flex) the app crashes. But it works perfectly when I use the meta commands, even with sub models.

Thank you for all the rest, I have sent you an e-mail about the placement problem (finally only one page on the whole instructions).
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#10
(2019-08-08, 11:38)Anto Wrote: I didn't see the .exe file, so I didn't know which one I had to use. ^^ Now I have installed the last release. (What is the utility of the other files?)

This is what the Windows installer executable file looks like in the list. It could be easy to miss among the others.
   

(2019-08-08, 11:38)Anto Wrote: Now I can use the function "substitute", however, when I do right click / substitute on the part I want to change, if it's a sub model (as a flex) the app crashes. But it works perfectly when I use the meta commands, even with sub models.

Hmm, thanks for reporting this behaviour. I'll take a look.

(2019-08-08, 11:38)Anto Wrote: Thank you for all the rest, I have sent you an e-mail about the placement problem (finally only one page on the whole instructions).

Got it, Thanks. I'll take a look....

Cheers,
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#11
(2019-08-08, 12:18)Trevor Sandy Wrote: Hmm, thanks for reporting this behaviour. I'll take a look.

I am not able to reproduce this behaviour and no one else has reported the same. Here is what I get with the attached LDCad generated flex subfile.

   

Perhaps there is some nuance I am not replicating. If you want you can share the model file that's producing this behaviour and I'll take a look.

Cheers,


Attached Files
.mpd   subpart-flex-axle-test.mpd (Size: 14.83 KB / Downloads: 0)
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#12
(2019-08-08, 11:38)Anto Wrote: ...I have sent you an e-mail about the placement problem (finally only one page on the whole instructions).

See below the "Before" and "After" meta command corrections. Explanation notes are captured as model file comments.

Before:
   

   

After:
   

   

Cheers,
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RE: Some questions about LDCad and LPub3D
#13
Thank you for everything!

About the bug of the substitution of a sub-model, you can try with the file I sent you. Go to the page 85 for example where there is a sub-model of a flex, and try to do Right click / Substitute on the bent flex in the PLI (you can also try with a motor page 2). If you don't have any problem, perhaps it's something wrong with my computer / installation of the software and the LDraw library.
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