The High Pro Glow

Welcome! The topics introduced in this blog will vary wildly. Here, you will find a lot of odd topics that are here to help somebody in need. I post off-beat information, hard to find history, & stuff that is otherwise seldom regurgitated in our modern place. Sit back & find something interesting. Comment if you have a need or suggestion.

Thank you for crossing paths!

Christopher R. Smith (aka. Littlehorn)

I've got it on! Have you got it on?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beyond SnapCAD - Step 1

   SnapCAD is a cool way to create a custom model and share it...and the images it can produce are pretty good for building instructions. But, there are ways to produce better images and building instructions from the SnapCAD model files.

   In this series I will describe the ways to process SnapCAD files to create better images and building instructions. While there are even more ways to do each, I will describe the methods I use. If you need more just ask. I've been in and around the LDraw community for over 15 years. I have obtained mass-quantities of knowledge in many of the programs that take CAD models far beyond the first step.

   I'll start with one simple instruction...and introduce the first new addition to the process..the awesome and very powerful program named "LDView". I used LDView to create the model images in this picture.

   LDView is a image rendering program that can use any LDraw standard parts library to produce stunning images from CAD rendered model files. LDView is very useful in many ways..use it to view a model being created or a finished model by spinning it around with a mouse, or take a high-quality snapshot of a model, or set it to be used by another program to produce images for building instruction layouts..but more about that use later in this series.

   LDView is designed with only the LDraw Parts Library in mind. and looks in the "LDraw" folder for all of the parts it needs to display a model. SnapCAD models can be opened and displayed with LDView..but not right away.  To view SnapCAD models in LDView you need to tell LDView where to find the VEX IQ SnapCAD Parts Library. Furthermore, sometimes the LDraw Parts Library and the VEX IQ SnapCAD Parts Library are installed on the same PC. Each of these scenarios can be satisfied so that both can coexist and used by LDView by simply directing LDView where to find the needed library or libraries. This involves merely inputting the path to the library or libraries. 

   If a typical LDraw renderer (MLCad, SR3D, or LDCad) and SnapCAD are installed on the same PC and you want to use LDView for either system...keep reading to setup LDView to display models from either when they are opened for viewing.

Configuring LDView:

Scenario 1:  SnapCAD Parts Library Only...

   If you only want to use SnapCAD with LDView...Open LDView, click File > "LDraw Dir..." ..browse/highlight the main SnapCAD folder and click "OK". This will allow VEX IQ SnapCAD models to be displayed. It will also use SnapCAD's specific color palette (LDConfig.ldr). *See Note below.

Scenario 2:  SnapCAD & LDraw Parts Libraries...

    To setup and use both libraries... Open LDView, click File > "Ldraw Dir..." ..browse/highlight the SnapCAD folder or the LDraw folder (choose the parts library you use the most). Then setup the 'Extra Directories' search File > "Extra Dirs..." the "C:\" button at the bottom of the dialog box..and browse/add the parts library folders "P" and "Parts" (add a line for each folder) in the main SnapCAD folder or the main LDraw folder. When a SnapCAD model or a LDraw/LEGO model is opened LDView will find/use the right parts library. *See Note below.

*Note: LDView uses the 'LDConfig.ldr' color palette file located in the chosen "LDraw Dir..." folder..which ever folder is set there. LDView will also use the 'LDConfig.ldr' file found in the folder set in the "LDraw Dir.." input for every folder setup in the "Extra Dirs..." search process.

That's it. Try LDView and make some snapshots! More about LDView's Settings later through the next parts of this Series.



At 4:15 AM, Blogger Jr. Williams said...

I have to say this has been probably the most helpful posts for me. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.
wrapping machinery


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