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Brickvention 2006Page 1 Introduction to LDraw. Brickvention 2006Page 2 Goal: Orientation Available virtual LEGO resources System Components Uses of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Brickvention 2006Page 1 Introduction to LDraw. Brickvention 2006Page 2 Goal: Orientation Available virtual LEGO resources System Components Uses of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brickvention 2006Page 1 Introduction to LDraw

2 Brickvention 2006Page 2 Goal: Orientation Available virtual LEGO resources System Components Uses of the system The future of virtual LEGO Artistic accomplishments Needs and opportunities

3 Brickvention 2006Page 3 Introduction: Ross Crawford Part author / reviewer Author of txt2dat

4 Brickvention 2006Page 4 Why Virtual LEGO? Huge audience; education, hobby, industry Document custom designs Create instructions Generate stunning artwork Virtual bricks are free, and come in any color It’s fun!

5 Brickvention 2006Page 5 Brief History of LDraw Created by James Jessiman James’ early design embraced by AFOLs New tools created Ldraw Organisation formed, Ldraw.org Now recognised by LEGO company “It’s a toy, not a business” – J.J.

6 Brickvention 2006Page 6 Resources: An Overview

7 Brickvention 2006Page 7 The LDraw System Standard Language and Library Almost 3000 LEGO parts in library Open-source project born out of an online community Around 100,000 users; enthusiasts of all ages and educators at all levels Freely downloadable via

8 Brickvention 2006Page 8 Components Of The LDraw System Parts Library LDraw Description Language Tools –Editors –Viewers –Converters –Renderers –Batch Automation

9 Brickvention 2006Page 9 The LDraw Description Language Text-based: Portability and Readability Simple to parse –Hierarchical: primitives  parts  submodels  models –Well defined line syntax Polygon-based –Lacks support for cylinders and round objects –No mesh support Historical consistency guarantees compatibility The system is strong because of its simplicity and straightforward nature.

10 Brickvention 2006Page 10 Anatomy of LDraw Files 0 Three Brick Stack 0 Name: 3 bricks.ldr dat dat dat

11 Brickvention 2006Page 11 Line Breakdown

12 Brickvention 2006Page 12 Hierarchy Illustrated 0 Three Brick Stack 0 Name: 3 bricks.ldr dat dat dat 0 Brick 2 x 4 0 Name: 3001.dat 0 BFC INVERTNEXT box5.dat box5.dat 0 STUDS stud.dat stud.dat stud.dat stud.dat stud.dat stud.dat stud.dat stud.dat 0 TUBES stud4.dat stud4.dat stud4.dat … … … … 0 Stud 0 Name: stud.dat disc.dat edge.dat edge.dat cyli.dat 0 Disc Name: 4-4disc.dat

13 Brickvention 2006Page 13 Editing Models MLCad Easy to use, drag ‘n’ drop Advanced editing functions Uses standard Ldraw parts library Windows Only

14 Brickvention 2006Page 14 Editing Models LeoCad Multi-platform (Windows, Linux) Advanced editing functions Uses custom database which is generated from Ldraw parts library

15 Brickvention 2006Page 15 Editing Models LEGO Digital Designer Multi-platform (Windows, Mac) Simple editing functions Uses custom library – limited parts selection Convert to / from Ldraw files

16 Brickvention 2006Page 16 Building Instructions Edge Line Detection (MegaPOV, ldglite) Advanced Scripting Commands (MLCad) Batch Rendering and Page Layout (LPub)

17 Brickvention 2006Page 17 The Future of Virtual LEGO New Language Specs Collision Detection Flexible Element Support Animation Support Your project?

18 Brickvention 2006Page 18 Artistic Accomplishments

19 Brickvention 2006Page 19 Li’l Dumper by Ross Crawford

20 Brickvention 2006Page 20 Trike by Allister McLaren

21 Brickvention 2006Page 21 Spider Mech type A by Timothy Gould

22 Brickvention 2006Page 22 Needs and Opportunities Developers and Students –Write cool software; modelers, converters –Contribute to the language specs Designers and Writers –Help improve LDraw.org –Graphic design –Articles Educators –Apply the tools in the classroom

23 Brickvention 2006Page 23 Thank You Any Questions? Please feel free to follow up by Or visit


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