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Bluebrick Layout Software


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#1 Davey

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:14 PM

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Hinckley and I were conversing at Brickworld this year about train layout design.  He was telling me about the various methods he used to plan out his layout.  During the course of this conversation, I brought up Alban Nanty's program Bluebrick...which Hinckley had not heard of.  I have been using this program now for about a year to plan layouts and I have found it to be very use friendly and easily customizable.  I thought it would be worth posting this here so that other people can try this great program out.  I will post links at the bottom of my post.  

Adding baseplates or a module is a simple as creating a GIF image with the restriction that 1 stud=8 pixels.  Using this convention, I have added custom tables to my parts library to represent the tables I have in my basement.  I have also added tables to match the size we get from the hotel at Brickworld.  The program allows you to create shortcuts of your own providing for better workflow.  In addition, you can export an image directly rather than taking a screenshot of the layout.  Quite possibly the neatest feature for me though is the parts list which lets me check the parts required for my layout versus what I actually have in stock.  Just like ML-CAD.

This software was initially highlighted in Issue #3 of Railbricks which can also be downloaded here.

Bluebrick Homepage
Bluebrick Download Link

I'd like to see this thread become a place for us to post our custom parts for the Bluebrick software.  Hopefully, we can generate a critical mass of good part images.   :classic:

-Dave
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My Setlist // Dave's MOCPage // Stacy's MOCPage // ToT-LUG Photostream // Brickshelf Gallery // Our Blog

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"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?"

"And you don't want to be here in the future...so you say the present is just a pleasant...interruption to the past."

#2 Aliencat

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:48 PM

I've also used this program before, and it is indeed very useful for planning out layouts.
I had it on my old computer, but haven't used it in a while so I forgot the name. I was looking for it the other day to install on my current computer but couldn't find it (because I didn't know the name) ;) so thanks for posting this to remind me!

View PostCyclone Breezerider, on Jul 10 2009, 07:14 PM, said:

Adding baseplates or a module is a simple as creating a GIF image with the restriction that 1 stud=8 pixels.  Using this convention, I have added custom tables to my parts library to represent the tables I have in my basement.  I have also added tables to match the size we get from the hotel at Brickworld.
Now this I didn't know, and it's probably one of this program's most useful functions :D Thanks for pointing that out!

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#3 Davey

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 06:59 PM

View PostAliencat, on Jul 10 2009, 01:48 PM, said:

Now this I didn't know, and it's probably one of this program's most useful functions :D Thanks for pointing that out!

No problem!  Here's the really interesting twist.  I could see this program useful for planning collabrative layouts at 'cons' such as Brickworld.  People could draw a little GIF mock-up of their module and the coordinators would be able to organize the table space before anyone even arrives.  The customization options in this program make it very powerful for not only Train/Town users but many other themes as well.   :classic:  

-Dave
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My Setlist // Dave's MOCPage // Stacy's MOCPage // ToT-LUG Photostream // Brickshelf Gallery // Our Blog

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"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?"

"And you don't want to be here in the future...so you say the present is just a pleasant...interruption to the past."

#4 Hinckley

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:05 PM

Aha!! Thanks. I was just about to Facebook you about this! :wub: You're the best.

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#5 Davey

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:36 PM

View PostHinckley, on Jul 10 2009, 02:05 PM, said:

Aha!! Thanks. I was just about to Facebook you about this! :wub: You're the best.

No problem schnookums.  Just a little present since I can't hang with you guys this weekend.   :cry_sad:

-Dave
My Setlist // Dave's MOCPage // Stacy's MOCPage // ToT-LUG Photostream // Brickshelf Gallery // Our Blog

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"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?"

"And you don't want to be here in the future...so you say the present is just a pleasant...interruption to the past."

#6 Hinckley

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 01:17 AM

View PostCyclone Breezerider, on Jul 10 2009, 03:36 PM, said:

No problem schnookums.  Just a little present since I can't hang with you guys this weekend.   :cry_sad:

-Dave
:wub: Yes, we will miss you very much! :cry_happy: This software will be great as I'll be limited in space for the first time in 5 years! This software will fill the void that is my LEGO lair. Hopefully, I will find something more permanent in CA soon... :sweet:

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#7 paintballman413

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 08:46 PM

thanks dude. this is really going to help me and my layouts. :classic:

-Sean

#8 aawsum

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:35 AM

View PostCyclone Breezerider, on Jul 10 2009, 06:14 PM, said:

I'd like to see this thread become a place for us to post our custom parts for the Bluebrick software.  Hopefully, we can generate a critical mass of good part images.   :classic:

Good idea, what about posting your custom part/gifs here as well ?

I am currently working on the double cross over track for the RC track.
I will post it here when ready.

#9 aawsum

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:08 AM

Well, as promised, I tried to make the double cross over for Bluebrick.

Hereby my first design. (updated)
Posted Image

It works allready. I attached an xml file that should be included if you want to use the connection points.
For some reason the connection does not fit very properly yet. I will figure out first if the number of studs is correct, however I need to be at home for that so I will reply to that later.

--EDIT--
Updated the GIF and XML according to the naming convention
XML

Edited by aawsum, 06 September 2009 - 09:18 PM.


#10 aawsum

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:16 AM

Ok, I made a new version at home.
Strange thing was that I had to make my original gif 8 pixels wider (1 stud). This is probably because of the connecting pieces of 0,5 stud at both ends of the track.

I have to say it works perfectly now.

I have updated the picture above.

#11 Davey

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:12 PM

View Postaawsum, on Aug 14 2009, 05:16 AM, said:

Ok, I made a new version at home.
Strange thing was that I had to make my original gif 8 pixels wider (1 stud). This is probably because of the connecting pieces of 0,5 stud at both ends of the track.

I have to say it works perfectly now.

I have updated the picture above.

Nice work!  This looks great and thank you for taking care of this.   :thumbup: :thumbup:  I'm involved in some other LEGO stuff right now that is pulling me away from working on my BlueBrick images, but I will be posting some soon, I promise.   :classic:

-Dave

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My Setlist // Dave's MOCPage // Stacy's MOCPage // ToT-LUG Photostream // Brickshelf Gallery // Our Blog

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"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?"

"And you don't want to be here in the future...so you say the present is just a pleasant...interruption to the past."

#12 Modulex Guy

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:19 PM

I cant seem to get this program to work on a MAC. :sad:

Anyone have a better idea on how to run it other than what BlueBrick's site says, the program on there does not work.
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#13 Davey

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:30 PM

View PostPolish Guy, on Aug 14 2009, 12:19 PM, said:

I cant seem to get this program to work on a MAC. :sad:

Anyone have a better idea on how to run it other than what BlueBrick's site says, the program on there does not work.

Since I don't run a MAC, I'm afraid I won't be much help.  My only suggestion would be to run the 'Boot Camp' software if you're on one of the Intel based MAC's and run it under Windows if downloading MONO 2.4 didn't work.

You could also try contacting Alban and seeing what he says.  His e-mail is at the top of the mainpage.

-Dave
My Setlist // Dave's MOCPage // Stacy's MOCPage // ToT-LUG Photostream // Brickshelf Gallery // Our Blog

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============================================================


"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?"

"And you don't want to be here in the future...so you say the present is just a pleasant...interruption to the past."

#14 aawsum

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:58 PM

Well, I had some time, and tried to create the flexible traintrack as well.

Hereby design of the flexpart in a straight form.
Posted Image

Also this one works. I attached an xml file that should be included if you want to use the connection points.

I am still working on a curved flexpart, but this is a bit more a challenge :wink:

--EDIT--
Updated the GIF and XML according to the naming convention
XML

Edited by aawsum, 06 September 2009 - 09:19 PM.


#15 cusaeng

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 11:22 PM

well today I made 6395 victory lap raceway image for blue brick.
I havent included an xml file for this as I'm sure you can just load it in to your custom folder.
I'll be doing some more as and when I get round to it so if any one has any suggestions or requests let me know.

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  • 6395_victory_lap_raceway.jpg


#16 aawsum

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:54 AM

Ah, great work  :thumbup:
Good to see we have more enthousiastic people for bluebrick  :classic:

#17 cusaeng

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 02:02 PM

Today Ive done 6396 International jetport.

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#18 aawsum

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:02 PM

Just out of curiosity, what program did you use to create this image ?

#19 cusaeng

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:52 PM

View Postaawsum, on Aug 17 2009, 10:02 PM, said:

Just out of curiosity, what program did you use to create this image ?

Good old ms paint :sweet:

#20 missouri_bb63

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 11:57 PM

Hello all,
it is great to see a topic in this forum dedicated to BlueBrick. I already mentioned in the "Digital Designed Layouts" topic, that Alban and I are busy working on help files and tutorials. I finished the two video tutorials yesterday.  The videos are made using screen capture so everything is clearly visible.  We also chose to use written callouts instead of audio commentary as these will be easier to translate. How quickly the files get translated depends on how much time our volunteers have available, so please be patient. The English videos should be available on Alban's website in the very near future.

When I next talk to Alban, I will discuss the idea of extending the help files with advice on making new BlueBrick parts. In the meantime however, it would be great if everyone could leave a quick note on how you made your parts, and what advice you would give. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!
When that is done I will also be looking into making the program/website easier to find on Google. Unless you know the actual name, it really isn't easy to find.
Happy building!
Alex

Edited by missouri_bb63, 18 August 2009 - 12:11 AM.


#21 cusaeng

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:13 AM

6389 fire control center

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#22 aawsum

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:31 PM

View Postcusaeng, on Aug 17 2009, 10:52 PM, said:

Good old ms paint :sweet:
:wub: To make something realistic, I use MLCAD for a top overview, and then a photoshop program called the gimps for making it the right size

View Postmissouri_bb63, on Aug 18 2009, 12:57 AM, said:

When I next talk to Alban, I will discuss the idea of extending the help files with advice on making new BlueBrick parts. In the meantime however, it would be great if everyone could leave a quick note on how you made your parts, and what advice you would give.
That would be great, because I am still working on a curved flex part, and I have troubles there to figure out how to add the right connection points, and make sure that the connectionpoints also work when you rotate the part  :blush:

I think it would be very helpfull if everybody puts his images in this topic, this would make a great resource.  :cry_happy:

#23 cusaeng

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:11 PM

View Postaawsum, on Aug 18 2009, 01:31 PM, said:

:wub: To make something realistic, I use MLCAD for a top overview, and then a photoshop program called the gimps for making it the right size

I had tried to use a process like that but I found I wasn’t happy with the results.
I found that by making the images in paint I was able to get an exact representation of the set by refering to the instructions. I know they look a bit cartoon like and don’t have a photographic quality but I'm happy with the results for my maps. :classic:

#24 aawsum

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:24 PM

Well, I finally managed it I guess, hereby a gif for the 10027 Train shed (in the long version, not with the sheds next to eachother
Posted Image

--EDIT-- created a new version with better quality

Edited by aawsum, 06 September 2009 - 09:20 PM.


#25 FreeBee

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:37 PM

removed this because aawsum made a closed one

Edited by FreeBee, 29 August 2009 - 12:30 PM.

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