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[KEY TOPIC] LDD feature requests


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#1 Superkalle

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 11:16 PM

I use Lego Digital Designer a lot and was curious what features others want to see in the next version of LDD. Here are a couple of mine for starters:

1) More bricks in more colors (had to start with that one :classic:). EDIT: Fixed with Universe MOde

2) Pick list - to be able to generate a list of all parts in a model to use when picking bricks to build the real thing, preferably with bricks grouped by brick type.

3) Better grouping function, to work more like grouping in the MS office programs, i.e. by selecting a brick, you also select/see the group it belongs to. As it is now, you can only select groups by using the Groups pane/tab.

4) I find the scene grid (where you place the bricks) with all the virtual studs annoying - firstly they don’t behave like proper studs (in some instances you can place bricks between the studs), secondly, when you work on a the underside of a model, the stud circles interfere with the stud holes of the bricks, and you get distracted. I want the old 2.x scene back!

5) Show gaps between bricks. Because you can't see the gaps, the models look too smooth and nice. It's first when you build with physical bricks, that you get the "full picture" and see your design misses.

OK, those where a couple of my whishes. It'd be interesting to hear what others are thinking.
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#2 commdr_neyo

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 11:27 PM

I'd like a proper brick rotate function, so you can spin 360 degrees. And ofcourse I would like more bricks, more minifig parts, and lower prices.

Edited by commdr_neyo, 26 November 2009 - 11:31 PM.

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#3 wooootles

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:54 AM

Lower prices by 50%.  I mean, good Lord.
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#4 Xenophilius Studz

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 04:31 AM

View Postwooootles, on Nov 26 2009, 09:54 PM, said:

Lower prices by 50%.  I mean, good Lord.
Amen to that. God, all we want is new pieces, so they give it to us, and spike the prices up 1000%.

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#5 Superkalle

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 01:15 PM

Prices are important, but this thread is about wanted features in LDD. I'd apreciate it if we keep on the subject.
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#6 Internets

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 01:42 PM

Add pieces without removing others.

#7 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 02:01 PM

More vehicle parts, more tools - i.e. tools off of the tool wheel, fishing rods, balls, and more weapons.
More colour choices in a wider range of parts.
Also to place objects like food in baskets or crates to give an example of.

#8 Torax

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:15 AM

Good idea of a topic, I hope the developers of LDD listen to this.

I also want more bricks- this selection is almost silly. A complete inventory would be awesome.

Other than that i really like LDD- it's so easy to use.

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#9 Lord Admiral

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:09 AM

It's not necessarily that the number of different bricks in LDD is lacking, but that the selection is just...nonsensical. I mean, I might as well just buy a basic or creator set and I can get the same kind of bricks. It makes it rather pointless then. It's a jack of all trades, which means it excels at nothing. Being able to use the entire inventory of current parts in existence, with maybe the exception of the licensed parts, or even a large subset thereof, would greatly increase LDD's utility.

Other than that, I think the UI is a little clunky at the moment. The designers should take a page from the UI designers of Adobe Photoshop and 3D Studio Max. Some UI improvements I'd like to see include:

Text menu options that have all of the commands of the utiity.
Pop out toolbars, sub-toolbars and menus.
Lock positions/faces of toolbars.
A way to numerically specify and modify the center as well as the distance of the camera.
A way to numerically specify rotation/movement.

In addition, some new features I'd like to see are:

Layers.
Show/hide pieces/groups/layers.
The ability to redefine the construction plane based on the selected piece.
Copy, cut, and paste pieces/groups/attributes.
The ability to pick a stud or other prominent characteristic of a piece (stud, bottom, clip, etc.) and snap that to another prominent characteristic of another piece.

#10 knuclear200x

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:35 AM

Have they included a basic minifig head yet? ( :classic: ) and a lot more bodies like the Sea Serpent or Lion knights etc.

i was annoyed all they had was a modern basic face. with the eye reflections and eyebrows
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#11 Superkalle

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 02:52 PM

A few follow up questions for Lord Admiral:

View PostLord Admiral, on Nov 29 2009, 06:09 AM, said:

A way to numerically specify and modify the center as well as the distance of the camera.
A way to numerically specify rotation/movement.
I think I understand what you mean, but what should it be used for? I'm thinking for creating multiple screenshots with defined incremental steps, with the purpose of making a movie. Right?

View PostLord Admiral, on Nov 29 2009, 06:09 AM, said:

Show/hide pieces/groups/layers.
Hide/show bricks is allready available in 3.0, but where you meaning something else?

View PostLord Admiral, on Nov 29 2009, 06:09 AM, said:

The ability to redefine the construction plane based on the selected piece.
Could you please explain what that means?

Edited by superkalle, 29 November 2009 - 02:54 PM.

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#12 prateek

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 06:42 PM

View Postknuclear200x, on Nov 28 2009, 11:35 PM, said:

Have they included a basic minifig head yet? ( :classic: )
Yes.

#13 peterab

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 03:06 AM

View Postsuperkalle, on Nov 27 2009, 10:16 AM, said:

I use Lego Digital Designer a lot and was curious what features others want to see in the next version of LDD.

Well it's probably too late to be asking this but I'd like a Linux version. I actually don't really care much, as I think they should have produced something far more compatible with Ldraw tools in the first place, and if they had it would have been awesome to have one platform independant version.

#14 Toa_Of_Justice

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:51 PM

I'd like to see improved brick textures (light reflections, the word "LEGO" on studs, true-to-life colors, and improved visibility of translucent elements).

In addition, I want a multi-axial rotation system like MLCAD has (different key combinations rotate a selected element in different directions), or a rotation system more like LDD 1.6 (the direction of vertical rotation depended on the camera direction).

Also, I'd like to see group hinge movement and group paint (group paint was last seen in LDD 1.6 if I recall correctly).

The ability to sort and find elements by name (or keyword) within the program would also be very useful.

I would also like a more lenient connection system (the ability to turn off automatic connections was last seen in LDD 1.3 if I recall correctly) and the option for a part movement system more like MLCAD's to nudge fussy bricks into place.

Additionally, I would like an automatic model centering feature, which takes models built in one corner of the grid and moves them closer to the center.

Finally, I would like an option to customize (adjust overall size, line width, and increments) and/or hide/turn off the building grid.

-Toa Of Justice

EDIT: I just realized that group rotation is already a feature in LDD...D'oh!

Edited by Toa_Of_Justice, 08 April 2010 - 03:04 PM.

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#15 alienwar9

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:37 AM

OK here we go. I've been spending hours and DAYS working in LDD for the past few months on my extremely large model build, and at a few points I tried migrating to MLCAD and SR3D builder but both fell short or just didn't work properly. But in the time working on this build (35,000 pieces so far, completely redone) I've been making a mental list of features I really badly needed while building.

1. Pieces. The main reason I tried migrating was piece selection. Upon using the mod it finally became the useful tool I needed, but I still would like to have only actual color options, as eventually I am going to have to jump to bricklink or something every time I want to check if the piece exists in a color.

2. Brick count. Seriously, how hard is it to implement a brick count? I just want to know how many pieces there are so far. I have to post it to DesignByMe to find out, and with my model size, it's just not worth the time. As long as there is a tiny box somewhere on the screen that shows a number, I'm good.

3. Piece call-out. This can just be an end feature after the instructions are generated, but it would be really nice.

4. Prices. It would be nice to know what the prices are for each individual piece. It would also be a little better if I didn't have to click on "check price" every time. Think about it, if a kid has a limit on how much they can spend, wouldn't it be easier for them to see it while building? It would also probably teach them a little bit about money and management, etc. And for those worried about hitting a certain point, it would be convenient.

5. group/selection-color change. I made a 19 story skyscraper, with around 28 windows each floor. I then wanted to copy and paste it and cut out a few floors to make another building. I wanted to change the color....that was a pain. I had 5 buildings to make.......

6. Rotation?! Seriously, the rotation tool sucks, and that is a huge understatement. Almost every time I've used it, it has glitched out and jerked half my model around trying to figure out the most insane possible way to rotate the pieces. Or, it has rotated my entire 35,000 piece model instead of the one piece I wanted (resulting in crashes too). And the connection detection for rotating is terrible. I don't think it has ever worked for me, even when the connection was obvious and simple.

7. Camera angle. This is not for me, but for others, as I know some would love the option. Just make it an option though. Like, if you press and hold a key then you can move your mouse and rotate the camera. It's that odd axis that is in the other programs but that I find annoying.

8. Mirror tool. SR3D builder is great with this. I almost didn't need it at all until now, when I find my model in serious need of mirroring stuff. It is a very useful tool, but it adds a bit of complexity to using the program so I'd understand why it wouldn't be added.

9. Search. Yeah, with the limited pieces normally available I can see how it seems useless, but I think every once in a while it would come in handy. Searching a piece name, tag, or piece id would be great.

10. Hide. I love the feature, but it could be better. For example, I have selected a bunch of stuff to hide, and now I want to bring back only certain items. It would be nice to be able to "un-hide" pieces or groups. This is sort of similar to layering.

11. Drag and drop grouping. Wouldn't it be nice if you could drag groups into other groups, sub-group things, etc without having to click create new sub-group? This isn't really needed, but it would be kind of nice. But more so I would just like to be able to widen the group pane and have more than 1 column. It gets really frustrating to scroll through all the groups when you have a lot.

12. Piece organizing. If the piece selection would be customizable or at least you could change the categorization method a few ways, that would be peachy grand! Seriously, how awesome would it be if you could group "posts" or narrow items, and "smooth stuff".

13. Minor piece height differences. HOLY BRICK this is annoying. Has anyone placed a baseplate and then a 8x16 plate, built all over them, only to find out they are at slightly different heights, and even worse, sometimes things don't go together because of this? I've even had the problem where I've deleted the 8x16s, and moved things that were partially on-top of them, and had tiny height differences that are almost unnoticeable unless you zoom in stop me from building. That plate is not the only cause, as often I've had issues where all of a sudden somehow the grid "floor" has lowered and things just don't line up. I can't think of a solution to these problems, but they are problems, and for me, sometimes they cost me half a day to figure out and fix. Grrrr.

14. Stability!!!!! This is the most important for me. I know, there aren't that many cases like mine, but still. I have a system that can run it. It can run it well. But the program just doesn't utilize my system at all. It gets laggy when I move items, it gets laggy when I open the program now, and it gets laggy when I load larger models. It freezes when I make big moves or rotations, and it freezes when there are just too many pieces. It crashes too. It crashes when I try to save it when there a lot of pieces. But even worse, it now crashes when I try to save even less intensive piece models. I think it has to do with the number of baseplates, and/or the width of my model, as it goes off the grid.

I understand that even with a fix, my model will still run slow or crash. But I just want to be able to get farther than "the base" of the model. I haven't even built any real details there. One thing I noticed is that I have a quad core processor, and LDD only utilizes 1 core. With the current market quickly moving towards multi-core processors, I think it is essential to allow LDD to utilize more than 1 core. Also, I have 4gb of ram, and although my computer is 32-bit, meaning it will not see all 4 gb, LDD at most gets my system to use 75% of my RAM. I'm not that tech savvy, but I think that isn't the max that my pc can handle even considering the 32-bit. I just think that LDD can be made more efficient and run more smoothly on systems. That would also mean helping out those with less powerful systems too, as I've heard other people complain they can't get much smaller models running too well. But definitely opening up more cores would GREATLY increase the ability of LDD to handle larger models, and run smoother on many systems today and in the future.


PHEW! The funny thing is, I know I forgot some things  :tongue:
Sorry for the long write. I tend to do that. But I think some of these issues are very important and make/break the usefulness of LDD.

Edited by alienwar9, 09 April 2010 - 04:39 AM.

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#16 efin

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:18 AM

Higher resolution images in the printable instructions. Pretty pretty please!

#17 Matt Dawson

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:56 AM

SNIPPED

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 05:37 AM, said:

2. Brick count. Seriously, how hard is it to implement a brick count? I just want to know how many pieces there are so far. As long as there is a tiny box somewhere on the screen that shows a number, I'm good.

3. Piece call-out. This can just be an end feature after the instructions are generated, but it would be really nice.

4. Prices. It would be nice to know what the prices are for each individual piece.

5. group/selection-color change. I made a 19 story skyscraper, with around 28 windows each floor. I then wanted to copy and paste it and cut out a few floors to make another building. I wanted to change the color....that was a pain.

6. Rotation?! Seriously, the rotation tool sucks, and that is a huge understatement.

9. Search.Searching a piece name, tag, or piece id would be great.

10. Hide. I love the feature, but it could be better. For example, I have selected a bunch of stuff to hide, and now I want to bring back only certain items. It would be nice to be able to "un-hide" pieces or groups. This is sort of similar to layering.

11. Drag and drop grouping.

13. Minor piece height differences. HOLY BRICK this is annoying.

14. Stability!!!!! This is the most important for me. I know, there aren't that many cases like mine, but still. I have a system that can run it. It can run it well. But the program just doesn't utilize my system at all. It gets laggy when I move items, it gets laggy when I open the program now, and it gets laggy when I load larger models. It freezes when I make big moves or rotations, and it freezes when there are just too many pieces. It crashes too. It crashes when I try to save it when there a lot of pieces. But even worse, it now crashes when I try to save even less intensive piece models.

PHEW! The funny thing is, I know I forgot some things  :tongue:
Sorry for the long write. I tend to do that. But I think some of these issues are very important and make/break the usefulness of LDD.

I quite agree with the above points. Piece call out is the most important feature I'd like, on instructions and at the end (piece listing) as it allows you to see what pieces are used and whether you could improve the model. Piece number is also missed off.

My computer is a dual-core with 4GB of ram, and even with nothing else running, it's still laggy. Star Trek Online, Railworks, and various other high-demand applications run fine...

Group building (i.e. creating sub-assemblies) is the next major feature I'd like to see. Plus it also allows colour change for a group of same coloured bricks.

PRICE is the main issue with LDD though. Exactly how much extra are they trying to charge us...?

Edited by Matt Dawson, 09 April 2010 - 10:04 AM.

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#18 Superkalle

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:36 AM

Great with more suggestions for LDD 4. Here some quick comments and questions.

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

1. Pieces. The main reason I tried migrating was piece selection. Upon using the mod it finally became the useful tool I needed, but I still would like to have only actual color options, as eventually I am going to have to jump to bricklink or something every time I want to check if the piece exists in a color.
Will be solved to a large extent with the LDD mod due out in a couple of weeks. We're all looking forward to that  :classic: Over 1400 bricks at our disposal in all manufactured colors. Yihaaa.

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

2. Brick count. Seriously, how hard is it to implement a brick count? I just want to know how many pieces there are so far. I have to post it to DesignByMe to find out, and with my model size, it's just not worth the time. As long as there is a tiny box somewhere on the screen that shows a number, I'm good.
Agree completely. In the meantime, I use any of the following two tools to count bricks:
Wanted Brick
BrickHelper

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

3. Piece call-out. This can just be an end feature after the instructions are generated, but it would be really nice.
What do you mean? Please explain.

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

5. group/selection-color change. I made a 19 story skyscraper, with around 28 windows each floor. I then wanted to copy and paste it and cut out a few floors to make another building. I wanted to change the color....that was a pain. I had 5 buildings to make.......
Definetly needed. However, it would have to be a feature where you can only change color of one brick type type at a time (like first all 1x1 bricks, then all 1x2 bricks etc). If you select many bricks type in a color at the same time (for example to change from red to lime), than there be a problem if all bricks does not exist in the target color (lime in this case). (Hm, I hope that was understandable??)

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

6. Rotation?! Seriously, the rotation tool sucks, and that is a huge understatement. Almost every time I've used it, it has glitched out and jerked half my model around trying to figure out the most insane possible way to rotate the pieces. Or, it has rotated my entire 35,000 piece model instead of the one piece I wanted (resulting in crashes too). And the connection detection for rotating is terrible. I don't think it has ever worked for me, even when the connection was obvious and simple.
Well, hrhm, 35.000 pieces is a lot of bricks - a bit out of the scope of LDD  :wacko:
Anyway, a tip for using rotation tool to snap to the fixed intervalls is to double click the green 45 degree markers.
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View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

9. Search. Yeah, with the limited pieces normally available I can see how it seems useless, but I think every once in a while it would come in handy. Searching a piece name, tag, or piece id would be great.
Absoultety 100% agree. It would be cool to be able to search/filter for bricks attributes to, like find all bricks with technic hole, or all bricks sized 1x4, or all bricks with....

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

12. Piece organizing. If the piece selection would be customizable or at least you could change the categorization method a few ways, that would be peachy grand! Seriously, how awesome would it be if you could group "posts" or narrow items, and "smooth stuff".
Agree partly. If everyone can create a custom structure, it would 1) create problems when Lego updates with a new brick palette, 2) make it difficult for users to help each other. Example: AFOL 1 - "use the brick in category X". AFOL2 - "what to you mean, I don't have any such brick in my category X".

View Postalienwar9, on Apr 9 2010, 06:37 AM, said:

13. Minor piece height differences. HOLY BRICK this is annoying. Has anyone placed a baseplate and then a 8x16 plate, built all over them, only to find out they are at slightly different heights, and even worse, sometimes things don't go together because of this?
Hm - can this partly have to do with the huge models you're building :hmpf:  Not to be joking though, I have bumped into this once in a while too. Mostly when using the 1x1 technic brick with hole and pin. The pin will then be 1/10 of a millimeter to high (because of a design flaw with that physical brick, not in LDD), and that can create consequent problems down the line. However I feel that with LDD 3.x, those problems have become very rare.

Edited by superkalle, 09 April 2010 - 10:38 AM.

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#19 Calabar

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:29 PM

Very interesting Topic
I'm agree with your requests.

Moreover, I'd like:
- Movable toolbar, like in LDD 2 (especially now that buttons are growth in size!)
- Chance to unlock more bricks and more colors, minifig parts included.
- A personal "More used Bricks" category in the palette
- A native portable version
- Alpha regulation for base grid (0-100%) easily accessible
- Again about base grid, a "fine" positioning of bricks over it.
- About gaps between bricks, an option to activate/deactivate (better: various levels of visibility)
- A Camera Navigation Mode (with open windows/doors options) to explore creations
- Copy an highlighted brick (with ctrl-c) instead than a selected one (faster copy, selection requires an extra action) .
- A chance to move a brick with keyboard (for example with "wasd" keys, moving an half stud at time) after I placed it with mouse. Very useful for hard placeable bricks.

...and probably something other that will occur in my mind soon!

PS: hi everybody, I'm a new user ;)
PPS: Be clement with my poor english!

View Postsuperkalle, on Apr 9 2010, 11:36 AM, said:

Will be solved to a large extent with the LDD mod due out in a couple of weeks. We're all looking forward to that  :classic: Over 1400 bricks at our disposal in all manufactured colors. Yihaaa.
Excuse me... I'm new in this forum and I've some difficulties with English!
You mean there will be a modification that enables more bricks and colors?
How can I be informed about it, ie when this modification will be released?

View Postsuperkalle, on Apr 9 2010, 11:36 AM, said:

Agree completely. In the meantime, I use any of the following two tools to count bricks:
I simply create html instructions, where the number appears.
Obviously, having the count in real time shown in the main window would be much better.  

View Postsuperkalle, on Apr 9 2010, 11:36 AM, said:

Definetly needed. However, it would have to be a feature where you can only change color of one brick type type at a time (like first all 1x1 bricks, then all 1x2 bricks etc). [...]
Absolutely necessary feature! Simply, if a colour for a specified brick is not available, then the color for this brick would be not changed!

View Postsuperkalle, on Apr 9 2010, 11:36 AM, said:

Anyway, a tip for using rotation tool to snap to the fixed intervalls is to double click the green 45 degree markers.
I generally use arrow keys: 5 hits, 45° rotation! ;)

Edited by Calabar, 11 April 2010 - 01:49 PM.

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#20 Superkalle

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 01:43 PM

Hi Calabar

Welcome to the forum!

And yes, there will be a mod out that will unlock a lot more bricks in LDD (it's amazing). Best option to know when the mod is out is to check the LDD Index thread now and then: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=39841
As soon as the mod comes out, it will posted there!
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#21 DLuders

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:15 PM

When I opened Lego Digital Designer 3.0 on my computer just now, it alerted me to download a 52.72 MB "patch" to upgrade from LDD 3.0 to LDD 3.1.  I did so, but have no idea about the specific improvements.  When folks download the "patch", are there really 1,400 new bricks/colors?  Are there any more TECHNIC pieces?

#22 Superkalle

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:41 PM

View PostCalabar, on Apr 11 2010, 05:29 PM, said:

About LDD improvement, what do you think about my list?

I think you had some pretty good proposals. Can you please explain what Alpha regulation for base grid is?
The idea about copy while a brick is just highlighted is really cool.

@dluders: No, the 52 Mb patch is not the mod. The mod is something that the fan community has done (more specifially a user named Bojan), that unlocks at lot of bricks that are actually allready in LDD.
And yes, there are more technic pieces. Please read the LDD Index Thread now and then, it will have information when the mod is available.

Edited by superkalle, 11 April 2010 - 05:47 PM.

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#23 Zblj

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 06:11 PM

I want them to improve collisions, add more technic pieces, but most of all to make drivegears work, along with motors. Also they should fix hinge align tool :D

#24 Calabar

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 07:40 PM

View Postsuperkalle, on Apr 11 2010, 06:41 PM, said:

I think you had some pretty good proposals. Can you please explain what Alpha regulation for base grid is?
The idea about copy while a brick is just highlighted is really cool.
Alpha channel is the transparency channel.
So if I can set alpha channel of base grid, I can decide if and how much that grid is visible, according to my need in a specified moment.

I've a little proposal for this topic:
Edit the first post and report there a fast list of the proposal, sort of summary of what various users told inside this topic.
Proposal could be ordered by importance: at the top of the list those proposal that many users have proclaimed or quoted, and those that seems to you very important.
Later you could open a poll where users could assign a priority to the summarized proposal, for example a vote from 1 to 5 stars.
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#25 Superkalle

Superkalle

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:33 PM

View PostCalabar, on Apr 11 2010, 09:40 PM, said:

So if I can set alpha channel of base grid, I can decide if and how much that grid is visible, according to my need in a specified moment.
OK - gotcha. Personally I'm hoping they at least revert back to the old 2.x grid. I know they introduced the current grid (with the stud pattern) so that children would more naturally feel like they are putting the bricks on a giant baseplate.

View PostCalabar, on Apr 11 2010, 09:40 PM, said:

Later you could open a poll where users could assign a priority to the summarized proposal, for example a vote from 1 to 5 stars.
That's a great idea! Thanks for the tip! Let me think about it some more.
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