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LDD and large stuff


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#1 alienwar9

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:33 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to build a HUGE model in LDD and I've got plenty of ram and cpu to handle the work, but LDD doesn't seem to use more than 1 core from my processor, and it only gets to using 30-40% of my memory. It sometimes takes 4-5 minutes to rotate an object and a couple minutes to move it 1-2 studs in a direction.

Is there any way (any code) that could allow the program to run more efficiently or something? Or is there any other program that I could migrate the work to? (Because I've already spent DAYS working on this.)

I'm not even half way done and its this slow, which means further on its either just going to make me go insane, or crash.

Thanks for any help!

(Project will soon have a "start" post in the coming weeks)

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#2 prateek

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:17 PM

That's what happens with me too. I think it's just that big models are too much for the actual program to handle, so it probably has nothing to do with your computer, although if you have a faster computer, it does make a difference with speed of building small models.

4000 posts w00t!!!!!!!!!!11 :grin:

Edited by prateek, 21 February 2010 - 11:18 PM.


#3 CP5670

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:32 AM

I believe LDD uses hardware OpenGL, which should handle big models fine on a decent video card. Other OpenGL-based programs I've used like LDView and SR3D Builder work nicely on big models with 3000+ parts. Programs with software renderers like MLCad, on the other hand, get completely bogged down with large models.

#4 xSergio74

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 08:32 AM

Hi,
I'm the author of SR 3D Builder and I can ensure that my applications can support models with up to 8000 parts or more with just 2GB Ram and a good enough graphic card (like nVidia 8800). I get 40 to 80 fps with such huge models and that graphic adapter.

I don't know if I can post the link to my application, but if you search internet you'll find it.

regards

Sergio

#5 Superkalle

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 03:43 PM

@alienware9:  I have a test model with 16000 elements. It takes a 1 min and 20 seconds to load. Once loaded it will rotate in an even motion witout any hickups. If I make a selection of about 2000 elements, and move them around there is about a 2-3 second delay for each nudge or rotate movement.  3-4 minutes sure seems very slow. How large is your model? And what kind of computer do you have (CPU, memory, graphics card)?
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#6 alienwar9

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:49 AM

how do you find out how many pieces a model is?

I have a intel quad 3.2 GHz, nvidia 8800 ultra, 4 gb of ram.

Oh, and the OpenGL thing seems to be the problem. I've had the thing crash when I save, crash when I save as, or crash when I put a certain number of pieces together. At one point I couldn't do ANYTHING because any movement made it crash. I tried the compatability mode, but OH MY is that slow. I spent an entire day trying to get one building floor on top of another, having to reload the model over and over (with 5-10 minute load times).

I'm pretty sure my drivers are up to date for my graphics card (updated it a few months ago).

As a temporary solution, I've saved parts of the model off as templates and taken them out. But eventually I'll be coming close to an extreme point again, this time unable to save off parts.

Any ideas? Is it possible to load this model into those programs you mentioned? Because I have soooo much already done.

Thanks for the help!  :classic:

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#7 alienwar9

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 03:18 AM

24,087 pieces were counted. But thats after an addition of a ton of pieces, and the taking away of a ton of pieces. wow it took a long time to generate instruction, lol. Yeah, its a big model. And its about half way done so... Oh, and if I were to add in the real details to the model on the LDD, it would be even more pieces.

So basically, I really need an efficient program to get this built on LDD.

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#8 BlackKat

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 06:28 PM

View Postalienwar9, on Feb 24 2010, 10:18 PM, said:

24,087 pieces were counted. But thats after an addition of a ton of pieces, and the taking away of a ton of pieces. wow it took a long time to generate instruction, lol. Yeah, its a big model. And its about half way done so... Oh, and if I were to add in the real details to the model on the LDD, it would be even more pieces.

So basically, I really need an efficient program to get this built on LDD.

I would highly suggest using MLCAD in tandem with LDraw instead of LDD.
www.ldraw.org

It's much more flexible and powerful than LDD, but at the same time it is more manual and complicated.

Still it allows for models to be built in component parts which can then be placed together.
This is a must have both because of the slowdown a large number of pieces would give anyone but those with the most powerful computers, and from a viewing standpoint of being able to see their whole model at once in any sort of detail.

You can use MLCad to generate step by step instructions and export the parts lists so that those parts can be purchased either through Lego PAB or resellers such as those on Bricklink.

#9 Superkalle

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:51 AM

View PostBlackKat, on Feb 25 2010, 07:28 PM, said:

I would highly suggest using MLCAD in tandem with LDraw instead of LDD.
I'd have too agree. For a build with over 25 000 pieces, LDD is not the right choice. Try to export it to MLCAD from within LDD, but expect a lot of conversions problems. Also, the learning curve for MLCad is kind of steep. There is also this tool for just the conversion that you might want to try. http://www.digital-bricks.de/en/

View PostBlackKat, on Feb 25 2010, 07:28 PM, said:

You can use MLCad to generate step by step instructions and export the parts lists so that those parts can be purchased either through Lego PAB or resellers such as those on Bricklink.
Actually, you can do that with LDD too. Instructions are generated within LDD, and creating a part list and uploading to BrickLink can be done with WantedBrick http://www.nolberger...cks/Default.htm
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#10 CP5670

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:07 AM

MLCad will actually be even worse than LDD with big models because of its software renderer. I built a reasonably large model in it once and it can become very slow after about 2000 parts. SR3D Builder should work a lot better, as mentioned earlier.

#11 Superkalle

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:22 AM

View PostCP5670, on Feb 26 2010, 02:07 AM, said:

MLCad will actually be even worse than LDD with big models because of its software renderer.

So, alienwar9, if even MLCad won't cut it, I guess your back to square one. Could you find a way to mail me the file and I can see what kind of performance I get. Then we'll know if it the model or your PC that is the bottle neck.

@Sergio -Out of curioisity. can your software import LDD or MLCad-files?
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#12 BlackKat

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 05:24 PM

View PostCP5670, on Feb 25 2010, 08:07 PM, said:

MLCad will actually be even worse than LDD with big models because of its software renderer. I built a reasonably large model in it once and it can become very slow after about 2000 parts. SR3D Builder should work a lot better, as mentioned earlier.

Well the idea with MLCAD for a large model is, much like official large lego model instructions, that one builds the MOC in pieces or modules.

You build a part then save it as a model file, where it becomes essentially one large piece.  

This I believe also cuts down on rending as it no longer renders each individual part of the model.

But regardless of whether that is true or not you are, until the very end where you assemble the modules, working with much smaller part counts.


SR3D Builder might be great for all I know.  But I won't touch anything that isn't MLCAD.  I can't work without the four view panes in CAD software.  Placing parts in a 3d only viewing environment is just not feasible.

Edited by BlackKat, 26 February 2010 - 05:25 PM.


#13 CP5670

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:20 PM

It may not be that easy to split up the models. The model I was referring to is the one here, which was done in 3 parts in MLCad, but the chassis already contained 1300-odd pieces and doing anything with it caused a 3 or 4 second delay.

I do like MLCad's interface. SR3D Builder's interface is actually somewhat clumsy and the program definitely takes some getting used to, but it's so much more powerful and featured than MLCad that it's worth taking the time to learn it.

#14 alienwar9

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 08:03 PM

Thanks! I tried SR3D but the model didn't load. I'm gonna try loading it in parts maybe later, but for now I'm gonna test out MLCAD and see if I can get used to it (or if it will even work).

I want to have an official "start" post where I post the files, pictures, and information about the model, so you will have to be patient with me on that. I'm trying to get it up this weekend but time's running short (it always does).

When I get the file up there, you can test it out on your systems to see how it runs.

This is so exciting!

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#15 xSergio74

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:54 AM

View Postsuperkalle, on Feb 26 2010, 09:22 AM, said:

So, alienwar9, if even MLCad won't cut it, I guess your back to square one. Could you find a way to mail me the file and I can see what kind of performance I get. Then we'll know if it the model or your PC that is the bottle neck.

@Sergio -Out of curioisity. can your software import LDD or MLCad-files?

Yes, I can import from MLCad models since I use the same part library, even if sometimes I got any problem with .MPD files. Everything  is on wiht .LDR  or .DAT.
If you want to load from LDD you have to export from it to .ldr and this most often does introduces many holes in your models.

The .L3B file format used by my application can be easily imported/exported from MLCAD

byes

Sergio

#16 Shroud

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:22 PM

Did anyone end up finding a solution to this? Im Building a capital space ship in LDD and the only solution Ive found so far is make large groups and hide the ones im not using. It still chugs a little but not as much as having everything on the screen.

/me wishes for wire-frame function for chosen groups...
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#17 alienwar9

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 03:26 PM

I found a really odd work-around. What I've done is kept my LDD open over multiple "sleeps" of my computer. I have vista so I put my computer on sleep mode and when I turn it back on, LDD seems to take up a lot less memory. I used a bunch of programs at the same time, turned them off, went to sleep mode, came back, and instead of taking up 800,000 - 1,300,000 k of memory, it only takes up 200,000 k.

I am also 2nd from the left compatibility mode. There is still a problem though. When there is too much on screen or if I try to move large objects it will slow down, but I can build much more without the program crashing. There is however another issue: I can't save. Saving in compatibility mode makes it crash and not save.

But once again there is a work-around for this. Every larger addition I make, I simply save as a template, which works under a different saving system and doesn't crash LDD. Note that I only save the addition as a template, and not the whole MOC. That way if the program ever does crash (or my computer shuts down instead of sleeps) everything that I have done is still saved.

I don't know if this will work for anyone else, but I hope it helps.

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