msx80

[Software] Blueprint, a building instruction generator for LDD

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On 25/11/2017 at 8:26 AM, LvdH said:

I'm having a problem. It won't regenerate the instructions from the steps, it just stays the way it was. Anyone had this problem before, and if so, how did you fix it? I really don't want to redo it again (for the 3rd time...). I already updated Java.

For example, here I have a model as callout, so it should be on the same page as the complete model, but its got its own page, even if I regenerate from steps. Some of my other steps are just completely ignored.

\

Do you have any empty submodel sections? I find if I accidently create but not populate a submodel, it won't generate (or regenerate as the case may be) pages.

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20 hours ago, theDeanoRama said:

Do you have any empty submodel sections? I find if I accidently create but not populate a submodel, it won't generate (or regenerate as the case may be) pages.

I don't remember, I just restarted it and it worked fine that time.

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Anychance that this tool could be made Ldraw  or stud.io compatible?

Edited by Vegard

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On 22/12/2017 at 10:37 PM, Vegard said:

Anychance that this tool could be made Ldraw  or stud.io compatible?

For Ldraw files, you can use Lpub3D.

 

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I know, but as I wrote in the Lpub thread it is not a very good tool having to write commands.

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@msx80 Just wanted to check in and say that I have started using Blueprint to create instructions for my models (see Flickr album). Just wanted to say that I find Blueprint quite intuitive and easy to use and in general a great tool. It creates quite high quality instructions with relatively little effort. Thanks for creating it.

@Malou Thanks for creating the Mac installer!

Am I right to assume that Blueprint is not actively maintained any more? Which would be a pity - but luckily the latest state is quite usable.

Just for completeness, one thing that I observed: I use the Mac / Malou version linked from the opening post. I could not find a way to access some menus in the step editor with the touchpad only, without a real mouse. Most notably, the context menu (which hosts add / remove steps and many other functions) only comes up with the left mouse click, not with the touchpad.

Other than that great tool. Especially impressive how it imports all the geometry from LDD. Thanks!

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On 1/8/2018 at 4:18 AM, supertruper1988 said:

Have you tried using 2 finger click? It works for me on a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro

Indeed - secondary click was disabled for me in System Preferences, had to enable it first. But it works, thanks!

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9 hours ago, Dornbi said:

Indeed - secondary click was disabled for me in System Preferences, had to enable it first. But it works, thanks!

Haha I am not sure I could even use the computer with out right/2-finger click. I use it all the time.

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Hi msx80, and Everybody,

Thanks msx80 for your amazing artwork and enthusiasm with supportting and developing BP. I noticed, that some cool settings can be done in blueprint.ini. Is any list of these settings? I make notes of page.color.0 and page.background. No more.

Thanks

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Hey good people!

Love the Blueprint app, used it a bunch on my old computer, but I'm now having an issue on the new one I recently built. :(
Every LDD file I try to load ends up in the same error once parts have finished loading (see attached images).

Setup info;
i7
32GB RAM
GTX 1080
Java 9 (could it be this? I'd really rather not run two versions at once though)

 

Blueprint-Error-1.PNG

Blueprint-Error-2.PNG

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9 hours ago, YayPaul said:

Hey good people!

Love the Blueprint app, used it a bunch on my old computer, but I'm now having an issue on the new one I recently built. :(
Every LDD file I try to load ends up in the same error once parts have finished loading (see attached images).

Setup info;
i7
32GB RAM
GTX 1080
Java 9 (could it be this? I'd really rather not run two versions at once though)

I remember that ther version of Java needed was not the one from Oracle but rather the one you can get via HomeBrew. 

You can also PM me with the file and I can see if I can get it to open on my end to make sure that its not an issue with the file. 

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:31 PM, Dornbi said:

@msx80 Just wanted to check in and say that I have started using Blueprint to create instructions for my models (see Flickr album). Just wanted to say that I find Blueprint quite intuitive and easy to use and in general a great tool. It creates quite high quality instructions with relatively little effort. Thanks for creating it.

@Malou Thanks for creating the Mac installer!

Am I right to assume that Blueprint is not actively maintained any more? Which would be a pity - but luckily the latest state is quite usable.

Just for completeness, one thing that I observed: I use the Mac / Malou version linked from the opening post. I could not find a way to access some menus in the step editor with the touchpad only, without a real mouse. Most notably, the context menu (which hosts add / remove steps and many other functions) only comes up with the left mouse click, not with the touchpad.

Other than that great tool. Especially impressive how it imports all the geometry from LDD. Thanks!

Hi there, thanks you :) I'm not actually working on it but sometimes i pick it up again and fix something.. The Mac version was more or less hammered into working (mostly thanks to Malou and others), i've never own a mac and actually only see it run on a mac once :) I'm not surprising something doesn't work.. Unfortunately i'm not planning to fix those issues. I hope it's still usable :)

 

On 19/1/2018 at 1:09 PM, Tyke said:

Hi msx80, and Everybody,

Thanks msx80 for your amazing artwork and enthusiasm with supportting and developing BP. I noticed, that some cool settings can be done in blueprint.ini. Is any list of these settings? I make notes of page.color.0 and page.background. No more.

Thanks

Thanks! Uh no, there's not, but i'll see if i can extract one.

10 hours ago, YayPaul said:

Hey good people!

Love the Blueprint app, used it a bunch on my old computer, but I'm now having an issue on the new one I recently built. :(
Every LDD file I try to load ends up in the same error once parts have finished loading (see attached images).

Setup info;
i7
32GB RAM
GTX 1080
Java 9 (could it be this? I'd really rather not run two versions at once though)

 

 

Blueprint-Error-2.PNG

Thank you very much! Indeed it looks like a problem with Java9 (or more problably, with me using some API that i was not supposed to use). I see if i can fix it, in the meanwhile i'm afraid you need to use Java8. 

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1 hour ago, msx80 said:

 I'm not actually working on it but sometimes i pick it up again and fix something.. 

This is kinds sad but I totally understand why. I do have one request if you might be able to implement it. Can the resolution dialogue be configured to be a physical size and DPI combo and then that info used for PDF page export and PNG image size?

I work on designing these to be printed I want a 300 dpi but the output PDF is HUGE because its using a much lower DPI. This means I have to export each page as a PNG and then import into InDesign, resize, export to PDF

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9 hours ago, supertruper1988 said:

This is kinds sad but I totally understand why. I do have one request if you might be able to implement it. Can the resolution dialogue be configured to be a physical size and DPI combo and then that info used for PDF page export and PNG image size?

I work on designing these to be printed I want a 300 dpi but the output PDF is HUGE because its using a much lower DPI. This means I have to export each page as a PNG and then import into InDesign, resize, export to PDF

You don't need a new feature.  For US Letter paper (8.5" x 11") paper with a .5" border around it, you would be looking for a 7.5x10" image at 300 DPI.  Set your image dimensions in Blueprint to (7.5 * 300) by (10 * 300), or 2250 x 3000.  Then, since Blueprint doesn't do margins, you can add them yourself using a PDF manipulating program or by editing the page image files (your printer may also be able to center them for you).  For A4 or other size papers, you can do your own math.

I just created a 24 page 8.5x11" instruction book that was professionally printed and I learned A LOT from the experience.  I ended up doing a lot of manual work on the page images afterwards to make them really readable (some stuff looks great on your screen but too dark when printed).  Best of luck to you!

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31 minutes ago, iceleftd said:

You don't need a new feature.  For US Letter paper (8.5" x 11") paper with a .5" border around it, you would be looking for a 7.5x10" image at 300 DPI.  Set your image dimensions in Blueprint to (7.5 * 300) by (10 * 300), or 2250 x 3000.  Then, since Blueprint doesn't do margins, you can add them yourself using a PDF manipulating program or by editing the page image files (your printer may also be able to center them for you).  For A4 or other size papers, you can do your own math.

I just created a 24 page 8.5x11" instruction book that was professionally printed and I learned A LOT from the experience.  I ended up doing a lot of manual work on the page images afterwards to make them really readable (some stuff looks great on your screen but too dark when printed).  Best of luck to you!

Right that is what I am doing but the idea is that the PDF creation program will interpret the PNG's at like 72 DPI which makes a 2850 wide image into like 35+ inches. I was hoping to save a step by having the PNG files output at the correct size and DPI based on my input. 

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@msx80 I uninstalled Java9 and installed Java8u162 and now everything is working as expected. Thank you for your help!

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1 hour ago, supertruper1988 said:

Right that is what I am doing but the idea is that the PDF creation program will interpret the PNG's at like 72 DPI which makes a 2850 wide image into like 35+ inches. I was hoping to save a step by having the PNG files output at the correct size and DPI based on my input. 

Hmmm, I don't know about the PDFs generated directly by Blueprint, but my method creates the PNGs correctly.  I then used a free tool called PDFill PDF Tools to turn the images into a PDF file with the right DPI setting AND adding margins at the same time.  The UI for the tool is very basic but the tool worked very well for me.  If you are doing any manual image cleanup you will need to use the PNG files anyway, and if you don't it's still only one extra step.

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10 hours ago, iceleftd said:

Hmmm, I don't know about the PDFs generated directly by Blueprint, but my method creates the PNGs correctly.  I then used a free tool called PDFill PDF Tools to turn the images into a PDF file with the right DPI setting AND adding margins at the same time.  The UI for the tool is very basic but the tool worked very well for me.  If you are doing any manual image cleanup you will need to use the PNG files anyway, and if you don't it's still only one extra step.

I am using Adobe products and it is more picky I guess haha. 

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DAE have issues with steps just not appearing at all? See here my guide goes from 6-8? :/

Otherwise, a brilliant wee programme! Thanks!

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 2.29.44 PM.png

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18 hours ago, Verrou said:

DAE have issues with steps just not appearing at all? See here my guide goes from 6-8? :/

Otherwise, a brilliant wee programme! Thanks!

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 2.29.44 PM.png

I havent had that issue. If you have generated the step pages and then changed the step designs, you will need to re-generate the step pages. If that is still causing trouble feel free to PM me and we can dig deeper.

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On ‎2018‎. ‎01‎. ‎26‎. at 5:37 AM, iceleftd said:

Hmmm, I don't know about the PDFs generated directly by Blueprint, but my method creates the PNGs correctly.  I then used a free tool called PDFill PDF Tools to turn the images into a PDF file with the right DPI setting AND adding margins at the same time.  The UI for the tool is very basic but the tool worked very well for me.  If you are doing any manual image cleanup you will need to use the PNG files anyway, and if you don't it's still only one extra step.

Hello Iceleftd!

I read your latest posts, and felt like I need to look after, what DPI is exactly. What I learnt from this, that DPI is an essential info, only when I want to print out the instruction manual, that I try to put together in BP. So first I took an existing LEGO manual in hand, and found, that this physical size is, what I want (10,9" x 8,3"), then assumed, that a 300 DPI should be considered, so I did the math, and found, that in BP I should set the Page Width and Height to 3260 x 2480 pixels. I hope I am correct until this point. Now (on a notebook) this canvas is much larger, then the display screen, so in BP on Page Layout, I Zoomed out from 100% to 35%, this way I see the whole canvas. However, all items (such as regular minifigs) are to small. And I guess, this means, not tiny just for editing but will be for printing with 300 DPI to 10,9" x 8,3".

So the question is: should I then go to Page Setup in BP, and set Zoom of Assemblies, Parts and Text Field from 100 to 300?! And if this is correct, is it a normal approach for people, who might want to print? Will this look okay even if it is printed into a PDF file only and opened on screen? We would really learn from what you experienced by printing professionally so far. It would save me time to do my first instruction with proper image size.

Thanks!

Tyke

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Hi Tyke - correct, this is more or less what I did. Increasing the DPI has some effect on the generated PNG (and PDF) file sizes, so you may get away with 200 or so, but basically I followed the same steps as you described.

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25 minutes ago, Tyke said:

Hello Iceleftd!

I read your latest posts, and felt like I need to look after, what DPI is exactly. What I learnt from this, that DPI is an essential info, only when I want to print out the instruction manual, that I try to put together in BP. So first I took an existing LEGO manual in hand, and found, that this physical size is, what I want (10,9" x 8,3"), then assumed, that a 300 DPI should be considered, so I did the math, and found, that in BP I should set the Page Width and Height to 3260 x 2480 pixels. I hope I am correct until this point. Now (on a notebook) this canvas is much larger, then the display screen, so in BP on Page Layout, I Zoomed out from 100% to 35%, this way I see the whole canvas. However, all items (such as regular minifigs) are to small. And I guess, this means, not tiny just for editing but will be for printing with 300 DPI to 10,9" x 8,3".

So the question is: should I then go to Page Setup in BP, and set Zoom of Assemblies, Parts and Text Field from 100 to 300?! And if this is correct, is it a normal approach for people, who might want to print? Will this look okay even if it is printed into a PDF file only and opened on screen? We would really learn from what you experienced by printing professionally so far. It would save me time to do my first instruction with proper image size.

Thanks!

Tyke

To correct this I adjust the parts, assembly and text zoom. I find that for 300 dpi, 225%-275% assembly zoom, 175% text zoom and 200% parts zoom works pretty well. You can see some examples of this pn my rebrickable page. Hope that helps!

 

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4 hours ago, Tyke said:

Hello Iceleftd!

I read your latest posts, and felt like I need to look after, what DPI is exactly. What I learnt from this, that DPI is an essential info, only when I want to print out the instruction manual, that I try to put together in BP. So first I took an existing LEGO manual in hand, and found, that this physical size is, what I want (10,9" x 8,3"), then assumed, that a 300 DPI should be considered, so I did the math, and found, that in BP I should set the Page Width and Height to 3260 x 2480 pixels. I hope I am correct until this point. Now (on a notebook) this canvas is much larger, then the display screen, so in BP on Page Layout, I Zoomed out from 100% to 35%, this way I see the whole canvas. However, all items (such as regular minifigs) are to small. And I guess, this means, not tiny just for editing but will be for printing with 300 DPI to 10,9" x 8,3".

So the question is: should I then go to Page Setup in BP, and set Zoom of Assemblies, Parts and Text Field from 100 to 300?! And if this is correct, is it a normal approach for people, who might want to print? Will this look okay even if it is printed into a PDF file only and opened on screen? We would really learn from what you experienced by printing professionally so far. It would save me time to do my first instruction with proper image size.

Thanks!

Tyke

You want to set the zoom values that make your instructions "look right" for your purposes.  This might be different between PDF and printed output - you can zoom in on a PDF but printed images need to be big enough to be readily seen by everyone.  For my 2550 x 3300 pixel images I used the following zoom values: Assembly 222, Parts 228, Text Field 336.  You should play with the values until you get a look that you like.

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