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         August 2011
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Featured NEWS
LD Assistant 2011   Simple and So Easy to Remember!
The screen shot below shows our NEW LD Assistant Task Manager, a revolutionary tool for advanced, intermediate and even novice LD Assistant users. The Task Manager allows the user to instantly perform any LD Assistant function without the need to memorize menus and commands. "Over the last few years the enhancement our customers most often requested was to make the program easer to remember how to use," says Rufus Warren of Design & Drafting. "Many users told us that they would forget the more complex commands after not working with LD Assistant for a while. We listened, and have added an intuitive step-by-step Wizard. As we close in on the release of LDA11, we want to share one of its GREAT new features. Just wait until you see what else we've stuffed into LD Assistant 2011!"

Click here or on the picture below to see the full LD Task Manager
LDT
Pre-Order and reserve your copy of LD Assistant 2011, the most advanced Lighting and Event CAD program ever offered! When you pre-order, your credit card will NOT be charged until the program is shipped. This offer is ONLY good until LD Assistant 2011 starts to ship. Click here to pre-order LD Assistant 2011-12 and SAVE $300.00!

What The !@#$% (Five Million Polygons) by Kevin Denzel
KD-sept When drawing a realistic object in LD Assistant, CAD Artists want to be as accurate and 'real-life' as possible. However, there are occasions where you will need to cut corners because of time constraints or your computer's processing power, and this should influence how you approach a project. 

For example, let's say you're placing a room-space into LD Assistant. You’re already dismantling elements like doorways, wall-trim, chandeliers and carpet, but for a complex element like a chandelier or sconce you may benefit from a different approach.---- For this Sconce we have two main textures.

In fig 1 we have a white hazy frost for the light to glow through and a polished brass.  All of the metal is basically the same LD material, but its 3D design is different.  The Stars are consistent.  When drawing a single star it is made into a BLOCK and copy/pasted/rotated/mirrored into place. When using the BLOCK EDITOR each star would change its attributes across the entire .dwg file. Fig 2 shows my results with a reasonable amount of time drawing.
1c
     
Next let's take a look at a real-life object that will have even more complex geometry drawn in the model space.
     
  3b  
· 3d Stars on upper area
· Top ring polished brass above stars – 8’ outer diameter
· Identically sized ring below stars
· Middle ring polished brass 4’ diameter
· Bottom polished brass element creates a joining space
· Polished brass spacers (like a analog clock) with 1-12 spacing
· Crystal beads are larger at top of each strand and decrease in size towards joining point of middle ring and bottom piece
· Approximately 10 strands per brass to brass band on lower section. The top section has twice as many strands.

The crystal beads were created with a 6-sided polygon lofted-ruled.  In total, the entire chandelier came to about 500k polygons.  By the time I multiply the quantity of chandeliers in the real drawing I’m approaching 5,000,000 polygons, which any computer would have an issue with.  The beads were automatically rotated and aligned using the LDSEATING Tool …yes, LDSEATING is usable for any block and not just chairs.

So the big problem is….how do you get the polygon count severed by a fraction? You could try a 3D Revolve with a spherical mapping of the texture, but the LDMATERIAL blends together and it takes away from the realism of the source item.  This makes something like a 3d fishbowl supported by metal bands, as shown below.
6d
A chandelier is usually a “peripheral vision object” so being exact isn’t life or death, but being more exact than a 3d fishbowl will certainly help though. In order to get away from three 6-sided polygons in a lofted-ruled block and multiply by almost 3,000 beads per object (which is about 100 polygons per bead) we need to cheat it for a computer to handle. Not being exact is making a sacrifice in perceived reality, but would you rather the computer not handle processing anything at all or cut this corner? A square turned into a region means only two polygons per “perceived crystal bead” instead of 100.   You can use the LDSEATING Tool in the same manner. The final outcome is something that most computers can handle and it maintains relative realism with the original.

FREE CAD Blocks For September
Created in LD Assistant by Rufus Warren of Design & Drafting. Download them and enjoy courtesy of Design & Drafting. Click on the picture below to download. Don't own LD Assistant? Visit LDASSISTANT.COM to learn more about this revolutionary CAD program.
sept-blocks
Sign up for CAD-N-Lighting News monthly newsletter and download New Blocks.
Each month Design & Drafting will be giving away new CAD blocks, so sign up and keep downloading. Download this month's FREE blocks by clicking on a picture below. LD Assistant users can login into the members area and download even more blocks!

Featured LD Assistant Rendering
If a picture is worth a thousand words... then here's a few thousand!
kdSept2011
Special thanks to Kevin Denzel for allowing us to show some of his work.

ARTICLES & HOW TO
Creating Drawing Views in AutoCAD 2012 - base view tool, Heidi Hewett, AutoCAD Insider
Periodic Splines in AutoCAD 2012 - rebuilding spline does not compromise shape symmetry, Guillermo Melantoni, What a Mesh
Option to Start Without Opening File - STARTUP system variable to open AutoCAD with startup dialog box, Edwin Prakoso, CAD Notes
Create a Scaled PDF of Your Drawing - plotting to PC3 file in AutoCAD, saving layout setup, Ellen Finkelstein, AutoCAD Tips Blog
Creating PDFs with the AutoCAD DWG to PDF Driver - virtual plotter driver in AutoCAD creates PDF, Russell Martin, Cadapult
Cursor is Slow or Jerky - workaround is disabling virus scan application, restarting computer, Autodesk Knowledge Base
Editing Drawing Views - changing properties using drawing view editor contextual ribbon tab, Heidi Hewett, AutoCAD Insider
Frame Leader Text - controlling spacing between text, Kate Morrical, LT Unlimited,
Applying Standards to Drawing Views - specifying 1st, 3rd angle projection methods, preview controls, Heidi Hewett, AutoCAD Insider
An Insight to AutoCAD e-Transmit - organizing transmittal set of files, Emilio Valentin, CADdigest.com
AutoCAD WS
Edit Your LD Assistant or AutoCAD Designs On the Go - editing features in AutoCAD WS: basic shapes, snap preview, copy, paste,
brush tool, Heidi Hewett, AutoCAD Insider
5 Must Have Free Engineering Apps - AutoCAD WS, Dropbox, Evernote, CardMunch, HeyTell, Gil Cordle, CAD Clues
Viewing Layouts in AutoCAD WS - AutoCAD WS 1.2 supports layouts, ability to add markups, Kate Morrical, LT Unlimited
Free DWG to PDF Conversion with AutoCAD WS - AutoCAD WS for Android has 'anywhere storage' feature, PDF support, enhanced
plot dialog box, JTB World
Other
Extreme Measures - Bluebeam Revu 9 Extreme views 3D models, searches PDFs of drawings for symbols/text, translates mark-ups to mainstream languages, David Chadwick, CAD User
NVIDIA Positions Quadro 400 to Seduce AutoCAD Users - entry-level professional graphics at affordable price, Alex Herrera, GraphicSpeak
Dell Upgrades Workstation Line - Dell Precision M4600, M6600 mobile workstations, Dell Precision R5500 rack workstation available for computing needs, Randall Newton, GraphicSpeak
Hardware Rewiews
Hardware for the CAD Professional, by Ron LaFon
Pt 1 - base requirements, additional requirements for 3D modeling, value for money
Pt 2 - defining workstation categories
Pt 3 - processors, cores, background processing
Pt 4 - RAM requirements
Pt 5 - hard drive capacity, speed, RAID configuration, SSD drives
Pt 6 - sufficient connectivity options, USB ports, FireWire, eSATA connection
Pt 7 - general categories for graphics cards, width of high-end graphics cards
Pt 8 - installation, configuration of software drivers, maximizing performance


Thank You!
Design & Drafting appreciates your interest in our products. Please forward this newsletter to your friends and associates, however, NO part of this newsletter may be used without permission. © Copyright 2011 by Chicago Stage Equipment Company Inc. D.B.A. Design & Drafting. Autodesk, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, DWF, DWG, DXF, ObjectARX are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.© 2011 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved. Rufus Warren Editor