2013CAD-N-Lighting
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March 2013
LD Assistant 2013 With More Power!
LD Assistant Ac13 offers “the easiest, most cost-effective way to design your lighting, sound, video and other production elements.”
Powered by Autodesk technology, LD Assistant will make anyone used to AutoCAD and its environs feel right at home.
From the moment you start up, it looks and feels like AutoCAD, and that choice has been made for good reason. For some years now, AutoCAD has been the standard CAD drafting package for many industries; there is nothing like AutoCAD to turn a sketch into reality. If you’re in the lighting side this software will help make your life easier and more productive. Check out a few LD Assistant 2013 movies below.
| DMX Editor | Renderings by Users, | Pyrotechnics Effects | Animation Part 1 & Part 2 | Wire & Cable |

- ONLY 60 DAYS LEFT - Rollback Ends April 30, 2013
Upgrading to a more powerful workflow program like LD Assistant will expand your capabilities and can make even the most difficult tasks easier to master. If you are tired of the limitations of that 'other' program, isn't it time to move forward?
New Three Month Price Rollback for LD Assistant
Lighting Designers can expect some relief this year with a $1,000 rollback with the release of LD Assistant 2013. The three (3) month roll-back represents a 31% reduction in LD Assistant 2013 and a 40% reduction in upgrade pricing. “Designers are just as affected by the price they pay for a CAD program as by what they pay at the gas pump,” says Rufus Warren, President of Design & Drafting. "We've been in business for 28 years and I feel now is the time to help the LD's who have helped us build our business over the years." The rollback will be only in effect until April 30, 2013.

Kevin Denzel's Views on Rendering With LD Assistant
The rendering and pre-visualization capabilities of the LD Assistant software package was demonstrated recently in Washington, D.C. at the New Bay Media/ InfoComm Rental & Staging Roadshow. Kevin Denzel’s first appearance at the roadshow was a few months ago in Orlando, FL at Full Sail University. If you’re near an upcoming Roadshow, please take the time to check out this presentation to learn about the full power and capabilities of LD Assistant.

In his presentation Kevin shows how an idea can be virtually 'brought to life' in a 3D rendering - from the creation of the event through to its final outcome. With stunning resemblance to the 'real thing' in the rendering, it’s no wonder why LD Assistant is his choice of pre-visualization and rendering software. Denzel has worked prolifically within the realm of corporate, hotel, and convention/exhibit A/V setups. In a recent meeting with Kevin, we documented some of the reasons why he prefers the LD Assistant software package.

Before reading Kevin’s summary of LD Assistant features, you might wonder how someone gets to the point of designing event spaces 'virtually' with a 100% success rate for three years running.
Kevin   Kevin Denzel, Technical Director with Swank Audio Visuals, Southern Division, leads Swank’s company-wide CAD Design and Development program. With just four years’ experience with LD Assistant, the CAD solution specific to event planning, Kevin’s renderings have been the featured design a dozen times in the CAD-N-Lighting e-newsletter, the official lighting e-newsletter of the program’s architect, Design & Drafting. His primary role with the full-service event provider Swank Audio Visuals is to apply creativity and accurate details to event pre-visualizations and renderings for both the company’s traveling event division and in-house partner hotel teams.  
Prior to his nine-year tenure with Swank Audio Visuals, Kevin worked in various industry technical positions, and he is a 2000 graduate from the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences. Today, his unique role spans both sales and technical applications of the event design process, as he continues to develop Swank’s “Concepts to Creations” program grounded in LD Assistant.
Here are some of Kevin's comments about LD Assistant (LDA) software.

Safety is always the first concern with any function or event.  With LDA I am able to make everything 100% to scale.  2D top-down diagrams are the most basic and typical thing someone will ask for.  If all the attendees can’t manage to safely fit in a room (with or without Audio Visuals) it’s an indicator something must change.  Putting a diagram into a 3D or Isometric view can help bring depth and understanding to a setup with the ability to view a setup/diagram from different angles. 

Connecting to safety is functionality. The audience's ability to see the stage and screens, and being able to hear the event is crucial.  If the attendees have a hard time with any of these elements, the event quality is in jeopardy; by using the LDA software I can identify “challenge points” and identify an area where a solution needs to be addressed.  Being able to create 3D to-scale renderings with LDA allows me to function as an intermediary between the sales and technical staff alongside the client.  If there is a line-of-sight obstruction with screens or if the screens are not sized correctly, it is seen clearly in a rendering from any angle.

Connecting to functionality is creativity. I am able to create accurate looking renderings that visually describe in one picture what might take a thousand words.  I am able to have accurately and safely placed seating, accurate heights to objects and quantity of items, just to list a few things.  The lighting in LDA is fantastic as it comes with 2D & 3D-model representations of thousands of light fixtures with accurate attributes to each light (like color mixing, pan/tilt, weight, etc.). Quantity counts or weights can be done in a few clicks.  LDA allows me to see the beam disbursement path so I can tell if a projector location may cast a shadow on a chandelier, or is positioned at the correct distance for the projector lens that will be used.  Using LDA allows me to also use .dwg files from a manufacturer and insert their product in a rendering.  I can get accurate builds and counts on scenic elements easily.  With the accurate lighting in LDA I can represent what it will look like to have something illuminated from just ground-lighting or from multiple locations.

The connection to file cross-compatibility.  LDA is able to create authentic .DWG files which will translate seamlessly to other programs and across the board with AutoDesk software products.  There is never a question if the files I create with LDA will be able to be opened by other software as I am creating an authentic .DWG file.  If I ever experience problems opening a .DWG file sent to me, I will give it a test in AutoDesk’s DWG TrueView program.  When you try to open a file in DWG True View you will immediately know if it is an authentic .DWG file or not.  LDA creates authentic .DWG files; while other software programs may be able to Export to .DWG their files may have issues when attempting to open in an authorized AutoDesk product. 

CAD Articles
How to search objects within drawings by Aaron Goldberg
AutoCAD is the most popular CAD tool in use today. And despite the high level of performance of many workstations, the creative nature of CAD professionals and enhancements to this key product continue to demand ever higher performance levels. Poor AutoCAD performance levels actually can be quantified in real dollar terms based on the waiting time a CAD professional endures.

Before we get into some of the tips and tricks that can be used, it’s worth considering if the existing hardware should be replaced. With new workstations with very high performance starting around $1400, they are not hard to cost justify. The fully loaded cost of a CAD professional is $1000-$1400 per day. And if that professional is waiting just 20 extra minutes per day, that’s almost 7 days of wasted time per year, a very compelling ROI for a new workstation.

Tips From the Experts

While I have my own ways of coaxing more from existing equipment, looking at other resources gives us a more complete and consistent picture. So let’s look at some of the most commonly suggested solutions to a slow workstation. These tips come from a number of sources and are presented here to give you a starting point in your quest for performance. Click here to keep reading

How to search objects within drawings by Edwin Prakoso
Have you ever need to find a linetype, layer, a block, or styles within a drawing? You may need it for several reasons. Either you want to reuse it or want to track drawings that use those objects.
Do you remember Design Center? Design Center is a very useful tool to look inside a drawing. It works exactly like Windows Explorer. What makes Design Center more superior is: it allows you to see objects in the drawing. See the tree below. You can select object type and Design Center will list the objects on the right pane. Click here to keep reading

The Forgotten Join Command by jarodschultz
In this Click Savers I want to talk about a command that seems to have been forgotten by a lot of people. The “join” command came out in the 2006 release and can be a great time saver when remembered. The “join” command combines a series of open linear and curved objects at their common endpoints to create a single 2D or 3D object. The type of object that it creates depends on the type of object first selected and whether the objects are coplanar. By the way “construction lines” and “ray line” cannot be joined but lines, polylines, 3D polylines, arcs, elliptical arcs, helixes, and splines work.
A lot of us will place a block in the middle of some parallel or single lines and then of course erase them later because we don’t need it because the design has changed. So how can one quickly fill in those gaps? In comes the “join” command to save the day! Click here to keep reading

How to prevent explode on a block reference? by Gopinath Taget
The EXPLODE command works on a Block reference by deepcloning the contents of the referenced block in kDcExplode context, and finally erasing the block reference itself. So, one solution to prevent explode is to exclude the block's contents from deepClone operation and un-erase the block reference after the explode command ends. A similar approach could be found in this blog post. By modifying the code in that blog post, we can disable EXPLODE command for block references (sample attached).
The sample code below works as follows: 1. Issue DISABLEEXPLODE command. This will ask you to select block references you want to prevent exploding. The referenced blocks are then iterated, and the IDs of contents of the block are remembered in a list. Click here to keep reading


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 2013 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.© 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved. Rufus Warren Editor