LDraw Lesson 1: Running LDraw
Now that you've built something substantial in LEdit, you probably want to run it through LDraw to get a more finished look. Compare the output of LDraw and LEdit. (fig. 1.1) LDraw looks a lot more finished, doesn't it? Here's what we do:
    First, start MS-DOS Prompt (fig. 1.2). (In Windows 3.x, you'll find MS-DOS Prompt in your Main program group.) You'll get a screen that says
(fig. 1.3) Type in cd C:\LDRAW to switch to the directory in which you installed LDraw. If you installed LDraw in a different directory, type in that directory name instead. (fig. 1.4) You'll get a different prompt this time:
Type in ldraw sp-tutor.dat, substituting sp-tutor.dat with whatever you called your tutorial model. (fig. 1.5) The model will be drawn on screen! Every time it stops drawing and/or beeps, hit Enter to see the rest of the model. The places where the program stops are the spots where we inserted steps earlier. Here's what our model will look like when the program is done. (fig. 1.6)
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(fig. 1.1)
Fig. 1.1
(fig. 1.2)
Fig. 1.2
(fig. 1.3)
Fig. 1.3
(fig. 1.4)
Fig. 1.4
(fig. 1.5)
Fig. 1.5
(fig. 1.6)
Fig. 1.6


LDraw Lesson 2: LDraw Options
There are more things you can do with LDraw. First, you can draw in different modes. If we type in ldraw sp-tutor.dat -mC (fig. 2.1), the program will draw the entire model without stopping at the steps. If we type ldraw sp-tutor.dat -mS (fig. 2.2), the program will save bitmap files (images) of each step. You can then look in the LDRAW\BITMAP\ directory to find the image files.
    There are other options, too. You can change the scale at which you draw the model. If you type in ldraw sp-tutor.dat -s0.5 (fig. 2.3), you'll get a model half the size of the earlier drawing. (fig. 2.4) If you enter -s2, you'll get a drawing twice as big. Try experimenting with different sizes.
    We can also change the background color. Type ldraw sp-tutor.dat -s0.5 -b11 (fig. 2.5). (I left the -s0.5 option in to get a smaller picture) We get a nice light-blue colored background. (fig. 2.6) The number that defines the color after -b is the number for the same color in LEdit. Try experimenting with different background colors and using more than one option at a time.
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(fig. 2.1)
Fig. 2.1
(fig. 2.2)
Fig. 2.2
(fig. 2.3)
Fig. 2.3
(fig. 2.4)
Fig. 2.4
(fig. 2.5)
Fig. 2.5
(fig. 2.6)
Fig. 2.6


LDraw Lesson 3: Changing Views
If we want to see the model from a different angle, we'll have to include another option. At the propmt, type in ldraw sp-tutor.dat -a-1,0,-1,-0.5,1,0.5,1,0,-1 (fig. 3.1). We get a Three-D view again, but this time from the back. (fig. 3.2) Here's a list of the different numbers you need to type in to get different views:
-a1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,1 Front View
-a-1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,-1 Back View
-a0,0,1,0,1,0,-1,0,0 Left View
-a0,0,-1,0,1,0,1,0,0 Right View
-a0,0,1,1,0,0,0,1,0 Over View
-a0,0,1,-1,0,0,0,-1,0 Under View
-a1,0,1,0.5,1,-0.5,-1,0,1 Front Left
-a1,0,-1,-0.5,1,-0.5,1,0,1 Front Right
-a-1,0,1,0.5,1,0.5,-1,0,-1 Back Left
-a-1,0,-1,-0.5,1,0.5,1,0,-1 Back Right

You can also find this list, and more, in LDRAW.DOC, a text file in your LDRAW\ directory.
Congratulations! You know how to use LDraw! Go ahead and experiment with all the things you can do. Click "End" to end the tutorial.
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(fig. 3.1)
Fig. 3.1
(fig. 3.2) Piece dimensions
Fig. 3.2

Copyright © 1998 Bram Lambrecht
Please do not copy or use text or images
without the author's permission.