Lesson 0: Using the Tutorial
This tutorial is "hands-on." All you need to do is read the instructions carefully and follow them step by step. If you don't understand something, don't worry, it will probably become clearer as you go on. Also, if at any time you run into something you don't know how to do, just go back to previous lessons to refresh your memory.
First, we need to start LEdit. Hit Start and choose Run. (fig. 0.1) (In Windows 3.x, choose File, Run... in Program Manager.) A window will pop up. Type in C:\LDRAW\LEDIT.EXE and hit OK. (fig. 0.2) To switch back to our browser from LEdit, hit Alt and Esc at the same time. To switch back to LEdit, just hit the button on your Taskbar. (fig. 0.3)
Lesson 1: Moving Pieces
After starting LEdit, we see a Brick 2 x 4 in the middle of the screen. (fig. 1.1) To move the piece around, Use the End, Home, and arrow keys. Up and Down move backwards and forwards, and Left and Right move left and right. Home moves up a plate level and End moves down the same distance. Each arrow key moves the brick a half a stud width, so if we hit the same arrow key twice, we've moved a whole stud width. (fig. 1.2) Try moving the brick around a bit. We see that every time we move the brick a bit, the numbers at the top of the screen change. (fig. 1.3) Move the brick back to where it started from, so that the third, fourth, and fifth numbers are all 0.0. If you understand how to move the piece, we're ready to begin.
Lesson 2: Changing Part Numbers and Colors
First, make sure the brick is in the middle of the screen so that the numbers at the top of the screen are:
1 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 3001.DAT
Now we need to change the piece because the model isn't made entirely of the Brick 2 x 4's. Hit P. At the top of the screen, the program asks us for
If we hit Enter, we'll get a list of pieces. Each piece has it's own number, which is often printed on the underside of the real piece. An easier way to find the piece we're looking for is to look through the list. Hit Up or Down to move through the list one piece at a time, or hit Page Up or Page Down to look at 10 pieces at a time. When you find the piece we need, highlight it and hit Enter. We need part no. 4732, Bracket 8 x 2 x 1 & 1/3, so hit Page Down until we get to the Brackets. Hit Down to get to the Bracket 8 x 2 x 1 & 1/3. (fig. 2.1) Hit Enter, and the brick on the screen becomes the "bracket" we need!(fig. 2.2) Hit Enter and the piece will be drawn in place!(fig. 2.3) However, the bracket is black, and our ship is gray, so we need to change the piece color. Hit C and you'll get this prompt:
If you type in 7 and hit Enter twice, the bracket will turn gray. (fig. 2.4) Here's a list of numbers and corresponding colors:
You can also find this list in LEDIT.DOC, a text file in your LDRAW\ directory.
|3||Dark Cyan||35||Translucent Dark Cyan
|8||Dark Gray||40||Translucent Dark Gray
|9||Light Blue||41||Translucent Light Blue
|10||Light Green||42||Translucent Neon Green
|12||Light Red||44||Translucent Neon Orange
Lesson 3: Saving and Quitting
Now that we have a piece in place, we should probably save the model. Hit Esc or / (pick one or the other) and brackets will appear around the word File at the top of the screen. (fig. 3.1) If we hit the Left and Right arrow keys, we'll highlight the other menu choices. Right now, we just need File. Hit Enter, and highlight Save. Hit Enter, and this prompt will show up:
Save filename (NEW.DAT):
Type in sp-tutor.dat or whatever name you want to give this Space tutorial model. (fig. 3.2) Hit Enter to save.
If you want to quit now, and come back for Lesson 4, you can hit Esc (or /) and highlight Quit, or you can hit Enter on File and choose Exit. (fig. 3.3)
Lesson 4: Loading a File and Adding More Pieces
First, start LEdit up again if you exited after Lesson 3. Then, hit Esc (or /) and choose File, then Load. Type in the name you gave our model in the previous lesson. (fig. 4.1) You should see the bracket we placed.
Now we need to insert more pieces. First hit the I key (I for insert). Notice that white border lines appear on the piece again, but the gray bracket remains also. A new line of numbers has appeared to describe the piece we inserted. The previous line moved up to make room for the new one. (fig. 4.2) Because the newly inserted piece has the same number (4732.DAT) as the piece before it, we need to hit P to change the part number. Instead of looking through the entire list of parts, you can type in the number of the part we need, in this case 3003. (fig 4.3) This is useful in case you want to print out your parts list so that you don't have to continually press Page Down. The file to print out is called PARTS.LST and is in your LDRAW\ directory.
Now that we have part 3003, Brick 2 x 2, hit Up six times to move the piece backwards and hit End once to make the brick fit snugly under the back of the bracket. (fig. 4.4) Hit I to insert another piece, and this time choose part 3747, Slope Brick 33 3 x 2 Inverted. Hit Down thirteen times to move the piece into place under the other end of the bracket. (fig. 4.5)
Lesson 5: Aligning Pieces Correctly and Changing Views
First, insert a new part (hit I). Change the part number to 4032 (hit P, 4032, Enter). Now change the color of the round plate to black (C, 0, Enter). Hit Up once and End three times to move the plate into position. With the round plate, it's kind of hard to tell that the plate is centered directly underneath the other two pieces, so we'll change the view to make sure. Hit Esc (or /) and hit Right until you get to View. Hit Enter and choose Under. (fig. 5.1) The pieces will be re-drawn from underneath. In all the views except Three-D (the one we were just in) the arrow keys move the piece exactly on the screen as on the keyboard. Center the round plate underneath the other pieces as shown. (fig. 5.2) Insert another round plate (hit I). Hit Down twice and Right fourteen times to place this plate on the corner of the brick above it. Insert one more round plate and place it on the corner right next to the previous plate. (fig. 5.3) Change to left view (Esc (/), View, Left) to make sure all the plates are at the same level. (fig. 5.4) Now, return to Three-D view to continue working.
Lesson 6: Moving through the Pieces in the Model and Turning Pieces
Let's go back up a few pieces and insert another piece before the round plates on the bottom of the model. Hit Page Up three times. We see the cursor move from one piece to another. Also, each time we hit Page Up, the line that describes the current piece moves to the middle of the three lines of numbers at the top of the screen. Look at the end of the line, and it should say 3747.DAT. (fig. 6.1) If you remember, that's the number for the inverted slope brick over which the cursor now hovers. Let's insert another slope brick (hit I).
Move the new slope brick backwards by hitting Up sixteen times. (fig. 6.2) Now we need to turn the brick around so that it faces backwards. Hit A once, and the piece will make a quarter turn clockwise. Hit A one more time, and the slope brick will be in the correct position. (fig. 6.3) Now hit Page Down three times to get to the end of the model.
Let's save now to make sure we don't lose anything. Hit Esc (or /), and choose File, Save. The filename of the model will already be between parentheses, so all you have to do is hit Enter to save. (fig. 6.4)
Copyright © 1998 Bram Lambrecht
Please do not copy or use text or images
without the author's permission.