LD Control and LD Animation: How to get the Client to Interact with the Project
Review by Stephen Ellison
With LD Assistant, you can take your client on a virtual tour of the space - while cues are running and sound is playing. In this brief tutorial on how to use LD Animation, I am going to assume that you can build the space in 3D and add the instruments. The next step is to focus the lights and add any color. Then you'll need to add a Motion Path for a camera to travel along. You will find the Motion Path Animations window under View. In this window you find two boxes on the Left, named Camera and Target. I actually got a little ahead of the sequence, but it's necessary to look at this window first to understand what you need to add to the drawing. For this to be a walking tour you will need to link the camera to a path, and you also must create a target and link the target to a point.

  The path is a simple polyline that you draw in the space following where you want to walk on the virtual tour. Remember to set the height of the path so that the view is not of the floor; the height does not have to stay the same if you want to have some fun. The target is a circle placed on stage (or wherever) so that the imaginary head is always looking at that spot; again remember to set a height. At this point you could make a movie right from this window, but you can’t run a light show from here. In order to have cues running while you are walking in the space you first need to go to LD Control.

LD Control is a window that allows you to see your space in a rendered form and create a light show.
Before you open up LD control you will want to turn on all of your lights. Then open LD Control from the Visualization menu. Here you create a scene and then add cues to the scene.
One little gotcha in the cue timing, you need to enter a value in milliseconds, not seconds - which is what I started with and found the cues flashing when I wanted 5 seconds. Once you have the scene running the way you want, you can click on the film icon in the Scenes section and “Go to Animation”. Here you can preview your animation and make adjustments before saving the movie.

If you are not happy with the way the tour is going you have ways to adjust the camera. In the image window you can adjust the image to achieve the starting look, and by pressing F5 you can change the size of the image that the camera sees (zoom). Once you like the movie you can click on the Create Movie button and save a copy. Check the output settings at the top of the window to set the size and the file location.

There are a lot more features in LD Assistant that can improve the quality of your finished product. It can be a powerful tool for sealing the deal on a design.

Featured Rendering - by Christopher Murphy
Rendering by CM
Editing text with DDEDIT by Ellen Finkelstein
Just the very name DDEDIT brings back old memories! Once upon a time, DD was used to indicate that the command opened a dialog box. Now, it seems that there are only 3 left — DDEDIT, DDVPOINT, and DDPTYPE — listed in the alphabetical list of command in AutoCAD’s Help. But there is no long a dialog box for DDEDIT. (The other two commands do open a dialog box.) -
Editing single-line text - When you create single-line text (DTEXT) and double-click it, you can edit it in place, meaning you can simply type your correction. Nevertheless, AutoCAD starts the DDEDIT command. When you press Enter, you see the Select an annotation object or [Undo]: prompt.
DDEDIT continues to prompt you to select another annotation object to edit (it doesn’t have to be DTEXT), making it easy to edit a number of text objects at once. If you want, you can start the DDTEXT command first, but why do that? In fact, I couldn’t find the command on the ribbon at all! You can select the text, right-click in the Drawing area and choose edit, but that’s very roundabout. Click here to keep reading

AutoCAD Lengthen Command by RK McSwain, CAD Panacea
The LENGTHEN command has been around for over 18 years, it was introduced with Release 13 in November of 1994. Yet, I still see many instances where it is ignored and some other method is used in its place. So what can you do with the LENGTHEN command? Let's look at the 4 options, or ways it can work.
•DElta - Use this option to extend or trim a Line or Arc when you want to add or subtract a certain amount. Let's say you have a line of unknown length but you want it to be 10 units longer. Use the DElta option and provide a value of 10, and the entity will be extended by this amount. Provide a value of -10, and the entity will be shortened (or trimmed) by this amount. You do not need to know anything about the original length and you do not have to draw (and later erase) any construction lines.
•Percent - Use this option to extend or trim a Line or Arc by a certain percentage. Again, let's say you have a Line of unknown length and you want to double its length. Use the Percent option and provide a value of 200. If you want to trim the line in half, enter a value of 50. Using a value of 100 will do nothing since you are telling the command to make the line 100% of its current length... get it? Click here to keep reading

The Infamous FILEDIA System Variable by Matt Miyamoto
Here at Ideate, one of the common issues we hear about while on tech support is that a customer is not able to use a dialog box to select files for opening. In these cases, rather than seeing the dialog box, they are prompted to manually enter the full file path and name of the drawing or file they want to open at the command line.

The solution for this is almost always the same, and is relatively easy. Set the FILEDIA system variable to “1” instead of “0.” This system variable controls whether or not the application uses the dialog box function for file selection. Click here to keep reading

Does Leasing Your CAD Hardware Make Sense? by Aaron Goldberg
Leasing IT equipment has been common for more than 50 years. The benefits of leasing include reducing the capital needs of IT, reducing the expense line, the ability to include maintenance contracts in the monthly fee, and a few others. However, it’s been far less common to lease CAD workstations, even as more vendors offer the option.
The leasing option needs more consideration, especially as the demands for new capabilities and improved performance continue their relentless march forward. Yet, it’s not a slam dunk decision and you should consider some of the key criteria in your decision process before you decide on one acquisition method or the other. Here are a few of the key issues that will impact your decision.
The Length of the Lease is Important
One of the realities that you will face on an IT equipment lease is that the depreciation of nearly all IT devices occurs very rapidly, in the first 2-3 years. This means that if you want a short term lease, so that you can upgrade quickly, the lease rates may be a bit higher than for a longer term lease. When we look at CAD workstations in particular, this shorter term lease may be attractive as it will allow you to refresh your equipment and get the latest products the most quickly. If you are already upgrading every 24-30 months, you need to plan the lease accordingly. Click here to keep reading

NVIDIA Partner Certified Video Drivers - Looking for LD Assistant or AutoCAD video drivers? Click here
NVIDIA Driver Downloads - Manually find drivers for my NVIDIA products. Click here

LD Assistant Ac System Requirements
LD Assistant Ac 2013 is a 32 bit program requiring XP 32, VISTA 32 or Win 7 32 bit OS. The program will install on WIN 7 64 Bit OS and run as a 32 bit program. Moreover LD Assistant will take full advantage of all the RAM you have on your computer.

Requirements for 2D Drafting • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, or Home Premium or Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional (SP3 or later) • For Windows 7: Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon™ dual-core processor, 3.0 GHz or higher with SSE2 technology • For Windows XP: Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon dual-core processor, 1.6 GHz or higher with SSE2 technology • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended) • 6 GB free disk space for installation • 1,024 x 768 display resolution with true color (1,600 x 1,050 with true color recommended) • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7.0 or later web browser.

Requirements for 3D Modeling • Pentium 4 or Athlon processor, 3 GHz or greater or Intel or AMD dual-core processor, 2 GHz or greater • 4 GB RAM or more • 1,280 x 1,024 true color video display adapter 256 MB or greater, Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater, OpenGL, Microsoft® Direct3D®-capable workstation-class graphics card.

Standard Rendering Requirements • 4 to 6 GB RAM
High-End Rendering Requirements • Depending on the size of drawing from 6 to 12 GB RAM may be needed.

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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