Tips & Tricks 7: Rendering (LDD Tricks Part 3)

This is the 3rd in a 3-part series of tips regarding LEGO Digitial Designer. If you’ve ever built something really good on LDD, you’ve wanted to take a nice picture of it. But, the screenshot tool on LDD (ctrl+K) is pretty poor: though it removes the grid, the quality of the bricks stays the same and looks rigid and unrealistic. It turns out, you can easily render your LDD creation to make it look real and clean! Here’s how.

Introduction

You’ve probably heard of POV-Ray when it comes to rendering LDD files. You may also know that POV-Ray can be very difficult to install and run on your computer. Don’t worry: there’s an alternative. It’s Bluerender! Bluerender is free, fast, light, and easy.

Download

This program was originally made by msx80, and was originally posted on the Eurobricks forum. You can download the file directly by clicking this link:

http://www.lugato.net/blueprint/Bluerender0005.zip

or, you can visit the forum thread and find the link there:

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=109972

The download is a compressed ZIP folder. Extract that folder anywhere you want.

Rendering

(1) You’ll need to open up your creation in LDD. (2) Position it exactly how you want it, and adjust the camera angle as needed. The position the model is in will be the same as when it is rendered.

Capture

(3) Once you have it the way you want, save it. (4) Close LDD, and open the Blurender program (it’s a batch file). It will open a command prompt window; just ignore that. (5) Browse for the Input File (LXF). When you select your creation, the output file will automatically be the same place where the LDD file is, with the same name as your creation with ‘.lxf’ added to it. You can change the output name and location if you want. (6) Click the ‘Parameters’ tab at the top, where you’ll find resolution and coloring options. The resolution is in pixels: the higher the pixels, the higher quality the image will be; however, it will take longer. You can pick any color you want for the background; it’s usually a good idea to have the Ground Pane Color the same as the Background Color. (7) Go back to the ‘Files’ tab and hit ‘Render’. A new window will pop up showing you the rendering progress. Tadaa!

BrickPhone 2.1 (8).lxf

As you can see, the quality is so much better than that of LDD. Lighting and shadows play huge parts in this. Be sure to wait until the image is completely finished before you close the program.

Application

It’s easy to see the practical application of this trick. You can show off your LDD creations a lot better than before, as this program makes them look realistic and clear. Enjoy!

Building Technique by Brickster_Tim

12 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks 7: Rendering (LDD Tricks Part 3)

  1. When the command prompt window comes up, it says press any key to continue, but when I do, the page disappears…

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    • When you created the custom picture, did you put it inside the ‘Decorations’ folder? It’s located in the ‘db’ folder.

      You can also try renaming the original ‘db.lif’ file to ‘originaldb.lif’ so that Bluerender will read the ‘db’ folder, instead of the ‘db’ file.

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      • yes they are in the decoration map and they work in ldd. but when i want to render it blue render sais that it could not find decoration/(name of file).png and i re named the db.lif file already

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  2. Is this the message you are receiving?

    java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.RuntimeException: File not found /Decorations/(filename).png

    There are a few possible explanations for this:
    1) The file name in the folder and the name in the Decoration Mapping file do not match.
    –OR–
    2) The LDD model was created prior to the new database was made. In this case, make a new project and import the old model, and save it as a new project.
    –OR–
    3) LDD is open while Bluerender is open. LDD must be closed, so that Bluerender can run properly. Normally, BR will tell you when LDD is open, but sometimes it tries to run while it is open and does not work.
    –OR–
    4) Java is not properly installed, or you do not have the latest version of Java. Install the most recent version (compatible with your system) by visiting this link: http://www.java.com/en/download/

    If none of these work, I would suggest uninstalling and re-installing LDD, and starting the process all over again.

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