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WINTERMUTE

Multiple Clipping Boundaries for One Image File.

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WINTERMUTE

Hello,

 

I'm just re-familiarizing myself with AutoCAD after a four year stint as a CNC operator, and I'm trying to remember a little trick I used to know. I would like to clip an image file with multiple polylines as the clipping boundaries. The problem I'm having, however, is that there doesn't seem to be an "all-in-one" solution for this task. XCLIP only handles a single clipping boundary. So I tracked down "XClipM.lsp", which covers multiple clipping boundaries, but not arcs, circles, splines, etc. Then I tried CLIPIT. That handles the arcs and circles, but NOT multiple clipping boundaries.

 

Are the developers of AutoCAD "special needs" students, or what? It seems completely obvious to me that these functions should all be integrated into one command, and it seems completely obvious that if you want to clip something with one boundary of one shape, you're probably eventually going to want to clip something with multiple boundaries of multiple shapes. Duh.

 

Does anyone know of a solution or a .lsp that can handle this? Your expertise is greatly appreciated. AutoCAD 2013, BTW.

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WINTERMUTE

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm already one step ahead of you (or at least, right there with you) on using the viewports to "clip" or selectively display parts of an image file. Let me be a bit more specific about what I'm trying to do. I'm in the granite countertop industry, and I want to use my CAD drawings to preview slab cutting and vein matching layouts. My countertop pieces will be represented by closed polylines, laid out on imported and scaled photos of the slab to be cut. Multiple pieces can be cut from one slab, and they might need to be moved, arranged, or rotated as necessary to achieve the desired "flow" of the stone's vein pattern. Alternatively, one long span of countertop might exceed the size of one slab, and therefore require a seam. The two halves of the counter must then be cut from two separate slabs, with the positioning arranged to maintain the flow of the pattern across the seam. I had this set up running fairly smoothly for my previous employer a few years back, but I've forgotten nearly everything.

 

I am basically trying to "mimic" a system called Slabsmith (well, not really, since I think I was doing this with AutoCAD before that product came onto the market). Look up Slabsmith on YouTube so you can see what I'm getting at. There should be several short demo videos.

 

When I had this AutoCAD based slab layout solution set up before, I wasn't able to preview the resulting seam transitions in "real time" like Slabsmith can. Do you think I could solve that somehow with paper space viewports? Can a closed polyline in model space be "instanced" in paper space, so that whatever I move the model space version over will display in the "instanced" paper space viewport? I would want the countertop-shaped viewports in paper space to remain fixed in position, scale, and rotation, while I move and rotate the model space polyline over the JPEG image to find the desired position on the slab photo.

 

One other question related to this quest; Is it possible to have a "split screen" layout with one model space pane and one paper space pane? I see model space supports multiple viewports, but only model space viewports...

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BIGAL

You can line up two viewports by putting dummy lines in model space picking that intersection point in a layout and moving the mview window. The simplest way to slide two viewports would be pick a point viewport one F8 for ortho use mouse for direction then enter a distance, repeat for viewport 2 then lock again to stop accidental zoom. This could be automated a fair bit.

ScreenShot002.jpg

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Dadgad
A professional like yourself should understand that time is valuable. As this forum is sending notifications to my e-mail, any unsolicited pop-psychotherapy appearing therein represents a waste of my time. I'm not going to embarrass myself by continuing this conversation any further. Conduct yourself as you see fit.

 

OIE, set your settings appropriately, if your time is that precious, that someone trying to help is an inconvenience.

Time is not money. Time is time, and money is money.

Last but not least, rude is rude.

My son IS a special needs student.

Go ahead, have some fun with that. :|

 

If you really want people in the CADTutor community to help you, welcome aboard, if not, don't worry, those who might be able to might take a pass.

A member for five years, and only 20 posts, there weren't any more folks than that you thought you could help?

Never mind, I now see, having reviewed all your posts that you have never offered help to anyone else.

despite being adept enough to use Data Extraction, and sufficiently articulate to use fecund.

Oh right, my mistake, I forgot, YOUR time is money.

Unless of course it is the time spent/wasted by other forum members trying to help YOU.

 

Personally I am very interested in the sort of work you are doing, as I designed granite tops for my kitchen, and find doing it with CNC very interesting.

Of course living on the other side of the planet I had about 4 square meters done on site in a day by two guys, for about $400.

But, be that as it may, the thought of having it done with CNC accuracy, and conspicuous attention to such niceties as veining definitely appeals.

 

You are probably aware that you could have two adjoing synchronized paperspace viewports, set to the same scales, and use the VPMAX command in either of them, thus enabling you to see paperspace in on, and modelspace in the other.

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ReMark

Might the "trick" referenced in this article be something along the lines you remember using four+ years ago?

 

http://howtoautocad.com/clipping-with-multiple-boundaries/

 

I would not go as far as to fault AutoCAD programmers for not addressing your specific needs or those of many industries. Anyway, aren't there enough after-market or add-on programs available, like Slabsmith, from which you could choose?

 

One other option: hire a lisp guru to write a custom program for you specific to your needs. You can probably recover that cost in a very short time.

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WINTERMUTE

Hi Dadgad. I did not say that someone trying to help is an inconvenience. I said that off-topic replies about the "social acceptability" of my sense of humor are an inconvenience.

Time can certainly be converted into money, more or less effectively depending upon the talents of the individual, if one so chooses. Time can also be devoted to life experiences, or it can be "wasted" on procrastination, laziness, or debauchery. It is curious that we say "waste time" and "spend time" in the same way we talk about money, isn't it?

 

I'm sorry to hear about your son. I'm sure that can be challenging. However, when I suggested (half-sarcastically) that the developers of AutoCAD might be "special needs students", I was not attacking or insulting special needs students. I was attacking and challenging the intelligence of AutoCAD's developers. You see, there is absolutely nothing wrong or insulting about calling a special needs student a special needs student. It is like saying "that dog is a dog", or "that ballerina is a ballerina". And when comparing an ostensibly normal individual to a special needs student, the defamation falls upon the normal individual, not the special needs student. The special needs student cannot help his condition, the ostensibly normal individual masquerading as a qualified professional has no such excuse. In the same way, when a man calls another man a "p**sy", it is not an insult to women. There is nothing wrong with a woman exhibiting feminine characteristics, as that is her natural and unavoidable state. But to suggest that a man is behaving in a feminine manner is to challenge his fitness as a man.

 

"A member for five years, and only 20 posts, there weren't any more folks than that you thought you could help?"

 

Don't jump to conclusions based on 20 posts. I was in another line of work for the past 4 1/2 years (as I believe I mentioned at the opening of this thread), so I wasn't using CAD. My short posting history here represents a span of about 6 months, when I was teaching myself CAD in my downtime at work. I have no problem helping out others where I can, and since I am getting back into CAD, and I learn fairly quickly, that will likely happen in the near future. If, that is, the other members on this forum want to act like professionals and keep their comments about my personality to themselves. People can be complex. When the situation warrants it, I'm a very patient, caring, respectful guy. When my patience is tested I can turn into a veritable werewolf.

 

A 4 square meter (about 43 square feet?) granite counter for $400? Yeah, you made out like a bandit on that deal. I hope the quality of the work was to your liking though, because the adage "you get what you paid for" can be true in many instances. With regard to attention to details such as veining, I gain a lot of enjoyment out of elevating my craft to the level of an art, when the project parameters call for it, and the budget allows for it. If you have questions about the granite and marble trades, I'm happy to discuss it with you. Certain trade secrets I might have to be vague about, of course 8), as I'm in the planning stages for opening my own granite fabrication shop.

 

Thanks for the CAD tip. I'll try tooling around with that and let you know how it works out. I'm thinking I need the ability to move my clipped images/counter segments around as objects in model space though, so a simple paper space viewport solution might not be what I'm looking for.

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WINTERMUTE
Might the "trick" referenced in this article be something along the lines you remember using four+ years ago?

 

http://howtoautocad.com/clipping-with-multiple-boundaries/

 

I would not go as far as to fault AutoCAD programmers for not addressing your specific needs or those of many industries. Anyway, aren't there enough after-market or add-on programs available, like Slabsmith, from which you could choose?

 

One other option: hire a lisp guru to write a custom program for you specific to your needs. You can probably recover that cost in a very short time.

 

Thanks for the topical reply, ReMark. I have already come across that website, and it is not even close to solving my issue. In all likelihood, I will need a custom, magic lisp. I would like to avoid third party solutions if I can due to the additional cost and complexity of workflow, and I sense that I might be able to persuade CAD to do what I need it to do, given a little time and ingenuity.

 

My frustration with AutoCAD's developers is due to the obviousness of the problem at hand. I don't really think this is necessarily such an industry specific problem either. It could certainly be applied to cabinetry/millwork or any trade that uses natural, highly patterned materials that must be seamed/joined. Application aside, my logic tells me just from using the clipping function itself, that multiple boundaries of complex and varied shapes applied to one or more images is a no-brainer. If you're going to want to do a square, you're certainly going to want to do a circle. If you're going to do one, you're soon going to want to do two, or three, or four.

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ReMark

What about Lee Mac's Viewport Outline lisp program? It does require the use of a layout though.

 

http://www.lee-mac.com/vpoutline.html

 

Given that you said you had a somewhat suitable working solution with your previous employer have you tried contacting anyone there to see if they remember what you used?

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WINTERMUTE

ReMark, that sounds very much like it might be what I need, or at least it will get me close. I'll download it and give it a try, and I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks a million.

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Dadgad
ReMark, that sounds very much like it might be what I need, or at least it will get me close. I'll download it and give it a try, and I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks a million.

 

When in doubt, check Lee Mac out, as he has numerous spectacular lisps which he very generously makes available to the global cad community free of charge, with the donation option. As ReMark has suggested, he is one of those who could possibly be of assistance; who when he is not busy helping others for free, works full time designing custom software at very reasonable prices.

 

Thanks Lee! :beer:

 

One of his go-to (in my Startup Suite) ones, for me, is Layer Director, since who doesn't want everything on specific layers consistently, without even having to think about it?

This one is very helpful for ensuring team standards are effortlessly maintained, on the fly.

As I typically do steel fabrication drawings, Centreline is another I use all the time.

At least 90% of the lisps I use were created by Lee, and I found them on his website.

Dig deep, as there is lots of gold to be found.

 

Having lived in Indonesia for the last 20 odd years, labor is appreciably cheaper than in more developed countries, or L.A., in my case.

These two guys showed up with a good sized slab of granite about 8:00 a.m., and by about 5:00 p.m. my tops were fully installed, and 2 1/2 years later no joints have opened. I may have misstated the area was probably closer to 5 square, I didn't check my drawings. Given that the hardest joints were the two inside mitered corners, I told them to use the shorter and much easier straight butt joints.

Having been a cabinet maker and finish carpenter for most of my life, and having worked on some very seriously detailed and fun projects, I certainly understand your adage driven perspective. Another reason they could do it so quickly was the absence of any fancy edge profiling, I just went with an edge return and small radius, so that the 3/4" slabs read as 1 1/2", as is I think standard. But I am a big guy, and I have to stand on top of them occasionally, and the butt joints are still tight.

Having worked with a lot of fancy hardwoods such as cherry, maple and ash, where grain continuity was important, working with jet black tops didn't require any such attention to detail. On the down side, I definitely wish that the wax pencil typically used to indicate slab sizes in the rough, had been removed, as it still shows through the black coating. I am very glad however that it is in a relatively unnoticeable location. I did add a nice 4" deep cap/shelf at the back of the splash under the windows over the sink, very glad I had them add that, when I saw that we were going to have some left over material.

Alas, the vagueries of language, and communication. I would not conflate wasting and spending time, as time well spent is definitely not wasted.

 

Welcome BACK to CADTutor. :beer:

Edited by Dadgad

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WINTERMUTE

Thanks, Dad. (Mind if I call you "Dad"?;)) I will peruse Lee's website further. If I recall, I used to manage my layers by creating a template file with all my predetermined layers present, then using a "force layer" lisp to automatically send elements to the proper layers. (XLines to a dedicated layer, DIMS to a dedicated layer, certain frequently used blocks to a dedicated layer, etc.) Once this was set up, it was pretty hassle-free. What is your experience with with Layer Director? Would you say it seems easier, quicker, or more powerful and flexible than the method I outlined above?

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Dadgad
Thanks, Dad. (Mind if I call you "Dad"?;)) I will peruse Lee's website further. If I recall, I used to manage my layers by creating a template file with all my predetermined layers present, then using a "force layer" lisp to automatically send elements to the proper layers. (XLines to a dedicated layer, DIMS to a dedicated layer, certain frequently used blocks to a dedicated layer, etc.) Once this was set up, it was pretty hassle-free. What is your experience with with Layer Director? Would you say it seems easier, quicker, or more powerful and flexible than the method I outlined above?

 

Should you care to INVEST a minute look at the gif on Lee's site.

The layer selection is driven by the command reactor entered, on the fly, including the layer characteristics, and should that layer not yet exist in the drawing it will be added on the fly, without so much as a thought. Your template, if I understand you, necessarily included all of the layers from the gitgo, increasing layer count by layers which might not be used. Watch the gif, 10 seconds once you access the link and you will understand.

http://www.lee-mac.com/layerdirector.html

 

As for calling me Dad? I've been called worse. No harm no foul. :|

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WINTERMUTE

Hi ReMark. I'm playing with that lisp a bit, and it seems to just "drop" a copy of a viewport's shape into model space, and call it a day. Have you used it yourself? I need the created model space polyline to maintain "associativity" with the paper space viewport, so that whatever I move the polyline over in model space is displayed in the corresponding paper space viewport. For example, if I imported a JPEG into model space with the numbers "1...2...3...4...5..." spaced out across the image, I want to move the elliptical (for example) MSpace polyline to enclose the number "1". Now when I view my PSpace elliptical viewport, the "1" is visible. Then I go back to MSpace, and move my ellipse over the "2". Return to PSpace, now the "2" is framed in the elliptical viewport, and so on. The way this lisp seems to work now, I would have to work "backwards", panning in my PSpace elliptical viewport until I see the desired area of the JPEG image in MSpace, then "dropping" the viewport/ellipse onto the JPEG. This is not very intuitive, as you cannot see the outer boundaries of the JPEG through the PSpace viewport as you are trying to position it, and there isn't really any way to see or prevent "overlap" when trying to place two shapes on one image. I'd like to upload the file I'm tinkering around with if anyone thinks they can give me a few pointers. Or maybe I'll just take it up with the lisp creator directly...

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WINTERMUTE

Yeah, that looks very handy. I'm sure I was using something similar. "FLAY" is the command, if I recall.

 

*Here is a link to "FLay".

 

http://www.cadforum.cz/cadforum_en/qaID.asp?tip=6433

 

They look to be about the same to me.

Edited by WINTERMUTE

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Dadgad
Guys, please stay on topic. I have moved your chat posts to the chat section here: http://www.cadtutor.net/forum/showthread.php?100997-Fabrication-projects

 

I have also cleaned up this thread and removed all the argumentative posts.

 

Truer words were never spoken, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

Thanks for doing that Cad64. :beer:

Just as long as nobody says the t**ls word, I'll be fine. :whistle:

Edited by Dadgad

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tombu

Another vp-outline.LSP option I've used for many years. Options to either select the viewport or if you're in a viewport it makes the outline for it.

 

You should also look at the ALIGNSPACE command in Express Tools for aligning viewports.

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