Making a Detail Image for a New Luminaire

Questions about the use and process of automated placement and any of the manual methods of placing devices in your project.

Making a Detail Image for a New Luminaire

Postby DeanUser » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:42 pm

I've used the 'Copy' button on the Luminaire Library to make myself a new luminaire based on an existing one. Changing the values in the Room Library dialog to match the manufacturer specifications was easy, but now I want to change the detail image as none of the existing images in the Luminaire Library look like my new luminaire. How do I do this?
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Re: Making a Detail Image for a New Luminaire

Postby forumadmin » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:35 pm

Before we get into making a new detail image, how about we first cover how to avoid that work? Any number of luminaire records can reference the same detail image. So if an existing image in the Details folder on your DraftLogic Electrical Server will meet your needs for a new luminaire you are adding, use it! To see if there is something suitable, check out the image associated with all other luminaires in the same category as your new one. It won't take long to flip through them. If you see one you like, look at the name in the 'Detail Name' field of the Luminaire Library record & then go to your new luminaire's record and specify that same image as the detail image for the new record.

Didn't find anything existing that was suitable? OK, on to making a new one! Your image can be scanned from an manufacturer supplied catalog or brochure, or it can be pieced together from images taken from manufacturer's information on the Internet.

SCAN FROM MANUFACTURER CATALOG OR BROCHURE

You can scan at 300 dpi in color or gray-scale (just NOT black and white), either the full page or just the image of the fixture.
Gray-scale would be preferred. Format can be jpg (much preferred) or another graphic format if your scanning software won't support jpg (but it should). Ensure you name the image so you can tell what it is or include some sort of information in the scan that enables you to identify which luminaire(s) it applies to.

The optimum image size (for use in the DraftLogic Electrical Luminaire Catalog) is 2800x750 pixels with a resolution of 300dpi. The image must be a JPG format file. This results in files of approximately 250K in size. A file with more pixels or dpi looks no better, just means wasted space on the DraftLogic Server.

Files with less pixels or less dpi will still work, they are simply translated to the proper size and aspect ratio for use in the DraftLogic Electrical Luminaire Catalog. We have found that the translation into the report (an AutoCAD import facility) actually gives pretty good results, even with mediocre source file resolution/dpi. Best if an aspect ratio of approximately 4:1 can be maintained.

To convert various source file types into JPG, there are a myriad of programs. Both Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw can do this kind of thing--but if you don't already have a license of one of them, don't go buy one as there are much lower cost alternatives for what needs to be done here. There are some freeware/shareware programs that will do the trick at www.download.com. Even the 'lowly' Paint program that comes including in Microsoft Windows can open a variety of graphic file formats and save out to JPG.

PIECING TOGETHER

Images from the Internet or from files on your computer can be pieced together to make the final detail image you want to use for your new luminaire. Gather the varies images you want to use by right clicking on images on the manufacturer's website (save as to your desktop) or use a program like SnagIt from Techsmith to grab specific things. This could be luminaire dimensions, photos of the installed unit, photos of the uninstalled unit, lighting characteristic diagrams, whatever you desire.

If you can see it on your computer screen, you can use it in your graphic editor program to be part of a detail image!

There are 2 easy ways to put what is on your screen into Paint:

1. Press the PrintScreen key to copy everything on your screen to the clipboard.
2. Press Alt-PrintScreen to copy just the active window to the clipboard.

Now the image is stored in the machine's RAM and needs to be pasted into Paint to be modified.

You can also use a few Paint windows open at once to make things easier--paste source images into some instances of Paint where you can select the parts you want and 'Copy' from and use another instance of Paint as a place to 'Paste' the pieces you want to end up with in the relative locations you want to end up with. Note you can use the Paint > Image > Attributes dialog to set the size, in pixels, of the image you want to end up with--stick to something close to a 4:1 ratio and specify enough pixels to fit all your content in.
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