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White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Drafting

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:15 am
by Ted B
For the last few months I've been experimenting using a white background in Datacad to mirror the paperspace of Sketchup Layout. Since I heavily use both DCAD and SU extensively, I thought I'd try it. (The first office where I worked in DCAD used a light gray background as it's office standard back in the 90s.) Many of my construction document sets contain pages created in DCAD, SU and OpenOffice documents ...all printed to .pdf then compiled into one .pdf record document for submittals and distribution.

I thought I'd use a more paperspace approach and use light gray, dark gray and black lines with weight rather than the typical CAD rainbow of lines with assigned pen-weights. My typical office standard is to look like hand-drafting; offshoots, hatching, architectural .ttf-fonts and 4-6 line thicnesses on 11x17" inkjet originals.

So far it's a mixed bag.
- First surprise is somehow the DCAD white screen is brighter and harsher than the SU paperspace screen. Lots of eyestrain compared to my previous Prussian Blue background I've used for decades on DCAD. But if I use a slightly grayed background, then the White=Black color is disabled. But I can use dark gray instead of black...so itself a work in progress.
- And I find it hard to see or find snap-points (ñ) against the bright screen. On a dark screen even one lit pixel is discernable, but on a bright background I'm going blind. And I live for snap-points laying out my work.
- Also the snap-points get lost on a line with any weight. I have to work on that.

I just upgraded to DCAD 21 and hopefully will upgrade to SU 2019 before it's 2020 ...so the interoperability will (hopefully) be improved. Having to convert .pdfs and CAD details into .jpg or .png first to SU is a pain. And I do want to explore xref"ing SU into DCAD, and directly inserting .dwg into SU and Layout.

All a wotk-in-progress, and the final product is still lines on paper.

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:03 am
by Neil Blanchard
Hi Ted,

I have used a white background a lot in the past, though recently, I have been using a black background again. One thing I learned was that the line colors need a fair bit of tweaking. Green needs to be darker, and yellow, too. Light blue needed to be lighter, brown looks orange. After all of this, a white background works much better.

Though, on some monitors you will also need to change the brightness setting.

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:37 pm
by Mark Bell
I tried a white background for a short while but didn't like it and as Neil stated, lines and walls need the colours adjusting. I currently work on a very dark grey background (RGB 21, 21, 21) which allows the smart walls with solid fills in a black to be visible. I guess each to their own.

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:01 pm
by joshhuggins
Yeah I would not go to a light background for nothing. I would go to a dark grey if we didn't loose the White/Black issue maybe. I am all about the dark mode these days. So much easier on the eyes. 8)

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:26 am
by Neil Blanchard
It's winter (almost) and I actually like the light. It is a good thing, this time of year.

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:19 pm
by Ted B
When I bought my first DCAD license, I was using a Compaq monochrome laptop; orange lines on a dark screen. And that laptop cost as much as my car at the time. I still have it somewhere...I wonder if it still works? Had problems with the keyboard as I remember.

I used bright orange and a dark orange for pen-colors, and two lineweights....on the black background. After a while you didn't notice the odd color. My previous computers had green monochromatic text-only screens!

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:24 pm
by Robert Scott
At one point in the dark ages of my DataCAD use I had my background set to dark blue....the color of old "blueprints".
I prefer the dark background myself.

Bob

Re: White Background vs. Traditional Dark Background Draftin

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:12 am
by Ted B
I always liked the old white on blue wet-Diazo look. They were already obsolete by the time I was in architecture school. I still use a similar "style" in Sketchup when it's a digital-only presentation. ...It's murderously expensive to print on paper like that.