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DHS Shadows - doing it with a keybard macro

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:51 am
by Nick Pyner
I had the pleasure of picking up David Henderson at the ferry wharf a couple of weeks ago, He had come to get stuck into some little bugs in the new SHADOW macro. This was done in my office, along with Gregg Kett.

The really big deal with Shadow is that it produces solid fills as part of the shadow-drawing process. This requires a bit of a cultural shift but it saves having to mess with hatching, while there was most often some niggling in this area with dhShadow.

David has had to make a swag of updates to the macro, one of the most notable of which was to get it to stand up in the keyboard macro that I was putting together.

Now, I have been waiting years to do this, so, for those interested in using Shadow, I present with (ahem!) all my usual modesty,
the mother of all keyboard macros

This uses its own default file and pen table. The default file has the critical layers and GTVs already in place. The pen table is only notable in that all pens are mapped to black but
White is 20% for light grey - existing shadow fill
Dark grey is 50% for medium grey - new shadows fill
Yellow is 5% for nearly white - image of building casting shadows.

The arrangement is that white prints over dark grey so that only the extra new shadow prints, and the yellow prints over both so that only shadows away from the building are visible. Yellow is only used for this fill.

The new shadow macro has to be run to ensure that the models are set up and the surface receiving shadows is selected. Once done, the keyboard macro can be run from anywhere and the only time you need to go back to the shadow macro may be when you change receiving surfaces.

The keytboard macro:
1. Automatically casts existing and new shadows for 9am, noon, and 3pm winter and equinox. Twelve shadows in all, each on its own layer. The layer order ensures that white prints over dark grey.
2. Draws the same shadows again, but this time two to a layer. This is for deriving outlines and may be redundant.
3. Sets up this second set so that all are visible and ready to be exploded

The actual exploding has to be done manually. Once done, the lines arer edited or deleted as required, mostly the latter. These lines can be used for proper area measuring, but I have so far only used them to put an edge on the fills.

Here is the macro. It goes into dcadwin.mcr as a single line, and no comments. I use ALT+U.

New model and colour dk grey

Six shadows all on own layer

Change to old model colour white

Six shadows all on own layer

Duplicate shads for outline

Revert to new model colour dk grey

Duplicate shads for outline

Prepare dup shads layers for exploding symbols etc.

There you go, about 170 keystrokes Just wait till James Horecka sees this……….

The picture shows the layers used. The only critical ones are those receiving shadows.