biodreamer

Moc Instruction Guidelines

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I think it's time for us as a community to try to wrap up a simple tutorial on what todo and not do when making a instruction for a MOC. Tips and such. I am not talking about something you wrap up in LDD but something you free build with actual bricks and when your done you want to publish it. So how do  you guys do it?

 

Beyond actually building the MOC what't the next step? do you take pictures step by step while pulling it apart or what? 

 

Do you rebuild it in a LDRAW supported software?

 

My previous way of doing instructions in 3D studiomax 2011 is simply to time consuming. besides my old version of Max doesn't run on windows 8.1, it's some kind of graphic card driver issue.

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DesignerHan has a nice tutorial, although he uses MLCAD which is fiddly for beginners. I think even the auto-generated html ones from LDD are perfectly fine.

One thing I wouldn't like to do is to be prescriptive about how instructions are submitted to us, there's a huge range of ages and computer literacy levels in the LEGO community.

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it's a guideline/tutorial I am looking for not a rulebook. a way to learn from other's success and failure so to speak. not something you must follow. if there is some easy to follow steps to go from a "finished MOC to a finished MOC with a good instruction, the more likely there will be people actually submitting them here. I am pretty sure they are still building them but never bother making a instruction for them.

 

A place where people can give feedback on what they like/dislike in some instructions.

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Why must we post instructions?

Why not let people enjoy a good MOC? Just a question not a criticism.

 

Because it's a rule for submitting to Rebrickable :D Without them you can always upload to the many other lego sites, but having instructions and a parts list is one of the distinguishing features of Rebrickable.

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Because it's a rule for submitting to Rebrickable :D Without them you can always upload to the many other lego sites, but having instructions and a parts list is one of the distinguishing features of Rebrickable.

Because it's a rule for submitting to Rebrickable :D Without them you can always upload to the many other lego sites, but having instructions and a parts list is one of the distinguishing features of Rebrickable.

Ok that makes sense did not know the rule!!

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I can share my way of creating instructions:

  • Larger models: dismantling finished model step by step in opposite order (from finished model to first step) and taking pictures of each stem with removed parts
  • Small models: dismantling finished model to "sub-models" to get insight in building process
  • building model in SR3D Builder with "STEP" tags
  • editing instructions in LPub
  • exporting instructions from LPub to PNG images
  • editing PNG images in picture editor
  • exporting to PDF

I prefer SR3D Builder to MLCAD because SR3D Builder has better physics so connecting pieces together is easier.

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An open question about LDD - what do people think about using this to design with vs the other tools?

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An open question about LDD - what do people think about using this to design with vs the other tools?

I think it's quite good design tool if you ONLY use new bricks. The number of parts available is the main reason to not use it, It's usually  terrible in makeing instructions, it's a lottery if those turn out okay. The lack of gravity and bounding box restriction also limit your design compare to RL, it is however something you can take into account and live with.

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An open question about LDD - what do people think about using this to design with vs the other tools?

I use LDD only for "reverse building" (when you try to build for example new set with help of few pictures) and for building official models for fun. I think it's quite good tool for building out of bricks when you are not able to build out of real ones but you just shouldn't expect much out of it. I don't recomend it for making building instructions and building out of Technic. It is realy hard to build gearings in it and its "connection solver" doesn't work very well either. It's also pretty difficult to hinge parts in LDD and it has very limited support for bendable parts as flexible axles. Its only advantage is very simple use. If you plan to build something more complex or create building instructions I recomend you SR3D Builder and LDraw software.

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I like LDD but don't use it anymore. The lack of a linux version prevented my continued use. I've since found the lack of some parts in it to be annoying. The instructions for my small batrazor weren't bad but given it's size any order for the instructions probably would have been fine. I don't know how it does with larger builds. I do wish the other programs had an option to autogenerate even if you probably want to tweak afterward.

 

I've since switched to leocad due to it being available on linux and open source. I don't find the placement of new pieces as easy as LDD. I usually just place it anywhere and move it to where I want.

 

I've been doing a combination of digital and physical design. The original batrazor was prototyped with whatever colors I had available. Some of the details were only added in the digital model until I ordered the pieces. For my robot command center rebuilds, I've done mass recoloring in digital form. The two vehicles for the Batman version were done digitally but I didn't like the first rover so I again prototyped with various colors.

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Regarding tools:

 

On Mac, the options are basically LDD and BrickSmith.  LDD has a much more intuitive UI, though fitting gears is pretty painful.  

 

I tried to get into BrickSmith--as many swear by LDraw--but can't really get the hang of it.  LDD's "connection finder" is extremely helpful for me, and I can put things together very quickly.  

I haven't tried this yet, but for my next MOC I plan to build in LDD, then export and run it through BrickSmith + LPub to generate proper instructions.

 

Regarding technique:

 

I tend to freebuild, then take the model apart.  I take pictures with my phone as I'm disassembling, so I remember how to put it back together.   :) 
 

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Bricklinks MOCBuilder supports mac so you got atleast one more tool to try. not sure how it compare to Bricksmith, it probably more basic then it.

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I love building other people's MOCs. But recently I've been wishing that more people would do photo sequences. The instructions generated by LDD are so frustrating, and sometimes unusable, that it's not enjoyable to try to build. Photo sequences seem fairly easy to do, and let you get the order correct.

 

The best instructions are probably done in LPub, with heavy customization, but that's a pretty high bar. Photo sequences seem more reasonable. 

 

At first I thought photo sequences weren't as "cool" as a nice LDD file, but in practice the instructions are just not very good.

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On the last MOC I put up, I just had a LDRAW file with steps added. In LDView you can step through the sequence quite easily. It may be a somewhat simple start for people publishing mocs. It also is one of the first steps to make instructions with LPub if I recall correctly.

I guess the biggest part of the work is making sure the parts/steps are in the correct sequence.

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I'm still finding my way in making instructions. However, I stick to using photo's as the way to make instructions, mostly because I don't like to spend a lot of time in a virtual LEGO-reality while lots of gorgeous bricks lie around me. I'm working the whole day with my computer at work, so at home, it's hands on ;-).

 

Just a few toughts:

- I found that colour is more an issue than other aspects when it comes to photo's. Some colours can easily be confused, eg light bley and white or tan and white

- More important than slick pictures is that instructions are unambiguous. One way I try to obtain that is to limit the amount of different parts/colors. For example, if I have a build with only one 1x4 plate in a certain color and a lot of 1x2, I change that 1x4 plate for two 1x2 if reasonably possible

- In general I take quite small amounts of parts each step, especially when it otherwise leads to more plates or bricks on each other in one step

- In most cases I take photo's in two rounds: first when breaking down the MOC. Then I mostly do some adjustments and build the MOC up. While building the MOC again I evaluate the photo's and take new ones for photo's that can be improved

 

However, it can still be quite a lot of work, especially when MOCs are bigger then 1000 parts. But for me it is mostly enjoyable.

BTW: I make the instructions also for myself so I can build a MOC later again. And also when a MOC becomes dusty I can break it down and build it again which seems the best way to get rid of the dust in a lot of builds.

 

Always feel free to comment on my instructions. I evaluate them always by myself, but it's mostly a guess for me how others experience them. Yet I'm considering ways to put the photo's in a PDF, because me was told that some users found that downloading each photo can be quite impractical, so those suggestions are welcome!

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Oh, it probably doesn't work the best when just throwing a ldraw file at it, but LIC (I think) makes instructions automatically.

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Disclaimer: I'm new to MOC's and the different software mentioned above.

The point is I'm trying to duplicate Grohl's amazing MOC-0088. He included an awsome photo build sequence, but the dilema I run into is dimensions of non-unique parts such as axle/connector length. I've tried downloading the instructions at rebrickable but that seems to download a complete set of the photo build sequence. Any suggestions here or which site to use for help grealty appreciated.

Andy

p.s. If i violated any site policies or rules I apologize.

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Thats it in a nutshell. His photo sequence is phenomenal! Just cant figure out axle lengths by the pictures. Don't know if I'm screwing up by not recognizing if there are other instructions that I'm missing.

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Thats it in a nutshell. His photo sequence is phenomenal! Just cant figure out axle lengths by the pictures. Don't know if I'm screwing up by not recognizing if there are other instructions that I'm missing.

Hi all

 

Unless I am missing something here ? [ quite possible :) ] I also find axle length one of the biggest problems using LDD instructions.

 

Apart from the clue that grey axles are an odd length it is pure guess work as to which size axle is being used.

 

Also I think it would be good if LDD showed already fitted pieces in a different colour to the current piece being fitted so it can be seen in place on the model.

 

I am part way through Sheepos Astra 8 x 8 Mini Trail truck and it is a quite painful build with the above LDD limitations.

 

regards paul

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Hello everybody.

 

 I recently found the best way for me to make instructions.

 

First, I build my moc with my small (hum) fingers.

Second, I rebuild it with LDD which is on my opinion the fastest way, cause of the part auto-connection.

Third, I export it to ldr format and i tweak it, cause the convertion may bug some times. I reorder the part appearance and set steps for LDpub.

Fourth I edit the ldr file in LPub in order to create a pdf (i use povray and gimp for the cover page).

 

I've used this process since a couple of week and I'm quite satisfied with it. However i don't think I gonna rework my old lxf files this way.

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Hello everybody.

 

 I recently found the best way for me to make instructions.

 

First, I build my moc with my small (hum) fingers.

Second, I rebuild it with LDD which is on my opinion the fastest way, cause of the part auto-connection.

Third, I export it to ldr format and i tweak it, cause the convertion may bug some times. I reorder the part appearance and set steps for LDpub.

Fourth I edit the ldr file in LPub in order to create a pdf (i use povray and gimp for the cover page).

 

I've used this process since a couple of week and I'm quite satisfied with it. However i don't think I gonna rework my old lxf files this way.

Sounds like a good procedure if your building with somewhat new parts and don't MOC with old fashion parts that doesn't exist in LDD.

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Indeed, I only moc my new sets.

 

The old ones are in my parents home, waiting for my daughter to grow up.

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