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LEGO Digital Designer - Any Online Classes or Tutorials?

blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
Just looking for a more step by step way to learn the software.


  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,552
    I'm no expert, but I've managed to get pretty good by just diving in. I recently completed #21127 The Fortress and #21128 The Village for the "LEGO sets made in LDD" thread on Eurobricks:

    I would suggest that you pick a favourite set or two, grab the instructions and replicate them in LDD.
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    I did some dabbling...and I will check out the threads, but lemme give you an example. I dowloaded an existing file, just to move some bricks around and get a feel for how the tools work. I can't even get a brick to do what I want it to do. There's no natural flow to it, does that make sense? Now part of that is just the nature of the software, part of that is that I don't know it.

    But I can't find a manual to...hey you know what? I'm being a bitch...I want a lot of this too fast. That's my problem if I really sit here and do some introspection. I'm older, and I'm good at some things in life. So I want to be good at something else and am not used to learning. I gotta suck it up and get used to it. Thanks for the info Judge!
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,339
    When i first started playing about on LDD, I suffered a lot of the same problems.
    It is really a patience thing. The one tip i can offer that i found helped a lot when placing bricks in an existing build is make full use of the movement you have on screen to view the build.
    Parts that wouldn't connect from one point of view, most of the time would connect if the build was tilted or spun round  to another point of view.
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,552
    No problem... Honestly, the best way is to do what I suggested. Pick a favourite set that isn't too complicated and reproduce it from the instructions in LDD.
    You are right though, that there are some oddities with regard to how the bricks behave and how to learn to rotate them or get them to attach to other bricks in some circumstances, but I'm not sure a lot of that is easily taught.
    It really didn't take me very long to pick up the fundamentals though.
    One thing I would recommend is to get used to manipulating groups and templates, as these can speed up your building no-end.
    Also, learn to work by creating bricks, colouring them and then simply copy'n'pasting as much as you can. I suppose this is obvious, but you'll save a lot of time, if you do this, rather than creating bricks from scratch each time.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,742
    As others have said, I think it's just a case of trial and error; that's certainly how I learned to use it....
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    @JudgeChuck  No that isn't so obvious...especially since I don't know how to do that yet! :)
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,552
    @bandit778 gave a couple of good tips... Very true... Sometimes LDD drives me mad, when it refuses to join two basic, completely valid connections. Rotating the view pretty much always solves it in the end. If not, sometimes I have to remove a brick or two, add the recalcitrant one and replace the removed ones.
    @blogzilly Honestly, just dive in. You'll soon be wondering what your frustrations were. Well, almost! ;-):-)

  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,758
    Baaaack in my day, LDD didn't have all these newfangled controls! Back then, you couldn't even tell what brick you were selecting until you dragged it out and put it on the model!
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    I'm diving...and keeping an eye on which end of the toilet bowl my country is headed tonight. I've never felt this much stress over an election. It's palpable. 
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,608
    I think it may be quicker to build on ldd than with real bricks, but you must have a good knowledge of the database. sometimes some particular parts are hell to find.

    multiple selection and copying are very useful. you can just copy bricks you already placed without having to search for them and pick a color.

    flexible parts and chains, I have no idea how to use them. I think some people manage to flex them successfully but it just doesn't work for me.

    technic builds seem like a pita.
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,552
    One other suggestion is to have open at the set parts page, if you're building official sets, so that you can get part numbers for obscure parts quickly, for searching the inventory.
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    Fauch said:
    I think it may be quicker to build on ldd than with real bricks, but you must have a good knowledge of the database.
    This is, perhaps, at least in this newbie's opinion, the single greatest challenge facing a newbie overall AND the biggest hole to fill left to fill as far as content out there. Not that there are not databases out there, because there are...but I'm talking about ways to learn the inventory, and in a fast and efficient manner. Some kind of teaching tool as to part context, use, I'm not explaining this well at all am I?

    Recently on New Elementary there was a fantastic exploration of new elements. If there was a site, series of books, something that showcased parts like that, parts both old and new, I would scoop that up like a banana float.
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,552
    ^As I said above, practise with a few official sets. You'll soon get used to where the parts you need are.
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,339
    edited November 2016
    In addition to the Brickset parts pages it would also help to get to know the in's and out's of Rebrickable if you are building older sets.
    Due to the nature of where Brickset gets set part listings from, sometimes parts are missing from the database if they are no longer in production.
    Rebrickable should give the whole inventory of a set and will offer up newer alternatives if they are available. 
    It's also really handy for keeping your own inventory of loose parts for when you start buying parts and building. Also has the added bonus of being able to sync with Brickset if you want to split sets to build.
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    Yeah I have been trying to get used to the differences between Rebrickable and Brickset. I'm assuming that Bricklink and ReBrickable share the same designations like color, etc? Or do I have that bass ackwards?
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