Tagged: Background Images
January 19, 2021 at 03:58 #43912
I am enjoying the new features in Version 310 (324). The new ribbon seems to be working well, though figuring out where the former buttons went takes a few seconds to locate.
My problem is with the Background Images feature. It was kludgy—but workable—in previous versions, but now I am having some serious problems with it. At least in previous versions, when you assigned an image to a view perspective, it remained yellow and editable until you clicked on it to “lock” it.
I have tried everything I can figure out in my attempt to resize and align the background image to the reference lines in a new model, to no avail. When I have the General/Edit window open, and the inserted image in the viewport is yellow with handles showing, I can’t click or move the handles because the Edit window is open (it flickers when the left mouse button is clicked). When I close the editing window, the image goes white and can’t be grabbed at all. This behavior occurs in both new models and with ones I have been working on for several years.
Is this a bug that needs fixing, or am I missing something? I noticed you have already issued a new update (325) to fix several things in the 324 update.
Thanks for your efforts. Overall, I really enjoy the program and have been mentoring several ship modelers in its use. But this problem has got me baffled.
January 20, 2021 at 08:29 #43924MaartenKeymaster
Thank you for your kind words, we work hard to make DELFTship as nice as we can. You are right that the background image system was kludgy, that is why we overhauled it. The manual should highlight most of the changes.
Because we found that background images were becoming more important in multiple tools, we dropped the ‘show in’ check boxes, and made them available everywhere by default. You can then choose to show / hide them in each window as required.
Placing, scaling, cropping, rotating etc can now be done from the background image window. In the 2D view you drag a red crosshair to the origin (the 0,0 coordinate of your perspective). In the 3D view you can then scale the image to fit.
I hope you will find the use of this system!
January 20, 2021 at 17:48 #43929
Thank you for your response.
I think the new Background Images interface is going to work well.
The problem I am having is when I have added an image using the Open button in the General window, I see this:
In former versions of the program, when the image is highlighted with the “handles”, you can resize the image to fit between perpendiculars and waterlines, etc., directly in the program window. However, if you attempt to adjust the image by grabbing the handles now, nothing happens. The General/Edit window flickers just like standard Windows dialog boxes do when you attempt to perform another function before closing the dialog box.
So, when I click Accept in the Background Image General box, I see this:
The image set in the program window is no longer highlighted and cannot be adjusted.
It seems that the intent with the new interface is that the user identifies the origin in the new image, aligns the image horizontally, then resizes the image to fit the model guidelines (perpendiculars, stations, waterlines, etc.). I haven’t tried this, but it seems that it would require repeatedly resizing the image to adjusting the number of pixels to fit. Also, since the Resize dialog does not proportionally change width with height or vice versa, it seems you would have to first set one dimension using iterative changes, then adjust the other. Depending on the resolution and size of the base image, one has no idea how much to resize the image.
It seems that permitting direct manual manipulation of the image in the program window is still the best method to resize background images.
Again, if I am missing something, please explain, step by step, how this is supposed to work. The manual isn’t clear on process. It just describes what the different functions are intended to do.
January 20, 2021 at 17:56 #43936
By the way, I have two monitors, so that is why the images in the previous post look the way they do.
January 20, 2021 at 19:52 #43937
OK, I finally figured it out!
There are two tabs in the Edit window that I failed to see. They are labeled “2D” and “3D”. In the manual, I thought these terms were referring somehow to the main program window, not the Edit window.
After figuring that out, resizing and positioning the image is very simple and intuitive.
I did discover that to update the background image in the main program window, you have to switch views. The image doesn’t resize dynamically with changes in the Edit window.
Sorry for the confusion.
January 22, 2021 at 08:43 #43940MarvenKeymaster
I’m glad you figured it out. Background images are used in various other modules of DELFTship too. That is why we decided to keep all editing features (including resizing) of background images central in the background images window wit the added advantage that continuous switching between the background image window and the hull modeling window is no longer required.
January 22, 2021 at 20:38 #43941
I’ve had the opportunity now to import a full set of views for one of my collaborator’s projects. This new approach is so much easier in many important ways.
I am promoting your software in the Model Ship World site. I think many modelers will want to use it for refining old plans that are notoriously inaccurate.
March 10, 2021 at 00:24 #44006
I would like to continue on this topic. I use the latest version built 331. Background image editor 3D view: in the top/bottom view I cannot see any markings of the AP and FP, any lines that show the beam are also not visible. In the front/aft view the beam is also not marked. In all views the control points are not visible. All these markings are really vital to properly position and scale the background image. In the older versions I remember it was possible to edit the background image (scale and move) in the normal Home tab. Did I forget to activate or did I overlook anything that makes these items visible in the background image editor?
March 10, 2021 at 00:29 #44009
And, in the normal Home tab I can even not see the FP/AP and any beam marks in the top/bottom view. But at least the control points are visible which I set at the beam and AP/FP position.
March 10, 2021 at 16:23 #44010
In general, to display perpendiculars in profile viewports (Left or Right) you need to have a model loaded AND in a visible layer, OR a corresponding background image visible.
This is the Left viewport of my ship with no model visible and no background image:
<p style=”text-align: center;”></p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>When you make the layer the model is contained in visible, then the AP and FP become visible:</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”></p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>OR, when you display the background image, the AP and FP become visible:</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”></p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>In the Aft or Front viewports, all you get is a Centerline along with the design waterline and baseline.</p>
Also, if things don’t change immediately after changing a setting, you may have to switch viewports to see the new content. The program has been buggy in that respect.
I created a five-part guide based on the Version 13 changes for using the new background images feature in a Model Ship World post here, which you may find helpful.
Hope this helps.
March 10, 2021 at 16:36 #44015
I have NO idea why the formatting codes are showing and I can’t find the edit button.
March 10, 2021 at 17:42 #44016
thanks for your reply and help. I see that the profile (side) view of your project looks same as mine. Also in the 3D view of the background editor it’s ok, since the FP and AP marks are visible. There it is possible to scale and adjust the image to the FP/AP marks. But in the front and aft view (3D background editor) the draft mark, center line and base line are visible which is also fine since I can scale it along these lines. The problem is in the top/bottom view where only a center line is visible. There should be the FP and AP marks at least as a reference. How is it in your project? Do you have the AP/FP in top and bottom view?
It would be also fantastic if the control points can be seen in the background editor to have reference points for scaling. Otherwise it’s a hell of a trial and error until I found the image is adjusted and scaled properly.
March 10, 2021 at 23:10 #44018
I added station lines at the positions of the AP and FP using the Intersections feature. Those are visible for adjusting the images in the Top and Bottom views of the 3D tab of the Editor. If your image covers the station lines, you can make the image background transparent until you have it sized and positioned correctly.
I assume you have figured out that if the background image is locked in the Gallery, scaling occurs proportionately from the Origin by grabbing just about any edge handle when the image is highlighted (preferably the handle diagonally most distant from the Origin). If you unlock the image, then you will need at least two sets of mutually-perpendicular intersections (stations/waterlines, stations/buttocks, or waterline/buttocks) to properly place and scale a background image, depending on the viewpoint.
Unless the control points you want to reference are on crease edges, it’s cleaner to view the hull surface and its crease edges against the background images for checking the validity of the model size. The control net for non-crease edges, especially along curved surfaces, will lie outside convex surfaces and inside concave surfaces. Including the control net in the Editor 3D window probably would be counterproductive for assisting image positioning. I think that the programmers assumed that, in most cases, the model would come after the background images, not the other way around.
March 11, 2021 at 00:27 #44019
thank you. That’s tricky with the stations, I was aware of that feature but did not think about trying it in the beginning before modelling a hull, just for the purpose of scaling the image. No question, the new image editor is nice, an undo button there would be great but this is something for the feature request in the other site of this forum. If the developers could make it possible to see the red AP and FP line in the top and bottom view and a margin line of the beam which we entered before starting at all would be also very handy. Your last point sounds logical. It is also good that they separated the image editing from the main tools windows.
March 11, 2021 at 02:41 #44020
The real trick is that you must have at least a surface patch or face before you can add any intersections to your model (assuming you don’t already have a background image installed). Don’t ask me why—that’s the way it is.
The easiest way to do this is to simply load what the D/S developers call a “Parent Hull” from their built-in selections (Home | New Project | Parent Hull) or from their online collection (Home | New Project | Online Database).
- Enter your project’s dimensions and project particulars in the Project Settings.
- Delete the parent hull’s intersections, then add your own.
- Then insert your background image after designating the Origin and leveling the image, as needed.
- You should be able to use the applicable intersections to size and align your background images. You can always go back and add more of the ones you need to finish the background image insertion process.
- Then delete the parent hull if you wish (or use it as a base to form your model). Starting a new model referring to background images is a whole different thread!
Hope this helps.
March 12, 2021 at 11:56 #44023
many thanks for your input again. This guideline is really helpful. I set up the arrangement completely from scratch and that was the difficulty with trial and error until I got the image correctly aligned to the size fitting on AP and FP (in the top/bottom view due to missing FP/AP marks, rest was ok). Using a parent hull I thought makes more mess than doing all from scratch. It is maybe compared to reading and do corrections on someone’s text than rather writing it from the beginning by yourself 😉 I am presently creating the hull using a body plan view without waterlines and buttocks and from scratch. But I will also try with the basis of a parent hull and setting up the desired intersections for the image adjustment.
March 13, 2021 at 03:02 #44025
I personally haven’t ever used a “parent model” or pre-existing model as a basis for building my models. Other than constructing a hull one patch/face at a time, I have had the most luck importing a table of offsets file, since my personal projects have always dealt with modeling vessels from pre-existing plans.
Creating an offsets file can be tedious but the results are very close to the final shape when you import it.
I use an Excel spreadsheet set up according to the format shown in the DELFTship manual (page 30 of the current Manual_13_mc0.pdf). Just follow the instructions on the following pages to fill in the cells from the plans. It helps if you have 2D software that provides X, Y, or Z coordinates for guidelines overlaying base images scaled properly. It can be done with ruler and pencil, but it just takes more time.
Many users have issues with the lack of unambiguous definitions for some of the terms used in the manual to describe the different rows and columns in the offset table.
- Contour line at each station: The lowest Z-dimension at each station. For wooden ships, basically the height of the inner rabbet above the keel/baseline. Used for stations that extend below the lowest non-zero waterline. (Zero waterline being the profile view baseline.)
- Aft contour at each waterline: The aft-most X-dimension of the moulded hull at each waterline relative to the AP. Basically, the profile shape of the stern.
- Forward contour at each waterline: The forward-most X-dimension of the moulded hull at each waterline relative to the AP. Basically, the profile shape of the stem.
- Deck Line: The X- and Y-coordinates of the deck (or rail) sheer line along the outboard surface of the hull. For wooden ships, I would use these offsets to describe the moulded main rail line.
After filling in all the required cells, it’s a good idea to insert zeros in any empty cells in the main table. These will be null values that the program ignores.
When the table is complete, save the file as a tab-delimited text file. Use the Load | Import | Offset Table option to load the file. The format of the table already includes the FP, AP, Baseline and Draft data.
The advantage of using a table of offsets is that—if it works right—the hull appears already constructed with a solid surface and in a nearly final form. The downside to this approach is that the coordinates you enter in the table are the loci of the control net points. In areas where there is significant hull curvature, the hull surface will need adjustment.
Don’t try to include things like a transom, keel, or superstructure when importing a table of offsets. Those can be added later.
Again, hope this was helpful.
March 13, 2021 at 18:30 #44026
thank you again. This is a way I tried once, only to see if the offset table I prepared really works. And it worked. I did not bother to start creating the hull, but I saw by the structure of the points from a distance that it looked right. The next step was to add surface by surface and then fairing until the hull was properly built. I usually do have WLs, buttocks and stations on drawings, then I can also use another software, but as soon as I cannot get a proper full set of lines I use delftship but haven’t used it for long, so I had this trouble with the background image adjustment.
Delftship seems to be really nice when you even have a GA plan only and pictures of the hull, so you can define some rough control points along the outlines and then start shifting the points to the appropriate shape. Of course it needs a while and you need some ideas how the hull shape is in real, therefore is good to have pictures of the original hull which on historic ships is not so easy.
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