Friday, October 12, 2012

Cuusoo Advice: Simple Background Editing for LDD images

Lots of projects use LDD. Its a great tool. The problem is that many of us don't have the time, money, or experience to use Photoshop and other art programs to make an excellent background. This tends to result in projects that use the default LDD backgrounds and that results in something like this:

Instead of desert I could have picked mountain, ocean, or space. The problem is that none of those are very appropriate for the MOC...which in this case is a race car I guess. So, You have two free* options, the really easy one and the little more complex version...Well, free here assumes you have a computer running Windows. I am sure this could be free on a MAC as well, but if you got a MAC, you should now all this stuff anyway. Right? ok, here we go.

Solution A: Control + K

It is really that simple.  Open LDD, zoom to your desired level, angle the MOC the way you want it, then hold down "control" then press "k".  When you do that a window will pop up and ask you where you want to save the png file.  Pick a location, a name, and click on save.  This image will have your MOC with a default grey background.

You can use MS paint to change that Grey to White or whatever other color you want using the fill options.

Solution B:  Loading a Background

Using a handfull more steps we can go from a solid grey background to something like this:


Excuse me for a second: "Background photo courtesy of Rawich at" Ok, that is called "crediting" I went to that site and found this free photo that went well with the MOC but if I use it I need to attribute it to the creator and the site.

Now that that is over with, we can move forward with how to make it happen.

  1. Do everything in Solution A first.  We need a picture of the MOC
  2. Find the picture you want to put in the background
  3. Open MS paint, click on File, then New
  4. Click on the lower right corner of the white box as you more the corner around you should see a pair of number on the lower right changing.  Keep moving the corner until they read 640 x 360.  This is the standard size of images in Cuusoo.  It is not horrible if this number is off but the closer you are to 640 x 360 the better.

    It should look something like this:

  5. Open your background image in another instance of MS-paint.  Press Control+A to select the entire picture then Control+C to copy it to the clipboard.  Then go to MSpaint from step 4 and press Control+V to past the image into MSpaint.

    Depending on the size of your image it might look something like this:

    Use the mouse to click on the lower right corner of your background image and resize the image however you choose.

    In the following picture I have resized the picture to fit the height of the Cuusoo Standard image.  Then I dragged it a bit more to the center

  6. Open your LDD image from step 1 in another instance of MSpaint.  The default "transparent" color in MS paint is white.  So, it is time to change the color of everything you don't want to white.  This is rather simple for most MOCs. 

    Click on the white square in the color selection pallet.  Then click on the icon of a jar with "paint" pouring out.  Then click on the background.  The entire background should change from grey to white.

  7. Click on the icon that looked like a dotted box (top right column of icons).  Now use the mouse and click on the upper left corner of your image, just to the left and just above your MOC, then drag the mouse until a box surrounds your MOC

  8. Press Control+C to get a copy of your image in the clipboard.  Then go to your MSpaint from step 6 and press Control+V to paste your MOC into the image. 

  9. Ok here is the most important step.  There is a pair of icons that look like two images of a cylinder, circle and green box.  Click on the Bottom one.  This will make the white transparent.