Virtual LEGO

The Official guide to LDraw Tools for Windows
by Tim Courtney, Steve Bliss, and Ahui Herrera

October 2003, 480 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-886411-94-4


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Virtual LEGO introduces you to a suite of software that allows you to create and document computer-generated LEGO models. Written by maintainers of, the official hub of LDraw-based LEGO model-building software, the book includes coverage of popular tools such as LDraw, POV-Ray, MLCAD, L3P, 3PAO, and LPub. You'll learn how to use these software packages to build you own creations, make 3D scenes, and create building instructions. The CD-ROM contains all the software readers need to get started, all available LEGO parts models, templates for building instruction layouts, a collection of custom models by LEGO builders worldwide, and a gallery of beautifully rendered scenes created using the advanced techniques in the book's POV-Ray chapters.

About the Author

Tim Courtney, an avid LEGO hobbyist, spearheaded the development of in 1999. He has been a long-time contributor to the LEGO fan community. Steve Bliss has been invloved with the LDraw community from its early days, and was one of the first published parts authors. He currently manages the parts library on Ahui Herrera manages the help desk and tutorial section of

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What is LDraw?
Chapter 2: Installing the Software and Using This Book
Chapter 3: Diving In: Creating Your First Model
Chapter 4: The LDraw Parts Library
Chapter 5: Placing, Moving, and Rotating Parts
Chapter 6: Exploring MLCad
Chapter 7: Capturing a Simple Model: The Car
Chapter 8: Complex Models: Sub-modeling and SNOT
Chapter 9: Minifigs, Springs, Rubber Belts, and More
Chapter 10: Creating and Using Flexible Elements
Chapter 11: Managing Your Model Files
Chapter 12: Introduction to Building Instructions
Chapter 13: Introduction to 3D Rendering
Chapter 14: L3P and L3P Add-On
Chapter 15: LPub: Automate Building Instruction Renderings
Chapter 16: POV-Ray
Chapter 17: MegaPOV
Chapter 18: Post-Processing Your Building Instructions
Chapter 19: LDraw and the Web: Viewing and Publishing Models Online
Chapter 20: Building Instructions: Mobile Crane
Chapter 21: Creating Your Own LDraw Parts
Chapter 22: LDraw and LEGO Bricks: Taking the Hobby Further
Appendix A: Glossary of Terms
Appendix B: Web Links
Appendix C: LDraw Community History
Appendix D: LDraw File Format Specifications
Appendix E: Extended and Dithered Color Information
Appendix F: LDraw Primitives Reference



"The little interconnecting plastic bricks can make life-size creations. And if there's not room for building them in your home, Virtual LEGO might be an alternative."
--The Ledger, Florida

"This book would make a fine addition to any LEGO enthusiast's library."
--Satisfied Customer

"I'm going to make this very simple; if you wanted a book that was all about being a great baseball player, you'd buy something written by Cal Ripken Jr. If you wanted to become a chef, you may want to read something by Emeril Lagasse. Want to know the world of LDraw? Then there is only *one* thing that you should be picking up - it's called Virtual LEGO, and if it's LDraw, whether you're a newbie or a vet, it's in here. Period."
--Bricks to Bothans

"Very impressive! Worth the wait."
--Satisfied Customer

"A wonderful introduction to LEGO construction in the CAD world"
--Pre-Engineering Times



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