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An idea to put forward: 3D Instructions

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An idea to put forward: 3D Instructions

Postby Marty » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:29 am

I was working on building something the other night and I thought of this.

My Idea is;

With all the sets out at the moment, there is a building instruction book, and a part list page, right.
Well... How about the instruction book carries a code that when put into the Lego building program it unlocks a 3D version of the model in question. You can still split it apart and view each stage of the build, but with the new advantage, you can rotate the picture and see what part goes where along with it's actual part number in that stage of the build.
Note! The steps are locked so you can't change or add anything new to protect Legos copy-write.
It would be just a better way of displaying the models, and making the sets more exciting to look at than a 2d picture.
What do you think?
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby bigospedros » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:15 am

As nice an idea this is, it sounds like the cost in creating these will be added to the price of the sets and since I'm most likely not going to use this feature and sets are already expensive, I'd rather that didn't happen!
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby Draykov » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:47 am

I would say why not just make official sets downloadable in LDD - no code necessary. I guess the key question is "what's in it for LEGO" to make it worth their time. Other than some additional marketing/customer service clout, I don't really know.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby that guy » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:56 am

If I had to guess I would think the real next logical step for them is to do like they do in the stores and have the boxes/books interact with webcams (much like some of the new Hallmark card and some other toys) to where unlockable 3D images may come up, maybe some minifigs running around or a fight scene of some kind. I know every time I'm in a Lego store I see kids waiting in line to play with that machine so to have that functionality at home would probably appeal to kids. Plus they already have the code available for those machines (albeit for a limited number of sets) so at least they have a department already on the task which would lessen costs.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby cas » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:12 am

that guy wrote:If I had to guess I would think the real next logical step for them is to do like they do in the stores and have the boxes/books interact with webcams.


I could see future sets having an augmented reality component. I'd really like that. Show an instruction page to a webcam and with a program downloadable from Lego, it shows a 3D image of that step in real-time on your monitor. You could rotate it in any direction. And coupled with distinguishable colors, you could eliminate any and all confusion stemming from the classic instruction booklet. You could extend it beyond the instructions, too. Explore other sets in a line in real-time, by scanning the page showing other sets.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby that guy » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:47 am

I guess I'm looking to the augmented reality NOT for the instructions because I personally don't see the need. The augmented reality would be more of a value added service for the kids more than anything. Would that warrant the additional cost that could come with it, probably not, but if it didn't add to the overall cost I think kids, and maybe adults would get some joy out of it. On the topic of 3D instructions, generally speaking, I think the vast majority of Lego lovers have done just fine with printed books, and hey if something doesn't make sense that's where the experience and creativity of the builder comes in. Maybe I'm naive but I don't see it being that big of a issue that they would have to 3D model every set they create just so people are 100% clear on directions especially if the cost went up because of it. I'll probably catch grief for saying this, and technology will most likely prevail with 3D directions coming out at some point, but my middle aged sensibility says that Lego just wouldn't be the same if printed directions went away. I mean seriously, when's the last time anyone REALLY enjoyed assembling a set from online directions??
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby cas » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:02 am

I've tried to build sets form online instructions before and it was a pain in the asgard, and the eyes. I try to avoid it whenever possible. But for agumented reality, I, too, don't see the need, but given its prevalence especially as smart phones continue to increase in popularity, I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years, maybe 2015, Lego sets began incorporating it as a selling point (Build in real-time 3D! Play with models before you buy!, etc.)

Mmm, building in real-time 3D as I build in real-time 3D. It's sheer 21st century brilliance.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby Robzula » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:46 pm

It's a neat idea, for sure, and it would help for those times when you can't tell if a piece goes here or one stud down, but as others have said, it's just not cost effective and ultimately wouldn't be very useful outside of those rare occurrences I stated since, as cas said, it's a pain to build from a computer monitor.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby Solo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:05 pm

Something to consider is the fact that new sets are already built on computers, as evident by the prelim images and box art being renders. Also, and this is a wild guess, but I think those files are used to make the printed instructions. So the information is there and the steps are pretty much laid out. The only cost would be converting their existing method to something the end user can interact with without modifying as suggested. And if it's possible for independent Lego CAD assemblies to be imported into LDD, why can't theirs? (Unless you can't actually do that and I'm just imagining things about LDraw)

Heck, I'd take this idea a step further and propose an augmented reality interface where each page of the instructions has a marker and viewing it via webcam shows each step popping off the page, and you can set your physical model next to it to compare and turn the booklet around to see other angles. There is no reason it can't] be done, that's the current level of AR tech. They could even add animations where little minifigs are constructing it. That's all perfectly feasible, but it would mean a lot of intangible content to add to each set and no one would think the price hike required to fund it is worth it. *edit: I clearly missed some posts here, because that_guy and cas totally covered this earlier without me noticing

But importing them into LDD? Bah. That sounds like something they'd be planning anyways. The real hangup might just be part availability in the consumer program and licensing constrictions. Who knows.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby Mofo Jones » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:41 pm

This idea sounds good, but I think a lot of confusion would be avoided with some better QC on the colors used in the instruction books. On far too many sets I have to try to figure out if a step calls for a black part or a dark bley part. Not a big deal for a battlepack, but if it's say, a 1000+ piece set, that's different.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby Marty » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:36 am

The reason I put the code in there was, it's an alternative to looking at the instructions, plus this is a bonus with buying the set, not everyone could access it. Also as stated above, the models in 3d form have already been produced, at least year 2000+ ones, as the detail in the manuals has computer imagery in the print. Oh! I like also the idea of the little guys building the set, nice touch that, though animation like that would take up a lot of time to produce for each build. Instead just the model, and being able to rotate, watch step by step and zoom in & out and be able to print, would be nice change from the norm.
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Re: I've an idea to put forward.

Postby theone » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:18 am

what's in it for LEGO" to make it worth their time. Other than some additional marketing/customer service clout, I don't really know.

you could have to have a membership to view them which could cost money
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Re: An idea to put forward: 3D Instructions

Postby GrayMattR » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:20 pm

The LEGO augmented reality is now real as show in this video from Engadet for a new setup at LEGO stores. Very cool.
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Re: An idea to put forward: 3D Instructions

Postby Draykov » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:23 pm

This is pretty nifty, but it's been in LEGO retail stores for a while now. Last time I tried to use it, it was kind of hit or miss. I guess some set images had not been cataloged, so only certain boxes worked.
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