OpenClip Bridge

We are in the process of developing a way to transfer graphics between PowerCADD, FormZ and SketchUp. We will be using this page as 'home base' for everything. So check in often.

 

Custom OpenClip Directory

To make things simpler in developing all this, we have put all of the OpenClip test files into a directory. Please download:

OpenClip.zip (5.9 MB, 1/6/2015)

And put all this at the OpenClip directory

/Library/Application Support/OpenClip

Put this entire folder at the directory shown above before you attempt to run the new OpenClip Viewer app which will load files from this directory. It expects the files to be there.

Important

Permissions for OpenClip Directory

Make sure you have read/write permissions for this directory and all the way up to the root directory. This is important. If it's not set this way, then the files and the OpenClip Viewer app will not see the changes.

The OpenClipDirectory is NOT in the User/Library/Application Support... directory

Please note that this is /Library/Application Support... and NOT User/Library/Application Support...!

 

New OpenClip Viewer App

Please download:

OpenClip Viewer.zip

Programmers can download the Xcode project:

OpenClipViewerProj.zip

OpenClip Viewer

Like the standard OpenClip Viewer app, this is a Cocoa program that shows the contents of the file at the path

/Library/Application Support/OpenClip/OpenClip

Which we call the OpenClip path.

Important

The OpenClipDirectory is NOT in the User/Library/Application Support... directory

Please note that this is /Library/Application Support... and NOT User/Library/Application Support...!

The Copy button clears the pasteboard and copies the file to the pasteboard in an OpenClip flavor. Unlike OpenClip implementations in PowerCADD and other programs, this clears the pasteboard so the only thing on the pasteboard will be the OpenClip image, so you can then paste in PowerCADD or FormZ and it will paste only what it finds on the pasteboard.

The Basic popup menu button lets you open any of the files which you have just put in the Custom OpenClip Directory. This is principally a development tool to allow a programmer to implement Paste with OpenClip in a program. And it allows any user to try and test things.

The Extras popup menu button lets you open the Extras files which you have just put in the Custom OpenClip Directory. These are not really necessary for development, but they are fun and interesting to look at.

The Refresh button will refresh the screen and return to opening the contents of the file at the OpenClip path. Thus, it cancels your choices you may have made with the Basic or Extras popup menu buttons.

 

Development Notes

1-8-2015
Completely reworked internally.

Can now print the view.

 

Shapefiles

An ESRI Shapefile is a graphics file used in GIS programs and have the .shp file extension. These files can include a number of graphic types but we will only be interested in opening Points, Polylines and Polygons (Polylines and Polygons are essentially identical). Each file may be thought of as a group of points or polygons, all with the same pen color and line weight.

Please download:

GoodShapefiles.zip (7.5 MB, 1/6/2015)

This will decompress to a folder of GoodShapefiles and here you will find a number of files I've been working with. I am able to open all of these.

The Casoli folder includes a set of three shapefiles from Italy.

The Damon Oriente folder includes two files from Damon Oriente in Vancouver, Canada.

The Stephen Gladfelter folder includes a full set of files from Ohio and Cincinnati. You will be able to import all of the Cincinnati files and the three other files for Ohio. You can also import all of these files, but the files for Ohio are so large that the Cincinnati files will be scaled down to a very small size. You can only see them at the lower left where you will see the red crosses.

 

ShapeFileToOpenClip App

Please download:

ShapefileToOpenClip.zip (8/9/2017)

Programmers can download the Xcode project:

ShapefileToOpenClipProj.zip (8/9/2017)

This is a temporary development program that is a step toward the final goal of the OpenClip Bridge app. It's a 64-bit Cocoa program that will only run with Mavericks or later. I apologize for this limitation and will try to make everything compatible with Snow Leopard and later.

ShapefileToOpenClip

You can drag shapefiles into the view or use the Open command.

This will handle polygon and point type shapefiles. Polygons are drawn in black. Points are drawn as red crosses. Malcolm Woodruff sent me some other shapefiles, but they are of a different type (PolygonZ) and not something I want to pursue at this time.

You can copy the current view with the Copy as Feet and Copy as Meters buttons. If the files are very large, then this is a slow operation. Wait for the button to return to the normal state. Then you can switch to PowerCADD or FormZ and Paste.

While the buttons say Feet and Meters, in fact at this point I have no clue about the exact scale. I'm simply scaling the points to fit roughly on a page about 36" wide, and I'm not doing anything to set the size to feet or meters. This means you'll have to scale things yourself in the destination program.

 

Development Notes

1-9-2015
Completely reworked internally.

Can now print the view, so Save as TIFF and Save as PDF buttons are gone because you can always print to PDF.

8-9-2017
Updated.

 

OpenClip Bridge App

Coming soon. The goal here is to create an app that is a bridge between PowerCADD, SketchUp and FormZ.

You will be able to drag shapefiles into the window or open the files.

You will be able to copy the current view with OpenClip and then Paste in PowerCADD or FormZ.

Trimble how now published a SDK for developers to create translators to and from SketchUp. Google's libraries of routines were a nightmare for anyone trying to do this, and they were not supported. A couple of years ago I spent a few weeks working on reverse-engineering the SketchUp file and pasteboard formats (which are nearly identical). The idea was to implement copy and paste between PowerCADD and SketchUp. It was somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible.

The SketchUp SDK is 64-bit, which means it can't be compiled into PowerCADD/WildTools.

You will be able to save the current view as a SketchUp file, thus giving you a way to move PowerCADD graphics to SketchUp.

You will be able to drag SketchUp files into the window or open the files. You will be able to copy the current view with OpenClip and then Paste in PowerCADD or FormZ. As I understand it, this will be orthogonal geometry.

I don't know what is possible in terms of getting the geometry back as a 3D presentation. If it's possible to coordinate it with WildTools 3D or PerspectiveTools, then I'll take a look at that.

I may be able to figure out how to copy and paste with SketchUp. But file saving and opening will be the first priority.

It's clear to everyone that this is going to be HUGE.

It will not happen immediately, but when you open a SketchUp file, we may want to have a menu for scenes and different viewing modes and camera points. I don't want to get into the business of selecting objects, so any Copy operation will be for the entire view that you are seeing in the program.

Fair Warning! We going to have a return to the fully integrated Open Beta Testing and Blackmail program. We are going to have a blackmail quota for contributions to the Drawing Room at www.engsw.com.

 

Summary

All of this is very much a work in progress. No flame mail accepted. These programs will change often, and I'll make a point to note the date of each program. I'm happy to hear any comments or suggestions.

Alfred Scott
alfred@seqair.com (office)
alfred.scott@me.com (iPad)
804 353-1713
Cell: 804 690-4591