Announcing WildTools 10.1.2 Upgrade
Hard to believe.
But that is, in fact, what has happened in WildTools over the past few years. It's all crazy, of course. And how it all happened is also a bit crazy, foolish ... and wonderful.
Something Wonderful Happened on the Way to the Psych Ward
WildTools 3D was born in a 30-day work-frenzy in a reality distortion field during Apple's darkest days, when every business magazine and newspaper reported with confidence that Apple was only weeks from closing.
All of you with creative minds have experienced this in yourselves. So it should come as no surprise that the misery of the architectural profession and the awful economy have produced an explosion of creativity and innovation in the development of WildTools.
The reason WildTools is so good is that the tools have been created by people who use them every day, people who never stop asking how the drawing experience could be better, easier or more fun. This latest version is the result of a very close collaboration with Matt Arnold, who sees what is missing and is always looking for ways to improve things.
Matt Arnold's inquiring mind, sense of aesthetics, frustrations, passions and fertile mind are at the heart of the joy and fury in WildTools. Favorite Line tools. The watercolor trees in Trees & Shrubs. The Shingle tool. The men, women and children in the People tool. Color choices. The PowerCADD bull cartoons. All have come from his gifted mind and talented hand.
Favorite Offsets for Offset Line and Parallel Offset Tools
We added favorite offsets to the Offset Line and Parallel Offset tools. Now this is HUGE!
Add a favorite with the little 'plus' button.
To add a favorite, you click on the little 'plus' button at the bottom right of the sample window. The favorites buttons are on a favorites dock along the bottom of the sample window.
Then in the drawing ...
Offset favorites on the "WildDock" in the drawing.
... we have a favorites dock -- aka "WildDock" -- that show these and other favorites at the bottom of the drawing window. So you can select your favorite offset with a single click and not visit the tool's dialog.
Reactions from users:
A Revolution in Dimensioning
Green is for Imperial ... Greenbacks. Red is for metric ... Wine.
We had another revolution in dimensioning tools, where we now have color-coded dimensions using a "Wine and Greenbacks" scheme for metric and Imperial to simplify the display choices and to make sure you can see what you are doing.
Then we added Tolerance Needle and Dimension Text Needle tools to easily edit dimension lines in the drawing.
Set the Tolerance Needle tolerances in the tool dialog.
Then click on dimensions in the drawing.
Tolerance Needle with color-coded units
The Dimension Text Needle lets you add text as a prefix or suffix to the dimension.
Dimension Text Needle editing a dimension
These tools automatically highlight all dimension lines in the drawing so you can see at a glance which dimension lines have been edited and are not telling you the true length of line. This is huge.
Edited dimensions -- that are not 'telling the truth' -- are highlighted in yellow
Favorite Line Tools
Favorite Line tools in a horizontal presentation
These tools work in concert with the Normal Line style of StyleTools in WildTools. The tools are for Normal Line, Hairline, Edge Line, Outline, Border Line, Center Line, Hidden Line and Long Dashed Line.
Select any of these tools and then use the Attributes Window to set the attributes of these tools, just like for any other tool.
Click on any of these eight tools and you have just changed the pen size and dash pattern of the Normal Line style in WildTools. Each of these tools is, in effect, a copy of the WildTools Line tool, so you can go right to work drawing lines, or you can use any of the other tools in WildTools to draw rectangles, circles, polygons, etc. with the new line size you have just chosen.
Note that you must select Use Styles in the WildTools preferences pane for this to work.
Gradient Fill Tool
So now we have a WildTools Gradient Fill tool. It's spectacular, and there's nothing else in the world that even comes close.
Editing a gradient in the drawing.
It gives you the ability to create and edit gradient fills in the drawing where you can see the colors in proportion to the object and its surrounding objects.
And we taught the Knife and Freehand Knife how to cut gradient fills and do the right thing.
Dash Adjuster Tool
Click on an object with a dash pattern, then drag the slider up or down.
The Devil is in the Details
The Scale tool now has finger technology.
We've added Australian, British and European standards to the steel shape tools in the Nuts & Bolts palette.
The Find Layer and Magician Tools now have yellow highlighting of all objects on target layer, so in a glance you can see which objects belong to the target layer.
We have animated displays in some of the dialogs, such as the Grading tool, to show you in graphic terms what the tool choices mean.
You can always check up on what's happening with WildTools at any time.
If you see something interesting or ask the author of WildTools for something, you can download the current build before a minor update version is declared. It's always fully reliable software that you can use any day, all day long. It's a slowly moving train that you can get on at any time. It's up to you, but most of you will want to update WildTools infrequently and only when you're notified.
Enough of this serious stuff, now for some fun...
A WildTools 3D Revolution
We began with a redesigned WildTools 3D setup window. You can drag the angles around, or type them.
A purple face means WildTools 3D is 'embarrassed'
You are encouraged to use the Scale choice, which is critical for accurate depictions of rods, tubes and cylinders. And if you don't do the right thing, WildTools 3D will see that you have made a poor choice, and the cube face will turn purple because WildTools 3D is 'embarrassed' by your behavior and bad judgement.
And now we have X-Axis, Z-Axis and Magic Cube tools to let you set things up by tracing in the drawing.
Using X-Axis and Magic Cube tools
A Screw Loose in 3D
It's not magic ... it's WildTools
In the Nuts & Bolts 3D tool palette, you have 3D versions of the Hole, Tubing, Thread, Screw Thread, Nut, Screw, Cap Screw, Sheet Metal Screw, Wood Screw, Deck Screw, Bolt, Lag Screw and Threaded Rod tools.
Les Miserables de WildTools
Aymeric's trees and shrubs are pure genius.
Damon Oriente got involved to make sure we created things that landscape architects would appreciate. We messed with a few of Aymeric's shrubs and added a few of Damon's styles. He's really good, but he's not tormented or crazy enough.
Excellent. Superior. Great... but Damon Oriente is not crazy enough.
Matt Arnold then added branches and a new tree style. He designed a 'sophia' tree, not a tree type such as oak or elm, but just something he came up with and named after Sophia Loren.
New trees from Matt
And he invented a new style of watercolor tree that's like something you've never seen before.
Now this is genius.
We added colors from Monet, Gauguin, Manet and Degas and the tormented mind of van Gogh. The hand of God in their minds.
We put these trees into an Apple Cover Flow interface so you can flip through them. It's all filled with random numbers so no two examples are the same.
And out of the ashes and manure Les Miserables de WildTools dreamed a dream and grew a beautiful flower.
Over 100 outlines of people to choose from
With a single click you can place things like these people:
Balloon text of all shapes, sizes and colors
Like many tools, this lets you create favorites which appear in a favorites dock in the sample in the tool dialog, so you can select your favorite balloon with a single click.
You can get anything you want.
Picture Frame Tool
Draw a frame around anything
The dialog includes a slide show of sample photos of WildTools author Alfred Scott's family and the loves of his life.
Margaret and Elizabeth
Before And after bend
So now there's a Bend tool that lets you reshape objects with a familiar arc-by-chord drawing action so the objects bend along the arc.
Flexible Tubing and Armor Cable
Draw armor cable conduit or rope
We added the ability to draw flexible tubing and added an Armor Cable tool to draw flexible metal-wrapped electrical conduit and rope.
TopoTools and Survey Coordinates
3D topo model in WildTools
You can now import and export ASCII Survey Coordinates from a land surveyor's Total Station instrument to bring 3D topo coordinates into TopoTools, and we have 3D views in TopoTools. It's just like having a 3D modeling program inside WildTools.
There's a new Topo Magic Wand tool in TopoTools.
We've also added the ability to import GPX and Google Earth placemarks, so you can hike around with your iPhone and import your tracks into PowerCADD.
Bring a Whip, a Chair ... and Your Credit Card
Order yours today. To order, call (336) 299-4843 or order online at http://www.engsw.com/catalog/. In Canada, call Evoy and Associates at (204) 452-8111. In the United Kingdom, contact PRD Software at Paul@prdsoftware.co.uk. In France, email Radesoftware at Andrew@radesoftware.com. In Italy, email Abacus at Giuseppe@abacus.it. In Sweden, email Segebaden CAD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PowerCADD 9.1.2 has a few changes that are important, but there is more in the works. We've got PowerCADD running with Mavericks now and expect to have a compatible version available when Mavericks and the new Mac Pro are released later this year. The Mac Pro is overkill for a typical PowerCADD user, of course, but we can't wait to see it run on the new machine. It may be like using a shotgun for a fly-swatter, but then we're all a bit crazy, aren't we?
And we've begun work on PowerCADD 10 where the focus is to give the program a more modern appearance. Support for high-resolution monitors. Full screen mode. Tabs. Trackpad gestures, tags, etc. And also that will run at blazing speeds on next-generation machines and operating systems ... long, long into the future.
And if you're a PowerCADD 8 user 'sitting on the fence' ... you just ran out of excuses to move to PowerCADD 9 and WildTools 10.