Figure 5.18

The kitchen CAD drawing

Kitchen CadDrawing Multilayer Wall Autocad

2. Press Ctrl+P to open the Plot dialog box. Click OK if a warning dialog box appears indicating a missing driver; you'll select the correct driver in a moment. Just as you have done before, select ImagePrinter.pc3 in the Printer/Plotter group, ImageSize in the Paper Size group, and Images.ctb as the Plot Style Table. Set Plot Scale to 4 pixels = 1 unit as shown in Figure 5.16, earlier in this chapter. Click the Preview button to display an image similar to Figure 5.18. Press Esc twice to cancel the preview and close the Plot dialog box.

It is always wise to preview a plot manually before automating plot output. If you need to make any adjustments, it is better to be aware of them before you output all the layers to image files.

Because our preview showed no obvious problems, we are ready to load the program and edit it as necessary to match our current plot settings.

Choose Tools > AutoLISP > Visual LISP Editor. A new process launches with its own task button on the Windows Taskbar. Within the Visual LISP for AutoCAD window, choose File > Open File, navigate to the companion CD, and select the file 1ay2img.1sp. Figure 5.19 shows the Visual LISP Editor that is built into AutoCAD with the program file open. There is a version of this image in the color section.

Each parameter is color coded and commented with descriptive information. Change the Plotted pixels = drawing units parameters to "4=1", to match the settings you used in step 2.

TIP You can customize the plot parameters in the 1ay2img program to suit the needs of your own projects.

Figure 5.19

The Visual LISP Editor with the program open

Figure 5.19

The Visual LISP Editor with the program open

Visual Lisp

Change this parameter to "4=1"

Make sure these names match your configuration.

Change this parameter to "4=1"

Make sure these names match your configuration.

4. In the Visual LISP for AutoCAD window, choose File > Save to record the changes you made to the source code. Next, load the program into AutoCAD by choosing Tools > Load Text In Editor, or press Ctrl+Alt+E.

WARNING You cannot load the text in the Visual LISP Editor into AutoCAD unless the program window is selected and active.

5. Click the AutoCAD button on the Windows Taskbar or click anywhere in the AutoCAD window to switch back to AutoCAD. On the Command line, type lay2img and press Enter to open the Save image files of each layer dialog box , which asks you to choose a path and a filename to save the image files of each layer. Make a subfolder on your hard drive called Images, type the filename Kitchen, and click Save.

The automated process begins, and an image is plotted for each layer in the drawing. Figure 5.20 shows the newly created image files in the Images subfolder. There is one image file for each layer in the CAD drawing. The filenames are preceded by the name you typed in step 5, but the layer name from AutoCAD completes the filename after the dash. For example, one of the generated files is called Kitchen-A-wall.tif; Kitchen was the name you typed, and A-wall was the layer name. The program concatenates this descriptive text automatically in the filename.

Figure 5.20

The image files for each layer

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6. Close AutoCAD without saving the file. The Visual LISP Editor automatically closes because it depends on AutoCAD.

7. Launch Photoshop if it is not already running, and then switch to ImageReady. To open ImageReady, click the Edit In ImageReady icon at the bottom of Photoshop's toolbox, or press Shift+Ctrl+M. ImageReady may take a few moments to load, so be patient.

NOTE ImageReady is included with Photoshop and is designed specifically for editing images destined for screen—especially for the Web. Many specialized commands in ImageReady are not part of Photoshop and vice-versa.

We can take advantage of ImageReady's Import Folder As Frames command to automatically integrate all the files in a folder into the layers of a single document.

8. From the ImageReady menu, choose File > Import > Folder As Frames to open the Browse For Folder dialog box. Navigate to the Images folder where you saved your output from AutoCAD in step 5, and click OK. It may take a while for ImageReady to process your request (approximately 1 minute).

9. To edit the document in Photoshop, press Shift+Ctrl+M in ImageReady or click the Edit In Photoshop icon, the bottom button in ImageReady's toolbar. It will take a few moments for the data to transfer into Photoshop. When the document appears in Photoshop, close ImageReady to save memory. You only used ImageReady to take advantage of its specialized import command (Folder As Frames).

10. In Photoshop, save the document as Kitchen.psd. Take a look at the Layers palette as shown in Figure 5.21. Each of the image files has been converted to layers, and their filenames have become layer names.

Next, we need to remember to set the resolution in Photoshop as an increment of 96 to maintain the graphic scale. Because we printed the drawing at 4:1 in AutoCAD, a resolution of 96 pixels/inch in Photoshop would bring the image to 1/2" scale (see the preceding section).

11. Choose Image > Image Size. Make sure Resample Image is unchecked, and set the resolution to 192 pixels/inch (962). Click OK. By doubling the resolution, we are halving the graphic scale, thus bringing the image ultimately to 1/4" scale.

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