I’ve got a cold, but felt okay enough today to come into the office for a couple of hours.
I’ve been playing around with Scribus (an open source DTP/layout program) a little bit over the past few days. It had a problem that forced all PDF layers to print regardless of whether or not they were visible, so you couldn’t use it to create the kind of neat layered PDFs that Fat Dragon, Dave Graffam, and some other companies were doing for their paper models, so it never really entered my workflow.
I was doing a routine Google search on the subject of layered PDFs when I came across a Scribus bug report filed by one of the Cardboard Warriors forum regulars, and the Scribus devs were sort of dismissive and blew it off for a few years. One of the comments in that bug report got my attention, so I put together a quick test PDF and opened it up in Notepad++.
Sure enough, simply deleting the optional /Usage instruction lines fixes the problem and makes layered PDFs work correctly. So, if you want to do layered paper models in Scribus, just do this:
- Create your layered PDF in Scribus as you normally would.
- Export as PDF. Make sure you choose PDF 1.5 or higher, and tick the box for keeping layers.
- Open your newly generated PDF file in Notepad++ or another similar text editor that can handle large documents.
- CTRL-F, find all occurrences of “/Usage” (without quotes).
- Delete all of these lines.
- Save the PDF. Done!
Scribus has another pretty neat feature: you can extend it with scripts written in the Python programming language. I’ve whipped up some quickie helper scripts that speed things up by automating as much of the boring parts of building a layered PDF as possible. I’ll be testing those a little bit tonight.
Spaceport Series I project supporters each get to name a town/city that ends up on blocks of 250 license plates/number plates. More details at the Genet Models workbench:
Just posted another workbench entry for the spaceport trucks over at the Genet Models forum!
To my great glee, I discovered earlier today that Ecwid (the shopping cart provider for Genet Models) had rolled out full support for free checkouts this morning.
This removes the clumsy pain-in-the-ass “contact me for a coupon code and then complicated sequence of steps pat head rub belly dance around the pentagram yo ho ho and a jug of rum” way of handling Chez Ebbles promo codes that was in place before, so I went ahead and moved all existing Chez Ebbles promo codes over to the Genet Models shop as discount coupon codes.
Now you can just plug your promo code directly into the discount coupon code box of the Genet Models shopping bag, and it’ll just work.
Granted, I still have to manually balance the ledger at the end of the day because they still don’t support “gift card” style persistent balances, but I don’t care–what’s important is that it’s not complicated for you guys to deal with anymore, and all you have to do is paste a code in a box and I’ll take care of the math and updating.
Just as a reminder, and if you’re not sure whether or not you have a promo code, previous Chez Ebbles project supporters can check using the Discountron.
This weekend, I reformatted the Wiking with machine cutter support. I just finished building one in a single 4 hour sitting.
More details here.
Now I’m gonna go rustle up some breakfast.