Layers and baseboards, and adding track to layout

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tbw45
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Joined: 28 Dec 2021, 14:56

Layers and baseboards, and adding track to layout

Post by tbw45 »

Hello; apologies for a newbie asking 2 daft laddie questions/issues. I'm trying to begin my first layout design using this software. So far I've added a baseboard, the size of a folding wooden wallpaper pasting table, which I'll be using as the base for my model layout.

1) Does a baseboard "behave" the same way as a layer in this software? Is it necessary to add a baseboard to the draft, or can you just work with a layer with the same dimensions?
or. is there any need to add a baseboard?

2) I tried 6 times to click and drag track components to the baseboard area (seemed the most logical way to add them) but all I got was the 'No Entry' symbol, and an Error sound. The padlocks of both layer 1 and my baseboard are unlocked.
Please could someone advise how to add elements to the layout? I'd be very grateful, as there's no guidance at all on how to do this in the online Help...

Thanks for reading this far; grateful for any advice.

Cheers

Tim
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Re: Layers and baseboards, and adding track to layout

Post by RailModeller Support »

Hi Tim,
tbw45 wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 15:34 apologies for a newbie asking 2 daft laddie questions/issues. I'm trying to begin my first layout design using this software.
No worries!

tbw45 wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 15:34 Does a baseboard "behave" the same way as a layer in this software? Is it necessary to add a baseboard to the draft, or can you just work with a layer with the same dimensions?
or. is there any need to add a baseboard?
Layers can be used to organize your drawing. Every object (track, accessory, shape, baseboard, image,..) belongs to a layer.
They can be switched on or off and be locked, you can assign defaults for newly inserted objecs - but that's mostly it.

The overall dimension of a layout is always controlled by the canvas size (under Document in the sidebar).

Baseboards are completely optional;
You can just go ahead and plan your layout with just the default (tracks) layer that is created automatically when a new layout document is created.

However, baseboards can be useful to depict the outline of the layout, i.e. the actual area where tracks are supposed to go.

tbw45 wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 15:34 2) I tried 6 times to click and drag track components to the baseboard area (seemed the most logical way to add them) but all I got was the 'No Entry' symbol, and an Error sound. The padlocks of both layer 1 and my baseboard are unlocked.
Layers have dedicated types (also shown when hovering the mouse over a layer in the Layer list):

The baseboard layer is tailored to contain baseboards and offers dedicated tools for editing baseboards when selected.

A tracks layer contains tracks from the Library Catalog, other accessories and generic shapes from the Shapes popup in the toolbar - rectangles, ovals, text, dimensions, arrows, ...

There are also image layers that are created for imported images, e.g. to base a layout on a Apple or Google Maps image, layout suggestions from magazines or hand drawn sketches.
When an image layer is selected dedicated tools are available to work with images.

When attempting to add e.g. tracks to a baseboard layer the software will reject the operation as the baseboard layer is a specialized layer that only knows about managing baseboards.
So you'd want to select the tracks layer that you'd like to contain your tracks before inserting them from the Library Catalog.

Hope this helps,
Jan
RailModeller Pro - The model railroad layout design package for the Mac

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tbw45
Posts: 2
Joined: 28 Dec 2021, 14:56

Re: Layers and baseboards, and adding track to layout

Post by tbw45 »

Hi Jan ,

It has been 10 months since you took the trouble to reply to my query about how to add and edit basic elements, which is greatly appreciated.
I still found it hard to make friends with the software, so I reverted to paper and pencil to develop layout sketches and ideas. Now the nights are drawing in, I thought I'd try once more to tame it, but am not really any further on.

I've managed to get 4 pieces of track onto a baseboard, so that's some progress. 2 lengths of SL-300F, and 2 small left-facing sets of points. (I began at 10 p.m.!) The points in the library face L-R; I need them to face each other, creating a 'Z' shape between the tracks. Positioning one is ok, but then the 2nd one has to be placed on the baseboard first, then edited, and then moved. Once the elements are "in play", it's not obvious how to move, or edit them. Sometimes the "edge circles" appear, sometimes they don't, but when they do, they don't respond in the way you'd expect. Or a square appears over it, with a dotted edge (why has That appeared?!) which isn't explained, yet seems to prevent any manipulation. (why can't I delete That square??) Sometimes the points turn red, but that still doesn't make editing possible. And so on.
Additionally lengths of flexi-track change their length when you click on them to reposition them, regardless of whether you wanted them shorter.

I reckon my interaction with computer software is generally pretty 'intuitive', but I just couldn't change things the way I wanted them. I looked in vain for a page in the Help which might show a range of basic actions, diagrammatically and sequentially. Or a demonstration model, built in stages, which a novice could copy or imitate, step by step, as it's assembled. The Getting Started/General Overview section lists the Sections of the Document window, but doesn't show how you build up from the first step. A bit like labelling elements of a car, but not explaining how and when you engage or release the clutch pedal, and how that relates to the gears.

I dare say those that are more familiar with the software will say "ah yes, but the R-L turnouts (points) are in another library, on a right-click" or "you don't edit them in that way" or "you have to howl by the moonlight to move to Editing Mode.." I wish I could point to where that information might be found.

I'm grateful again for your help, and truly wish I could join the joyous company who claim that RailModeller is a 'fun and intuitive' activity, but I just scream in frustration. And there are still only 4 pieces of track on the board, with one set of points facing the wrong way, in the wrong place...

Yours in the sidings,

Tim
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Re: Layers and baseboards, and adding track to layout

Post by RailModeller Support »

Hello Tim,

Trying to answer the specific questions:
Once the elements are "in play", it's not obvious how to move, or edit them
Simply by moving them with your mouse or optionally setting precise position and angle for the current selection in the inspectors (Element Properties) in the sidebar to the right of your document window.

Sometimes the "edge circles" appear
Assuming you're referring to the unconnected indicators - which can be toggled on or off per layout in the Layout Settings - these indicate, if the joint of a track is not currently connected.

Code: Select all

 Or a square appears over it, with a dotted edge
Not sure what you're referring to, maybe you can add a screenshot?

why can't I delete That square
The selected object can be deleted using the delete or backspace key, the Edit > Delete menu command;
Any layout element can be deleted using the Delete tool.

(All of course assuming you haven't locked the layer to protect it against changes).

Or a demonstration model, built in stages, which a novice could copy or imitate, step by step, as it's assembled
Luckily there are several videos doing exactly that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fylCLhZVJLU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvVYTJ8Y8H8

"ah yes, but the R-L turnouts (points) are in another library, on a right-click"
I'm afraid you'd have to know what vendor and track system you are planning to use, that is correct.


All the best,
Jan
RailModeller Pro - The model railroad layout design package for the Mac

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