Bixelangelo user guide

System requirements

Download Bixelangelo

versionBixelangelo 4.0.0.1
size1 MB
date releasedFriday, July 21st 2017

DOWNLOAD BIXELANGELO

If you do not like installers you can download the app as a ZIP file.

Buy Bixelangelo

A single user license of Bixelangelo costs € 29.95

What you get

When you buy Bixelangelo you receive your own personal license keys. Entering them into the app by choosing SETTINGS > Enter license keys... turns the evaluation version into the fully functional version.

BUY BIXELANGELO

Upgrade Bixelangelo

Can I upgrade for free?

Yes. So far, all upgrades of Bixelangelo are free upgrades. This means that your license keys work with the latest version.

How do I upgrade to the latest version of Bixelangelo?

Modes

Bixelangelo features 3 modes:

1) Draw freehand

Press d, choose EDIT > Draw freehand, or click on the button in the WINDOW > Mode window.

Use your mouse to draw a sketch.


2) Edit sketch

Press e or choose EDIT > Edit sketch, or click on the button in the WINDOW > Mode window.

Edit the sketch by clicking and dragging the points.


3) Edit roll

Press r or choose EDIT > Edit roll, or click on the button in the WINDOW > Mode window.

Edit the roll by clicking and dragging the roll control points.


Points

Bixelangelo features 3 point types:

1) Move

A move moves to a new point without drawing a line or a curve: it starts a new path.


2) Line

A line draws a straight line from the previous point to the current point.


3) Curve

A curve draws a bezier curve from the previous point to the current point. Use the Bezier control points to change the shape of the curve.


When the path is closed, the last point is rendered inside the big circle of the first point.


The active point can be edited in the Point tool. Press <F7> or choose WINDOW > Point

Control points

Control points are not visible when you render your sketch in BluffTitler, but are used when editing to define the shape.

Bezier control points

The shape of the curves is defined by the 2 bezier control points. Select and move the bezier control points in edit sketch mode.

By deleting a bezier control point (right click with your mouse), the curve is turned into a straight line.


Align

A point can have 2 bezier control points. Mark the Align checkbox in the point dialog(<F7>) to keep the 2 control points aligned.

Press a to toggle the alignment.


Roll control point

The angle of the roll is defined by the roll control point. When riding a roller coaster, the roll control point is on your right side.

Click and move the roll control point in the edit roll mode.


How to create a sketch

A sketch can be created in 4 ways:

1) Draw a sketch by hand

Press d to switch to Draw freehand mode. Left click your mouse button and draw your sketch.

2) Build out of standard elements

Choose WINDOW > Element... to add a standard element to your sketch.

3) Open an EPS file

Choose FILE > Open... to open an EPS file.

The EPS file can also be dropped on Bixelangelo's window.

4) Trace a bitmap

Choose FILE > Trace bitmap... to trace a bitmap. Make sure this is either a transparent PNG or a a black shape on a non-transparent white background.

Bixelangeo features a built-in tracer. Alternatively you can use an external tracer. In the current version only Potrace is supported. To use Potrace, select potrace.exe in the SETTINGS > Options... dialog.

How to edit a sketch

Press e or choose EDIT > Edit sketch to edit the curve and the bezier control points.

Select a point by left clicking on it.

Move the point by moving your mouse while holding down the left mouse button.


Press r or choose EDIT > Edit roll to edit the roll control points.


Right click on a point to delete it. When you right click on a bezier control point, the curve is turned into a straight line.

Richt click with the <Ctrl> key pressed to delete the line towards the point. This starts a new path at that point.

Connect paths by dropping a startpoint on an endpoint.

For more edit functionality see the keyboard and mouse sections.

How to view a sketch

Press <F1> to <F6> to select a default view.

If a point is selected, this point is used as the centre of view and centre of rotation.

Use the + and - keys on the numeric pad or your mouse wheel to zoom in/out

To move the camera: click on the background, keep holding down the left mouse button and move your mouse.

To rotate the camera: hold down the <Ctrl> key and move your mouse with the left or right mouse button pressed.

How to create a roller coaster

Elements

Choose WINDOWS > Element or press <F8> to display the element tool.

Select a standard element from the dropdown, set the properties and click on the Add button. This adds the selected element to the tip of your sketch.

Choose EDIT > Undo or press <Control> + z to undo.

A typical roller coaster starts with a Lift hill followed by a Dive. This gives the cart energy to finish the track.


Smooth

To smooth the transitions between the elements it's important to use a Smooth factor of at least 200 in the FILE > Save as... dialog.

Roll

Roll information is vital for roller coasters. Press r or choose EDIT > Edit roll to view/edit the roll. When riding the roller coaster, the roll control point is on your right side.

Make sure to mark the Roll checkbox in the FILE > Save as... dialog.

Elements

Bixelangelo features the following 14 standard elements:

Straight line

A straight line.


Lift hill

A lift hill, or chain lift is used at the start to give the cart enough energy to finish the ride.


Pre-drop

A pre-drop, kicker, tester hill or trick hill is used right after a lift hill to relieve the stress of the chain or to fool the riders the dive has already started.


Dive

A dive is used after a lift hill to turn the potential energy into speed.


Hill

A simple hump.


Turn

A turn can be made more exciting by combining it with an elevation.


Circular loop

A loop shaped like a circle.


Clothoid loop

A clothoid loop has a lower radius at the top. This way it loses less speed than a circular loop.


Dive loop

A dive loop combines a loop with a turn.


Top hat

A top hat or top cap features a 90° ascent followed by a 90° descent.


Corkscrew

A twist.


Cobra roll

A fancy U-turn that looks like the head of a cobra.


Batwing

A U-turn that looks like the wings of a bat or butterfly.


Hammerhead turn

A U-turn often performed by planes.


How to save your sketch

Choose FILE > Save as... to save your sketch.

Mark the Solid checkbox to create a filled shape for use in the EPS layer

Non-solid shapes are used in the sketch layer.

Mark the Export roll checkbox to save the roll information. This is important for roller coasters.

To save your sketch as a standard, compatible EPS file for use in other apps, do not export roll and make sure it's 2D.

BluffTitler Templates

To get you started, Bixelangelo generates BluffTitler show files. Templates are offered for:

  • spinning logo
  • handwritten text
  • 1st person roller coaster
  • 3rd person roller coaster
  • tunnel

By using the BluffTitler GUI, you can adjust all aspects of the generated show: change the colours, change the textures, change the duration, add your own layers,...

Keyboard functions

atoggle alignment of the bezier control points.Double press 'a' to mirror the control points.
ccentre the sketch
dswitch to draw freehand mode.
eswitch to edit sketch mode
gtoggle ghost mode. This creates a green ghost image of the current sketch. This can be handy when optimizing a sketch to make sure the new version matches the old.
nnormalize the size
omodifies the selected line into a perfect arc. If the line is part of a 4 point closed path, it is modified into a perfect circle
rswitches to edit roll mode
2make 2D
 
+,-scale up/down
+,- numeric padzoom in/out
 
<Ctrl> + nnew sketch
<Ctrl> + oopen sketch
<Ctrl> + ssave sketch
<Ctrl> + yredo
<Ctrl> + zundo
<F1>front view
<F2>back view
<F3>right view
<F4>left view
<F5>top view
<F6>bottom view
<F7>toggle point tool
<F8>toggle element tool
<F9>user guide
<F11>options dialog
 
<Delete>delete selected point
<Ctrl> + <Delete>delete line towards selected point

Mouse functions

Left click on a pointSelect a point. Keep holding down the left button and move your mouse to move the point. This works for points, bezier control points and roll control points. Drag an end point on a begin point to connect 2 paths.
 
<Shift> + left click on a pointSelect the 2nd point at the same position, for example the last point of a closed path that has the same position as the first point.
 
Left click on a straight lineTurn the straight line into a bezier curve and select one of its 2 bezier control points
 
Left click on a bezier curveSelect one of the 2 bezier control points of that curve. The mouse automatically moves to this point
 
<Alt> + left click on a lineCreate a new point at that position
 
Left click on the background and move your mousemove the camera
 
<Ctrl> + left or right click on the background and move your mouserotate the camera
 
Right click on a pointDelete a point
 
Right click on a bezier control pointDelete the control point: turn the bezier curve into a straight line
 
<Ctrl> + right click on a pointDelete line towards that point
 
Mouse wheelZoom in/out

EPS files

Bixelangelo opens and stores it sketches in the EPS format.

The EPS format is a huge format and Bixelangelo only supports a small subset : the outlines of uncompressed, unoptimized EPS files. But of course, all EPS files saved by Bixelangeo can be opened by Bixelangelo and BluffTitler!

Bixelangelo has extended the EPS format to make 3D sketches possible. Learn more

Program history

How do I upgrade to the latest version?

Version 4.0.0.1

Released: Friday, July 21st 2017

Changes since version 3.0:

  • Fully redesigned app!
  • Edit and draw in 3D
  • 3 modes: draw freehand, edit sketch & edit roll
  • Add, delete & move points
  • Add & delete lines
  • Edit bezier control points
  • Edit roll control points
  • Grid
  • Centre
  • Normalize size
  • Perfect circle tool
  • Ghost mode
  • Point tool window
  • Element tool window
  • Move, rotate & zoom view
  • 6 standard views: front, back, left, right, top & bottom
  • Built-in bitmap tracer and support for external tracers
  • Open and save EPS files
  • Build your own roller coasters out of 14 standard elements: Straight line, Lift hill, Pre-drop, Dive, Hill, Turn, Circular loop, Clothoid loop, Dive loop, Top hat, Corkscrew, Cobra roll, Batwing & Hammerhead turn
  • 5 BluffTitler show files templates: spinning logo, handwritten text, 1st person roller coaster, 3rd person roller coaster & tunnel
  • Removed feature: sketchmaps and vegetation system

Version 3

Released: 2015-6-10

  • New engine powered by DirectX 11

Version 2

Released: 2009-3-16

  • Total redesign: Bixelangelo now features 3 modules: recording, converting and generating sketches
  • The text on path effect is now implemented as a text layer attached to a sketch layer and requires BluffTitler 7.6
  • Optimized spline rendering

Version 1

Released: 2006-9-15

  • First release!

Troubleshooting

When I run Bixelangelo on the Mac using Parallels Desktop, I get the error message "The program can't start because MSVCR120.dll is missing from your computer"

This can be fixed by installing both the x64 and x86 versions of this package.