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Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released

Posted by Alex 
Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
November 30, 2012 08:19PM
Hello World, we're alive!
I'm here to introduce you about 2 new features now available for everyone.

Do you know about Step&Repeat?
It's that kind of effect where you "repeat" the same image various times, to create things like background patterns or even a single line of the same image repeated continuously.
In past, to create those in RTD, you needed to create every single image and, in case of templates, you customer had to replace THEM ALL. Nightmare. Now no more!
Check in PRODUCT OPTIONS => Configure Products => Configure Generator.
At bottom of each of the CLIPARTS, TEXT and SHAPES FEATURES there's a new option named Step&Repead (default: disabled).
If you'll enable it the new tool will be visible for the selected product. Icon for it is also now available in SYSTEM OPTIONS => Styles Setup, if you want to change it.

How it works: I really hope it's pretty straightforward!
There are just few main commands: user can define how many rows and cols he wants, first of all.
Then, he has the ability of changing both the horizontal and vertical spacing between repeated items.
Next, there's the Patterns dropdown: it's a set of common patterns we just hardcoded there for quick use.
The Advanced Settings can be used to create your own patterns. Shortly, a dedicated video to explain that feature will be released.

The tool simply does what it says: it takes the single graphical item (could be text, shape or clipart) and will "distribute" it as per setup. So, to change all the images, customers will really have to change only one.
Multi logo effects are easy to obtain as well. For example, to create "the easy way" a 2 logo pattern, you can:
1) Add a clipart and apply step&repeat to it, assigning to it the "2 Images Option A" pattern
2) Clone it, change the clipart, and edit step&repeat of the clone to use the "2 Images Option B" pattern
3) Play with horizontal and vertical spacings to adjust both clipart aspect ratios
4) align them properly

That's all! Now you have a template, and all your customers will need to do is to change the cliparts to what they want, and eventually adjust using the spacing commands.

Note that all effects applied to the iems are preserved: if you rotate a Step&repeat item, all entries will be rotated accordingly.
It may be useful to know how the "small images" are created, so let me add a few words about that.
First, RTD creates the image as usual, so as if no step&repeat is assigned. Step&Repeat is infact applied as the very last effect. So, your "base image" is the one you see when step&repeat is not in use. Then it is resized to match the required number of rows and cols, as well as spacings.
This is important to understand in case you'll want to control the final result at its best, or in case you see dstortions you weren't expecting.

As this tool works the same way also for texts and shapes, you can imagine the possiblities. There would be so many possible scenarios, so I'd better let you simply try it and wait for the new video to be released.

Ok, This subject may really sound obscure. But it's not!
You may have seen this tutorial in past: Creating a "discount code" using coupons - a simpler version.
One common issue with that method is that checkvalues you can define for external variable rules (basically, the discount codes) can be used multiple times.
I have posted an update in that thread as well.

The new feature will allow you to upload a file for each rule: it must be a simple text file, with one discount code per line.
When one of its codes is used (order submittal), the code will be removed from the file.
When the file will have no more codes, rule will basically become inactive.
It's in PRODUCT CONFIGURATOR OPTIONS => Manage/Define External Variables => Manage/Define External Variables Rules. As written in there:


If you fill the checkvalue field, passed string will be checked against it.
Multiple Checkvalues File can be used if you want multiple checkvalues to be valid for the same rule.
If you will upload a file, the checkvalue field will be forced to be empty.
Moreover, when an order is submitted and one of the values defined in the Multiple Checkvalues File is used, that value will be removed from the file.

So, Multiple Checkvalues File is the method to use in case you want to provide your customers codes that can be used only one time (for example, discount codes for a campaign)
-------> The file you have to submit must be a simple text file, with one code per line. <-------
If the file is uploaded, this page will also show how many codes are still available.
When a customer will use the latest available one you will read 0 entries left and the rule will be no more active until you upload a new file, or remove the file and set a single checkvalue.

That's all for today!
As usual, this thread is open for comments, questions and suggestions.

Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Re: Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
November 30, 2012 10:22PM
I've made a quick video to explain the Step & Repeat Tool. Please share your creations with the RTD community.

Mark Sr.
Re: Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
December 01, 2012 10:08AM
You can see a few templates made with the step & repeat here:

If you want these templates moved to your site, give us a shout.

Mark Sr.
Re: Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
December 04, 2012 06:50AM
So sorry late in commenting. Babysitting the grands for 2 days. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!! You SHOULD be proud of this. Works like dream and very intuitive. I love the offset features. Holy cow will this make the job easy for customers AND US as we do this mostly manual.

Job well done!
Re: Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
December 04, 2012 06:55AM
About Multiple checkvalues . . . our staff were just discussing this last week. How could we get different codes to disappear as used and walla, here you go. Plenty to start working on for next year. Thanks again.
Re: Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
December 18, 2012 03:16PM
Hey Mark!

This is Josh @ stickers banners inc
We would love to use your templates!
Can you make them available to us?


Joshua Kim
Re: Step&Repeat and Multiple Checkvalues for external variables released
December 18, 2012 03:46PM
templates moved into your site. please check to make sure their presence doesnt affect any of you site these are general templates rather than product templates that you typically use ypu can open them and save them as product templates if you prefer

mark smiling smiley
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