- Non-professional software
- Basic paradigms for 3D building modeling
- Start with the basics: working in SketchUp
- Variety of software libraries
- Importing and detailing graphics
- Is Autocad so difficult: how to quickly master the selected program
Design helps to organize work and complete the necessary set of materials and technical means for the implementation of any construction. Development of the visual component of the project – plans, sections and working drawings – can be automated with special CAD or CAD software.
Is it possible to draw up a 3D home design yourself without being a CAD specialist? This question can be considered almost completely resolved: the affirmative answer is given by numerous programs for three-dimensional modeling. The speed of their development is much higher than when working with professional software, plus less technical knowledge is required. But understanding the essence of building three-dimensional models in this matter is necessary..
The simplicity of a program does not necessarily mean that it is limited in functionality. Lightweight design tools just lack the tools to optimize work on large projects. Also, a distinctive feature is a less perfect system for preparing exported drawings – a variety of line types, dimensions, footnotes and annotations are not supported. However, this is usually not required for amateur use..
It is also important to initially share the goals that are set when developing a project. If you need technical and design documentation, plans, sections or drawings of individual units, it is better to look towards the programs that are closest in functionality to CAD..
Although many programs with the output of design documentation support shooting three-dimensional scenes, their rendering capabilities are severely limited. If the goal is to get a visual idea of the size, scale, proportions and finish of an object, 3D visualization programs will be a good help. They have a richer choice of textures and more rendering possibilities..
Basic paradigms for 3D building modeling
Before moving on to choosing software for project development, make sure that you understand the very concept of creating 3D models in the context of architecture. In programs of different classes, the construction process can be implemented in different ways..
The common thing is that the user is presented with a completely empty 3D environment. It is a coordinate space with three axes, in which each object is created manually and has specific coordinates for each point..
Programs derived from CAD systems use a three-view drawing technique inherent in designers. Access to the working environment can be provided through one of four viewports: three-dimensional with a free flight of the camera, as well as with preset top, side and front views. This paradigm is very convenient if editing or construction is performed only in two out of three planes. Working with individual sections of objects, you guarantee the preservation of their shape in other projections. Drawing lines is carried out by parameterizing them with the coordinates of key points, angles between lines, radii and radians.
In rendering programs, where there is no clear need for accurate sizing, but scale and proportion are important, a slightly different principle is used. When any object is activated, it is supplied with a manipulator and an anchor point. The manipulator allows you to move an object along separate planes, axes, or in free mode. Anchor point (usually one of the vertices) determines the spatial coordinates of individual objects in the general scene for more convenient positioning and “docking”.
This is the main difference: in visual tools, work is carried out on each object separately. Moreover, its lines are not drawn manually: work begins with primitives (ball, cube, prism), which have both individual vertices and edges, and flat faces (polygons) available for editing.
For working with whole objects, modifiers can be provided that allow you to bend, twist, stretch and otherwise deform both ordinary primitives and more complex shapes. Since exact dimensions are not required for output, all measurements are carried out in conventional units..
Start with the basics: working in SketchUp
You should start mastering the design of houses with a program that is easy to use and will allow you to easily switch to a more complex tool over time. The main advantages of SketchUp are the accessibility of its development to the layman and a fairly wide range of possibilities..
SketchUp represents some sort of interlayer between the CAD and renderer classes. On the one hand, the program has basic drawing tools, the ability to assign associative dimensions and prepare more or less tolerable drawings manually.
On the other hand, modeling and working with objects follow a simplified scheme: we draw a two-dimensional contour of a figure on a selected plane, then we stretch or press in its outline, giving volume. The program supports the imposition of textures or colors to prepare demo sketches. It is also possible to connect the V-Ray render engine for shooting scenes with varying degrees of rendering, up to absolute realism.
Variety of software libraries
The main drawback of SketchUp is the almost complete lack of tools for working with complex curved shapes. But this is compensated by a huge library of ready-made models that are loaded into the scene in almost a couple of clicks. All models are imported from the central catalog of the program, which is constantly updated by other users. It has everything from plumbing fixtures and doorknobs to flower pots..
But SketchUp is not alone in boasting a variety of library components. There is a good tool FloorPlan 3D, where most of the work is done with the components of the standard or connected library. The fact is that this program uses a slightly different development concept: the program breaks the building into separate rooms and parameterizes each of them, setting both technical parameters and overlay materials. The same rule applies to all other objects in the scene..
The possibilities of a rich library of models are shown in full force when furnishing and interior decoration. For a construction project, this does not play a key role, but it allows you to make sure that everything you need will harmoniously fit in the created room..
Importing and detailing graphics
CAD programs usually have the ability to freely import projects or drawings into visual processing tools. The simplest example is when you have the original Autocad documentation available that you bring into SketchUp or 3ds Max to build a model with approximate values but detailed appearance.
The reverse direction of development is also possible: according to the data of the visualization program, you make an approximate “sample” of the project, according to which you subsequently prepare an exact project for drawing up drawings and specifications for materials.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t rely on just one software product. Even without the possibility of direct import of projects, it is much more convenient to divide the work into two stages, transferring key data manually. The sequence of development you are always free to choose yourself.
Is Autocad so difficult: how to quickly master the selected program
We have already said that the high complexity of Autocad and similar CAD programs is due to the need for high-quality preparation of drawings in full compliance with ESKD or ISO standards. Also, programs of a high class of complexity are distinguished by the ability to automatically calculate the materials used and help with their piece-by-piece placement. The work can be performed by the standard functionality of the program (Sema Extra, “K3-Cottage”), there is also the ability to use plug-in extensions and plugins (Autocad, SketchUp, 3ds Max).
The good news is that you can use this heavy program even without advanced knowledge. Just about every CAD or advanced renderer allows you to start with the basics, practice, and gradually improve your skills. Over time, you can stop at a certain level of study and successfully use the knowledge gained in the future..
This is another reason to get started with SketchUp. It clearly demonstrates the basic techniques of working with drawing, using libraries, rendering – a little bit of everything. It is unlikely that you will want to pay from $ 500 for a commercial software product for one-time use, but no one forbids using the 30-day version of Autodesk products or installing a demo version of “K3-Cottage”. Having experience in SketchUp, you will spend a minimum of time mastering the interface of any other program and immediately proceed to work on the project.