Green Rascal Design

 
 
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Here I have drawn in plan my new wall of closets, and extruded them up to the height I had previously. Then I patched above the entry door as I had before.

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This looks familiar. Now here is an FYI. The patch is great for some things, but when I apply a material to it in 3ds Max, it will look disjointed. If I'm not going to render this view that won't bother me, but if I am going to see it, I had better fix it. This goes for any of your constructions. If it is big/important/going to be seen in renderings, try to fix your surfaces so they are contiguous!

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First I will explode my walls. Then I will make a new surface using corner to corner in the front view. (watch the other views to make sure it snaps to the correct points) Next I will split this new surface using the small surfaces that make up the door opening. I can then delete the disjointed surface pieces so my wall looks smooth. And I'll do the inside face of the wall too...

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split
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split
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delete
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There are three closet doors that I need to patch up too. So I drew a line across the top of the entry door and copied/rotated it over in the top view so I know where my closet doors stop.

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I created a surface in the Right view and split it using the small surfaces that make up the closet door openings. Then I can delete the old surfaces that made up that wall, and voila! It is a nice smooth wall with right-sized openings and no strange disjointed seams.

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extrude line, split
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delete then change layer
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surface, split
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delete
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Now, I don't have to do the insides of the closets, but since I'm so darn picky I will. Create a surface in the Right view, closely watching the Perspective and Top views to make sure the thing snaps where it should. Then split it using those same small surfaces as before. Repeat, repeat. Done. That wasn't so much work. Also, FYI, I don't think I will re-join the walls together unless I find Max has a problem with them. I think they will look better unjoined.

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done with walls
 
 
I'm going to try to do some quick things to introduce new tools for today, so I think using the ceiling from Thursday will be a good start. Right now I just have a curvy form floating in space being held up by studentite - otherwise known as the magical force that holds things up in 3D computer space. I need to figure out at least some way to hold this thing up. I'm no expert on suspended ceilings, but lets at least do something basic.
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I'm going to draw some lines going vertically from where the actual ceiling is down to where the suspended ceiling lives. I'm going down far past the curvy ceiling here because I will want all the lines to actually connect. I started at the corner because it made it easy to draw the line from the correct point straight down.

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I moved the line over and down by two feet because I think the wall will have a rail along it to secure the edges. Now I will array this line to fill the room. (At 2 foot intervals it takes an array of 11 in the x and y directions to fill my 24' by 24' space.) Then I will split all the lines using the surface. I'm also hiding the lines used to create the surface so I can see better. And I don't want to accidentally delete the curvy ceiling lines when I delete the lower portions of my suspension lines.

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suspension lines
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surface
Now I want a grid in plan, so I create a plane in the front view that goes past the edges of the curvy ceiling. Then starting in the top view I will array the plane in the Y direction to coincide with the suspension lines (2 feet). Select the planes I just created and the curvy ceiling surface and type in Intersect. This command creates a line at any intersection. So I now have contour lines in one direction on my curvy ceiling. I will do the same in the X direction starting in the right view.

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array
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intersect
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array
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ceiling grid
I can leave it at that for a simple reflected ceiling plan. In the future I might need to divide up the curvy ceiling using those contour lines if the manufacturer of the ceiling wants more details for their shop drawings. But for the purposes of the class model I think we're fine.

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Unless I plan to light this room with all wall sconces or floor lamps, I'd better get some lights in the ceiling. I'll do some simple recessed can lights in a few locations. I'm starting with a square drawn at the top of the suspension lines. Then I'll draw a circle snapping to the center of that square. In this case my can will be 6" in diameter, which is the size of my circle.

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I extrude the circle down far past the curvy surface, and then copy the resulting cylinder to all the locations I want my lights to be. I'll snap to the tops of the suspension lines whenever possible, but all I want is the cylinders to be centered on the "panels" I just drew.

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Now I select the curvy surface and split it with the cylinders. (I use my right mouse button on the "lights" layer in the layers window to say "Select Objects," and all the objects on that layer become selected.) I'll delete the cylinders after the split, and select the resulting green circles and put them on the "lights" layer (by using the right mouse button and saying "Change Object Layer").

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Realizing my Curvy surface has no thickness, now is a good time to extrude it up one inch or about the thickness of an acoustical panel. (I'll turn off my lights layer so you can see the resulting holes.)

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Now I'm going to select all the circles on the lights layer and move them up an inch so they're even with the new top of my curvy ceiling. Then I will extrude those surfaces up to make the cans. Okay, they're not flat on the tops, but you won't see that in your rendering. What I want is a seamless transition from curvy ceiling surface to can light on the under-side.

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Next I'm turning off all the layers except the lights layer, and I type in SelSrf for "Select Surface." This selects only the bottoms of my cans because the rest of their parts are polysurfaces. I can delete the surfaces now, and am left with a nice hollow can.

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Briefly lets talk about making something bigger. I want to make a sculptural curved suspended ceiling first today. I'll start out with a room where the walls have been extruded straight up to 10 feet as a start. But say this is somebody's existing building, and the actual space is 18 feet high and the new ceiling is to be at 12 feet.
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I exploded the walls and turned on their control points. Then I selected the top control points and moved them up by 8 feet to get my interior space of 18 feet. The outer walls' points I moved up by another foot to leave some room for structure. I'm not sure how much taller the roof is than the ceiling, but it's an estimate. I'll also create planes at these levels, but I'm going to keep that layer off so I can see what I'm doing.

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Now I think I'm going to change the layer of the original lines I drew for the walls, and copy them up to where I want the suspended ceiling to start and end: 12 and 18 feet. I'll use these lines to construct my curves instead of being totally random. (and I'll put the original lines back on the wall layer since I won't be working with them.)

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I drew some lines in plan, selected them, and typed in Reb for rebuld. I said I want 10 points in 3 degrees. F10 to turn the points on. Now I move points straight up and down in the front and right views, and I can delete points in between until the curves resemble what I have pictured in my head, or model, or photographs, etc. (tracing carefully taken photographs of models also works well.) So I'm just going to loft these 4 curves and see that happens.

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It gave me a rounded end which I don't want, but there are also gaps to address. I'm turning the white lines off and the walls back on to finish my ceiling.

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Now I'll see if I can Extend Surface to fix the small gap by one foot. Then I'll Extend Surface by 10 feet to fix the two large triangular gaps because I want this ceiling tight.

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Now I can use Split to get rid of all this excess.

 
 
Here is a useful tool. You can place a bitmap image to trace. Go to View > Background Bitmap > Place
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placing a bitmap
I usually start at the origin, and the bitmap shows up on the top view. I don't worry about making it to a scale because I will scale my drawing after it is finished and I am ready to remove the bitmap. So here is a wine bottle that I will trace and revolve so that I might have some stuff on my shelves eventually. I will begin with a vertical line about the height of the bottle, and then approximate the curvature up from there. It is kinda hard to see, and it would work better if I'd taken a straighter picture, but you get the drift. I'll add a little line at the top for the cap, join the lines and then remove the bitmap. View > Background Bitmap > Remove  Then I select everything and scale it to the correct height. My bottle in real life is 1 foot tall, so my first point is the top curve at the end, and my reference point is straight down and lined up with the bottom of the curve. Then I type in 12" and it is the right scale.

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I won't put a bottom on my bottle because nobody is going to see it. So here is my profile which I will revolve around the end of the line I last drew. Surface > Revolve  Select the curve and press enter. The start of the revolve axis here is the end of my (cap) curve. Then it asks for the end of the revolve axis, which I want to be straight down, and I click past the bottom of the curve while holding shift or in ortho mode to make sure my revolve axis is completely vertical. The start angle of 0 is fine so I hit enter. And I want it to revolve all the way around so the angle of 360 is correct and I hit enter again. (if I click on the screen anywhere the revolution angle will stop wherever I click)

Now I have a simple bottle I can put on a shelf, but its placement is a little off. I want it above the origin point so that when I insert it on my shelf in the main file it will not be falling halfway through! And I also want it centered on the origin in the x direction so it is easier to line up. I think I'll draw a reference line to help. Plus, I have Snap on so it will snap to the origin. This is fine if I'm inserting the bottle on its side on a flat shelf.
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What if I have scissor shelves like at so many wineries? Here is an example of that situation. I just drew a line flat and rotated it up 45 degrees, then I mirrored that so it would be symmetrical. This represents the top surface of the angled shelves I might have in the other file. (I use SetPT in the Y direction if they get a little wacky) Then I repeat from the center of the cap to the edge of the bottle at 45 degrees. Now I will move the bottle up. Then I delete construction lines, and when I insert the block it will snap to the bottom of the V shape in my diagonal shelves properly (assuming my shelves are all at a 45 degree angle).

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I thought I'd go over patching a wall one more time.
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set to Link
Here I have a wall I've drawn with polylines and extruded up 10 feet. I inserted the door from before and gotten it into the right

location. Make sure Link is selected. Type Block to get the block manager and update any changes you might have made. In the block manager select Always update blocks when opening this model.

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I'm going to adjust the door now so that it is the correct width. Highlight what needs widening, and type Sc and wait... then choose Scale 1D from the list of choices. (just about any command can be brought up this way so if you don't remember specifically what its called, start with a letter and see what the choices are) First it asks for the origin point, and then a reference point. Whatever dimension you type will move the reference point that distance away from the origin point. (so you have to know the final dimension you want it to be!)

Now my door doesn't jive with my frame, BUT the FRAME is what moved. And if I want to prevent lots of problems in the other file, I have to move the frame back to its original location as much as possible. So I'm going to move the frame to the correct location with respect to the door.

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lower left corner of assembly at origin
Note: when inserting blocks notice where the insertion point is. It is at the Origin in the block's own file. Creating the block at the origin will make inserting blocks easier. I will now move the door to the origin, and this means I'll have to move it in the other file as well. Now the block's insertion point will be at a known location. I will go to my new file and move the door into place after updating it in the block manager.

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move surfaces to outside door assembly
The door assembly is bigger than the opening I have provided. That is because the door is more correct than the plan I initially drew. I wan the door itself to be 3 feet wide, so the opening has to be wider than that to allow for the frame. If you ever build in real life you'll learn this quickly. "In order to join things you have to separate them." Also, I want my door 2 feet from the other wall, so now I have to move the door again and then make the opening bigger because the opening is in the right location. I can either delete the polysurface walls, edit the original polyline and re-extrude the walls up... or I can explode the polysurface walls, move the short bits, split and rejoin. Since I still have a hole to patch I will do the second option because I will have to explode and rejoin the walls when I fill that in.

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moving points on lines
When I move the short surfaces to the right location I can still see the original lines in the wrong location. I'll fix that later. Here we see the split pieces that will be deleted. Now I turn the control points on the polyline on and move them to match the surfaces I just fixed. And I delete the short surfaces I split the other surfaces with earlier because they will not be seen and aren't needed. Then I make a surface using 3 points. Copy that to the other side, change object layer to match the rest of the surfaces and then I can join the surfaces all together again if I want. In this case I will do so.

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I'm on the wrong layer, but all the better to see the new surface
 
 
haha, happy Monday evening. I was just reading a friend's blog, and it seems that SketchUp is here to stay for at least a little bit longer.

To make a long story short... I had mentioned that as students it's not necessary to know how to use SketchUp, but that I wouldn't discourage it. Here is a prime example of why. Product companies, or at least one that I have read about (today haha) it seems, are inviting architects and designers to participate in charettes where SketchUp is the required medium. I don't know the details of this, but suffice it to say its good to at least get your feet wet in any program you can get your grubby little hands on. (I know hands, feet... make up my mind!)

See you in the morning when I put some kinda tutorial online.
 
 
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Door:
    
    Solid > Box > Corner to Corner, Height

    Click to start. This will be the lower left corner of the solid box.
    Type in door width.
    Type in door thickness.
    Type in door height.

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Frame:
    
    Draw polyline up one side, across top, and down the other side of the door solid.
    In Top view draw frame profile.
    
    Surface > Sweep 1 Rail

    Select the rail. Then select the profile (cross section curve). Enter.

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Basic Hardware (knob):
    
    Draw a horizontal line in the Front view at 3' above the floor.
    Draw a circle, example diameter 2.5 inches, centered on the line about 3" from edge of door.
    Draw profile curve and position at circle.
    Revolve around center point of circle.

 
 
A.    Walls, doors and windows modeled in 3D in AutoCAD, import directly to 3ds Max.     Line drawings you can extrude in Rhino with the below procedure:

1.    Extruding walls, as discussed: have all closed polylines, and in Rhino extrude them straight up to ceiling height.

2.    Doors, for simple doors:
   a.    Make a solid rectangular door, or if glass make a single plane with solid frame.
   b.    Make a solid frame for the opening with booleans, and make a solid jamb with a swept shape.
   c.    Make any necessary hardware if desired at this stage

3.    Windows, for simple windows follor door procedures.

B.    Casework, for AutoCAD casework import directly to 3ds Max.

    Line drawn casework model in Rhino similar to doors and windows:

1.    Base masses should be made similar to walls with surface extrusions straight up.

2.    Cabinet Doors and Drawer fronts should be made similar to passage doors with solid rectangles.

3.    Hardware should be limited if not required for overall project at this point, but be solids if needed.
   a.    Make simple handles with a shape swept along a rail.
   b.    Revolve profile curves for knobs.

4.    Counter Tops should be solids made at top of Bases and extruded up to counter height.

5.    Upper Cabinet masses should be solids, doors and hardware similar to Bases.

C.    Furnishings modeled in AutoCAD import directly to 3ds Max.

    Custom designed furnishings can be modeled in Rhino or 3ds Max:

1.    Make solid frames with shapes swept along rails if possible, use revolve, etc. if necessary.

2.    Make upholstery solids or planes as necessary, but keep it limited.
3.    Physical textures will be image heightfields - discussed later in phase 3.
 
 
One point I've been trying to get across is that concepts in modeling are not platform specific, meaning you can do basically the same things in any modeling program. (It is simply a matter of extended modifier options in some cases.) So if we have that understanding, I suppose we should focus on one program now.

My assessment with respect to any student's abilities might be a bit rosy. Perhaps I'm too trusting, or perhaps students are just good actors. But I've been informed that those who look like they're doing okay actually are not feeling so hot.

I hate giving handouts. I thought about it, and it's just troublesome. If you're in my class, then chances are you're not homeless and helpless. I admit to the reduction in my level of enthusiasm because the programs installed on our computers are brand-spanking-new, and we've got so much catching up to do. But I will see what I can do about getting more structure into the "lectures" without printing stuff on paper which anybody can just regurgitate on command.

The point to having everybody do something different in class is 1) to widen the collective experience of the class which can be shared amongst everybody, and 2) allow freedom of expression and reduce copying of others' work/leaning on peers too much.

So without further adieu, I will end my soapbox speech and get on with figuring out what to talk about today. I'll post whatever it is later.
 
 
Wow, busy busy morning. I am meeting with the visualization class coordinator later this morning to discuss possible additions to the lesson lineup in Advanced Modeling! Look out!

Also, I went through some things the coordinator wanted us teachers to look at on Autodesk's website. Here are a few pictures they provide us in their power point presentations:
solely for educational purposes
curve types courtesy of Autodesk
These are the types of lines you can make in 3ds Max, among other programs. The differences are in how many points control the lines and in what ways.

solely for educational purposes
surface types courtesy of Autodesk
These are the types of surfaces that you can make with the above linetypes.

Meshes are ordered collections of points (vertices) that are connected by triangular or quadrilateral polygons (faces).

B-spline surfaces are defined not only by their base curves, but also a quadrilateral control mesh.

Just like NURBS curves, NURBS surfaces are determined by a set of weighted CVs.

The geometry of NURBS surfaces can be adjusted by modifying the base curves and control mesh. NURBS surfaces can also be modified by changing the weight parameter of individual CVs.

The curves I was working with in class on Thursday were NURBS, which therefore resulted in NURBS surfaces. You can play with them and also try the other types of lines and surfaces for your information. We can talk about this later this afternoon if you wish.

Also this afternoon, I'd like to talk about blocks some more. Since most of you seemed to want to know how to make the same thing over and over again, I think it is important to get into depth with how to make blocks. I'll try and talk about how important they are, and hopefully the demonstration will go smoothly.

That is all for this morning. See you all in a few hours.