Architecture plan reading

In reading of point 1 would you like a scalling feature to be implemented into blender which can be both metric and imperial?

And do you think it is likely to happen?

(I admit I was wrong)

Unfortunately, I don’t think it will happen soon. The Blender developers seem to be more interested in organic type of modelling. I’m not blaming anyone, since it is open source, after all. It is a pitty though…:cool:

I can’t remember where I’ve seen this, but isn’t there a Blender script implementing real-world co-ordinates?

I would prefer it if the ruler was always on if that makes sense, so for example when creating a plane it tells you x and y and the area in mm squared and so on. That I believe would be more usefull.


to learn to read blueprints takes no really special training, if you know how to measure things you already have half the battle won. Just hire one of your friends or family members who is in the construction trade. For residential you wont need to learn very much, it can all be done in an afternoon. Remember, blueprints where written for semi-literate construction workers to translate. It is not rocket science. If you are in america you can go to your local library. they usualy will have a huge “do it yourself” section, where you can get a crash course in construction.

I have read in a few places here where people are importing DXF files into blender, and tracing them. It seems like a neat method, and I might try it someday when I don’t need to have accuracy, like for video game development.Otherwise I key in all my dimensions to keep the accuracy. Years ago as a carpenter we had a saying “Measure twice and cut once”

I have done architect vis for a few years now, and never have I needed to get the DXF into my modeler.

I use Qcad to convert DXF to a .png/.bmp/.jpg file, and use the most lightweight image viewer that I can find to display it on my other monitor while I model.
for small things I just load the image into the UV editor for reference.

the way I get everything nice and scaled is no mystery, I JUST READ THE BLUEPRINTS! That is what they are made for in the first place, I even got a 500$ bonus for finding errors in the architects material list, the drawing was perfect, the measurement number he had entered in the list where different. This could have costed the contractor thousands of dollars in wasted material and time. But by me building the virtual house first, he found out without wasting a minuet of time or a twig of wood. He is a full time client now.

If you want to make blender into imperialistic, just change your scale… 1 unit=1 foot or even 1 yard… smaller things use 1 unit as 1 inch…really a pain in the butt still.
If your architect is nice, all he has to do is 1 tweak in his autocad preferences to have the blueprints convert to metric for you.
I really want someone to make imperialistic grid-snapping too for blender. I don’t ever see that happening though , the developers are mostly in Europe, they don’t need feet and inches.

Here are some random tips:

there is a blender caliper script that is neat for illustrating measurements…

look in your blender preferences, you can turn grid snapping to always on…

when in edit mode, look in the Mesh tools 1 panel, and click on the Edge Lengths… this will draw the dimensions of the edges for you. For roofs,staircases there is an Edge Angle button too!

Don’t ever think that there is “the way” to do something. there is always more than 1 way of doing things. especially with a tool as versatile as blender.

3d studio is NOT the industry standard, while it might be in some parts of the world, it is complete overkill… Lightwave is the industry standard in America, and is overpriced… take a look at XSI if you want to spend money on a modeler. (please try using blender first tho, it might be all you need) 3ds was a cool application at one time, now it is over bloated and overpriced, and has a real “clunky” feel to it. if you don’t believe me , just download Gmaxx to get a taste for yourself then try the free learners XSI.

Study how to use HDRI rendering, later learn how to make your own light probes, so you can make a probe from the actual location. For indoor lighting I suggest XSI or lightwave, you can convert the light energy much more accurately from the lights factory specifications (from the luminance, luminous intensity, luminous flux, and troland ) if anyone knows how to do this in blender please PM me… they will be $$$ rewarded.

get Poser or Make human (the old blenderscript , not stand alone GUI)… One of the worst things I see very commonly done in this industry is compositing photos of humans into the scenes. You will never get the lighting right, it will always look wrong. Use 3d people that are illuminated by the scene lighting. only thing that should be a photo is the backdrop.

Well, that is enough maxims for one day.
Good luck, and study hard! you will be rewarded

Reading plans is easy. Providing a service to architects as their vizualisation artist requires a bit more than reading plans.
Whether Blender is imperial or metric is also no biggie. Anyone in the trade should be able to quickly convert between the two. However, Blender’s shortcommings in architectural vizualisation is simply that it does not have much native support for archi viz. In my experience, efficiency is a very major factor. I could not complete all my projects on time if I had to do all these work-around techniques. Sure 3dmax is not the one and only app for the job, but one can simply import a dwg, and start working off it immediately. Blender cannot do that.
I’m not trying to promote 3dsmax here (I am no fan of Autodesk and their way of business), but for now it is very efficiant for this purpose. Sure it does have a million features that one would never use in architecture, I don’t even use its renderers, which are incredibly slow, but you can quickly build an accurate model with accurate UV maps and render it up in your favourate renderer.
I don’t understand how anyone that does architectural vizualisation professionally, seem to forget the time factor involved. Just about anyone can create a beautifull realistic image with any 3d software, given enough time. However, in practice, you need to be able to do it in time, ie: meet your deadlines.

Remember however, that Europe also includes the UK - and the term ‘Imperial’ is used for a reason. I’ve a feeling that if they ever do it at all, they’ll make sure to include all of the relevant measurement systems.

My message was ment for KS, not you edbow3d.

But this one is,

I meant no disrespect from my message, just letting him know how others in the field feel about blender and other 3d applications. Sorry if you took some of them personal. (If I misread your comment please excuse me.English is not my first language.)

I thought I would give him some tips too. I hope he actually ignores both of us and tests 3ds, lightwave and XSI use-fullness out for himself. Then when he forms his own opinion I hope he comes back and shares what he found. Who knows he might come back and teach us both a new lesson. I can tell he is a smart lad. He has already brought himself this far, and even landed a contract without the ability to read blueprints. I wish him the best of luck in our industry. :slight_smile:

a few things I am totally sure of .
I Love white women .
I am very proud to be able to use blender in my work flow. I dont need to rely on a 1000-5000$ application.
And my production will not come to a standstill if I don’t have a DWG or DXF importer.

To give back to the community I am doing a tutorial on my work-flow as soon as I get some (rare) free time. They will cover simple modeling from blueprints, building a normal mapped/height mapped material library for your geographic location, setting up a terraform from DEM files with free software, and getting your stuff into a real time rendering engine.

I will leave the rendering tutorials up to Google.

pOOf, no offense taken here. The way I see it, people are just voicing their opinions. That’s a good thing.
I actually envy your ability to use Blender professionally for architectural work. Personally, I haven’t yet found a way. I can’t help but just respect how Blender has managed to gain such a passionate bunch of users.

I just happened to stumble across this thread.
As a student, there are times when I don’t have much time to lose in front of a computer screen, since the most I have to do with it is designing buildings that meet requirements, not presentations that impress (some professors really don’t care - while good presentation and crap design may work in the market, it doesn’t work in theory). I use Architectural Desktop since I think that working with 2D plans and elevation is an outdated process, and BIM really gives you control on the overall design process.
I then export the model as 3ds (dxf fails 70% of the times, even if I purify the file) and import in Blender for the sole purpose of adding materials and lights (how could you possibly draw architecture in Blender without, e.g. snapping to midpoints, tangent, parallel and ortho lines… Blender works with meshes or nurbs, it’s not parametric, after all… correct me here since I don’t have much to do with modeling in Blender).
Why bother using Blender rather than Max or Viz Render? Well, 80-90% of the students in my faculty (and I guess it’s quite common everywhere) have their pirate copies of those suites. Instead, I do appreciate the philosophy “one less commercial software pirate, one more open source user”. Also, learning Blender lets you understand the concepts in a deeper way than many automatic parameter setups in VIZ would do.And that may be time consuming at first, but then it’s quite rewarding.
Then everyone is free to have their own opinion about that.

Hope to see your tut, then, as an addition to
this month’s issue of Blenderart Mag’scover topic.:smiley:
Hope it’s not just one of those empty talks I’ve seen in this

Don’t want to insult any professionals here, but take a look at this gallery:

Alot of those folks have nothing to do with architectural education. Nothing.
And most of those work are commercial.
So please, don’t tell that architectural viz requires degree. I agree it’s essential to know what are you doing and being able to read blueprints.
But there are alot of talented people who have not degree in architecture and they work with architects and produce awesome arch. viz. work.
So don’t discourage people from trying to get arch. viz. jobs.

EDIT: Also there is such thing as conceptual arch. vizualization. You just have to be a good artist to do that.

What is “BIM” ? And why working with 2D plans and elevation is an outdated process?

It doesn’t say anything about the artist haveing no arch ed, though.
And they were all done using 3ds max, rendered with Vray. That’s dis-
couraging for Blenderers.:o

Of course, I don’t speak Russian.

Check out the new blenderart mag its got tuts too :slight_smile:

I am russian and I’ve read comments of authors. Alot of those viz. people came from different fields. There are people from engineering fields, medical fields, teachers, etc. Some folks are actually architects.
MAX, VRay, VIZ, etc. has been easily accessable in Russia. That’s why all rendering done there are done using those tools.
I am working on my first interior design and vizualisation project in QCad + Blender + GIMP + Povray. We’ll see if I’ll make it to that gallery :stuck_out_tongue:

And just a little note for some folks:
In my country of origin (which is Russia), people with arch. degree don’t cry: “Oh poor us, we had to pay alot for college, study, get into the industry and woah, other folks without degree come and work and get paid more”. They respect those folks. Also I think if a peson without degree can do better job and get more money than person with degree, it means that peson smarter :smiley: Don’t want to generalize, but in US for example I ran into situations where ppl with degree just envy ppl without one if they perform better and make more money, and those envious folks just can’t sleep well :wink:

With Blenders internal modeling/renderer, Yafray, Indigo, Povray, Wings 3d, etc., etc. what do Blender users have to worry about? 3DS and Vray are just 3d software. They give you no special design powers that one cannot duplicate with most 3d software including Blender and other project support apps, etc. Some Blender artist can render out scenes that look as good as Vray or Yafray using Blender’s internal render alone. You need to study classic 3d lighting and texturing to do this. Add a little AO and it’s marvelous. And you can cut down the render times when you control the setups.

I have used Blender for a number of design task including quasi arch viz type designs for 3d environment looks only. Maybe that’s what folks call set design or whatever. I’m learning a little cad on the side to make it all “real” one day if need be. 3d design is a little bit of this and that. Hey I even have reference books for fashion makeup design for my character model texturing. I even have hair design books, etc.

People often look at 3d artist works and see that they can handle almost anything. We can serve up storms or calm breezes on call.

Our software is cool but we 3d artist have the special powers. With our will and skill we can materialize wondrous things that please the masses.:smiley:

With great powers come great responsibility.:smiley:

When I read p00f’s comments it made me think that a 3d artist real power is the power of observation. The more they tune this skill the better. 3d design has a large focus on understanding how the physical world works. They perceive what’s needed from those observations and apply it to their work.

If you come from an artistic background that focus on details that are basically topical in nature you have many things to learn about 3d. 3d lets artist approach design in a scientific manner when need be. Examples of this are texturing and displacement. In fact some forms of displacement of 3d geometry are impossible to perform properly without 3d scanning equipment. Even then it’s tricky. Some objects in real life are composed of simple angles that we can fake to the naked eye. Most of us 3d folks work with these types of objects in our scenes.

Renderers may soon handle the kind of infinite displacement and perspectives that we see in the real world. When we can model and render anything with as much ease as traditional painting 3d will advance in ways that we can’t imagine. Good by fake 3d!

Much of the skill required to use such software will come to those actively committed to 3d design tech and software. I’m sure that people will say based on their degrees or whatever that they are the best to supply services to markets. But in reality the folks with the skills who stick with each and every introduction of 3d tech application will be getting the real job offers.

I have even seen professional 3d artist get frustrated by the speed of developments in 3d software tech. In the past people paid fortunes to get into using 3d software and hardware. Now you can start out with a very small investment in hardware, free software and a major investment of time and learning.

Think about this example, you are eating food in a fine restaurant. It is prepared in the manner that you have been accustomed to for the price. You have visited other similar restaurants in the past and ordered the same dish. Little do you know that the chef in the restaurant had no formal training. Beyond practicing and cooking for family and friends before he or she got this job they never worked in a fine restaurant. Would it matter to you if your chef was trained at the best schools money could buy? Wouldn’t the fact that the food was masterfully prepared and excellent all around only count?

Often design is purely aesthetic and not scientific in it’s display. The only thing that is important is pleasing the taste and needs of the client. If you can do this on any level, pat yourself on the back. You are a success. That’s what it’s all about.

Say someone offers you a design task as a 3d artist and you are presented with providing a solution. Find one and offer it up. The worse thing that could happen is that your ideas are turned down. Then you just find a new client.