Haus Schlueter

hi blenderheads,

i want to restart an architectural project using blender.

this time i want to do all work in blender. this means that i want to do the modelling, texturing and lightning of the house in blender. last time i used blender only for the texturing and lighting purpose. so i will need a loooot of help because i am used to modell in cad-sytems which seems to me a bit more comfortable creating elements with defined coordinates. we’ll see. i’m looking forward your help and of cause your c&c.

to start i add some pics of a modell and a groundfloor. of cause i would like to use this 2D drawing as base for the 3D (that’s how i do it in my cad system) because a lot of information about coordinates is already stored in it.

so here are my first questions concerning starting the modelling:

  1. i am used to extrude objects like walls out of 2D elements. i can use the 2d line-information for that. i know that you can create objects in blender in the same way using a plane e.g… can i also use the 2D-dxf-informations to create objects in blender?

or would you start modelling the walls using a new blender origine cube modifying him to fit the wall coordinates? and when you do so, can you use the existing coordinates of the 2D drawing (so that i don’t have to reenter all coordinates by hand) easily? i know that you can use the cursor , but if you want to change it’s location to a specific point of an object (like an edge of a cube) it seems that you first have to enter the edit mode of this object to be able to select these points. is there a better and faster way of using existing points in your modell to enter relative coordinates of a new object (or to move, stretch extrude relative to these…)?

  1. creating walls with wholes in them. would you use boolean operations or create it out of different cubes or use a third, different method? of cause i have already 2D-drawings of the views, so that i could use them like the floorplan too.

you see i got a lot of questions :wink: i hope this topic can get to a sort of turorial for architectural interested people using blender and of cause for me :smiley:


I can see you put a lot of thought into your post, and looks like a lot of time thinking about the right way to do your project… With blender, there’s always another way to do it :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t recommend booleans (they can leave some not-very-pretty geometry in blender). I would recommend, trying to draw the “face” of your wall using a single plane… Draw the plane with enough geometry to the represent the windows / doors / any “hole” in your wall… Then delete the faces where your windows/doors would be. Then… Extrude the plane to give it thickness.

Same here.
use planes.
I’m not sure if Blender really is a good tool for architectural projects because you can’t work with scales.
I don’t know if it’s that accurate either.

I like the design of the house btw, it looks 50’s/ 60’s Modernism inspired by Bauhaus.
Put about 10 similar houses next to each other and you’ve got Mies van der Rohe.

Actually, check that again. You should be able to figure out how to work in a scale. Go to edit mode, then hit F9, click ‘Edge length’ and ‘edge angles’…should be fairly simple to work up a way to work ‘to scale’ with those two measurements, I’d think?


Taladan, great tip thank you, i never realized that was there, very handy.

Also if your measurements are Metric… That is a lot easier to work with in units, than say feet/inches would be.

Thirdsense, You can also set a background raster image in a viewport with “View -> Background Image”. But, I actually don’t recommend that in this case, if I were you I’d want to move object/verticies with numeric input instead of trying to line them up with an image.

Blender may not be the tool to complete an entire architecture project (I’m not an architect, but… I know a tool like AutoCAD or CADKey is a lot more tailored towards the technical aspects of architecture), but… I think it could definitely be employed as a tool for creating an artistic representation of your design… Such as those beautiful “architectural renderings” :slight_smile:

great. interesting responses. i finally found the time to make the first small attempt and started with the outside walls. the import of the 2D dxf file was not really a complete succes as you can see on the image below. but it will help to check the scale of the building parts.

i think i did similar as you suggested protocold and vliegtuig, but i started with a cube extruding edges or planes of it. i think with the new orthogonal sytem in blender it’s quite easy to work in scale. it works better and faster than i thought. still it would be great if you could use vertices of objects to reference to without activating the edit mode. this would make things much easier.

actually the thing i don’t like and what i would like to avoid is the display of edges that are not needed to define the clean geometry of a wall with a whole in it. it would be nice if i could erase those edges. is there a way to do so? a nice modell in wire-view would be great. i add an screenshot where i mark one edge of those edges that i mean.

i know it’s very basic :-? but it will get more complex later :wink: i just really want to find out about the best way to modell this kind of “not organic” things with blender

one more thing i am wondering aboutis, if i can later separate the interior faces from those on the inside (for texturing). any suggestion is appreciated.

Of course you can.
In edit mode you select the vertices you want to separate and I thin it’s ALT-P, though not sure.
It’s in the menu.

I’d recommend using “Material Indices” instead of separating faces from a mesh…

The concept is that you create groups of verticies (and their associated faces), and apply a material to each group.

This dice tutorial uses material indices to give a different color to the dots on a die.

(jftr, “indices” is the plural of “index” :slight_smile: )

hey protocol and vliegtuig - this was very usefull :smiley:

i tried the material indices, the seperate function and found the splitting function due to this, which is very helpfull too. this will help me a lot!

taladan: i checked your tip too now and yes, that’s really a nice feature as well. thank you.

unfortunatly i can’t get rid of these edges :-? is there no way to switch the edge display off in wire mode? but if not it doesn’t really matter - it would just be nice and cleaner to look at. if i would use curves first (they know wholes i think) and then generate a mesh out of it?

ok so far. i will have to modell a bit know.

i just tried the idea of creating the walls with curves, generating the mesh later. this results in a lot of triangles in edit mode, but in object (wire)mode it has a nice clean outline. it’s more difficult to draw curves with coordinates though. i will have to experiment later with that tool.

Thirdsense… I noticed that in your screen shot you’re in edit mode (from seeing the verts). I -think- if you go into object mode, those extra edges should disappear.

(I’m not positive on that, but… For example, If you select the default cube in a new blender file, tab into edit mode, hit W, subdivide, then tab back into object mode… still with wireframe draw-type… it will only show the outmost edges, not the extra edges created from subdivision).

I feel your pain on the curves… They always seem to produce a lot of tris for me too. One technique with curves that may work for modelling a wall is to create specifically a Path type curve, convert it to a mesh and extrude it – it should leave you with quads. But unless you’ve got some curved walls, I think i’d stick with planes/cubes.

(I keep coming back to this thread – architecture is what first inspired me to try my hand at 3d modelling many moons ago :slight_smile: keep up the good work)

One more thing about measurements. I use blender for doing mock-ups for customers in the marine industry… What I have been doing lately is using empty’s as a base line placing each one a numeric distance from each other and then doing a shift-s >> cursor to selection, select obect and, selection to cursor. Move object along a plane by distance if needed… It works pretty slick and helps you work out mistakes in your drawing as well.

BTW booleans have improved greatly in 2.4. If it is one of the last things to do on an object, and the object is not too complex that is…


thanx to your help protocold and the tutorial you indicated me i got it. you are right, it’s the edit mode - but not only. when i extruded the edges i got each time a new plane with borders. using the Alt-F key does the trick and is the fastes way to modell the wall and to get a clean look in object/wire mode. here is the example:

  1. draw the wall as cube and the windows as cubes inside the wall.

  2. go to edit mode. select all vertices on one side of the wall. erase “faces only”. reselect all vertices on one side.

  1. press Alt-F to fill automatically. blender detects wholes itself. the result looks like this:

a lot of triangles hmm, but if you leave the edit mode you get the clean look like in the first image- dadaaa :smiley: i did it already yesterday, because i saw the Alt-F function in the tutorial. but i forgot to get out of the edit mode %|

so thank you a lot. i hope you come along again, because you helped me a lot. what’s your relation to architecture? just personal interest?

deathguppie - i will try that - but can’t you get this effect using the snap to grid function? at the beginning the “snap to cursor…” function seems too uncomfortable, but it gets better if one gets used to it :slight_smile:

ok - next time you really get more modell - i promise :smiley:

I did some little painting on your picture.
Your mesh so far is ok but it will be easier to manage if you stick to squares and rectangles. After all, you house is pretty cubic.

The following show a good idea of how to make the model. The wires are clean and rectangular.
The lines are not perfect and some may be missing. You get a general idea on how you should organise your mesh. Try cutting what seem to be large faces into smaller rectangular ones that are easier to manage. See what I mean?

Startign from the ground plan is the right way to do it. Just the way you built it up you need to change.

So far so good

BTW, nice home design :smiley: Cheers and good luck

yes i would go with squares as well,

judging from your model, i think that is a pretty easy house to model.
the cubig style jus invites you to model it with squares. that will also
help later for more detaled modeling, like rims around the windows
and thus texturing.

some years ago modeled and create a complet fly through a german castle for a color design student. i found scanned drawings as backgrounds quite usefull. the cad system will be a bit more precise but since we have also the possebility to display the edge lenght that shouldnt be a problem. also keep in mind that this is a digital 3d model. no one will come with a ruler.

i do not know if you know or own sketchup. that apps is perfect for those tasks.


Um…just a suggestion.

Instead of doing ctrl F and getting all those triangles, try using ctrl R and doing faceloop cuts, position them exactly where you want them to ‘frame’ out the windows, then just delete the faces where the glass would be, or seperate them from the rest of the model and put a glass material on those faces.


dar, i thought it you wrote it.

sorry for the delay, but i didn’t found the time last days.

first of all thanx for your suggestions:

i followed your advice and restarted with squares. after a while i finally started to understand the logic behind the display of edges in blender :wink: and now i really have a nice way for modelling my modell, that takes in account that i wanted a nice clean modell in wire mode. see images below. Slèpnyrl thanx a lot for all the work you have put into these graphics.

this way could fit my use very well, if i could define the position of the “cut” by using relativ coordinates. as you only (at least that’s what i undertood) can define the position cut by a sort of percentage of the maximum lenght it seems a bit uncomfortable and i prefered to extrude my faces which works very nice with the new selection tool (vertice/edge/face selection mode)

don’t understand you in this last post :expressionless:

and that’s what i got so far. i finished the outside and inside walls of the groundfloor and the floor. i used material indices for the texturing (no texture defined yet) the two outside wall sides.

the “trick” (i suppose it’s clear for the most of you out there :wink: ) is to “cut” the wall as well in horizontal and vertical peaces, fitting around the windows. due to this all edges have the same lenght and if you remove doubles you get a clean mesh in wire object mode. maybe this will help someone doing the same exercice one day.

will continue modelling as soon as possible.


here’ just a little modelling update:

-walls outside are finished
-walls inside ground floor finished
-ceilings finished

it takes a bit longer to keep the mesh clean, but i like it 8) i made two horizontal cuts, so that i can easily look inside the different levels later.

well it is lot better than what i have made from my home,
keep up good work,.
if things get too complicated, move some of the object in different layer.
I found that very help full when i made my house(2 floors) and after i had made second floor it wass easier to place 1st floor in one layer and second floor in another layer.

here’s a little update

it took me some time, but finaly i finished the model of the architecture. Walls (interior and exterior), doors and windows, ceilings, staircase, etc.

still missing is furniture, landscape (garden)

when this will be finished i will start texturig and lighting the scene.

hope you like it.

kirini: yes, of cause i moved different parts on different layers. thanks for the advise.