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chrismoose
03-13-2005, 07:55 PM
Hi all,

I've downloaded blender2.36 and its quite interesting. i've spent the weekend listening to the video tuts and reading some pdfs from peoples sites.

I have a few questions that i cant seem to answer yet on my own:


comparing things to 3ds max OK:

1: can i create a rectangluar shape in the front viewport and put another rectangular shape inside of the other one and attach them together, so then i could extrude them to create a wall with a hole in it for the window!!? i dont want to use booleans yet! given the choice.

can i freeze items? (autocad plans in all views:))

is there any tuts/lessons about adding the other renderers and other scripts to blender?

if you can add two meshes together, can you weld the two closest verts together?

i would like a line tool in which i can move the verts around, i tried with the bezier or nurbs curve but messed up!

and where is the or a type of transform gizmo? coz in perspective there is no xyz icon in the bottom left hand side to tell me where i have to go when i grab. even though i can g and z , etc, but it isnt to intuitive or real time.

look forward to going further.
regards,
chris

Apollux
03-13-2005, 11:36 PM
To all your questions the answer is YES, but instead of handling you the straigh answers, I'll repeat what I told you in a previous post.

Instead of Architectural tutorials, search for Mesh Modeling tutorials for Blender... THOSE are the tools you will be using the most.

For real, those questions you are asking are really basic ones.. after reading a few beginers tutorials you should find the answers by yourself. Take this advice, at firs just focus on the basics of Modeling, then on texturing and finally on lighting (lighting is the most difficult thing to master).

I'm aware that I sound like a presuntous oximoron, but I really believe that one must learn to walk before attenting to win the 400 mts race.:)

gabio
03-14-2005, 12:04 AM
that wasn't nice appolux :wise:

anyway. for the gizmo There is no real gizmo for now. And the more modeling I do the more I find myself wondering "where is this f* x axis now? So most of the time I refer to one of the side view(front side top) to see the little axis in the corner. I see now that it could be helpfull to know where it's going. gizmo is planned for next release btw.
weld the two closest verts together?
you could use the merge tool(wkey, merge) when the 2 verts to merge is selected or use rem double function in mesh tools panel in edit mode you have to select all verts to be evaluated. Depending on the limit value, if two selected verts are too close blender will merge them.
well, 'nuff said.
Have you readed the blender manual btw?
http://www.blender.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=documentation&file=index

Apollux
03-14-2005, 12:53 AM
that wasn't nice appolux :wise:


But that's the best advice I could give him for the long run.

kattkieru
03-14-2005, 02:01 AM
I think that most of the questions you have can be answered by doing the tutorials throughout the blender manual as well as by doing searches on this forum. It was suggested above; I particularly suggest the First Animation in 30 + 30 minutes section.

As for making holes in walls, add a plane, select all verts, hit the E key for extrude and then hit the S key for scale immediately. Scale it down, then hit the E key again and scale it along the face normal. You may need to delete an extra face in there, but basically that's an easy way to make windows. You'll be able to come up with your own ideas about how things can be done as you develop as a modeler.

chrismoose
03-14-2005, 09:33 AM
AHHHHhhhh....i didnt know you could get the blender documentation, i thought all i could get was the 800 page guide to buy!! thx 4 the link gabio!

i shall look into downloading this lot!!

in regards to the rest of Apollux reply;
i just want to know if blender can do certain things and how, when comparing them to 3ds max.
i will be using blender in a primarily architectural basis using the spline extrude modelling method i'm used to (if i can. and if not what is the best other way.). texturing and lighting is easy for me, but cutting out windows using booleans and such when i am used to attaching splines is in my opinion not the best way to go (too much messed up faces after booleans!).

thx kattkieru, i shall give your idea a try.

if they are easy questions, then they cant be hard to answer quickly, especially if you are answering to an experienced cg user anyway.:) after all, once i know these answers i'm basically up and running with blender!!:)

i'm just trying to find out if i can translate my max skills to blender and therefore asking how.

i found a few tuts; a castle nurbs funny face, a cave, dice, ground etc...but judging by the model itself i wouldnt think it is using the modelling methods i currently use. but i still have to go through them with a fine tooth comb!!:scream:

but i shall look into it.:wise:

thx very much for everything.
speak soon as my dialup will need all the bandwidth to try to download the documentation.

regards,
chris.

efbie
03-14-2005, 10:05 AM
spline extruding in blender works quite well :
you make your spline with add> curve > spline
then you create your shape (ctrl LMB add a node), C makes the spline closed.
then you go to edit buttons (F9) and in the splines and surface panel, there is a Ext1 value
it automatically extrudes your spline of this value (visible only in object mode

when you have what you want you can just convert it to mesh with alt+C
then you can add detail with poly modelling.

Splines and nurbs are really limited in blender, but the poly tools are quite powerful.
to add a window in a wall , here is my tactic :

cut in your wall with Ctrl-R or K, do it on both side of your wall. when you have your square shaped, just delete thoses faces in both side of the wall. The select the edges of the window and you can fill the space with F, or shift F if you have more than two edges selected.

You can select edges loops with alt-RMB

I would suggest you to model in poly directly it is more effective in blender.
You can do it as you would with splines. add a cube, delete it but keep one vert, and start adding verts and edges with ctrl-LMB, turn subsurf on if you want smooth curves, and then you extrude your whole contour.
you can then sharpen your corners by selecting edges and do shift-E

with that method you will have more control on your mesh and it will be easier to add windows and doors :)

good luck !

chrismoose
03-14-2005, 11:51 AM
efbie,

thanks for that, just about the perfect answer!!
just one thing...:).. you said...add>curve>spline
but i only have add>bezier curve, bezier circle, nurbs curve, nurbs circle, path. in blender 2.36.

no spline option.
can you clarify?
regards,
chris

i shall get to your other tips soon.

harkyman
03-14-2005, 02:35 PM
Simplest way I know of to make a rect. with a window hole is:

1. Create plane.
2. Hit x - then select only faces. This deletes the face of the plane but leaves the verts and edges.
3. Extrude - hit S - scale the extrusion down.

Voila. Plane with a hole. Adjust the verts to your desired rectangularity.

efbie
03-14-2005, 02:54 PM
efbie,

thanks for that, just about the perfect answer!!
just one thing...:).. you said...add>curve>spline
but i only have add>bezier curve, bezier circle, nurbs curve, nurbs circle, path. in blender 2.36.

no spline option.
can you clarify?
regards,
chris

i shall get to your other tips soon.
Oooops, Sorry i should have been more explicit. Both nurbs and beziers are splines. Nurbs sands for Non uniform rational B- Splines. And the bezier curves are also called B-Splines

You can use both nurbs and bezier curves for that purpose. Use what you like the best :)

chrismoose
03-14-2005, 03:44 PM
efbie;
thx will do.

harkyman;
i cant seem to replicate your tip! when i press x and delete the face there is nothing left, no trace of any verts either! so when i press e, i get the option to extrude but there is nothing there to extrude. and what if you want two window holes in your wall? :)
i'm on blender 2.36 in case it matters.
thx
c.

harkyman
03-14-2005, 03:47 PM
When you hit 'x' to delete, don't select the 'faces' option, select the 'only faces' option.

chrismoose
03-15-2005, 10:27 AM
harkyman,

GOT IT!!:) it works now! and then i can extrude it to what i want , adjust the inner verts and i have a window frame!!

BUT... what if i want to make a window frame with 2 holes in it.
i suppose i would have to add another plane inside the first plane whilst still in edit mode?

thx
c.

harkyman
03-15-2005, 05:03 PM
Grab the two right-most verts of your wall, extrude, move them right to create a new section of wall. Select the four verts of the new wall and repeat the procedure you already know to cut the window.

Alternatively, you can follow the tutorial on my website for another technique, copied and pasted here for your convenience:

The solution was to create a wall base (basically, a line), with enough divisions (60 in this case) to approximately the roof curve at the top. This made it easy to create windows, as well. I extruded the bottom line only up to the bottom of the first break in the wall (the bottom edge of the center doorway), then again to the next edge (bottom of windows), then to the next (top of the door), etc. Once this was once, I was able to simple select the appropriate faces and delete them, leaving me with nice wall holes.

This animated illustration shows the technique in action:

http://www.harkyman.com/makingof/wallmethod01.gif

chrismoose
03-16-2005, 09:58 AM
thats great!!

now all i have to do is figure out how to draw a straight line (probably by deleting 3 sides of a plane object) , and how to import an autocad drawing and freeze it to trace out the correct elevations!!

thx very much.
chris.

Apollux
03-16-2005, 10:26 AM
Harkyman, don't you think that if instead of starting with a heavily sub-divided line one does a little planning ahead and start with a line just subdivived on the precise places where the windows should be, there would be more efficiente geometry?

With the technique on the animated git you end with a lot of waisted vertex, that will consume more memory, cause you extra trouble to texture (especially if you UV Map) and above all, will slow down your renderings.

20 or 30 extra vertex on a single wall may not be that much, but when ALL the walls of a 50 stories building are done that way... well, you better bring a good novel to read while the GI render completes. :eek:

About the straight lines, do this test:

Go into edit mode. select just 1 vertex, hit extrude, and while extruding hold down CTRL on your keyboard... or ... while extruding hit once (or twice, depends on the situation) the key of the axis you want to extrude along. i.e., to extrude along the globa X axis I would press E, choose the desired extrude mode, press and release X, and then extrude.

chrismoose
03-16-2005, 11:09 AM
Apollux,

i think harkyman was just trying to get the point across. i saw what he was doing and adjusted it to me own situation: i.e. i created my grid, deleted 3 sides, chose edge option, sudivided it only twice to give myself the amount of verts required.

it worked perfect!!
now making a multi paned widow frame wont be as hard.:)
i managed to import an autocad 2000 dxf into my new blender file to use as a tracing object. it was just a simple arch on top of two windowed colunms. they were all on the same layer and juust normal line objects. is there any thing i should watch out for when getting cad plans from other people: what should they not do to it or.. have done to it to prepare it for me? blocks,plines etc...

i cant find a freeze type command. all i can do so far is put the cad plan on another layer, but it is still selectable.

i am just now reading about curves , so hopefully that will help straight line work. as well as your tip!

thx for everything.
speak soon.
regards,
chris.

Apollux
03-16-2005, 11:31 AM
You won't find a "Freeze" comand in Blender alas AutoCAD. The next best thing is wath you are already doing, puting things on a unused layer and hidding that layer.. but wait!! In Blender, when a layer is not visible it is unloaded from RAM memory and it is not taked into accound for boundaries zooming neither for object collision, so, in fact, it is a frozen layer :thumbsup:

But now comes the funny part, WHY do you want to freeze the drawing? Did you noticed that the figures in the imported drawing now are just mesh objects?

So you can extrude, merge, texture and do with them all the things that you would usually do to a mesh. In other words, you don't need to trace it over, Blender did the trace for you.

On the other hand if you REALLY want to do tracing, then don't use the AutoCAD file itselt. On that case you 'll be better if you export your drawing as a Windows Meta File object. Then you open that WMF into some 2D program to create a ultra-high resolution 2D 'virtual plotting' of that WMF. Save the 'virtual plotting' as a JPG, PNG or any other 2D format and you can now use it as a background to trace it over.

When I need to do virtual plottings of WMF I usuallly load them into GIMP and it will ask me how big the scaling factor should be.. something around 2.5 should be enough.. the bigger the better, but a factor of 5 usually would freeze my computer for a loooooooooooooong time.

To my surprize, I tried to do the same thing with PhotoShop 8 (or was it PS 7?) and Photoshop didn't hava a clue about what to do with the WMF :shrug:

chrismoose
03-16-2005, 12:52 PM
Apollux,

yes they are mesh objects but they are still seperate lines(eg.two seperate arch lines, making the arch shape). how do i join the two (or more) seperare meshes together so that i can then weld/merge verts together to make one extrudeable object?

the good thing about using the cad file to trace is that it is still pretty much see through, any type of bitmap/vector 'picture' would have a border around it , wouldnt it? and i'm not sure if blender allows see through/transparency mode options.

You won't find a "Freeze" comand in Blender alas AutoCAD. The next best thing is wath you are already doing, puting things on a unused layer and hidding that layer.. but wait!! In Blender, when a layer is not visible it is unloaded from RAM memory and it is not taked into accound for boundaries zooming neither for object collision, so, in fact, it is a frozen layer :thumbsup:


remember, i want a frozen but visible cad plan background. but considering that it is so hard to select in blender anyway, not haveing frozen options is not as bad as it is in 3ds max.:)

when working on a full house i usually set up ALL the views, in the correct distance to each other (keeping the roof plan out of the way for now), freeze them all and off i go!!!

if , for example i am working on a side elev, and the far/opposite elev is distracting me, i would put a big thin box in the way to block out the distracting far elev. then when i switch sides i simply move the blocker box to the other side to begin modelling this side.

things are coming together slowly, there are some things like snaps, sharp angled lines etc that i have to look up. but i have only been learning blender for 4 days!!

thx
chris.

harkyman
03-16-2005, 01:52 PM
Appollux: The info I posted was, as I mentioned, a cut 'n paste job from my website, where I was discussing the creation of a wall that had nice window/door cutouts, as well as a smoothly curved upper edge, to fit the curve of the building's roof. That's why the high subdivision was necessary. Didn't feel like retooling the .gif just for this, and he got the point. :thumbsup:

chrismoose
03-16-2005, 04:26 PM
hello there,

i thoiught i'd post this here seeing as you are talking about me anyway!!!

i've just tried importing a full front elev autocad file(size 1:1) into blender. the file was soo big that blender has trouble seeing it!! trying to rorate it into position caused viewport clipping . have you had this befrore.? am i the only person who has tried to do this?!!


and is there a select by name dialog?

thx
c.

harkyman
03-16-2005, 05:17 PM
Select by name, called the Outliner screen. Pick it and set it to Outliner mode under the view menu if you have to. It should be a listing of all elements in the .blend file in collapsible tree format.

Also, when I've imported .obj files into Blender, the scale has been way off. However, the importer made it so that the imported object was the active selection after it came in. I just scaled it down immediately.

chrismoose
03-16-2005, 06:14 PM
harkyman,

thanks, that helps alot.

the more i deleve into blender the more questions i come up with.

speak soon.

nice work by the way - barns!! did you use any refs or more precisely cad plans?

regards,
chris.

ps. when you import a cad file you get loads of paper space objects. is there a way to group them together, so that they can be selected quikly and as a oner?
ta.

Apollux
03-16-2005, 08:48 PM
Harky, you know I didn't mean it in a bad way.. I know well about your skills and I would never doubt them, you are even hosting some of my old Muffin files !! :thumbsup: I just tought that the topology-economy issue was worth to mention.. but now that it is cleared.

chrismoose101, select your objects, and then press J to join then into one. The center of the new object will be the center of the last object selected. Of course you can't join object from different types.. like joining a matematical NURBS with a mesh.. they must be coverted to the same type before.

Blender has way to many ways to select objects, so I won't start detailing them here. They even had to place a whole menu just to accomodate SOME of the selection tools (there are more selection tools not present on the menu, but hidden on the various buttons screens).

Just because I can see the question comming down the road, this are the posslble types?

Text -> Curve -> Mesh
*Sub-Surf -> Mesh
*Mesh -> Sub-surf -> Mesh
Meta -> Mesh

All the conversions are performed with Alt-C

About the see-trough feature.. If you place your 2D file as a background image, you will be able to make everything transparent to work on top of the image.

And about the clipping, you can increase or decrease your work are in the View Properties dialog.

chrismoose
03-17-2005, 09:13 AM
thank you.

i was starting to get a bit stressed!
c.

harkyman
03-17-2005, 01:15 PM
A: Don't sweat it. All friendly here. The topology issue was worth mention - I'd hate to see someone use the tute literally on a flat-ceilinged building, then dupe it into a whole city.

chrismoose: Just used a single ref picture for each. There were more visual approximations than architectural recreations.

chrismoose
03-17-2005, 02:08 PM
Don't sweat it. All friendly here

You'd better be!! you nearly lost a blender fan here:D

the barn. yeah i know what you mean. i've done that as well, but most times i'm given a cad plan(s) and told to make it 3d etc...so thats were all my q's have come from.

cheers.
chris.

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