What's the best way?

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  08 August 2013
What's the best way?

Hello all,

I've got a new client today and i've got a deadline of Friday 16th August as the very latest.

I've been asked to make very basic, clean floor plans into 3D, the client only has access to PDF drawings, he's unable to supply me with DWG/DXF files.

He's got 5 separate floors for me to create, each need to be created on their own page at a certain resolution as they'll be pasted into a in house application to showcase heating systems, electronic doors, security systems etc.

What's the best method for me here as I won't have any cad data at hand, it doesn't have to be to scale and it's simply going to be walls and a floor.

Do I open each PDF page into Illustrator, draw over the lines for the walls & export to Illustrator R8 & import into cinema, or should I bypass illustrator all together & trace the walls with splines & extrude?

Here's a mock design I drew up for the client this morning, this method was using illustrator.

As you can see in the above image he wants the layout very clean, and labels & icons will be placed over the images in the custom application they have to showcase the work that'll be carried out with cabling/systems etc.

What do you think? I'm pretty sure this method will work for me, just wondering if there is any faster alternative as i'll have 5 floors to create.

I'm running a Mac OSX Lion, Cinema 4D R13 & Illustrator CS6

I just wanted advice really, i'm fairly sure i'll be able to get these floor plans done in the next couple of days, not got the PDF's delivered to my email account yet though....

I've kind made my mind up that'll be the illustrator method but it doesn't hurt asking in here I thought, as I know quite of few of you do this kind of work.
  08 August 2013
You might luck out and get some Vector PDFs, or do you know they're just raster? That'd probably just require some simple cleanup in AI.

If not, Illustrator has some useful image trace tools that might help you get going.

If you're just tracing manually in AI, it's probably quicker to just trace it with splines in Cinema.

brasco on vimeo
  08 August 2013
Yeah it'll all depend on the PDF's like you say, i'd forgotten about the trace option that could really speed things up

Great advice cheers.
  08 August 2013
The fastest way to draw (3d) splines is IMHO a properly hotkeyed M.O.I., as M.O.I. has been specially designed for fast (tablet based) spline drawing. I think there is still a free saveable 30 days demo on the M.O.I website. I have mapped the spline tools and boolean/trimming operations around the wasd keys and floorplans/blueprints are usually melting away in minutes with M.O.I.

Adobe illustrator is bad imho, because its spline tools are rather clunky.
There are holes in the sky. Where the rain gets in.
But they're ever so small. That's why the rain is thin.
  08 August 2013
Kind of a personal choice as to which spline drawing tools you prefer. Cinema's are certainly much easier to use with the new auto-snap/guide features.

Not sure if this would help, but you might check out Nitroman's Nitroroom plugin: http://nitro4d.com/blog/donationware/nitroroom/
  08 August 2013
Great suggestions thanks guys, been using the snap grid cinema 4d splines and they are working out ok.
  08 August 2013
What's M.O.I.?
  08 August 2013
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