3D Modeling Special Interest Group – April 2020

In this session, we showed how to bring images of objects such as Delft Blue pottery into your project files, how to create 3D text, how to compose a scene using the Renderworks Camera, and how to set up a Flythrough.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:08    It is possible to make a texture from an image—for example, you can take a picture of a piece of Delft Blue pottery that you find online and apply it to a 3D model. However, we wanted to bring in a plate, which is relatively flat, so we decided to just turn the photo into an image prop. Why? Because it’s so much faster to do, while still offering great detail. We demonstrated the steps needed in Adobe Photoshop to change the background. The problem was that much of the plate’s pattern was white and the original background of the photo was white. If we had told Vectorworks to make white transparent—because of the white background—then most of the plate would also have “disappeared,” which is not the look we wanted. So, we changed the background into a color that wasn’t in the plate pattern. After bringing the modified photo into Vectorworks, we used the Create Image Prop command. We went through the process, first using the No Mask option and then using the Use Mask option. For the image prop of the plate, we turned off the Auto Rotate and Crossed Planes options, although we discussed why you would want those turned on for a plant image prop.
  • 10:10    Using the Text Along Path command, we created 3D text for a house number and a business sign. The Move by Points tool, the Rotate About Path function in the Object Info palette, and the 3D Rotation tool are helpful for placing the 3D text in your model. We even created wavy 3D text! If you right click and choose Edit, you can change the profile or the path. With the Solid Subtraction command, we turned the 3D letters into a cutout in the wall.
  • 18:28    Next, we went back to Adobe Photoshop because we wanted to modify the image of a vase before using it in Vectorworks. The photo hadn’t been taken head on—which could make the object look like it’s tipping over, or floating above the ground—but we used lens correction to change the perspective a bit. For the round vase, we did turn on the Auto Rotate setting. Opening a new file, we also imported a Sketchup 3D teapot into Vectorworks. The Sketchup object was huge, so we had to scale it down.
  • 32:43    I think that the easiest way to set up 3D views is to use the Renderworks Camera. We added a light source and a sky, and discussed the benefits of using Camera Match or a giant image prop to help complete the context of your outdoor scene. It used to be that Vectorworks automatically linked the camera to a viewport when a scene was created, but now you have the choice: You can have them linked, where the camera is moved from the design layer to the viewport; you can link a copy; or you can choose not to link the camera to the viewport.
  • 41:50    We finished the session by going through the steps for setting up a Flythrough. We had to lower the height of the camera, because it was too high at first. Our finished Flythrough movie was only about 5 seconds long, but was a great way to give our client the feel of the project.

3D Modeling April 2020

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