03 June 2012

Blender 3D Architecture, Buildings and Scenery - Chapter 4 of 14 Review

The Modelling for Architecture chapter is as the name suggests a chapter which describes the basic modelling techniques usually used within architecture, for things such as making walls, floors, roofs, etc.

A section on proportions and the importance of having good proportional measurements are detailed and on the whole is clear. Planning is covered as one of the approaches to successful architectural projects and the like. To be honest I can see why this section was covered but I would of preferred less of this sort of stuff and more model building tasks and tutorials. Though the section on how to reduce the amount of rendering and modelling work by simply not modelling items that cannot be seen is useful. Though to be honest if you have to be told about doing backups then you probably shouldn't be allowed to use any 3D application let alone Blender!

One slight inaccuracy that I found when reading was that moving and editing while using CTRL moved items to snap to grid lines. This is not true using CTRL forces the selected object/vertex to move by a fixed discrete amount. It DOES NOT snap the object to grid lines. That fact that if you happen to be already on a grid line when you use the CTRL key means it looks like it is snapping to a grid line, it is just a coincidence.

Manipulation and use of layers and their uses for organisation of Scene data is covered. One useful thing the book mentioned was using layers for backup storage before altering objects.

A simple wall is modelled and some of the techniques used for this are explained and how to make rounded corners on the walls is explained. Which is surprising because a lot of other stuff is not covered, still it's welcome that some of the more useful techniques for doing the less obvious kinds of modelling are covered.

Then another issue pops up while explaining pivot points and their use. It uses the incorrect pivot point type as it goes through a walk through and since it does explain all the other pivot points, it's not obvious why the reader will get the wrong result if you don't switch to the right pivot point.

Also the book states that object when added to the scene are added perpendicular to the current view, this is no longer true in the Blender 2.46 version, some objects aren't (such a the Plane) and the option can be altered in the Preference window.

The mirror modifier is then explained and I liked this section as it described most of the things that are important in using the modifier.

Various methods for filling/bridging faces and vertice are covered, but unfortunately the book makes some claim about when the fill function can be used, which are no longer true with Blender 2.46. And more importantly it mentions scripts which don't appear to be shipped with Blender 2.46 (basically because 2.46 can do this stuff internally). Some very convoluted way of aligning object and vertices are used, and again the Magnetic Snap tool is not used. Also how to install scripts is not covered, which is a shame.

Then the book describes the processes involved in importing pre-made CAD/Blender models for using in Blender.