Multiple Floors

This tutorial shows how to create buildings, which have multiple floors.

Ground Floor

Start the building tool, take a top view and draw a building shown in the example picture. The dimensions of the rectangular building are 12*8 meters. When the outer wall is done, split the interior first with a horizontal sub wall, and then using a vertical sub wall. The third sub wall separates a 2*2 meter corner from the largest interior space. Cut a hole between the room at the top left corner and the largest room using the Hole tool. Rename the building object as 'ground floor'.

The walls of the ground floor
Too large tiles

Go to the second materials tab of the select window. Select the material building0 and open the property window. Select textures/tiles to the FileName field using the file browser.

Go to the rightmost view models tab of the select window. Drop OpenGL shaded to the view window to see the building in shaded mode. The brick pattern is too large, because the selected texture includes only a few tiles.

The size is easy to fix. Go to the geometry tab of the select window. Select the item ground floor/walls/default mapping(Building0). Open the property window and go to the spec tab. Change the Scale value from (1 1 1) to (0.5 0.5 1).

The tile size is reduced to 50 % from the original size, and now it is quite realistic. Close the property window.

Adjusting the texture mapping scale

Tile size fixed

Doors and windows added for the ground floor

Select the ground floor (=the building object) and make it the current level using the Make Current popup menu of the select window. Open the Browse Object Library window from the popup menu. Drag and drop doors and windows for the ground floor. Restore the current level back to the root level.

Add a light source to the scene, navigate the view to see the building from a suitable angle and hit the zero key to render the view. Pinewood windows may not look that good in a brick wall. Go to the second tab of the select window to examine the material library. Select the material called wood. Then hit the del key to delete it.

Select 'New/VSL Material' from the popup menu. Open the property window and rename the material as wood. Set the Wizard selector of the property window to Color and click the Add button. A new color control appears to the property window; change it to a dark brown tone (0.5 0.25 0). The new kind of painted brown wood is now applied to all windows.

Pine wood replaced with brown painted wood

Select again the complete building (ground floor). From the top view, start the room tool. In the toolbar, define the name 'livingroom' and then click in the middle of the largest room. When the room decoration appears, turn Ceiling temporarily off to see into the room. Go to the materias tab and define the texture file names for livingroom_walls and livingroom_floor, for example 'wood' and 'plates'.

Select the livingroom object. Hit Ctrl-D to duplicate it. In the view window, move its position indicator into the small corner room. The corner room gets the same material attributes. Rename the copy of the room object as 'staircase'.

In an ordinary house, the staircase is not enclosed into a room. To remove the wall, select the last sub wall object from the wall definitions folder of the ground floor building. Open the property window, and enable the Virtual option. Then set the Thickness of the wall to zero.

Properties of a virtual wall

The room tool sets the texture pattern relative to the position of the room indicator. Take a top view and make sure shaded OpenGL drawing is enabled. At this point, the texture pattern of the floor may not run continuously from the staircase area to the living room. If you see a visible seam, select the staircase room object. Then turn the grid snapping off and activate the move tool. Move the room indicator to find a position, which makes the pattern to run seamlessly. Turn grid snapping back on.

Move the room indicator to fix the texture seam
The ground floor finished

The corner room has apparently disappeared. However, it still divides the space. We can, for example, turn off the ceiling option from the staircase to cut a hole from the ground floor to the upper floor. Such a hole is a parametric feature and its shape and size can be edited at any stage of the building construction.

Apply the room tool two times more, to texture the remaining rooms. The rooms can be called, for example, as bedroom and kitchen. After texturing all rooms, enable the ceiling option for all rooms except the staircase. The ground floor is now ready.

Upper Floor

Select Edit/Duplicate from the pull down menu. Rename the duplicate as 'upper floor'. Move the upper floor upwards until it is placed exactly on top of the ground floor.

The upper floor obviously needs some editing. First of all, find the door object, which cuts the outer wall, and delete it from the hierarchy of the upper floor. You may also rearrange the rooms if you like, or add or delete some windows, or change some textures. Do not change or remove the staircase object.

Select the staircase object of the upper floor and open the property window. Staircase downstairs had ceiling disabled and floor enabled. To finish the hole between the two floors, disable the floor option for the upper staircase room. You can now see all the way downstairs through the hole.

If you zoom in and look closely in shaded OpenGL mode, you can see a narrow gap between the wall textures of the upper and lower staircase rooms. To fix it, select the staircase object in the upper floor and using the property window, set its floor offset to zero. Then select the staircase object under the hierarchy of the ground floor and set its ceiling offset to zero. The gap disappears.

A hole between two floors

The actual stairs can be modeled using the general modeling toolset of the software. With the macro feature, it is easy to build repeating forms. The steps can be cut to match the staircase area using the Boolean tools. For details, see other modeling related tutorials of this manual.

To complete the building, enable the ceiling option for all rooms of the upper floor. Select the upper floor object and apply the roof tool to it. Set desired roof options using the property window. Go to the material tab of the select window, select the upperfloor_roof material and set a suitable roof texture for it using the property window. Select the ground floor. Set its Base type to Fitted to Walls using the selector in the tool bar. Model the stairs at the front door for example using analytic cubes.

The finished building