Editing the Walls

The dimensions and walls of the building can be changed easily. All parameters can be found from the hierarchical structure of the building. The building system is fully parametric. When any part of a building definition is modified, the required parts of the geometry are rebuilt again.

Make sure that the building object is still selected (its name is highlighted in the select window). You can see the dimensions of the walls by selecting Measure Lines=Left from the tool bar.

Measuring lines enabled

Click the little square which has a + sign inside it at the left side of the building item on the select window. The building folder opens and shows its sub objects. Open the first sub level called wall definitions. It contains three wall objects. The first one is what we drew first, the outer walls. Select it.

Note how the second row of the toolbar immediately shows some options for the selected wall. Change the thickness of the wall from 0.2 meters to 0.25 meters. Then change the extrusion side from Right to Left. The polyline for outer walls originally defined the outer dimensions of the building, but now the walls are built outside the polyline. While you made the changes, sub walls automatically adjusted their length, thanks to the auto snap option.

The hierarchy of the building opened. Outer wall definition selected.

Open the up most wall level on the select window, and select the polyline object called 'nurbsXX' inside it. Hit Spacebar or click the Edit button in the toolbar to put it into the edit mode. The line displays some little red squares - its point edit handles - on the view window. Drag-select (move the mouse holding the left button down) a point pair on the bottom part of the wall, as seen on the picture.

A point pair selected. The drag selection box is also included in the picture.

A circle and some axis lines show up around the point pair. The circle is the rotation handle, and lines are translation handles. The end knobs of axis lines are for scaling. Try modifying the point pair by dragging these handles with the mouse. Note that you can cancel an experiment by hitting Esc key, and undo the action afterwards using the Exit/Undo pull down menu. After experiments, expand the building to Z axis direction by dragging the blue axis line 2 grid units downwards.

[Note] Note

When you select the nurbs polyline, the toolbar displays a large set of tools for editing the line. With these tools, you can for example add more points or delete existing ones.

Above, we used point editing to modify the walls. A wall can be modified as a complete object, too. Select the second wall object from the select window. Then drag blue axis line on the view window to move the sub wall. Note how the sub wall automatically expands while you move it. Place the wall exactly in the corner as shown in the picture below.

Sub wall moved to a new position

Now we can stop experimenting with wall editing. Close the level 'wall definitions' in the select window to keep the hierarchy display simple. Then select the whole building object from the select window. Turn measuring lines off using the control in the tool bar.

So far, the results of our modeling actions were seen in a simple wireframe model. Next we will experiment how to model in perspective shaded view. But before that, let's add a light source. Alt-double click the view to see the quadview, then Alt-double click the Side view quadrant to maximize it.

The Zoom button is located in the top part of the view control window.

Zoom Tool

Move the mouse on top of it, press LMB down and drag downwards, so that you will see a larger area of space around the house.

[Tip] Tip
The quickest way to zoom in and out is to hold the Shift key and the right mouse button down and move the mouse up and down above the view window.

Switch to the Light Sources tab and activate the Point Light tool. Click somewhere above and in front of the house. The falloff radius defined by the second click does not matter this time, so click a second time anywhere on the view.

Adding a point light

Go back to Quadview (Alt-doubleclick) and maximize the bottom right quandrant, which shows the perspective shaded view.

Switch the select window to the second tab from the left. It shows the current material library. The default startup library includes a large collection of materials, but we will need only some of them. So, select Purge from the popup menu of the select window. Only one material called building remains in the material library. Double click it select it and to open the property window.

The building material was actually created by the building tool, when we applied it in the beginning of the tutorial. So called Auto Texture option does this unless the user explicitly turns it off. So, all we need to do now is to click the browse button at the right side of the Filename control, and select a texture map using the file browser. Pick for example bricks.jpg from the textures folder. Then close the property window.

[Note] Note
The sub folder 'Walls' of the building contains a texture mapping object 'Default mapping(building)'. It assigns the material to the walls. If you select this material map object, you can change its target material to another alternative using the material selector gadget, which appears in the tool bar as soon as the material map object becomes selected.

Select a brick texture for the walls of the building

Go back to the leftmost tab of the Select Window. Click the building object to select it. Currently the building has only walls. To add a base plate under it, go to the second row of the toolbar and set Base=Fitted to Walls.

[Note] Note

The narrow toolbar has room for only the basic options. For more detailed control, open the Property Window (from the popup menu of the select window, by double clicking the object or using the 'p' hotkey). Then you can adjust the height of the base plate etc.

Rotate the view around the house using the view rotate button in the view control bar. Another way is to hold the Alt key down and drag in the view window with the right mouse button. The view rotates to the direction where you move the mouse. Another useful navigation control of the view control bar is the pan tool (available also via Ctrl+RMB dragging). Try these controls to find a view where you see the straight inner wall.

Let's cut away part of the inner wall. Click the Hole tool in the toolbar.

Hole Tool

Move the mouse pointer to a position where the wall meets the floor and click to define the bottom left corner of the hole. Move the mouse to the left and upward. Note how the hole snaps to the 0.5 meter grid units. Click second time when the hole is 3 meters wide and 2 meters high.

Cutting a wall with the hole tool

[Note] Note

Just like the wall definitions, you can find the new hole object from the hierarchy of the building. It is located under a sub level called holes. Open the level and select the hole. Go to the tool bar and change its Width to a new value, say, 2.5 meters. You can also move the hole around using its transformation handles.

It's again time to save the project. Select File/Save As from the pull down menu. Change the file name for example to 'house2'. This way you will get multiple backups of the project, representing different stages of the modeling process.