Landscape Special Interest Group November (pm) 2016


This entire session was devoted to solving the problem of how to create a landscape feature that was designed to be a series of different sized umbrellas. In order to achieve this we used a subdivision surface for the shape of the umbrella, simply extrusions for some parts of the design, textures for transparency, And we copied, rotated, and resized umbrellas to suit the design.

Topices Covered:

  • 00:12    the design that we want to attend tonight as shown on the sketch. It’s a series of various sized umbrellas that create a kind of cloud formation over two seats. The first part of this exercise is to discuss what the concept of the designers and to try and resolve a way of creating the design.
  • 02:06    now we can start our design. We could start up by creating the ground for our project. There is a reason to do this, without a ground we won’t get any shadows. It also creates an area for is to create our design so that we can focus on a particular part of our design layer. We started by creating a very simple extrusion using a rectangle then adding a sun (Heliodon) so that we can see light and shadows. It just so happens that this project is in France, so we set the region and the city to suit.
  • 03:18    the seats are created from simple rectangle is extruded. First we created a base object, and then we created the upper part of the seat, but they both just simple rectangle is that have been extruded the correct size. Applying a texture to the seat will really help the modelling because it’ll give a concept of the material for each seat. In this case we wanted to look for a granite or marble texture which we were able to find in the Vectorworks libraries. It was easy to find the texture by using the search bar and just typing in the word “granite”.
  • 08:43    after the first seed has been created accurately, it is easy to then copy this and located accurately using the Move by Points tool.
  • 09:15    my idea at the moment is to try to create the umbrella using subdivision surfaces. There could be other ways to create the umbrella (starting with a sphere, shell solid) but I thought the subdivision surface technique might be very quick. If you start with a subdivision circle, then you can pull the centre of the object up to create the shape of the umbrella. This technique proved to be extremely quick and flexible. Once we have the shape of the umbrella, then we want to move it to the correct location and create the support for it. The support is reasonably simple, just a circle extruded.
  • 13:04    the first umbrella takes the longest, but once that’s made it can be duplicated several times. In this case because the umbrella has a support pole, it’s best to make sure that you group the umbrella and the pole together. Once you have done that you can then start to move the umbrella and rotate it. There is a t trick to making sure you rotate the umbrella accurately though. In this case I used an automatic working plane and I use the front edge of the seat to give me the centre of my rotation. After rotating the first object we realise that we want to create several these objects and rotate them in different directions. The easiest way to do this is to make sure you have one umbrella which is totally un-rotated, because that will make it easy to rotate in the various directions. One way of doing this is to make sure that you make a copy of the original umbrella and store it somewhere off to the side.
  • 14:35    now that we have a copy of our original umbrella it’s possible to start placing several umbrellas and rotating them both left and right to create our cloud shape. As we place and rotate each umbrella we also want to change the height. To do this quickly I use the Move 3D… Command from the Modify menu. There is a keyboard shortcut for this which I often use when I have a lot of objects to move. We then created several umbrellas at various angles, at different heights, and we also created umbrellas of different sizes. The concept was to try to put all these umbrellas together so they formed a cloud over the seating.
  • 21:12    we had most of the umbrellas in place it was time to start looking at texturing. We tried out several textures for the umbrellas. The umbrellas had to be semitransparent but they also had to provide shade. We started out by copying a texture that we already had an editing it to give a colour and a shading that was suitable. We also looked at a technique with textures where you can create a single texture that has all of the attributes you want except for the colour. You can then apply that to all of the umbrellas and then use the attributes palette to change the colour of each umbrella to suit. The texture is known as an attribute colour, and it allows you to create a single texture but to make it look like your design has several textures and it because of the various colours
  • 27:56    we looked at changing our lighting and our rendering options. OpenGL is a very quick but not very accurate method of rendering. We want to have a very nice rendering quality that showed a nice effect of the sun and a background, so we created a background for our view and we changed our lighting options. The more you improve the quality of your textures and rendering, the longer it will take to render the view. This is where you need to have a very powerful computer to do all the calculations quickly.
  • 30:12    some of the umbrellas needed to be hanging and have the handle of a typical European umbrella. This umbrella handle can be made by using Extrude Along Path. All you need to do is to draw the profile and the path, then choose the correct command. Like we did previously, the handle and the umbrella were grouped together so that they could be manipulated as one object.
  • 43:17    when the design was completed we use the Export Web View so that we could create a model of our design that could be given to a client through the Internet. As well as exporting it we also looked at the result and how we can move around on the website.

Landscape November 2016 pm
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