Getting Started with Blender

Introduction

This post is a simple guide for new users of the Blender 3D software. It includes some practical exercises the reader can follow along to. The exercises provides a “learn by doing approach” that is fundamental to understanding and mastering Blender. The first section provides information on the different areas within Blender when you first open the program. Here we quickly cover the main areas and their functions. The secret to Blender is gaining an understanding of the process, and theory, and by putting that understanding into practice, practice, practice. You can quickly go through this book in a day and the reality is most people don’t have a whole lot of time to spare. If you assign 30 minutes to an hour a day and follow the exercises, then repeat those exercises until you no longer need the book. This will give you a strong foundation in understanding the fundamentals of Blender.

Getting Started

You may already have a copy of Blender installed on your computer. To get the latest version of Blender visit www.Blender.org and click the Download button. This will bring you to the download page. Here you can simply select a Blender suitable for the operating system you have installed on your computer. There are three supported, Windows, Mac and the Linux operating system.

Blenders user interface

When you start Blender the program will display the current splash screen. The splash screen allows you to open a recent project, link to useful resources or copy saved setting from a previous version. If you are coming from Maya or 3Dsmax you can chose the button configuration of either program. To exit the splash screen you can simply click into the 3D view or hit the Esc key.

SplashScreen

Getting Set up

Blender uses add-on, a feature that extends its functionality through the use of scripts. These pieces of software code written in python can be enabled or disabled by going to:

File > User Preferences > Add-ons > Enable the Add-on by clicking and placing a check mark inside the box. The Add-on will now be activated once you select Save User Settings. Some Add-ons are switched on by default but please note the following add-ons need to be enabled to follow along to the exercises in this book:

Go to File – User Preferences – Add-ons: Enable Mesh: LoopTools

User Interface: Pie Menus Official: Enables short cut keys for efficient workflow.

Addons

Input Devices and Add-ons

The basics requirements to use Blender successfully are a 3 Button Mouse with scroll wheel and a Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. For keyboards without Numeric Keypads please follow the instructions below. Blenders default mouse select mode is with RMB (Right mouse button). To switch this to LMB (Left mouse button) go to:

File > User Preferences > Input > Select with > Left.

For keyboards without a Numeric Keypad go to:

File > User Preferences > Input > Emulate Numpad > Enable this option by clicking and placing a check mark inside the box

Keys

Note: After making changes in User Preferences always Save User Settings before exiting to update those changes.

The Default screen layout

Blender’s default screen layout (pictured below) is highly customizable and is arranged into 5 areas containing 5 editors.

The Areas form the screen layout and contain the Editors. They can be dragged out or squeezed into an arrangement that best suits the user’s workflow and interface needs.

Editors consist of a header and one or more region. Headers are horizontal panels top or bottom containing menus and commonly used tools.

Regions contain buttons, menus, and check boxes. These can be rearranged to the user’s preferences.

Editors

The Editors

The Outliner Editor lists alphabetically by default every object within your scenes. Here you can easily maintain control of an objects visibility in the scene or during rendering. Here you can double click an object to rename, select it or delete it. In a large scene with many objects press the period key to quickly bring the outliner window right to that object. To avoid accidentally selecting or modifying an object in a scene you can make it disable its selection option.

The Info Editor by default is displayed horizontally across the top of the screen. This editor contains the main menu bar displaying your current screen layout, current scene, current engine and resource information.

InfoEditor

The Timeline Editor runs horizontally along the bottom of the screen and provides a visual display for the placement of key frames. These key frames store an object’s properties (position, scale etc) at a moment in time, allowing for interpolated animation between a second key frame.

The Properties Editor stores data for the active object and current scene. We will take a closer look at each tab on the Properties Editor later in this book.

The 3D View is your view to the virtual environment controlled with a combination of short cut keys and mouse button inputs to model, composite, animate, and edit within. You can select an object inside the 3D View with the LMB (Left mouse Button) unless you have chosen the RMB (Right Mouse Button) as the selection method. Press and hold the MMB (Middle Mouse Button) to rotate the view or roll the MMB to zoom in and out. The RMB places the 3D Cursor at a point in 3D space. The default 3D view contains the objects pictured below. These include the Camera, Lamp, 3D manipulator, 3D Cursor and the default Cube.

3D View

The Objects within the 3D View

The Camera object within Blender acts much like a real world camera. The rendered scene displayed from the cameras view can be outputted as images or video. With the Camera selected the properties editor Header contains the Camera’s settings. The lens type, focal length and depth of field settings etc can be adjusted here. Everything created in the 3D view will be displayed with the camera either as an image or image sequence. For this reason it is important to understand how the camera is controlled.

The default Cube is a mesh object and one of a number of primitive mesh shapes you can begin modelling with. Press Shift + A (Add menu) to view or add the other primitive mesh shapes.

The Lamp object is used to add light to a scene. There are four lamp types supported in Blender each one offering unique shadow and shading options. Lamps can be easily moved, duplicated and controlled within the scene. The properties editor header has the settings related to the lamp.

The Manipulator has three separate icons to represent each type of transform option currently selected. These transform options are Translate, Rotate and Scale. Used together or separately and accessed through the short cut keys Ctrl + Spacebar they provide a way of manipulating certain parts of the mesh quickly. You can change the orientation of the transform manipulator using the transform orientation menu. These options allow the object, its faces and edges to be edited in a variety of different rotations relative to themselves or the global orientation.

3DManipulator

The Tool and Properties Shelf

ToolShelf

The tool shelf is located on the left hand side of the 3D editor and can be accessed by the short cut key T. This shelf contains tools that you will access frequently either from this area or by the use of short cut keys. The tool shelf options will change depending on the mode selected (Object mode, Edit mode etc).

When adding a new mesh to the scene initial mesh options become available on the tool shelf for that mesh. Here you can make any modifications to the default mesh before continuing. Please note that once any modifications are made to the mesh in the 3D view, e.g. transform, scale etc these initial options on the tool shelf will no longer be available. Any further modification will have to be performed in Edit mode.

The properties shelf is located on the right hand side of the 3D Editor and can be accessed by the short cut key N. The properties shelf has transform data for the selected object. The location of the 3D cursor can be controlled here. The display options for the scene, such as the grid floor and relationship lines can be controlled here. It also has scene shading options that can be used to improve visibility while modelling, for example. You can add background images to the scene to aid in the modelling of objects etc. The properties shelf data will change depending on the mode selected (Object mode, Edit mode etc).

Object Interaction Mode

ObjectInterActionMode

By default Blender begins in Object Mode. Blender is mode based and each mode within Blender has a specific function. Modes can be accessed through the shortcut key Tab once an object has been selected. This shortcut displays the Object interaction menu. The remainder of this book will be dealing with Object mode and Edit mode. Edit mode is where an object will be modelled into the desired shape. In Edit mode only the selected mesh object can be edited. Objects can be joined and edited together or parts of an object can be separated to form individual objects.

 

Unit of measurement

UnitofMeasurement

To set up the unit of measurement in Blender go to the Properties Panel and select the scene tab. The unit panel contains the unit type. By default the units are set to blender units with a scale of 1.

The image above shows the cube in front orthographic view. (Press 1 for front view, press 5 for orthographical view, and roll the mouse wheel to zoom in.) You will notice the screen is divided into grids of equal length and height. The cube on screen measures 2 meters and equal in length to two large grid divisions, each one measuring 1 meter. Zoom in further to reveal each grid divided into ten equal parts, each measuring 10 centimetres with these divided into 1mm divisions.

The view info is located at the top left hand side of the screen and displays the current view type and unit range.

 

Mesh Selection Mode

FaceSelect

The first picture above shows the selected cube in Edit mode (With the cube selected in object mode press: Tab > Edit mode). You will notice the header of the 3D view will change to include Vertex, Edge and Face select.

SelectMode

Take the cube in the second picture as an example of selection methods within Blender. The default cube is a mesh object consisting of three basic elements. The Cube has 6 Faces, 12 Edges and 8 Vertices. The vertex is a point in 3D space while 2 connected vertices form an edge and four edges connected form a face. Each element of the structure Face, edge and vertex are used to edit the cube.

 

Viewport Shading

ViewPortShading

The View port Shading menu (Pictured below) and set to solid as default, can be accessed through the shortcut key Z. The shading menu options display the object depending on the material applied and or the lighting setup. The most commonly used shading options when modelling are solid and wireframe shading.

The 3D Cursor

The 3D Cursor is Blenders placement and pivot tool. The properties shelf holds the 3D Cursor panel with its x, y and z coordinates. To accurately place objects within the scene or to one another use the snap menu Shift + S.

Pivot Points

Pivot Points allow for the rotation, scaling and mirroring of objects around a point in space. The Pivot Point menu provides a list of 5 to choose from each with their own uses. The Medium Point is the default Pivot Point, uses the center mass of an object for determination and is the most commonly used.

PivotPoints

 

Layers

Layers

Layers are used as a way to separate objects within the scene and provides the user control over how an object is lit, how forces affect them and how they are rendered and the properties applied. In this way layers help organize the objects within the scene allowing efficiency and creating the ability for uncluttered workflow. The Active layer has a darker shade when on. When an object is selected a small orange circle indicates the layer the object is placed on. To move an object to a different layer select the object, press M and select the layer you wish to move it to.

Proportional Editing

ProportionalEditing

Proportional Editing Shortcut key “O” is a transformational tool for editing faces, edges and vertices. Using proportional editing on one or more parts of the mesh causes connected mesh elements to be affected depending on their location relative to that element being transformed. Mesh elements will be affected greater or less depending on the area of influence being exerted. The area of influence can be adjusted with the Middle Mouse Button. Proportional editing allows for smooth deformation of the mesh without leaving bumps and uneven patches that can happen when using the normal transformation options. Proportional editing has Falloff options that provide many ways to deform the mesh. The smooth option is set as the default option.

Snap Options

Snap

There are two Snap features in Blender. The first one we discuss is contained on the 3D Editor’s Header and is represented by the magnet icon. This feature is referred to as Snap during transform and when enabled the selected object will translate, scale or rotate in increments based on the zoom level and the element selected. Snap is set to increment as default and can be changed to the other options through the menu.

The second snap feature allows your selection or cursor to be placed at a chosen point by using the shortcut keys Shift +S or from the 3D Editor Mesh menu Snap. This option is very useful for setting origin points of objects or accurately adding mesh objects to a predetermined point in the scene.

The Properties Editor

Properties-Render

The Properties Editor has a row of icons displayed on its header and used to change properties for the active object and active scene. The first is the Render tab and allows control over the render output properties. The options include the render button that will render the current frame and the animation button that will render all frames in the current frame range. Other options include setting the image size, the image quality, or when setting up an image sequence, the frame rate. In order to render the scene must have an active camera.

Properties-RenderLayers

 

Render Layers allow you render certain layers of your scene separately. The advantage to this is in compositing where you can adjust individual elements differently. This also allows you to re-render individual layers rather than having to waste time rendering everything in the scene.

Properties-Scene

The Scene tab contains properties relating to the active scene including units, physics and colour management. Also switch between cameras within the scene.

Properties-World

The World tab provides properties for the environment lighting, ambient occlusion, mist and sky colour. Depending on the render engine used, the options for the world settings will change. Here you can add HDR images for effective lighting.

Properties-Object

The Object tab displays data for the selected or active object including transformation, display and duplication setting.

Properties-Constraints

The constraints tab provides the ability to control an object’s behaviour with tracking, transformation and other aspects of the relationships with other objects within the scene.

Properties-Modifiers

The Object Modifiers tab provides time saving operations to complicated tasks such as subdividing the surface of an object, adding a mirror modifier to duplicate in real time the modifications to the mesh on the opposite side. They also include simulate modifiers

Properties-Data

The Object Data tab contains information specific to the current object such as vertex groups, shape keys and UV Maps etc.

Properties-Material

The Material tab allows you to set up material for an object or part of an object. Depending on the render engine chosen the results will vary. With the cycles render engine enabled the nodes tabs provides a graphical node setup.

Properties-Textures

The Textures tab provides the mapping options to apply a texture to a material. The texture can be added to display specularity, reflections, or a pattern with apparent 3-dimensional depth.

Properties-Particles

The Particles tab controls any Particles systems deployed in the scene. There are two main types of particle systems you can choose from, Emitter and Hair, each with their own unique properties. Particles systems can be used to simulate hair, fur, grass or birds and fish. Particles systems are emitted from the selected mesh object up to a maximum of 100,000 and each mesh may contain many particle systems. Particle systems can be influenced by force fields etc and require large amounts of computer memory.

Properties-Physics

The physics tab has controls for simulating real world phenomena in Blender. With an object selected you can choose from a range of options each with their own unique properties.

Link to the exercises:

Discover the Archipack Add-on in Blender

Setting up the Archipack add-on in Blender

Getting started with Archipack you need to run Blender as an administer. This will allow you to render the thumbnail images for each of the structural elements. So what I normally do is from the search menu on my windows desktop, type in blender, and when it appears right click and choose run as administrator.

RunAsAdministrator

Enabling the Archipack add-on in Blender

The next step is to go to file > user preferences and in the add-ons tab you can enable the Archipack add-on there. Simply put a check mark in the box and save user settings.

CheckMark

Download the Default Material Library

The next step is to download the material library. This way any object added to the scene will have a material node setup for each of it’s elements. So for example the glass element of a window will have a glass material setup, while the frame element will have a PVC material setup. Go to Archipack’s Github page and download the default cycles material. The material is a .blend file.

1GithubPage

Save the download and Link from Blender

The next step is to save the download to a permanent location. One you will not be changing the path or location. Copy the path to this folder and paste it in the material path of the Archipack add-on. Save user settings. Now when Archipack elements are added to the scene they will have a material with a node setup.

CopyPath

PastePath

Rendering the Archipack thumbnail images in Blender

Open the tool shelf (shortcut key T) and from here you will want to render the preset thumbnail images of each structural element. It’s as simple as clicking the “Render preset thumbs” button. This may take a couple of minutes to render the images.

RenderThumbs

Adding 3D elements from Archipack in Blender

Once the images have been rendered you can view them by going to the create tab, and to the Archipack add-on. Here if you click on the windows object for example you will see it now has a rendered thumbnail that weren’t previously available.

ViewRenderedImages

Wall elements in Archipack

When you add a wall to the scene it gets added at the position of the 3d cursor. You will find the properties relating to this wall element on the properties shelf (Short cut Key N). Here you get to adjust the properties of the wall. Increase the number of walls, adjust the width and height, adjust the angle of the wall or change the wall from straight to curved.

WallProperties

Dynamic dimensions in Archipack

In the 3D view each object id added to the scene with dynamic dimensions for the user to manipulate. Simply select the white arrow of the dimension and adjust it to the length you require. I find using the snap during transform works very well in conjunction with these arrows.

DynamicDimensions

Changing the Units of Measurement in Blender

To change the units of measurement displayed go to the scene tab on properties editor and change the units of measurement. In the image below I change them to metric. This will update the elements already added to the scene.

Metric

Manipulating wall objects in Archipack

Each individual wall section have properties relating to that element and can be adjusted to suit your design. These allow you to increase the length of a wall, adjust the start angle and you can increase the splits in each wall. Increasing the splits is basically subdividing the wall by adding additional edge loops. This gives you greater control to manipulate the wall into more useable shapes. In the image below increasing the split number on wall number two and wall number four allows the creation of gable ends of the house for example.

2_Splits

Placing the 3D cursor

Adding doors and widows is very easy. I like to place the 3D cursor into position first then add an element such as a door or window. That way it is on the same plane or level as everything else in the scene. In this example I tab into edit mode, select the two end vertices of the wall and place the 3D cursor between them.

2_CursorToSelected

Adding a Door element from Archipack into Blender

From the Archipack tab you get a preview of different door types to choose from. These can include preset door types from your previous projects. In this example I add a 80 by 200. Just like walls, the properties become available on the properties shelf. Here you can adjust the size, the direction the door opens and closes, change the panel type and change the panel number. To rotate it you can just type R, then restrict it to the Z to restrict it, and in this case I entered 90 as the angle to rotate it by. (R, Z, 90 and enter)

2_RotateDoor

Subtracting with Archipack

To subtract the door from the wall and create an opening, go to the tool tab on the tool shelf, make sure the wall you want to add the boolean modifier to is selected. Click the “Auto boolean” button. If you make change to the door after this you must repeat the subtraction process again.

2_AutoBoolean

Adding a Window element from Archipack into Blender

Select what type of window you need and similar to the door properties you can control and adjust it to suit your scene. These include the width, depth, height or altitude. You can set the type of window to have a curved or straight top.

2_Window

Adding a Stairs elements from Archipack into Blender

The stair is another great feature and packed with options that allow you create and customise to fit your scene. Save these properties for the next time and save time. There are many properties to help you create a custom stairs. These include the width, height, thickness the radius, whether you want straight sections curved sections or if the handrail should be left or right. More options include strings, posts, subs, panels and rails. Some very complex structures can be created with this great feature.

2_Stairs

Adding a Roof Element

Using the dynamic dimensions of the roof you can quickly and quite easily position the roof onto your building.

2_Roof

Adding a Floor object from Archipack

There are a large selection of floor finishes to choose from in Archipack. The dynamic dimensions allow you to quickly adjust the length width or change the angle quite easily to fit any off square floor. With all these objects in Archipack using snap during transform really speeds up the workflow.

2_Floor

Saving Presets in Archipack

Saving preset properties for certain objects is a great way to build up a library of assets you can use time and time again. Once you have your changes made to a standard door for example, click the plus beside door presets, give your new custom door a name and next time you add a door the properties will be saved there. If you want a thumbnail image repeat the process of rendering again and your thumbnail image display will get updated with your custom door type.

2_DoorProperties

Rendering an image in Archipack

I normally change a few setting before I render my layout. For orthographic images I will change the default camera to orthographic in the camera settings. The next thing is set the render engine to cycles. In the world tab I’ll use nodes and just change the background colour to white. In the render settings I will normally enable freestyle. This renders a nice hard line around the edge of the objects. Make sure you have a material on them first, I use off white that way you get a better looking render result. From the tool tab on the tool shelf, click render. Give it a minute and you should get a notification on the header of the info editor. Change the timeline editor to a UV image editor and click in the drop down to find the Archipack render result. If you want to save the image, click the image tab next to the drop down and save image as.

2_Render

 

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How to use Archimesh in Blender

The post provides a guide to the Archimesh add-on.

Click Here for YouTube Tutorial covering some features of Archimesh

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A quick guide to Archimesh

Item

Description

Elements

Generates the different Architectural elements including a default material. The different elements get placed at the 3D cursor. Initial properties are displayed in either the properties or tool shelf depending on the element you add. For example room properties are displayed on the properties shelf while Cabinet properties are displayed in the tool shelf.

Props

Just like the Architectural elements props are added with predefined properties that can initially be edited in either the properties or tool shelf.

Display Hints

Displays measurements and name data relating to the Architectural elements. The colour, size and separation can be controlled from the tool shelf. Any changes to the dimensions of the element in the 3D view will automatically be updated

Introduction

Archimesh is an architectural design tool add-on for Blender. The add-on has been available as an externally sourced feature for a good number of years but the recent release of Blender version 2.78a sees a new and improved Archimesh come pre-packed with Blender. You must enable the Archimesh features in user preferences and once enabled a new Archimesh tab becomes visible on the tool shelf. Archimesh provides a method of adding industry standard structural elements to your scene quickly and easily. Both the elements and props regions of the Archimesh tab offer plenty of predefined Tool and Properties Shelf objects to choose from. These elements will be added to the scene at the 3D cursor position. Once elements such as rooms have been added to your scene an initial properties tab displays on the properties tool shelf where you can adjust room sizes, wall thickness etc. These room properties are available to change any time the element is selected in the 3D view. However all initial property settings relating to some of the elements are not accessible once you preform another task.

Pictured Below shows the cabinet properties on the tool shelf and room properties on the properties shelf.

toolpropertiesshelf

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Lets take a Look at Adding Rooms

The room element will be added to the scene at the position of the 3D cursor and running along the X axis. The room element is added as a single wall including a base board, with a length of one unit, a height of 2.4 and thickness of zero. Once in the scene you will find the properties relating to the selected wall on the properties tool shelf.

The room options include:

Height: Standard wall height of 2.4

Thickness: Depending on the wall type you want change its thickness or width value to suit your scene

Inverse: Switch the direction the wall faces

Number of walls: Once increased beyond one you will get additional options to add a ceiling, floor or to close off the area with a joining wall.

Each wall has advanced options that allow control of its visibility or whether or not it has a base board. Further options for the wall allow you to curved the wall and control the type of curve by controlling the centre point of the arc.

Baseboard options include width and height. The length is automatically associated with its connected wall.

Wall Cover adds an exterior type cladding and options to control its placement, individual cover height and thickness.

Each element is added with a default Material whether you are using the Blender internal rendering engine or cycles. Each element has a colour assigned for viewport display.

Additional room options including Auto holes now appear on the Tool shelf. This option automatically adds a boolean operation once a door or window element has been placed on one or more walls of the room.

Import and Export are also now available here and allow you to export your custom room properties stored in a (.dat)file. Properties relating to all options of the room design such as the height, width the base board options etc are stored and you can easily import them to your next project. To export select the room you want to export, press the export button and choose a location, give it a file name with extension (.dat)

To import your saved .dat file add a room to the scene, select import, navigate to the file in the browser and select it. The room you added will now be updated with the saved properties inside the .dat file you imported.7

Room from Draw in the pencil tools area of the tool shelf allows you to create a room using the grease pencil. For best result go into a top orthographic view. (7 top view, then 5 to toggle between orthographic and perspective) Use the grid if you want more accurate line placement. Press and hold D for grease pencil, press and hold the left mouse button (right mouse button if you use default select with right option, see user preferences – input for mouse options) and start drawing. Press enter when finished drawing. Put a check mark in ceiling, floor or closed walls to enables those options. Select room from draw and your grease pencil lines transform into actual mesh geometry that can be modified in the properties shelf.

Tip: Use the close walls option in the pencil tools to join the walls for a more accurate result.

greasepencilexample

Grease pencil drawing on the left and the resulting room from draw on the right.

Adding and detailing columns

Choose between two column types, circular or rectangular. The column options appear on the tool shelf and depending on the type you can control the height, width, depth or radius.

Columns are added with a rectangular base and cap by default. You can include a circular base and cap with the rectangle option. The circular base and cap are added beyond the rectangular base and cap positions for a true representation of this object.

Create a top arch that rest on the top capital of the column. Increase its overall ratio, thickness, width and y position with the options provided.

Create an array of elements with this built in modifier.

This is a great feature of Archimesh that will allow you to create some very complex structures very quickly. (Pictured Below)

columns

Inserting a Door

One of the great features is the ability to add a door anywhere in the scene. This feature is particularly useful when added to an Archimesh room that has been modified to have a wall thickness. The room tools area on the Tool shelf contains an auto holes button that will automatically subtract the door element from the room element and inserting a hole. The door properties appear on the properties shelf and you can adjust the door sizes here.

The door element can be left or right or centre opening and you can choose from different styles. The door handles also have four types to choose from.

(Pictured Below)

door

Adding Windows

The Archimesh add-on has rail and panel type widows to choose from. The panel window has lots of panel styles including two door styles to choose from. The properties of these window styles allow for a maximum of eight horizontal sections and five vertical. Each of these sections can be adjusted according to the dimension required. The top of the window can be set to inclined, arched, flat or triangle allowing for a multitude of shapes to fit any design. The panel window also has an option for a sill with adjustable dimensions. The window has the option for an internal and external blind with adjustable height and depth settings. You can choose from three different materials and distinguish between the inner and outer frames. The glass panels also have a material applied. (Pictured Below)

railwindow

panelwindow

Cabinets

The cabinet properties become available on the tool shelf with a floor or wall type to choose from, with settings to control their dimensions and eight different handle types to choose from. Select to have a counter top with splashback or baseboard included with options for there height and overhang. Select the number of units you want, change their individual sizes, rotation, position and select a door or drawer for each one. The options allow for a wide range of customisation to the cabinets but once you click away from the cabinet in the 3D view and preform another action these options will no longer be available to change. (Pictured Below)

cabinets

Shelves

Much like the cabinet element shelves have some similar properties with two types to choose from and the properties become available on the tool shelf once a new element is added to the scene. The shelve element has an array modifier available to quickly duplicate the element. Each shelve unit created with the array modifier can be individually modified for a different style and dimension. (Pictured Below)

shelves

Stairs

There are two types of stairs to choose from rectangle and round. Quickly increase or decrease the number of steps with options for closed or open sides with variable width. The stairs riser height and thread depth can also be controlled, including the overhang front and sides. This feature of Archimesh really speeds up an otherwise complex and slow process or designing and modelling stairs. (Pictured Below)

stairs

Roof

The roof element is placed in the 3D view laying flat on the grid floor. There are four roof tile styles to choose from and these can be increased in number on the X and Y axis with the ability to scale up or down from the origin point. The tile thickness can be increase or decreased. The slope of the roof element can be altered to suit its position in the 3D scene using the roof slope option. (Pictured Below)

roof

Books

In the props section of the Archimesh tab you will find the book element. This element gets added to the scene as a row of twenty books up to a maximum of one hundred. Ue the dimension properties to control the size of the books. This element has a very useful feature that helps randomise your book shelf. Change the randomness sliders of the x, y, z and rotation to get a more realistic looking array of books on your book shelf.

Lamps

Choose from four default designs or get creative and design your own with control of every segment of these lamps. The properties also allow for full control of the lamp shade with or without pleats. Just note once you click away from the lamp in the 3D view and preform another action these options will no longer be available to change.

Venetian Blind

The properties of this element gets added to the properties shelf. Easily control the dimensions or adjust the angle to open or close the blind.

Roller Curtains

These properties become available on the tool shelf. Use the dimension properties to adjust the width of the blind element or the length it is extended. Just note once you click away from the roller curtain in the 3D view and preform another action these options will no longer be available to change.

Japanese Curtains

The properties elements become available on the tool where you can adjust their dimensions number of rails and panels and the position of each. Once you click away from the curtain in the 3D view and preform another action these options will no longer be available to change.

Display Hints

The display hints are a very useful feature. Display the dimensions and name of an Archimesh element and adjust the size, colour and placement of the text. If you change the size of a wall for example the dimension will update dynamically. (Pictured Below)

displayhints

Conclusion:

Archimesh is a fantastic built in feature of Blender that will speed up architectural design and eliminate repetitive and sometimes time consuming tasks. The properties relating to each element and prop are detailed enough to give to full control of customisation. There are some small issues you might notice like for example; I scaled the rooms up and applied the scales, later tried to use advance options but the rooms reverted back to their original scale. This was a small issue and I’m sure will be corrected in the future.

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