TUTORIAL: How to model a basic interior scene

TUTORIAL: How to model a basic interior scene
2. februára 2017 peterjanov

Hi there! In this tutorial I will show you how to model the walls for your interior scene. The technique that I’m using here is based on modeling the whole model from the Plane and applying Editable poly modifier on it. My aim is to have walls, floor, and the ceiling in one object. The benefit of it is that you can use more advance functions on it during later stages of modeling. For istance the chamfer function, which will round/chamfer the edges and corners of the wall in your interior scene. But let’s start from the begining. So let’s start with it:

1. Prepare your CAD file

As it usualy is, the CAD file is many times too complicated and full of uselessness, for instance there are dimensions, labels, and other elements that doesn’t matter to us now. So we have to clean up the drawing and leave only things that we will need for modeling – walls, windows, doors and maybe furniture for later modeling. Another important thing is to get rid of unused layers, and also put every part of drawing into different layer as you can see on image below.

2. Import CAD into 3ds Max

When your plans and sections are ready, you have to put them into 3ds Max. First, open 3ds Max and set your units (Customize->Units Setup).  After, let’s click on File->Import and select your .dwg file. In Import window you can see several options, where you can select units of imported file, geometry options, layer options, or what elements do you want or do not want to import. The important thing here is to select the right units that you used in AutoCAD – in my case it was milimeters, so I just leave milimeters in Incoming File Units box and check „Rescale“ box. Then just click on Import.

3. Prepare drawings in 3ds Max

As you can see, 3ds Max created separate objects according to layers set in AutoCAD – so in our case floorplan, and both sections are in separate objects. The next thing to do is to move each object (drawing) into right place. To make it easier, turn on Snap angle function and Snap Toggle. Then right click on Snap Toggle button and make sure you have selected Endpoint and Vertex in Snaps bookmark and „Enable Axis Constraints“ in Options bookmark to ensure moving on selected axis only.  Now close the window and let’s rotate sections around 90 degrees to have better control when modeling. Be sure to place every part of drawing on the right place and to have height of the floor on the same level – Snap function is really helpful here.

4. Plane is the key

When we have everything on a right place, we can finally start with modeling the wall. I found out that plane is the most used primitive object when modeling all kinds of shapes, even square or round ones. Because the wall we are going to create isn’t an exception, we start with creating the plane in the corner of the wall.

5. Extend edges

The plane itself isn’t very useful, so we have to convert it into Editable Poly. After that, we can work with it and create whatever form we want. After the conversion we have to select edge and extend it. There are few ways to do it, but the most efficient one is to hold Shift and drag it with left mouse button until the nearest corner or edge of the window/doors. Do it around the whole floorplan to create our basement for the wall, but pay attention to finish every extension on the intersections of the floorplan.

To connect two opposite edges, use the function called Bridge. You can find it on the modifier panel, but don’t forgot to select both edges first.

6. Pull it up

If you finished the extension of the edges, you should have something like this in your viewport:

(I highlighted edges with the red color to show you how I did the extension phase)

Now it’s time to pull the whole object up to the height to create a 3 dimmensional model of wall. To do that, shit a 4 key (not the one on numerical keyboard but above the E/R keys), and then select all the polygons with ctrl+A. To extend the selection you have to use the Extend function (again on the modifier panel), or you can just use the shortcut alt+E.

Now if you drag polygons, you can see that the whole object rises until you release the mouse button. After you release it, move the selection to the nearest intersection in your sections. In my case it’s the bottom edge of the window in height of 900mm. Again extend the top polygons until the upper edge of the window, and again until you hit the ceiling. In my scenario, it looks like this:

7. Create openings 

The next stage is to create openings for doors and windows. To do that, we will use the same Bridge fucntion like during extension phase, but now with polygons instead of edges. So let’s select two opposite polygons where the opening has to be and click on Bridge. That’s it! Do the same around the wall, if you need to open a larger area, just select multiple polygons.

8. Add the floor and the ceiling

The last thing to complete your main structure is to cover the top and the bottom of rooms. For this purpose, there is a very useful function called Cap. When you have your editable poly object selected, change your selection to borders by hitting this icon or pressing the key number 3.

Now if you want to cap the floors, select all borders on the bottom part of model and hit the Cap function. Do the same with the upper part.

9. Small trick

Now you have succesfully created your main structure that consists of walls, floor and ceilig in one object. The little problem here is that you can’t see through the ceiling and it’s hard to continue with working on interior. It seems that the only one soultuion is to delete the ceilings and add them back at the final stage of modeling. But there is one tricky function called Backface cull, which will allow you to see through backface of the polygons, which is in our case the ceiling. To activate it, click on the obeject with RMB (right mouse button) and select Object properties. On the left side of the window, check the box next to Backface cull and hit OK.

I hope this tutorial gave you some useful information, so good luck with creating your own model 🙂

For any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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