3ds Max & AutoCAD Interoperability - Part 2 - Importing to 3ds Max

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Last modification: 26 Feb, 2018
Industry
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • 2012
  • Media Management
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
8 min

3ds Max & AutoCAD Interoperability - Part 2 - Importing to 3ds Max

In this tutorial, you import your 2D CAD drawing as a blueprint into 3ds Max. You'll then use some basic modeling techniques to turn simple 2D entities into fairly complex 3D volumes.

 

 

Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2012, AutoCad 2012
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2012 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:02 --> 00:00:06
Now that you cleaned up your CAD drawing, it's time you send it to 3ds Max.

00:00:07 --> 00:00:11
Before you do, notice the units of your CAD drawing.

00:00:11 --> 00:00:17
This one was drawn using the Decimal system with the millimeter as a base unit.

00:00:19 --> 00:00:24
In 3ds Max, your default System Unit is set to Inches.

00:00:26 --> 00:00:32
So, some scaling is needed between the Metric system from AutoCAD and the default Imperial system in 3ds Max.

00:00:33 --> 00:00:40
Of course you can set your System Unit in 3ds Max to match that of AutoCAD, but leave that alone for now.

00:00:41 --> 00:00:44
You'll do the appropriate Scale conversion at import time.

00:00:45 --> 00:00:54
Your Display Units however, can be set to your liking. In this tutorial. Use the US Standard set up with the foot as a base unit.

00:00:55 --> 00:01:01
To import the AutoCAD drawing, you can use either the Import command or the File Link command.

00:01:02 --> 00:01:06
The File Link command has the advantage of keeping a live link to AutoCAD.

00:01:06 --> 00:01:12
If you make a change to the drawing in AutoCAD, you can update that change in 3ds Max.

00:01:12 --> 00:01:16
There is a separate tutorial on this subject named "Using File Link".

00:01:17 --> 00:01:21
In this case, you'll simply use the Import command.

00:01:21 --> 00:01:26
Locate and select the Condo-3D.dwg file you saved earlier.

00:01:26 --> 00:01:34
In the Geometry tab, enable the Rescale option and ensure the Incoming file units are set to Millimeters.

00:01:34 --> 00:01:39
As you recall, that was the base unit for the CAD drawing.

00:01:40 --> 00:01:47
In the Derive AutoCAD Primitives by list, choose the first option: Layer, Blocks as Node Hierarchy.

00:01:49 --> 00:01:52
This option doesn't take into account AutoCAD materials.

00:01:52 --> 00:01:56
That's fine as you'll be creating materials in 3ds Max.

00:01:56 --> 00:01:59
Leave all other options to their default values.

00:02:00 --> 00:02:04
In the Layers tab, enable Select from list.

00:02:05 --> 00:02:10
Choose only those layers you identified as 3D layers. That's all you'll need in this case.

00:02:11 --> 00:02:16
In certain situations, you may opt to keep other layers that may help you as reference.

00:02:17 --> 00:02:24
Click OK when done. All closed polylines you created on the 3D layers now appear in the scene.

00:02:25 --> 00:02:31
Select an exterior wall section. Notice that all entities on the same layer are recognized as a single object.

00:02:32 --> 00:02:38
This is the default conversion method between the two applications and actually works well in most situations.

00:02:39 --> 00:02:47
In this case, all exterior wall sections are recognized as one Editable Spline that you can now extrude to a height of 10' (feet).

00:02:48 --> 00:02:52
This works nicely but leaves a few gaps above the doors.

00:02:55 --> 00:02:58
Press F4 to see the underlying geometry.

00:02:59 --> 00:03:07
To create the door headers, you need a horizontal slice through the walls, positioned 7' high, which is a standard door height.

00:03:07 --> 00:03:11
With the outer walls selected, add a Slice modifier.

00:03:14 --> 00:03:17
Expand the Modifier and choose Slice Plane.

00:03:17 --> 00:03:24
Using the Move tool, set the Slice plane at 7' high, using the Transform Type-ins.

00:03:25 --> 00:03:27
You can see how this affects the structure of the wall.

00:03:28 --> 00:03:32
Right-click and convert the object to an Editable Poly.

00:03:33 --> 00:03:40
Using Polygon mode, select two polygons facing each other above a door opening.

00:03:44 --> 00:03:47
Use the Bridge tool to create the header.

00:03:47 --> 00:03:54
Repeat the procedure to create the three other headers but leave the openings to where the curtain wall should be.

00:04:03 --> 00:04:05
Exit Polygon mode when done.

00:04:09 --> 00:04:13
Extrude the Interior walls by a value of 9' (feet).

00:04:18 --> 00:04:21
Add a slicing plane set to 7' high as you did earlier.

00:04:35 --> 00:04:40
Convert the walls to an Editable poly and create the headers above the door openings.

00:04:44 --> 00:04:49
In some cases, you may need a bit of a clean-up before you use the Bridge tool.

00:04:49 --> 00:04:53
Notice the extra vertical segments on this part of wall.

00:04:54 --> 00:04:56
They serve no purpose and should be removed.

00:05:01 --> 00:05:08
In Edge mode, select a vertical edge and then choose Loop to select the whole vertical line you wish to remove.

00:05:09 --> 00:05:14
Hold the Ctrl key and then press the Back Space key to remove the edges.

00:05:14 --> 00:05:20
It is important to hold Ctrl to delete any vertices associated with the removed edges.

00:05:20 --> 00:05:24
Repeat the procedure to remove any unwanted loops on the wall.

00:05:33 --> 00:05:38
Go back to Polygon mode and bridge the remaining gaps after that.

00:05:59 --> 00:06:04
The partition separating the kitchen area from the living room also needs a bottom bridge.

00:06:05 --> 00:06:10
Select all the polygons that make that partition and choose Slice Plane.

00:06:11 --> 00:06:17
Set the plane height to 3'6" and then click the Slice button.

00:06:18 --> 00:06:20
Exit Slice Plane mode when done.

00:06:23 --> 00:06:27
Select the appropriate polygons to bridge the lower part of the wall.

00:06:36 --> 00:06:42
For the fireplace opening, select the front face and use the Poly Inset command.

00:06:47 --> 00:06:51
You can then adjust the edges to create an opening of acceptable size,

00:06:51 --> 00:06:56
and then use the Poly Extrude command to punch in a hole.

00:07:12 --> 00:07:19
Finally, select the floor and give it a negative 1 foot extrusion.

00:07:22 --> 00:07:24
Do the same for the balcony.

00:07:24 --> 00:07:32
In very little time, what was a 2D CAD drawing only a moment ago is starting to take the full shape of a 3D environment.

00:07:33 --> 00:07:38
In the next movie, you'll get pointers at creating some basic materials for the walls and floors.

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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • 2012
  • Media Management
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