3ds Max and Revit Interoperability - Part 13 - Adjusting the Plaza

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Industry
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • 2015
  • Interoperability
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
9 min

3ds Max and Revit Interoperability - Part 13 - Adjusting the Plaza

In this tutorial, you continue adjusting the plaza area, mostly by fine-tuning materials and adding a few trees and shrubs. Later, you'll enhance this area further by animating pedestrians.

Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2015
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2015 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:06 --> 00:00:12
In this movie, you continue working on the plaza, adjusting more materials and adding a few trees.

00:00:13 --> 00:00:19
Continue working on your file from the last movie or open the file named: "Museum_plaza.max"

00:00:19 --> 00:00:27
As you did before, you'll take a look at some materials transferred from Revit, and adjust them if and when they need it.

00:00:27 --> 00:00:34
Start by taking a look at the grass areas; there are four of them surrounded by concrete walls.

00:00:35 --> 00:00:39
Open the Material Editor and sample one of these areas.

00:00:40 --> 00:00:45
Adjust the material nodes for a better look and make sure the top node is selected.

00:00:45 --> 00:00:49
Set the material to show in the viewport as you have learned to do.

00:00:50 --> 00:00:57
Zoom in a bit and take a look at the texture in the viewport. It looks fine, doesn't need any adjustments.

00:00:58 --> 00:01:01
Do the same with the concrete walls.

00:01:03 --> 00:01:09
When you set that material to show in the viewport, it doesn't look too good. The tiling scale is too small.

00:01:10 --> 00:01:16
Before you change it though, you need to double-check which objects in the scene have this material applied.

00:01:16 --> 00:01:21
It's not working for those low walls but it may be adequate elsewhere in the scene.

00:01:22 --> 00:01:26
Right-click the material and choose Select > Select by Material.

00:01:27 --> 00:01:33
A dialog appears highlighting all objects affected by this material. In this case there's only one.

00:01:33 --> 00:01:39
Click Select and verify that only the low walls are selected by moving them around.

00:01:39 --> 00:01:43
Make sure you cancel or undo the Move command.

00:01:44 --> 00:01:47
To adjust the tiling, you need to adjust the bitmap scale.

00:01:47 --> 00:01:51
Double-click the bitmap node to edit its properties.

00:01:51 --> 00:01:56
The scale of the image is repeating almost every two feet in both directions.

00:01:57 --> 00:02:01
Increase these values until you are happier with the results.

00:02:01 --> 00:02:06
Values between 6 and 12 feet should work nicely to minimize the tiling pattern.

00:02:06 --> 00:02:11
You may need a refresh of the viewport, a simple pan should work well.

00:02:13 --> 00:02:22
In fact, the very same material you have just adjusted should also work quite well for objects such as the plaza steps and the ramps.

00:02:22 --> 00:02:27
Those objects already have materials assigned but this new one should look good as well.

00:02:27 --> 00:02:32
Go ahead and use the newly edited material to overwrite the material on the plaza steps.

00:02:32 --> 00:02:40
Simply drag the material's out socket and drop it on any of the plaza steps. The results are conclusive.

00:02:40 --> 00:02:46
Sometimes though, projection parameters or rather Mapping Coordinates can get corrupted.

00:02:46 --> 00:02:54
Try applying the same material to the smaller, nearby ramps. You'll notice some unexpected distortion and pixel streaking.

00:02:54 --> 00:03:03
You can adjust that by selecting the offending object, and apply a UVW Map modifier that resets mapping coordinates.

00:03:03 --> 00:03:11
Planar mode (projection from top) works in this case but typically, you want to set it to Box for side projections as well.

00:03:12 --> 00:03:20
You also want to use it in Real-World Map Size mode to emulate Revit operations. This is also the default in 3ds Max Design.

00:03:21 --> 00:03:27
Before you attempt applying this same material to the landing between two ramps, consider that landing first:

00:03:28 --> 00:03:37
Select it and try to move it. Notice that it is part of the same object that also includes the top two floor slabs.

00:03:38 --> 00:03:43
This may have been done on purpose in Revit, or it may have been an oversight.

00:03:43 --> 00:03:49
At any rate, you can still use the same material you used earlier, or you can opt to use a different one.

00:03:50 --> 00:03:56
You can also opt to separate the landing from the floor slabs, which is probably the safer option.

00:03:56 --> 00:04:04
That's the workflow you'll adopt: with the "Concrete" object selected, go to the Modify panel and access Element mode.

00:04:04 --> 00:04:11
Select the landing between the two ramps and then click the Detach button in the Modify panel.

00:04:11 --> 00:04:16
Give the new object a name such as: Ramp_Landing and then click OK.

00:04:17 --> 00:04:19
Exit Sub-Object mode when done.

00:04:20 --> 00:04:26
Select the detached object and notice it is not part of the original hierarchy anymore.

00:04:27 --> 00:04:31
To make it part of the hierarchy again, you can use the Link tool.

00:04:31 --> 00:04:36
In 3ds Max 2015, you can also use the Scene Explorer.

00:04:36 --> 00:04:44
Simply drag the new Ramp_Landing object and drop it on the 05-Museum_final.fbx node.

00:04:45 --> 00:04:51
Now you can safely apply the concrete material to it without affecting the floor slabs.

00:04:52 --> 00:04:58
To finalize the plaza, you'll plant a couple of trees on top of the grass areas.

00:04:58 --> 00:05:02
Trees and shrubs work differently in 3ds Max than they do in Revit.

00:05:02 --> 00:05:09
In Revit, they rely on the RPC plugin that creates what is sometimes known as "cardboard trees".

00:05:09 --> 00:05:15
This means it uses simple planar geometry with the image of plants or trees applied to them.

00:05:15 --> 00:05:20
This is a very effective way to scatter a lot of foliage without adding too much polygon count.

00:05:20 --> 00:05:27
Although you can use similar commercial plugins in 3ds Max, the native approach is to use 3D trees.

00:05:28 --> 00:05:34
They look quite good from all angles but they do tend to add to the total number of poly count, so keep that in mind.

00:05:35 --> 00:05:41
To add a tree to the scene, use the Create > AEC Extended panel.

00:05:42 --> 00:05:46
Click Foliage, a library of trees and plants appears.

00:05:47 --> 00:05:54
Browse all the way down and select the Oak tree, we'll use this one in this example but feel free to experiment with other options.

00:05:55 --> 00:05:59
Keep in mind that some trees are heavier than others in terms of poly count.

00:06:00 --> 00:06:08
Enable AutoGrid so that you can snap to a surface and click to plant a tree on the grass area in front of the building.

00:06:08 --> 00:06:15
At this time, it's quite huge. You can decrease the height in the Modify panel. Make it about 30-feet high.

00:06:18 --> 00:06:25
Right-click and check its properties. Right now, this tree has in excess of 23000 polygons.

00:06:25 --> 00:06:32
Exit the dialog. Set the Level-of -Detail to Medium and try again.

00:06:32 --> 00:06:36
This time, the poly count is under 8000.

00:06:38 --> 00:06:45
You can also disable other options like Flowers, Fruit and even Leaves, perhaps when rendering a winter scene.

00:06:45 --> 00:06:48
Let's leave the leaves enabled for this example.

00:06:48 --> 00:06:55
Render the scene to view the results. This may take a few minutes, depending on the performance of your system.

00:06:56 --> 00:07:00
It looks good, but the color of the leaves looks more in line with a rendering in the fall.

00:07:00 --> 00:07:04
You need to adjust the tree material to make the leaves greener.

00:07:04 --> 00:07:08
Open the Material Editor and sample the tree.

00:07:12 --> 00:07:16
A new material appears, move it to the side to take a look at it.

00:07:17 --> 00:07:22
The leaves are defined in sub-material #4, which is in fact named accordingly.

00:07:22 --> 00:07:28
It already has an opacity map that defines the shape of the leaves, but you still need to change the color.

00:07:29 --> 00:07:34
Double-click the material node and change the Diffuse Color to a green shade that you like.

00:07:34 --> 00:07:42
Ultimately, you can use a mix of colors using a variety of maps like Noise and Smoke, but we won't do that here.

00:07:42 --> 00:07:47
You'll test render in a moment but first, let's add a couple more trees to the scene.

00:07:47 --> 00:07:51
In fact, you can copy an existing tree,

00:07:53 --> 00:07:54
and edit it.

00:07:55 --> 00:08:00
To prevent two trees from being identical, you can change the "Seed" of a tree.

00:08:00 --> 00:08:06
This is done by specifying a Seed number or randomly generating one using the New button.

00:08:06 --> 00:08:12
It's still based on the same tree type, but the shape and form of the trunk, branches and leaves are different.

00:08:13 --> 00:08:17
You can introduce further variations by changing the height.

00:08:20 --> 00:08:26
Add two more trees and change their appearance before doing a test render.

00:08:27 --> 00:08:33
You'll notice that a tree that is not selected turns into Canopy mode to make viewport interaction a bit easier to work with.

00:08:34 --> 00:08:39
Experiment a bit more with your scene. Save your file when you're done.

00:08:39 --> 00:08:42
In the next movie, you adjust the building's materials.
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  • 3ds Max
  • 2015
  • Interoperability
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