<= Part 1

Rendering in AutoCAD 2000 PART 2 (similar to R14 and Architectural DesktopTM)50.gif (26162 bytes)
Basic Landscaping (Part 2 of 3).

Contents:
Landscaping your Model ---- Creating Custom Landscape Objects ----

In this set of exercises, we use basic AutoCAD default Landscape objects to add more "realistic" plants to the island.  In chapter 2, we use a custom set of images to create a custom Landscape object that we will add to the default Landscape library. This technique will demonstrate how you can create an unlimited variety of Landscape objects for your own library.

 

 

6Landscaping your Model
To follow the exercise as per this page, you should continue with the model from the previous exercise or you may download the following drawing file from the ARCHIdigm site: MESH_IS.EXE.

Once you have downloaded this self-extracting file, move it to a project folder of your creation and double click on it to extract the Mesh_island.dwg file, then open the file with AutoCAD.

The drawing should look like the image to the right.

In Step 1, below, we assume that you have gone through the first exercise in this series and are now ready to create the landscape materials.   This means that you have already created the water, sky, mountain terrain, boat material, the beach sand and a SUN.

1.gif (11013 bytes)
1STEP:

From the View pull-down menu, select Named Views... and then select the Orthographic and Isometric Views Tab. Highlight Southwest Isometric, pick the Set Current button and pick the OK button. This dialogue box can also be activated by typing "V"  or "DDVIEW" on the command line.

This will provide us with a basic point of reference from which we can observe the changes that we will be making to our 3D environment.

2.GIF (10540 bytes)
2STEP:

From the View pull-down menu, select 3D Views and then on the cascading menu, select SW Isometric.  This will provide us with a basic point of reference from which we can observe the changes that we will be making to our 3D environment.

In the illustration to the right, you should also notice that I have the Render Palette up on the screen.  You can get this palette or Toolbar up by right-clicking over any tool button and then pick the Render checkbox.

38.gif (7571 bytes)
3STEP:

Zoom in on the area near the row boat, as illustrated to the right.

From the View pull-down menu, select Render and then cascade over to select Landscape New...

This command can also be activated on the Render Palette by picking on the vegetation button - shown enlarged, right.

39.gif (13886 bytes)
4STEP:

On the Landscape New dialogue box, highlight "Eastern Palm" in the Library list.

Set the Geometry radio button to Single Face.

Check the  View Aligned check box.

Set the Height to 100.0

Note: This value is in inches and is limited to 100.  Since our Palm will surely be larger than 100 inches, we will scale the Palm up later with the Scale command.

Pick the Position < button

Use the Nearest Object Snap to place the base of the Palm on the beach (see image below, right).

40.gif (16446 bytes)
5STEP:

Once you have placed the Palm on the beach, you may notice that it appears a bit small when compared to the row boat.  Since we were limited by the 100 inch size in Step 4, we will now use the SCALE command to double ( 2 ) the size of our Palm.

You can use the INSERTion Object Snap to get the true base point of the Palm.

 

 

 

41.gif (11729 bytes)
6STEP:

Place another Eastern Palm near the first one and try using the Crossing Faces option under Geometry in the Landscape New dialogue box.

Note: you might be able to see that the illustrated image, right, shows the Landscape Edit dialogue box instead of the Landscape New dialogue box.   This is because I simply copied the first Palm with the COPY command and then used the Landscape Edit ( _lsedit ) button to modify my copy.

42.gif (18188 bytes)
7STEP:

Now test your work.

Render as per instructions in the first exercise, Step 10.

Note: notice the difference between the Crossing Faced Palm and the Single Faced Palm (lower left, image to the right).

43.gif (36264 bytes)
8STEP:

Create and place numerous trees and other vegetation all over the island as per previous directions. You can copy an existing Landscape object and simply copy it like any other AutoCAD object.

From the View pull-down menu, select Named Views... and then select the Named Views Tab. Highlight SW-CORNER, pick the Set Current button and pick the OK button.

Render this view as per Step 7.

44.gif (32871 bytes)
7Creating Custom Landscape Objects
9STEP:

Right-click on the image to the right and use the Save Picture As option to save this image as a .jpg file into your current working directory (probably the one with this island exercise in it).  Keep the file name as: man_horse_outline.jpg

man_horse_outline.jpg (14911 bytes)
10STEP:

Right-click on the image to the right and use the Save Picture As option to save this image as a .jpg file into your current working directory (probably the one with this island exercise in it).  Keep the file name as: man_horse.jpg

Note:  These two images actually came from one source.  I scanned a picture and used Photoshop to remove all of the background imagery.  Once I had the background removed, I cropped the image as tightly as possible and painted the surrounding areas pure black.  I saved this image as the what you should see to the right.

Then, to create the mask (shown above, right), I simply used Photoshop to turn the actual image of the man on the horse into a pure white region.

You don't need anything as sophisticated as Photoshop to do this work but the color filters within Photoshop sure make this job easy.  Another trick is to simply paint over the background with black.

man_horse.jpg (15469 bytes)
11STEP:

Now that you have two custom images to use as Landscape images in AutoCAD, we can create a library component that merges both images together when we Render.

To create your own Landscape object, select the Landscape Library button, shown enlarged, right.  You can also get this command from the View pull-down menu to Render and over to Landscape Library...

 

 

45.gif (13693 bytes)
12STEP:

On the Landscape Library dialogue box pick the New... button.

46.gif (14599 bytes)
13STEP:

On the Landscape Library New dialogue box, select the Single Face radio button and check the View Aligned check box in the Default Geometry section.

For Name: , type a name that makes sense to you.  In this exercise I will use "man_horse".

For Image File: , use the Find File... button and locate the "man_horse.jpg" file created in Step 10.  If you are having trouble finding it, make sure you have set the Files of type drop-down list to *.jpg

For Opacity Map File: , use the Find File... button and locate the 'man_horse_outline.jpg file created in Step 9.

 

47.gif (15671 bytes)
14STEP:

When you pick on the OK button on the Landscape Library New dialogue box, above, you should see a Landscape Library Modification dialogue box with an option to Save Changes...  Pick the Save Changes... button and you should get the Open Landscape Library dialogue box shown in the illustration to the right.

On the Open Landscape Library dialogue box you should find the "render.lli" file highlighted in the ../Support directory.  Pick on the Open button and this will save the new Library object into the default AutoCAD Landscape Library Image file.

48.gif (13131 bytes)
15STEP:

On the Landscape New dialogue box place your new Landscape object: "man_hourse".  Leave everything in default mode except the height, set the Height to 100.0.

Use the Position < button to place it on the beach (see illustration, right).

49.gif (16794 bytes)
16STEP:

Restore the SW-CORNER view and Render the scene.  You should now see a man on a horse with transparency all around him.  This transparency provides the illusion of placement within the scene.  And, having cool shadows through the horses legs does a bit to make this Landscape object seem real too.

 

50.gif (26162 bytes)

In the final part of the rendering series, we'll look at Lighting - look for it in an upcoming issue of ARCHIdigm.