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Stage 9: Replace blocks for Lamp Posts and Trees

by Ian Ibbotson

Introduction

Simplified blocks for lamp posts and trees in the AutoCAD drawing can now be imported and replaced with 3D models and images using Key 3D Model Objects and Image Objects dialogs. The Legacy AutoCAD drawing import is used for this operation

Download Sample Data

In order to follow this tutorial, you may want to use the supplied files. Please read the sample data instructions before downloading.

AutoCAD Drawing files: dwg_files.zip (784kb)
3ds Max Scene files: scene_files (7.8mb)

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9.1 Import and replace Lamp Posts

  • Carry on from the previous scene or open ACAD to 3D Stage 9.max
  • On the Display Panel > Hide by Category rollout check Lights and Helpers
  • File > Import. Choose Files of Type: AutoCAD Drawing [*.DWG,*.DXF]. Select Project for 3D 03.dwg
  • On the AutoCAD DWG/DXF Import Options dialog > Layers Tab select 0_Lighting columns, O_Tree 10m dia and O_Tree 5m dia
  • On the Geometry Tab check just Weld with a Threshold of 0.1 and Derive AutoCAD Primitives set to Layer

The lamp post and tree blocks are imported

  • Select all the lamp post blocks named Block:Light block and maximise the User viewport
  • Open Key 3D Straight to Surface and press Move. All the lamp post blocks move to the surface

  • Keep all the lamp post blocks selected
  • Open Key 3D Model Objects dialog and select Lighting - road / K3D Conical taper / Light conical 06m 02
  • Press Replace. The 2D blocks are replaced by 3D Lamp Posts

NOTE: If other types of lamp posts are required simply select the lamp posts again and replace from the Key 3D Model Objects dialog or use Key 3D Replace to replace any objects with others

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9.2 Import and replace Trees

  • Open Key 3D View Manager and select view: Overview SE. Press Copy to Camera
  • Select all the tree blocks named Block:Tree 10m dia and Block:Tree 5m dia
  • Open Key 3D Straight to Surface ;and press Move. All the tree blocks move to the surface
  • Select all Block:Tree 10m dia tree blocks. These are 10m diameter trees
  • Open Key 3D Image Objects dialog and select Trees and Shrubs / Trees mix / Street tree mix
  • Press Settings and change the settings as below:

  • Close the Settings dropdown and press Replace. The 2D tree block are replaced with 3D Image Objects

  • Select all the 5m diameter tree blocks and repeat the Replace procedure
  • Change the Settings as below, randomising the height and width using the spinners

  • Open Key 3D Image Object Settings
  • Under Apply To select All
  • Press Look At Camera. All the tree Image Objects turn to look at the camera
  • In the Top viewport look at the Image Objects and press the button under Vertical Adjustment In the Up until the trees are vertical
  • Press Add Shadows to add shadow objects to the trees

  • Render the Camera view

The Image Objects may be too bright. To solve this do the following:

  • Open Key 3D Bitmap Properties
  • On the Show list box select Image Objects Only
  • Select each tree object in turn from the right hand window and reduce the Brightness. Note that only one bitmap is shown for each type of tree (4) as the change in bitmap properties will affect all trees using these maps in the scene

NOTE: Make sure that Helpers is unchecked on the Hide by Category rollout on the Display Panel. This will allow the image objects to be selectable

TIP: At this stage in the modelling process use Key 3D Sunlight to quickly move the Sunlight position for optimum rendering results. Use the Create and Remove Animate buttons for quick results whilst performing test renders

NOTE: When using tree mixes only Basic shadows can be displayed. To use Best shadows, single tree species must be used

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