Autocad 3D realistic lighting

by Design Workshop Sydney

The 3D interface in the full version of Autocad is a little clunky on the modeling side, but creates some amazing realistic lighting effects. We explore these features, and more, in our Autocad 3D training courses.autocad-3d-realistic-lighting
For example when lighting a model of a luxury apartment like the one shown here first go to the top left Application button and choose New drawing. This takes you to Autocad’s template folder where you can choose the file acadiso_3D.dwt. This is the basic 3D Metric template. We need to make sure our drawing space is large enough to easily zoom and pan across, so type LIM to open the queries for the Drawing Limits. Choose the Origin Point of 0,0 for the Lower Left point and, for example, 10000,10000 for the upper right corner point. This gives us a large modeling space which can be easily modified later if necessary.
Next on Layer 0 create a box for the floor slab – you may choose 0,0 to 8000, 6000 for the base with a height of 100. Then create a back wall on the x-axis from the points 0,0 to 8000, 100, 2500. This will be 8 meters long by 2.5 meters high by 100mm thick. And create a side wall on the y-axis from 0,0 to the point 100, 6000, 2500. It’s then an easy matter to simply copy the floor object to the ceiling.
Create three columns of dimensions 100 x 100 x 2500, and place them in the positions indicated in the screen shot here.
Next we add a camera. Type the word camera into the bottom Command line – note that this type option is not available in the Macintosh version of Autocad.
Go to the top view and place the camera on the bottom left corner. Make the Target the top right corner. Go to the View drop-down menu and choose Viewport Configuration and select 3 and Right. Now change two of the views to Wireframe. You do this by typing VS and 2 and Enter. Now go to the other views and use the blue Grips to adjust the camera’s position and view. Note the Preview window.
Alternatively double-click on the Camera itself to open the Properties and change the X-Y-Z coordinates. On the bottom left view-port select the camera and right-click to Set Camera View. This will show the camera’s Point of View. Choose C for Conceptual or R for Realistic. If you have created any materials or furniture turn the materials off.
Also make any furniture or glass layers invisible at this point, in order to speed up the rendering process. Hit the Render tab, choose Render and the Quality of Medium at first. You can later bump up the quality and turn on the materials again if you are happy with the general look of the scene.
The 3d interface in Autocad is user-friendly and easy to learn, and we take time to teach a broad range of applications in our classes including modeling, materials, lighting and animation. See many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page. For more information there are lots of resources on the web, but try the Autodesk site to begin with: Support options and user forums are also available from the home page.
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