How to Start 3D Modeling Exterior Design From Scratch?

Using 3D modeling for exterior design is a cost efficiency and time-saving method. Creating a model of the actual prototype of the outside building, garden, and any other outside design is related to exterior 3d modeling.

Stating 3D modeling exterior design is a combination process of ideation, analysis, 3D modeling, coloring, adding textures, and rendering. According to the proficiency of these processes, you can be a professional exterior designer with best practices.

Learning 3D modeling for exterior design is highly interesting and it should be done with patient. So many informative new ideas and knowledge can be stored in your mind. If you are a newbie keep on reading below to start 3D modeling for exterior design on the correct path.

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01. Ideation and Analysis

When you start, this is a bit complicated area you should have a tad bit logical mind. Because you are going to deal with the real-world and 3D world. So the capacity of your thinking and assumption is the leading factors for a highly accurate and proportional project. Starting a project should not begin with a hustle. It should be with a calm mind.

If you can read the blueprints and have the idea, architectural basic and engineering basic; you can do the job easily.

This is quite interpreted as understanding something as you can see. According to the things you see you can have judgments in your minds. Most of the time you are provided a blueprint of the model. By seen the blueprint, you should have an idea about the model and imagine how it should be with its background. Actually, this comes with experience but it may be with you.

After seen the blueprint you can analyze the dimensions, roof design, door-window designs with full architectural details. You can see interior things also but if the interior things are not showing the outside it should not create in 3D. Don’t waste your time. When you fully analyze the blueprint you can see the details clearly.

When you grab the details from the drawings you can see where is the north, how much the workspace is large? neighbor details, the height of the model, shelters, gardens, tree areas, ponds, etc. So considering all facts you can divide to each layer and create from the ground level.

Understanding blue Print/Drawing in Depth
The most important part is to understand the blueprint or drawing that you sent. Site drawing is always prepared to show the views of the entrance from the gate.

How to read the blueprint quickly?
You can imagine where you stand with the drawing in front of the entrance and then look at the blueprint that you have sent. The front view or elevation is the shape that you can see in the drawing is the facing view to you after the construction is finished. Then your right-hand side is right elevation and the left-hand side is left elevation. If you know this clearly you can have a good idea.

Try to read this simple drawing and have an idea of the views.

02. 3D Modeling

3D modeling Exterior-Design

After having the summarized knowledge of the model then you need to know about the modeling step. This is actually a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) process. In modern you can create all parts of the project in 3D by using 3D modeling software. As well as you can do with the mobile app also.

Read More About – [Tested] Free 3D Modeling Mobile App for Android and iOS

Let’s see how to learn this kind of application easily with a minimum time period. 3D modeling can be learned with yourself because the reason is the concept can be quite grabbed. So if you are going to learn it yourself great idea and strongly you can do it.

Before you start 3D modeling for Exterior design, you should select the best software for you.

There is a bunch of software for 3D modeling but for the exterior design can be done by using a few. You must pay attention when you learn this.

01. Availability – According to the Operating System platform you can use the software. Windows and Mac are the main. Check the available software for your OS. And then check the system requirements with its available version. Then check the software is free or paid.

02. User Friendly – The selected software should be user-friendly and simple. There are a lot of software for this but finding a user-friendly application is a tad bit difficult. As for me, I started with AutoCAD and then moved to Revit. So for you, it can be varied. So check forums, videos, posts for the Pros and cons of each application.

Experienced Instruction – This is the instruction from the experience. So there is much software for exterior 3D modeling such as Revit, Autocad, ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D, 3Ds Max, Maya SketchUp, etc.

SketchUp- This is the widely used 3D modeling software for exterior design the reason is it is simple and lowboy generated software which is essential for exterior designs as well as it is with a huge pre-made library of the models. SketchUp is not a high-accuracy software. It is pretty good for architectural model making. It is difficult to create high poly works like complex modeling

AutoCAD- Most popular drawing software in the construction industry although it includes some extent of 3D modeling facilities.

Revit- If you need to create high-accuracy designs with a quick time period, Revit is the best. But it is complex software and a lot of time will take to get used. When you are professional with software you do need to spend much time making models as well as modeling the objects.

ArchiCAD – Same as the Revit. Easy to make the models from scratch can be highly recommended.

Recommendations – Experts highly recommend the below apps for the exterior designs
01. SketchUp
02. Revit
03. ArchiCAD
04. AutoCAD

After you have chosen a software, completely dedicate yourself to that software. Don’t jump around wasting time trying all the different software packages, just dedicate your time and energy to mastering your software of choice. It will take months or years to become fully trained in even one of the above-listed software packages because they have so many powerful features and capabilities.

After selecting the software that you selected engaged it with several tutorials and guidance available. It is difficult to learn this by using books. There are very good YouTube channels and learning courses are available online CGCookie (best), Digital-Tutors (great), Lynda (usually good), or Udemy (not bad).

After you finish the model making you can add material and colors to the model

03. Texturing and Coloring

This is the most important part of the project. Availability of the real material you can add to the model Each rendering software is with specified materials. If the given materials are not enough you can make your own material with quality. You will need a texture file and maps for the material preparation.

Considering a rendering software includes any material such as glass, wood, plastic, steel, and many more. So you can change its options as you need with the usability of the model. According to the environment, you rendering you should change its reflections, diffusions, refraction, bump, illumination, etc. Let’s see what does this means below?

04. Rendering

Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model, by means of computer programs

This process requires a more powerful PC. There are two types of renderings. CPU-based and GPU-based are them. So for the physical rendering process, you may have the GPU. For the exterior renderings, I can highly recommend GPU-based renderings.

Preparing the model for rendering is a time spending work. So you must have the patient because you have to place each parts step by step. In rendering, you can output the videos as well as images.

There are many rendering software but for the exterior renderings, I can recommend Lumion. Because it is with many materials and objects. as well as editing can be done easily. The high-quality output of video or image can have the least time. But according to the rendering quality, you can wait even a few days for complex renderings.

There are V-ray, Octane render, Corona renders, Arnold renders, KeyShot, and Cinema4D, 3D Max, mays also provide the rendering facilities. Those are difficult to set up. So you had better move the easy and quick rendering software for high-end output.

There are so many rendering features. So please pay your attention to these when you do the rendeirng.

  • Shading – how the color and brightness of a surface varies with lighting
  • Texture-mapping – a method of applying detail to surfaces
  • Bump-mapping – a method of simulating small-scale bumpiness on surfaces
  • Fogging/participating medium – how light dims when passing through non-clear atmosphere or air
  • Shadows – the effect of obstructing light
  • Soft shadows – varying darkness caused by partially obscured light sources
  • Reflection – mirror-like or highly glossy reflection
  • Transparency (optics), transparency (graphic) or opacity – sharp transmission of light through solid objects
  • Translucency – highly scattered transmission of light through solid objects
  • Refraction – bending of light associated with transparency
  • Diffraction – bending, spreading, and interference of light passing by an object or aperture that disrupts the ray
  • Indirect illumination – surfaces illuminated by light reflected off other surfaces, rather than directly from a light source (also known as global illumination)
  • Caustics (a form of indirect illumination) – reflection of light off a shiny object, or focusing of light through a transparent object, to produce bright highlights on another object
  • Depth of field – objects appear blurry or out of focus when too far in front of or behind the object in focus
  • Motion blur – objects appear blurry due to high-speed motion, or the motion of the camera
  • Non-photorealistic rendering – rendering of scenes in an artistic style, intended to look like a painting or drawing

05. Post-Production

After you finish the rendering you can have the output of the video or image. So you need to do a postproduction of it. if the colors are different try to fix it. Sometimes you need to adjust the image size and video sizes. So use photoshop for the postproduction process.

Ricky Louis

Hey.. I am Ricky Louis, A professional graphic designer with years of experience in 3D modeling. I would like to share my knowledge with you.

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