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Bringing Your Architectural Vision To Life With Cinema 4D Architectural Version

Part 1: Let`s take a look at how the architectural version of Cinema 4D works
Most people might wonder why I would do this first, and there is a very simple answer. By laying the drawing out in this fashion, you can see the exact length, width and height of all the floors, walls and ceilings, and it is probably the best place to start your modeling from. What I am going to do is create the deck first, then the backyard fence, the garage, the four outer walls of the house, some exterior landscaping, and then for fun, I'm going to create the inner walls of the house, to get a few good "snapshots" of what the interior of the house will look like.


THE DECK
Believe it or not, the deck was one of the harder elements of the house to build. Basically it consists of five parts. The concrete support beams, the planks of the deck itself, the edge planks of the deck and the fence that surrounds it. Let's start at the very bottom and work our way up. Before I'm even going to model anything, let's put our "ground" in, as we will need that for our house, garage and deck to sit on. To create the ground, I simply used a primitive plane object that can be found in OBJECTS>PRIMITIVE>PLANE.


Once I have my plane, I'm going to position it at ground level according to the CAAD drawing that I have configured for my 3D environment. Since we are working from the ground up with our deck, the concrete support pillars are first, and from the drawing, they look like a cylinder attached to a cone, attached to another cylinder, which makes them very easy to create, and can be done using all primitives. Take a look at a before and after picture.


Now, once I group the three elements of the pillar together, I can very easily create the other one by copying and pasting them, and positioning them where I think they should go, as I don't have a reference for them on the CAAD drawing. Since most of them won't be seen, the fact that I am taking creative liberties as to where they go is O.K.
Now that I have my support structure, I'm going to create the actual deck itself. How I'm going to do this is to create a primitive cube, and adjust the length, width and height based on the CAAD drawing, and copy and paste them across to fill the entire deck.

Once I have the top planks completed, I'm going to create the side planks, which again, are just duplicates of the top planks with the length adjusted, and I'm going to place them into position. Now, as you can see we have an interesting problem, and our first "major" issue that we've run into so far. As you can see, due to the shape of the deck, some of the planks need to be cut to line up with the edge planks. Here's how we do that. First, let's make a plank editable by selecting any one that crosses the edge plank, and navigating to FUNCTIONS>MAKE EDITABLE.

You will now see that the Cube object has turned into a Polygon object. Now, I'm going to switch to "Modeling" view under WINDOW>LAYOUT>MODELING, and then I'm going to select "USE POLYGON TOOL" on the left tool bar.

Next, I'm going to activate the "Knife" tool by using the shortcut "K", and then cut the end off my plank. After I have "sliced" the end of my board the way I want, I'm going to switch back to my selection tool, and delete the unwanted portion of the plank. When I'm done, it looks like this.
I could leave the plank like this, as with the edge planks, you won't see the hole, but for the purposes of this article, let's fill it up. This is done quite simply by navigating to STRUCTURE>CLOSE POLYGON HOLE. Now, I can just select the hole at the end of the plank, and C4D will close the hole to make it a full plank again.

Now, I'm going to follow the same steps for the other planks. I can also quite easily create the steps by duplicating the top deck, and using the CAAD drawing's width as my point of reference, create the steps down to the grass. The last step for the deck is to create our fence. Again, this is done with a simple "Cube" primitive, and the CAAD drawing as my guide. I have the height and width dimensions, and since there is no depth reference, I can use some creative liberty. When all is said and done, my deck looks like this.

THE FENCE
Here is another area where I had complete creative control, as there was going to be a fence installed, but nothing had been decided on, so I decided to create a wood fence with stone pillars. First, I created the stone pillar with a simple "Cube" primitive. Then, I added two cross beams that would hold up the planks for the actual fence. Then, I copied and pasted a plank from the deck and adjusted the height, and attached it to the cross beams. Once I was happy with the first plank, I copied and pasted other planks to make one portion of the fence.


The reason I didn't create another pillar was because once I copied and pasted my fence, I could simply keep adding as many copies of the fence as I wanted, and rotate them at ninety degree angles to make the backyard as large and square as it needed to be.

THE HOUSE - EXTERIOR
This may have been the trickiest part of the whole modeling process for me, as it took a little bit of thought as to how I wanted to do this. I decided that I wanted to have four separate wall elements, so if I wanted to remove one to show people the inside of the house, it would be quick and easy to do. I figured I would start with the back wall first, as it would be the most complicated as there were doors and windows that needed to be taken into consideration. Here is how I took what could have been a difficult process, and made it easy. First, I created another basic Plane object by navigating to OBJECTS>PRIMITIVE>PLANE. I then rotated it, and adjusted the height and width so that it matched the height and width of the CAAD drawing of the back of the house.


Then, I navigated to the Plane's "Object" attributes, and adjusted the height and width segments to 200 each, which now gives me a lot more segments to work with than I had before. Much like how I used the knife tool to cut the plank, I'm going to make the Plane editable so that I can cut the doors and windows out of it. Once I have the Polygon tool active (see above), I'm going to simply select the polygons around each door and window that I don't want, and delete them.

Now the back of my house looks like this.

Now, it's a simple extrusion by navigating to STRUCTURE>EXTRUDE, and I can extrude the wall to make it the length dictated by the CAAD drawing. As you can see, the wall is technically only half extruded, as there is a big whole that needs to be filled on the inside of the house.

How I fixed that was to simply duplicate the back wall, and adjust the "Y" scale to reverse the extrusion to my liking. I actually preferred working this way as it was very easy to texture the inside of the house with one wall being dedicated to the inside, and one to the outside.
Now, I followed the same procedure on both the left and right walls and the garage. Since there was a door on the garage and the left wall of the house above the garage, and there was a window on the right wall, I simply duplicated the door and window from the "Back" CAAD drawing to use as a reference. Also, as you can see, the garage has a fence around it, so I duplicated a piece of the fence around the deck, adjusted its depth, and put it around the edge of the garage. I wanted the depth to be thinner, as this fence was going to be metal, not wood. Finally, as you can see, I've added a small circular deck and fence around the second floor door. This was done using the same technique that created the custom deck planks and the holes in the polygon plan. I first created a primitive Disc, cut it in half, extruded it, and positioned it according to the CAAD drawing. Then, I did the exact same thing with a primitive Torus, for the railing. Last, I created a primitive Cylinder, adjusted the size to match the CAAD drawing, positioned it, and then duplicated it six times and positioned the new pieces accordingly.

To create the doors and windows for the house, I used the exact same technique that I used to create the outer walls of the house, except for one main difference, and that is that when I extruded the door (or window), I wanted to make sure that I had both sides, as I was going to be applying one texture to the entire door/window (except for the glass), and that was done by simply clicking "Create Caps" in your "Extrude" effect.

Last but not least, every house needs a roof, and since the roof was not a part of the CAAD drawing, as it was irrelevant to what was being done to the house, I can take a little creative liberty here when designing it. Since there is no shape that would give me a realistic looking roof, I'm going to use a simple Cube primitive, and adjust it to my liking. First, I created a Cube primitive (OBJECTS>PRIMITIVE>CUBE), and using the width of the house as a reference (from the CAAD drawing), I adjusted the height, length and width accordingly. Next, as always, any time I need to adjust a primitive, I need to make it editable, so I navigated to FUNCTIONS>MAKE EDITABLE, and once it was editable, I selected my "Point Tool" as I need to create two points to make my roof.

Now, I simply added two new points along my World axis on opposite sides of the cube, and then using the selection tool, I adjusted the height of them, and their distance apart. Finally, I used the knife tool to cut along the top of the roof, as well as both edges that were adjusted, so that when I apply materials to the roof, I can specify where the shingles will start and stop. Here's what my final roof looks like.

LANDSCAPING
Another great feature of C4DA is that they have included a whole bunch of objects that you can use to quickly add furniture and fixtures to the inside of the house, but also, trees, kids playsets and other outdoor objects to spice up the outside of your house as well. To get to them, all I have to do is click on the material manager, and navigate to the architectural section, and as you can see from the below image, I now have all of these outdoor models that I can simply drag and drop into my scene.

 

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