In this tutorial "Rendering An Archidom 3DS file", i will demonstrate how to import a Toyota Rav 4 Car in 3D Studio Max file (3ds format) into Artlantis, apply concrete shader to the ground, and do polygon selection to move certain polygons/material (car plate) to another new layer, and put the image into the new layer.

 

Downloading the 3DS File

 

1. Go to http://www.archidom.net/ddd/mod_drive6.htm

 

Note: I also put the 3ds file at my dropbox. Click the Artlantis Studio link below my wall, you can see all files needed for this tutorial.

 

2. Click the TOYOTA RAV4'00.3ds.zip link to download the file.

 

Note: Artlantis recognizes 3ds format, but not max format. In Archidom site, If the car has only max file and no 3ds file to download, then you have no choice, but to open the max file in 3D Max Studio and then convert it to 3ds.

 

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3. Once download completed, double-click the zip to unzip.  

 

Note: You will get a file called TOYOTA RAV4'00.3DS.

 

4. Place the TOYOTA RAV4'00.3DS into a folder called Toyota Rav4. 

 

Opening 3ds File in Artlantis

 

4. Launch Artlantis Studio. Click File > Open and choose the TOYOTA RAV4'00.3DS.

 

Note: Do not double-click the 3ds to open it in Artlantis. It cannot work.

 

Note: File > Open can give you the option to specify the unit measurement the 3ds is using. Since i am not the draftperson of this 3ds file, i won't know the unit. So, is better to check it at 3ds Max first.

 

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Note: Total dark on the car. Why? Because there is no heliodon in there.

 

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5. In the Perspective Inspector, set Distance Lighting to Heliodon.

 

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 Note: The surrounding is still dark. Why? This is because it is at night.

 

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6. Switch to Heliodon Inspector, set the time to 14:40.

 

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Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

7. Check Shadow Checkbox.

 

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Note: You can see the car now. But, the outside of the car is still dark. Why? There is no 'ground' to receive the light.You need to create the ground to receive the heliodon light and let shadow happens on the ground.

 

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In the real world, a light's brightness is strongest at the light source and decreases or decays further away from the light source. There are 3 types of lights in Artlantis and other softwares like AutoCAD, 3D Max, to represent different decay rate of light.

  • Heliodon - i.e. Sun, it is called Distant Light in AutoCAD and 3D Max, parallel light that never decay.

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  • Light - it is called SpotLight in AutoCAD and 3D Max. I.e. spot light in our real life, decays as it travel away from source.

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  • Neon Shader - it is called Point Light in AutoCAD, called Omni Light in 3D Max. It radiates 360 degree and decays as it travel away from source.

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Applying Ground to the Scene

 

8. Click Windows > Scene Informations to open Scene Information dialog box.

 

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Check the Infinite Ground checkbox.

 

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 Note: You can adjust the ground level by changing the Altitude value. Or, you can click the Pick Point button and click a point at the Preview Window to define ground level.

 

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Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

Applying Shader to the Ground

 

9. Click the Edit Shade tool of the Scene Information dialog box. This will switch to Shader Inspector.

 

10. Click List View button to open up View List.

 

Note: The name of the material, i.e. Infinite Ground Material, is shown in the titlebar of the Shader Inspector, as well highlighted in the View List.

 

 

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Note: There is no shader name after the material name. This means the Basic Shader is applied.

 

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11. Click Windows > Catalog to open up Catalog Window. In Catalog, drag and drop Shaders > a Surface > Concrete 1 into the Infinite Ground Material in the View List, or into the Ground of the Preview Window.

 

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Note: The concrete texture is too dense in the Preview Window. This means the unit measurement of the car is wrongly defined at the very beginning in step 4.

 

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12. Having Infinite Ground Material is still selected in the View List, in the Shade Inspector, drag the Size slider to the right all the way. But, once in the most right position, you cannot move any further. The increased size is still not big enough. How?! You want to continue moving the slider to find the right size of the concrete texture in the Preview Window.

 

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Here is the trick.

 

13.  You click other material in the View List first, and then click the Infinite Ground Material again. The slider is back in the middle position, allowing you to move the slider again.

 

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14. Repeat the step 13, until the size is around 32m and result in Preview Window as such.

 

Note: If you like to set the size right away, without moving the slider, you can just enter 32m here.

 

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Note: The concrete texture can be seen clearer now.

 

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From the aspect of scale and unit size issue, luckily, Artlantis Studio is more flexible and result-oriented, it can work well even the size is exaggerated.

 

Adding Car Plate to the Car

 

Let's zoom the car plate area.

 

15. In the Preview Window, click the Zoom tool.

 

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Then, drag from point 1 to point 2.

 

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Note: The Preview Window changes to the screen below.

 

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Our next task now is to insert a carplate.jpg onto the car.

 

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Let's find out where the "car plate" material located in the View List.

 

16. In the Preview Window, click on the car plate area and hold a while until the materials under the same layer are highlighted.

 

Note: Many scattered material are grouped into Default layer in the View List. When Artlantis imports the model in 3ds, if it does not understand the layer it belonged, it will put under Default layer.

 

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This is not good, i need the car plate material to be in a single layer, so that i can insert image into it. Not advisable to proceed the image insertion onto the Default Layer as too many things in there. Let's create a new layer in View List, and learn a technique called polygon selection to transfer the car plate material to the new layer.

 

17. Click Duplicate the selected element tool. Don't be confused with the name of the tool, it is just to create a new layer, no material being duplicated. You can see red color, indicates there is no material in that layer.

 

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Note: A new layer called Default_1 appears.

 

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18. Double-click the Default_1 and ...

 

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change the name to Car Plate.

 

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19. Click the Activate Polygon Selection tool.

 

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Note: When Polygon Selection mode is on, the Activate Polygon Selection tool will change color as below.

 

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20. Click the Polygon Selection Method tool, and choose Triangular method.

 

Note: This is just a rectangular area. Triangular method is good enough to select the polygon.

 

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21. Click the car plate two time diagonally to select the rectangle area.

 

Note: The result after the polygon selection is done.

 

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22. Ensure Car Plate layer is selected in the View List. Then, click Apply button.

 

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23. Choose Apply the selected material option and click OK.

 

 

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24. A Warning informing that you cannot undo after this operation. Click Yes.

 

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25. Let's check whether the selected material have been assigned to Car Plate layer. In the View List, click and hold the Car Plate layer, if the area of the car plate is highlighted, it meant you have successfully placed the material into the Car Plate layer.

 

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26. Click Add Image tool, and choose carplate.jpg from your local disk.

 

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Note: The image is inserted but small.

 

Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

27. Ensure the carplate.jpg is selected in the View List, drag the dimension slider a few round to enlarge the image size.

 

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In the Shader Inspector, drag the + on the thumbnail to position the image.

 

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Artlantis Tutorial Download | Cemtech Training Center Puchong, Selangor Melaka

 

Well, i finished Part I here.

 

Written by Liang Ee Hang | LinkedIn
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