Fun with Materials in Chief Architect - Designers Show #114

designers show Nov 06, 2023
Fun with Materials in Chief Architect - Designers Show #114

In this Designers Show, we will dive into the intricate world of design software, focusing on the utilization of materials and textures to bring your architectural visions to life. Dan and Renee, seasoned experts in the field, guide us through a comprehensive session on how to leverage Chief Architect software to its fullest potential.

From the basics of patterns and textures to advanced material settings, this video is a treasure trove of knowledge for both novice and experienced designers. Dan's practical demonstrations and Renee's expert insights offer viewers a unique opportunity to enhance their skills in creating realistic surfaces and rendering settings that bring a touch of realism to any project.

Whether you're looking to fine-tune your design process, explore new tools, or simply gain a better understanding of Chief Architect's capabilities, this show is an invaluable resource. So, grab your virtual tool belt and join us as we dissect the nuances of digital design, one texture at a time. Don't forget to check out the full video for a detailed walkthrough and some handy pro tips!



Fun with Materials in Chief Architect - Designers Show #114


Introduction and Overview (00:00 - 00:22)

  • Dan from Chief Experts starts the live session, introducing the topic of materials and textures in design software.
  • Renee, an expert in materials and textures, particularly in Photoshop since 1994, is also present.

Photoshop and Other Design Tools (00:22 - 01:31)

  • Discussion about the longevity of using Photoshop and its relevance to current design practices.
  • Mention of other design tools like Canva and their growing popularity.

Upcoming Classes and Events (01:31 - 03:58)

  • Announcement of upcoming classes being pushed to December to allow for more sign-ups.
  • Details about the intermediate and advanced classes in Bloomington, Minnesota, including location and logistics.

Chief Architect Summit and Training (03:58 - 06:24)

  • Promotion of the Chief Architect Summit, a week-long event for intensive learning and networking.
  • Encouragement for serious learners to join the summit for in-depth knowledge of Chief Architect.

Materials and Textures in CAD Programs (06:24 - 10:17)

  • Explanation of what materials and textures mean in CAD programs, emphasizing that they are photographs used to create realistic surfaces.
  • A demonstration of how to adjust material definitions in Chief Architect, including changing the size and pattern of textures.

Understanding Patterns and Textures (10:24 - 11:27)

  • Explanation of the difference between patterns (vector-based graphics) and textures (raster-based images).
  • Discussion on how textures tile over surfaces and the importance of seamless textures for a realistic appearance.

Adjusting Material Definitions (11:27 - 14:32)

  • Demonstration of how to adjust material colors within Chief Architect using the 'Material Color' option.
  • Discussion on the potential improvements in future software updates to better handle color overlays without affecting the image's highlights and shadows.

Matching Pattern to Texture Size (14:32 - 17:49)

  • Techniques for aligning the pattern size with the texture size to ensure they match up correctly in the plan.
  • Explanation of how to calculate the correct scale for patterns based on the number of elements in the texture image.

Practical Tips for Adjusting Textures (17:49 - 20:51)

  • Dan shares his practical, non-mathematical method for adjusting textures to fit a desired pattern by visually stretching the image in the software.
  • He demonstrates how to adjust the size of the texture to match a specific dimension by using the 'rainbow bacon tool' and manually tweaking the numbers.
  • Discussion on the practical application of adjusting materials using mathematical and visual methods.
  • Renee demonstrates how to adjust material properties to match the texture and pattern sizes perfectly.

Advanced Material Settings (22:45 - 27:10)

  • Explanation of advanced material settings, including creating bump maps and reflection maps for more realistic textures.
  • Mention of third-party tools like Substance Player for creating custom materials.

Rendering and Material Depth (27:10 - 31:55)

  • Discussion on rendering settings in Chief Architect, emphasizing the use of normal maps and occlusion maps to add depth to materials.
  • Tips on how to use the same texture image to create a bump map within Chief Architect for added material definition.

Optimizing Rendering Settings (31:55 - 31:55)

  • Dan and Renee talk about optimizing rendering settings for better performance and visuals.
  • They cover how to set up cameras to default to physically based rendering for a more realistic output.

Camera Settings and Templates (32:01 - 33:13)

  • Dan discusses how to set camera defaults for different views in Chief Architect, including physically based rendering.
  • He explains how to make these settings default in new plans by adjusting the template settings.

Creating Custom Signs and Images (33:13 - 34:25)

  • Demo of how to import custom images for signs and people, noting the limitations in vector views.
  • Dan shows how to use images in rendered views and the difference between vector and rendered images.

3D Trees and Landscaping (34:25 - 36:52)

  • Discussion on the 3D trees in Chief Architect and how they are created using PNG images on square planes to simulate leaves.
  • Dan touches on the upcoming features in Chief Architect X16, including a clipping mask for landscaping.

Realistic Grass in Landscaping (36:52 - 42:39)

  • Introduction to a new tool in Chief Architect for creating realistic grass regions that follow terrain contours.
  • Dan demonstrates how to adjust the height, color, and texture of the grass to achieve different looks.

Creating Custom Materials and Images (42:39 - 42:39)

  • Tutorial on creating new materials and images in Chief Architect's library, including how to import and adjust transparency for custom images.
  • Dan attempts to import an image with a background to see if Chief Architect can handle it automatically.

Creating Transparent Images for Chief Architect (42:44 - 43:02)

  • Dan explains the importance of having a solid color background for images to work well in Chief Architect.
  • Renee confirms that using Photoshop can make the process quick and easy.

Using Clipping Magic for Image Editing (43:02 - 45:24)

  • Dan introduces Clipping Magic, an online tool for removing image backgrounds, which he demonstrates by uploading and editing an image.
  • He shows how to download the edited image as a PNG, which is necessary for transparency in Chief Architect.

Importing and Using Images in Chief Architect (45:24 - 47:27)

  • Dan goes through the process of importing the edited image into Chief Architect's library as a new material.
  • He discusses the importance of PNG format for transparency and demonstrates how to place the image in a plan.

Creating and Applying Custom Materials (47:27 - 49:58)

  • How to create a new material in Chief Architect, using the edited image.
  • Dan explains how to apply the new material to objects in the plan, such as TVs or picture frames.

Custom Branding in 3D Views (49:58 - 50:35)

  • Dan suggests using custom images to brand 3D views with logos or other marketing materials.
  • He emphasizes the importance of informing clients that 3D images are representations and not exact replicas of the final product.

Creating Custom Tiles and Using Screen Capture (50:35 - 53:12)

  • Dan introduces the screen capture tool in Chief Architect for creating custom materials like tiles.
  • He demonstrates how to apply these custom materials to specific areas in a plan, such as a floor slab.

Creating and Importing Tile Textures (53:17 - 54:25)

  • Dan discusses the process of finding and saving tile textures from the internet to use in Chief Architect.
  • He encounters a protected image that cannot be saved directly and decides to use a screen capture tool instead.

Using Screen Capture for Custom Materials (54:25 - 55:56)

  • The screen capture tool in Chief Architect is used to create a new material from an image found online.
  • Dan demonstrates capturing the image and then locating it in the user catalog to use as a material.

Adjusting and Applying New Materials (55:56 - 57:12)

  • The new tile material is adjusted for scale and applied to surfaces within the plan.
  • Dan shows how the material can be applied to various objects, including walls.

Organizing and Using the User Catalog (57:12 - 58:35)

  • Renee provides a tip on how to better organize and view items in the user catalog by using the filter icons.

Creating Adjustable Grout Lines (58:35 – 1:01:55)

  • Dan addresses a question about creating adjustable grout lines, explaining that it requires manual drawing if the right image isn't available.
  • He demonstrates how to draw and copy tiles in 2D before converting them to a 3D material region.

Applying and Editing Materials in 3D (1:01:55 – 1:03:57)

  • Dan further edits the materials in 3D, adjusting the depth and positioning behind the tile.
  • He concludes by discussing the ease of selecting and editing in 2D compared to 3D.

Closing Remarks and Upcoming Events (1:03:57 – 1:04:09)