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3D Architectural Rendering Software


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Here's the scenario: I have some ideas that I'm trying to effectively communicate to investors and contractors. 2D top-down drawings have proven insufficient because there are complicating factors relating to code-compliant rise and run of stairs, headroom, the positioning of landings, doorways, corridors, trusses, etc. This isn't new construction, so I've mostly got to work around what's already there. Does anybody know of decent software that I can use to make 3D renderings of my designs so that I can avoid having to hire out an architect?

Back when I was in high school, I used the map editor for the Half Life game (run on the Quake engine) to recreate my own house digitally and to make a veritable war zone out of it. I don't have the software anymore, unfortunately, but I know from playing around with it so many years ago that I could make due with it, if that's all I had. So if that or some kind of freeware is available, that would work too.

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Sketchup's cheap, fast and dirty, but I hate the damn thing for it's quirks and tendency to lag after a few dozen walls go up. There's always GMAX, which is free, and is essentially an old version of 3DS.

You could always get The Sims Two, and mess around with that somehow, but that may not go over well when it comes to a serious presentation.

I'm not sure about this, but if I am not mistaken, alums of UH can acquire 3DS and the like for cheap from the software store. Furthermore, if you still have your old UH Email/ID, you can register at the Autodesk student website, and use educational versions of certain software for free.

But yeah, that's all I know about when it comes to cheap/free 3d software.

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Here's the scenario: I have some ideas that I'm trying to effectively communicate to investors and contractors. 2D top-down drawings have proven insufficient because there are complicating factors relating to code-compliant rise and run of stairs, headroom, the positioning of landings, doorways, corridors, trusses, etc. This isn't new construction, so I've mostly got to work around what's already there. Does anybody know of decent software that I can use to make 3D renderings of my designs so that I can avoid having to hire out an architect?

Back when I was in high school, I used the map editor for the Half Life game (run on the Quake engine) to recreate my own house digitally and to make a veritable war zone out of it. I don't have the software anymore, unfortunately, but I know from playing around with it so many years ago that I could make due with it, if that's all I had. So if that or some kind of freeware is available, that would work too.

If you want to go more complex try Blender

http://www.blender.org/

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If you want to go more complex try Blender

http://www.blender.org/

Wow.. that looks like a heck of a program for being free.. I'll have to check it out.

However, it doesnt look like it has nearly as quick the learning curve as sketchup.

i think for niche wants to convey, the easiest solution would be to import his existing cad files in to sketchup and he should be able to have a model within a few hours.

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Wow.. that looks like a heck of a program for being free.. I'll have to check it out.

However, it doesnt look like it has nearly as quick the learning curve as sketchup.

i think for niche wants to convey, the easiest solution would be to import his existing cad files in to sketchup and he should be able to have a model within a few hours.

Agree it is pretty complex but if you know your way around Maya it should be easy to pickup....

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Agree it is pretty complex but if you know your way around Maya it should be easy to pickup....

Which I'm not.. never have used Maya.

The last true modeling/rendering program i used on a regular basis was Viz/Max.. but that was 4 years ago. Pretty much shelved it for the speed and ease of Sketchup

I'm getting ready to pick up Rhino though due to client requirements at work.

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