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Simple House Building

Simple House Building / June 25, 2020

Start a new document ( CTRL + N ). Split the view into four views as at right, by pressing ALT + CTRL + Q . This gives you a standard set of views: top, front, side and camera, the first three orthographic and the last one in perspective. You can switch back to the single 3D view at any time by pressing ALT + CTRL + Q again.

Leave the default cube, it will be the walls of the house.

Make the Roof[edit]

Ensure you are in object mode ( TAB switches between object and edit mode)

Now, in the Front view window (lower left)

Press SHIFT + D to duplicate the cube, grab mode is automatically selected, press Z to restrict the move to the up-down axis and move the cube to rest on top of the original (pressing CTRL while moving will snap it to the grid and make it easier to position accurately.) Press ENTER when it is in place.

You can see how useful this four-paned window is; it shows you exactly what's going on.

Note: It helps to simply grab one of the arrows, press Z and then press 2 on the key pad, this will move the block 2 units in the z direction. the standard starting cube is 2 units tall.

Make sure you are duplicating the cube in Object mode, not Edit mode, so the roof ends up as a separate object.

The top cube is going to become the roof and needs to be given a triangular cross-section.

Select the top cube (if it is not already selected) by clicking RMB on it

Press TAB to go into Edit Mode (check the box in the middle of the 3D window header)

Press A to deselect all the vertices.

In the top view, select the top four ( RMB the first one and SHIFT + RMB the rest). You can check in the other views that only those four are selected.

Note: another way to do this is to have "limit selection to visible" turned off, and then press the B for, border select, and make a box around the top vertices. (it helps to view it from one of the sides, by pressing either the 1 or 3 keys)

Another Note: Or, with 'limit selection to visible" turned on, press C for circle select and turn the mouse key to make the circle large enough to enclose all four vertices before you press LMB .

Make the Apex of the Roof[edit]

Now press S for scaling and X to limit the scaling to the X-axis (left to right). You could try to move the mouse back and forth to bring the top vertices together, but you will have a hard time lining them up exactly, so it's best to just type in 0KEY (zero) followed by ENTER to set scaling to zero.

Now it looks like there are only 2 vertices where there were 4, but in fact there are still 4, even though 2 of them are occupying exactly the same positions as the other 2. With these 4 still selected, bring up the vertex specials menu with W and select “Remove Doubles”. You should see a message briefly flash up at the top right saying “Removed 2 vertices”. Now there really are only 2 vertices where there previously were 4.

“Remove Doubles” is a handy function to use after complicated mesh edits. It helps reduce complexity in your mesh structure.

Form the Eaves[edit]

The roof needs to project over the walls of the house to form the eaves. To do this, we will scale it, but only along the X- and Y-axes, not the Z, so it doesn’t become taller.

Select all the vertices in the roof object by pressing A once or twice.

Press S to scale, followed by SHIFT + Z to scale uniformly along all axes except Z, and scale to about 1.1. Confirm the operation with LMB or ENTER in the usual way.

Naming the Roof and House Objects[edit]

In a complex project with lots of objects, it can be helpful to keep them straight by giving them names. This is less of an issue in a simple tutorial like this one, but for practice, let’s give names to your objects anyway.

Go to the Object context in the Properties window, and at the top you should see an editable field containing the name of the currently-selected object. The walls of the house should be called “Cube”, and the roof should be called “Cube.001” (note the automatic addition of a numeric suffix to keep the names unique). Try changing these to, say, “House” and “Roof” respectively.

Object Name Versus Mesh Name[edit]

If you look in the Mesh Data context , you will also see a name like “Cube” or “Cube.001”. This is a separate name for the object-type-specific data (the mesh data, in this case), quite independent of the object name. Don’t worry about this name for now; you will learn about its significance later.

Colouring the House[edit]

The roof now needs to be given a different colour to the default grey. Select the Materials Context in the Object Properties window. In the list at the top, you should see a single entry, called “Material” (the name of the initial default material). Below that is an editable field containing the name, and immediately to its right should be a small box with the number “2” in it. This number indicates that the same material is being used in two places—in this case, we know the other place is the object representing the walls of the house. Click on this “2”, and that will force a new copy of the material to be made (leaving the house walls with the original); the number will disappear, and the material name will change to “Material.001” to be different from the original.