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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now that our wagon assembly is finished and we are familiar with using the new Materials Browser, it's time to apply photorealistic materials to our assembly. To do that I'm going to click to Render tab. Then I'll come down in the Materials panel and we'll open up the Materials Browser. Let's dock this palette to the interface. To do that, I'll click and hold down this bar, I'll drag it to the right side of the screen, and I'll release. I'd like to do one more thing. Let's restore our saved rendered view over here on the left.
To do that, I'll click the Home tab, I'll come down to the View panel, and we'll open up the Unsaved View menu, and I'll select Rendered View. Now, if you look in the Documents Materials area, you can see that there is already a material in this drawing. This is the Linen-White material and it was in the original assembly file. This material is being used for the table underneath the wagon. I'd like to add a few more materials to this drawing. First of all, I'd like to add a nice white glossy paint-like material for the centers of my wheels.
I am going to click in the search area and type white. Then I'll take a look at the categories. I am going to select Finish. Let's use this material, Lacquer-White. I'll click this swatch to add it to my drawing. Next, I'd like to find a red plastic material to use for my wheel caps. So, I will click in the search area and type red. Then I'll drag down through the categories.
I'll select Plastic. Then I'll grab this slider. I'll drag this down and we'll take a look at the swatches. Let's use this one, High-Gloss-Burnt Red. I'll click to add this to the drawing. Let's see if we can find suitable material to use for our tires. This time I'll type rubber in the search area. You see we have three choices. They are all in the Miscellaneous category. I've got Rubber-Black, Rubber-Blue and Rubber-Green.
This black rubber material isn't as dark as one I would like but it's obviously the only game in town right now. So I'll click to add this to my drawing. Finally, I'd like to find a glossy black paint-like material for the hardware underneath the wagon. I am going to enter black in the search area. I'll drag down through my category list. I am going to select Metallic Paint this time. Let's take this material, Glossy- Back. I'll click to add this to the drawing.
When I am finished, I'd click the X to close the search. Now that I have selected my materials, I would like to apply these to my components. If you remember, some of these components that we created are made up of several surfaces. So dragging and dropping these materials onto the objects might be time consuming. There is actually another way we can apply materials to our model. We can apply them by layer. To do that, I'll click the Render tab, and then I'll click to open up the Materials panel and I'll select Attach By Layer.
This brings up a dialog box that gives me a listing of my materials on the left. On the right, I can see a listing of my layer names. By default, the layer names are not in an alphabetical order. To fix that, I can click the column header. I am going to click it one more time to these A to Z. To change the width of the column you can click and hold on the divider and drag it left and right. To assign a material to a layer, you can simply click and hold on the materials swatch and drag it over and drop it on the layer of your choice.
I'm going to click and hold on this slider, and I'm going to pull down through the layer list because all of these layers that start with surface contain 2D geometry. Let's start with the wagon _axle_mount layer first. This is going to be Glossy-Black. So, I will click and hold on this material, I'll drag it over and drop it on the layer. For right now, let's make the wagon _body red, and we'll drag the red material onto that layer. There is actually a feature missing that we can't see right now on this dialog box.
Let me click and hold on this outer edge and I'll drag this a little bit wider. If at any point you'd like to remove a material from a layer, you can click this red X. My next several layers are going to be black. So I'll drag black onto the front_axle, the wagon_handle. I'll drag it onto the rear_brace, and the rear_brackets, the wagon_socket is going to be black. Now the wheel_cap and the wheel_ plastic are both going to be red.
So I'll drag red onto those layers. Let's drag the slider down so we can see the remaining layers. wheel_steel is going to be white. So I will drag the white material onto that layer. Finally, we'll drag the rubber black material onto the tire layer. When I am finished, I'll click OK. As you can see, assigning materials to the layers is a very efficient way of applying materials to your model. Now that our materials have been added, let's render this drawing and see how our image is taking shape.
To do that I'm going to move up and click the Render icon. Now it will probably take a couple of seconds to get started. AutoCAD has to calculate all of our shadows first. Once it's finished with its calculations, the image will start to take shape. After our first rendering using materials, you can see that our final image is heading in the right direction. We still have to make some changes though. For instance I'd like the black tire material to be a little bit darker, and I'd like it to be a lot less glossy. I'd like to have a little bit more glossiness on the black painted components.
I would like my wagon body to be a nice bright high-gloss yellow. In our next lesson, we'll learn how to make these changes by customizing our materials to meet our specific needs.
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