Up and Running with 3D in AutoCAD 2013
Illustration by Richard Downs

Controlling the visual style


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Up and Running with 3D in AutoCAD 2013

with Scott Onstott

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Video: Controlling the visual style

In this video, you will review the standard visual styles and learn how to create your own to display 3D objects with your chosen visual cues. To represent 3D surfaces on a 2D screen, one needs visual cues to determine which surfaces obscure other surfaces in the dimension of depth. Open the Cathedral 2 project file. And then click here to open the Visual Style Controls menu. I'll switch to the Wire Frame Visual Style.
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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with 3D in AutoCAD 2013
2h 37m Beginner Jul 19, 2012

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If you're comfortable with 2D drawing in AutoCAD 2013 and ready to start creating and designing three-dimensional models, this workshop from AutoCAD expert and author Scott Onstott is for you. Learn about 3D navigation and wireframing; surface, solid, and mesh modeling techniques; designing and assigning materials; placing natural and artificial lights; and configuring both direct and global illumination rendering parameters to create photorealistic renderings. With the 3D techniques from this course, you can prepare to bring your designs one step closer to reality.

Topics include:
  • 3D views, perspectives, and tools in AutoCAD
  • Controlling the visual style
  • Working with tiled viewports
  • Composing perspective views
  • Drawing in 3D
  • Modeling an Ionic column
  • Documenting 3D models
  • Creating dynamic slideshows, animations, and renderings
Subjects:
video2brain CAD
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Scott Onstott

Controlling the visual style

In this video, you will review the standard visual styles and learn how to create your own to display 3D objects with your chosen visual cues. To represent 3D surfaces on a 2D screen, one needs visual cues to determine which surfaces obscure other surfaces in the dimension of depth. Open the Cathedral 2 project file. And then click here to open the Visual Style Controls menu. I'll switch to the Wire Frame Visual Style.

And this is hard to interpret because of the complexity of this model. There are so many intersecting lines. I can't tell what's what. If we go to the 2D wire frame style, it automatically changes the projection type to parallel. You can verify that over here on this menu. I'll change it back to perspective. Notice that when I do, it automatically changes me to the wire frame visual style. Let's try shaded. Now we see the surfaces, and we can make better sense of this geometry. You can see shaded with edges for a little bit more information. Hidden is more like a wire frame view.

But with the surface information in black. Shades of grey is just a big darker with shaded edges. Conceptual shows a faint tint in blue. The realistic style would display materials if any were assigned to the model, which they're not at this time.

Sketchy is an interesting style, it represents the lines with these jittery edges. There's also X-ray which allows you to see through the model. Let's say we want to create our own visual style. I'll go to Sketchy and then click on the View tab. You can click here to open this Visual Styles menu on the Visual Styles panel.

And you see these same styles as thumbnails. Here you can choose to open the Visual Styles Manager. And this is where you can find all the parameters that control these visual styles. I'll click on the sketchy style. And then let's change the face style from none to realistic. That gives us some surface quality. I'll also scroll down, and under Edge settings, I'll change the color to blue.

Keep scrolling down. And change the line extensions to three. This will reduce these little extensions back a bit. Change jitter to low. It's not quite so sketchy. I'll change the crease angle to a lower number so that we get more creases. I'll use 4 degrees. And then the halo gap creates kind of a drop shadow effect. I'll use a 2% halo gap.

Okay, that's kind of interesting. Now you can also use the tools here on the panel to change your current Visual Style. I'll click here to turn on the X-ray effect. Notice that it says current now, rather than Sketchy, because I've overridden the parameters that are defined. In the Visual Styles manager. So, by adjusting the Visual Style parameters you can display 3D models with a variety of visual cues. There is no one way or right way to do this.

So, feel free to experiment.

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