3D FAQs

How do you use the Navigation tools in SoftPlan 3D?

How do I get the blue backgrounds of the 3D trees in my rendering to match my sky background?

Select Material, which will open the Material Assignment. Under the Type field, select Symbol > Group - Trees, and the appropriate Symbol. Now select the Texture field beside the appropriate symbol, which will open up the Texture menu. Enable the Transparent option that will blank out the background behind.

I can’t see my site property in 3D.

The property lines need to be a formed polygon in order to create the 3D surface for the grass texture to appear. The command is under Edit > Form Polygon. A left click on each property line is required in a continuous direction (i.e. clockwise) around the perimeter. Right-click at the end to close the polygon. Also ensure that the Site option is turned on under the Extraction Options menu when generating the 3D model. For further instructions, refer to the lesson in the manual for "Creating 3D Surfaces using Form Polygon" 

How would I create a sign that will display in a 3D view of my building?

A sign can be represented in 3D by a solid Plane. Draw > Solid > Plane > Solid#. Once drawn on the plan you can use the Edit command to give the plane the correct height, length, and offset. Text and/or a logo can be shown on the plane in 3D using an image in the form of a Bitmap (*.bmp), Jpeg (*.jpg), or Truevision Targa (*.tga). An image can be scanned from a picture of an actual sign or created in a program that can save files in the formats listed. The image will need to be saved to C:\SoftPlan #\ 3D \ Textures \ Bitmaps \ (subfolder). Once saved you can Edit the plane in SoftView 3D, double click on the texture, and select the desired image. You will need to check 'Scale' in the Options box of the texture menu in order to have the image file cover the entire surface of the 3D plane.

Elevation has generated with the second floor beneath the main floor?

The Assemble Floors list needs to be reset so that when the plans are assembled, the main floor is added first/lowest into the assembly, followed by the second floor plan. Always build the assembly working from the lowest plan to uppermost plan.

What should I do if my floors don’t properly align in 3D?

Add reference points to both drawings (Draw > Reference Point > Select the circle symbol). Place the same reference point on a common wall corner on all floor plans. SoftPlan will use this point to align the drawings vertically and horizontally.

Why does a gap appear between my Main Floor and Foundation in 3D?

A missing or misplaced subfloor may cause a gap to appear between floors in 3D. The subfloor supplies the skirting of the exterior surface material down to the floor system for elevations and 3D models. If your plan doesn't have a subfloor, or if you've moved a wall and haven't realigned the subfloor with that wall, you may see a gap. To solve this problem, you can either (1) add a subfloor, or (2) realign an existing subfloor with the wall(s) above. Use Cleanup to align the subfloor with studs. 

How can I generate a 3D image that is crisper on the edges?

Within the rendered 3D image, select the Options > Render Options. Place a checkmark next to Anti Alias, which will allow for the adjustment of the slider bar. The higher the value being used, the clearer the image will be on the next regeneration. It should also be noted that each increment added to the bar increases the rendering time by 25%.

Why do I have a Horizon between my First and Second Floors?

The Auto Horizon in 3D is positioned relative to the sill plate or structural slab; the higher of the two. If the horizon appears at the second floor plan a sill plate has probably been drawn on that floor and should be removed from the Floor System of the Second Floor plan. Another option is to turn off the Auto Horizon while in 3D. Go to Background > Auto Horizon. Unselect the option and regenerate the model. 

How do I place the Horizon where I want it?

SoftPlan places an Auto Horizon in the 3D model. This can be turned off.  Go to Background > unselect the option for Auto Horizon and regenerate the model. Go into Site mode in SoftPlan. A Site Property polygon can be drawn to represent the horizon. Its position can be changed by the addition of shot points, editing the polygon offset, or setting the Building Position Offset in the Site Options.

How do I show a sloped site in 3D?

The slope can be created using shot points in Site. Draw > Grade > Shot Point or Existing Shot Point. Place random points in your site plan and edit their elevations. Note that a Site polygon must be present for this to appear in 3D.

How do I make the 3D Camera’s viewing parameters wider?

Edit the camera's Field of View as follows: in the Camera Control Panel, press the Edit button and click the camera symbol on the plan side of the panel. From the Edit menu, select Field of View and type in a number between 1 and 179 to change the viewing angle.

How can I do a real-time walkthrough?

In SoftPlan real-time walkthroughs can be achieved by using the navigation commands in 3D and can be done in any mode other than Rendered. For the best results quality, use Textured mode.

Clients can download a free SoftPlan 3D reView file viewer that allows them to walk and fly through the designs that you create.

How do I generate a Stick Frame 3D image of my building?

Generate the 3D model in rendered mode. Include Framing in the Extraction Options menu. Once rendered, select File > Material File > Load > and choose Stick Frame.spm. Regenerate the model.

Why is generating a 3D model slow?

If the Render options, such as Reflections, Shadows, Anti-Alias, Ray Tracing, etc. have been turned on or increased, then it will take longer for the 3D model to generate. Reducing these actions when still in the working stages of the model will help speed up the generation time. Turn them up for a higher quality rendering when generating the final 3D model. 

What are heightmaps and how are they used?

Heightmaps are a greyscale image of the texture being used. Heightmaps will give the perception of depth to a flat image or texture by creating a shadow effect on the texture.

A heightmap will be used if Enable Relief Depth has been selected under Options-Face Options for the selected 3D mode.

Once enabled, editing the texture and changing the Relief Depth will show the effect.

If a texture does not have a heightmap associated with it, SoftPlan will create one automatically for the texture.

To best see the effect of a heightmap, generate a Textured 3d on a brick wall. Use the Edit Surface command and click on the surface of the brick. Double click on the texture and in the top right, select Use Color, make sure Relief Depth is set at about 50 and Enable Relief Depth is selected. You should see the effects that the height map has on a simple solid color. The relief depth effect is dependent on the lighting on the model and will not show as well if the ambient light is set too high.