At a glance: Complete Architecture masterclass structured around creating an office building with an art gallery podium
Type: Video Course, 4+ hours long, 12 Chapters
Topics: Architectural Design, modelling basics, non-destructive procedural modelling, asset-based workflows, rendering, post processing
Software: Blender, Eevee, Cycles, Affinity Photo, Darktable.
Experience: complete beginners and for users with experience using Blender, wishing to improve architecture skills
23-Nov-2023: Course includes an updated chapter on geometry nodes and brand new chapter on rendering with alternative light settings. Both chapters have been produced to take into account recent changes in Blender 4.0
Hi and thanks for checking out the Blender Architecture Masterclass. I am a registered architect in the US and a Blender user for over 14 years. As a Project Architect, Blender is an essential tool for my design process that I use in a professional capacity regularly. Over the years, I have found the optimal workflows that make architectural design exciting, fun, productive and fast. I am excited to share this knowledge with you in this Masterclass that's suitable for completely new beginners to Blender and also for existing Blender users that want to explore architectural workflows.
By enrolling, you will learn how to use Blender for Architectural Design in the most effective manner. The output of the course will be an office building with a ground floor art gallery podium. During the process of building up, you will learn how to model this project and how to present it by rendering both with Eevee and Cycles.
By the end of this course, you will be able to translate your ideas into beautiful and presentable architectural concepts. You will also be able to:
- understand how to use architectural scale effectively
- understand how to set up Blender for optimal use for architectural design
- know which included and external free addons are most beneficial for the architectural workflow
- understand modelling basics
- model procedurally with modifiers
- understand the basics of working with geometry nodes for architectural design
- learn how to sketch within blender
- get familiar with the best resources for models and rendering assets and how to place them in the scene
- assign materials and understand how to map textures properly
- render in Eevee and Cycles and know when to use which rendering Engine
- create flythrough animations
- Learn how to post process renderings in Blender, Affinity Photo, and Darktable
Who is this course for:
Architects, designers, and anyone else who would like to learn how to use Blender for architectural design. The course content would be highly beneficial for professionals and students who wish to be able to translate design ideas into 3d concept as quickly as possible.
The course is also useful for 3d artists who want to understand how to think like an architect when doing environmental and architectural design artworks.
Beginner to intermediate. No prior experience with Blender is necessary.
The content is structured to allow complete beginners to get started with Blender quickly. It is also useful for those of you who may have prior experience with Blender and want to improve on using Blender for Architectural Design.
The masterclass includes subtitles in English and has been translated into 18 additional languages: Spanish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese Mandarin, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
You will learn the complete process of designing and presenting an architectural concept with Blender through creating a setting up, sketching and creating a massing, and presenting with post-processed renderings.
The course is broken up into multiple chapters. The first chapter focuses on quick getting started guide, mode detailed UI walkthrough, and mesh modelling basics.
The next chapters deal with modelling the context and the building project. This is the core of the masterclass, where you will learn how to set up non-destructive workflows for creating multiple building elements, so that you can easily adjust your building with a few parameter adjustments. You will also learn how to create a contextual setting that create a site for the building. We will work through creating the context, sketching a massing and creating an eye-catching podium, create a non-destructive modular building, learn how to use geometry nodes, add assets from free resources directly within Blender.
In the last series of chapters, you will learn how to create presentable images with both Eevee and Cycles. Through the process, you will learn about the important rendering, material, and environment settings to create presentable images.
You will also learn how to set up camera views, camera fly-throughs, and post processing with Blender, Affinity Photo, and Darktable (open source Lightroom alternative)
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Masterclass structure - 12 chapters
1 Getting Started and project setup
This chapter includes a quick getting started guide, UI overview, and a primer on mesh editing. You will also learn about essential free addons that are useful for architectural design, and further resources that can assist you with the design and presentation process.
2 Modelling the context and adding materials
In this chapter, you will create a context consisting of a road, curb, pavement, and grass/plot area. You will learn how to model the context by editing the base mesh with the help modifiers. The modifier-based non-destructive approach allows the expansion of the site to grow easily depending on the project's and the illustration needs. You will also learn the fastest way of adding and editing materials. The material types covered are image-based and you will also learn how to create a basic procedural material for the curb.
3 Modelling the project
With a solid understanding of Blender and the context, the next step is getting into the core of the course - creating a concept building. You will learn to how to create the massing with the help of sketching directly in Blender.
Once the massing is complete, you will learn how to create podium ground floor by creating the roof and the curtain wall. Then you will explore ways of generating the procedural tower with the help of the array and mirror modifiers in a way that allows for further adjustments.
Throughout the process, as many modelling steps as possible are done non-destructively with modifiers. This is essential for speeding up the process of architectural design, as concepts constantly evolve, and instead of remodelling, the modifier-based approach allows continuous refinements without complex setups.
4 Modelling refinements
In this chapter, further details will be added to improve the sense of scale of the building, and add examples of the types of activities implied by the building's program. In the process you will learn how to work with external asset resources with free addons that link to the respective free cloud asset libraries.
5 Rendering basics
With the core modelling complete, it is time to delve into presentation. The best concept in the world may not be appreciated if it isn't presented well. In this chapter, you will learn how to set up camera views and expand on the knowledge already built on generating materials from Chapter 2 (Modelling the context)
6 Rendering with Eevee
Here you will learn all the necessary settings to render well with Eevee, Blender's real-time rendering engine, including tips on when Eevee is the best to use. Also learn how to create a simple camera flythrough.
7 Rendering with Cycles
In a similar fashion as with Eevee, you will learn the important settings to create great renderings with Cycles, Blender's ray-tracing engine. You will also learn how to insert 2d backdrops and how to modify them to increase the scene’s depth without adding too much additional geometry that would require the more rendering time
8 Geometry nodes
Geometry Nodes are Blender's answer to Grasshopper and Houdini for procedural modelling. The toolset is new, exciting, still greatly evolving, and presents excellent new modelling opportunities for architectural design. In this chapter, you will learn the fundamentals of using geometry nodes by adding shrubs, creating an attractor based grid wall, and creating a perimeter wall. Mastering the fundamentals will allow you to expand on the potentials for creating more intricate architectural designs.
Attractor based wall and shrubs with Geometry Nodes
9 Further rendering refinements
Creating renderings that illustrate the project typically requires many tweaks, adjustments, and further refinements. In this chapter, we continue to refine the materials, rendering settings, and the environment. In particular, you will learn different ways of adjusting glass materials to make them fit well with the project and the scene.
10 Rendering and post processing with Blender
Once all the refinements are complete, the scene is ready for a final render with Cycles and you will learn how to post-process the rendered image with Blender’s compositor. You will also learn why and when it may be useful to use Blender's compositor for post-processing.
Post processing in Blender
11 Post Processing with Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is currently the best budget friendly alternative to Photoshop, as it provides robust photo editing capabilities with more adjustment layers than Photoshop provides. Here we will go through the process of post processing the raw image in Photo, taking into account the all useful settings that can help push the fidelity of the rendered image
Post processing in Affinity Photo
12 Post Processing with Darktable
Darktable is an open source alternative to Adobe Lightroom, it provides many settings that are highly useful for post processing rendered images. You will learn how to use Darktable to post process your images.
Post Processing in Darktable
- 12 chapters of videos with more than 4 hours of training
- Blender files of the final result for each chapter
- Affinity Photo file is also included
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About the Author
Dimitar is a US licensed architect working as a project architect at HOK in London. He also heads his independent practice UH Studio and educational wing UH Studio Design Academy, including https://youtube.com/uhstudio . Dimitar works on variety of projects - mixed use, residential, cultural, entertainment, on distinct projects throughout the world. Keen to push the boundaries of design and technology, Dimitar embraces learning and teaching less common software within the the design and architecture community in order to empower more designers.
Dimitar Presenting at Blender Conference 2019
Dimitar has been using Blender since 2007. As an open source 3d design tool, it is an essential part of Dimitar's toolset and he is on a mission to make Blender's abilities widely known through the architecture world. He teaches architects and students how to use Blender through physical workshops and through a variety of educational channels. Dimitar also teaches Design Studio to architecture students in collaboration with Dezact.
Dimitar is member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), NCARB, and is a WELL AP qualified professional. Dimitar holds a postgraduate M.Arch, from the DRL programme at the AA in London, and a 5-year B.Arch from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia.
You can find out more about Dimitar on uhstudio.com/profile#dimitar
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