View Full Version : Plugin for creating interiors (halls, chambers)

09-02-2009, 02:49 PM

I was wondering if there is a LightWave tool/plugin for quickly modelling chambers/hallways. I have a hotel kinda like structure, thus lots of halls and chambers. I could draw points, connect them, then extrude and invert the faces. But maybe it could be done even faster...

I was thinking about drawing a bitmap where black pixels is solid, white pixels are the inner space. Eventually with some grayscale values to vary height (doorsteps are slightly higher). It would be nice if there was a plugin that can import such a map and create a structure out of it (lazy as I am). Does such a thing exists??


09-02-2009, 03:07 PM
Aside form LWCAD?

Got a reference foto of an interior?

It would really depend on the volumes you are talking about, but booleans may be a "lazy modeler's" way to go .. imagine many overlapping boxes (representing the 'space' or 'air' in the building), then unioning them all together to make one object, and inverting it.

Show us a ref! :)

09-02-2009, 03:35 PM

But then dirty. Must make an old soviet flatblock. The contents aren't that important yet. Fine details is for later on. Just the halls, chambers and their connections is enough.

The whole thing is a maze, so we might want to tweak alot with the map lay-out before starting polishing it. In this first stage, I like to draw maps in Paint instead of modelling :) Using cubes to cut out is a nice way as well, but maybe there are even nicer tools. I thought it might be worth asking.

09-02-2009, 05:40 PM
Sounds like a perfect job for SketchUp?
Using components you could build such a "maze" within few minutes, and then add details later as needed. You just make a door opening component inside a room component and use it as many times as needed. When you later add a door or other details all the rooms get updated at the same time.
Just the right "plugin" for a "lazy modeler" ;)
It is actually much faster building it in 3D than painiting it in Photoshop or other paint programs.

09-03-2009, 01:07 AM
Sketchup... I'm just a simple hobbyist so forgive me that I don't have experience with that one, except that I heard of it. But if I'm right, you can download Sketchup for free? I'll try it tonight.

In which formats can I export to Lightwave (or import Sketchup files in Lightwave)? In the end I still need Lightwave to prep it up for being loaded into my game engine.

Thanks for the tip!!

09-03-2009, 01:47 AM
There is a free version of SketchUp, but it is a bit limited in regards to export options.
However there is a plugin available for it that exports in LWO format.
You'll end up with a lot of layers.
You could also export as KMZ (Google Earth) and then unpack the Collada files (DAE) that are inside the KMZ.

09-03-2009, 04:34 AM
It's pretty basic modelling really...draw out the floorplans and extrude them upwards. You can use Illustrator, AutoCAD, LWCAD or just plain ol' Lightwave, there's nothing complicated about it, it would be much more complicated to use displacement maps.

09-03-2009, 05:33 AM
Well I did it quite many times before with Lightwave by outlining the in top view and extruding it. But maybe it could be done even faster :) I like to draw a map first as its super-easy to modify. Then I would use the map as a background image in LightWave and overdraw it. But if there would be a button that does this job for you...

I'm playing around with Sketchup now and I must say it's even easier to do it here. Got a hang with it already after 5 minutes, and I'm certainly not a good modeller! The export could give some problems though, I haven't tried the LWO export plugin yet.

09-03-2009, 09:55 AM
I haven't tried the LWO export plugin yet.

sketchup is indeed easy to pick up and learn, and you have quite a lot of
video tutorials out there available with the program and on their site and youtube.

the exporting to lightwave plugin thou seems to be not available anymore (broken?)

you can however export your model to the kmz format wich is a kind of collada format that is zipped.
so you simply export that to kmz and then unzipp it, I used 7-zip to unzip it to a dedicated folder, it will then extract objects in collada format and textures to seperate folders within that folder.

then you just import to lightwave, if youre using 9.5 9.6 wich reads collada.

however the import to lightwave gives wrong rotation axis..so you have to rotate it to ground by y-axis.

Also imported models are often very much triangulated, but that goes for
any exporter out there I believe.

Edit...ohh..I believe google will skip exporting functions to other formats than collada in the future, thatīs what I saw somewhere in their news.


09-03-2009, 10:09 AM
The LWO exporter also exports triangles. And so does the SU import/export plugins for Polytrans/NuGraf.
I use SU Pro and usually export chunks/selections in 3ds format, which usually loads pretty good into LW in correct scale and with UV mapping and textures intact. Usually needs some merging of points though.