How do I improve the appearance of my models when working in Advance Steel? For example nice background, transparent beams, brickwork that looks like bricks etc.
There are various steps and things to set as desired. These are described below and may be used or skipped in any combination.
Realistic View Style
You need to set your view style to realistic. How this is done depends on what configuration you have.
1. Select the Realistic visual style from the View group on the Home tab of the 3D Modeling ribbon.
2. ...OR... Select Realistic from the Visual Styles toolbar.
3. ... OR ... Enter the command Visualstyles to activate the Visual Styles Manager. Right click on the Realistic style and select "Apply to Current Viewport".
Set the Background
1. Enter the command Background.
2. Select "Gradient" from the Type drop down.
3. Click on "Bottom Color" box.
4. Select a suitable, fairly dark color for the bottom of the screen (keep "Color Model" set to HSL) and note the Hue, Saturation and Luminance values.
5. Repeat for Middle and Top colors ensuring that you set the same Hue and Saturation values and a higher luminance value for each in turn.
AutoCAD has a number of pre-defined materials that you can assign simply to your objects.
1. Turn on the Tool Palettes by pressing CTRL+3.
2. Select one of tabs called "???? - Materials Sample" or "???? - Materials Library" (right click on the bottom of the stack of tabs and select the tab you wish.)
3. Select the objects you want to assign a material to.
4. Right click on the desired material and select "Apply Material to Objects".
If the material you want is not on a tool palette you can create your own. (For example a generic semi-transparent material for the Advance Steel steelwork).
1. Enter the command "Materials" to activate the Materials tool palette.
2. Select a material from the top of the box that you want to base your new material on (chose the one closest to what you want).
3. Click on the Create New Material button.
4. Give the new material a name e.g. "Semi-transparent" and click OK.
5. Edit the material properties as desired.
a. To have a material that changes the style of a part but not the color select the "By Object" tick box next to Color.
b. To make a material transparent reduce the Opacity. (70-80% works well for steelwork)
c. If you want to apply a pattern to the material like brickwork or rust click "Select Image" under the Diffuse Map option. Any jpg image can be used. Autodesk provide a wide variety of suitable images in the folder
C:Program DataAutoDeskAutoCAD 2010R18.0enutextures if using Vista or Windows 7 or
C:Documents and Settingsuser.nameApplciation DataAutoDeskAutoCAD 2010R18.0enutextures if using Windows XP.
6. You can apply your new material directly to an object by selecting the object then right clicking on the material in the palette and selecting "Apply Material To Objects".
Apply Materials to Layers
It is possible to apply a material to a layer so that all objects on that layer automatically get the material assigned to them.
1. Enter the command MaterialAttach
2. Drag the material from the left list to the layer in the right list to assign it.
3. The "Global" material is effectively not assigning anything to a layer.
4. To clear an assignment, click the X by the layer name.
Hence in this case I have assigned the material "Sections" to the layer "Beams" resulting in all elements on that layer using that material. Since the material is defined as color = byobject and the opacity is 70% all my beams are now semi-transparent.