Best way to represent alternative interior designs

I am undertaking a project to sketch some interior design alternatives for a large space. I want to be able to easily show different design alternatives. Each alternative may have different interior wall configurations, furniture, textures, fixtures, etc. Some elements (like bathrooms) will be common in all the alternatives. Eventually I need to be able to do a walk through of each alternative.

Once I have modeled the exterior (fixed) walls and common elements, what the is the best way to model the different alternative designs? Should all the features (groups/components) of an alternative just be on a layer to easily toggle visibility? I need to be sure geometry of the alternatives never interact, but layers do not prevent that. Or should I use a group to gather all the elements of an alternative together? Or is there another way?

Thanks for pros/cons of any approaches…

Sounds like the plan/ideas you have are good.

If certain design elements will always be unique to a setup/scene, then you could put them all on one layer (design 01) and then another design on another layer (design 02) etc. However, you may have some items that could be in both one design concept and another and so it would make more sense to have all these elements on their own layers. If you set up a number of scenes (that can all be the same camera angle) you can then toggle the elements (layers) you want for each scene. (make sure “visible layers” in the scenes tab is checked to retain that info)
The benefit to this approach is that a number of layers selected for a particular scene will function as if they are all on one layer as represented by that scene, but you then also have the option/versatility to show more combinations of design elements by having certain layers visible in different scenes.

You are right in so far as having lots of layers where certain items (seating, walls) will have the potential to share the same space but that’s just a matter of being careful with your selections - showing model using “color by layer” may be helpful in determining what is on what layer to help organize it better if you get in a muddle.

There are also some extensions that help with layer management if you need it.

I had never used scenes before, but reading up on them it seems like a good way to manage design alternatives. If I don’t include camera angle in the scene definition then I can get into a position (entry door for example) and just switch scenes to show what it looks like from that place with the various alternatives. Elements used by more than one alternative can be on a layer that is visible in each of them.

OK, now to mock this up with a simple set of exterior walls and a few simple interior alternatives.

Humm, how to handle textures/surface paint that is different? In alternative 1 (scene1) the walls are painted yellow, in scene2 I need them to be blue. I don’t see any way to do that.

Yes that is a possible way to go. I like to include it , sometimes, if you make some changes on the go and want to go back to that specific cameraposition. You wil have to experiment , I guess.

Since you are presenting, I presume, it could be easier to not paint the wall at all, or (grouped as it should be) have the faces inside the wall-group painted with the default color(=No color) . That way , you can easily paint the wall group on the go.

Another option is to have copies of the wall group, each painted different and assigned to different layer.

At this time, you would need a Layer-extension to control wether you want a newly created layer to be visible at all scenes or not.

1 Like

take a look at this simple set up of scenes and layers. you can keep the angle the same or create a new scene with the same layers from another perspective. You can see as the scenes change how the layer visibility changes. This has all the elements in the scene assigned to separate layers.

I am trying to avoid duplication of the outer walls in every scene. They are common to all, and if I have to make any fixes or changes in that geometry then I have to go and make the same change in every copy. In a complex design it can be a maintenance nightmare. But so far I see no way to avoid duplication of all the fixed wall geometry if I want different surface textures/paint in each scene.

I cannot leave the base (common) walls unpainted and then fill them as we switch scenes. Each wall may have different colors/gradients/textures in each scene, it is just not practical.

then, make it a component, you can paint the faces that stay the same inside the the component, for those that differ, paint the wrapper :slight_smile:

walls.skp (121.8 KB)

The wrapper paint will apply to all unpainted surfaces in the component. But not all walls will be the same color or texture in a given scene. It is a large space with a variety of colors and textures on different walls, there does not seem to be a way to manage that with wrapper painting.

You make it sound as if there should be a way. One level up, you can have copies of models , too.
The basic idea is that you have different levels of context (Face<group/component<Model<Ideas<Designer) In which you present your ideas.
I just showed some ways that are possible, I am not gonna tell you how you would have to do it.
Be aware, the more possibilties you’ll give the client, the more he would need!
The responsibility of the designer is to choose for the client.

Another way (if you have a renderer) is to apply a color with a “repaint” property, then that color can be changed afterwards. Other method is to paint the walls a vivid green ( or similar color that is not common in the scene) and then in photoshop you can select that color range and change it.

I view it as a limitation of the component model that an instance of the component cannot be customized with respect to textures except this “paint everything that is not otherwise painted” notion. I view it as a limitation of the scene feature that textures cannot be associated with a scene (which seems like a useful and obvious idea). Overall it is a limitation of the tool that I cannot combine the use of all the tool features (scenes, components, groups, textures) to present alternative designs in a properly modeled way.

So within the tool limitations, I think the best I can do is create common wall geometry and then take (only) the interior wall surfaces and make them into a group. The common geometry will be visible in all scenes, but each scene will have a copy of the surfaces group (each painted as needed for that scene). If changes need to be made in the wall geometry, hopefully it does not affect the wall surfaces - if it does the every copy of the surfaces group will have to be updated. Since these are mostly exterior, fixed walls, hopefully there will be very few changes once the basic wall modeling is complete.

I prefer to think in posssibilities rather then in limitations, though😃

1 Like

Possibly a solution in this other thread?

At first I thought color-by-layer was exactly what I needed, but after understanding what it does I see it suffers from the same problem as painting the wrapper of a component - a single color/texture is applied to everything in the layer (like painting a component colors everything in the component). I need much more control with different colors for different parts of the scene. It is not practical to make every wall surface its own layer… 3 alternatives for 20 surfaces = 60 layers to manage. Ugh.

What I would like (maybe I’ll put in an enhancement request) is color-by-scene, but it would work from the bottom up. When I assign a color/texture to a surface I can tick a box that says ‘current scene only’. Then I can switch scenes and apply a different texture, and so on for as many scenes as exist.

the notion is a good one.

To clarify, I was only suggesting color by layer as a means to organizing layers when they get complex, not to actually see them in that way for presentation.

Submitted enhancement suggestion for ‘Color In Scene’ feature.