AccuRender nXt

advanced rendering for AutoCAD

(Long time away.)

On a project that showcased at least a dozen different brick patterns that needed to be closely controlled for color, the most straightforward procedure proved to be this:

For each material needed,

  1. In AutoCAD, hatch a 48"x48" rectangle, explode the hatch, convert the resulting lines to 3/8" wide polylines, and plot to a PNG image.
  2. In Photoshop, open the PNG and flood the 3/8" wide polylines with the color of the joint, flood the brick area with black.
  3. In nXt, create a reddish material for each pattern, using the PNG scaled to 48" x 48" as a standard color-masked texture map with a -5.0 bump for a little dimensionality. The joints render with the joint color, the bricks render with the reddish color.

So far so good, but this process had several significant drawbacks compared to using procedural tiles:

  1. very tedious to set up!
  2. joint width is not adjustable within nXt
  3. joint depth is not readily adjustable in nXt. (I couldn't figure out how to get a light-colored joint to show when I tried displacement mapping for more dimensionality, even with one image for the joint color and another monochrome one for the displacement map. But no matter - didn't need this much detail.)
  4. most important, variation in tile colors is not possible within nXt- had to go back into Photoshop after rendering to add some variations. Not fun, especially the second and third time around as the designer reconsidered the brick colors.

How much easier the project would have been if I could simply have used AutoCAD hatch patterns to generate "tiled" procedural materials! Basket weave, herringbone, Flemish bond, Norman bond, running stretcher, all sorts of pavers, etc. Each line in the hatch would be considered to be a joint. Ideally, the process would be quick for the user, provide full control of joints (width, color, bump), and allow color variations.

Thanks, Roy. Good to be back.

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Seconded

Lovely idea.

I dont' think I've ever seen a good way to make complex coursing methods procedurally before.

My two cents. Anyone gone this route before?

I've used the procedural tile/brick tool many times. I think that what Bill was suggesting was a way to procedurally generate bricks (or otherwise) that are in a different coursing pattern, like this:

http://faculty.delhi.edu/hultendc/A220-Week2-BrickBonds.jpg

Yes and I believe also having a sort of color variation too apart from the pattern. 

There are times I need to have some variations in color, when am doing roofing slates or stone paving, and would have loved a way to master those in the material editor.

Anyone knows what the x, y, and z do in the tile procedural of nxt material editor?

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