I'm getting into blender and am at the point now where I can model simple objects and do some rigging without too much trouble. Now I'm trying to figure out the best strategy to model an entire apartment, but am finding it much more difficult than just modeling a single object.

First of all, the walls and ceiling are making it very difficult for me to look into my apartment. I can hide them, but it's hard arranging the furniture with them missing.

What's the best way to create the furniture? I'm modeling the couch, chairs, potted plants and similar things in the same file so far, but having so many overlapping objects makes the editing difficult. Should I put these in separate files and reference them in? Should I move them to separate layers?

Any good general tips for modeling rooms?

  • 1
    Model assets in scale on a different layer, then add them in from top view in the viewport (ceiling hidden). Once it is arranged about how you want it, you can add a camera in the room, and un-hide the ceiling. After that it is minor changes to assets and location, so it shouldn't be too hard. Remember that rendering in the room should not be an issue with proper camera and lighting setups. – VRM Jan 5 '15 at 15:34
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Room modeling tips


Transparent objects

It's often handy to make some objects such as the walls transparent for the viewport. For render they're still fully visible of course:

transparent to viewport


Furniture creation

It's good to keep the pivots of the furniture in the bottom, so that you can snap them to different surfaces with Face Snapping. You can easily rotate them around their local axis with R+ZZ (or XX or YY depending on the case):

furniture pivot, face snapping


Managing lots of objects

Sometimes it's good to make some objects non-selectable, like the walls. Layer Manager is a great addon for managing objects if you have them on different layers.

Alternatively, parenting them to an empty is an easy way to make them non-selectable. Use Ctrl+Left click to affect all the children of a parent in Outliner:

outliner


Rendering

Sometimes it's necessary to place the camera outside of the room and mark the front walls as invisible to camera. Hiding them is not encouraged, because the light that comes outside the room makes it look dull. The light needs to bounce from the insides of your front wall: enter image description here

room.blend

To look in side your room to place your objects you can "cut" your room. In the view port press AltB or from the 3D view header View > Clipping Border to make a selection of what will be visible.

To use the clipping border go to side view and draw the box over you entire room, except for the front wall. Then when you look at your room from the front view you will be seeing in to your room. animated gif

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