M.1. Assigning and Defining Materials within an Existing Wall or Floor Type

Materials can be assigned to the components and categories in your project. Once you have loaded materials, you can begin to assign them to a surface, to a category and to components within a wall or floor type.

If you inserted a generic wall type into your project, you can add layers to its structure and assign materials to those layers. You can change the wall type to a pre-defined wall type that already has materials defined. You can also start with a pre-defined wall type and change its materials. Your choice may depend on the level of detail you are planning. If you intend to work with the construction materials inside the walls, you might change to a pre-defined type of wall and edit it as necessary. If you are more interested in the surface characteristics for rendering or presentation purposes, you can simply modify the surfaces a generic type.

Verify that all of the components and surfaces in your project have a material assigned to them. Assign materials to all of the components or surfaces that do not. You may want to set up camera views and change your visual style to Realistic for this. 

M1.1. First you might want to decide what types of materials you would like to use.

M1.2. Check to see what materials are included in an assembly already by clicking on an object of that type and clicking on Edit Type in the Properties window. In the example below an exterior wall has been defined as wall with EIFS on Metal Studs.


M1.3. Then click on Edit next to Structure.


M.1.4. If you used generic wall or floor type, no materials have been assigned to it. If you used a pre-defined wall type as shown below, the building components will have assigned materials,  The assembly has been listed in order from exterior side to interior side. The assigned materials can be changed.

EIFS WallComponents.jpg

M.1.5. Once you have chosen materials, load them into your project.

The following v2013 video provides an introduction to working with materials: Working with Materials


M.1.6. If you would like to change your walls to a different pre-defined wall type, click on the wall and choose a wall type from the drop-down list. Keep in mind that you can always change the type of wall. All walls of this type would need to be changed in this manner. It may be necessary to unjoin walls to complete this operation. They can be rejoined later.


M.1.7. If you would like to keep a generic wall or floor type, select the floor or wall and select Edit Type to begin defining the materials.


M.1.8. If you used a predefined or generic wall or floor type, you can rename it. The name is your choice, but you may choose something that helps you to recognize the type of component it is.


M.1.9. Whether you are working with a generic template or using another pre-defined type, you can edit the materials and components within the wall. To edit the structure and assign materials of the walls click on Edit Type and in the Type Properties window select Edit. 


M.1.10. If you need to add a material, select Insert at the bottom. A new layer will be generated.


M.1.11. In the image below a new layer has been generated. You can use the Up and Down buttons to move the layer within the assembly. You can use the Delete button to remove a layer from the assembly. 

M.1.12. Change materials by clicking on the box next to the material.


M.1.13. 1.) If you don't see the material you would like, search for it in the Search Bar. 2.) If nothing is found, try clicking on the Show/Hide Library Panel. The panel should now be visible at the bottom of the screen. 3.) Double-click on the material to load it to the project.


M.1.14. In the Graphics tab, click on the Use Rendered Appearance box. Note that the color shown under Shading controls affects how the color appears on the screen but not the appearance on the rendering. 


M.1.15. Under the Appearance tab click on the ReplacesThisAsset icon. 


M.1.16. When the Asset Browser appears, select the arrow next to Appearance and select your material from the list. Choose an Asset. Close the Asset Browser. Click on Apply and Ok.


M.1.17. If the thickness of the material is 0' 0", assign a thickness to it. Click Ok.


M.2. Applying Different Material Layers to a Floor or Wall.

If you have a floor with the same material throughout, it is best to assign the material to the entire floor assembly.

You can also generate thin floors which rest on top of the floor structure. For example, if you are working with a wood framed structure and plan to use areas of wood, carpet and tile, you can use a pre-defined floor type for the structural floor and remove the finish material so that the plywood subfloor is the top layer. Then you can add thin floor areas on top of the floor with the subfloor. This section walks you through the steps to add areas of different floor types.

In the image below the blue area defines the floor area for the upper level of a residential project. Rooms are defined in the plan. Those rooms will have different materials.


M.2.1. Select Floor from the Architecture ribbon.


M.2.2. Edit a generic floor type.


M.2.3. Duplicate the floor type.


M.2.4. Name the floor so that you will recognize it within the list.


M.2.5. To change the thickness of the material click on Edit next to Structure.


M.2.6. Assign a material and edit the thickness to suit the material you plan to use. Click Ok twice.


M.2.7. Trace the area to define the floor material. 


M.2.8. Click on the checkmark when the area is complete.


To place the floor above the subfloor, select it and alter the Height Offset. Assign the same value you used when defining the thickness of the floor.


M.2.9. Repeat as necessary until you have defined all of the surface materials. If you wish, continue to the next section. 

M.3. Applying Surface Coatings

M.3.1. If you would like to maintain the wall assembly and simply apply a color or pattern to a wall, you can use the Paint tool. The changes will be reflected in renderings but will not affect data gathered about materials. In other words, with this method you would not be able to determine quantities of blue paint, but if you simply want to generate renderings that illustrate color selection, this method is quicker, and you may want to experiment with this method for future use.

M.3.2. First, load a material into your project.


M.3.3.  The Paint tool can be found on the Modify ribbon. Click on the tool.

M.3.4. Choose the Material from the list. Then click on the surface that you wish to apply to the surface.


M.3. Changing Materials for Object Styles

M.3.1. You can also change the materials for all the objects of a certain category. 

M.3.2. For example, if you want to change all of the glass that is within your doors, you can click in the cell under Materials and assign and load new materials.