1.9 - Adding Details

FormIt is a great massing tool - as well as a great modeling tool. We will start to add detail to the Farnsworth House in the form of doors and mullions for the glass box. We will then cover some additional tools, and practice the process of adding new geometry, layers, materials, and group management.

If you did not complete the last section, download and open the 1.9 - Adding Details.axm file from the FormIt Primer Part 1 Datasets.

Create Window Frames

We are going to create a 2" metal frame and mullions around the glass box. Note that these mullions will intentionally overlap with the glass box.

1 - Create a new layer called Glass Walls and move the Glass Wall group to it.

2 - To facilitate visualization, turn off the Roof layer so we can see the entire glass box.

3 - To start creating the first window frame:

  1. At the building’s western side, use the Rectangle Tool (R) to draw a new surface directly over the exterior glass face. Make sure to create the surface outside the Glass Walls group.

  2. Select and drag the newly created face 2" towards the interior. Press Esc to clear the selection. The final result should look like the image below.

  3. Single-click the face you just created. Right-click to access the Context Menu to use the Offset Face tool (OF).

Note: If you have trouble selecting the new face, press the Space Bar key to alternate between different selectable objects, or temporarily turn off the Glass Walls layer.

4 - To set the offset dimension, move your mouse toward the inside of the face, and enter 2" to create a new smaller rectangle.

5 - Single-click to select the interior rectangle you just created. Click again and drag the face towards the building’s interior until it disappears. Click once more to finish removing the center volume from the frame geometry.

6 - Double-click to select the geometry we just created and Group (G) it. Name the group Mullion Frame – EW.​

7 - Create a Layer named Mullion and place the new group on it.

8 - To set the frame’s material:

  1. Inside the Materials Palette, duplicate the Metal – Brushed – Colorized material by right-clicking on it and selecting Duplicate Material.

  2. Double-click the new material’s preview tile to edit it.

  3. Rename it to Metal – Brushed – Gray.

  4. Modify the material’s color by clicking on the Color tile in the Maps section, and darken the grey by changing the Val: to 150.

9 - Click OK to save these changes to the new material, and then paint the Mullion Frame – EW group with it. Afterward, the group's Properties Palette should match what is shown in the below image:

10 - Create a new instance of the frame on the eastern side by using any of the following tools: Quick copy, Array, or Mirror.

11 -Repeat the steps above for the North and South sides of the glass box. Name the new group Mullion Frame – NS. Don’t forget to paint them and place them on the Mullion layer!

Note: The mullion frames overlap each other at the corners. This is intentional. The above result shows the resulting mullion frame geometry with the Glass Wall and Column layers turned off.

Create Mullions

1 - In plane with the exterior glass face on the building’s South or North side, draw a 2” x 10’-10” Rectangle (R) spanning from between the bottom and top of the mullion frame. Do not worry about the exact position of the rectangle along the frame, we will move it into place in the following steps.

2 - Extrude the rectangle back 2”, and then Group (G) it and name the group Mullion – Vertical. Place the group on the Mullion layer and paint it with the Metal – Brushed – Grey material.

Locating the Mullions

Now we will set the location for the first mullion so that its centered on the Mid-Point of a column.

1 - To see the columns again, turn on the Column layer, if it was off. While you are in the Layers Palette, you can also turn off the Lower Terrace and Plan Image layers to make the next steps easier.

2 - To move the mullion to its new location:

  1. Single-click to select the vertical mullion group you just created. Zoom (Z) in and click on the Mid-Point of the mullion’s bottom exterior edge, symbolized by a red triangle**.**

  2. Start moving the geometry horizontally towards a column. Press Shift to lock the movement in the red axis (X Axis). Note that once the movement is locked the red axis gets thicker.

  3. Zoom out until you can see the base of the column. While still holding Shift, click on the Mid-Point at the base of the column's outer face. The mullion will continue to only move along the red axis (X Axis), but will align to the Mid-Point you just clicked on.

Note: The mullion is now directly behind the column. Turn off the Column layer or Orbit (O) to visualize the mullion.

3 - Press Esc to clear the Move tool.

4 - Use the Array (AR) or Quick Copy tool to create four (4) more vertical mullions along the same side, spaced 11’ apart. To learn how to use the Array Tool, refer to previous chapters.

5 - Use the Tab key to select all the Vertical Mullion groups, and copy them to the opposite side of the building, so that both the North and South frames have identical mullion layouts, as shown in the next image:

Create the Door Mullions

1 - Orbit (O) the perspective view until you are looking at the center of the West mullion frame.

2 - Similar to creating mullion frames, draw a 3’-6” wide door panel with a 2”x 2” frame. Make it a Group (G) with the properties: Group Name: Curtain Wall Door; layer: Mullion; material: Metal – Brushed – Grey.

3 - Copy this group to create the second door frame, and move them so that they are centered in the Mullion Frame – EW group, as shown below.

Create Roof Cornice with Sweep

We will now create the cornice of the Farnsworth House using one of FormIt’s advanced modeling tools - Sweep. To learn about other advanced modeling, check out the 2.2 - Advanced Modeling chapter in the FormIt Primer - Part II.

The first step into creating a Sweep is to draw a profile perpendicular to the sweep “extrusion”. To do that, we will use the roof geometry as a guide.

1 - Turn on the Roof layer and zoom in to one of its corners.

2 - Using one of the roof’s vertical sides as a reference, draw two adjacent rectangles. The first will be 6” high by 4 5/8” wide, and the second is 2”x 2”. Delete the line dividing the two rectangles to create a single face. The result should look as below.

3 - To create the sweep:

  1. With no selected geometry, click on the Advanced Modeling Tools button in the Standard Toolbar, and select Sweep (SW).

  2. The Sweep Selection Wizard will start and prompt you to Select a face (or edges) for sweep profile. Select the profile face we just created.

  3. Once the profile is selected, you will be prompted to Select a face (or edge) for sweep path, then click finish. Select the top face of the roof. FormIt will automatically use the boundaries of the selected face as the sweep’s path, and the sweep will be created around the entire roof.

Note: If you are having trouble selecting either of the faces, Orbit (O) around to view the face a little better and try again. As an alternate option, select all the edges of the roof instead of the roof’s top face to complete the sweep.

4 - Keep your model organized by creating a Roof - Cornice group, adding it to the Roof layer, and assigning the Metal – Brushed – Colorized material to it.

5 - To finish up, turn on the Column layer, and you will see that the newly created sweep intersects with the tops of the columns. Resolve this by editing any one of the Column Tall groups, and dragging the top face down until it aligns with the bottom of the cornice.

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