Posts Tagged ‘Interior Design’

Modifying a Pattern in Ez-Architect

April 14, 2013

Even though Ez-Architect includes a ton of patterns, you can also either modify an existing pattern or make a totally new one.

First review all the patterns on the pattern bar. Use the Left and Right arrows on the right side of the bar to scroll it left and right. The default position of both the pattern and color bar will always be to the left. So if you haven’t looked before, have a look at both bars to see what you might have been missing.

Notice that the patterns and colors on the right tend toward gray, black & white

Notice that the patterns and colors on the right tend toward gray, black & white

The left side of the pattern and color bars are full of a variety of colors.

The left side of the pattern and color bars are full of a variety of colors.

View a few patterns to see which ones you might want to edit. They look very different and simple in the editor, so it’s a good idea to get a full view of any pattern on the screen before you begin editing.

Start by selecting Options/Edit Pattern:

Select Edit Pattern from the Options menu

Select Edit Pattern from the Options menu

You’ll see this working dialog:

Here's where you start to either create a new pattern or edit an existing one.

Here’s where you start to either create a new pattern or edit an existing one.

Select a pattern from the scrolling bar at the bottom. In this shot I have scrolled so that the pattern I’m editing is at the far left. Double-click the pattern to make it appear in the work window. Or select it and click Load. Alternately, you can start from nothing and create a totally new pattern by clicking Add New or Clear.

You can start with any pattern and make simple or complicated changes.

You can start with any pattern and make simple or complicated changes.

You will likely need to test your new pattern several times as you edit. But handily, you can see the full pattern in the editor window (to the right) and determine what your changes will look like. Below, I’ve  added some  light green.

First select Color from the menu on the right.

After clicking Color from the menu, you'll see the color dialog where you can select any color to add to the pattern.

After clicking Color from the menu, you’ll see the color dialog where you can select any color to add to the pattern.

Here’s the pattern with Green added.

You can see the green in the pattern and subtle changes to the full pattern on the right.

You can see the green in the pattern and subtle changes to the full pattern on the right.

Here’s a shot of the changed pattern on the right side of the dialog (not much bigger, sorry).

Subtle, in this case, but now the pattern has green.

Subtle, in this case, but now the pattern has green.

Next, save the new pattern (it will replace the pattern you’re editing) and then you can test it out in your Ez-Architect plan.

If this isn't clear in your browser, be sure to click on it to see the full pattern.

If this isn’t clear in your browser, be sure to click on it to see the full pattern.

Other options in the Pattern Editor allow you to Delete a pattern (select it from the pattern bar, below) or Clear to start over, Add New to create a new pattern, Color to select colors for editing or creating a pattern and Saving to save your work.

Remember, if you’re editing a pattern Saving will replace the old pattern.

What uses can you think of for creating unique patterns?

Next time: Fun with Dimension Lines.

What other functions would you like to see me highlight in this blog?

New Version of MacDraft Released

December 5, 2012

Recently the newest version of MacDraft was released. The current version is 6.0.6.

As you likely know, version 6.0.5 added support for AutoCAD AC1024 (2010/2011/2012) DWG files, and improved functionality for reading DWG files. Renaming layers and renaming library objects is now easier with the Rename option in the drop down menus of the Layers and Library palettes.  Mac OSX Lion issues have been resolved and many other performance and stability changes have been made. Legacy issues from previous versions have also been addressed.

In addition, we now have a customized toolbar, a new layers palette, new library palette which now works with seamless integration with iPhoto. The new image menu gives you lots more control of your images, and much more.

You can download an update from here. On this page you’ll find free updates for each Microspot program in several combinations.  Be sure to update from the version you are using for the correct software. Each updater is different. Read the list carefully to locate your software, then read it carefully again to find the correct update.

 

How Unusual is your Ez-Architect Project?

September 22, 2012

Tell us how you are using Ez-Architect.

Are you a pro using it often for client projects?

Are you a do-it-yourselfer who plans and executes projects for your home or other location?

Do you do any unusual things with it, like design sets for theater productions, plays, videos etc.

We used it to design our set for The Perils of Cheryl. We came up with a brilliant scheme and it worked great. Watch the demo right here.

And tell us how you use Ez-Architect or MacDraft or MacInteriors, for that matter.

The more unusual, the more unusual……

Sometimes the Simplest Things Elude Us

July 21, 2012

How to “erase” a line or object in Ez-Architect.

Use the selector tool, select the line or object.

Press the delete key.

Not to be facetious, but for those not experienced with object-oriented graphics programs, some functions may seem elusive. Since each item on the screen is an object that has to be dealt with as a whole, it can be moved, stretched, shrunk down, exactly duplicated; but you can’t remove just a part of it. You can shrink it, like in the case of a line. Come to think of it you could remove part of it only by covering it up with another object (and then, you’d want to group the two objects so they stay together). But it’s not like a painting program or photo editing program where you can work with and change a single pixel on the screen–where you can erase part of something, or smear it, or distort it with painting tools.

Nope, Ez-Architect is just Easy. Sometimes not to fancy. But powerful.

What other functions have you discovered in Ez-Architect (or any of our home design programs, for that matter) that were so easy that you had to say DOH! and hit yourself on the forehead when you figured it out?

How the Flood Created an Island, Part 4: The Kitchen is Bare

May 14, 2012

Here we go again.

Soon the restoration specialists removed all the lower cabinets and all the appliances from the kitchen. They moved the refrigerator into the dining room; the stove and the dishwasher went into a trailer outside along with the cabinets. They had to trash the formica counter tops (which didn’t make me sad when I learned this—new counter tops would be fun. But that’s only the beginning). Of course I had to remove everything from the cabinets first. The stuff went into giant boxes that got stored in one of our rooms. We set aside the essential stuff that we’d need for ongoing meals. The sink ended up in the garage.

I must say that one advantage of this process, was that it made me look at all the stuff I had stored in those cabinets that I never really used. So there was a kind of liberation that happened in the process as I made piles of things I’d never use again, never to put put back in the kitchen.

After everything was removed, they put in the drying equipment again. The kitchen really felt big without cabinets, and pretty useless, too.

Actually that isn’t drying equipment, it’s something to filter the smells from the particle board. This is actually the new subfloor.

Since the old floor had asbestos, we had to have those kinds of specialists in to remove, I think it was, 3 layers of flooring. More on that next time… along with the removal of the wallpaper, which is gone in the above photo (and I don’t mean computer wallpaper)…

Forgive me

April 21, 2012

I have been remiss. Not that I don’t love writing about Ez-Architect and MacDraft and MacInteriors, I have been doing something that I love even more. I admit it. Photography and Videography. Not that I can’t photo and video cool architecture. In fact I have. And I’ll share some of it with you.

I’ve been doing photos and videos for our upcoming DVD Microdrama. We have a model railroad (actually we have 2 railroads and a roller coaster, all n-scale), and we decided it was time to put live people on the railroad in a series of adventures that are still being edited. Yes, I’ll tell you when you can see them!

I have photographed some of the cool architecture on the layout, so I guess that counts for home design. It’s just that it was designed and built several years ago during layout construction.

Anyway, is it off topic or not? Who cares? I really wanted to write about it because I have been having so much fun. But I held myself back. Now, that’s really silly. Why not share, even if a bit off topic.

Railroad software really did help us design our layouts. So it’s not a totally obtuse stretch (if there is such a thing as an obtuse stretch) to consider it home design. After all, the layouts are in our home. And they were designed there, too.

(I promise, I’ll get back to the flood and the island before too long. I think it was bumming me out a bit to remember and write about that episode, even though the outcome was positive. The process was just was rough sometimes.)

So here’s some railroad architecture:

coal & lead mines

The Leadville Coal & Lead Mines

Off to the right is the Leadville lead mine, built from scratch by a very patient person. In the center is the abandoned coal mine, no longer operating. And though buildings don’t really operate on a layout, this one is clearly abandoned, with broken windows and decrepit parts.

Here’s another cool building:

Pat's Pastries Ice Cream

Pat’s Ice Cream & Pastries. Built by Yours Truly.

What’s also been fun is that when the editor finds out that he needs another or a different shot, I can run over to the layout and shoot it right away, photo or video. That part’s been delightful.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed the diversion.

Please tell me what you think. Do you like diversions? Or do you want me to focus focus focus only on Ez-Architect and other home design related things?

Scanning Objects into Ez-Architect

February 26, 2012

Ez-Architect actually doesn’t have an acquire function whereby you could bring in an image directly from your scanner. However, it’s easy enough to bring a scanned image in.

  1. Scan your image with your favorite scanner and scanning software.
  2. Save the scanned image to your computer as a bmp, jpg, jpeg, tif, tiff, wmf, emp, png, awl, iwl, lwl. Remember its location on your computer and its name.
  3. Use Ez-Architect’s Library Tool to bring the image into your plan.

Put the scanned image on its own layer, if you have an empty layer available. This will enable you to include the image with other layers of your choosing.

Examples of items you might want to scan are logos, clip art photographic images like landscape items or examples of details for your plan, maybe a window or door detail, kitchen appliances, furniture ideas, swatches, or even your face “the designer!” You can enhance a floor plan with these types of details just off to the side of your drawings. You can also scan and import library objects and save them in one of your libraries.

Note: images you import, whether they are scanned or are existing graphics or photos, cannot be manipulated the way you manipulate Ez-Architect objects. They can be stretched and resized, but you can’t change individual parts or colors.

Another great use for a scanned image is a floor plan or idea that you want to use as a starting point for your own plan. Or you may have a plan that you sketched on a napkin, or one that you made with other software (print it and then scan it). Or how ’bout the original plan for your house? You can start with these for your remodel.

You might also find sketches in a magazine or floor plan book, or even an interior setting that you want to arrange your way. Be careful of copyright issues here. Someone owns those plans, but you can probably use them as starting points for your own ideas. Scan the plan, save it, then import it to its own layer, set the settings so that the layer shows along with other layers. And then make the modifications on a new layer to create a new plan that is your own.

What ideas do you have for scanned images?  How have you used them with Ez-Architect?

A quick video that will get you to love Interiors

November 9, 2008

Check it out! Interiors rules!

Interiors video

Interiors made this!

New! Interiors Professional Version 4.1

New ‘Bounds’ tool.

Interiors Professional now has a new Item Tag type called ‘Bounds’. Windows and doors were totally enclosed in a transparent box which fitted itself into the wall space when these items were placed on a wall. The new tag allows the user to create a similar box that will enclose only the part of the object that needs to be within the wall space. The rest of the object can hang outside this box allowing the easy production of open windows and doors, overhanging sills and complete bow windows.

Improved texture handling slashes file size & application speed

Improved handling of files where the same texture appears multiple times. Previously each instance of a texture was processed and saved separately. Now the program recognises instances of identical textures and keeps only one copy of each. This results in vastly smaller files and faster operation when room designs with multiple instances of the same texture are processed.

Interiors Professional Version 4.1

Free 3D Library

October 9, 2008

When you purchase either Interiors or Interiors Pro, you will be emailed a link to our 3D Home and Office Library. It’s yours for FREE. All objects are 3DS, which is what Interiors uses.

If you decide NOT to buy Interiors but you want this library, it’s only $49.95.

CONTENTS: There are 1,718 separate 3D objects and 485 texture images in this library, and its catalog is included.


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