Craft Rhino Architectural Diagrams in Minutes with Modelo

Architectural diagrams help to clarify a building, relationships between elements of a building, or a process connected to a building. Architects do this with visual symbols which can be considered all at once, unlike language which must be processed in a linear fashion. The problem is that it takes lots of time to produce a simple architectural diagram in Rhino. However, the Modelo new Make Diagram function helps you craft Rhino architectural diagrams in minutes. Let’s see how we achieve that.

The first thing you need to do is upload your Rhino Models to Modelo. Modelo is an online 3D model platform. You only need to drag to upload your Rhino files to Modelo and it will finish uploading quickly.

You can find the Modelo’s Make Diagrams function in the tool. There are three select modes: by the element, material, and layer.

You could tint volume with reference colors to show the different properties of the architecture. In this model, we use blue and pink to show the trend of architecture and related buildings around the site.

After finishing the selection and coloration, don’t forget to screenshot and capture the diagram. It only takes you 3 minutes to create a simple architectural diagram.

If you want to select multiple parts of the model, press CTRL and select them at the same time. Then you can tint or stroke them all together with one click.

Isn’t that easy? Come to Modelo and create your architectural diagrams now.

Adding voice over to your design in 3D

Modelo’s 3D comment feature has been one of the most popular functions since its inception.

People use it to create 3D presentations, drop 3D annotations, embed 3D experience on their homepage and curate spatial fly-through. It links with rendering settings, section cut, walk-through, and assets. In a way, you could say the 3D comment feature is at the center of all.

Today, we are very excited to announce a few updates to it. With the new 3D comment feature release, you could do the following things:

1.You could use an image attachment as a cover page for your presentation.

2.You could add promotional videos and play it with just a touch of the “SPACE” button.

3.Panorama is also supported as an attachment.

4.Last but not the least, you could add phone recorded voice-over to the 3D comment and now your clients could experience your design in 3D and listen to your explanations about the space at the same time.

Watch the entire video of this update here:

Simplify your 360 tour with a mini floor plan

Easy to display, high efficiency and deep interaction. These characteristics determine that 360 tours are more and more popular. This immersive approach can make customers, contractors and other stakeholders more involved in the project.

Some customers complained that because of the size of their projects, locating specific rooms in 360 tours is a difficult task. Now our Modelo team has simplified your 360 tour with mini floor plans.

Step 1: Uploading your Mini Floor Plan

First, prepare your mini floor plan. Please make sure that each panoramic image can be located in your floor plan. In the upload tab, in addition to the previous 360 tour option, we also added another floor plan option. After successfully uploading the floor plan image, you will see a thumbnail below the panoramic photo.

Step 2: Add Hotspots on your Floor Plan

Once your floor plan is ready, you can start creating hotspots. These hotspots will become the anchor points for each part in your 360 tour. Just click “Add Hotspot” in the upper right corner and place the hotspot on the floor plan. You will also notice that all panoramic photos will appear in the bottom bar, which will help you assign hotspots to specific locations. Then, you need to select the correct picture and select the input view.

Step 3: Edit or Delete Hotspots.

If you are not satisfied with the hotspots, you can try to edit or delete them. Click the hotspot on your floor plan. “Edit Location” helps you relocate hotspots. If the hotspot is no longer useful, just click it and select the “Delete” option.

To view the whole tutorial video, click here. Modelo makes it easy for you to explore your 360 tour during design reviews and presentations. Get started on yours today!

The Ultimate Guide for Creating Interactive 360º Tours with Modelo

360º tours are the most immersive way to present your unbuilt designs in the correct context. By involving clients, contractors, or other stakeholders in the design review process earlier, all parties can be more involved, making it easier for you as a refined designer to make tweaks sooner rather than later.

We’ve outlined the ultimate guide for creating 360º tours that will take you through step-by-step on how to use Modelo’s new 360º tour feature for both presentation and design review purposes.

Step 1: Creating your Project and Upload your Panorama images
To begin, create a new project in Modelo. For the purpose of creating a 360º tour, we will be focusing on the “Create 360 Tour” tab highlighted below.

For imagery requirements, panorama images can be taken using a dedicated 360º camera, like the Ricoh Theta, or by using rendering support such as Lumion or V-Ray. Then uploading them to Modelo and getting started is a breeze.

When uploading the images, you first want to create a new folder (or multiple folders) to store all your images. You can sort however you see fit- by project, by phase, or by date. Modelo is compatible with the following file formats: PNG or JPG, and we also support cube map and spherical images.

Step 2: Creating your First Hotspot
Once your images are all ready to go, you can begin creating hotspots. These hotspots will act as the tour guides throughout the 360º tour. Simply click on the “view” button and you will be taken into that panorama. You will also notice all of your other images in that folder on the bottom bar, which will help you create a consecutive path by linking to each image. Note: the current view is highlighted on the bottom bar, this is also your starting view.

To create your first hotspot, click “Add Hotspot” in the top right-hand corner. An orange dot will emerge, allowing you to place it on any point of the panorama. You can rotate the image in order to call out certain areas of the scenery, like an entrance to a building. After you place your first hotspot, you must choose the second panorama image from the bottom bar that you would like to link to.

This second image’s direction should be consistent with the first, and bring you to the next consecutive point on the tour. It’s all about the end destination and creating a guided tour that demonstrates the consistency. Keep in mind that if you’d like to go back and forth between points during your 360º tour, it’s necessary to link back to the previous image. Then repeat these steps for the next hotspots and you’re on your way to completing your first 360º tour with Modelo!

Pro tip: Make sure to save and test throughout your tour creation process.

Step 3: Playing and Sharing your 360º Tour On Any Device
Congratulations! You’ve successfully created your first 360º tour with Modelo. Now it’s time to play and share with other colleagues or clients. To play your 360º tour, simply choose your starting view by selecting the image you’d like to begin your tour with, and then click on the “Play” button.

Everything in Modelo has the ability to be shared, that’s what makes collaboration so effortless. To share your 360º tour, simply click on the “Share” button and a unique URL will be generated for you.

We get it, sometimes you need to tweak things as your designs go through different iterations. That’s why you can always edit your 360º tours and preview the shareable link before you send along to other stakeholders, so you can see what they’ll see.

Once you’re ready to go, copy and paste the URL and send it to anyone on your project via email, text, or through the medium of your choice. They can then open it up on the device of their choice- phone, tablet, or computer- and view with confidence and ease. Plus, you can embed 360º tours on your website to impress visitors and potential clients with your designs.

Step 4: Virtual Reality and Hosting your 360º Tours on Websites
The best part about sharing designs with clients using a unique URL link is that they can slide their phone into a Google Cardboard and view the 360º tour in Virtual Reality with the click of a button. Google Cardboards are a great option for architects to implement into their design review workflows because they are inexpensive and less clunky than other VR options.

Modelo and Google Cardboard are bridging the gap and making VR accessible to non-CAD users, as well as experienced CAD users. Clients need to see 360º tours in VR because it brings a space to life, allows them to visualize and tour their building before it’s built in the right context, and makes design reviews more productive. 

To view the whole tutorial video, click here. Modelo makes it easy for you to immerse your clients, contractors, or other stakeholders in an interactive 360º Tour during design reviews and presentations. Get started on yours today!

4 Hidden Gems in Boston Changing the Future of Urban Farming

Cities are constantly bustling with visitors, residents, cars, trains and movement. Cities never sleep, but they do breathe. And cities crave green spaces to provide an oasis for healthy, urban living. Companies around the world have started implementing urban farming initiatives in densely populated areas and even on top of buildings to provide just that.

One company in particular, Green City Growers, located in Somerville, MA and has worked on urban farms and green roofs throughout the Greater Boston area. As an award-winning B Corporation, GCG’s mission is to transform unused space into thriving urban farms, providing clients with immediate access to nutritious food, while revitalizing city landscapes and inspiring self-sufficiency.

Green City Growers (GCG) has worked with both commercial and residential clients in the Greater Boston area, inspiring change and authentic living through urban agriculture. In this post, we’ll highlight some of their diverse work with Modelo’s 360º Tour tool to capture these unique landscapes and urban farms.

Fenway Farms
Success is achieved when you pair the old with the new. That’s exactly what Fenway Farms accomplishes in the heart of Boston, MA. Green City Growers worked with one of the most iconic and oldest working baseball parks in the nation, Fenway Park. GCG CEO and Founder, Jessie Banhazl, adds, “Fenway Farms is an incredible asset to not only the Red Sox, but the City of Boston. Having an innovative, productive rooftop farm on top a city historical icon validates the idea that urban farming is an important part of the fabric of our city”

It’s unarguably an iconic example of successful green spaces and as GCG Urban Farmer and Educator, Lee, comments this project is a “home run for sustainable agriculture.” Fenway Farms represents the dedication of the Boston Red Sox to promote healthy lifestyles and the importance of eating fresh food. This project features a 5,000 square foot milk crate growing system with a smart irrigation system on top of the rooftop. Fenway Farms was accomplished in partnership with Recover Green Roofs and structural engineers designed a one-of-a-kind system that can both hold the weight of the farm, as well as resist environmental pressures such as wind uplift.

Fenway Farms shared by Meghan Barrett Modelo »

Rotate image to find the orange dots, then click to continue on the tour.

Crops are chosen by the park’s chefs at the EMC Club Restaurant and Fenway Farms has been providing organically grown vegetables and fruit to the restaurant since 2015, with a collaboration between the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park. There are two harvesting seasons in Spring and Summer, and approximately 6,000 pounds of produce is harvested each season. Crops vary depending upon the season and the chefs’ desires, but some staples in the Spring include broccoli, arugula, kale, cilantro, carrots, greens mix, spinach, lettuce mix, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, radish, scallions, snap peas, and strawberries. And summer harvesting usually includes beans, chard, chives, cucumbers, eggplant, hot peppers, kale, basil, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, scallions, strawberries, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and flowers.

The Strega Deck, opened in 2016, provides an exclusive look at the garden and was created as a result of Fenway Farms. It is an event venue for special occasions and directly located next to the rooftop garden. Green City Growers also maintains garden beds at Strega Deck and donates all food to the community via a food rescue partner, Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Fenway Farms shared by Meghan Barrett Modelo »

Rotate image to find the orange dots, then click to continue on the tour.

Kendall Center
Public educational gardens bring new life to urban areas that were once empty. A prime example of this is at Kendall Center in Cambridge, MA, where the area is bustling with greenery, vegetables, and flowers. Green City Growers partnered with Kendall Center to bring garden beds to the roof-deck level. This area is known for being a hub for technology leaders and innovation and is home to companies such as Google, Akamai Technologies, MIT, Novartis, The Broad Institute, Biogen, and Microsoft. Overall, this urban garden space provides a gathering area for activity, and creates a sense of community that provides inspiration through innovation.

The garden beds at Kendall are maintained by Green City Growers and open to the public, so visitors from around the world and tenants of the building can grab a book and enjoy the scenery while catching some rays on their lunch break. What’s more, they can learn about the benefits and process of urban farming from one of Green City Growers’ farmers during weekly educational sessions (on Wednesdays at 12p.m.). 

Green City Growers Urban Farmer and Educator, Anna, discusses the educational sessions a bit further by adding, “the program adapts to each group of participants, and this season the group has focused on propagation techniques, pollination, seed saving and the importance of creating and maintaining a bio diverse garden. Weekly participants tend to this garden oasis and go home with bags full of beautiful, nutritious produce grown a small rooftop plot in Kendall Square!” Plus, a portion of the produce from this program is donated to Green City Growers’ food rescue partner, Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Follow @kendallcntr on Instagram for an exclusive glimpse at the garden area.

Kendall shared by Meghan Barrett Modelo »

Rotate image to find the orange dots, then click to continue on the tour.

3rd & Binney
Collaboration is the name of the game when it comes to urban farming. At 3rd & Binney in Cambridge, MA, corporate and municipal stakeholders came together to benefit a local school. Located in a busy urban area in Cambridge (not far from Kendall Center), students from the Community Charter School of Cambridge are able to learn the basics of organic farming, planting and tending plants, soil health, harvesting, and using fresh produce in a variety of recipes, with guidance from a Green City Growers urban farmer. 3rd & Binney is a site that highlights the connection between utilizing space to connect education, farming, and community in an urban context that was not possible before. 

One of these urban famers, Anna from GCG, expands on this idea even further by elaborating on the collaboration aspect, “the 3rd & Binney garden is a true representation of community. The project is made possible through the hearts and minds of  Boston Properties, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, CCSC and GCG, where we have collaboratively developed installation, maintenance and an education program in the midst of a bustling Cambridge street. The students of CCSC, through their Urban Agriculture Club, plan and tend the garden communities; taking care of the rich soil, learning about insects and animals in the garden, harvesting the diverse array of produce all while deepening relationships with each other.”

3rd & Binney shared by Meghan Barrett Modelo »

Rotate image to look around the space.

Independence Wharf
When the harbor, a great view, and urban farming combine, you get a completely unique space in the heart of the Seaport District in Boston, MA. Located right next to the Harborwalk is 470 Atlantic Avenue, or Independence Wharf. The Harborwalk is a huge attraction in Boston, as it is a publicly accessible wharf and walkway that provides easy access to Boston Harbor and other popular Boston attractions for miles.

Green City Growers Urban Farmer and Educator, Anna, portrays a great visual of the location, stating “it’s a unique site in that it shares great views, the garden does really well, and you have the perspective to see other green spaces and rooftops within [the] Seaport while you are up there. You’re participating in green spaces while observing other green spaces in Boston.”

On both the fourteenth floor Observation Deck and ground floor of Independence Wharf, Green City Growers maintains raised bed gardens. The observation deck is open to the public during weekday hours, which allows visitors to come and appreciate the greenery while taking in the breathtaking view of the harbor and cityscape from the fourteenth floor. Green City Growers provides hands-on education with weekly sessions (on Fridays at 12p.m.), where excited participants learn how to grow their own food in a city environment. Lastly, a portion of the produce from this program is donated to Green City Growers’ food rescue partner, Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

Independence Wharf shared by Meghan Barrett Modelo »

Rotate image to find the orange dots, then click to continue on the tour.

The power of urban farming lies in its accessibility and ease of implementation and learning. With educational training and environmental awareness initiatives, Green City Growers helps both businesses and individuals grow their own food and be a little bit greener. On a local, national and even global level, we can all learn something from Green City Growers: green spaces revive us and help keep our urban spaces clean, so it’s crucial to keep the momentum going to transform underutilized and unconventional spaces into flourishing oases.

Curious how we created these 360º tours?
With Modelo’s Design Asset Management (DAM) solution, users have the power to collaborate and present 3D models online, host models on their websites, sketch on and markup 2D and 3D assets, create 360º tours of panorama images, plus so much more.

When you upload a 360º image to Modelo, you have the ability to create an interactive 360º Tour using hotspots that guide viewers along the path you set for them. Then once your tour is ready to go, you can share with anyone by generating a unique URL or by generating a line of HTML code from within Modelo, and embedding these 360º Tours on your website, just like we did above.

If you want to learn more about embedding panorama tours on your website, read this blog post, or create your own 360º Tour by signing up for a free account here.

View 360º Panorama Images in VR with Modelo

Modelo now supports 360º panorama image viewing across various devices and also allows you to view in 360º images in VR. Basically all you need to do is generate your 360º panorama images from the software you already use and from there you can directly upload to Modelo and view them instantly. 

Get familiar with the following articles and videos about how to upload panorama images from some of the major CAD software you already use.

For Revit users to generate 360º panorama images for Modelo, read this:

For SketchUp users to generate 360º panorama images for Modelo, read this article: Note: you will need an extra plugin to generate 360º panorama images, we recommend to use V-ray to render it. 

For 3ds Max users to generate 360º panorama images for Modelo, watch this video: Note: you will need an extra plugin to generate 360º panorama images, we recommend to use V-ray to render it. 

For Rhinoceros users to generate 360º panorama images for Modelo, watch this video: Note: you will need an extra plugin to generate 360 panorama images, we recommend to use V-ray to render it. 

Once you have the panorama image in the formats we support (stereoscopic or spherical), it’s extremely easy to upload to Modelo! Simply log into your Modelo account and choose the project you want to upload your 360º images to. Then click the “Assets” tab. You will find the “Upload Panorama” button. Click it and choose the format of the 360º panorama images you have, hit upload and you are good to go.

Refresh the page and you will find the 360º panorama images you just uploaded under the assets tab. You can then immediately click on it and view it, no matter what device you are on, such as your laptop, tablet or phone.

Let’s use the phone for example. In the top right corner, there is a Google Cardboard icon. Tap on it and rotate your phone 90 degrees, then slide it into a Google Cardboard (which is a much sleeker option than other headsets). In a couple short minutes, you can view 360º panorama images in VR, be inside your design before it’s built and immerse project stakeholders in your design.

4 Tools to Help you Create Beautiful Renderings with Modelo

Renderings are a complementary tool during the design review process because they help bring the design to life, along with 3D models, panorama images and other design assets, presented in the right context. Modelo renders 45 times faster than other tools and offers rendering tools that allow users to see different design options and make design tweaks at any stage of the process. Outlined below are 4 tools to help you create beautiful renderings with Modelo.

Customize your background with Modelo and even upload your own logo.

  1. Customizable Backgrounds
    Once you’ve uploaded your 3D model, upload a background image to truly immerse stakeholders in a real life view of your design. You can choose from the preset backgrounds that Modelo offers, such as morning fog or midnight L.A., or you can upload your own background such as a company logo to create a branded presentation. Note: customizable backgrounds is a paid feature, learn more by reaching out to today.
    Upload 360º panorama images to Modelo and immerse project stakeholders in your design.
  2. Panorama Images
    360º images are much more realistic than 2D renderings and allow stakeholders to get a better spatial understanding of the design. Plus, 360º give the same effect of being immersed in the design, but are less clunky than VR headsets. Modelo is compatible with any panorama image. What’s more, you can attach panorama images to comment cards to provide context during presentations and also view in virtual reality.
    Use Architect Effect to get your desired effect with pen detail and enhanced rendering in Modelo.
  3. Architect Effect
    There are many filters in Modelo, such as blueprint or grayscale. But the Architect Effect filter provides a clean, minimal hand-drawn look to the design and enhances pen detail. Designs can be viewed in black and white or in color.
  4. Advanced Design Settings
    With Modelo’s advanced design settings, users can adjust the lighting, change material colors, turn layers on and off, or apply filters. Modelo users can save their settings and update as the default to then revisit the next time they want to access it. Then simply create some comment cards and move through the presentation smoothly, toggling through different design options.

Next, learn about the 11 ways Modelo can help you be more productive and create your own account for free.

Why Architects Should Use 360º Panorama Images in Design Reviews?

360º panorama images are an emerging trend in architectural design. There are many different terms that describe the same thing: panoramic rendering, 360º rendering, stereoscopic rendering, panorama image, 360º image or monoscopic rendering. For now, we’ll refer to them as 360º panorama images. 

As with many new emerging technologies, 360º panorama images are often seen as an extra topping to decorate a final design package. Its immersive quality creates a good source of entertainment to our clients during a presentation. However, panoramic renderings have a lot more potential to enhance architects’ daily design workflow, and it does not require expensive and time-consuming setup when using Modelo.

Many of our clients have limited experience in spatial thinking and therefore have trouble visualizing the spaces we are designing. Producing a rendering is a good way to help them visualize the space, especially when it comes to describing materiality. However, it’s still somewhat limited when we want to discuss spatial relationships since it’s hard to describe a 3-dimensional quality using a single snapshot of a 2D image. This is where 360º panorama images can help.

360º images position the viewer directly in the space and context. They help to convey information about orientation, distance, size and height as the viewer rotates the screen. As designers, we all the situation of “manipulating” the rendering by using a wide-range lens to capture more design features into the scene. However, they are quite real because our human eyes do not see as much in real life. We get a sense of space by looking around and processing the information about distance to ourselves and about the size of the space. A panorama image, especially when paired with Virtual Reality, mimics this real life environment and makes it easy for everyone to understand the design intent.

By mimicking the real life environment, a 360º image helps us to make informed design decisions faster. In many design scenarios, it is hard to evaluate one option against another option only by looking at their plan differences. For example, in arranging seats for an auditorium, it is hard to evaluate how one seat can block the view of the adjacent seats from left to right, up, back, and in all angled directions. A panoramic rendering at the location makes this assessment easy and intuitive, especially with Modelo, by creating a panoramic experience in seconds.

Architectural design is inherently three-dimensional. We have long been confined with the tools of 2D representation, but a new wave of 3D presentation has already started and will define a new standard for the future of architectural representation.

Start upgrading your design reviews today and making informed design decisions quicker with Modelo.

360º Panorama image to VR with 3ds Max and Modelo

In this post, we’ll show you step-by-step how to quickly generate 360º panorama images within your 3ds Max software, and instantly view it in VR mode with our free online 3D platform. Check out how to convert 3ds Max files to VR for a refresher. 

Let’s move on to how to generate the panorama and upload it to Modelo within the software.

  1. First, open up your model file with 3ds Max. In the meantime, you should have a camera ready and positioned in your model where you want to generate your panorama.
  2. On the top menu bar, you should be able to see our plugin button named Modelo. Click it and choose “Export Panorama to Modelo.” This is going to prompt us to a pop-up window where you can get everything done effortlessly.
  3. The camera dropdown includes all the cameras you already have in the scene. Select the camera you set for generating the panorama image.
  4. And click here to select the desired resolution, which depends on your V-Ray setting. Note that larger resolutions will generally take longer to process.
  5. You also will need an upload token here to complete the process. To get the token, you need to log into your Modelo account and enter the project page you want to upload your panorama 360 image to.
  6. On top of your model, click this “upload key” button, with the destination folder selected in the pop-up window. Modelo generates a token, copy this token.
  7. Go back to your 3ds Max software. Paste the token right into the Modelo plugin pop-up window we just opened a few moments ago, and now click the “Render and upload” button to start rendering and uploading the panorama image.
  8. Once it’s complete, go back to the project page where you got the upload token. Then click on the assets tab, and there you have it!

In just a few minutes you can generate a v-ray rendered 360º degree panorama image in Modelo.

Next is the easy part. Simply open your panorama image you just uploaded with your phone, the same way you access Modelo on the computer. Using your browser, log into your Modelo account, go to the project page and then the assets page.

Click on your panorama and instantly you can view it on your phone. In the top right corner, there is a Google Cardboard icon. Simply tap on it, rotate your phone 90 degrees and slide it into a Google Cardboard. Enjoy being inside your design before it’s built. 

Start viewing your 360º images in VR today by signing up to Modelo!

Generate Shareable Links for 360º Images for Clients with Modelo

360º images are quickly becoming a go-to asset for presenting designs in an immersive way. With Modelo, sharing 360º images with clients has never been easier. Modelo allows your clients to easily access 360º images in a way that makes them feel as if they are standing in a design looking around at the real project site.

Panoramas can be shared individually or grouped together into a single shareable link, allowing clients to easily navigate through multiple panoramas. What’s more, your client doesn’t need to download any software, log into any applications, or have a special device to view the 360º images you share with them. In fact, all they need is an internet connection. In addition, when viewing 360º images on their phones, clients will quickly be able to jump into VR for an added wow factor.

Sending a 360º image or a series of 360º images to your clients can be done in seconds following these simple instructions:

Sharing a single panorama:
When in your Assets tab, you will have a view of all the panoramas you have uploaded into Modelo. Hover your mouse over the one you want to share and click on the share arrow.

This will generate a link for you to copy and share with clients. You can also preview the link to make sure everything looks great before sending.

Sharing multiple panoramas with one link:
To share multiple panoramas for your clients to navigate through in a single link, simply share the entire folder containing the images you want to share. First, in the Assets tab, make sure you have the panoramas you are sharing in the same folder. Then, hover over the folder with your mouse, click on the three dots in the top right corner, and click share.

Then a URL link will effortlessly be generated for you.

Next up, learn about 5 creative ways to use 360º panorama images in Modelo. Sign up today for FREE to start immersing clients in your panorama images today.