Level up your floor plans: Great 3D modelling tutorials for event producers
Curious what it takes to DIY your spatial models? Want to be able to throw together a 3D walkthrough of an event area? Feeling like adding another skill to your set? Self-improver, we applaud you. We’ll be looking at tutorials that introduce some of the most commonly-used programs in the 3D layout-i-verse, AutoCAD and SketchUp, but the truth is, you can use almost any 3D design program to create a room, site, stage, or interior space. Blender, for example, is a free 3D modelling suite with a robust user base and fan community that publish new tutorials frequently.
Oh hoh! We’re feeling feisty, I see. Goin’ for gold. Feeling powerful and full of vim. Okay. If we’re starting with the heavy lifting, we’d better take it slow. AutoCAD, as you probably know, is primarily an architectural tool for drafting, but it’s been adapted for use across multiple industries. The software is very complex, comprising a full suite of industry-leading tools for 2D and 3D spatial design.
2D room layouts created in AutoCAD can also be exported to the other 3D design programs, so it’s not unheard-of for event designers to use AutoCAD for creating the room structure and dimensions (a function at which it excels), and then finish the rendering in Blender or SketchUp.
Learn the basic controls: Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD
This multi-part tutorial from the makers of AutoCAD covers the basic functions and features of the program.
45-minute AutoCAD starter video
Already a bit tech-savvy? Rather not suffer through 12 lessons to get a grip on the basic tools? This video takes a faster approach to familiarizing you with the workspace.
2D Floor Plans
Starting with flat models, this 20-minute tutorial walks you through the basics of building a floor plan in 20 minutes .
Turning Plans into Models in AutoCAD
A 16-minute overview on how to turn a flat plan into a 3D model.
Your First Set of Plans in AutoCAD
Geared more towards up-and-coming architects, this 17-lesson, pay-to-play course from digitaltutors.com is the Cadillac of AutoCAD tutorials. Check this out if you’re interested in learning advanced interior and spatial design modelling.
SketchUp is a popular 3D drawing tool created by the good men and women at Google. There is a free version of sketchup for personal use, most professionals who plan to do a good deal of modeling spring for the pro version ($695). 3D objects can be created from scratch in Sketchup, or, as mentioned, can be imported from tools like AutoCAD (here’s how).
Once you’ve got a good command of the software itself, you can trawl the SketchUp 3D Warehouse for pre-made 3D furniture and decor items to toss into your room layout. The SketchUp site also offers a few of its own getting started videos, or check out these tutorials created by independent designers:
How to create your first-ever SketchUp 3D model.
“Today I am going to walk you through my process for drawing a 2D floor plan in SketchUp from measurements I’ve taken at a client’s home or business (in the field).”
Creating a 3D Model from a Floor Plan
How to turn a 2D floorplan into a three-dimensional layout in SketchUp.
How to Use SketchUp to Create an Event Layout
Once you’ve got the basics down, this video will teach you how to use SketchUp to layout a meeting room, banquet hall or other event space.
Site Modelling in SketchUp
For the very ambitious, here’s a look at creating an entire 3D site plan for a large outdoor event.
No? Too hard? Too much sitting and clicking while you burn through productive hours like a lava flow through Pompeii? No sweat, friend. There’s a reason Social Tables is successful. Head over there, sign up, and do your floor plans the point-and-click way. We won’t judge.