Pavilion 04 - Concept


Learn how to create a concept based on 3d slats using a combination of modifiers. All geometry created in this method can be further edited and refined.

Pavilion 03 - Array and Fence


In this video, you will learn how to use modifiers to quickly create comples shapes, such as a circular fence. We will also learn how to use and enable the tree sapling add-on.

Link to the tree sapling addon:

Pavilion 02 - Context

In this video, we will learn how to import and scale a satellite image properly, and then use it as a base to draw the context - building blocks and streets.

You will also learn how to extrude edges, scaling precisely with the 3d cursor, and using the boolean modifier


Pavilion 01 - Set up and Custom Hotkeys


In this lesson, we will set up Blender further for an optimal workflow.

In this lesson, you will learn how to add a custom keymap suitable for laptop and other small keyboard users, enable importing images to planes, and about layers.

link to the custom hotkey map:!AjOyIlYnTjWAgfNEY...

Custom Hotkeys list:

ctrl+1 - top view
ctrl+2 - front view
ctrl+3 - left view

ctrl+shift+1 - bottom view
ctrl+shift+2 - rear view
ctrl+shift+3 - left view

ctrl+4 - camera view
ctrl+shift+4 - set active object as camers
ctrl+alt+shift+4 - align camera to view

ctrl+5 - ortho/perspoective toggle
ctrl+6 - zoom to selected objects
shift+/ - local view

drag+left click- window or border select
shift+drag+left click - add to the selection
ctrl+drag+left click- remove from selection

Blender for Architectural Design - the Cursor

This is the fourth video of architectural concept design with Blender fast.

Topics covered --adding objects to different places, snapping the cursor to vertices, changing object origin-useful for mirror modifier, changing the manipulator alignment mode, using the cursor for "smart" translation of elements along normal directions.

Important note: all lessons assume that you have started with first video and adjusted your settings to select with the left mouse. If you haven't done so, please watch the first video.


Object Editing

This is the third video in the series about architectural concept design with Blender.

Topics covered - linked duplicates, scale each obj individually, rotate, etc; modifiers (array, solidify, follow curve, lattice)

Mesh Editing

This is the second video in the tutorial series aimed to get you started with concept design in Blender fast.

Topics covered - basics of polygon modeling (edges/verts/faces), extrude, “face” connect, loop cut and slide, transforms, subdivide

Scribus fill image to frame

Although, there are scripts on that do this, they were not working for me with Scribus 1.4.2, no matter what I tried. This has led me to do two things: rewrite the script, and use it on Scribus 1.5 SVN, where it works. The interface on the newer version is smoother and faster, and thus far, I haven’t hit any bugs.

Here is the script, make sure you have nothing but image frames selected:

from scribus import *
import os

if haveDoc():
    objList = []

    for i in range(selectionCount()):

    for obj in objList:
        #setScaleImageToFrame(confined to frame = bool, proportional = bool, name)
        setScaleImageToFrame(True, False, obj)
        scaleX, scaleY = getImageScale(obj)
        setScaleImageToFrame(False, True, obj)
        if scaleX > scaleY:
            scale = scaleX
            setImageScale(scale, scale, obj)
        elif scaleY > scaleX:
            scale = scaleY
            setImageScale(scale, scale, obj)



Update: I tried to open my 40 – some graphics intensive pages of my portfolio layout in 1.5 svn, and it is so sluggish, that it was unusable yet. For the 3 pages of images I was doing the testing on, it seemed fine, but it doesn’t seem that it’s optimised enough for larger documents. Or perhaps, if i were to start initially in 1.5 as opposed to 1.4.2, it may have been different.

Scripting and Automation of repetative image tasks

For a task that required the conversion of a PDF for print to image files sequence for web display, I had to figure how to export them as quickly as possible, re-combine two facing files into a single “spread”, and add a graphic element that makes them appear more like books. It is a bit of pseudo code, since I am not very familiar with Terminal, besides entering single commands, and installing add-ons in python always seems a bit daunting.

Here is the process for Ubuntu 12.04:

  • Starting with a book.pdf, convert all PDF pages to images, using ghostscript. First, open Terminal, and type “cd”, drag and drop the directory where your PDF is located into terminal, and press enter. Then, type the following command:
    gs -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pngalpha -r300  -sOutputFile='page-%00d.png' 'book.pdf'

    Now you should have a png for each page

  • To combine them into spreads, with Imagemagick installed:
    -montage -geometry +0+0 page-2.png page-3.png spread2-3.png

    However, if you have 160 pages, handwriting that would take a bit of time, so I made a python script that makes a text file with the above command for all pages

  • In gimp, I made a gradient line in the middle to make the images appear more like book pages. I started with one of the spread, created a new layer, in which I put the gradient exactly in the middle, and then erased everything except the gradient line, keeping the dimensions exactly the same.
  • To overlay the gradient line with each of the spreads without opening Gimp or Photoshop
    composite line.png spread2-3.png
  • I am not sure yet how to develop loops with terminal, so I made the following python script that creates a text files with commands that I then copy and paste into Terminal:
    # outputs a file to use for terminal, specifically for PDFs
    #create or open a text file
    f = open("file.txt", "w")
    outNames = []
    # output spreads
    # range of pages, start with 2, since spreads usually are even-odd page
    for i in range(2,10):
        if i%2==0:
            a = i
            b = i
            c = ("s%s-%s.png" % (a,b))
            text = ("montage -geometry +0+0 page-%s.png page-%s.png %s; " % (a,b,c))
    #overlay with gradient line
    for i in outNames:
        text2 = ("composite line.png %s s%s;" % (i,i))

    I pasted a quarter at a time, so as not to crash Terminal.

To do the same simple task without a little bit of code, would either mean Batch processing in Photoshop, or manually opening in Gimp or Photoshop, which doesn’t guarantee that on each page, they gradient line would be in the exactly the same place. However, I also know that this isn’t the most efficient way yet. If anyone has any suggestions, please share them.

Open Source Ecology

I have recently read this article from 2010 in the Guardian about how the U.S. views governments that use open source software as ones that promote piracy and constrict intellectual property. ( This, along with my recent observations that, if given the choice between a completely and legitimately free alternative that has no learning curve compared to the commercial alternative, most are much more likely and comfortable just to use the pirated original than spend 1% more effort in learning something new. (e.g. Autocad 2007 vs DraftSight). Beside the obvious legal issues of using pirated software, it is a major hinderance to the spread of open source software. Few are the ones that will venture out of their comfort zones to learn something new (and open source), but if the choice was always between a very expensive programme and a free alternative that takes a little more effort to learn, without any possibility to use pirated software, then it becomes very easy to make the choice with no funds available to learn something new. However, if those expensive programs are constantly pirated (as most small to medium architectural offices do), then there is no opportunity to pick up viable alternatives. Some of these ideas have been gathered from a discussion on archinect (

All of these topics fuel and inner flame to do everything possible to spread the closest we can get to true democracy anywhere on the world. Let’s form a network of design and non-design professionals to help promote open source as a substantially viable alternative, through professional experience to all pirated copies. Please contact me to discuss further.