Friday, December 30, 2011

Autodesk Homestyler: Online Home Design App With Realistic Rendering

AutoDesk Homestyler is a free, online interior layout and designing tool created by Autodesk, creators of AutoCAD, the professional CAD software, and 3D modeling software 3DS Max. With Autodesk Homestyler you can try your own hand in designing your home and experiment with furniture placement, wall paint, etc. and see in a realistic way how your planned renovation will look like when complete.

Autodesk Homestyler utilizes a drag and drop system to build that is very easy to master. You start with the floor plan and then slowly build it up by adding walls, doors and windows, and then finish it off by putting paint, floor tiles and laying out your furniture. All structural items are organized into four main sections – Build, Furnish, Decorate and Landscape & Outdoor – which are further organized into sub-categories such as doors, stairs, kitchen, living room, flooring, etc. There might be further categorization, for example, doors may be entry doors, closet doors, interior doors, garage doors, and patio doors.

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For furnishing the homes, Autodesk Homestyler provides hundreds of actual appliances, fixtures, and furnishings from top manufacturers' brand catalogs. So when you fit your virtual kitchen with countertops, sink, and faucet, you can be sure that you’ll get the exact products when you walk into an actual store. Autodesk Homestyler automatically compiles a list of the products in your new home design, including information such as brand name, model, color, and more. It tallies approximate quantities for countertops, flooring, baseboards, and paint, so you’ll know the amount of materials to buy. Simply print your list and bring it with you when you head out to shop.

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The number of products, though large, is understandably not complete. Often you have to pick alternatives depending on how close, in looks and dimension, the chosen product is to the actual one at your home. Many items are not even available in the catalog. For example, there are no steel cabinets or computer desks. The selection of chairs and beds are also limited.

At any time during designing, you can switch from 2D to 3D views to get an accurate sense of how everything fits in your space. You can even landscape the exterior, add gardens, lawns, trees, pavement, decking, pathways—or even pools and water features.

If you don’t want to start from a scratch, no worries, because there are thousands of online home designs to choose from, all free to use, edit, and develop however you’d like. You can find inspiring ideas for kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms, or even offices, retail space, and more.

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The 3D renderings give you a realistic sense of lighting, textures, surfaces and angles giving you an impression as if you’re standing right inside your design. Simply position the camera in any room in your design and adjust the angle of the view. Quickly preview to be sure the snapshot will capture the view you want and then create the Snapshot. The rendering is beautiful but at the size of 640x400, it is not enough to appreciate and definitely not “high-definition” as their website says.

Autodesk Homestyler is not as powerful as AutoCAD and 3DS Max, but simple enough for anybody with no technical knowledge or experience in modeling to build lovely 3D homes.

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