How do I improve the appearance of my models when working in Advance Steel? For example nice background, transparent beams, brickwork that looks like bricks etc.
There are various steps and things to set as desired. These are described below and may be used or skipped in any combination.
Realistic View Style
You need to set your view style to realistic. How this is done depends on what configuration you have.
Set the Background
3. Click on "Bottom Color" box.
AutoCAD has a number of pre-defined materials that you can assign simply to your objects.
2. Select one of tabs called "???? - Materials Sample" or "???? - Materials Library" (right click on the bottom of the stack of tabs and select the tab you wish.)
4. Right click on the desired material and select "Apply Material to Objects".
If the material you want is not on a tool palette you can create your own. (For example a generic semi-transparent material for the Advance Steel steelwork).
2. Select a material from the top of the box that you want to base your new material on (chose the one closest to what you want).
3. Click on the Create New Material button.
5. Edit the material properties as desired.
b. To make a material transparent reduce the Opacity. (70-80% works well for steelwork)
c. If you want to apply a pattern to the material like brickwork or rust click "Select Image" under the Diffuse Map option. Any jpg image can be used. Autodesk provide a wide variety of suitable images in the folder
C:\Program Data\AutoDesk\AutoCAD 2010\R18.0\enu\textures if using Vista or Windows 7 or
C:\Documents and Settings\user.name\Applciation Data\AutoDesk\AutoCAD 2010\R18.0\enu\textures if using Windows XP.
Apply Materials to Layers
It is possible to apply a material to a layer so that all objects on that layer automatically get the material assigned to them.
3. The "Global" material is effectively not assigning anything to a layer.
4. To clear an assignment, click the X by the layer name.
Hence in this case I have assigned the material "Sections" to the layer "Beams" resulting in all elements on that layer using that material. Since the material is defined as color = byobject and the opacity is 70% all my beams are now semi-transparent.