Auto-Building

by Julien Gauthier in Modifier Setups


Item Rating

This item has an average rating of 5 from 18 ratings by the community.

78%
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  • Robert Green
    about 1 month ago

    This system is brilliant! It took a little time to understand how everything is structured, but well worth the time learning. Enormous time saver and results are fantastic, especially when building multiple different buildings of the same style. Mostly just limited by our imaginations of what we can create as building parts and simple building structures. Thank you.

  • Joel Walden
    2 months ago

    I did a fair amount of research tools for procedurally making buildings (both paid and free) and ended up buying Auto-Buildings -- I *highly* recommend it. These are my impressions.

    Highlights:
    * Import in your own assets or use the ones made by the developer.
    * Robust, sophisticated system for deciding where modular assets do or don't get placed.
    * Sloped roofs or flat. (Many such products do not give you that control.)
    * Flexibility -- no overbearing rule system for how to make your custom modular parts.
    * Combine custom-modeled (non-procedural) assets with procedurally-placed ones.
    * Booleans in your modular assets to cut holes for windows, archways, doors, etc.
    * Tons of unexpected ways to use the addon not found in the manual if you're clever.
    * Even though the lowest-priced standalone version comes with no finished library of textured, finished modular pieces it does come with a complete set of untextured placeholder mesh objects. This gives you a good idea how one sets up custom model pieces for the system, and that's super helpful. If you don't have much experience with building modular assets for environments I'd strongly recommend you get the version that comes with architectural styles already made and examine the many examples they afford.

    About:
    Auto-Building creates buildings procedurally out of modular pieces and parts. To do this it uses a simple low-poly mesh object that you can subdivide, extrude, shape, all in Edit Mode. This establishes the building's overall shape. The system procedurally places mesh objects such as windows, doors, cutouts, trim pieces, trim, roof tiles, and detail objects, roof decorations like chimneys, foundation details, and so on, all onto that underlying mesh, making a very complete-looking building out of whatever library you have of modular parts. (which you have placed locally in the file organized in collections) If these parts have materials on them, then your finished building will also have materials on them. Making a procedural building this way is very fast and gives really good results.

    How does it know where to apply these pieces?:
    The system creates pre-made materials that you use to flag faces (in edit mode) on your low-poly base model. These materials are associated with specific collections of objects. Auto-Building then spawns the objects from that collection onto the faces that bear the associated material. And each material slot uses a set of rules and parameters you control to fine-tune how stuff gets placed. It also utilizes edge creases associated with collections just like the materials. This allows for procedural placement of features like trim meshes, linear details, and corner decorations on the outside of a building. Etc.

    This all sounds complicated but don't let that intimidate you. The end result is an extremely robust system that gives you the speed of procedural building generation combined with very precise control over where stuff is and is not placed.

    There are many other procedural building systems that let you just drag out a box and instantly make a building. But these will inevitably will spawn a window, door, or roof in an awkward area. And there's little you can do about it but change the random seed and hope it removes the offending item without messing up the stuff you like. Auto-Building lets you control where stuff gets placed. You don't want a window there? Flag that quad with a material that doesn't place windows. Want a front door in a very specific spot? Flag it with a material that always places something from your "doors" collection. Very sweet. Just a must-have feature.

    Limitations of the tool:
    * I don't believe any of the Auto-Building assets come with parallax interiors for windows. I see no reason why you couldn't apply your own parallax window materials to your window objects and simply use Auto-Building to place them. The tool just doesn't come with such art assets by default. (I'd prefer to make my own anyway.)

    * A mode toggle for swapping between lighted windows and unlighted ones would be a nice feature to have. But I don't see why it'd be that hard to just make a custom material for my windows that swaps between a "lighted" and "unlighted" version. It's just not built into the tool already. (to my knowledge)

    * It would be really helpful if the "Deform" checkbox could specify which axes you wanted it to deform in. For example, I'd like to be able to just deform a wall piece horizontally but not in the other dimensions. (Making something like a modular log cabin building would be a lot easier if I could do that.)

    Really great work! I hope the developer keeps on developing this truly outstanding tool.

  • Harshith
    4 months ago

    This is an awesome add-on! It's a bit hard in the beginning but beyond that it's one powerful tool

  • Beau Stine
    5 months ago

    Like a few others have mentioned, this add on can be a little intimidating at first. Once you learn how the ID slots work and all the different settings it's actually a really useful tool for quickly making buildings/structures.

    Additionally, Julien is very quick at responding for any questions and help needed.

    Thanks for making this amazing add on Julien! :)

  • pilamin
    7 months ago

    The best of its kind so far. Other geonode addons are far too broadminded in their approach, lacking control. This one nudges towards a more granular approach, not too much, but there's more practical control here.

  • Guillaume
    8 months ago

    One of the best asset actually aviable for semi-procedural building on Blender. Ready to use, simple and efficient, the possibility are enougth to quickly help you make multiple iteration of building design. It's a must have

  • Jackson
    9 months ago

    Excellent tool to help with the agility of creating projects, unfortunately I'm not having much luck using it due to constant failures, I can't even finish a construction because Blender always closes randomly, losing everything I was doing. I hope there is an improvement in the future.

  • Steffen
    10 months ago

    I started using Houdini since the last year having been frustrated enough by the snails pace and, sometimes, just unbelieveably asinine decisions that the Blender Foundation made over the last 4 years.
    While I find new, custom nodes for every conceivable kind of problem and idea as Houdini evolves, one generation more powerful than the next, things with Blender are becoming increasingly fussy and nonsensical.

    This is the kind of toolset I want to evolve. Like what Tissue was/is.

    Maybe in the future, we will be able to do interiors, as a seperate module perhaps.

    This is the kind of easy to understand, use and immediate tool that perfectly contrasts
    everything that makes Blender so cumbersome(and, frankly idiotic).
    A light at the end of the tunnel that the Blender Foundation should have steered Blender into ALL BY ITSELF.
    But why give a dam when you can just wait for others to do the work for you and pay you a nice percentage.
    Without the community Blender would still be a absolute joke with all manner of halfbaked and abandoned features.

  • Seth Rutledge
    10 months ago

    This is the perfect level of procedural but still controllable. Too many auto generators make beautiful things that always look like the creator’s work. This add-on shines when you start making your own kits to use with it.

  • derreiko
    11 months ago

    An amazing add-on and a great time-saver already. I was testing it intensely over the last days- now I'm not certain if this forum is the right way to provide some feedback, but I will try anyways :)

    Currently, I experience quite a few crashes when setting up the building, regular saves are necessary.

    The roofs are great already, but It would be cool if an independent roof-material could be set for the tiled and the flat roof: I usually want a flat roof to be a "balcony" style, and for the tiled roof, its great to have a different underlying texture.

    I usually explore quite a few angles within one building. When those angles are in connection with a roof, the angles of the tiles get irregular and the grid will be broken. Would it be possible to have an option to align the tiles to the surface normal, instead of the global one?

    Is it possible to include a setting in which support pillars can be turned off by using a specific material?

    Thank you already, and keep up the great work :)

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Sales 1300+
Customer Ratings 18
Average Rating
Dev Fund Contributor
Published 12 months ago
Blender Version 4.0, 3.6
License GPL
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