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DesignWorkshop Tutorial

Part 3 -- Front Porch

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1. Now we'll add a front porch to the cottage, starting with a block for the porch floor. Select the Block tool again from the tool palette, and then type the zero key to drop the 3D crosshair down to the ground plane. Move the crosshair horizontally to align with the front left (southeast) corner of the building. Starting at that corner, drag out a block which goes 6' to the east, the full 20' width of the building to the north, and upward 2'.

2. We'll use a slightly different approach to create the porch roof. Noticing that the porch roof block will be similar in size to the porch floor block, we'll clone the block we just made and then turn the clone into a porch roof.

The cloning is easy. With the porch floor block still selected, since it was just created, pull down the Edit menu and give the Duplicate command.

Next move the new block into the right location in plan. Typing the arrow keys will move a selected object one snap-grid space at a time. Since the Duplicate function offsets the new object by two snap-grid units south and east, type the Up arrow key twice, and the left arrow key twice, to put the new block in exactly the same place as the porch floor.

Shaded view of the gable roof

Now, option-drag on the selected block to lift it straight up into position. Option-drag upward until the V field in the location bar reads 10', meaning the block has moved upward that much. (This will give 8' head room over the 2' high porch.)

Shaded view of the gable roof

3. With the porch roof in place, the next step is to adjust its shape. A slightly different view will be helpful for this, so get the Eye tool, and drag your view point downward a little. When done, the view should match the next illustration. After you've worked with the DesignWorkshop Eye tool and Look tool for a while, you'll find that adjusting your view to get the best angle on things as you work becomes almost unconscious, like moving your head to see things better in real life.

While you're still getting used to DesignWorkshop, avoid trying to do a lot of block building when the view direction is too close to horizontal, as indicated by the horizon line being visible below the top of the document window. Because of the natural geometry of perspective projections, the 3D crosshair may seem to get "stuck" above the horizon. If this happens, just type 0 to bring the crosshair back to the ground, or use the Eye tool to change the view direction.

Returning to the process of forming the porch roof, we'll pull down the top front edge of the roof block about a foot, leaving a foot of fascia. First space-jump to the top front mid-edge handle of the roof, then option-drag it downward one foot.

To finish the porch roof, pull up the top back edge, establishing the pitch Space-Jump to the top back edge of the porch roof block, then option-drag to pull it upward two feet.

Shaded view of the gable roof

4. Your new porch roof needs some structure to hold it up. We'll make one post, and then duplicate it across the front of the porch. In this case it's probably easiest to place the first post in the right place by drawing it down from the top, rather than up from the bottom.

To do this, click on the Block tool again, and then space-jump to the front-most bottom handle of the porch roof. Then press the mouse button and carefully drag out a half-foot by half-foot rectangle, watching the projection lines at the ground plane (and so the location bar reads E -0.5, S -0.5), and then option-drag downward until the post just sits on the porch floor block (V -8.0).

The finished post should match the next illustration.

5. Duplicating the posts is easy. First, notice the orientation of the north arrow. The posts will want to duplicate to the north. Pull down the Edit menu and give the Duplicate Multiple command. The porch is 20' wide, so set the total number of objects to 5, the displacement eastward to 0, the displacement southward to -5', and the vertical displacement to 0 (since north equals negative south). Then click OK to duplicate the objects.

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