3D Wall Builder Documentation

About

3D Wall Builder is a program that creates wall, floor, ceiling, mosaic and other design patterns that can be used in computer games, CAD/CAM, 3D Video production, masonry design and more.

Requirements

  • CPU with SSE2 instruction set support
  • 32bit or 64bit Windows 7 or better
  • 300MB of disk space
  • Graphics card with DX10+ (shader model 4.0) capabilities.

Installing

Get the latest version from: http://downloads.galaxytron.com/Install3DWallBuilder.zip

Windows 7/8/10

Download the zip and use windows unzip feature to unzip the contents into a folder. The software is signed by our partner Digital Dimensions Inc., but the code signing we use isn’t compatible with Microsoft’s trusted executable from browser so we are required to wrap the program in a zip.

After it is unzipped you can run the Installer exe file.  This uses Inno Setup to help install the 3D Wall Builder. It will add a link your startups and ask if you would also like an icon placed on the desktop.

Getting Started

When you start 3D Wall Builder you will see a left hand menu section, a top quick bar menu and the rest of the screen contains the 3D/2D view port.  The left menu’s sections start collapsed except for the Main Menu. You can click on the header for any section to expand it. Or use the Quick Menu buttons on the Quick Bar to expand a specific section while collapsing all the others.

Click on the Build button to build a wall. The program will generate bricks based on the brick style selected, the default is “First Fit”. There are others in the drop down in Wall Settings, such as the traditional brick style “Running Bond”. Details of these brick styles is explained in the Wall Settings section.

When in 3D view you can rotate the wall by click inside the view port and holding the Right Mouse Button down and moving the mouse. You can zoom in and out by using the scroll wheel.

When in 2D mode and if you have multiple wall segments you can use the arrow keys to move between segments.

When you are ready to export the texture maps of your wall you click the Export button. See Export  / Save Maps panel section.

The shapes for creating walls can vary between bricks, cinderblocks, rocks, stones, tiles and others. However for clarity we will refer to each of these shapes as bricks.

Quick Bar

The quick bar at the top contains some useful buttons. Most are seen and explained elsewhere such as Build, 3D View, Back, however there are few unique buttons just to the quick bar.

Clear: This button will erase all the bricks on the wall.

Map Views

Only the Quick Bar has buttons for the map views. Use the map views to get a visual of what the texture maps will look like.

Color: This is your basic visual look of the wall.

Normal: A preview of the normal map view. The normal map looks blue and is used to tell graphics engines to bound light off an object at different angles giving it the illusion of more geometry that isn’t actually in the polygon mesh.

Height Map: Contains more macro shape information when it comes to height when paired with a normal map.

Occlusion: Specifies how bounded light and colors reflect of the object. The more white the more bounce is allowed, the darker the less bounce and more sharper shadows are created for these regions.

Main Menu

Build: This button builds the wall, it is also located on the Quick Menu.

2D View/3D View: This button toggles between 3D and 2D in the view port, it is also in the quick bar.

Show Back: Only selectable in 2D view it allows you to switch the camera to view the back side of the wall. It is also on the Quick Menu.

Hide Mortar: Toggles the mortar fill plane on and off.

Show Segments: Only clickable if you have more then 1 wall segment. Default setting is 1 wall segment so it is not clickable at start, you can change the number of wall segments in the Wall Settings section.  Showing segments highlights each segment so you visualize how the maps will be broken up.

Export: Opens the Export / Save Maps panel for exporting the texture maps.

Wall Settings

Segments

Texture maps are exported as squares segments. Each segment is the same size as the starting mortar that appears. You can change the number of segments to generate to a max of 12×12. Creating a 2X2 wall segment would produce 4 sets of wall maps for each side (if you select to generate maps for both sides.)

Wall Width: Set the number of segments width wise.

Wall Height: Set the number of segments height wise.

Bricks

Select Shapes: This button opens the shapes selection panel.  Shapes are what objects are used for creating the wall over the mortar. There are many different shapes but we will often refer to all of them as bricks. Selected bricks are highlighted in green.  Clicking a shape toggles it between selected and not selected.

Select Textures: Bricks have a default texture on them and that is used unless you select one or more textures from this panel. Selected textures are highlighted in green. If you select more then one texture from this panel the bricks will randomly be assigned one of the textures when placed on the wall.

Cruder Variations: Use this to set a percentage chance of the brick shapes to be cruder variations of the original shapes selected. Setting this to 100 will make all cruder variations and 0 will have none.

Brick Style Dropdown: This specifies what type of pattern to use when placing bricks on the wall. The default is First Fit, the traditional style for bricks we commonly see is Running Bond. Each style is explained below.

  • First Fit: Starting at the bottom left, a brick is randomly selected and placed in the available space. The next random brick is placed to the right of it. At the end of the row the next brick is placed on the top of the last rows brick on the left and the pattern repeats.
  • Random: Bricks are placed at random locations available on the wall until the wall is filled up.
  • Stacked Bond: Uses the stacked bond method of placing the bricks starting at bottom left.
  • Running Bond: Most traditional style of brick patterns. Starts at the bottom left.
  • English Bond: Uses the English bond style. Similar to Running Bond but ever 4th row includes half bricks.
  • Flemish Bond: Uses the Flemish bond style. Similar to Running Bond but a quarter sized brick is used between larger bricks.
  • Basket Weave: Uses the Basket Weave style.
  • Herringbone: Tries to use the Herringbone style but it is not perfect and will be fixed in a future release.
  • Garden Wall: Leaves gaps between bricks which is the traditional style of a garden wall. There are 2 variants and both have flaws in their implementation and will be fixed in  a future release.
  • Common Bond: Uses the Common Bond style which is similar to English bond.

Even Row First: The way these patterns begins assumes starting with an odd row which some patterns use for determining row offsets. You can alter the way these patterns look by telling it to start with the Even row by checking this box.

Brick Size: Bricks all come with a specific size, shown in their description on the Select Shapes panel.  You can use this slider to adjust their size smaller or larger.  The default for all bricks is size 4, making this lower will reduce the size but a brick can’t go below the size of 1.

Gap Vertical / Gap Horizontal: By default there is no gap between the bricks, but you may want to add a gap to create a more realistic looking wall that shows the mortar. You can actually make the bricks overlap one another by going into the negative. For a traditional mortar and brick wall the setting for the gap should be around .02 to .06

Mortar Settings

Select Mortar: This button opens the Select Mortar panel. It is the same set of textures as for the bricks and works the same way except you can only select one texture.

Lighting

Lighting effects shadows and hues of the wall.

Spotlight Toggle: By default a directional spotlight is used to light the wall. Turning it off will use an ambient light and remove shadows.

Lighting Rotation: Only when using the Spotlight can you adjust the lighting X and Y rotation to make shadows at different angles.

Lighting Intensity: Only when using the Spotlight can you adjust its intensity level. The higher the intensity the more white the wall will appear.

Light Color: Opens a color picker panel to change both the Spotlight and Ambient color.

Amplify Occlusion

This section has various controls for adding Occlusion shadows, which effects the intensity of shadows between the bricks.

Randomization

This panel has various settings for helping create random effects for each brick.

Random Brick Orientation (Flip X / Flip Z): When selected bricks have an evenly random chance to be rotated 180 degrees in these axis.

Random Texture Tiling (Offset X / Offset Y): When selected the textures applied to the bricks will be randomly offset so the patterns on the face don’t always match with every other brick.

Random Texture Tiling (Scale X / Scale Y): When selected the texture scale will be bumped by random factor from 100% to 150%.

Random Object Depth

These controls allow you to set a chance and minimum and maximum depth of the bricks. By default bricks are placed exactly in the center and will all be flushed when using the same or same sized bricks.

Random Angles

These settings allow for random tilting and angles of the bricks in the X,Y and Z axis. The first slider is the random chance 0 to 100% that each brick will have an uneven angle applied. The other sliders control the maximum amount 0 to 45 degrees the object might be tilted.

Random Color Change

Effects the chance of bricks to have a change in Hue and Brightness.

Random Row Sizing

Mostly used with First Fit and Bond style patterns, it can give a random chance for a row of bricks to have a new specific height size.

Random Effects

Cracked Brick Chance: Default is 0. Adjusting it increases the random chance for bricks to have a second texture of cracks applied to them.

FX

This section allows you to add special effect overlays (up to 6) as a layer. Layers are projections of a type of texture and mask. Most masks are based on a noise generator, adjust the noise using the following.

Strength: This slider multiplies the alpha channel by the value.

Gain: Effects how much gain is included in the noise generation.

Resolution: Effects how big the noise pattern will be.

Banding: In most effects 2 layers of noise are created, one using a turbulence and the other a marble banding. This slider lets you lerp (blend) between them. The lower the value the more random and spotty, the higher the more vertical banding will occur.

Opaque: This slider can be used before or after the layer is generated to adjust it’s alpha channels.

Rotate: Can be used to rotate some of the effects mask. Each click rotates the mask by 90 degrees clockwise. This only rotates the mask, not the texture.

Generate: This button makes the layer and projects it on the wall. (NOTE! Depending on the number of wall segments the effects generated can take a long time. The more wall segments width or height the more time it will take to generate.)

Delete: Delete the layer.

Border

There are four parts of the border: Top, Bottom, Ends and Corners. Each allows you to select a specific shape, a custom texture and adjust the size of the brick shapes selected.

  • Top: The top row of bricks.
  • Bottom: The bottom row of bricks.
  • Ends: Both left and right end bricks.
  • Corners: One brick in each of the very most corners of the wall.

Actions

Actions is not very useful so is not included in the Quick Menu bar.

Settle Bricks: After a wall is created you can use this button to apply gravity and physics to the bricks causing them to drop down on top of one another in a natural way.

Explode Wall: For fun, why not.

Editor Settings

Save Settings: Saves almost all the settings as they are in the editor. A panel will open where you can save these settings as  a .wsd file to be loaded again with Load Settings.

Load Settings: Opens a panel to select a previously saved .wsd settings file. This will change almost all the settings in the editor that contained in the settings file you open.

Default Settings: Reverts most of the settings to the original defaults.

Quick Bar: Toggle the top Quick bar menu on or off.

Background Color: Default is black. Change the background in the port view.

Nudge Amount: Effects the amount of nudging done when using the nudge keys (Plus/Minus/Arrows) on a selected brick.

Select Export Directory: This changes the export directory. A directory selection panel will open, use it to navigate to a directory where you want the maps created to be saved to. Once changed it will remember this path when you restart 3D wall builder and is not saved or changed from Save/Load settings.

Render

This section adjust some core effects.

Vertex Lit: When on the rendering method uses Vertex Lit.

Normal Map Height: Use this to tweak the height effect of normal maps. You can see it in action if you select the Map View “Normal” and adjust the slider setting.

Normal Map Interval: Effects jus the normal maps interval setting, default is 0.

Occlusion Height Dot: Adjust the Occlusion maps height dot spacing, you can best see it’s effects when in 2D view and using Map Views “Occlusion”.

Mangler Export

Mangler is an effect that can be selected when saving/exporting textures. There is a checkbox on the export panel to produce these alternative versions (as well as the original) of the texture maps. Mangler takes rectangular cutouts of the texture and stamps then in random locations on the outputting texture using alpha feathered edges. This effect can be useful for producing texture maps that don’t appear to be pattern saturated.

Amount: This slider indicates the number of rectangle stamps to produce. The rectangles will each have a random origin and size.

Feather Pixel Distance: The width of the edges of the stamp that use an alpha gradient to soften the stamp. The lower this number the more obvious the rectangle stamp will be.

About / Help

This section had external buttons to this product and it’s online documentation. It also shows if the product is registered. If it is registered your registration information is displayed.

Key Commands

3D View

Rotate Wall: Hold Left mouse button down and drag mouse.

Zoom: Use scroll wheel on mouse.

(Plus Key): Move brick forward

(Minus Key): Move brick backwards

(Arrow Keys): Move brick up/down/left/right

Delete Key: Delete a brick

Insert Key: Fill in any deleted bricks

F1: Export / Save Map panel

F2: Load Settings

F3: Save Settings

F4: Color Texture View

F5: Normal Texture View

F6: Height Texture View

F7: Occlusion Texture View

B: Open the Brick Shape Selection panel.

T: Open the Texture Selection panel.

Escape: Close all panels

3D View Brick Selection

In 3D View after you have built a wall you can select individual bricks by moving the mouse over them and click the left mouse button. You will see bricks glow red when hovering over and green when selected.

A (Held Down): Adjust brick angle with mouse.

S (Held Down): Adjust brick size

Keypad Arrows: Nudges the texture maps offset in the direction of the arrow.

Keypad 7 & 9: Changes the scaling of the texture smaller and larger.

2D View

(Arrow Keys): If there is more then 1 wall segment, use the arrow keys in 2D View to move between them.

F: Back Side Toggle

F1: Export / Save Map panel

F2: Load Settings

F3: Save Settings

F4: Color Texture View

F5: Normal Texture View

F6: Height Texture View

F7: Occlusion Texture View

B: Open the Brick Shape Selection panel.

T: Open the Texture Selection panel.

Escape: Close all panels