V1.0 Key Feature: Surface Graphs & Attachments
Finishes, trim, and FF&E are some of the last parts of a building to be installed, but they’re a central element of building design. These elements can be added easily in Modumate using our Surface Graph and Attachment layers and tools.

V1.0 Key Feature: Surface Graphs & Attachments

Finishes, trim, and FF&E are some of the last parts of a building to be installed, but they’re a central element of building design. These elements can be added easily in Modumate using our Surface Graph and Attachment layers and tools.
February 19, 2021

Surface Graphs: Finishing up your buildings

Surface Graphs and Attachments are the third and final layers of Modumate’s 4 Layer Hierarchy. The first 2 layers, the Massing Graph and Separators, are the skeleton and assemblies of your building. Surface Graphs and Attachments are where the finishing touches come in place, things like adding custom millwork. 


Similar to your Massing Graph, Surface Graphs are the 2D diagram of planes and lines onto which attachments (finishes and trim) will host. The steps to creating Surface Graphs are straightforward, but pay attention to its fragility. Like how real construction takes place, you need to complete the structures and fixtures (Separators)  before applying finishes and trims (Attachments). If you delete or modify the parent Separator of a surface graph, the surface graph will often be deleted.


The Surface Graph tool (hotkey SG) allows you to create a surface graph by clicking on any desired regions. The same tool is also used to subdivide surface regions for more details. 


Attachments 

You can decorate your walls, floors, ceilings, and rooms by hosting Attachments (Finishes, Cabinets, Trims, and FF&E) to Surface Graphs. 


Attachments are hosted and crafted just like the primary structure and spatial assemblies (Separators) - Finishes are like Walls, and Trims are like Beams - the only difference is that Attachments are applied to a Surface Graph instead of a Massing Graph.

Finishes: All about Surfaces

Finishes are surface-based assemblies like paint, tiles, and flooring that contribute to the “style” of your rooms. 

 

In old 3D tools, Finishes are merely JPEG texture maps applied to surfaces, but we all know this does not represent how a finish would actually be built. The application of finishes usually involves one or more layers to form the final exposed surface.


Similar to creating walls in Modumate, you can use the “Finish” tool to apply finishes. After choosing a Finish Preset from our list, you can click on any surface graph region to host your finish. If you can’t find a finish you need, you can edit and customize our presets to meet the exact specifications!


Instead of flat textures applied to a surface, Modumate’s finishes are 3D assemblies with thicknesses and material - finishes can be viewed in instant renders from its surfaces and cut planes for layered assemblies.

Don’t forget about Trim!

A small but mighty design element, trim is a type of decorative and protective millwork like baseboards, handrails, molding, gutters, transition strips, etc. 

 

In Modumate, trims are edge-based assemblies just like Beams and Columns - extrusions of trim profiles are added on any surface graph edges. 

 

Under Attachment View Mode, you can find the “Trim” tool to add and edit your trims. By clicking on the “edit” button on the right of each Trim preset, you can customize your trims by typing its dimensions.

Tips, Tricks, and Benefits:

  1. Attachments are fragile - they only can be hosted on separators. If the parent Separator changes its massing graph, the Surface Graph will be deleted.
  2. The most efficient sequence to model your building is to follow Modumate’s layer hierarchy; thus, we suggest finishing with all the Separators before adding Surface Graphs to them. 
  3. Modumate’s Hybrid Drawing Mode allows you to create a Surface Graph and host an Attachment onto it, in one click. You can find the “Host” button under the Attachment Menu. Select and Edit your preset and host it to a Surface Graph. 
  4. Our FF&E library is growing to support other programs, such as retails, restaurants, offices, etc. You can browse through our collections to decorate the rooms. Also, you can easily swap each FF&E to try on different design options. 


Ready to decorate your project?

We’d love to hear about your thoughts on Modumate. Send us an email at info@modumate.com and we will personally respond to your suggestions.


-the Modumate team


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Modumate is a 3D building design platform for professional architects and contractors who draft drawing sets in 2D CAD, quantity estimates, and renderings.

Using Unreal Engine 4’s gorgeous graphics and our unprecedented approach to BIM, we supercharge your 3D design abilities and export instant 2D DWG backgrounds, quantity estimates, and renderings.

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