Creating roofs in 3ds max

Creating a roof in 3ds max is a very time consuming task, especially if you need it to be very detailed, with 3d shingles on it. Whenever I need to do a rendering of a mediterranean  architecture style villa (where I can’t get away with texture maps), I spend more time creating the roof than I spend on the rest of the project.

Lately I came across a plugin that seems to be a real time saver. It’s called roof designer, and it is developed by batzal software.
I got to play with it a little and I must say I’m pretty impressed. Not only it can create parametrical roofs that come out with the uvw mapping ready, but it can also create roofs covered with 3d shingles meshes. One can either choose from the presets that are available with the software but also can use customized 3d models of shingles and place it correctly on the roof surface almost instantly. You can also create ridges, export edges to create gutters, or even control color variation for more realism.

The workflow is not complicated but if you have only worked with 3d max and don’t have experience with programs like “allplan”, you may find it a bit difficult at the beginning, since it’s a little different than what you have been used to.  But once you understand it, you will see that it’s a real time saver.

As always, there are also some things that could be improved:
1)    Since you have specified the height of the roof and the outline is set, why does it require to you to enter the angle? In my opinion, it should be calculated automatically.

2)    I can’t find a way to cap the shingles that were cut, other than doing it manually after having converted it to editable poly. (I am waiting for an answer from the support team, just in case there is a way to do it within the software)

3)     The documentation could have contained more tutorials. However, the support guys seem to be very helpful; you can contact them directly, or open a thread on their forum and you will receive an answer from them regarding your problem.

Having this said, I think that overall this plugin can save you a lot of time. You can download the fully functional plugin and use it for 14 days without any obligation (plenty of time for you to understand it)
For more details, check out the official website:

  1. Hello,
    Thanks for the compliments.
    As for the questions:
    1. Batzal Software Roof Designer helps modeling the roof by keeping its faces flat while you either define the their vertices height, their slopes direction or slopes angle. A face of the roof can get its slope angle and direction from its vertices position but it must have more than three of them constrained to some height, either by manually constraining them or by sharing them with some other constrained face.

    2.The Roof Designer plugin provides several cutting methods. The cookie cutting method caps the tiles which are cut while the edge cutting method doesn’t. It is usually used to cut tiles which meet on a roof ridge and are usually covered with a ridge cap. The plugin also provides several methods to arrange tiles so they won’t stick out of the roof.

    3. This is possible. We’ll try to add some more tutorials to the documentation file. Our users suggestions and requests are always welcome and can always be posted on our website forum.

    Asaf Amrami
    Batzal Software

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