The makers of this application describe it as “a free interior design application that helps you draw the plan of your house, arrange furniture on it and visit the results in 3D.” That is so cool!
So I opened it up and within minutes had designed at simple floor plan of a balcony. Here it is:
It is so easy to use that I reckon that it is actually brilliant for its intended purpose. Walls are simply point, click and drag lines. Windows and doors are dragged into place. To set heights, just double click on the object and type in the new dimensions. Let me just repeat myself: it is so easy to use!
Note: the free version does not come with more than 30 or 40 pieces of furniture, but you can buy an extended version that has everything (or so they claim).
So I exported this balcony as an object and then imported it into DAZ Studio. DAZ imports its slightly above the ground plane and at an angle, but that is easy enough to fix. The good thing is that the scale is perfect for DAZ figures. I added a simple copper texture as its surface.
Then I threw in a couple of figures (a man and dragon) and dystopian city blocks (free DAZ objects by 3D artist Moebius87). Played with lighting. Rendered with LuxRender. This part literally took me about 20 minutes.
I then imported the resulting png file into Photoshop and replaced the back background with a night sky I developed using a space technique learnt a couple of post ago (so probably another 15 minutes of effort). And voila!
My conclusion is that Sweet Home 3D is good for quickly creating architectural objects. Indeed, I suspect that with a bit of planning I could probably use it to create the skeleton of a brilliant setting which I could then import into Blender and add detail. I would do it this way because I actually believe that for the basics of wall building it is faster (at least for me it is).
A big thanks to Mustakettu for putting me onto this.