How to create tray ceiling shown in user guide?


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At the end of the Interior Design Tutorial chapter (Chapter 4), you are invited to add other furnishings to the Master Bedroom. The picture shows that the room has a ceiling fan in the middle of an octagonal trey ceiling. My question is, how do you create this ceiling in Home Architect (Pro, 2021)? I see how you can create a rectangular trey ceiling with soffits, but I don't see how to create the octagonal shape.


BTW, it's not that I want to exactly duplicate the picture in the tutorial. I actually would like to create ceilings like this in my designs.


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*** I see you said Pro 2021 ***


Answers often depend on which title (Suite, Pro etc) and version (2018, 2019 etc) you are using.


You can help everyone by adding that info to your signature (see below for how to turn them on) by clicking on your user name at the top right of the page, click Account Settings, then Signature on the left.


Doing so makes it always available, and keeps others from having to hunt for it.


And, turn on signature display too.






Resources for self help:


The built in Help System (always a good place to start)




Home Designer - Getting Started - Setting Preferences and Defaults
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Thanks very much for the quick reply. I updated my signature as you suggested, but I have Home Designer Pro 2021. The tutorial I was referring to was the Home Designer Pro User's Guide, available on the Documentation page, but the same material is packaged separately on the Tutorials page under "Interior Design Tutorial". I did another search of the forum. It turns out that spelling "tray" correctly improves the search results! Now I see 17 results; I'll examine them.


Separately, I searched the internet and found a video, but it was for Chief Architect, not Home Designer. It showed using a tray ceiling tool that had a polyline feature. I'm not sure if this is in Home Designer, or if they used a different technique to create a non-rectangular tray ceiling.

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I browsed the 17 or so posts about tray ceilings, and watched the knowledge base videos. I see how to use soffits to recess a rectangular ceiling. But the closest I found about making a more complex shape was this post that suggested using a slab: I found videos on YouTube about making these ceilings from polylines, for example, with rounded shapes for the corners, but they were for Chief Architect, not HD.


What would be the best approach in HD Pro 2021 to make an octagonal ceiling like this one, shown in the Home Designer Pro 2021 User's Guide? (e.g. on page 86 and 101)



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No that's probably good. I just wondered if this is still the preferred way to do it, versus, say using partition walls or invisible railings to make an inner room. Or maybe a "lite" form of the the CA tray ceiling tool is in HA, but perhaps I did not see it?


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Converting a polyline works great.



Here are the steps, in case anyone is interested. (Or if I forget how I did it and search the forum again.)

  • Create a square polyline that is at least a little bigger than 1/4 of the octagonal hole. If a side of the octagon is S inches, that would be S * (1 + sqrt(2)) / 2, or S * 1.207107. In this picture, the sides are 36", so that is 43.4558, or about 43 7/16. A 50" square would be fine. Make sure the lower right corner is in the desired center of the octagon. (In retrospect, 36" sides may be too long for this room. You can plug whatever side length you want in the formula above.)
  • Use the break tool to put breaks on the right and bottom sides of the square polyline. Each break should be S * 1.207107 in from the lower right corner.
  • Pull the lower right corner of the polyline up and to the left until the pulled sides are parallel to the top and left edges, to make an L shape.
  • Put two more breaks on the inside corner you just made, S/2 inches in.
  • Pull the inner corner down and to the left until you create a diagonal of the octagon. It should be S inches long, and the horizontal and vertical sides should be S/2. Now you have a quarter of the octagon. You will copy and reflect this in a minute.
  • (Note: you don't have to make an octagon. For example, you could make a rectangle that follows the shape of your room.; put breaks in it so you can make an L shape; make a fillet curve in the inner corner; the pull the curve out into a convex shape.)
  • Decide how you want to handle the bump-up. If your room has a regular shape, you might raise the entire ceiling, or leave it as it is and plan to drop down the shape you're making. Either way, you would have to extend your shape to the corners of your room. Alternatively, you could create an inner room with room divider walls set just outside the hole you are making, and just bump up the ceiling there.
  • Now use the Convert To... tool to convert it to a countertop. Make the thickness 6" (or whatever you like). Set the bottom position to your main ceiling height, or the top position to the bumped-up ceiling height. If you like, add a crown molding to your edges. You could also set the material to drywall and pick the color you like, or do that later in the 3d view.
  • Now select the right edge, where it will join a reflected copy, and delete the crown molding there (if you added molding). Do the same for the bottom edge.
  • Make a duplicate copy of your countertop, reflected about the right edge. Shift-select both copies and make a duplicate copy of the pair, reflected about the bottom axis.
  • Now the 4 copies make a symmetrical octagon (or whatever shape you decided to make). Paint it if you didn't before.

Note: I converted to a countertop because I knew you could add molding. Not sure if you can with slabs, but if you don't need molding it should work the same. This is just a decorative effect. I imagine CA could do actual framing plans and materials lists.


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Thanks very much for making that video, Eric! I never thought of using the decking tool to get the shape. Plus I enjoyed watching an experienced use like you manipulate the program because I saw tricks and techniques I haven't learned yet (like the easy way you made 3 reflected copies.)


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