Saturday, October 1, 2016

Rendering in Revit

Lately I have been doing some rendering jobs on the side, not a lucrative exercise (one job costed out around $10/hr), but keeps my Revit skills being exercised and the rendering part is fairly minor.

After my reinstall of Windows 7, although I could now use the Suite Workflow, I chose not to as it was  much easier and faster just to render within Revit.  This is probably an indication of my lack of experience with 3D Max Design than a desirable workflow, as the results, which I would say were not fantastic.  But, hey, I'm cheap!

One of the jobs was for a large number of townhouses on one big site, something I had never attempted before.  It seemed to work out in the end though.

This was for a Real Estate man, who was trying to sell off plans, which were actually done in some 3D package, but their renders must have been on the expensive side. One of their renders was so good I thought it was a photo. Hmmf!

Still, people want an idea of what they are buying, and to that end I did a lot of views with walls removed, especially as these units were up to 3 stories high and side by side, ie terrace houses.

So every unit had a helicopter view using Showcase, with walls removed, as in:

Here are some renders of the complex:

The next job was for a free standing house:

The inner views were done using Revit, which if you choose 300 dpi and Best will take around 2 hours rendering time. The inner view showing the man in is suffering from over exposure of the outside, which if I had photoshop could be corrected, but I was fairly pleased with the interior shots.

There is a man, Andrew Price, who came up in a google search regarding rendering, naming the 13 Deadly Sins of Architectural Rendering.  It seems I am guilty of a few of these, but as he says, you have to look up how to do photography to do good renders.  

Here is his link:

One of the Revit render drawbacks is the sky, and he seems to address this problem by using HDRI Sky, which is essentially a dome shaped background that emits light, so your renders come out a little more realistically.  You can have this in 3DS Max, but not in Revit, as far as I know. In a previous post I showed a render using an HDRI Sky, but as I use it only rarely, it has me going back to a tutorial on how to get it going.

Just to be complicated, he uses a thing called Blender, which is basically a thing like 3DS Max, but is free to download. 

This set me off looking at his other videos, and one thing he does do is offer cut down versions of add-ons that he has made, so I downloaded a thing called ProSkies, which gives you 3 HDRI skies to try. 

After downloading and installing Blender, trying this out proved that I did not have a handle on how to use Blender.  So back to Youtube for some more free tutorials on Blender.  Andrew has done some free ones, but sells a full tutorial set as well.

I did manage to import an FBX model, but the materials did not come through from Revit, so things looked a bit ugly as in:

Typcial of my problems with blender is I cannot see the button that says "Save this image", so I used the Windows snipping tool to do this one. The colours are me playing around with materials.

Blender has infuriating little short cuts that you have to know, otherwise nothing happens.  There is no better option for a beginning user than a good tutorial on Youtube.

To this end, you could look at a series by Jacob Lewis:

You might think, why are you mucking around with a free program when you have paid for 3D Sudio Max?  The answer is I find 3D Studio Max difficult to use, which is really not  the fault of 3DSudio Max, but of myself learning new tricks!

After seeing Andrew Price's renders I thought it might be fun to give Blender a try. 

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