Rendering in Revit: 2D, 3D and 4D

Rendering in Revit: 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design Class Description Revit has long been able to produce stunning renders, and the...
0 downloads 2 Views 5MB Size
Rendering in Revit: 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Class Description Revit has long been able to produce stunning renders, and the recent upgrade to the MentalRay rendering engine gives the Revit user the ability to produce 3DS Max quality images. For some projects though, you will need more than basic black-andwhite plans to produce the right image, but might not have the time to spend producing detailed renderings; this presentation will give you the knowledge you need to produce dynamic images in Revit for use with other graphics applications, or directly in Revit itself In 2D – bring plans, sections and elevations to life with colour shades and shadows In 3D – Use the improved MentalRay Materials to create live views that look like they have been pre-rendered. In 4D – the latest presentation technology – solid printing is becoming easier to access and very affordable. Revit has basic support for 3D printing, but you’ll learn how to produce stunning models in full colour.

About the Speaker: Adrian’s range of experience in many different fields of architecture gives him a wide perspective of the challenges of the construction process. His extensive knowledge of Revit software and techniques enables him to provide rapid and clear visualisation of details and documentation. Adrian has a keen interest in the use of new materials and technology in the design and construction process, in particular the use of energy-efficient and long-lifespan systems and materials.

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Rendering in Revit: 2D 3D 4D Introduction This presentation will demonstrate some of the possibilities Revit provides to present your designs inventively and dynamically. •



Three workflows will be shown: o 2D Presentation workflow for plans, elevations & sections o 3D Presentat ion workflow for dynamic 3D views And introducing: o “4D” – the emerging field of 3D printing, and the workflow required for easy-to-3D-print Revit designs.

Software required This presentation will use software other than Revit for image editing, page layout & 3D model editing. The software packages used for these demonstrations are a small selection of the wide variety of graphics packages available, and do not comprise a recommendation or Autodesk-approved workflow. The packages chosen are a mix of freely-available open-source software, Autodesk software or commercial software from other Vendors. •

Software used in this presentation: o Autodesk Revit 2011 o Autodesk 3D Max Design 2011 o Autodesk FBX converter o Paint.Net 3.5.5 from http://www.getpaint.net/ o Adobe Illustrator CS3 from http://www.adobe.com/ o ColorPic 4 from http://www.iconico.com/colorpic/

Page 2 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Setup - Hardware Any rendering software will always stress hardware to its limits. Bearing that in mind, one need not spend a fortune on top-line name brand hardware. A modest ‘high-end’ system from main street retailer can produce images as good as hardware costing nearly 5 times as much. Revit & most other modern software gain some advantages from multiple core CPUs. Most CPUs currently in production use at least two physical cores; Revit will make use of multiple cores to accelerate rendering tasks. Of greater importance is memory – all rendering and graphics production software require large allocations of memory to function; put simply, the more the better. A large memory pool will provide a small measure of speed increase; however the largest gains are made in the stability of the software and the number of applications that can be run concurrently. For instance with quad-core processor running 2 ‘threads’ or processes per core, has the capability to run a rendering in Revit or 3DS Max while concurrently editing images in another application such as a raster editor or page layout suite. This situation will only work smoothly idf there is enough memory available to run both applications and take care of the operating system overhead. The only way to achieve a large memory pool is to run a 64-bit operating system; preferably Windows 7 as it has many enhancements that allow smooth memory allocation in 64-bit capable systems. All applications should also be 64-bit versions, as 32-bit applications can only see a maximum 2GB at a time. Memory modules are comparatively cheap, and a system with 8GB RAM, a quad-core CPU and a Nvidia 280GTX graphics card can be found for less than $1,400 if you already have your own screens.

Page 3 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Setup – Software A hardware investment is only as good as the software that runs on it, so it pays to keep any production system neat and tidy. Good security software configured properly is vital these days, as is making frequent use of the Windows Update tools. If you are on a corporate network this aspect is usually taken care of for you; for smaller firms server software such as Windows Small Business Server 2008 can help manage software and security management across a wide array of Windows desktop operating systems. Backups are of supreme importance: “Un-backed up work is work you are prepared to lose”. Duplicates of backups should be kept off-site, to mitigate against disastrous loss of data such as fires or floods.

Setup – Revit Any form of rendering will take a significant amount of time, so any tweaks that will gain you an extra 10 minutes here or there are well worth the time implementing. There are many ways to optimise your Revit projects which can all be summed up as keep your projects clean. Clean projects will produce clean, trouble-free renders •

Keeping your projects clean entails: o o o o

Purge unused families, styles & materials (see note below) Well-made families with consistent Style & Material settings Consistently named and organised Materials Consistent file structure – important when using Design Options or Linked Projects

Page 4 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Purging Materials: A perennial conundrum. As yet there is unfortunately no automatic way of purging unused Materials from a project, so you will have to do this manually in the Manage - Materials dialogue box. Thankfully you can filter by unassigned materials, but you still have to delete them by hand, one... by... one... (A big HELLO! to all Revit developers here today!)

Keeping a project tidy will not only help your render speeds, it will improve all aspects of using Revit , from creating schedules to detailing bathroom elevations; it will also assist in creating and maintaining a valuable Project Template.

Page 5 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

2D Rendering – Making your plans look really good. Revit can produce some very professional renders using its MentalRaybased rendering engine, but there are often projects that don’t require or don’t have the time for a series of large renders. Not having the time or budget to produce half a dozen pretty renders doesn’t mean you have to present drawings that look like this:

This is a familiar, standard set of plans. It tells a builder or project manager a lot, but plans like this can be very intimidating for your clients. It takes training to learn to read plans, and most people will be too embarrassed to admit they find them hard to read.

Page 6 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

The most basic way to reduce the sterility of CAD drawings is to add some colour, which in Revit is done by switching the plans to Shaded Mode.

Shaded mode gives a little more information and realism; assuming you set your materials up correctly. With a little bit more experimenting, we can produce something a bit more radical, and easier to understand:

Page 7 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

This plan has been set up specifically for printing on large display panels, and is intended to be read from more than 1m away. It uses clear, vibrant colours and crisp line work to communicate, and large simple lettering to denote rooms and areas. In this case dimensions have been left off as they would simply clutter the drawing; the room areas are the important information on this plan. Using Revit ’s View Templates allows you to create a series of presentation styles that can be quickly copied between projects to create a library of presentation styles.

To turn a standard plan into a presentation plan, follow the following steps: o Set up basic view requirements – what you need to see. o Use Visibility/Graphics to set Annotation requirements:

In this case, we switch off categories such as Dimensions, Tags, Grids

Page 8 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Now we set the overrides for items like walls – here we are overriding the Cut Pattern of all walls with a Solid fill pattern, coloured Pantone Orange 021. Note that it is often worthwhile to use Pantone colours rather than RGB – if you are printing though a professional print house it helps to be able to provide target spot colours. It is also much easier to remember Pantone colours than RGB triplets The ColorPic application mentioned in the Introduction is a handy way of storing a custom palette of colours you use frequently, or on a project-by-project basis.

Page 9 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Next we set Categories such as Furnit ure & Casework to halftone, to give these items a fainter line work. o The final step adds the vital missing ingredient – depth. The traditional method of indicating depth is to vary line types, however this can be time consuming as there are no easy ways to do this automatically in Revit . We are added depth here by using Shadows, with a custom setting. Instead of using a realistic sun setting, we are using the ‘Lighting’ option in the Solar Study panel, and setting the azimuth to 190° and the altitude to 10° relative to view. We also set the shadows to an intensity of 40.

Page 10 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

The result is a simple, clear plan with a basic level of depth to help read the plans.

o To save this setting, use View – View Templates – Create Template from View. Use a good descriptive name, and save the template. o This template can now be applied to other plans to instantly convert them to presentation view, and copied to other projects using the Manage – Transfer Project Standards command.

Page 11 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Elevations in Revit can also look quite flat and just a touch boring as basic line work:

Even leaving the notes and level information on, a view like this can be turned into a near-photo quality rendering.

This is the same view with the Visual Style set to Shaded with Edges, Shadows on and a new setting available from the Graphics Display Options panel – Ambient Occlusion. This setting adds the depth shading that allows parts of the design to appear as if they are project out of the drawing. As of late April 2001 there is a slight catch to using Ambient Occlusion, which will be covered later...

Page 12 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Again, you can create view templates from this elevation, and apply the same settings to any other view. Experiment on a small project to discover new and unique presentation styles! One of the new functions in Revit 2011 is the Realistic Visual Style, which leads us to the next section – 3D rendering.

Realistic Visual Style with textures.

If you have a high-quality printer in-house, you can directly print your coloured images. If you are using an external print house, speak to them to find out what format they prefer to use. Adobe Acrobat is a common one, but be aware that some Acrobat settings can degrade your prints. Make sure the image conversion setting in the Acrobat printer driver are set t o sizes larger than 150dpi, and does not use strong compression like JPG on the images.

Page 13 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

The other method is to produce correctly-sized bitmap files by using the Export – Image command.

This is a basic TIFF export setup. Zoom is set to 100%, and image quality to 600dpi. This will produce a file size of roughly 30MB for an A1 size sheet. TIFF is used as this format does not introduce the compression artifacts that JPG produces. All render images should be produced in TIFF format rather than JPG for this reason.

Page 14 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

3D rendering The 2011 release of Revit brings an update to the MentalRay rendering engine, and adds new compatibility features to work with software such as 3D Max Design 2011. As mentioned previously the most notable addition is the realistic Visual Style; this mode provides a close-to-photo quality ‘hardware’ render of your project. Revit sends the colours and textures for the Render material to your video card, which then displays a partially-rendered view of your project in real time. This live render can be applied to any view, not just 3D views; you can use this technique with plans, sections, elevations, even details.

Page 15 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Combined with the techniques shown earlier for producing presentation plans, you can produce images that look fully rendered, but in fact are parametric views that will automatically update as you make changes.

Page 16 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Page 17 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Each of these views is a live 3D view, not a rendering. You can alter these views real-time and immediately see changes as if you had rerendered them. The key to creating live views like these is the Material texture setup – with no texture the views will still look quite flat. The isometric view in particular shows a very plain roof and plain grey lounge chairs. We will now create realistic-looking textures for these components.

Page 18 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Revit comes with an excellent range of pre-made render materials that are a great place to start for texture ideas. There is one major omission, particularly for Australian projects – there is no good texture for the ubiquitous corrugated metal roof.

Great selection – but no Colourbond!

There are two paths to making our corrugated roof texture – we can use bitmap images to produce the colour and bump maps, or we can use the new Procedural Textures to create our maps parametrically.

Page 19 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

For the Corrugated metal roof, we will create a parametric Procedural Texture. o Start by picking the Default Generic Material:

We are using the Generic material as it allows us to customize all aspects of the Material. There is a Standing Seam Roof material in the roofing category, but does not have many options for editing.

Page 20 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Firstly, we will select the overall colour for our roof:

Notice the very disappointing colour selector from the Render Materials palette; as incredible as it may sound, this appears to be a bug in the initial release of Revit 2011. This is a great opportunity to use the ColourPic application provide us with the colour we want, in this case Woodland Grey, a common Colourbond finish.

Page 21 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Using ColorPic to find our colour.

Note that we have added this colour to our Custom Colours in Revit... however there is another bug in Revit 2011 (astonishing! 2 bugs in one release?) that will scramble your custom colours every other session of Revit – the hex codes for the colours stored in the Revit.ini file get reversed every time you start Revit: this is a feature, not a bug!

Anyway, we now have our colour selected, note that the preview window now updates automatically.

Page 22 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Now we need to create our Bump map (named ‘Bump Map’ as it creates the illusion of ‘bumps’ in the surface). Open up the Bump menu section and select the Image pull-down

o Pick the Gradient option.

Page 23 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o The Gradient option will allow us to create the illusion of a rippled surface. The white parts of the gradient will appear raised; the black parts will appear sunken. Using a smooth gradient will give the look of a curved surface.

The gradient editor.

Page 24 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Add gradient points and set the colour to look like this:

Note that the texture size has been set to 80mm – close to the pitch of the ripples we are modelling.

Page 25 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Click done. The Preview updates, but the weird object shown doesn’t tell us much. Change the preview to a Cube:

This looks better! The shading is typical of corrugated metal. Note however that the surface is still flat – we are not physically modelling the ripples, so from a close-up view this won’t look right, but for most views of a roof it will not be noticeable. Page 26 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

We have lowered the Glossiness to 5 – Colourbond has only a very faint gloss to it, and set the Highlights to Non-Metallic. If you are using Zincalume you could set this to Metallic. The bump setting of 30 produces the right look – using larger number for this can make the bump pattern contrast too much. o Apply the Material to your object... and we encounter another (yes, really!) bug in Revit – it won’t save edited Procedural Textures! Oh, well. You know how to use them, so when the patch fixing all this comes out (hopefully it already has – big HELLO! again to all the developers in the audience! Raise your hands so we can get a good look at you...) you will know how to use it.

View with correct colour roof, but no bump pattern! Fix will be available any time now...

Page 27 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Now we will look at using bitmap images to do our textures: this is currently a slightly more reliable way of getting textures to work! Lets’ look at the lounge chairs:

o This time we will start by picking a Render Material that is close to the texture we want to model:

In this case, we are useing the Fabric – Caning – Tan material. Page 28 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

The texture is very close, but we want to match our product exactly, so we have downloaded a custom image from the manufacturer’s website:

As you can see, this material is tightly woven, and a different colour to our original. o At this point you will want to make sure you have you render folders set up correctly, as Revit will need to be able to find this texture map. Page 29 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Load the texture map into the Generic panel, and switch off the Cutout panel:

o We have set the texture size to 50mm, and set the image to tile vertically & horizontally. Note that the Colour selected in the Generic Panel has no effect – the bitmap overrides it. o Use exactly the same image and settings in the Bump Panel, and set the bump quite high this time – around 400. Page 30 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

o Click Apply, and you’ll see our rendered view update immediately:

If you set all of your materials up the same way, by either using the supplied materials with modifications, or creating your own materials with images stored in your texture paths, you can export the entire project directly to 3DS Max Design using FBX.

Page 31 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

FBX is a format from the CGI industry, and is a type of compressed archive containing your project as a 3DS geometry file, along with all of the texture settings from Revit , and including any custom bitmaps you have used. To Export to FBX, pick Export – FBX from the file menu. All you need to do is give the file a name. Once created, you can extract the 3DS file using Autodesk’s free FBX Converter. This allows you to use the 3DS file in other rendering packages, such as the free Blender. The 3DS file is also very useful for 3D printing, as it is one of the main formats 3D print software can read.

Page 32 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

“4D” rendering – the exciting new field of 3D-Printing 3D printing (or ‘Rapid Prototyping’ as it is also known) has been used in the aerospace and automotive industries for more than a decade, but it has only become affordable for architects in the past couple of years. Prices are dropping rapidly as the technology matures and becomes more readily available.

Modern car designed using Rapid Prototyping. I’ll take two, thanks!

3D printing & Rapid Prototyping requires a file format that describes geometry as a closed mesh of polygon faces. The most common file format for this process used to be the STereoLithography format, or STL. While it is still in use today (and there have been add-ins for Revit to export STL files) it is falling out of favour as the format is somewhat unwieldy and has no set standard for colour representation. It is still in use in industries that do not need colour representation, such is prototype machinery parts.

Page 33 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Colour 3D prints require the use of 3DS format files, which are the original format used by early versions of 3D Studio. Although this is an old format, there is still wide support for it across all 3D applications, including the current releases of 3DS Max and AutoCAD. The 3DS format also supports colour geometry and layers in a standardised way. Unfortunately there is no direct way of exporting directly from Revit to 3D print. The STL plugins for Revit , while producing usable meshes, cannot export large projects, nor can they export the Topography mesh, making sites difficult to model. The lack of colour also means the models produced will usually be a drab white or grey. The easiest way to produce 3DS files from Revit is to export as FBX and extract the 3DS file from the FBX file. Unfortunately, again, this file cannot directly be used with 3D printers as it site Topography is exported as a ‘face’ mesh with no bounding edges – 3D printing cannot print a hollow shell – all volumes must be enclosed to create bounded spaces with no ‘holes’ or missing polygons. You can pay to have the directly-exported 3DS files cleaned up by the print house, but this is actually the most expensive part of the process – a person has to manually clean the file up, which takes time if they are unfamiliar with the project. It is often easier to do this process yourself using 3DS Max Design, or any other 3DS-capable editing software, and has the added bonus of giving you a fully rendered 3D model, and better control over the final colours of the 3D print.

Page 34 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design



To start the process, find a nearby 3D print house and drop by to talk to the staff. They have experience with what works and what doesn’t, and can give you a lot of good advice on how to prepare your files for 3D printing.

The most important piece of information is the scale of the model, as this will determine the minimum object size that can be printed. For most 3D printers, any object below 1mm in size will be too small to print, and any pieces less than 3mm are likely to be extremely fragile. This means that for a 1:100 scale print, any object smaller than 100mm real world size will not print. Door handles, thin cornices, narrow partitions – anything single object around 100mm will be a tiny speck in the 3D print. This is not to say you must delete everything that small; cornices for example will usually print OK as they have a solid wall or ceiling to attach to. A free-standing handrail of 50mm steel posts will be gossamer-thin and is likely to collapse under its own weight when printed. •

To get around this, create a version of your file that uses sections of an appropriate size – increase all curtain wall mullions until they at least meet the minimum dimensions you need.

These handrails and upper level curtain walls won’t print at 1:100

Page 35 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design



The next items to tidy up are the glass – as yet 3D printers cannot print transparent panels, so if you want to see inside your model, you’ll need to leave the glass out. This is where well-made families become valuable – you can easily turn off all of the Glass Subcategories.

If your families haven’t been made with neat Subcategories... we’ll wait.... ...and a day or so later you’ll be ready to keep going!

Handrail sizes increased, curtain wall mullions increased , glass turned off.

Now is also a good time to find any geometry errors that will cause the model to fall apart – here we see the columns & mullions don’t quite meet the roof. Errors like this can be fixed in Max; it’s easier to get it right in Revit first.

Page 36 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design



Once the model has been tidied up, it is time to set up the base. A good way to do this is to use the Section Box under View Properties.

Ready for export



Now export to an FBX file as previous documented.

If you have 3DS Max you will be able to directly open the FBX file; if you have Blender or another application, you’ll need to convert the FBX to a 3DS file first. The rest of this work path uses 3DS Max Design 2011 as the example.

Page 37 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Once in Max, Import the FBX file. The FBX import box appears – note that the FBX file exported in FEET (this is a FEETure, not a bug, geddit?) and we have Max set to Meters as units. The FBX file will convert correctly. Notice also that Max has detected that this file came from Revit .

Also note Max’s daunting interface – now you’re used to Revit’s Ribbon, it should be a snap to learn!

Page 38 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

The project imported. Note I left the Glass switched on!

If you have set all of your Materials in Revit set to have their shaded view colours match the render colours, you’re almost done! All elements will have imported as close as possible to the Render colours. If some elements are oddly coloured, go back into Revit and use realistic Visual Style to hunt for any items without textures.

Page 39 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Using the Section Box in Revit to slice the site has given us vertical edges for the base, which makes the final step in preparation simple – a polygon needs to be added to the site base to ‘close’ the bottom:

Closing the site base

Almost done, with Glass removed.

Page 40 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Now that the base is closed, there is one important step left. Revit objects sometimes have ‘hidden’ coordinate systems inside them, particularly Structural elements such as columns and beams. These coordinates can cause problems when the 3DS files are read into other systems, so to remove this risk, we will use a Macro from the Utilities panel called Reset Xform. This removes any ‘hidden’ grids & UCS systems from the mesh.

Our scale in Max is in Meters, so we can change the unit scale to Centimetres for 1:100 scale. Note that this is not like Revit – changing the units will not re-scale the building! If the site was 50m wide it will now be 50cm wide.

Page 41 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

We are now ready to export as a 3DS file. Pick File – Export and save as a 3DS format file. Your 3D print house should now be able to print this file directly with almost no modification required!

Page 42 of 43

Rendering in 2D, 3D and 4D Adrian Esdaile, Walter Barda Design

Summary For great renders you need: • • • • • •

Good hardware Clean system setup Clean Revit setup Good file management Clean, well constructed families Purge projects

Presentation Views • • • •

Use Visibility/Graphics controls to set Overrides Use Visual Styles to add colour & texture Keep views clean & simple, don’t try to show everything at once Use View Templates to build a library of View Styles

3D Rendering • • • •

Manage rendering Materials; don’t use too many Keep custom bitmaps in correct folders Make sure Render paths are set Cross fingers for fixes for Ambient Occlusion & other bugs

3D Printing • • • • • •

Export to FBX, then 3DS if needed Check model in Max for missing colours, ‘holes’ Add base polygons to Topography Use Reset Xform to clean grids & UCS Scale as appropriate Export to 3DS format

HAVE FUN! And don’t forget to get some sleep!

Page 43 of 43