Pushing All the Right Buttons - Tips for Rendering in Revit
If you're "the favorite child", the "teacher's pet" or even "the man" at work, chances are you've earned that title by knowing exactly what buttons to push in order to get the results you desire. Well, this idiom also holds some weight when rendering scenes in Revit.
If you were to type in the word "architecture" into a search engine you'll probably get page after page of some really stunning (and not so stunning) images and examples of architectural eye candy. Being able to tell if some of those scenes are real life images or someone's CG and rendering skills is sometimes next to impossible. It seems like in order to achieve that level of realism and quality it would take a lot of time and a unique set of artistic skills and vision, and probably at least two different software packages.
This thought process is quite common. However, creating a high quality rendering is almost as dependent on possessing the right artistic skills and vision as it is knowing all the right buttons to push.
For those who are interested in learning how to create some nice rendered scenes in Revit, below you'll find a few tips and tools that will save you the time and stress you may experience when jumping into rendering whether it's your the first time in Revit or your first time rendering a scene.
Get Familiar with Terminology and the Functions of Different Render Settings
When you were learning to drive the first things you had to learn were which pedal makes your car go and which pedal makes your car stop. You also had to learn how to turn it on, use signals and so on and so forth. Just jumping in and taking your driver's test before even earning your driver's permit is probably not the way to go.
Luckily Revit makes understanding the function of each render setting a breeze to understand and figure out. The software does a nice job providing you with a few graphics to help you associate the name of a setting with the effect it will have on your image. So in order to create the look you want to achieve it's more about getting a feel for how much to adjust and less about what each knob does.
The Money Shot
After working countless hours on modeling, drafting plans and working out all the technical details of your design, you more than likely have a good idea of which view of your building works best. This view is your "money shot."
It's important to have a vision of what you want your image to look like. The last thing you want to do is waste hours on rendering several shots that you probably won't even use.
To save time, try selecting a few views with your camera, and test them either in a realistic graphic display or even a low quality render. Once you've decided on a winner you can gradually increase your render settings on that particular scene to fit your liking.
The Section Box
For most, the toughest thing about achieving the look you want when it comes to rendering is the amount of time it takes to render a scene, especially as you begin tweaking the dials up a bit. So with that in mind, anytime you can cut down on the amount of time it takes to render a scene definitely take advantage of it.
One tool that's really helpful with that is the Section Box. If you're rendering a scene and you only want to focus on a particular room or view and don't want Revit to calculate excess geometry that won't be visible; adjust your section box in plan view to only include elements that you want to be visible in your scene. This will cut down on your render time significantly.
If you're new to rendering, and just starting out with Revit getting comfortable with the rendering tools is important for creating appealing visualizations. At the very least, it will give you that confidence boost you may have needed to jump into rendering and maybe even learning a more robust type of rendering software to add to your arsenal of visualization tools. To learn more about rendering in Revit check out Your First Day Rendering in Revit to get an in-depth look at how a pro uses the rendering tools to create great visualizations, and continue learning with these Revit tutorials.