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Linking Revit model into 3ds Max- how to lower polygon count

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    Linking Revit model into 3ds Max- how to lower polygon count

    Hi All,

    Working on an airport in reivt and trying to get a few renders out from 3ds max by linking the revit model directly in.

    1. Tried linking the .rvt in and was linking for eternity and never happened within work hours. might try leaving over night...

    2.Exported FBX from revit and linked that to 3ds max. Worked well. Only my polygon count of 8million is slowing me down and have found that cylinders or round columns in revit that are linked into max have a MASSive number of polygons.... does anyone know a way around this, other than to optimise Geometry (i.e. losing link to revit). Was hoping for a setting in the linking process.

    Thanks very much

    Sounds like a large model but even my small models do seem to take a while to link in to 3dsMD2013 (assuming you are using 2013).

    When linking a Revit project file to 3dsMD, once you have chosen a Revit view, click on the 'Presets' tab and then highlight your preferred preset (default is Combine by Revit Material).

    This will enable the 'Modify...' button - click that and a dialog opens where you can specify 'Curved Objects Detail:' (defaults to 10) among other things.

    Might be worth a try.
    William Sutherland rias riba
    WS Architecture Ltd


      Hi Willsud,

      Thank you for your reply. I have indeed played with this this level of detail slider... with it set to the lowest of 5, two cyclinders linked in(as a test file see image) from revit 2013 to Max 2013 come out with 37k polygons! So take that and multiply by the number of members in a truss then by the number of trusses in this airport.... sigh* Click image for larger version

Name:	cyclinder linked with detail 5.jpg
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      I could Optimise the geomtry but i would like to maintain a link so as the revit model updates I can simply undate the link in max.

      So far I have found that checking the smooth adjacent faces and have the detail slider down to 5 gives me a polygon count of 4k for the two cyclinders. Not optimimal, but it may have to do.

      Anyone else with some ideas to crack this basic problem, your input is appreciated.


        There's no magic to the "new" Link Revit feature in 3dsMax, it's really just automating the process of exporting and importing an .FBX file. The status bar gives the secret away and the processing time takes just as long. Once I saw this happening I really didn't dig any deeper, but I was also frustrated by the fact that it seems like you can only import ONE Revit view. Max then creates an FBX with only the Worksets that are visibile in that particular view. Overall it's just a tiny baby step above doing all of this manually, and I still prefer exporting to dumb DWG in some cases

        I can't really offer any specific advice about dealing with the curved geometry. In my recent (and brief) experiences trying to get into Max, the workflow is more about adding fluff than hyper-detailed realistic 3D content. For example, you might import tubes with rectangular sections and then use the rendering engine to make them look round. You could possibly see some performance gain from importing repeating geometry once, and then copying it around as instances in Max, but before long you're rebuilding.

        Just like Revit, I think Max handles native geometry best.
        Aristide Lex @ SUFFOLK


          My experience is that it is very easy to create a very geometry intensive project in Revit but when this is opened it Max there can be severe issues with both editing and rendering. Setting up your views to show as little detail as possible for export is a good start. Also creating families which are no more geometry intensive that necessary is another good tactic. Obviously long import times in Max is a drag but at least you can get it in there! I worked on a large datacentre job where the architect went to crazy lengths to detail everything. This wasn't such an issue in Revit (it was a large file of course) but it was a major struggle to get it into Max. Setting up several isometric views and then using view-match to create section boxes around the building to break it up into sections made the import process more manageable. Once the file is in Max we then need to reduce the polygon count as much as possible so that we can edit the thing and get a render some time this century. Also you have to be ruthless with hiding geometry that is not required in the view you use to export from. I remember a Max guru telling me that he sometimes modeled only parts of a building and NEVER created geometry that was not going to be seen in a camera view. I have found that the pro-optimiser tool is invaluable to make editing and render manageable. Select a piece of geometry such as your truss and then add the modifier and reduce the % of polygons until it look rubbish then reduce the optimisation a bit until it looks normal again (not very scientific). Find out the most repeated elements and the ones that have the most detailed geometry and apply a pro-optimser modifier to them. You can download a Maxscript that allows you take an original object (the truss with the modifier) and then turn all the other trusses of the same type into instances of the same type into instance clones which means they all gain the modifier. When you load the script you can then apply the modifier then press the H key. Use the search function to find all the trusses that are the same family (be careful to only pick one that are the same type though). You will now have the modifier applied to all of the trusses of that type. This has been found to reduce the load on Max as it prefers instances when there are lots of discrete geometry objects. Refer AREA | Using MAXScript to replace copies with instances.
          Last edited by scumbag; February 28, 2013, 10:36 AM.


            Originally posted by 411toaster View Post
            I could Optimise the geomtry but i would like to maintain a link so as the revit model updates I can simply undate the link in max.
            You don't have to break the link to do this. We've been using the ProOptomizer Modifier on linked Revit models, and it keeps the link. When the Revit model changes it changes the Max model upon re-load. It just won't automatically re-apply the Modifier to anything new that was added.

            So we've been importing our models with NO combining, so it's all objects, but we're not doing huge projects. Doesn't Max also freak out when you try to have too many distinct objects?

            God I hate Max...
            Jeffrey McGrew
            Architect & Founder
            Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
            Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!


              Thanks very much for the responses. I will experiment further with optimisation...


                Originally posted by aristide View Post
                also frustrated by the fact that it seems like you can only import ONE Revit view.
                You can reload the project with a different camera with all of the geometry hidden in that view in Revit. It will then import that camera into the scene but not the geometry. Rinse and repeat.


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