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Revit 2012 Mental Ray Materials explained

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    Revit 2012 Mental Ray Materials explained

    I guess this is what happens when Revit starts to share its components with AutoCAD... the new render materials dialog is a mess!

    If anyone else is finding it a bit hard to understand, I hope the attached PDF will help you out.
    Attached Files
    Wes Macaulay LEED AP
    University of the Fraser Valley |

    Thanks Wes! Will look forward to reading that with my morning coffee
    Klaus Munkholm
    "Do. Or do not. There is no try."


      I read it and think I'm even more confused now than I was just ignoring property sets
      Juan Carlos Moreno
      Store Designer & Merchandising Manager
      Sisley Cosmetics


        Then I have failed

        I probably need to add a summary because the details are a bit muddled. Just like the dialog and the mental model behind it :crazy:
        Wes Macaulay LEED AP
        University of the Fraser Valley |


          Wesd, great post!!!
          Do you mind if I translate this to the Dutch subforum? I've had a hard time figuring this out (and by the looks of it, still got some wrong assumptions...)
          Martijn de Riet
          Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
          MdR Advies
          Planta1 Revit Online Consulting


            Originally posted by Wes Macaulay View Post
            Then I have failed
            Not so, good stuff. The one thing that I would love to see added is an actual example of WHY you would do all this. I have been banging my head on the new features, mostly because it feels like it is just harder now to do what I have always needed to do. And I am having a hard time seeing some new workflow or opportunity that would make the added complexity worth while.

            For example, I initially thought perhaps I could make two property sets, with all of the projects materials included. One would be all monochrome, but with transparent glass, and the other would be realistic representations. The idea being that simply assigning the new Property Set would "switch" all the materials to monochrome and allow for form focused renderings, then switch back to the other property set and get realistic renders. But it seems like that isn't how property sets work, and I am back to "Why do I even want this?" Until I understand the why, I fear I will have a mental block regarding the how.

            Pragmatic Praxis


              David Conant from The Factory provided a reasonable explination of "Why" you would want to use property sets over at AUGI.

              Just loaded 2012 and I'm having trouble understanding Property Sets. I see how I can create a library of sets, but don't understand property sets vs individual materials. I see that I can create property sets with material name or rename if I want. Do I have duplicate information then? Will this override my base materials. Also, when I create Property Sets of a custom material (one pathed to custom scanned material), the swatch appears correctly in the right (appperance) column but reverts to a

              David's post from AUGI (see the actual thread if you want more context.)

              Think of the Material as a container. It contains sets of information that represent different aspects of materiality: Appearance (what it looks like in a rendering), Structure (how strong it is), Graphics (what it looks like in a non rendered view), and general information about the material. In some cases (appearance and structure) the information can be provided to the material by linking to a seperately defined property set (by Property Set), or can be input directly into the material (Independent). This allows several materials to share a single set of properties and changes to that property set to propagate to all those materials.

              Imagine you are working with several materials of different types that are all covered with the same finish, green paint for example. In that case you would create as many Materials as needed and assign the same green paint appearance property set to each. To change the paint tint on all, change the definition of the appearance property set. The appearance of all those materials will change together.

              Conversely, you might have four kinds of concrete with the same strength but different appearances. In that case you would create the four concrete materials linked to the same Structure property set, but with different appearances.

              If you need to tweak the appearance of an individual material without changing any others, set its appearance property to Independent. Your changes will then be confined to that material only.
              David Conant
              Autodesk Revit

              Perhaps that gives more clarity as to "why". In addition to David's explination, with property sets you have a way to more easily share the way materials look across Revit projects and across Autodesk products which share the same libraries.
              Jeff Hanson
              Sr. Subject Matter Expert
              Autodesk, Revit - User Experience


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