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Client did better than me! Help with Residential materials & colors in 3D

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    Client did better than me! Help with Residential materials & colors in 3D

    I do residential work and it's just me. I don't have a staff or anyone to really help. I am using Revit 2017. I recently had a client that send me an interior 3D he had done using the floor plan that I had designed. He basically recreated my drawing in 3D color using free software. What bothers me though is that I have never been able to get a good looking interior or exterior colored 3D with materials and good furniture so I don't do it. I only provide black and white 3ds. I am considering hiring a college student to create for me furniture of three kinds; modern, transitional, traditional. And then to provide a material libraries with good colors and materials.

    I know how to do the 3Ds, walk through etc. I just really need help or direction on how to get my drawings to look good. I have even been seeing the drafting services start doing colored 3Ds...

    I googled but haven't found anyone that I can just buy it from. I did find some furniture to buy and I may consider that. Isn't there anything out there for us that don't have all the time in the world to create? I just want it to be easy, buy it and add to my template. Am I missing something?

    Originally posted by MPenn View Post
    Am I missing something?
    No, but we may be...

    First off, welcome to the forum! :thumbsup:

    Now, let's step back.

    You do "residential work". As I do! Cool! If I tallied the units currently on our books, I think we're probably in the 50-75000 homes realm. You?

    Context is everything my new forum friend.

    Now, if I may presume, you're probably not talking about large-scale development - so your client, I will guess, is not a large-scale "housebuilder" but a nice-enough regular Joe, yes? Cool. So, still wishing to establish what it is that you do do, are you a Designer, (of some professionally accredited standing) or "just" (forgive me) a draftsperson who knocks up drawings now and then? I know I'm being quite intrusive with these enquiries, but hear me out...

    You sell services.

    From your OP, it sounds like you wish to add to your service offerings.

    Your client, and "others", appear (to you) more capable of delivering outputs you wish to be able to offer.

    Q1. Do you consider interior renders a value-add service for the betterment of your client's needs?
    Q2. Do you imagine you will be charging for the additional services of providing interior renders?

    I know I'm butchering your first post a bit here - but these points are key.

    You've said you can use Max - so why are you not? What is driving you away from that? Revit and Max (with a little bit of work) talk very well to each other... Did your client ask "Why don't you produce stuff like this for me?" when they showed you their efforts? Do you fear they, and/or others like them, might to want the same in future? Was it a loss of confidence in yourself, or them in you, that prompted this thinking? Needling, almost rude, questions I know - but I feel it key we establish the driver for your (want to) change. Because I can assure you, Gehry* is no less persuasive a designer for his inability to produce hyper-realistic interior renderings!

    I digress.

    You raise the hot-topic of all things Revit, that is content.

    For established viz.-orientated platforms like Max, sKetchup & Rhino, "the content" or as I like to think it "all the pretty little things" (that won't ever work their way into the build contract) is already out there on t'internet to be had. As you know. For Revit? Not so much - but please, don't go buying anything (just yet) - there's so much dross out there, I guarantee you will get stung.

    Sadly (?) with Revit-use so heavily geared toward/marketed at BIM (rather than "just" designers wanting a tool) the take-up for (modelling) "fun stuff" has never happened - with too many "content providers" focusing their efforts on "real" building components. Remember also, the cost of entry is simply too high for bedroom enthusiasts - and lets not forget .rvt is the playground where other formats go to die - so the chance of ever seeing fan-made .rfa of Ferrari's is 0%.

    So in the end...

    Hiring a student might seem like a sound way to offload a low-value work task - but unless you happen to find a student adept at (Revit) content creation (?) you'll need to be training them - can you afford such an overhead?

    My advice? Go scouring, there's content to be had...

    1. Download trial software that comes with content (Enscape comes with a few)

    2. Download all the example models you can find (start with the Autodesk sample files)

    3. Pour through the list sites and take whatever grabs your eye:
    Download free BIM content from the BIMobject Cloud | BIMobject

    4. Find the manufacturers who are on list sites - then go check out their own sites to see if there's more content:
    Herman Miller

    5. Read BIM/Revit-related blogs - they're a constant source of information (and sometimes content)
    Revit Components
    Shades of Grey

    ...and in time (this stuff doesn't happen over night) you might find you're playing with "just" making pretty pictures, whether your project needs them or not, as I do...

    Screenshot (48).jpg

    *note, I only used Gehry because:
    1. he is, or should be, a household name
    2. he is known for his crappy doodles
    3. he is, amusingly given #2, the controlling influence behind the firm that, arguably, gave birth to digital architecture.
    I don't rate him, or his work.
    Last edited by snowyweston; July 25, 2017, 07:00 PM.


      Welcome from me too.
      My advice is everything he said. Nicely put together snowy.
      Plus 1 slightly out there tip.
      Hire the client! Do a barter on the design. Could be the start of a wonderful partnership. The client obviously plays and enjoys themselves without all the worries you need to fight your way. Their brainspace is open to more time spent to learn all this stuff. They have the copious time to spend learning this stuff called rendering. Meanwhile it leaves you to battle through codes, surveyors, other clients, planners, builders etc..
      Motorbike riding is one long bezier curve


        I think MPenn might be saying "B&W 3D" drawings, not "3dS Max".

        But in any case, I've doing mid to high residential for awhile and still run across the interior render issue. My typical jobs are T&M, so I leave it up to the client how much he wants to pay for, mainly for the interiors. The exteriors end up looking great with a normal Revit revit workflow/mdoel without much added work so I always do some type of rendering show included without much discussion. Interiors are harder, and really rely on materials AND lots of custom modeling. The decision point is whether to model the detail in 3D vs very detailed & dimensioned 2D, ie cabinet elevations. ie cost time vs benefit. Most clients at that point say no, even the ones w/ no budget as they tend to be pragmatic.

        The issue that comes up once in awhile, sim to MPenn, is a client going some kitchen cabinet showroom, and they replicate my plan in their 3D cabinet software. Gaaa, they look great sometimes. I preempt that with a earlier discussion as to what I am providing or can provide so there is no misunderstanding.

        So my Tips:
        • Don't ever bother with Revit's render.
        • Enscape, as Snowy says, no question is a great workflow. All work is done inside Revit.
          • Learn Revit materials as there's quite a bit there to work with.
          • Learn to add materials. I still cludge my way around but can do it. I had a client shoot pics of a slab he wanted, used that as a material in the room renderings.
          • Really easy to create pics, panorama, etc
          • Inside rendering can be good, given a little more effort with materials and lighting.

        • Twinmotion (my current preference) or Lumion.
          • I'll use one these two when I'm more interested in developing up the site landscaping, although I'm starting to do that more in Revit with Enscape.
          • You must use their exporters to maintain materials and they take care of some other clean up work
          • The advantage is very quick to learn and it comes with probably all you need with materials, objects (cars, furniture, people, etc), landscape stuff etc. Easy to tweak materials that may or may not have come over correctly from Revit.
          • If you need more objects, I've dropped in things from Sketchup warehouse and just about anywhere else I can find them, including a detailed up Ferrari.
          • Decent looking interiors take more work with lighting setup and some other settings, so that this point I'd stay in Enscape.

        • Enscape is starting to tax my laptop, so I've found Twinmotion to be more useful for walk arounds, and through's with the client. Plug into their TV.
        • With either of these you're going to bypass much of the learning curve with other render packages, including Revit's. I tend to not like reading manuals nor taking courses, so most of my learning is by doing and exploring the software. I've tried Max and am so lost in there.

        Here's an Enscape pic. getting creative with the sunset. Trees, cars are RPC. Water and furniture are Revit. Not perfect but it works.

        Here's the same in Twinmotion although I gave up getting it better as it wasn't even getting close to Enscape's with that sun setting. You can see it's not the same rendering engine. Only things done in TM are tree substitution (one step) and changing out the Revit water, which is still not rendering correctly in that area.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by FBlome; July 26, 2017, 03:53 PM.
        Fred Blome
        Residential Architect


          Originally posted by FBlome View Post
          I think MPenn might be saying "B&W 3D" drawings, not "3dS Max".
          Good catch.


            Thanks for your input and thoughts. I've been doing some digging around and I think I need to spend some time learning...starting with what can Revit do that I haven't been using. I've been using Revit for 12 years but I am pretty sure after looking at some of the resources noted, I am lacking in some of the areas that could really help.

            One of my pet peeves: I get annoyed watching HGTV as they make it all look so easy in their 3Ds.


              Originally posted by MPenn View Post
              ....One of my pet peeves: I get annoyed watching HGTV as they make it all look so easy in their 3Ds.
              I get kicked out of the room during those shows because I complain so much.
              Last edited by FBlome; July 26, 2017, 11:16 PM.
              Fred Blome
              Residential Architect


                When I get in a jam for content, I check all available free sources, then if I don't have time, I'll look to the paid content providers. Only if I know I'll get out of it what I pay for it. Then I can reuse the models/content I do buy over and over again making me stronger in the future.
                RB Cameron, AIA, LEED AP, EDAC, NCARB
                Architect - Parametric Designer - Visualization Instructor
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