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Thread: Beginners Rendering and MEP

  1. #1
    Senior Member domsib's Avatar
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    Beginners Rendering and MEP

    This is partly MEP and partly Render related so i've decided i'd post it here but may repost in MEP if I don't get many replies.

    I'm new to rendering and eager to learn and I've a few questions i'd like to understand.

    • First off when I click Render there are the basic options Draft - Best. Then there is the Custom option and in here there are a variety of things I can adjust. Does anyone have any info on what each one does? e.g. Bounces, refractions etc



    • Next up I work at an MEP firm so we get models sent by Architects. If I was to render with their models, am I relying on them having added materials to their walls, floors, ceilings etc in order for it to not look plain and grey.



    • Also are materials the key to rendering, for instance if I create an Air Handling Unit and don't want it to just look like a white box when rendered, do I just need to add a material to it. Or is there more to it?



    • Finally I want to colour our services differently like these 2 images. What I do at the moment is create a system type and place each service on each system and assign the graphic overides a colour. But when I render the colours don't show up I just get grey ducts and pipes. So how do I make images like these from Revit?


    Any help would be appreciated as I try to understand this feature of Revit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Beginners Rendering and MEP-mep-render2.jpg   Beginners Rendering and MEP-mep-render.jpg  
    Last edited by domsib; November 11th, 2013 at 07:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Trust me Dom, I'm not stalking your threads - I jump on them because they're both interesting questions, and for my own part, encouraging (because you're from the MEP side)


    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    • First off when I click Render there are the basic options Draft - Best. Then there is the Custom option and in here there are a variety of things I can adjust. Does anyone have any info on what each one does? e.g. Bounces, refractions etc
    There's been quite a few studies by people into "ideal settings" (for Revit renderings) - for example THIS ONE by Klaus- which is fairly lengthy, or this rather short but sweet post by Luke - don't get too hug up on the intricacies of what's what, your "best" bet is to run small test-renders to find what best works for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    • Next up I work at an MEP firm so we get models sent by Architects. If I was to render with their models, am I relying on them having added materials to their walls, floors, ceilings etc in order for it to not look plain and grey.
    In short yes (it's often the other way round in terms of who "bothers" to consider materials - at least in my experience) - there are "hacks" you can do, but unless you use the more convoluted-methods, you'll have to re-do them each and everytime you get a model - and believe you me, you'll soon bore of that.... it's always best to have your architects get their ship in order. There are "dirty" ways of doing it also (like temporarily pushing the architecture model back a phase, before the phase your elements are in (so that you can use a singular phase-filter override on their model entire) but even that has it complications (quite a few in fact).

    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    • Also are materials the key to rendering, for instance if I create an Air Handling Unit and don't want it to just look like a white box when rendered, do I just need to add a material to it. Or is there more to it?
    No, you're on the money there - I'm not particularly hot on the MEP elements in Revit, so don't know how materials take to some/all of the categories - hopefully they play nicer than the (OOTB) structural elements that have instance-material parameters (for different grades of steel and concrete).

    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    • Finally I want to colour our services differently like these 2 images. What I do at the moment is create a system type and place each service on each system and assign the graphic overides a colour. But when I render the colours don't show up I just get grey ducts and pipes. So how do I make images like these from Revit?
    Those images aren't native-Revit, nor are they purely-Navis outputs (unless someone knows a way to show elements in the cut-plane with solid fills!?!) - and have been "worked" fairly heavily, graphically... but the main point is, neither of them are renders.

    In case you didn't know; the rendering-part of Revit looks at materials - which is why any system-based overrides you've applied are getting dropped, because the override plays no part in the rendering-process....

    but all is not lost, because, since Revit 2012 we've had "realistic view" which displays the model with the render-swatch material in-view (no need to render) - and is/could be the perfect solution for you (?) since you'll be able to use your overrides (realistic view respects these), have shadows (with or without ambient shading), a background (solid colour, sky or gradiated colours) and also generate your views, and more of them, faster, and without the trappings of consultants-not-having materials (you can always "just" override their elements also) nor the drag/lag time of actually producing "proper" renders.
    Last edited by snowyweston; November 11th, 2013 at 07:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member domsib's Avatar
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    Trust me Dom, I'm not stalking your threads - I jump on them because they're both interesting questions, and for my own part, encouraging (because you're from the MEP side

    I appreciate it. You take the time to explain with informative answers which have helped a lot the last few weeks. Why is it encouraging from MEP side if you don't mind me asking?

    There's been quite a few studies by people into "ideal settings" (for Revit renderings) - for example THIS ONE by Klaus- which is fairly lengthy, or this rather short but sweet post by Luke - don't get too hug up on the intricacies of what's what, your "best" bet is to run small test-renders to find what best works for you.

    Thanks these are really helpful. From these I have been able to find this Help which gives me an explanation I was looking for on each one.

    In short yes (it's often the other way round in terms of who "bothers" to consider materials - at least in my experience) - there are "hacks" you can do, but unless you use the more convoluted-methods, you'll have to re-do them each and everytime you get a model - and believe you me, you'll soon bore of that.... it's always best to have your architects get their ship in order. There are "dirty" ways of doing it also (like temporarily pushing the architecture model back a phase, before the phase your elements are in (so that you can use a singular phase-filter override on their model entire) but even that has it complications (quite a few in fact).

    Yes well I don't really want to adjust their models I just wondered if I was not adding materials or not switching something on, and thats why I was getting such dull results.


    No, you're on the money there - I'm not particularly hot on the MEP elements in Revit, so don't know how materials take to some/all of the categories - hopefully they play nicer than the (OOTB) structural elements that have instance-material parameters (for different grades of steel and concrete).

    I'll give this a go when I get a chance, not really gave much time to applying materials to anything and I don't think its going to be much use being from MEP side but i'll give it a try.

    Those images aren't native-Revit, nor are they purely-Navis outputs (unless someone knows a way to show elements in the cut-plane with solid fills!?!) - and have been "worked" fairly heavily, graphically... but the main point is, neither of them are renders.

    In case you didn't know; the rendering-part of Revit looks at materials - which is why any system-based overrides you've applied are getting dropped, because the override plays no part in the rendering-process....

    but all is not lost, because, since Revit 2012 we've had "realistic view" which displays the model with the render-swatch material in-view (no need to render) - and is/could be the perfect solution for you (?) since you'll be able to use your overrides (realistic view respects these), have shadows (with or without ambient shading), a background (solid colour, sky or gradiated colours) and also generate your views, and more of them, faster, and without the trappings of consultants-not-having materials (you can always "just" override their elements also) nor the drag/lag time of actually producing "proper" renders


    I'm going to finish my model then try and colour my services differently and i'll use your methods and see what I can produce. Do we printscreen for images or is there an export option for an image?


    Edit: Bit of a side issue but how do you use this forum so that I can quote line by line like you have?
    Last edited by domsib; November 12th, 2013 at 01:06 PM. Reason: QUESTION ADDED

  4. #4
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Technical (forum) question first :

    When you hit "reply with quote" you will get automatic quote wraps around the whole post, i.e

    (QUOTE)=domsib]said something(/QUOTE)

    ...although in this example I've swapped the [ ] for ( ) so the code doesn't get read. When I multi quote, I simply copy the first chunk (the bit that identifies the poster and the post) and copy-paste that in front of any body of text, and then chop it off with the final part... make sense? Probably not.


    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    Why is it encouraging from MEP side if you don't mind me asking?
    Potential too-much dirty laundry for a public forum methinks - but in short, you're enthusiam for these things is proving an exception...

    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    I don't think its going to be much use being from MEP side but i'll give it a try.
    Strictly speaking, from a purely-discipline based role, you're probably right - at least in terms of fussing over the finicky aspects of materials-for-render - but as you've already said before, your boss wanted something that was a bit more visually engaging for client show & tells - so there's clear, if not direct, gains to adding a of glossy-sex-appeal to your pipes. Equally, in "exposed-services" designs, it's very useful for architects (and clients) to get a "feel" for the visual impact of the services if they exhibit some degree of material accuracy.


    Quote Originally Posted by domsib View Post
    Do we printscreen for images or is there an export option for an image?
    R > Export > Images and Animations.

  5. #5
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    Nicely done

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