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Thread: Custom Furniture for Interiors Visualization

  1. #1
    Member jsnyder's Avatar
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    Custom Furniture for Interiors Visualization

    I have a bit of a philosophical question for those involved in the interior design discipline. When someone wants an accurate model of a piece of furniture with lots of curves and cushions as in the attached picture, how would you approach it with the following constraints?
    -not much time available (effort not well planned)
    -not highly skilled in modeling things with curves (or things in general)
    -need it for "photo-realistic" visualization, so it needs to look like a real piece

    It occurs to me that it would likely be better to try to start with something from a Mfr and either use it as-is, and suck up the differences, or try to modify it slightly to suit rather than starting from scratch. I know some will say, "just model it", but I am not sure that is a realistic approach in this case due to the constraints. How do you deal with situations like this? Revit is a great tool for buildings, but in this case it seems like we are trying to cut curves with a table saw. This problem has several different layers, but basically I am looking for shortcuts to high fidelity custom furniture families. Any insight is appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Furniture is one area where I throw in the towel in terms of non-native geometry. Furniture selections change faster than I can spit and there's no way I can keep up with them if I had to model each (and it had to be "realistic") -- those curves are damn hard in Revit (IMO).

    If you isolate them in a separate RVT file, and do your renderings from there you can ensure you keep the naughty imports out of your model. Not a perfect workflow but there you have it.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    The honest truth is, it sounds like someone is fishing for an answer they have already settled on, and want confirmation that its *okay* to do it. I dont mean you (jsnyder) either, i mean the project teams. A few thoughts come to mind:

    1. Short deadline, and needs to be photo realistic... This is a red flag to me: So the PHOTO REALISTIC renderings are coming out of Revit, and until the last minute of the deadline, no one thought to ask about the furniture? Personally, i dont buy that.

    2. "someone wants an accurate model of a piece of furniture..." This is another red flag for me. Who is setting the bar for what is an accurate model? The chair in the picture isnt that wild of a shape (didnt Munkholm once say the Five Chair couldnt be done in revit, and it took like, 10 minutes? Hehe).

    At the end of the day, if all of those *demands* are accurate, a lot of folks are going to say just shove the imported DWG or SKP or whatever, in to the project, as Greg is suggesting.

    All i remind project teams about their decisions, is "circumstances dont change the consequences of actions." So, sure, if you feel good abut it, download that bloated DWG embedded in an RVT, and stuff it in the model. But all the same warnings about imported geometry still apply.

    Greg has another good point, that keeping it in another file MIGHT save you from some of the burdens, but not all. I once saw Herman Miller content prevent a floor plan from plotting. It would Fatal Error. I suspect even in a Linked File, it would do the same. So... If its JUST for rendering, who cares? But if they also need to document it, and if the imports can cause issues with the documents, are you willing to risk it?

    At my previous office, i had teams come to me with short deadlines, and then want to take shortcuts because they didnt think ahead to come to me earlier. After a few projects where imports caused issues i couldnt fix, management finally started to side with me that it wasnt my problem, it was theirs.

    BTW, im not saying you should or you shouldnt. Its just a question.

    *Specifically in my models* imported geom never sees the light of day. I dont care if its Furniture, Plumbing Fixtures, Pillows, Curtains, or other things people complain about modeling in Revit. I model them in Revit. Not because i think Revit is great. But because i know its a dumpster fire at handling imports.

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    Another solution to consider -- turn the manufacturers models into RPC content. It's not a bad workflow they have setup once you get the hang of it. The beauty of the approach is that you can have a low-poly, Revit native, model as the stand-in for documentation AND still get good renders (assuming your renderer deals with RPC correctly).

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    *Specifically in my models* imported geom never sees the light of day. I dont care if its Furniture, Plumbing Fixtures, Pillows, Curtains, or other things people complain about modeling in Revit. I model them in Revit. Not because i think Revit is great. But because i know its a dumpster fire at handling imports.
    I'm telling our teams the same and getting responses like "that's impossible!" -- Oh, really? Or is that you just don't want to do it because it seems like more work? NM, I know the answer.

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    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    The honest truth is, it sounds like someone is fishing for an answer they have already settled on, and want confirmation that its *okay* to do it. I dont mean you (jsnyder) either, i mean the project teams. A few thoughts come to mind:

    1. Short deadline, and needs to be photo realistic... This is a red flag to me: So the PHOTO REALISTIC renderings are coming out of Revit, and until the last minute of the deadline, no one thought to ask about the furniture? Personally, i dont buy that.

    2. "someone wants an accurate model of a piece of furniture..." This is another red flag for me. Who is setting the bar for what is an accurate model? The chair in the picture isnt that wild of a shape (didnt Munkholm once say the Five Chair couldnt be done in revit, and it took like, 10 minutes? Hehe).

    At the end of the day, if all of those *demands* are accurate, a lot of folks are going to say just shove the imported DWG or SKP or whatever, in to the project, as Greg is suggesting.

    All i remind project teams about their decisions, is "circumstances dont change the consequences of actions." So, sure, if you feel good abut it, download that bloated DWG embedded in an RVT, and stuff it in the model. But all the same warnings about imported geometry still apply.

    Greg has another good point, that keeping it in another file MIGHT save you from some of the burdens, but not all. I once saw Herman Miller content prevent a floor plan from plotting. It would Fatal Error. I suspect even in a Linked File, it would do the same. So... If its JUST for rendering, who cares? But if they also need to document it, and if the imports can cause issues with the documents, are you willing to risk it?

    At my previous office, i had teams come to me with short deadlines, and then want to take shortcuts because they didnt think ahead to come to me earlier. After a few projects where imports caused issues i couldnt fix, management finally started to side with me that it wasnt my problem, it was theirs.

    BTW, im not saying you should or you shouldnt. Its just a question.

    *Specifically in my models* imported geom never sees the light of day. I dont care if its Furniture, Plumbing Fixtures, Pillows, Curtains, or other things people complain about modeling in Revit. I model them in Revit. Not because i think Revit is great. But because i know its a dumpster fire at handling imports.
    Wise words. Not too long ago I had a PA complain about a new car showroom project crashing whenever he tried to print a certain floor plan. Turns out he had dropped in a 3D vehicle family containing a high poly count .skp and then copied it around about 80 times. Revit just died at the thought of all those triangles.

    I mean, who really wants that many Mazda mx-5's?

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    Member scourdx's Avatar
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    I always ask what is the end goal. If you doing them for client that wants 3d visual, then you would plan for model with lots of import object. I did a walkthrough using Enscape and use lots of RPC and import objects. Client was impressed with the work. It is a typical one off project where I don't have to document anything or worry about what happen at the construction side. If this model is going thru several phase, I wouldn't bother with high model up furniture because performance will take a hit and there is no benefits. Always ask what clients want and not simply put in 3d realistic object because it just looks good.

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    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scourdx View Post
    I always ask what is the end goal. If you doing them for client that wants 3d visual, then you would plan for model with lots of import object. I did a walkthrough using Enscape and use lots of RPC and import objects. Client was impressed with the work. It is a typical one off project where I don't have to document anything or worry about what happen at the construction side. If this model is going thru several phase, I wouldn't bother with high model up furniture because performance will take a hit and there is no benefits. Always ask what clients want and not simply put in 3d realistic object because it just looks good.
    In my example above, Mr mx5 needed 3D visuals through enscape as well as it being an SD documentation package.

    Modified his 3d car geometry to be hidden in plan and elevation then nested a couple of 2D DC's into the family to represent in those views. No more spinning wheels (pun intended) when trying to print.

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    The other consideration is, if the reason you need it “accurate” is visual renderings and a “dimensional accurate” is needed for coordination and documentation. Look at workflows that allow you to leverage rendering specific software for the visuals. One example, 3ds max can link in a Revit file, in this model put all the polygons your teams need to get an “accurate” rendering while also keeping your Revit model functioning.

    Revit renderings both native and with plugins like Enscape are great, but only to a point, sometimes we need to look outside of Revit (though it should be done smartly with a plan for iteration)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mengelmn View Post
    The other consideration is, if the reason you need it “accurate” is visual renderings and a “dimensional accurate” is needed for coordination and documentation. Look at workflows that allow you to leverage rendering specific software for the visuals. One example, 3ds max can link in a Revit file, in this model put all the polygons your teams need to get an “accurate” rendering while also keeping your Revit model functioning.

    Revit renderings both native and with plugins like Enscape are great, but only to a point, sometimes we need to look outside of Revit (though it should be done smartly with a plan for iteration)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    We use vis artists for that. In the issue I described above, the PA just needed something to show the client.

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