Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rendering in Revit Architecture 2009

The headliner for Revit Architecture 2009 is the replacement of the aging Accurender engine with Mental Ray. This will definitely improve the overall quality of your renders compared with Accurender. Remember, Mental Ray is the same rendering engine which resides in 3dsmax and across the whole of the Autodesk product portfolio; so you can rest assured the quality will be high.

When you are in a 3d view or perspective, you will notice an additional tool in the view control bar. The new teapot icon allows you to quickly access the render dialogue box. Alternatively, you can still access the render tools from the design bar or pull down menu.
The new layout of the render dialogue is excellent, it’s simple to use and understand. Somebody at Autodesk has really listened to what the architect and designers requires when it comes to rendering images.

Revit Architecture 2009 also includes render preset such as draft, low, medium, high and best allowing you to get quick results. However, you also have the ability to drill down and create your own custom setup for a particular view if you want too. In general, increasing (or turning on) any one of these settings increases the quality of the rendered image. Increasing these values or multiple settings may increase render time exponentially, so you’ve been warned!! But on a positive note, if you have a dual core or quad core processor in your workstation or laptop, then the Mental Ray render will make use of these extra cores. One thing I did find was that there was no way I could transfer custom setting between views, which is a shame. I am sure someone will enlighten me if I have got it wrong.

All lighting fixtures are now photometric and will use an IES file to define lighting parameters. If you open an existing light fitting family you will notice that you have the ability to specify the IES file for the light fitting. Revit Architecture 2009 uses this information from the IES file to define the geometric shape of the light source.

The materials provided within Revit Architecture 2009 have been reassigned Mental Ray material properties. These materials are far more realistic and are stored as part of the project file. If you go to the materials dialogue box, settings pull down menu>materials, you will notice that this dialogue box has been overhauled. The render appearance tab allows you to control the settings for the material you want to define. Revit includes a library of standard materials, but you can also define your own custom materials if you want.

Material appearance :-

Library view:-

Revit Architecture 2009 has also simplified the process for creating different lighting conditions. You will find preset for the following conditions:-

Exterior : Sun only
Exterior : Sun and Artificial
Exterior : Artificial only
Interior : Sun only
Interior : Sun and Artificial
Interior : Artificial only

So to test these I produced a very simple scene which you can see below. I then render the scene a number of times using some of these presets.

Exterior - sun only
Exterior - artificial + sun

Interior - only

Interior - sun + artificial

Interior - sun only

Overall, I am very impressed with the new rendering engine. I am positive that new and existing users will get to grips with this tool and its settings very quickly and I am expecting to see some excellent images from the Revit community in the not too distant future.


cbcarch said...

Looks very nice! how about animation/walkthrus?

What tools are provided, now that Accurender is gone?

cbcarch said...

Looks really great!

Question: How will animations/walkthrus be handled, since Accurender is replaced w/ mental ray?

Unknown said...

looks good. question about cameras?
can you change iso, aperture, fstop?

Unknown said...

Cliff, to answer your question, walkthroughs and animation remain the same as 2008. However, the only difference is that you can render your animations using the mental ray rendering engine, although on a large project this will take some time.

Unknown said...

Ron, unfortunatley cameras remain the same as 2008, you can't change the iso, aperture or fstop. Although, you can now export your model to 3dsmax design 2009 using FBX file format. This will transfer across, materials, lighting and cameras. Where you can use the new lighting functionality in 3dsmax to do what you have suggested.

Dmenz said...

It’s good that AD has finally up dated the rendering engine in revit, but they left out that all of the materials that we have painstakingly developed are now not usable in this new version.
Procedural maps are no longer in the material library, so much for making custom materials which don’t rely on bit maps.
Background images can no longer be customised to suite the building location. You only have the choice of the preset sky images that are available in the render dialog box.
I my opinion being on subscription the software that we have paid for should contain the features that we already have and also new ones, and not be replaced by some half cooked replacement of an existing feature.
I understand that Mental Ray rendering engine has been used in a number of AD products for some time, so why do we not have the same features as those found in other AD products.
AD should put their efforts into making the product more reliable and stronger, which would be an improvement worth paying for.
I think that AD have lost touch with the people and business that they are saleing the software to.
In my business we drive the software and not the other round. How often does AD contact people from industry and ask them what they want and what they need out of the software. I’m not talking about sending out an email and getting industry people to fill in a survey, but actually have face to face contact.
AD is a great company I’m sure, but they need to have a more personal touch to their organisation and software.

Unknown said...

Hi David,

Are there any books out as a training manual for the rendering part of Revit Architecture 2009, Autodesk or third party?



PTRP said...

Your blog is very informative.. ;)
I love it.. I can learn a lot of things here.. ;)

Kay Bee said...

i had been using revit 8.1 for long time. now when i am using revit 2009 and rendering, everything goes me out

Unknown said...

Karan - have you seen this post?

I'm not sure whether this will give you the advice you are looking for? Things to check; you have the latest build of RAC2009, you have the latest render library installed (this comes with sp1 and is worth downloading). If you are upgrading a 8.1 model to rac2009, I'm am aware of this issue of things rendering black. You may want to try to migrate the file from 8.1 to rac2009. Then copy and paste the elements into a new file, then try to render.Check the lighting scheme, I would also check the materials, being used as they may have not migrated correctly either. I hope this is of help....

Unknown said...

Had a problem in Revit 2009 that is now cropping up in 2010 also:
The scene renders beautifully, but then you try to save the rendering in the project or export it, and nothing happens.
I know in Revit 9 the rendering hung if you tried to work in any other program, but this seems to be fixed, now the new problem is cropping up.

suzan michaely said...


it's so informative, but it didn't work with my model...the sun dosen't work . i mean the whole building is too dark with no light. how can i solve it?


raju said...

hi david
i use revit 09, i ve 2 problems

1st one is i dont know how i use both day light and artificial light togather.plz give a soluation.

2nd problem is in large architectural design i ve face problem that when i start render after some time its show a messege "not enough memory."but my drive c: is almost empty.with this problem i m really worried.plz how can i solve this plz plz plz tell me.