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This course offers an in-depth look at the rendering features of Revit, including photometric lighting, sun, and exposure and its basic animation tools. Author Paul F. Aubin covers creating 3D views; modeling wall layers, sweeps, and custom components; applying materials and custom textures to objects; and rendering the final scene with optimal quality settings. The course also shows how to create a walk-through that showcases designs.
In this movie we will look at the final area of the Rendering dialog, the image settings at the bottom of the dialog. That includes the Exposure Control settings and some Export options. And to do this, I thought we would switch over to an interior rendering. So I am in a file called Interior Rendering, and I'm in a view called Interior, just a 3D camera view. And I am going to open up the Render dialog, clicking my little teapot icon. And the main areas that we are going to focus on is down here, the Adjust Exposure, Save to Project, and Export. Before we do that, let's get a rendering going.
So just double-check all our settings here. Because we are working on screen and I want the rendering to go relatively quickly, I am going to go with a Medium preset. I am going to change to the Printer Resolution at 150 DPI because 750 pixels is a pretty good medium size that I want to work with, and I get a little more control that way. Because I'm in Interior, I want to switch to one of the interior lighting schemes. Now I could do just the Sun. I've got these big windows, lots of daylight coming in-- You can see from the shadow display--and I would probably be okay for this time of day.
I am going to choose Sun and Artificial just because. Now the artificial lights will probably not contribute a whole lot to the rendering, but if the time a day were early in the morning or late in the afternoon, they would contribute a little bit more. So I'll let you experiment with that a little if you like. Now just to speed things up just a touch, I am going to go to Artificial Lights and just check all of my light settings. I've previously turned off some of the sconces that are behind the camera and left on only the lights that we can basically see in the view. Now that's not necessarily what you'd want to do in all situations, but again, for this demonstration it should serve our purposes well.
So I've got that and I am not going to bother putting any kind of sky, so I'll just leave it Sky: No Clouds and leave it at that. Let's go ahead and generate the rendering to get us started and see what we get. Okay, so here's our result. Now you can see that the rendering is a little bit washed out. Somebody turned up the sun really, really bright. Obviously, the light coming in is really blasting out the scene, and it's a little difficult to make out the details. That's where this Exposure Control will come in.
So if we click on this, one of the really nice things about the rendering engine that's being used here in Revit, the mental ray rendering engine, is that it stores information in the pixels of the rendering, and you can actually adjust things on the fly. At the moment here, I'm looking at all the default settings. Now these little dials are somewhat bizarre in their ranges, like for instance this particular one can range from -6 all the way to 16. Now where they got that range from, I really couldn't say. I'll just do Reset to Default; it defaults to 9.
So obviously we certainly don't want this image any brighter than it is. If we did, it would just blow it out even further. But maybe if we boost it up just a little bit, even just a little bit higher, like 10.2 here, you can already see the big difference in the rendering. We can start to see a little of the horizon in the background. The details are popping out a little bit better over here. This is akin to the exposure control on a digital camera, and that's basically what this is doing. Now if you want a little more fine- tuned control and if you're familiar with image-editing software like Photoshop, you can actually adjust the Highlights, Mid Tones, and Shadows. And again, each one of these works on their own scale as well.
The best way to get a little bit more detailed description and to learn about the range--for example, Highlights goes between 0 and 1 and Mid Tones and Shadows is between 0.1 and 4. Now why they're not all on the same range, I couldn't say. But you can go to this little Help icon right here, and that will explain to you all the ranges that are being used here, like the White Point, there are some good tips in there. 6,500 is the white balance for daylight. If you're lighting your scene only with incandescent light, they recommend you start at about 2,800 and work your way up from there, or use the manufacturer's recommendations from the web site.
So there's a couple of different ways you can set some of these things. If I want to brighten up the Highlights a little bit, again in this image, not really sure I'd want to do that; I might actually want to darken them just slightly. And you can kind of see it was really subtle. So these settings are much more subtle than the overall Exposure value, so I am just going to adjust them slightly. You can see the Mid Tones had a little bit more of a dramatic effect. The Mid Tone is if you took all the pixels in the image and mapped them on a chart and say, okay, here are all the dark ones on one side.
Here are all the light ones on other side. The Mid Tones is everything in between. So when you do this, you are kind of shifting and pushing those. In Photoshop, that would be called a histogram. That's basically what we'd be adjusting here. I can make the image a little cooler by adjusting that. It doesn't take very much. If I drop it down to 5900, You can already see that there's a little more blue in the image. It's gotten a little lighter, a little cooler. If I boost it way up here, it's going to become very warm. So this is a really helpful setting here to set the tone of the image, and then of course you can have a lot of fun with saturation.
If I want to make this just a black-and-white image, I can boost it all the way down to gray. If I want to make it look like some weird illustration, I can go all the way to Intense and really whack it out. Feel free to experiment with some of these settings. I am going to leave my Saturation about where it was. I like my White Point here to be a little bit lower than the default. I just want it to cool this image off just a little bit. I am going to leave these other settings the way I have them-- about 10.2 is fine here--and I'll click OK.
So when I'm satisfied with the results and I've got a rendering that I can live with, the next thing I'd want to do is either save it to the project or export it. If I click Save to Project, it actually just adds this rendering to the Project Browser in this project. So if I click that, it will give it a name. Usually I like to put in the settings that I used, so something like Medium 750 x 450. And you might even want to put in some of your Exposure settings if you wrote them down, but for now I am just going to write Exposure to remind myself that I made changes.
That would show up over here, under Renderings. I already had a couple in this file, but there is the one that I just created. The other thing you can do is export it. When you export it, you're creating an image file. Now, you may remember that I only used the default sky in the background. So I am going to show you a little tip here. I am going to put this in my Exercise Files folder, and I'll just call this the same basic name here, just put Medium for now. And I always like to put the resolution in the name, just so I know what I am working with.
And instead of a JPEG, I am going to change the file format to PNG. When I do that and save it, Revit will actually take all the areas that were sky and make them transparent. So let me switch over to Photoshop and show you what that looks like. So here I am in Photoshop. You could do this in any image-editing program. And you'll notice that that little checkerboard pattern appears in all the windows. Those are the transparent areas of the image that had the sky. And what I can do is if I forgot to load in an image, or I didn't have one handy, I can save it off this way, and now I can create a new layer in Photoshop, and I can drop in my background image after the fact.
Let's go ahead and drop the background in real quick then. So I am going to go up and open an image that provided in the exercise files. I've provided you a few samples. You can actually choose whichever you want. I've pre-sized this one to match the resolution of our rendering. So it's 750 pixels wide. It's this sort of mountainous scene here. I am going to select everything and do Ctrl+C to copy it. Let me come over here to my Rendering and do Ctrl+V to paste it, take this layer, drag it underneath the first layer, and you'll see that it shows through in all the transparent areas.
If I want to adjust, I can just sort of move it around slightly. Now, I resized it to match exactly to 750 wide. If you want to be able to move it side to side and maybe resize it a little bit bigger, I have provided the full-size image if you want to experiment. So then we could save off the image and use that as our final rendering. You can also do additional exposure control adjustments in your image-editing program directly here. I just want to point one other thing here. You'll notice that there's this little gap here. It kind of looks like the ceiling is really bright.
The reason for that is the ceiling plane in our Revit model was actually floating. So what you're really seeing there is the wall going up beyond there. So it does look a little unnatural, maybe, in the rendering, but I think it's exactly correct just because of the way the design is set up. So that's the Exposure Control button. The really handy thing about Exposure Control is you can actually save it with the Render Settings. So if you want to render ahead of time with certain exposure settings that you've pre-determined, you can actually build those right in and save that as part of the view--and you see that when you go to the Render Settings view is the Exposure Control is right here.
So that actually is part of the Render Settings of the view.
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