Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Assessing large area meshes, part of 3ds Max: Revit Integration.
- [Instructor] Bringing a model from Revit to 3ds Max is fairly easy. From 3ds Max, we can either produce a rendering or go out to a real-time application for virtual reality or a tour through the building. When you're bringing a model over from Revit to 3ds Max though, it's important to keep in mind some considerations that'll affect the rendering later on, whatever form it takes. The first is to analyze large meshes and see where things can possibly have issues arise later when they're dealing in true light. I've got a model here I put together or at least part of one.
It's still kind of in design in Revit but we want to take it over to 3ds Max for more iterative design and better lighting or perhaps go out and view it in virtual reality. What I'm going to do is to analyze this model to look for possible problem areas and I'll start by looking at any large meshes. This building is directly inspired by the Santa Fe Savings and Loan and I'll take a quick look at some reference on it to see how the real one is going to light. The Santa Fe Savings and Loan in Palm Springs by E. Stewart Williams is one of my favorite buildings, built in the 1950s, originally as a savings and loan and now a part of the Palm Springs Museum of Art.
It's a classic, modern structure with round columns and cruciform fins welded on holding up a flat, white roof. Inside we've got a curtain wall and perforated metal panels shielding the building from the harsh desert sun. Around it is a low wall with planting between the wall and sidewalk and the building. It's a really fantastic example of classic 50s modernism. What we can see in this is that this roof slab, and actually soffit or ceiling, needs to read as a contiguous piece.
It's very flat. We do have some score lines along here, control joints, and likewise we've got this floor slab that appears to float over the planting. Both of these are large objects and that floor slab is contiguous inside. When we look at an inside view, despite being slightly pixelated, we can see that there's a clear view from inside to outside. Inside we've got a poured terrazzo as evident by the control joints and speckled appearance. And the view flows right outside to that concrete slab.
Likewise we see the same thing on the ceiling, that inside smooth ceiling flows right outside really blurring the lines between in and out. These are the kind of things that are really terrific looking in architecture but can be very problematic in a rendering if we don't account for them. Back her in Revit then I'll take a look at some large meshes and identify possible problem areas. The first is the floor. I'll select and isolate it to show what I've done. I've cut this floor slab out, a structural floor, cleanly around the curtain wall, or actually halfway under, and this way I can cleanly isolate the outside, which is more likely to be in direct lighting from the sun, from the inside, which is more likely to have either dappled interior lighting from the screens, plants, or interior lights, or muted lights through, again, screens where the sun shines through.
Separating inside and outside floors then, even though they are the same structural slab, is important. I've reset my isolation and now we'll go inside and take a look at the ceiling. I've set up some views here. I'll double click on the entry 3D view and we can see here that I've got a contiguous roof slab, and then inside is actually a separate ceiling. I'll go into the lobby view and here we can see our ceiling object. This piece goes cleanly around all the way around the curtain walls as shown by highlighting, and right across this partition in the middle.
We can see I don't have a floor yet and that's one place I can go and add in other meshes. This ceiling may be problematic though as there's a lot of places in this ceiling and like objects where I've got multiple lighting conditions that are going to try to hit one mesh. Additionally we'll be punching some holes in with recessed can lights and that in itself gets problematic in a large mesh because we get long thin triangles when we export this over to 3ds Max and those can lead to rendering artifacts. So I'll tag this one as needing some attention, especially before I start punching holes in it.
We also want to consider the lighting conditions in the inside, a ceiling like this, and the soffits on the outside. Most likely though, if we're trying to show a realistic view this ceiling is going to be hit by all bounced light and so this large mesh gives us the distinct possibility of many blotchy rendering artifacts if we're not careful. So it's wise to break up this as well. We've started to break up the floor and you can see I've got this one slab for my entry, maybe that terrazzo will be here, and then I can put in other floor pieces around where right now it's blank.
When you're dealing with a model then it's a good idea to really start to separate things out, even though there may be pieces that are contiguous, to really make a difference between your structure, i.e. the concrete floor slab, and the skin or floor that's going to go on it, the terrazzo, the carpet, whatever it's going to be. And to start to break things up for rendering a little bit will save you a lot of grief later on.
- Optimizing Revit files for export
- Breaking up large meshes
- Exporting the Revit model
- Importing the Revit scene
- Adding details to coarse meshes
- Selecting and replacing materials
- Adjusting UV mapping
- Changing light types
- Adjusting lighting and exposure