Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying background settings, part of Revit: Rendering.
- In this movie, we're gonna look at the Background Settings section of the Render dialog. So, if I open up the Render dialog right here, you can see down here that there's a Background area, and there's a Style drop-down list, and there are several different kinds of Backgrounds that we can add to our scene. If you render without any background at all, what you end up with is just basically empty space back there. So, for example, if I chose the Color option, then you just get a single color bar right here, and you could choose any color you want, and they've chosen, sort of, this light blue color to kind of represent sky, so I'll just go ahead and accept that color, but you could certainly choose a different one if you prefer, and I'll leave all the other settings the same.
I'm gonna do Medium, and let's do a Region, just to speed this up a little bit. So I'm gonna do a Region and just the corner of the sky here, and including maybe a little bit of the tower. So, just this sort of upper portion of the model here, and we'll do Screen resolution and Medium setting, and let's go ahead and click Render. Okay, so if you don't have a lot of background, this can be okay, but it feels a little bit flat.
I mean, it depends on the effect you're looking for, of course. In some cases, that might be appropriate if you want to focus more on what's going on in the foreground, but I think that in a lot of cases, this is probably just a little too artificial. So, that's what you get if you just choose color. Now all of these sky options are actually gonna do a gradient in the background, so they'll do a gradient sky, and a gradient gray for the horizon line, and then depending on your choice, you can choose whether you want clouds or not. So, let's do the one in the middle here, let's do Few Clouds, and then, you actually have a slider here for whether or not it's hazy.
So you can adjust that as well, but I'm gonna leave it as clear and not introduce any haze to it, and let's keep the same Region and Render again. Okay, so that's a little bit better. We can now start to see that we've got a little bit clouds going on here. It's a very subtle effect though, the clouds, they're not very crisp. They don't really jump out at you, but it's slightly more believable than just that stark blue sky, and you can see some gradient and tone here between the shades of blue that are used for the sky. What's most noticeable, I think though, in this option is the horizon line because my model actually stops here where the grass ends, and then I've got this distance here out to the horizon line, which Revit has just filled in with gray, so that's sort of like the standard background there, and then that sort of blue bar at the edge.
Now, again, you might be able to play it off, it may not be the focal point of the rendering, but I think that that's a little bit noticeable. So a few options that you could do there is you could just simply add some more trees in there to kinda cover that up, or perhaps a fence or something, or maybe some other building geometry just to kind of deal with that, or you could even go into your terrain model here and extend the topo so that it kind of extends out into that area. Now, all of those are acceptable, but they might start to move you away from the actual building design.
If you're doing things just to sort of cover that up, it may not actually fit into the grander scheme of how the project is pogressing with other members of the team who are not interested in rendering. So, you'll have to decide whether or not that's an appropriate course of action. Another option that we have that kind of achieves the same thing, but doesn't require you to put any new geometry in the scene is to actually use the Image option here. So, when I choose that, I'll get a button here where I can customize the image, and if I click that, there is the opportunity here to browse to an image file.
Now, in the Exercise Files, I've included several different image files, and I think the ones that work best for this scene is either Field1 or Field2, and you can see a preview of that image when you load it in, and it's just sort of a grassy field with some trees in the background, nothing too objectionable, but it's certainly going to kind of fill in that space there, and kind of maybe make it look a little bit more believable. Now, there's a few options that you have for dealing with the Scale of the image. You can choose Original Size, and that will actually base it on the pixel size that you're using back here.
So, because we're only doing a very small screen resolution image, Original Size actually stretches it rather large, and it might not be appropriate. The other option is to Stretch it, but when you do that, it stretches it equally in both the width and the height, so it might actually introduce some distortion. So I actually prefer the Height and Width options instead, and notice that the height is a little bit taller than our image, so it's kinda putting these blank bars on the sides, so I think the Width is gonna work best in this case, and that'll just crop out a little bit of the grass and a little of the sky, and that seems like the best compromise.
Now, it's actually possible to Offset it as well, if necessary, but I'll click OK here, and let's go ahead and Render that and see what we get. Okay, so now that that's complete, you can see that it actually looks kinda believable, right? There's a difference in tone here between the grass of our model and the grass in the image, but it's not so much so that it becomes distracting, I mean, it could almost be interpreted as maybe another shadow, so maybe folks won't notice that as much. Now, you certainly could adjust the material that's being used on the grass here and try and lighten it up a little bit, so that's an option that you could do, or you could even post-process that in an image editing program, so there's certainly things you could do to kinda hide that obvious edge there, but it actually seems kinda believable that the grass would just continue and there might be some trees off in the background, and actually, what I like a lot about this image is the sky is much more natural because it's an actual photograph of real sky, so you could see that it's much lighter down here at the base, and it kinda goes up to this nice, rich blue up at the top.
So, to me, that one is the most satisfying of all. Now, I've got this little black band over here, but actually when I do my Final Render without Region, it will render without that, so let's go ahead and just see what the Final Render looks like. So here's the Final Render complete for the whole scene here. The biggest issue here in this particular image is shadows. Now, this image works because here is a part of the image over here that shows these long shadows, and we're getting similar shadows from our actual rendered model.
So when people see that it'll be believable to them, but you want to be really careful about choosing an image that doesn't match your actual rendering, and if the shadows are at a different angle, or if the sky is at a different perspective than the perspective of your camera, then it can become very noticeable. So, when choosing an image, kinda compare it to the vantage point that your model is standing at, and make sure that they line up. But those are three different ways that you can introduce backgrounds to your image to give a more completed look, and usually it's gonna be a little bit nicer or easier to do that than it is going to be to actually go into the model and start building all of the surrounding geometry that you would need to kind of get it to go all the way off to the horizon.
So, whether you use the built-in sky or an image, it can be a much more effective way to deal with what's off in the background than building everything.
- Creating 3D views and 3D cutaway views
- Adding details to the model
- Creating and editing materials
- Working with the sun system
- Working with lighting groups
- Configuring render settings
- Preparing a cloud render
- Creating a walkthrough
- Rendering a plan