Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Configuring the resolution, part of Revit: Rendering.
As we continue to work our way through the render dialogue settings, let's consider resolution and its impact on both the quality of your rendering and the time that it will take to render, because remember that rendering is all about a balance between quality and time, so resolution is actually one of the factors that can have a huge impact on that. So we spent a decent amount of time in the previous movie talking about the quality presets and how much difference there was between say, a draft and a best, both in terms of quality and time, but if you ignore the output, where you're planning to send this rendering, then you could be in for a big surprise even after you've made some of those other decisions, so you absolutely have to keep your output resolution in mind as you're making those decisions.
So there's two choices here, screen and printer. Now, they're fairly self explanatory. Screen is a good choice if you're planning to ouput this rendering to display on monitors. Those can be computer monitors or television monitors, but if you display on a screen, then it will decide the number of pixels you need for you, and it will usually be suitable for viewing on those devices. Printer, on the other hand, will give you more options, and that's what you would choose if you were actually planning to output your rendering to paper. Now, screen resolutions do vary.
There are low resolution monitors and high resolution monitors, so if you actually want to be completely sure and you want to have complete control over the number of pixels that you're outputting, then you can actually choose printer all the time and set the number of pixels. Notice that with screen, it's deciding how many pixels I need, and currently, it's telling me I've got 840 pixels by 507. Down here, it tells me the uncompressed image size will be about a meg and a half. Now we've already seen that that will generate in a few minutes. Won't be so bad.
Now, if I switch that to printer resolution, it actually reduces slightly because the first printer resolution that is listed here is 75 DPI, and that's actually a little bit smaller than the screen resolution that it was using, but over here, there's a drop down list now that has other choices, so each time I choose a different one of these options and DPI stands for dots per inch, and so that's just how many pixels you're getting within each inch, as I increase the number of pixels per inch, then suddenly, these numbers are going to increase pretty dramatically, so if I go to 150, it will double the number of pixels.
Now, you're not only doubling the number of pixels but you're actually quadrupling them because it's doubling the width, it's doubling the height, but that means the total number of pixels across the entire image is actually four times, so keep that in mind as you increase this, and watch the uncompressed image size as I jump up to 300, so now I'm at seven and a half megs, or at 600, it goes to a whopping 30 megs. Now, truth be told, I've never used 600. It's really a bit of overkill.
In my experience, even though 300 DPI is largely considered a standard for print resolution, I find that with renderings, you can actually get more than acceptable results with something lower than that. I've gotten acceptable results with as low as 200, but 250 is almost always going to give you a decent result, so you can kind of play with those standards a little bit and still get decent quality, and so again, the bottom line is to do some test renderings and to just see what quality you need.
Now, before we settle on exactly what number we're going to put in there, let's consider the fact that they're showing the width and the height here in units, inches in this case, in this particular file. Well, where does that come from? If I click out over here and select this crop region, that's the actual crop region of the camera view, a size crop button will appear on the ribbon. When you click that, this is where the width and height appears. Now, before you make any changes to these, it's very important that you click here to lock the proportions of the rectangle, because otherwise, you can change these two numbers independently and change the proportions of this rectangle out here, and if you've worked really hard to set up that composition, you might not like that result, so always do locked proportions, and then you're able to change these numbers, but what should you change them to? Well, if you really are planning to print this rendering out, then think about the size piece of paper you're going to print this on, so if I was going to print on standard US letter paper, for example, which is 11 inches wide, maybe I want a margin all the way around, so I might be able to do 10 inches here.
When I do that, and click over into the other field, it will resize it for me automatically because we're locking the proportions. I'll click ok. The rendering zooms out, but you can easily zoom that back in, but notice that the proportions are unchanged. That's the important thing, but look what's happened over here now in the render dialogue, so now we're reflecting the new width and height, and we've got significantly more pixels. Now, ultimately, I don't really care what the width and height says.
I'm more concerned with the pixels, because I know that I can take this image into Photoshop or any other image editing program, and I can resize it without sampling, and keep the number of pixels intact, but change the size, so think of it this way. If you've got a 10 inch image at 300 DPI, that's 3,000 pixels, but if you keep those same 3,000 pixels and drop the DPI to 150, now suddenly you've got a 20 inch image. Now, here, if I drop to 150, it will only generate 1,500 pixels, so you see the difference? But in Photoshop, you can start with that 3,000 pixels and then scale it and keep the number of pixels intact but change their proportion across the image, and so that's how you can drop down to say 250 or 200 and still preserve the same number of pixels, but if you want to do it directly from Revit at the size you want, you can actually click right in here and type the DPI that you're after, so if I want 250, I'll just type it in and let Revit do the math and generate the correct number of pixels.
So you can see there's a few different approaches to that, but ultimately it's the number of pixels that matters. Look at the size of the uncompressed image now. So because I'm generating so many more pixels, it's going to be a much bigger image, which means it's going to take much more time, so just kind of keep that in your equation when you're factoring out, doing that balancing act between time and quality, but the resolution is absolutely critical, because the output is what matters, right? You're going to present this image to somebody. If they're going to see it on a screen, you can get away with much less resolution.
If they're going to see it in their hand on a piece of paper, then you're going to have to bite the bullet and go for the much bigger image.
- 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