Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining quality settings, part of Revit: Rendering.
- In this movie we'll begin looking at the settings in the rendering dialog with a look, specifically, at the quality presets. So I'm in a view called Perspective at Entrance, and I'm going to click the Render button. You can also get to it with the little teapot icon down here, and that will display the rendering dialog. Now under Quality we just have this single drop down that's currently set to Draft, and if you click there, there's a drop down menu that has a variety of choices. So we can go from Draft through Medium all the way to Best. Beneath that is Custom, and then, finally, an Edit option.
Now, in general, what I recommend is, as you're getting familiar with the rendering settings in Revit, to do a collection of renderings in each one of these presets. Starting with Draft, of course, and then working your way up to Best. Start with a simple model that's not terribly complicated, so that it won't take too long to generate, particularly on the higher quality ones because the running theme in rendering that you always want to keep in mind is that rendering is always a trade off between time and quality. So the higher that you input your settings, the higher the quality that you go for, the more time it's going to take to generate the rendering.
That's just the general rule of thumb. So if you've got lots of time to work with, you can afford to do a higher quality rendering, but if you're in a hurry, and you need a quick result, then you might have to sacrifice some of the quality in order to achieve that. So that's generally the rule of thumb, and this is not just Revit, this is really any rendering program typically has that dichotomy. When you're trying to do these tests and get a sense of how these presets work, it's a pretty good idea to start with a smaller model because a smaller model will take less time in any of the presets, so it just stands to reason.
Now it's actually possible to also customize one of these presets, so, for example, I'm going to choose Medium off the list. Then I'm going to come down here and choose Edit. If you want to modify one of the presets, the way that it works is you have to actually start with one of the existing presets, so you notice the same list appears here, Draft through Best, and then you click this to say Copy it to Custom. Notice that it's read only when you choose any of the built in ones, but if I choose Copy to Custom, now it will set this to Custom, and all of the settings that were in the Medium preset have now been copied over to Custom, and I can start to modify them.
Now they try to make all these settings fairly simple here making it very clear between the low and the high, so, for example, this very first item here says Image Precision (Antialiasing), and you can see a very pixilated version of the image over on the left hand side and a really nice and smooth version over here on the right, so that's trying to show you the two extremes, so if you drag this slider all the way to the left, you're going to get something more like this, and all the right, something more like that, but another thing that you can do is you can actually click this Help icon up here at the top, and that will actually display your help system and tell you, in a little bit more detail, what each of these settings do.
Now the reason I like consulting the Help here is because it will tell you what the range is for each of these settings, so in the Image Precision (Antialiasing) the range is between one, the most jagged, and 10, the smoothest, so that kind of gives you an idea of what you might set that slider to because you know the highest and the lowest option is, so it's a pretty good idea to keep this help open in the background as you work through these settings and configure them. So you can see that Medium is set to four, which is actually lower than halfway on the scale.
That tells you something as well because when you think about, "Well, O.K., that's a medium quality rendering, "and it doesn't take very much Antialiasing "in order to achieve that," then that is something that you can use when you're trying to make a decision about exactly what you want this setting to be. Now before you actually do any heavy customization, I would make sure that you take a look at the built in presets. So when it's Draft, there's no Antialiasing at all, but when it's Low it goes up to two, and when you get to Best it's at eight, so even Best doesn't go all the way to 10, that's really telling.
So what that's telling you is there's really almost never a time when you need to go all the way to 10 in order to get a high quality rendering, and so you want to kind of familiarize yourself with each of these presets before you begin to customize them. Now what I've done is I've taken a screen capture of each of the presets and composited them together into a single image, and I've included that image with the exercise files. I realize that it's a little difficult to read it here on screen, but you can actually open that image directly and either print it out or view it in another piece of software, but this allows you to kind of compare them side by side and start to see the differences between the various settings.
Use this in conjunction with the Help file, and you'll start to have a better understanding of how each one of these presets operates and be able to make better decisions about which one you think you might want to use for the rendering that you're trying to do. Now let me set this back to medium and recopy it to my Custom, and then let's kind of scroll through and look at a few more settings. We've got everything from Reflection to the number of refractions and what happens when you have, you know, blurriness going on, and what you want your shadows to do.
Should they have rough edges or should they have smooth edges? And then even what starts to happen with sky illumination. You know, this is really kind of interesting because if you think about the way that light really interacts with our environment, the sunlight hits the ground, and it bounces off all the surfaces and all the buildings and other objects nearby, and it bounces back up into the sky, and then that sky re-reflects the light back down, and this is why shadows are never completely black. There's always some light in the shadow areas, and, obviously, the brighter the sunlight the more that that is, so by using this setting, you can actually simulate that much more accurately so you don't get these really unnatural looking shadow areas in your rendering.
So there's quite a few settings here for you to explore. Down at the bottom when you're doing interior renderings, you even have some check boxes over here to control the way openings, windows and doors and so on, will actually be treated as daylight portals within your rendering, so that's important as well. So take the time to go through the quality settings, try out each one, do a test rendering in a really simple model, and compare the settings, and then compare that with the descriptions in the Help file, and I think that after you go through that process, you'll have a much better idea of, not only how each of the presets behave, but also what you might want to customize to make your own custom settings.
- 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