Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing a material texture, part of Revit: Rendering.
- As we've discussed in previous movies, when you create custom materials you will often need to assign some sort of a bitmap image in the appearance tab, and sometimes you'll assign even more than one. Now those bitmaps can be in a variety of formats. They can be PNG files, they can be JPEG files and they represent the actual surface texture of the material that you're trying to represent. Now you can get images from a variety of sources. You can search for them online, you can go out with your digital camera and actually take photographs of real life materials and turn those into custom bitmaps, or you could even go into an image editing program and paint them yourselves.
Now when you create such images you need to store them in a location that's easily accessible to Revit, and sometimes it will lose track of where that location is. Now this can happen if you share the file with an outside recipient or if somebody renames a folder in your hard drive or something along those lines. So what I want to show you first is how you can add a path statement to Revit so that it knows where you're storing any of your custom bitmap images. So I'm gonna go to the application menu here, the big R. Come down here to Options and then I'll click the rendering tab.
Now here you can add additional render appearance paths and these are just pointers to folders on your hard drive that contain bitmap textures. So I'll click this plus sign here that will add a path. If I click in that field a browse button will appear and I can use that to browse to the location where I've stored my bitmap images. Now I've got a folder here called textures inside the exercise files and I'm gonna point to that location. Now when you click okay, it won't always immediately refresh the current document that you're in.
So, the easiest thing to do is to go to the big R and close the current file and then simply reopen it. And when I do what you're gonna see here is that this brick arch actually has a custom texture applied to it. Now if you look at it carefully, you can see that there's these individual bricks are repeated along the arch and there is no mortar being displayed. So what I wanted was just a texture that matched the existing brick wall texture but that did not show individual bricks.
And to do that I had to actually edit it in an image editing software. So what I wanted was a texture that did not show individual bricks or just showed basically what one brick looked like. So let me show you what that looks like on this big box over here. So, this box has a material property, I'll click it. I will look here in my material browser and so I based that material here on the existing Brick Common which of course uses this burgundy brick texture that we've seen before, and I made a duplicate version of that that I called No Mortar.
So, when I okay that and show you how that applies to this box, it's as if I've now created a very, very large brick. But as you can see that there's no mortar here, there's no individual bricks here. It's basically just the texture of a single brick. So how exactly did I pull that off? Well, it was actually quite simple. What you need to do is go to your material browser and locate the texture that's being used by the original material. So under appearance if I highlight this file name right here you can see the path.
Now write that down. That's the path that you need. It's gonna be very important that you go to that location. So you could see that's very deep in my program files folder on my C drive. Now you're gonna go into an image editing program and open up that file. Now I'm gonna do it in Photoshop which I have open here. You can use any image editing software to do this next step. Now this is the texture that's being used in that material, this Brick Non Uniformed Running Burgundy. Now what I'm gonna do is instead of creating that one over again, I've already got an example of that as you saw in the file is I'll just choose a different brick texture like this non uniform brown brick and I'll open that.
Now the process is exactly the same regardless of which texture you use. If you have any trouble locating these actual files on your own hard drive, I've provided both of these files in the textures folder with the exercise files and you can feel free to open them there instead. Now what you want to do is zoom in a little bit here and look for the most uniform brick you can find. So you want to avoid ones like this and like this that have some sort of discoloration in them because that will be more obvious. And so, what I want to do is find one that's nice and uniform like maybe this one right here.
I'll go ahead and zoom in on that brick then I'll switch to the selection tool and I'm going to drag a selection that includes just that portion of the texture without any of the mortar joints. I will copy that to my clipboard and then I will create a new file. And now I'm gonna paste that image from the clipboard. Now over here in Photoshop that will create a new layer so I will simply flatten the layers, and then I'll save this file as a new image.
Now you could put it in the original folder if you want to. I would actually prefer to put this in my textures folder in my exercise files. I'm gonna call it One Brown Brick and I'm gonna save it as a PNG file. Now you can also save it as a JPEG if you prefer. I like the PNG format and I'll save it. Not gonna use any compression and I'll click okay. So now switching back to Revit, I can take that new custom bitmap file that I've created and make a new material from it.
So I'll go to materials. I'll start with my Brick Common material, right click it and duplicate. Change the name. And then I'll come over here to the Appearance tab. Now here on the Appearance tab, if you click right on the name, that will actually open up a browse window to let you choose a different bitmap file. Go to wherever you saved the texture, in my case it's in my exercise files, and choose your One Brown Brick file. And you'll see that it kind of gets a little distorted there.
So what's actually happened is if you click right on this image tile, it will open up the texture editor. And what you could see here is there's a dimension here and here and the previous texture was actually sized at 3'10 by 3'4 because it was a field of bricks rather than single brick. Well if we take a single brick and we stretch it across this much larger area then it becomes quite distorted here. You can see it's not very pleasing. So what we want to do instead is resize this to the size of just a single brick.
So if you scroll down here in the editor, under scale you'll see the sample size. So a common brick is about eight inches and when I enter that you'll see that it scales the height to match. Well right over here there's a little link icon that I can click to turn that linking feature off and I can change the height of this instead to 2 2/3 inches. And you'll see the proportion and the size of the texture change to now match the size of a single brick.
That's all I need to do. I'll okay that. Now, in addition, what you should do is take that same image in your image editing software, Photoshop in my case but whatever image editing software you're using, and create a black and white version of it. And then you might want to boost the contrast of that black and white image to make a little more separation between the blacks and whites. And the reason for that is the brick material is also using a black and white version of that image for the relief pattern, and that's what starts to give it a little bit of texture.
It makes it seem like the brick instead of being perfectly smooth has little pits and high points and rough spots on it. So this relief pattern can be used to simulate that. Now for the time being I'm going to skip that step and I'll just simply turn off the relief pattern because I don't want it to use that collection of bricks. So I'll turn it off temporarily here but if you want to complete this entire process you should just repeat the exact steps that I did before. Make this a bitmap, black and white and load it in here and size it accordingly.
So let's click okay and now I'm gonna select this box. Browse and I'll choose my new One Brown Brick material and then you can see it applied across the surface here. Now it needs some work. There's two areas in particular. It's kind of flat because we didn't add that relief pattern and as you zoom in, it's kind of noticeable that we're using the same texture and just repeating it over and over again. Well, if you really did want to apply this texture across a much larger surface like we have here, then you'd want to deal with that noticeable repeat.
We'll actually address that in the next movie. However, if you're planning to use it for individual bricks, it should work just fine because it will be much less noticeable. But as you can see the process of creating a custom bitmap texture that you can use in your materials is fairly straightforward. Whatever the source of that bitmap texture is, whether you find it from Google or paint it yourself in Photoshop, all you have to do is point to that image in your material editor and it will repeat that new custom image across the surface of whatever object you assign it to.
- 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