Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Performing test renders, part of Revit: Rendering.
- In this movie, I want to talk about how important doing frequent test renderings is to your overall rendering process. Often, we're excited and we're anxious to get in and generate a rendering, but there could be nothing more frustrating than you get everything set up, that you think it's gonna be great, and you click the Render button, you walk away from your computer, and you come back and it's not at all what you were expecting, and you're disappointed. So, one of the ways that we can alleviate some of that is to do frequent test renders, and of course, we can do those test renders at lower quality settings than we plan to do the final rendering so that we can save time, because as we remember, that rendering is constantly a balancing act between time and quality.
So, what I've got here is my perspective at the entrance again, and I want to show you, in the previous movie, we talked about the different presets and I suggested that you might want to render a simple scene at each of the presets, and I've done exactly that. So I want to show you what the results of each of those test renders were, and then talk about how that can help me get a higher quality rendering. So, let's take a look at the first rendering. Now, we've seen this one before, this is the Draft rendering, and obviously, the quality is not at all anything exciting, but, even at this Draft rendering, there's tons of valuable information that I can glean from this and start making better decisions about what I want to do next.
Just looking at it, I can get a sense of the overall composition. I can make decisions about where the entourage is, and is that tree over on the left framing the scene the way that I want. I could decide whether or not I like the perspective and the angle of the shot. I can even start to make decisions about the basic materials and lighting because that's even starting to come through in this Draft quality rendering. This Draft rendering took only 26 seconds to generate, so it absolutely makes sense to generate these draft renderings frequently because they take almost no time to generate, and they convey all kinds of really important information.
Now, dialing up the setting to the next level, going to Low, you can already see a dramatic difference in the quality. Now, it's still not the kind of thing that you're gonna put in your marketing brochure, but you could start to understand a little bit better what the materials are doing and the lighting is maybe a little bit crisper. Compositionally and the other decisions, we could make those decisions just as easily in the Draft, but here with the Low, we can start to understand some of those other quality settings maybe just a little bit better about materials and lighting and so on.
When I get to Medium, I'm already starting to see a level of quality here that I might be satisfied with depending on who the recipient was and what the delivery method was, so if I was planning to present this rendering on a computer screen, Medium might be okay. If I'm gonna print it out in a brochure, it's probably still not at the quality level that I need it at yet, but it's starting to get there. Everything's a little bit crisper, and we can make better decisions about the materials, and we can still consider things like the composition. Now, the Low took 00:52 seconds, the Medium was 01:45.
So, I think adding that extra half a minute to get to Medium is probably still worth it because, you know, the quality is halfway decent, and if you happen to show it to somebody else, you won't have to spend the first half of the conversation explaining to them why the rendering looks so bad. You can just say, "Hey this is a Draft rendering," and nobody would be terribly offended by it. Now, when you get to High, it starts to look crisper still. We can actually start to make out that that's brick on the surfaces of the wall, so we're maybe a little bit more satisfied with the quality of the materials.
We're getting maybe a little bit of unsatisfactory anti-aliasing up by the roof and so forth, so it's still not quite at the quality that we want it to be, but it's getting a little bit better. But here's the thing, this one took six minutes and 45 seconds to generate, where the Medium was only 01:45, and honestly, it took three times the time, but I'm not so sure it's three times the quality, so this is one of those things where you have to look at and start making a critical decision about just how much more quality do you want to pull out of this thing versus the amount of time that it's gonna take to generate it.
Now, here's the Best quality. Now here's the thing, I'm gonna make an admission right here. I actually generated this one first. So, at the start of the movie, I mentioned to you how it can be really disappointing if you go in and you figure, "Hey, I'm gonna "put my computer to work while I'm away, "and I'll let it generate the High quality rendering. "Sure, I got everything right." That's exactly what I did here, and I was disappointed when I came back because there were several things that were wrong with it. So, let me just point out a few of those areas that I discovered the hard way, after waiting hours for this rendering to generate.
This rendering took a few hours to generate, and so, obviously that was time that was not necessarily well spent. Right here you could see this band. So, we're seeing the floor object show through, and I had to address that. Over there, the wall joint isn't meeting correctly and so one of the materials isn't showing through properly so I had to address that. All along the eave line, down the portico and into the tower, there's no material assigned to any of those fascia boards. The same problem is true with the columns along the portico.
It's also true here with the floor slabs in the tower area. So all of those needed to be addressed. When you look up at the roof on the tower, it's eaves also don't have any materials assigned. So there were several issues that needed to be addressed before another rendering could be generated of this view that would be acceptable to show somebody. Now again, in a preliminary meeting, maybe you could get away with showing this and it wouldn't be so bad, but certainly not gonna be your final quality rendering. Now, in all of these, I'm not really crazy about the depth, they all feel a little bit flat, but that really has more to do with the lighting than anything else, and so, the quality settings wouldn't have actually changed that, it's really more to do with the lighting, and we'll be talking about that as we move forward.
Now, here's a comparison of all of them side by side, and you can kind of, again, sort of see the differences in quality as we step forward here, and let's talk about one more technique that we have at our disposal. Back in Revit here, if I go to the Rendering dialog, you might have preferred the results you were getting at Medium or High in the examples that I've shown, but you don't really want to invest the time to generate those. Well, if it turns out that maybe you're only interested in a small area right over here that you're trying to see if you've addressed it, maybe you assigned the material or maybe you made a small change to the model.
There's an option here at the top called Region, and when you click that, it puts this red border on the screen, you can select it, it's got some grips, and we can resize it down to a very small area. And then I'll zoom in on that small area, and that's only 373 pixels wide. Now I'm gonna change the preset here to High and click Render. When that's checked, it will only render within that small box, and so, where the normal High rendering of the entire scene took six minutes and 45 seconds, this one will generate in considerably less time.
So that took about a minute, we're at the High quality, and instead of having to wait nearly seven minutes to do the entire rendering, we can focus in on the area that we're interested in. Now, you might be thinking six minutes, seven minutes, it's not a whole lot of time, but if you're doing this over and over again, it really can start to add up. So, using the Region Render can be a great way to focus in on a small area that you're working on, and not have to waste a lot of time rendering the entire scene over again. So, these are just some techniques that you might want to use to be able to make good decisions about the quality and the settings and the composition without eating up a ton of time to do it.
You're gonna want to generate several of these test renderings as you go along, so that when you finally do click and create that final render, you won't be disappointed when you come back and see the result.
- 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