Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding approaches to modeling, part of Revit: Rendering.
- Let's take a look at the overall rendering process and then talk about the different kinds of modeling that we have available to us to understand how what we're doing here is going to fit into the grander scheme of what our firm might be interested in. When it comes time to create a rendering, everything starts with the 3D view. One of the first things you're going to need to do is make sure you've got some 3D views set up, and these are the views that you'll actually be rendering. Whatever those views show it's going to be part of your 3D model so you're going to have to adjust that model, adjust its materials and make it look the way you want it to look to enhance it and to make it fit with the tone and the feel that you're trying to make your rendering convey.
You'll need to light your model. That can include either natural or artificial lighting. And then finally, you'll output an actual rendering or a shaded view or whatever that output is going to be and that will usually be a digital output that people can share on a computer screen or it will be an actual printed output that will end up in their hand or in a brochure or something. Now when you’re considering all of these things, these different steps in the rendering process, you have to remember that you’re not working alone in a vacuum. So there are different approaches to modeling.
Depending on what stage you do the rendering you might be dealing with a model that’s at different levels of completion. Now usually a team that’s trying to use the full building information modeling paradigm is going to try use a product like Revit from start to finish, which means that early in the design process they're going to be using Revit to create their early designs. Now those might be very schematic. They might not be fully articulated, it’s using rough masses or it’s using basic geometry to convey an overall design intent, but it's far from the kind of model that we would need to say, indicate construction intent.
If a project moves forward out of the early schematic design stages and into the design development and construction document phases, then it starts becoming much more detailed. We start articulating the individual parts and pieces, we start adding annotations, and notes, and dimensions, and all those things that make it into a construction intent model and make it more of a buildable project. Now, how does that tie into rendering? Well if you're doing rendering at one of those early stages and you're dealing with a much more schematic model, there's probably a lot of information that's not there that you would feel compelled to either add in or change in order to get the kind of rendering that you're looking for.
When it's in the construction document phase, there might be several things in the model that you don't actually need to convey the certain rendering. What I'm trying to outline here is that sometimes the intent of each of these different phases, or each of these different teams working in a project might actually be at odd with one another a little bit and you might find yourself needing certain things to get a good rendering that either your design team or your construction documentation team doesn't need or doesn't necessarily want in the model.
As much as we're trying to make a single unified model to achieve our goals of building information modeling, sometimes it doesn't always pan out exactly the way that we want to. Let me show you a really simple example in Revit to illustrate what I’m talking about. Here in Revit I have this really simple wall that’s got three examples of a window on it. These are three different approaches that are taken to show this window with a little archway above it. Over here on the left if I zoom in, and do the same area here on the 3D side, you can start the see the problem right away.
Now this was actually modeled as a mass using a generic model so that's an actual extruded object that's been created to make that ache so it does occupy space, it does carve into the wall, but unfortunately, Revit doesn't include radial patterns. In order to make it look like individual bricks that are going along that arch shape it's very difficult to pull off using materials for example, and you can see how the material displays over here, they just end up looking straight up and down so it doesn't look correct at all. Now in early schematic phase it may be fine to show this even without a material, there's just a solid arch and just kind of represent that it's there, but at some stage in the project, you're going to want to start indicating how it's actually put together.
Now over here on the far right let’s look at the other extreme. When it moves into construction documents, again if a rendering is not involved, then you might decide to solve that problem by just simply saying we're going to draw these individual brick lines on here, just a simple detail lines in the elevation, that's where they need to show. We'll do a 2D detail view specific kind of modification and it will take care of the problem, we can convey that that's a brick arch. As you can see though, the trouble is in the 3D view, it doesn't show anything at all.
That's not going to work very well if we try to generate a rendering from that. Now in the middle here, we have what appears to be the perfect compromise. Here's an actual 3D element that is a model element that shows in both views and actually renders each individual brick. You can see here in the 3D view that the bricks are actually showing materials and they're rendering the seams between them so looks like it's great. Trouble is there's always a downside. Here the downside is is if you use this throughout the entire model the way this was approached is each individual brick is actually part of that family and that might start to increase the file size and therefore decrease the performance of the model.
Now if you're using it only in a few areas for the purpose the rendering, probably not a big deal, but if the person doing the rendering starts adding these kinds of details throughout the entire model, and were doing a unified building information modeling approach. The folks that are doing the construction documents are going to come back to the rendering artist and say, "Hey, you got to knock this off, you're making our model so heavy that we can't get any work done." There has to be a balance between the various approaches. Now I've only shown a couple different approaches here. There's actually several other ways to solve this specific problem and any problem like it in this paradigm will have similar types of approaches.
Really, the take away from this is, make sure that you sit down with your project teams and everybody discusses what their needs are, so that when you're making decisions with the lens of rendering on, that you're making those decisions with the awareness of what your other project team members need, and making sure that you don't inadvertently make a decision that works great for you, but causes problems for them. If you do that then we can all work together in this building information model and everybody can get satisfactory results.
- 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