Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Generate cloud renderings, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Instructor] Let's talk about the rendering cloud feature. Rendering cloud is a service provided by Autodesk that you can access directly from within Revit that allows you to upload your Revit model to a set of cloud-based servers and then let the renderings generate offline on these cloud-based machines while you still can continue working on your project on your local machine without having your machine tied up by a lengthy rendering process. Furthermore, because it's using the cloud-based servers, the renderings usually take less time to complete in the cloud than they would on your local machine.
Now, cloud rendering is a feature of Autodesk subscription, so make sure your subscription is up to date and also check with whoever manages your subscription to make sure that you have a balance of cloud credits and so forth because some of the features in rendering cloud do have a cost associated with them and that cost will be determined in a number of cloud credits, which you can purchase and add to your account. So to get to cloud rendering, you want to start in a 3D view. Nowm it can be an axon view or a perspective view, I'm here in a perspective view of the lobby of this building.
And then, on the View tab here, I'm going to click Render in Cloud. You'll get a welcome screen first that tells you the basic steps of cloud rendering. And of course you can check this box if you don't want to see that message again. That'll take you to the rendering cloud screen, and there's several settings that we can configure. Which view we want to render, what kind of output we want, the quality, the image size, exposure, and finally, the file format. As you make your choices across the top here, you will see the tally occur in real-time down at the bottom letting you know exactly how many cloud credits will be required for this particular rendering.
It will also give you an estimated time right down here and then you get this option here where you can be emailed when the rendering is complete. So, the first thing is the 3D view. And it will list all of the views in this project, and you can choose multiple views by checking the boxes here. So it, of course, defaults to whatever view you started from, in this case, the 3D lobby. But you could include additional ones if you wanted by just simply checking the boxes. In this case, I'll stick with just the 3D lobby. For the output type, you've actually got four different choices here.
Now, a still image is just your standard photo-realistic rendering. It's going to use all of the lighting and the materials that you've configured in your Revit project and it will generate a nice, high-quality photo-realistic rendering. But we can also do panoramas, stereo panoramas, and illuminance renderings. Now, a panorama is a 360 rendering that you view in a web browser. So, you'll be able to navigate around it using your mouse. A stereo panorama is also a 360 rendering but this one will actually come with an associated URL.
You're going to browse to that URL on your mobile phone, take your mobile phone, drop it into a Google Cardboard device, and then you'll be viewing that in a VR experience using Google Cardboard. It's a very inexpensive and quick easy way to immerse yourself directly in the rendering of your project. An illuminance rendering is more of an analysis-type rendering. So, it kind of gives you almost like a heat map kind of view of your space so that you can judge the quality and the intensity of the lighting. So, let's say I wanted to start with a still image.
Render quality can either be standard or final. When I change that, you'll see the amount of credits required will change. Image size defaults to something rather small, the medium-size, one megapixel, you can go all the way up to 16 megapixels. So the more pixels, the longer it takes to generate the rendering, and of course, the higher the quality. So let me do a large, something in the middle, that'll require a little bit more credits. As far as the exposure goes, the choices are advanced or native. I'm going to stick with the default of advanced there.
And then the file format, you can generate PNG, a JPEG, or a TIFF. Now, I tend to like PNG because it's a lossless file format, meaning that it doesn't compress it at all. Now, that means it'll be a slightly larger file. TIFF files are also lossless and they're uncompressed, so those are really large files, but if you're going to do any kind of post-processing in Photoshop or something like that, you probably want PNG or TIFF files. If you want something smaller or more compact that you could easily email to somebody, then you probably want to go with a high quality JPEG. I'm going to stick with PNG.
If you choose a format like PNG that supports it, you can do an alpha channel, which just means any of the background, like back here behind these windows, off in the distance, that'll become transparent and then you could drop in another image there in Photoshop as a background image. I'm not going to do the alpha channel in this case. Now, I'm going to check Email me when it's done and I'll click start rendering and after a moment or two, it will allow me to continue in the background. Now, in this case, I'm getting an error message that some of my materials are missing.
Now at this point, if this was going to affect the rendering I would want to click cancel here and locate those materials. But looking at the materials that are missing, they're all on the exterior of the building and since I'm doing an interior rendering I'm going to simply ignore that by clicking OK. So next, I'm going to click the continue in background there, and you'll see a little message up here and a little spinning wheel letting you know that the rendering is processing in the background. Now, as that processes, I'm going to run it again, and this time, I'm going to choose a stereo panorama.
So, that changes the options that are available. I'm going to do final render quality, a nice high-quality rendering. And then I'm going to do the maximum size allowed, okay. Now, you might want to test this on your phone, if you do something that's too big, it might actually be difficult to load on your phone, so you could drop it down to a smaller size. Again, I'll Email me when complete, and I'll start the rendering. I'll get the same error message about the missing brick textures, and then I'll just let that continue in the background. So now, both of those renderings are going to be running in the background, and then when they're done, I'll get an email, and I'll be able to go out and browse to my render gallery to see the results.
So, you got the emails from cloud rendering letting you know that your renderings were complete and you want to check out the results. Now, you can click the links directly in the email to go to your render gallery, or if you're in Revit you could actually use the Render Gallery button right here to launch your web browser and take a look at the results in your own personal render gallery. Now, it'll list each of your projects here, you can see I have my Cloud Render project right here, and I can click this View project button to access the rendering.
What it will do is it will show the latest rendering at the top of the list here. So you could currently see that I'm in the panoramic rendering that I generated. Now this I could navigate around here directly in the web browser just by clicking and dragging my mouse. So, it's kind of very fluid and easy to navigate. The only trouble is, you realize that well, I put my camera right in the corner of the room which made for a nice perspective but perhaps that wasn't the best choice for a panorama because you see that when I spin around to that location I'm not really seeing anything.
So, I might therefore want to adjust the camera more to the center of the room and generate the rendering again. And you certainly could do that, but you'd have to go back into Revit for that. Now, if we come over to this dropdown, there'll be an option here that says All Renderings, and that will show you all of the renderings you've generated in this project. So in addition to the panorama, I also did an illuminance rendering. So here, it will generate different colors to indicate how much light energy is in the room based on each of the colors, and they'll be defined over here in foot-candles.
So obviously, most of the light is coming through that main window there but you kind of get this heat map effect. So that could very useful. With any of these renderings, you've got icons across the top. So, you can download the rendering, you could delete it, you could re-render it, you can share it through links or email, and so forth, and you can go to a full screen view. Now, I'm going to come over here and choose the static still rendering. So this is just a nice photo-realistic rendering here. This has more choices across the top.
So I could re-render it as any number of formats, like the two different panoramas or an illuminance. And I also have this option here to do a solar study. This is very similar to the solar study that's built right into Revit. The difference is, this gets generated in the cloud, and doesn't take up processing power on your local machine, where the one that's built into Revit, you'd have to wait for it to complete there. So, you set your time in day and so forth, and you generate your solar study. If we go to this one, the stereo panorama, this one is similar to the regular panorama, in that we can view it here in the browser just by dragging with my mouse to orbit around.
However, if you click the download link here, it gives you a few download options on formats that you can generate with this stereo panorama. So you can download it as a ZIP file, you can download it for Gear VR if you have one of those devices, or you could come over here and click the share link. Sharing it to the public gallery quite literally will make it public so that anybody could view it on their system. You could share it to your Autodesk 360 drive folder. So that would mean that you'd have more selective control over where it's being shared or you could just say Share as a Link.
Now when I choose that, it's going to actually generate a URL here that you can copy to your clipboard and share that way or you can scan it with your mobile phone and then that will take you to a link directly on your mobile device that will allow you to view it in stereo panorama. Just drop it into a Google Cardboard device and then you'll be able to view it in a VR experience and the experience will be much more immersive than what you have here in a web browser. So as you can see, there's a lot of options available in the cloud rendering portal.
I encourage you to explore them further and just keep in mind that all of the rendering that you're doing up in the cloud is freeing up your local machine for you to keep working on your project. And then when the renderings are ready, you just get a nice email that tells you that you can go to your gallery and view the results.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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