As the options for rendering software’s increase, the question of which software to choose seems to become harder to answer.
The good enough answer might be the one you’re more confident with, or perhaps the one that costs you less time, effort (and money) to deliver the expected result. The result expected will change with the step in the design timeline you’re in, and it can be tailored to your specific workflow preferences. In this article you’ll see the potential of Revit built-in render engine as well as what additional value can V-ray for Revit bring, and important steps to take into account when rendering.
What can Revit built-in renderer do?
Picture 2: Quick Render with Revit’s built-in engine (7m35s to render) Picture 1: Closer look at the corner (5m46s to render)
The first step to any render is the setting up of a 3D view, the most advantageous camera position and lighting must be taken in consideration. In Revit, getting familiar with the Navigation wheel at the 3D views windows and in specific the use of the adjustment of the focal length can make a big difference to avoid deformed images. On the right is visible how the upper image shows better the whole building, a result of setting a camera further away from the building and amplifying the focal length of the camera.
Also, at a stage of design where the model might not be completed, many surfaces maybe haven’t received the application of materials, in this case the Paint tool is very helpful to touch up these surfaces, or even quickly change and get different results to showcase possibilities for the design.
The next step for a more realistic image is the addition of details, starting with furniture and other elements, the original way of adding objects and people or vegetation to a Revit model is by placing components that can be downloaded from the web. There are add-ins to make our life easier, that might be able to bring elements from 3D warehouse for example. Adding the plugin of V-ray for Revit might make an even bigger difference to this whole process, and that will be explained a bit further on.
To complete the series of basic steps we have the choice of resolution and quality settings that we want to be sure to understand the differences, those being that the final image file size will change according to the resolution selected, if in the Printer option, the higher is 600 DPI while the more usual is 300 DPI. In the same way the quality of the image will change with the selected Quality setting in the rendering window, the comparison with result/file size/time to render can be seen below:
*hardware used: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz with Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M
What does V-ray bring of extra value?
Picture 7: Vray for Revit quick render (10m in low+ quality) Picture 8: Corner of the building (7m at low+ quality)
The first thing to mention is the addition of the Chaos Cosmos, library with smart V-ray content that brings 8 categories of components: Furniture, Accessories, Lighting, Vegetation, Vehicles, People, Materials, and HDRI skies, with many great advantages and one specific downside of not being supported to render by the built-in Revit renderer, they will look like blank geometries as on the side picture.
The second greatest addition of value to Revit is the Light Gen tool, that will automatically randomize lighting properties in a scene, then render thumbnails of each variant, in a number pre-selected by the user. That makes it possible to explore a big number of possible looks very quickly, to then decide which is more flattering to apply to the view, or even save a few to a folder and bring them back later.
Another promising new tool of V-ray 5 is the V-ray vision, a real-time rasterization-based render mode that is still in early development, running on Windows only, and with some unsupported V-Ray features and effects. All the very well known tools of V-ray are obviously also still available as their very customizable materials library that brings amazing results specially for interior renderings.
To understand better the special features of V-ray, another article totally dedicated to it will be coming up next, where we will take a look into each tool that can be used for quick renders, and also for the next level intermediary or final pictures of your design.