The most basic of all visualization mediums is a simple rendering. While you can certainly generate very powerful and compelling still images in Revit with no additional software necessary, bringing your model into a more powerful rendering environment such as 3ds Max can provide you with additional capabilities to further enhance your image. 3ds Max includes a variety of rendering engines, each with it's own unique capabilities. The ART (Advanced Ray Trace) renderer is more or less the same that is found in Revit 2017, however the NVIDIA mental ray renderer brings additional capabilities that are not found in Revit 2017, or even in the mental ray renderer found in Revit 2016 and earlier releases.
The mental ray engine provides more controls for global illumination (GI), which allows you to render interior scenes that utilize exterior a high amount of exterior lighting. Both images below rely heavily, if not entirely, on external lighting for an interior scene. However these kinds of scenes can be very challenging to render without the ability to use the Global Illumination settings which are not found in Revit, regardless of the rendering engine being used, to more accurately simulate what happens when light rays bounce off of surfaces.
Using the mental ray renderer, you can also add highlights to your image such as glow and streak effects or depth of field blurring such as in the images below. The image on the left has glow and streak effects to enhance the lighting. The image on the right has a Depth of Field effect applied to the camera, drawing focus to the table and chairs in the room. This cannot be accomplished using the ART renderer.
Of course, rendering in 3ds Max is a bit more complex than rendering in Revit. There is a learning curve involved, however Applied Software does offer a 3ds Max Fundamentals class that will get you through the basics. We also offer our own visualization services for everything from rendered still images to full-immersion virtual reality for very reasonable fees. For more information, visit our site at: http://www.asti.com/visualization.