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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 ...

The word "Visualization" gets used a lot these days, but what does it really mean? It's actually a fairly nebulous term, and can include all kinds of graphic communication tools and methods, from a simple hand-drawn sketch to a full-immersion virtual reality experience, and tons of things somewhere in between. Merriam-Webster defines Visualization as: 1: the formation of mental visual images 2:  the act or process of interpreting in visual terms or of putting into visible form 3:  the process of making an internal organ or part visible by the introduction (as by swallowing) of a radiopaque substance followed by radiography I think we can all agree that for purposes of building, site and infrastructure or product design we can ignore the third choice, but the first two would definitely apply. We use visualization tools and methods to put a design in visible form and to provide a mental ...

On February 7 - at 12:30 PM Eastern Time, I will be conducting a 45-60 minute webinar on Cloud Rendering with Autodesk Revit. Here are some sample images from the webinar. To register (it's FREE), go here. During this free webinar, we will examine the Autodesk A360 Cloud Rendering workflow using Autodesk Revit. We will look at the basic interface and settings, then explore more advanced features, such as exposure control, panorama and stereo panorama renderings for use with virtual reality goggles, and how to share your images with others.  See you there!

Appearance assets are the component of a Revit material that tells it what it looks like when it's rendered. However what many users don't realize is that the appearance asset is actually not a part of the material itself, it's being reference by the material, and multiple materials can reference the same appearance asset. Where the trouble occurs is when a user modifies a material, editing the asset that it is referencing, only to find out they just inadvertently edited a bunch of other materials as well, because they were using the same reference.  This is easy to avoid if you know what to look for. This usually happens because someone selected a material in the current project's material library and duplicated it to create a new material. While editing the duplicate they went to the "Appearance" tab and made changes to the appearance settings (they didn't assign a new appearance asset, but modified the one that was already there - color, reflectivity, transparency, anything at all about the asset). To see how to avoid this issue, take a look at ...

Autodesk Stingray is a relatively new addition to the Autodesk visualization toolset. Essentially it is a game engine, and what makes it especially compelling for building visualization is that it includes a plugin for 3ds Max that allows for a direct link between your 3ds Max scene and a Stingray environment, providing an entirely new and more interactive way to view and experience your design. For more information on the Revit-3dsMax-Stingray workflow there are a series of videos on YouTube - a very short overview is provided here. Recently I decided it was time for me to start becoming familiar with Stingray, so I installed it and started working through a few tutorials. I realized very quickly that the raw tutorials that come with Stingray were not geared for building visualization using Revit and 3ds Max, so I started looking around for more. I found some very good ones on... you guessed it... YouTube again, but right away I noticed something missing. The videos all referenced a "Stingray" pull down menu in 3ds Max - a menu that I did't ...

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