It is common knowledge amongst architectural drafting professionals that, traditional architectural CAD software applications are great for drafting models and plans due to their wide array of drawing tools but they are quite limited when rendering is brought into the equation. This is because most of these software-Autodesk Revit, Microstation, Solidworks etc.-are not fully equipped to handle renderings when compared to advanced 3D studio/animation software applications.
Despite the limitations, simple rendering jobs can still be done with the limited rendering tools and capabilities of some of these architectural software applications. Therefore, for those interested in rendering with Autodesk Revit, the tips below should serve as a guideline for achieving the best quality of renderings possible in record time.
Exceed the Memory Requirements:
All architectural CAD software applications that have the ability to render models set a memory requirement for each workstation to meet before having the capacity to execute renderings. For Autodesk Revit, the specifications are; a 16 gig RAM system with a free five gig hard disk space. The trick here is to exceed these specifications as much as you possibly can to avoid stalling or your renderings taking almost a full day to get completed. If one or more concurrent users plan to work on a particular project using Autodesk Revit, the memory size should be increased to triple of the specifications required by the software.
Choose the Right Resolution for your Renderings:
The requirements for choosing a resolution for your renderings should depend on the bulkiness of the project you need to execute, the level of quality required and the temperament of the client you are working with. In my own estimation, the difference between the quality of a medium and high resolution is not worth the time difference needed to render high quality resolutions. Paying close attention to choosing only the sections you plan to render is also very important so that you do not end up rendering sections you do not require.
Run Sample Renderings before the Final Rendering:
The temptation to first calibrate all your settings, and then run your final rendering is a real one but following these temptations can lead to you wasting your whole afternoon waiting for the renderings to be completed, only for you to see that something was skewed after the renderings have been completed. This may sound basic but it is important for you to run periodical renders of your draft in other to know if something to troubleshoot may arise later.
Spend time customizing your Interface:
When using Autodesk Revit, using the default settings can complicate matters for the users. Therefore, tweaking your tool set, command line and other features that would simplify your job should be done before modeling. Also, some materials do not-for one reason or the other-render well and it is up to the user to play around with the different materials to see which one perfectly fits his or her purpose.
Use Real life Models:
For those who do not have the time or expertise to create a realistic model of a house, glass, car or human, incorporating the use of realistic models from already designed templates would make your animations have a more realistic look. You could also search in CAD forums for online templates and these templates are usually designed at a high quality.
Understand the Use of Lighting Schemes:
The extensive amount of information required to adequately discuss lighting schemes makes this tip just a footnote on the topic. For experienced architectural designers, this topic will be one they understand but for amateurs, the trick here is to stick with the directions gotten from your tutorials and limit your experimenting to the bare minimum when working on official projects. Experimenting can then be done when practicing in your spare time.
Save your Renderings to the Project:
It is always better to save your renderings on the project rather than exporting the files in a different format. This helps you flip through the different views on your project without the need for importing rendered files.Finally, I advise architectural designers to be realistic about the quality of rendering they expect from the use of architectural CAD software. If you require a higher quality of animation, then move your projects over to 3D CAD software suitable for the job.