renderings (or communicating design intent)

One of the applications we have found for virtual construction is communicating design intent information to the field staff.

We are excited to have field staff understand the finished product, but less than excited about how much work it took to produce the renderings in Revit.

Since this was our first rendering project, we had to spend quite a bit of time learning! We learned the hard way to only keep the lights in visible rooms "on". Initially, it looked like the renderings would take days, at best (300 dpi, 30" x 20").

We ended compromising quality a little bit; we went down to 150 dpi which turned out to be okay for our purposes. The renderings took about 4 hours on our best machines, which wasn't too bad. Unfortunately we don't have machines dedicated to rendering, so we had to either run them overnight or on weekends - it was a little scary walking away from a computer for hours while it was rendering!

If we can reduce the amount of time we put into renderings, this will definitely be something that is incorporated into our field implementation program.


Jason H said...

Hi Laura,

As it's your first time at Rendering I’m guessing you're using the current built in render engine in Revit (it's ok but "dated") - I have done a lot of rendering over the last 10years and used a lot of software to do it... but to date nothing I’ve used compares to the easy and quality you can get from the Maxwell Rendering System....


I'd really recommend you look into it....

You can see some of my work at


Miguel Krippahl said...

Well, 4 hours a rendering seems really zany to me. Takes me back to the nineties...

It should not take you more than a couple of minutes, even with things like radiosity and bump mapping, which are probably way to much for field staff.

And 30"x20" sounds pretty loonie too...

Rendering is, at a first approach, producing exactly what is needed, nothing more, nothing less.

So, first of all you have to take into account the medium (will it be printed, on what printer, what size, what paper), the place (on site) the audience (technical people who do not need cosmetic images) and the resources - if it takes more than 5 minutes to render, there is something really wrong with one or more of these settings.

Most of my renderings are of the 1200 horizontal pixel size, which is great for printing and screen viewing.

You should not try to cram all the info into one rendering, rather do dozens of them with details. This is much faster and more useful at a construction site.

Finally, you should look into the software you are using.

Although I am a ArchiCAD user, I do not use it's rendering engine (which is Lightworks, a pretty decent one).

I use an external rendering software, made exactly for that purpose. It has almost no modeling capabilities, but is FAST on rendering.

You do not get very high end renderings out of it, but what you get is more than enough for your needs.

It is fast in attributing the settings (it has a real time preview WITH radiosity) and fast at rendering - like I said, most of my renderings take under 5 minutes.

This software is called ArtLantis, www.artlantis.com , and you can see a user gallerie there. It imports a lot of formats, so, you can just link it to your modeler.

Let me stress this point: For the kind of rendering you are looking for, anything over 5/10 minutes is an incredible waste of time... a bit like drawing instead of modeling :)