Bad Pun? Worst Pun

So I thought I would take a stab at the rendering side of things for an easy Sunday morning.  It’s Super Bowl day and I am an idiot, so I give you…


Where are the chips?

Where are the chips?

The materials dialog has gotten an upgrade from 2008, and it is using the same back-end as Max now.  So if you are familiar with Max, it should be a piece of cake.  I am not familiar with Max, beyond a courteous “hello” to each other as we pass in the hall.

Modeling the bowl was easy.  Since this was a quick test, I just made a generic model in-place family.  A simple revolve of a hand sketched shape, and the bowl was done.

Then it was onto the material.  I found a nice cheap looking white plastic and used that as the base.  I started a new material based on the plastic, and modified the RENDER APPEARANCE of the new material.


I added the IMAGE FILE of my recently downloaded logo (thanks, Google Images!)  Started to look OK.  But it needed some depth.

I then took the original file into Photoshop and took a stab at making a bump map.  A bump map is imply a black and white graphic that will add “depth” to the rendered material.  Black means low and white means high.  Grays are the in betweens.


I added this to the FINISH BUMP of the material, noting that there is also a BUMP PATTERN listed below it, with the same potential settings.  The help file was a little vague on what the differences were, so that is something to add to the research list.

I applied that material to my bowl and did a render.


Something was clearly wrong.  There is no ways I would have eaten my Saturday morning cartoon cereal out of a bowl with upside-down S logos.  Revit was applying the material in one quick swipe over the entire bowl, starting at the outside and “draping” it over the whole thing.  I had upside-down “S’es”.  Or, “S’s”.  Um… The “S” was upside-down.

Luckily, the materials dialog box allows for rotation.  Obviously, if I were to simply rotate the material, then the outside would be upside-down, and that would be wrong as well.  I created another material and rotated the IMAGE FILE and FINISH BUMP.  I cheated a little and opened the in-place family and simply did a paint bucket of the material on the inside face of the bowl (the rest had been applied by and instance parameter).

The whole process took about 15 minutes.   I seriously think that it took me longer to write this post.

I’ve always like the render engine in Revit ’09.  It comes across with very nice results without much tweakage.  I definitely would put some more TLC into this thing if it were going to go in front of a client (we don’t have that many clients requesting comic book inspired table settings), but it’s nice to know that the basic steps for creating and modifying materials are not that difficult.  We have been trying to make sure all our default template materials have the corret rendering information assigned to them.  That way, the designers can click a few buttons and get a very reasonable rendering to make design decisions with.

I’ve always said that there is a voodoo artistry needed for an excellentrendering, and that is still completely true; lighting, materials, camera angles… these all need to be massaged and then massaged again until the final product.  But it’s nice to know that Revit makes it very easy for a good rendering to be done without much work