When it comes to Revit visualization during early design phases, in the past you had to pick from one of these options to add Entourage to your presentation:

  1. Use some placeholder geometric family, 
  2. Use RPC and re-Render the view everytime you want an output, or 
  3. Export or Render a view as an image file and then open it in Photoshop to add extra Entourage.

    But now, there is another way

This new way allows you to leverage your current RPC library and modify the visual style or “look” of the Entourage families. In turn, this makes the use of your current RPC content much more flexible, and more applicable to the constantly changing, day-to-day design iterations (and visualizations) that Architects and Designers are required to produce.

In other words, we can take something that looks a bit like this:

And make it into something a bit more like this (Stylized Textures mode):

Archvision are the guys behind RPC technology – that’s the tech that allows you to add photorealistic people, trees and entourage to your Revit renderings. Recently, they released a new addin for Revit called Entourage Workshop (I previously posted about this back in November 2014). It is built to work with content downloaded using Archvision Dashboard, which is a paid offering that can manage, search, download, create and load photo realistic families into your Revit model.

I recently had a web meeting with Archvision CEO Randall Stevens, and we agreed to make you all aware of a special opportunity related to Entourage Workshop. Basically, Archvision is willing to give you access to their very powerful Dashboard, along with Beta access to the Entourage Workshop. All you need to do is go to this page, scroll down to Don’t have an ArchVision Software License? and enter your email address. The guys over at ArchVision will then issue you a temporary license of Dashboard to use while you try out Entourage Workshop.

Now here is something to keep in mind… the more you use the Dashboard and beta Entourage Workshop features, the more likely it is that you will be able to retain your ‘free’ access for a longer period. If you don’t use your license, you may lose it 🙂

How to apply styles to your Entourage in Revit:

  1. Install Archvision Dashboard and Entourage Workshop
  2. Open a project
  3. Place some RPC using Archvision Dashboard
  4. Start the Entourage Workshop addin from the Archvision ribbon
  5. Click the Styles button at top and add a new style
  6. After you add style, click in the Name area at the top of the color sliders and give it a descriptive name, then click Apply
  7. Click on the RPCs button at top and apply that style to selected Entourage families in your current project
  8. Switch to a Revit view and change to an appropriate display mode (Shaded, Consistent Colors, Realistic etc)

Short list of tips, tricks and features:

  • you can now have non-rendered but still “stylistic” presentation views using RPC Entourage (Shaded Mode, Consistent Colors etc)
  • it won’t work without a Archvision Dashboard license
  • “Gamma” slider gives a level of brightness control directly over Entourage RPC that was not available before
  • Geometry tick boxes – you can easily turn off base and one side view of the ‘placeholder’ representation
  • In the UI you need Apply after making the Style, then apply to items after pressing the RPCs button
  • Silhouette textures will face the Camera. This is when you take a rendered photo representation and override it with Transparency, effectively ‘ghosting’ it
  • If you want to create Style definitions and pass your Styles.xml file to someone else you can do that too.  The Styles.xml file should reside in your local profile AppDataRoamingArchVisionEntourage Workshop directory.  The easy way to get there is to type %appdata% in your Windows Explorer and it will jump to the roaming directory where you can then browse to ArchVision and then Entourage Workshop.
  • If you do use a silhouette style, you can trial various Line colours for the Entourage by Overriding the Projection lines by category or element
  • If the Photorealistic Textures radio button is used, then only Transparency and Gamma modifiers will apply
  • Some current limitations:
    – the ‘placeholder’ geometry does not automatically face the camera (although the rendered representation does, and you can still manually rotate the family to get it facing the direction you like
    – only works on Entourage that is RPC based (not geometric)
    – does not work with Autodesk Cloud Rendering (yet)
    – currently it only modifies Entourage Category representations

Here is a matrix that describes how the various Revit display modes are affected by the Render Mode options in the Style definition:

Here is a demo video:

And here is a step-by-step from Archvision to use as a guide to get you started:

UPDATE: If you want to register for the beta, go here http://www.archvision.com/entourageworkshop

It allows for greater stylistic control of RPC elements, and facilitates a greater level of artistic style in native Revit visualization.

Check out the video:

Aaron Maller provided some useful insight about how he paths RPC on a network location in the comments:
“The .rpc library we have is 12.3 GB of stuff. Admittedly, thats not THAT much space, but i cant justify having it on the hard drives. Since our Material JPG’s are on the network as well (Additional render appearance paths) if someone is trying to render at home we have issues anyway, unless their machine has configured Offline Files, which we do with the libraries when people have to work off site. Then its local, but still pathed to the network. :)”

Note: one of the nice things about the recent updates to Archvision Dashboard is that it supports license login / logout, meaning you can logout of Dashboard in the office, then go home and login again without using an extra license. This would give you access to the cloud library of RPCs, which could be downloaded and used wherever you are.

via
http://wrw.is/2014/08/thumbnail-images-for-entourage-families.html?showComment=1408037235781#c8556667987637110547

Have you ever tried getting thumbnail images to show up for Entourage families? After reading a few tweets on this recently… I’ll admit, using a Journal “script” to open family, switch to Elevation View, enable Realistic mode and save the thumbnail is not too shabby (by Aaron Maller):

While the above method is definitely cool, it still relies on you having a good RPC Entourage library in the first place. So, are you looking for a plug-and-play software solution to manage all of your Entourage and RPC content? And do you want to be able to preview the RPC, and then use it in Revit or Photoshop?

Then you may want to check out the latest update released for Archvision Dashboard. I’ve posted recently about how easy the RPC creation is now – it is literally drag and drop, and pretty much automatic, meaning that your potential for generating custom RPCs is virtually unlimited. Now with the preview mode and Photoshop drag-and-drop integration, Archvision Dashboard is starting to feel like one of those things that just “makes sense” if you are doing any kind of rendering and presentation work in Revit (and / or Photoshop).

Here’s a video of the new Viewport feature:

Download it from this page
The next time you fire up your ArchVision Dashboard you should see a prompt to update to the latest version (v 2.1) which includes the new Viewport viewing mode.
Viewport for Dashboard not only lets you preview and spin around any 3D or 3D+ RPC but you can also drag & drop directly into applications like Photoshop! Just hit the Render button and drag the thumbnail into Photoshop. Viewport for Dashboard improves the workflow for using RPCs in Photoshop and does away with the need for the Photoshop Viewport plug-in.

This new version of Dashboard also include a new Filters feature which works hand-in-hand with Channels letting you drill down to the right content in just a few clicks.

via email

Previewing RPCs and using them in Photoshop just got easier! We’ve added a new viewing mode within Dashboard called Viewport. Not only can you preview and spin around any 3D or 3D+ RPC but you can also drag & drop directly from Viewport into applications like Photoshop! Just hit the Render button and drag the thumbnail into Photoshop.
via email

Link:
Archvision Dashboard

In case you missed it:

also:
Drag and Drop updated build of ArchVision Dashboard available that just came out as a ‘pull’ update. This includes the admin license panel tools and also has Drag & Drop enabled for Revit 2013 and later / 3ds Max / AutoCad. We expect to deploy a new RPC creation feature at the end of April, where you will be able to take any 2D image with an alpha channel, drag it into our creation tool, assign a name and height and have an RPC available to use immediately in any supported application.

You may also be interested in my previous posts about Archvision:
http://wrw.is/search/label/archvision