To become a true master of Revit is to know What Revit Wants.  You need to have the right Revitude.

When you know what Revit wants, you can combine your skills and work effectively.  You can use the software to create something both functional and beautiful.

In every field, knowing just one specialty or having just one good workflow is usually not enough.  You must apply the knowledge and experience you have gained after years of trial-and-error, peer assistance, reading, and doing.

For example:

I recently put together a large rendered walkthrough.  I had to combine a number of skills and workflows to make this happen:

  • I had to accurately apply materials to objects in the model.  Using physical paint samples, I had to generate accurate Revit colours – and this technique helped me.
  • When I wanted to quickly duplicate materials between different objects, I used this technique.
  • Because the walkthrough rendering was going to be very resource heavy, I used this method to distribute the rendering between different PCs in the office (without having to use Max)
  • Once I had a bunch of BMP files, I used this tool to rename them appropriately, then
  • This method to join the BMP files into an AVI file
  • Because I wanted to make the most of this walkthrough, I opted to extend it by introducing extra ‘computed’ frames.  I used this method.  Doing this meant less rendering time for more overall impact.
  • To compress the AVI sufficiently to upload to Youtube, I could have use this method, but I used a 3rd party tool instead.

The result of combining all these skills?  See below:

To find out more about this project, check out the link below:
Dimond Architects – Theatre and Performance Centre

  1. Download Avisynth and install it.
  2. Download VirtualDub and unzip / install it.
  3. You need to have a set of BMP files with sequential numbering.  Refer to this post for how to do that.
  4. In the folder containing the bitmaps, create a text file.  Call it READ.AVS (it must have AVS extension).
  5. Open it in Notepad and put the following line into the file:
    ImageSource(“%04d.bmp”, start = 1, end = 1800, use_DevIL = true)
  6. The above syntax is for files with 4 digit filenames, starting at 0001.bmp and ending at 1800.bmp (obviously, if you have more or less frames, change the 1800 value accordingly).
  7. Open VirtualDub
  8. Open the READ.AVS file that you created.
  9. Now you should be able to save this file from VirtualDub to an AVI.  Here is some quick settings:
    Video – Direct Stream Copy
    Audio – No audio
  10. Go File – Save as AVI
  11. Put your AVI somewhere with plenty of disk space – it could become huge.

You may also want to refer to the master post entitled Distributed Parallel Rendering in Revit.

Are your renders taking ages?  Trying to output a big rendered walkthrough?  No matter how fast your PC is, these things can take time.  Why not enlist a few of the other computers in your office to help produce that high-resolution animation?

Distributed rendering (or Parallel Rendering) is possible when using high end visualization products, including 3D Studio (now part of the Building Design Suite Premium).

In pure Revit (without using 3D Studio), the solution is a little bit more crude.  However, it does work.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Set up your walkthrough.
  2. Save the Project or Save to Central.
  3. Get your other computers running and open the same walkthrough on all of these PCs.
  4. On PC#1 in Revit, go to Export – Animation – Walkthrough, and pick a set number of frames for that PC to output.  For example, frames 1 to 600 out of 1800.
  5. Make sure you choose BMP for the output, and when naming the file, just put in 1- (this will make sense later.
  6. On PC#2, export frames 601 to 1200 to BMP.  Name it 601-.
  7. On PC#3, export frames 1201 to 1800 to BMP.  Name it 1201-.
  8. Using Advanced Renamer, rename all the files to suit the appropriate frames. (see associated post)
  9. Put all the BMPs in one folder on the server or on one of the PCs.
  10. Using Avisynth and VirtualDub, join the BMPs into an AVI. (see associated post)
  11. Then, either use some video compression software, or do some post-processing.

There you go, you have successfully done some distributed or parallel rendering in Revit!

  1. Download and install Advanced Renamer
  2. Open Advanced Renamer.  Add – Directory and choose the folder that contains the sequential set of files.
  3. Add method.  Choose ‘New Name’ from the dropdown list.
  4. In the entry box, use a name like the following:
  5. This will create 4 digit sequential filenames ending in BMP.  The first file name will be 1731.bmp
  6. Click ‘Start Batch’ (you can use ‘Test Batch’ if you want to check the results of the rename process first).

These sequential bitmaps can then be joined into a AVI file.  Refer to the main post entitled Distributed Parallel Rendering in Revit.