New Visualization Features Improve Graphics and Communication in Revit

Lainie Ransom Lainie Ransom October 8, 2019

3 min read

Teams can’t collaborate on something they can’t see. That’s why, whether you’re a structural engineer, architect, or any other professional working with BIM, visualization is key. And Revit 2020 packs a powerful punch in this department. Revit 2020 delivers features in a variety of categories under the visualization umbrella. These include ones that make the software a better open platform for integration with vendor partner programs.

“You have to be able to create good visuals and graphics to facilitate communication,” says Harlan Brumm, Autodesk product manager for Revit. “Good visualization is about conveying design intent. Working with high-quality graphics features is an important way for professionals to create compelling visuals and save time and effort.”

Here are a few ways in which Revit 2020 has upped the ante for performance in visualization. These are improvements since the 2016 R2 release that are worth mentioning because they work together to improve the final product:

Materials Improvements

The Advanced Materials functionality in Revit 2020 delivers photo-realistic materials that provide quality and realistic visual presentation. “They render faster, have higher performance, and look better in ray trace views and in rendered images,” Brumm says.

The Hi-Res Texture feature means Revit automatically uses the highest resolution texture during the rendering process. You also work with a wide range of lighting options. This helps you generate better quality images when you’re working with out-of-the-box materials. This, in turn, leads to stunning renderings.

Rendering Improvements

Cloud Rendering in Revit 2020 is more efficient, Brumm says. Once 3-D model views are sent to the cloud, rendered views are ready in no time at all. You can access immersive design and virtual reality through these enhancements.

Also enhanced is the new rendering engine, which allows you to work on other projects while rendering is being executed without tying up your computing resources.

“We have improvements for opening Revit model in 3ds Max, which makes the data interoperability between the two products a lot better,” Brumm points out.

Perspective View Improvements

Camera view enhancements and uncropped perspective views are also part of visualization improvements in the new Revit. These features essentially make 3-D modeling better, Brumm says. “You can actually fully edit in perspective views, move elements around and make changes, which makes the whole 3-D modeling process that much easier to work with,” Brumm adds.

Graphics Improvements

The features that fall under this bucket include visualization improvements that help professionals make their point more accurately. The Depth Cueing tool with fog effects for views creates realistic representations of how buildings in the distance can fade out to allow the focus to remain squarely on important objects up front.

Double fill is the ability to overlay different patterns on top of each other. “You can have a pattern of tile and then a concrete speckled pattern on top of that,” Brumm says. Such capabilities allow for better envisioning of modeling outcomes.

The Occlusion Culling feature delivers this, focusing on only drawing the features that can be seen in a presentation. “It improves performance as you’re working on the model, panning and zooming in the view,” Brumm says.

Easier Integration for Partners

Revit 2020 aims to make the platform easy for third-party developers to work with. “We love to have developers build applications and integrate with Revit. That’s really important in this space because there are a lot of different technologies in the marketplace that customers can use with Revit to tell their stories,” Brumm says. “So we’ve really focused on how we can make Revit more open as an API so that other people can connect to it and start to use it in ways that can enhance our collective offerings.”

Revit’s ongoing partnerships with EnscapeUnity ReflectNVIDIA OmniverseLumionVray, and InsiteVR work with both hardware and software features in areas such as virtual reality to gaming.

There are many features that help smoother integration for open API of Revit, which is an ongoing project. The Materials API tool, for example, allows a variety of materials to render correctly in the relevant project so objects look as visualized. This is especially important to ensure uniformity of presentation across platforms during integration, Brumm says.

Autodesk continues to work toward improving performance and enhanced realistic views with open APIs. Expect navigation improvements and keyboard shortcuts to make the process even more seamless.

Revit 2020 delivers a whole slate of visualization features that makes rendering and communication with graphics elements easier. The advances are part of Autodesk’s ongoing commitment to create, connect, and optimize the workflow for users and why Revit efficiently meets today’s modeling needs. Read more about other ongoing innovations to Revit.

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