Indigo Manual

Indigo for Revit

Indigo for Revit is currently in its beta phase and can be downloaded from https://www.indigorenderer.com/revit/


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Indigo Manual > Indigo for Revit

Indigo for Revit Tutorial

This tutorial will cover getting Indigo running with Revit on your computer. We will use the Indigo for Revit exporter to export scenes to Indigo for rendering.

If you have not purchased an Indigo licence, you can still follow this tutorial. Indigo will run in trial mode, which will apply some watermarks to Indigo renders.

For this tutorial, we will assume that you have either Revit 2014 or newer installed already.

Step 1: Install Indigo for Revit

Download and run the latest Indigo for Revit 'Free Trial' installer here: http://www.indigorenderer.com/revit

For more detailed information on installing Indigo for Revit, please see the Installation section of this chapter.

Step 2: Rendering with Indigo from Revit

Start Revit and open the Sample Architecture Project.

Due to limitations imposed on Revit plugins, Indigo for Revit cannot be used while in a perspective view. So we must first select a non-3D view from the views list, such as the Site view:

Selecting a non-perspective view

Having changed to a non-perspective view, we can access the Indigo Renderer section from the "Add-ins" menu:

Indigo Renderer addins

Click on "Edit Render Settings", then in the options dialog select the Living Room view:

Render Settings

Click Ok to save the settings, then click "Render with Indigo". After a brief export process, it should launch Indigo Renderer and begin rendering the scene from the selected view, which should look like this (example from Revit 2014):

Preview render
Click to enlarge.

Indigo Manual > Indigo for Revit

Installation

This guide will detail installing Indigo for Revit on your computer. Revit 2014 or newer must be installed first so that the installer can auto-detect the installation location.

The first step in the install process asks you to agree to the Indigo for Revit licence terms. Once you've read this, click the Install button; you will need an account with Administrator privileges to continue.

Installer welcome screen

The first part of the installation process is installing the main Indigo Renderer application, so its installer will launch as part of the overall Indigo for Revit install process.

For more information on installing Indigo, please see the relevant manual section.

Installing Indigo

Once Indigo has been installed, the Indigo for Revit installer will look for Revit installations and offer to set up the exporter addin for each:

Selecting Revit versions

After this has completed, Indigo for Revit will have successfully installed and is ready to be used.

Indigo Manual > Indigo for Revit

Material Editor

The Material Editor is used to configure the Indigo materials in the scene.

Indigo for Revit will automatically convert your existing Revit materials, however in Revit 2013 this conversion is somewhat limited by available information to plugins. To this end, the material editor allows you to edit the converted materials to make them more lifelike.

Revit 2014 exposes material definitions with lots of additional information compared to previous versions, allowing for a much higher quality conversion. Therefore, Indigo for Revit 2014 does not currently feature a material overriding system.

To create full custom Indigo materials from scratch, use the Indigo Material Editor that comes with your Indigo installation.

The online Indigo Material database is a warehouse for quality user-created materials that can be downloaded and used for free under the Creative Commons Licence. You can find it here: Indigo Material Database

Start by choosing the material type you would like to make, and then adjust the attributes below it. Changing the material type will change the options available.

Most materials have similar material appearance settings, allowing you to specify a single colour or an image map as the basic material colour. Image map is used to link to external texture files. Indigo can use PNG, TIFF, JPG/JPEG, TGA, BMP and EXR file formats. Bump maps add fine details to surfaces without creating more geometry, a great way to add realism.
Sample width specifies the size in mm of the image map , then tile.

See also: Indigo Materials, Material Types, Material Attributes.

Matte

The matte material type models surfaces which reflect light almost equally in all directions, such as wall plaster, clay and other rough materials.

Glossy

This material type can be used for shiny or glossy materials such as plastics, wood, fabrics etc.

Smoothness

You can define how sharp the reflection is by the 'smoothness' slider. 'Rough' gives a matte surface that diffuses the reflection; 'smooth' gives a sharper, glossy reflection.

A rough glossy material A smooth glossy material

Reflectivity

This value controls how much light is reflected by the surface. Insert values into the reflectivity box for fine control.

Rough with low reflectivity Rough with high reflectivity

Translucency

Translucency allows light to pass through the material surface and light the opposite side without being transparent or clear. Can be used for thin, coloured plastics, or even thin fabrics like a curtain or lampshade.

Fully Opaque 80% translucent

Metal

The metal material type is used to create metallic surfaces.
You can define how sharp the reflection is using the smoothness slider. 'Rough' gives a matte surface that diffuses the reflection; 'smooth' gives a sharper, glossy reflection.

A rough metal A smooth metal

Lab-Measured Metals

Indigo comes with accurately measured metal materials that can be found here. They refer to their element names, as given by a Periodic Table.

Gold: Au Aluminium: Al

Transparent

This is used for any materials through which light can pass e.g. glass, clear plastics or water. Frosted Glass introduces the following extra parameters:

Reflectivity

This value controls how much light is reflected by the surface.

Low reflectivity High reflectivity

Smoothness

You can define how sharp the reflection is by the 'smoothness' slider. 'Rough' gives a matte surface that diffuses the reflection; 'smooth' gives a sharper, glossy reflection. This attribute is only available for Frosted Glass.

A rough frosted glass A semi-smooth frosted glass
Indigo Manual > Indigo for Revit

Render Settings

The Indigo for Revit Render Settings control how Indigo renders your scene.

Here is an example screenshot of the render settings window:

The Camera and Output tab contains options to select which 3D view to render from and the rendered image dimensions. Higher image resolutions will generally take longer and use more memory to render.

The Use network rendering option is useful for automatically starting network renders on export, which use the Indigo Network Manager to handle distributed rendering.

Tone mapping determines how the huge brightness range of real physical scenes gets compressed into the limited range displayable on computer screens; it is worth experimenting with these to get the best result for the particular scene being rendered.

The Environment tab contains options for the lighting environment; this can be either entirely background lighting (via physical sun and sky, or an HDR environment map), or optionally include the illumination from other light sources in the scene.

The Procedural Grass tab allows you to easily add fully 3D grass to your scenes, simply by choosing the material(s) on which grass should be scattered. The drop-down combo box lists the materials in the scene, which can be added to the list of grass scattering materials via the Add button; for example, adding the Grass material with the default settings produces a nice lawn in almost any scene. The view culling option is useful to only create grass in direct view of the camera, which speeds up the scene building before rendering; the grass density (in number of instances per square metre) can also be tweaked.

The Renderer Settings tab contains more advanced options such as options for Metropolis Light Transport. This is an advanced method for computing illumination that enables faster rendering of complex scenes, however it is not recommended for simpler scenes.

Indigo Manual > Indigo for Revit

Using Indigo for Revit

After installing Indigo for Revit, a tool bar for Indigo Renderer will be added under the Add-Ins menu.

Please note that this menu is inaccessible in perspective views due to Revit plugin limitations.

The Indigo for Revit workflow

To render your scene with Indigo, ensure that you have a 3D camera set up, then hit the Render with Indigo button in the Indigo Renderer addin menu.

The general Indigo for Revit workflow:

  1. Create or position a 3D camera to be used for rendering.
  2. Edit the Render Settings.
  3. If you are using Revit 2013, tweak the materials and their attributes using the Indigo Material Editor. Revit 2014's material system is vastly improved, and no manual tweaking is necessary for accurately converted and beautifully rendered materials.
  4. Render with Indigo.