Create a Realtime Walkthrough of your Revit Project with Autodesk Showcase

Even though my thoughts in my recent article on realtime rendering came to the conclusion that I wasn't willing to spend a ton of time on the bleeding edge of that technology, I haven't ignored it either. The truth is that the idea for that article came from me spending a decent amount of time figuring out realtime rendering using Autodesk Showcase, which comes with either a perpetual license or subscription to some of their suites. The funny thing that you probably can relate to is that I didn't even know Showcase existed or what it did when I found it. Luckily the office I work in has this type of subscription and I had a presentation to create, so the stars aligned.

I ended up making a tutorial that takes you through the process of getting your model out of Revit and into Showcase with a lot of steps along the way to make a successful and very nice looking realtime model. It is now live over on the Novedge blog where lots of additional people other than Method visitors can see it. This works well because this is certainly not an Autodesk-centric site. So if you're interested in my process for creating realtime walkthrough's, please go check it out and let me know what you think.

Click here to head over to the Novedge blog and read my tutorial.

✱ Which Rendering Program is the Best One for Me?

I get asked all the time what 3d rendering program I use and why. This is coming from a particular point of view - mine. I do architectural work. I do my own design. I work in small and large teams on small and large architectural projects. You may not do the same thing as me, but I'm sure there's some overlap if you're reading my site. I hope this is useful for you. 

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Link: iVisit3d Now Works with Autodesk360 & ArchiCAD Panoramic Renderings

If you're a Revit or ArchiCAD user, here is some good news for you. Abvent, the makers of Artlantis, have added the capability for turning your panoramic renderings from those programs into immersive iVisit3d projects that can be navigated on a website, on iPads, iPhones and Android devices via their new applications. This is good news because you can link your panoramic nodes together with their software to create mulit-node immersive environments, and put the steering wheel in the hands of your clients...

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Maxwell Render Plugin for Revit 2012 & 2013

Maxwell Render for Revit is out! Here’s the rundown:

  • Compatibility: Revit 2012 and 2013 (any edition)
  • Support for Revit lights, including IES
  • Support for many built-in Revit materials
  • Ability to override scene materials with MXM files
  • Maxwell Grass
  • Multilight read back: changes made to lights in Multilight can be imported back into the Revit scene
  • Easy access to the Maxwell material library and gallery from inside the Revit UI

This is a welcome addition to the designer’s workflow. I know I’ll be using this on my latest project which is starting Design Development in Revit this week.

Project Hummingbird - Grasshopper Components That Help Create Revit Native Geometry

Right on the heels of Chameleon, Project Hummingbird gives us yet another way to make more complex geometry and get it natively into Revit. I detect a theme here... obviously Revit has some modeling shortcomings, and there are people willing to fill those gaps.

From Tim Meador:

The Revit Model Builder add-in acts as a layer between the Revit modeling environment, including the Family Editor, and an Excel session.  (The Revit environment can include Vasari; however, this has not been tested.)

This is great news for users because I don't think Revit needs everything built in. It's nice to have an API that these other developers can hook into. Having smart, Revit native geometry for scheduling and costing let alone showing up with correct line weights and hatches in drawings is huge. Personally I still like and find an advantage to working in different applications that talk to each other. Each app has its own strengths and weaknesses.

(via Steve Bennett)

✱ New Aquatic Center Article on


I recently wrote an article about a project I've been working on where I used Sketchup, Bonzai3d, Revit and Artlantis in my 3d design workflow. The article was written for Abvent, the makers of Artlantis. Originally they posted it to their blog and Facebook page, and today they put on the front page of their website. I am truly honored.

Check it out here and let me know what you think.

Terrain Modeling Plugins for SketchUp and Revit

I was looking around on the SketchUcation forums and found this link to an amazing set of plugins for SketchUp created by Vali Architects. They are geared toward terrain modeling and roof creation. They aren't free, but very affordable ($15-$25 each). Definitely worth checking out if you're using SketchUp for architectural, civil or landscape work. I've been wishing for something like this for a long time, and now in the past week I've found tools like these for both Revit and SketchUp.

Check out Vali's Instant Road, Roof and Site Grader Plugins here.

The Revit tool I found is called Siteworks by Eagle Point Software. It will cut parking lots, sidewalks, curbs & gutters, retaining walls, berms, swales and other things into Toposurfaces. It is full of features and therefor obviously costs a lot more. Watch the demo videos on their site to get a better idea of what it can do.