3ds Max and Revit Interoperability - Part 10 - Night Scene Lighting

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  • Design Visualization
  • 2015
  • Interoperability
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
5 min

3ds Max and Revit Interoperability - Part 10 - Night Scene Lighting

In this tutorial, you experiment with a Nighttime lighting scenario based on an exported Revit scene. You test out the default parameters and then learn to improve on them.


  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2015
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2015 or higher.


00:00:06 --> 00:00:12
In the last movie, you used a Revit preset for a daytime scene, and learned to improve on it.

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In this movie, you do the same with a Nighttime setup.

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Reset 3ds Max.

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Use File > Link FBX to link the fbx file you saved for nighttime purposes. You can also use the provided file named: room_night.fbx

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Make sure you use the Combine by Family Type as you have learned.

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As you can see, even for a night scene, a Daylight System is still getting imported prompting you to use Exposure Control.

00:00:42 --> 00:00:49
As mentioned in the last movie, Exposure Control is needed to compensate for the brightness of the sun, much like on a real-world camera.

00:00:49 --> 00:00:56
An EV default value of 15 works for daytime though, so you most certainly need to adjust that in a moment.

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Click Yes to proceed.

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Once the scene is loaded, you will need to do a few actions similar to what you did in the last movie.

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First, click an empty spot to ensure all objects are deselected.

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Also make sure the viewport is in Realistic mode and set to be lit with scene lights.

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This will make the viewport temporarily dark which is expected for a night scene.

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Also hide the curtain wall,

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and set the rendering resolution to HDTV.

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For good measure, disable Adaptive Degradation as well.

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Zoom back and take a look at the scene.

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In an opposite situation to the last movie and the daytime scene, this time around, the artificial lights are enabled.

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The Daylight System on the other hand shows the Sun component in black, which is an indication it is disabled.

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Sure enough, this can be confirmed in the Modify panel.

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In the Motion panel on the other hand, you can see the time of day set to 22:00 or 10pm, as defined in Revit.

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This also accounts for the fact the viewport is dark, but it also has to do with Exposure Control.

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More on that in a moment. For now, press C to set the view to display the camera and test render the scene again.

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It doesn't look like much at all, certainly not like a night scene you'd expect. There are a couple of reasons for that:

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Right now, only the artificial lights are barely showing.

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This is because currently, the EV value is still set to the default 15 value, which is more of a daytime setting.

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Go to the Environment dialog and set the EV value to 3 or 3.5.

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You'll notice an immediate change in viewport shading, one that's more consistent with the current lighting scenario.

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Test render again.

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Well, the lights certainly look better but the background doesn't work too well for a nighttime render.

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As mentioned in the last movie, the Daylight System relies on three components:

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A Sunlight as a direct light, a Skylight to simulate the atmosphere, and an mr Physical Sky map for a background.

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Unfortunately, Revit presets only take care of enabling or disabling the Sun direct light

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So, it is up to you to adjust the other two components manually.

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Disable the background and try again.

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It's better but still too bright for a night scene.

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The overall brightness, especially outside is happening because of the Skylight system, even though it is 10pm.

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Disable the Skylight and try again. In effect, anything related to the Daylight System is now disabled.

00:04:16 --> 00:04:24
You are now relying only on artificial lights and the render shows that. This looks much closer to what a night scene should look like.

00:04:24 --> 00:04:32
Ultimately, you can add exterior artificial lights and perhaps even a night background image but I won't be getting into that right now.

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One important point remains: you have learned that at all times, Revit exports a Daylight System along with the FBX file.

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But what if you are linking your Revit model to a scene that already has a Daylight System? One that you have already set up to your liking?

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The answer to that is to create a custom import preset, so that when you link the FBX file, you specifically bypass the Revit Daylight System.

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This is what you do in the next movie.
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  • 3ds Max
  • 2015
  • Interoperability
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