3ds Max and Revit Interoperability - Part 08 - Working with Revit Lights

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

3ds Max and Revit Interoperability - Part 08 - Working with Revit Lights

In this tutorial, you take a look at Revit lights and lighting types, and how they transfer between Revit and 3ds Max.


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


00:00:06 --> 00:00:11
In the last movie, you learned about Revit cameras and how they transfer to 3ds Max.

00:00:12 --> 00:00:15
In this movie, you do the same with lights.

00:00:15 --> 00:00:19
It was mentioned in passing that Revit has two "unofficial" light types:

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Artificial lights that you add as components, and a Daylight System to simulate the sun and the atmosphere.

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The latter is not manually created but rather defined in the Render Settings dialog.

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Continue working on your scene from the last movie or use the file named: "room_withcams.rvt"

00:00:41 --> 00:00:46
Switch to the generic view for a moment, although you'll need the exterior shot at export time.

00:00:47 --> 00:00:52
When you export a Revit scene in .fbx format, all lights are included in the transfer.

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In this case, this includes the four artificial lights on the ceiling.

00:00:57 --> 00:01:03
Although you don't see it, a Daylight System simulating the sun & atmosphere is transferred as well.

00:01:03 --> 00:01:08
However, you can decide which of the two types you can enable or disable by default.

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If you are planning to render a scene by day, you'd want the Daylight System enabled and the artificial lights disabled.

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You want to reverse that process for a night render.

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The way you decide these settings in Revit is in the Render Settings box.

00:01:24 --> 00:01:28
This is done by clicking the Show Rendering Dialog button at the bottom of the screen.

00:01:28 --> 00:01:34
Before you do though, remember that each defined 3D view can have its own set of render settings.

00:01:34 --> 00:01:41
So you want to ensure you're in the view you want to send to 3ds Max before you access the Render settings dialog.

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In this case, we'll use the Camera Exterior shot.

00:01:46 --> 00:01:51
Click the Show Rendering Dialog button at the bottom of the screen. A dialog appears.

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This is where you usually go to render a view in Revit, but in this case, you are mostly interested in this section of the dialog.

00:01:59 --> 00:02:04
The Scheme drop-down gives you choices between exterior and interior shot settings.

00:02:04 --> 00:02:12
Don't waste too much time on the differences. You will inevitably find yourself adjusting many of the parameters in 3ds Max anyway.

00:02:13 --> 00:02:21
What you want to take from this drop-down is that a "Sun only" preset enables the Daylight System but disables all Artificial lights.

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"Artificial only" does the opposite, enabling all man-made lights and disabling the Daylight system.

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Choose Exterior: Sun only for now.

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Next, you'll adjust the Sun Settings. Click the little icon to get to the Sun Settings options.

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By default, it is set to a mode named "Lighting"

00:02:41 --> 00:02:48
This mode translates into a manual mode in 3ds Max where you control the sun position by moving it around.

00:02:49 --> 00:02:56
A more popular way is to work with a geographic location and a date. This can be done by using the Still method.

00:02:56 --> 00:03:01
In this case, you don't need to worry about location given the nature of this particular project.

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However, set the time of day to 2pm to see how that transfers to 3ds Max.

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Click OK when done.

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Before you export the scene, take note of the Background Style options.

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These have an effect on the background you see in 3ds Max at render time.

00:03:21 --> 00:03:26
The "Sky:" options define the clouds in the atmosphere by using one of four bitmaps.

00:03:26 --> 00:03:33
These bitmaps are part of the Autodesk Shared library and are installed with most Autodesk applications.

00:03:33 --> 00:03:42
The "No Clouds" option doesn't use any bitmaps, but the other four options use hemispherical images of skies for full effect.

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Keep the Few Clouds option current for now.

00:03:54 --> 00:03:58
Export the scene and name it: myroom_day.fbx

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Note: For those who do not have Revit, a similar file named: "room_day.fbx" has been provided.

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Now change the time of day again to 10pm,

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and set the scheme to Artificial only.

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Export the scene and this time name it: myroom_night.fbx

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Note: A similar file named room_night.fbx has been provided.

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You now have two similar scenes exported. The only difference relates to how lighting was set up.

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In the next movie, you import the day scene into 3ds Max to learn how lights were transferred and how to improve the setup.
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  • 3ds Max
  • 2015
  • Interoperability
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