The following pointers will serve as a reminder on how to prepare your Revit project before you export it to LIVE.
1. Keep your regular day-to-day workflow
There is no reason to rethink your Revit approach, so your day-to-day work in Revit remains the same. You can still use any or all Revit features, and any or all Revit components or families you’re used to whether they are standard or customized. Most Revit components should be compatible with LIVE.
2. Organize your Revit Views
Only Revit 3D views (Orthographic and Cameras) are sent to LIVE. Make sure you organize them and label them properly in Revit, so you can easily access them in LIVE. Keep in mind that you can add more views in LIVE without reverting back to Revit if you so choose. You can also rename the views in LIVE.
If your Revit project is large in scale, consider using section boxes in your Revit views as only the visible part of the project (within the section box) gets sent to the cloud. This is in fact a significant way to reduce poly count and help make your interactive experience in LIVE more fluid.
3. Verify your BIM Data
BIM data is brought over from Revit to LIVE, and that data can be viewed interactively. This also means that LIVE understands the nature of the Revit objects and knows for instance that a door is a door, and will open it and close it as you move to and through that door. However, at this early stage, only a handful of standard doors react that way and this behavior may not apply to your custom door libraries.
4. Ensure your Revit Project is Geo-located
In keeping with BIM Data concepts and other important information that translates well between Revit and LIVE, it is worth noting that the geographical location of your project, along with North direction, sun and moon positions, time of year and time of day are all transferred properly to Autodesk LIVE. What’s more, the Date and Time of Day can be interactively adjusted in LIVE to see representative sun and shadow patterns.
5. Manage your Lights
Lights are implemented differently in Revit and in LIVE. The LIVE service handles the conversion in order for the lights in LIVE to appear the same way as they do in Revit but at this early stage, it is not a perfect fit just yet. You may have to dim the lights in Revit in order to prevent them from being particularly bright in LIVE. This will be addressed in future releases of LIVE. At this time, you may need to experiment a bit by reducing Revit light intensities and/or loss factors.
6. Manage your RPC Objects
RPC objects (people, trees, plants…) also do not appear exactly the same way in Revit and in LIVE. Instead of the cardboard mapped planes you have in Revit, you actually end up with 3D models in LIVE. What’s more, the 3D trees in LIVE have animated branches and leaves for better realism. Characters (people) are not animated at this stage and show up only in greyscale.
7. Use the LIVE Service
When you install LIVE, you also install the Autodesk LIVE Add-In that appears as the Go LIVE button in the Add-Ins menu in Revit.
The Go LIVE button sends your Revit project to the Autodesk LIVE cloud service, to prepare it to be read by LIVE. In essence, every component of your Revit project is translated, converted or otherwise manipulated so that the scene as a whole is output as an .lvmd file that you open with the LIVE Editor application. Everything is automated and only requires a simple click. Just make sure that your active Revit view is a 3D view and not a 2D sheet to prevent any errors.
There are potentially one or two other warnings or reminders that you may encounter. The first is an easy fix as the detail level in your 3D view needs to be in Fine mode. If it isn’t, then you are reminded to set it in that mode by clicking the Fix button.
Another potential warning concerns custom bitmaps you may have used. If your Revit materials rely solely on common bitmaps from the Autodesk Shared folder, then you won’t get any warnings. If however you have created your own materials based on custom bitmaps, then you will need to point that out prior to sending your project to the cloud, otherwise, you will be missing your bitmaps in LIVE.
For Revit renderings, you usually go to the Options dialog where you add a path to where your custom bitmaps reside. This however is currently not enough for the LIVE service. It is best to revisit the Material Browser dialog in Revit and ensure any missing bitmaps are properly loaded. This step is particularly important when you transfer projects from one system to another where you typically end up using different folder structures.
The Advanced Options section of the LIVE Service dialog lets you define a folder where the LIVE file will be stored after being processed and downloaded from the cloud. You also have the option to “Extend terrain to horizon” and this will let you integrate your project with an environment terrain template to add scale and context around the building. This option is enabled by default.
When you send your project to the cloud for processing, it may take a few moments (depending on the complexity of the project and cloud traffic) before it downloads a fully processed .lvmd LIVE file that you can open with one click. You can also opt to close the dialog and open the application on its own the old fashioned way.