How to create a “Clay Render” effect in Revit.

I was sat with a customer last week and they asked: How can we make a Clay Render in Revit?

Now, to be honest I’m more technically minded (Being an Architectural Technologist by trade) I wasn’t too sure what they meant. So I quickly researched and figured out what it was. After some though and a play round with Revit, I came up with the following technique... It may not be perfect, you have to remember Revit is a Building Information Modelling tool and not a rendering package. Yes, we can get some nice images out of the software. But there are other packages that concentrate solely on rendering.


Clay render examples BIM


This particular render was developed for a customer to show how Revit could be used on their projects and help drive their business. The model has been kindly provided for the use of this blog by Lewis Visuals of Farnham, Surrey.

For this we’re going to use the Phasing tool to create the desired effect, phasing sounds strange I know. But bear with me.

clay render phasing

First, we create a new Phase filter and call it something along the lines of “Clay Render”.

Set the New (and Existing if you’ve got multiple phases in the project) phases to show “Overridden”. Show any Demolished and Temporary as “Not Displayed”.

clay render phasing 2

Now in the Graphics overrides tab we need to apply a material override. I simply created a new one and called in “Clay Render”

For the properties of the Clay Render Material choose an asset that is going to closely match your needs. I did a search for “Clay” and then used one called “Soil – Clay – Wet” but you can choose a different one. You can always duplicate the asset and change the material properties to suit.

clay render phasing material colour

I simply Changed the RGB within the Appearance to show a slightly off white color, closer to the tone you would expect a plaster or clay model to look like.

NOTE: Don’t forget to tick this button under the Graphics Tab

render appearance tickbox

Then change the Phase Filter to show the Clay Render Filter that we created.

clay render phase

And finally, you can see the results of this technique: 


clay render house

Original View showing normal materials    -    Shaded View with applied Clay Render Phasing Filter    -    Render View (Medium Quality) with Applied Clay Render Material Override


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