TwinMotion – Is this the best rendering software for Revit?

They say a picture paints a thousand words! This has never been truer than in architectural design. 

The best way to show someone (a client, buyer) your design is to produce and accurate visual representation of your idea. Let’s face it, plans and elevations are great for showing accurate design setting out, but have never been the best way to show “the layperson” what you’re trying to design. 

We see things in 3D, so the best way to show an idea is in 3D! Now, this isn’t a new idea by any means. We, as an industry have been producing beautiful 3D perspectives for as long as we’ve been designing buildings.

twin motion exterior 600As technology has evolved, so has the process of producing all architectural design documentation. Long gone are the days of setting out and manually drawing a 2-point perspective. In fact, with the dawn of BIM and 3D design methods it has become even easier to produce 3D imagery of our designs. Many 3D BIM Authoring tools such as Revit and ArchiCAD have built in rendering engines that are very capable of producing 3D visuals to a good level.

By “good level” we mean, it’s not quite photo realistic. 

Rendering inside Autodesk Revit is easy to do and is created in 2 different ways. Both have pro’s and cons. Rendering on the Machine using the inbuilt rendering engine is free and easy to use but can take a long time to render a single image at presentation quality. 

Rendering on the cloud is also easy to use and frees up your machine to carry on working while the image is processed in your cloud gallery, but unfortunately this process costs in the form of credits. Revit is notoriously bad for producing rendered walk and fly throughs also. 

Another approach to producing both 3D images and walk throughs is to use a bespoke software solution such as 3D Studio Max (3ds max). 

3ds max has long been known as the standard bearer for photo realistic image production in the Architectural industry. It was after all used to design and animate characters in 2010s Avatar, winning an Academy Award for “Bet Visual Effects”. 

Unfortunately, 3ds max is notoriously difficult to use unless it is your day to day tool for work and it’s not the quickest for producing images and videos (and let’s face it, we don’t have the same budgets as Hollywood for producing our work!) 

The options are commonly one of the following:

  1. Use the in-built rendering engines and make them better using photoshop
  2. Employ a full-time visualiser to produce your imagery and videos
  3. Outsource image creation to specialist studio

Option 3 tends to be a common workflow I modern practice. Prices have come down considerably if you’re able to provide the specialist with an accurate 3D model to start with, but this can still be costly. Paying > £500 per image is not uncommon. 

The other main drawback with this workflow is essentially you’re doing “colour by numbers”, meaning someone else will be colouring in your design and they will never get it exactly as you imagine it in your own head. 

A new approach

Twin Motion Interior 600

We’ve all seen modern computer games and marvelled at the graphics. Even as far back as the PS3 and Xbox360 circa 2006 produced smooth real time rendering on a machine that is essentially a dual core 2.8Ghz Processor with a 256mb Graphics and 2GB of RAM! So, you may ask yourself “why does my £1500 laptop get slow when I ask Revit to show me a model in realistic mode”?!? 

Simply put, it’s like comparing apples and oranges! They’re both using completely different technologies. 

With the money that’s currently being thrown in to the gaming industry, developers have been able to perfect “Realtime Rendering” techniques using engines like Unity and Unreal. Like 3ds max before they’re amazing at what they do, but complicated for occasional users. 

This is where Abvent’s Twinmotion 3D real time rendering engine finds its sweet spot. Its easy to navigate interface and tools sets are built around Unreal Engine, giving you, the user the experience and power utilised in the gaming industry with easy to follow workflows built for the Architectural industry. 

twinMotion house 600

At the click of a button you can synchronise your Architectural Design model from Revit (or ArchiCAD) with Twinmotion giving you the ability to quickly and easily produce Realtime Architectural Renders and immersive scenes for Virtual Reality (VR). 

It’s quick and easy to use and always in sync with your design, cutting out on abortive work in changing visuals to suit design changes. It allows you, the user to take back the control of your design and show your clients your ideas in the simplest and most immersive ways. 

If a picture paints a thousand words, how many words would be created by letting your client walk through the design virtually, seeing how light and materials work and even giving them the ability to change materials, seasons, time of day and the weather as they go? 

Twin Motion Traffic

If you’re looking for a Realtime Rendering Plugin for Revit, download the full free 20 day trial of Twinmotion and take it for a test drive. It’s even free until November 2019.

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