Monday, 29 June 2015

Rendering – Revit or 3DS Max

Most of our clients who use Revit are using the Autodesk Building Design Suite. This suite of software contains a number of products.

In this suite of products most users don’t look beyond Revit. When I’m talking to people about BIM I always talk about how BIM cannot be done in one software so you need to have your BIM toolbox. The software in this suite is part of your BIM toolbox.

I am often asked the question why do I need 3DS Max when I can render in Revit.
This is very true, Revit is capable of creating nice 3D rendered images and basic walkthroughs.

3DS Max and Revit both use the same rendering engine called Mental Ray. But the implementation of Mental Ray in Revit has been simplified. So you don’t have the same control over your rendering quality as you have in 3DS Max.

You can do animations in Revit but they are very limited. To create high quality flyby or walkthrough animations you need to move to 3DS Max.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with 3DS Max it is a rendering and animation software that is used in the film, visualisation and gaming industries. It comes in 2 flavours. You have 3DS Max and 3DS Max Design. 3DS Max Design is geared towards the Architectural and Engineering industries with tools to link directly to Revit.

When you link a Revit file into 3DS Max, 3ds Max will use the materials, lighting & cameras placed in the Revit model. When you make changes in the Revit model they can be updated in 3DS Max. Revit and 3DS Max share the same material library.  In 3DS Max you have tools to improve materials, lighting & cameras brought in from Revit.

If you need to create better quality renderings or animations have a look at 3DS Max Design. 3DS Max can be quite daunting when you open it first as it looks very different to Revit. to find out more about 3DS Max Design feel free to contact us at and we can arrange for you to attend one of our 3DS Max Design for Revit Users courses.          

If you have any questions on anything in this blog or any other blog please feel free to contact me at

Dan Deery is the managing director of Siscín which is a company an Irish based company specialising in visualisation and BIM for the Infrastructure, Engineering and Architectural industries. Check out our Website