Tag Archives: Materials

Mayang’s Free Texture Library

4 Jan

Source: Mayang’s Free Texture Library

Material Finish Schedules

3 Oct

Tag Materials of faces of walls in plan. (pending)

Advances in Architectural Geometry – MIT

11 Aug

Advances in Architectural Geometry – MIT – YouTube.

The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and the MIT Department of Architecture co-sponsored a video that was featured at the “Advances in Architectural Geometry” symposium at the Centre Pompidou in Paris from September 27-30, 2012. Architectural geometry is an emerging field using geometrical principles to approach current design challenges with a renewed mathematical rigor. As part of a presentation on the most advanced and challenging research in the field, the video spotlights the groundbreaking technologies, materials, and processes produced at MIT.

Create Seamless Textures for Rendering and Visualizations

21 Jun

Create Your Own Seamless Textures for Rendering and Visualizations.

If you are not sure what I mean by “seamless” here are two examples…

This is a textures that is NOT seamless… Notice how you can see where the image repeats itself…


This is a seamless texture… Notice how you cannot tell where the image repeats itself…

The hardest part about finding good textures is finding ones that are seamless.  There are two ways to approach such a problem.  One is to find a texture online that is not seamless and make it seamless.  The other is to take a photo of the texture you want and make it seamless…  With either approach the following tutorial will teach you how to make a seamless texture from any image file…

The tutorial “Creating-custom-texture” from “Rendering with Revit”  Paul Aubin are more detailed and explained in the revit project.




1 Mar

Make the models in SketchUp and convert them to Revit. In the conversion process we make unique materials and layers so users may modify the color of the architectural entourage. To keep the file size small we individually export from SketchUp repeated parts and them copy/mirror the part with Revit.

(Update: We’ve posted a video showing the process)


Click the link to see the process to ensure that the materials come across nicely.


1)    Open file in SketchUp

2)    Save as another version as to not overwrite the original

3)    Explode model as many times as necessary to remove all nested groups and components

4)    Create a new appropriately named Layer for each Material Color

a. Materials in Revit are listed alphabetically, following the generic to specific will make it easier to find the material

b. Try to keep names short and descriptive

c. Give materials unique FF names due to Revit’s manner of not warning the user if a material name is already being used and just assigning the material properties of a same-named material already in the project file when loading a new family

5)    Separate the geometry by materials into the various named Layers

6)    Check the geometry in each of the layers by turning off all layers and then turning on and off each layer. Note that using ‘Select by Material’ some times gets incorrect geometry if the geometry has one material applied to a side and a different material to the opposite side

7)     Delete all materials in the model so that all geometry has the default material

8)    Verify that all the normals are facing out toward the camera. The polygon color should be the yellow-green color and not the blue color.

9)    Check Model Units : Take note of the set units

10)     Export to a dwg file giving it a unique name such as Mercedes_SLR_noColor, with the export options of AutoCAD 2000 and export faces only. Be sure to not include lines or the revit model will have lines even in shaded-only render mode.


1)    Create a new family selecting the appropriate family type, eg.: a car would be in the ‘entourage’ family (See the document title ‘Revit Family Designations’ for a few list)

2)    Import the dwg file with the following options:

a.     Colors: Black and White

b.     Import units: Select “inches”

c.    Positioning: Auto – Origin to Origin

d.     Place at: Leave as it is

3)    Click ‘OK’

4)    Once the model has loaded verify that it was automatically placed at the origi

5)    Click on Settings>>Object Styles

6)    Click on the “Imported Objects” tab

7)    Verify that the layers made it into Revit.

8)    Delete the 0 layer as its unnecessary

9)    Go to Materials Editing by clicking Settings>>Materials

10)    Delete all of the imported materials

11)    Create a new material for each SketchUp layer (color) by copying the “Default” material

12)    Name each material the same as the SketchUp layer (color) This makes it easy to know which goes with which when assigning the materials and when the family is in a large project file.

13)    Under the Graphics tab, click “Use Render Appearance for Shading”

14)    Click on the “Render Appearance” Tab

15)    Under the heading “Generic Material Properties” click the RBG button

16)    Enter the RGB color values — get these by looking at the original SketchUp model for each material

17)    Use  generic material to maintain a “SketchUp” look -or- pick an appropriate material for glass, metal, plastic and etc.

18)    Click apply and keep adding materials until finished

19)    Click OK to exit Materials

20)    Click on Settings>>Object Styles…

21)    Click on the “Imported Objects” tab

22)    Under the heading materials there should be no material listed for each of the imported layers

23)    Click on the Material cell for the first layer, then click on the ‘…’

24)     The Materials editing box comes u

25)    Select the appropriate material

26)    Click OK

27)    Do the above step #23 through #25 for each of the imported model layers

28)    Once all assigned, verify that each layer has the correct material assigned by making sure that the layer name and the material name are the same.

29)    Click OK in the Object Styles box when complete

30)    Save the model

Quality Assurance

1)    It’s always important to check to the model by loading into a project to verify the scale and how the materials render

2)    Click on the shading display button to verify that all the colors are correct

3)    Render a 3D view of the scene

4)    Verify that all of the materials render properly

5)    If they don’t render properly, return to the family file to see what is up

6)    To test again, load the test Revit project, Updating a family and re-loading it to a project does not update the materials that we’re previously imported. Since the material names are the same, the first materials imported will remain causing your fixed family to render improperly again.

Understanding Autodesk Revit Materials | Cadalyst

12 Oct

Starting with Revit 2013, there is a new term that users must become familiar with: assets. To better understand assets, let\’s first talk about the overall concept of a material in Revit 2014. Consider the simple illustration at right: This box represents the primary components of a material in Revit.

Think of a material as a container. Some of the information represents elements you can touch and see when the building is complete, while some does not. Assets are modules, if you will, that better define a material. These modules are optional and can be added or deleted as needed; however, most materials have an appearance asset, which cannot be deleted.

via Understanding Autodesk Revit Materials | Cadalyst.

Duplicating a Material and Its Assets

It is important to know how to properly duplicate a material in your model so you do not unintentionally affect another material. The process has changed significantly from previous years. Many experienced Revit users still do not fully understand this process. Not following these steps results in multiple materials being changed when only one material was intended to be modified. If you duplicate a material in your model, the appearance asset will be associated to the new material and the material you copied it from!

In this example, we will right-click on Carpet (1) and duplicate it. Before we duplicate it, notice the appearance asset named Red is not shared (see arrow No. 3).

Once you have duplicated a material, the two carpet materials in this example now indicate they both share the same appearance asset. Changing the new material will affect the original material. Click the Duplicate This Asset icon in the upper right.

Note: Another option, rather than duplicating the asset, is to import an asset from the library. Later in this article you will see an example of this which shows a chain-link fence asset being loaded into a material.

Finally, when the appearance asset has been duplicated, you can expand the information section and rename the asset. You can now make changes to this material without affecting other materials.

This applies to all assets in a material

Material Transparencies

Materials are only transparent in 3D views! The following images will explain this further and present you with a couple of options.

In any elevation view, materials are not transparent, as you can see in the left-hand image below (regardless of what Visual Style is set to). Even turning off the glass material in a view’s Visibility Graphics Overrides (VG) will not allow you to see through the “opening,” as seen in the second image. The trick here is to edit the opening in the family so it is transparent in elevation, as shown in the third image.

To achieve that, simply select the opening and check Elevation on the Options toolbar.

Once the opening is set to be transparent in elevation and the glass sub-category is turned off, you can see though the windows, as shown in the image below. – 

Once the opening is set to be transparent in elevation and the glass sub-category is turned off, you can see though the windows, as shown in the image below.

Another option is to adjust a 3D view to “front.” This is a flat view, just like an elevation, but is still technically still a 3D view. You can lock the view and add dimensions, tags, and notes. But you will not get grids and levels. Turn on the Section Box and you will even get the toposurface in section.

An image file can also be used to define a transparency in a render appearance asset, as shown in the image below. The lighter areas of the image are more transparent than the darker areas.

Fill Patterns

A definition from the Revit.PAT file:

Model vs. Drafting Patterns

There are two types of fill patterns in Revit: model and drafting. Model patterns are used to depict real-world elements, such as bricks, shingles, tiles, etc. They are defined and display in model units. An 8×16 inch brick pattern will show exactly 12 courses on an 8-foot-tall wall. A 2-meter-tall wall with a 200×400 mm brick pattern will have 10 courses. Model patterns appear denser at coarser view scales and sparser at finer ones.

Drafting patterns are defined in paper units. If you import the pattern at scale 1 and print at 100% zoom, the pattern’s dimensions on paper will be exactly as specified in the file, regardless of view scale. Drafting patterns are used to symbolically denote materials such as steel, concrete, sand, etc.

Drafting patterns are typically defined with smaller numbers than model patterns. Drafting patterns usually contain sizes from 0.04 to 1 inch (1–25 mm); model patterns usually contain sizes from 2 to 20 inches (50–500 mm). These are guidelines only, not enforced by Revit. Revit’s existing restrictions limit the maximum size and density of the patterns, and a review of these restrictions is planned for a future release.

Fill patterns are used to represent surfaces on a material. Any AutoCAD hatch pattern can be used by Revit. If you want an AutoCAD pattern to be used as a Model filled region (versus Drafting, which changes scale with the View Scale) you have to add ;%TYPE=MODEL to the PAT file, as shown below. The semicolon symbol (;) at the front will rem out the line so even AutoCAD could still use the file; however, it might be best to copy the ACAD.PAT file to another location specifically for Revit use.

You may also see some patterns with ;%TYPE=DRAFTING, as shown below, but Revit will assume drafting if nothing is specified.

When creating a model pattern, if you try to use the AutoCAD ACAD.PAT file without making any changes, you will get this error: “No ‘Model’ type patterns found.”

There are tons of patch patterns for AutoCAD one can find via the web. If you need something custom you can either edit the PAT text file, or use something like Hatch22. You just draw the hatch pattern you want in Revit, then use this add-in to automatically generate the PAT file. This file can then be imported back into Revit.

Using Revit’s Artificial Materials

Revit has several built-in features to make what I like to call artificial (or synthetic) materials, including tile, concrete, metal, and more.

Material tile pattern used in ceiling application.

Notice, in the image below, when the material appearance is set to Tiles, it is possible to change Tile Appearance to an image. This allows you to do some cool stuff: You can make a material to be a concrete walk, wood wall, or ceiling panelling, and much more.

In the image below, you can see a nested Texture Editor (notice the arrow) for the Tile Appearance settings.

Regarding rendering speed, the Autodesk Wiki Help page includes the following note:

The material render appearances that require the most time to render are (from slower to slowest): metallic paint, flecked metal, hammered metal, water, frosted glass, and perforated metal. Slower render times for these materials are proportional to how much of the scene they cover.

Material Settings Reference

The information below is an overview of several of the material settings and options.

Searching for Available Materials and Assets

When you need a new material, searching the project and Autodesk libraries is the best place to start (see image below). Sometimes a material does not exist, as in this “fence” example, but an appearance asset does; that will get you part of the way there.

Searching the Asset library reveals a chain-link fence option.

When this asset is loaded into a material, it contains several settings, such as image size, cutout, and Bump.

The three images below demonstrate how I created a fence render appearance (visible in realistic and rendered views). First, I did a Google Images search and quickly found an image of a fence that I could tile. Then I made a copy of the image, edited it in Photoshop to yield the middle image below (which took about one minute), and then assigned this image as the “cutout” on the Appearance tab. The black areas in the cutout image are the transparent portions, as seen in the rendered image on the right.

The main image and cutout image were combined to produce the result shown at right.

For the fence example, you would still need to manually add the Identify and Graphics information (for example, the surface pattern and Texture Alignment to make the drafting views and rendered views align). 


This option is great in renderings, as seen with the light fixtures below.

A surface with a self-illuminating material will actually add light to a scene. In the image below, the self-illuminating low wall in the center of the room is the only light source. This material can also be used to get a very white surface when nothing else seems to be working.

Linked Files and Materials

For Revit links, all materials need to be set in the source Revit file. This can be tricky if the linked file is coming from an external consultant. Following the mechanical model image below are notes on how each material was applied.

A: You can set a material in Object Styles to quickly apply a material to everything in the model. This is overridden by the subsequent techniques mentioned below.

B: It is also possible to paint materials on elements. This is required if the color needs to change. For a round duct, you need to paint four separate quadrants for each section of duct. Also, you cannot paint a material on a duct fitting.

C: Most loadable content (i.e., regular families) can have materials assigned as usual.

D: You can also assign materials to the duct or pipe systems, as shown in the image below.

Adjusting the duct material via the duct system type.


Sketchup to Revit with Materials

14 Jun

What Revit Wants: Sketchup to Revit with Materials.

There have been many posts about how you can control Sketchup materials in Revit using Object Styles.  However, this relies on the existence of different layers for each distinct material in the original file.  If you have an SKP file and would like to create the layers you need (without using Sketchup itself), you can use this method:

  1. Import Sketchup SKP file in to 3ds Max Design
  2. Export as FBX file
  3. Use Import command in AutoCAD, choose the FBX file – choose to have a layer for each material (Assign Objects to Layers – By Material)
  4. For some reason, I had to untick the Block option – otherwise the file would not import at all.
  5. Save the DWG file
  6. Import to Revit – you now have granular control over each Material / Layer combination through Object Styles…

Note – this method uses only Autodesk tools, it does not require Sketchup to be installed.  If I remember correctly, you can instruct Sketchup to export different layers for each material when exporting a DWG (?)