Radiance plug-in for 3DS

Dear all,

Is there any Radiance plug-in to 3D Studio out there that any of you can
recommend?

Christoph

Hi Christoph,

I have heard of the following but have no working experience with it:

http://www.lichtplaner.com/

-Jack de Valpine

Reinhart, Christoph wrote:

···

Dear all,
Is there any Radiance plug-in to 3D Studio out there that any of you can recommend?
Christoph

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
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Christoph,

SketchUp (Win/Mac) now imports and exports 3DS.

http://www.sketchup.com/

No Radiance plugin, but you could probably get some useful work done within the 8hr demo if you're stuck. You'll have to manually edit the materials file. I've limited experience of 3D modellers, but SketchUp feels just right for the occasional user who needs to work up some geometry for Radiance. And of course, on the Mac it's a single platform/OS workflow.

mit freundlichem gruß,

-John

···

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

I've played with the demo - its a great program for doing rough mockups,
but you can also get very specific by keying dimensions
http://www.sketchup.com/forum/read.php?f=3&i=17351&t=16675
Used Sketchup and 3ds2rad

Rob F

···

-----Original Message-----
From: John Mardaljevic
To: [email protected]
Sent: 12/19/2005 9:44 AM
Subject: [Radiance-general] Radiance plug-in for 3DS

Christoph,

SketchUp (Win/Mac) now imports and exports 3DS.

http://www.sketchup.com/

No Radiance plugin, but you could probably get some useful work done
within the 8hr demo if you're stuck. You'll have to manually edit
the materials file. I've limited experience of 3D modellers, but
SketchUp feels just right for the occasional user who needs to work
up some geometry for Radiance. And of course, on the Mac it's a
single platform/OS workflow.

mit freundlichem gruß,

-John

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

Fitzsimmons, Rob wrote:

Used Sketchup and 3ds2rad

Hey, anyone know where I can get that 3ds2rad script? I know it's posted somewhere, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Also, I'm assuming this script uses the 3ds2mgf -> mgf2rad thing, right? Just wondering because I've had some trouble with getting some of my 3ds files into RADs this way.

Thanks!

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689

Here is a simple version that was originally posted by John Mardaljevic in response to similar queries ([Radiance-general] ConRAD / 3ds2rad converter - ArchiCAD -> Radiance)

=======================3ds2rad========================
#!/bin/csh -f

set tds = $1

set nam = $tds:r

3ds2mgf $tds

mgfilt '#,c,cct,cmix,cspec,cxy,cyl,ed,f,ies,ir,m,o,p,prism,rd,rs,sides,sph,td,ts,v,xf,fh' $nam.mgf | mgf2rad -m mat$nam.rad >! $nam.rad

rm $nam.mgf $nam.inc

···

======================================================

What problems have you had?

-Jack

Jeffrey McGrew wrote:

Fitzsimmons, Rob wrote:

Used Sketchup and 3ds2rad

Hey, anyone know where I can get that 3ds2rad script? I know it's posted somewhere, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Also, I'm assuming this script uses the 3ds2mgf -> mgf2rad thing, right? Just wondering because I've had some trouble with getting some of my 3ds files into RADs this way.

Thanks!

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689
www.becausewecan.org

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

The trouble is that I have no easy and fast way to bring something from Revit into Radiance. It's a pain. I'd love to hear a solution.

I'm using Autodesk Revit (heavily). I model my Building. I export out to DWG, and then bring that into 3D Studio, which is smart enough to bring along the materials I'm using in Revit into it. I then export out a nice 3DS file from 3D Studio, and run the 3DS2MGF -> MGF2RAD style of conversion, and it gets most of the way through the conversion but then hits a 'Unexpected EOF'. If I then render the RAD file things are missing, for it didn't finish the conversion. It happens with this script as well.

The only other ways I can figure to bring Revit models into Radiance is to export them out as a DXF, and do a DXF2RAD, which also crashes and doesn't work. Or I can export them out to a DWG, open them in AutoCAD, and then export them out as a RAD using TORAD, but this is now broken for it hasn't been updated for the newer versions of AutoCAD, which are all I've got.

The DXF's out of Revit seem to crash Blender too, sadly. Now, I've been told (by Autodesk) that in Revit 9 there will be a fix to make the DXF's 'better' but I have no idea if it's going to help my troubles, and without pulling the Revit models into 3D Studio first you'd have to remap all the materials anyways, which will eat up too much time.

So I'm left with two options: Buy the Radiance plug-in for 3D Studio, or try to write an Radiance exporter using Revit's API directly (or wait until someone else does). Since Radiance isn't my core business, just a rendering engine that I enjoy using and would like to use more of, I really wish I had an easier way of getting from Revit into Radiance, for today it's a totally pain in the rear.

I had hoped that maybe this script would filter out whatever is causing that EOF, but it doesn't seem too. Oh, I'm running Radiance on Cygwin, maybe I should give this a go on the G4 when I get home and see if I get the same result...

Thanks for the script, and sorry for the long story.

Jeffrey McGrew

Jack de Valpine wrote:

···

Here is a simple version that was originally posted by John Mardaljevic in response to similar queries ([Radiance-general] ConRAD / 3ds2rad converter - ArchiCAD -> Radiance)

=======================3ds2rad========================
#!/bin/csh -f

set tds = $1

set nam = $tds:r

3ds2mgf $tds

mgfilt '#,c,cct,cmix,cspec,cxy,cyl,ed,f,ies,ir,m,o,p,prism,rd,rs,sides,sph,td,ts,v,xf,fh' $nam.mgf | mgf2rad -m mat$nam.rad >! $nam.rad

rm $nam.mgf $nam.inc

What problems have you had?

-Jack

Jeffrey McGrew wrote:

Fitzsimmons, Rob wrote:

Used Sketchup and 3ds2rad

Hey, anyone know where I can get that 3ds2rad script? I know it's posted somewhere, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Also, I'm assuming this script uses the 3ds2mgf -> mgf2rad thing, right? Just wondering because I've had some trouble with getting some of my 3ds files into RADs this way.

Thanks!

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689
www.becausewecan.org

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

--

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689

Hi,

can't you find a way to export to obj? The support for this format has been
extended during the last years, you will even have uv-mapping and surface
normals working, plus a more efficient way to store large models.

CU Lars.

I then export out a nice
3DS file from 3D Studio, and run the 3DS2MGF -> MGF2RAD style of
conversion, and it gets most of the way through the conversion but then
hits a 'Unexpected EOF'. If I then render the RAD file things are
missing, for it didn't finish the conversion. It happens with this
script as well.

Jeffrey,

In my experience, the 'Unexpected EOF' report occurs with every successful execution of 3ds2mgf. In which case, the report may have nothing to do with the missing geometry.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but I thought it worth pointing out that this seems to be normal behaviour for 3ds2mgf.

-John

···

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

Jeffrey,

I also get the same behaviour as John reports. In my experience going from dxf -> 3ds -> mgf -> rad (works better than dxf -> rad directly) missing surfaces are due to errors in the original cad model or small errors in curved surfaces being triangulated. I would recommend checking the original model.

Apart from that could there be any 3ds primitives that are not translated by 3ds2mgf?

Iain

John Mardaljevic wrote:

···

I then export out a nice
3DS file from 3D Studio, and run the 3DS2MGF -> MGF2RAD style of
conversion, and it gets most of the way through the conversion but then
hits a 'Unexpected EOF'. If I then render the RAD file things are
missing, for it didn't finish the conversion. It happens with this
script as well.

Jeffrey,

In my experience, the 'Unexpected EOF' report occurs with every successful execution of 3ds2mgf. In which case, the report may have nothing to do with the missing geometry.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but I thought it worth pointing out that this seems to be normal behaviour for 3ds2mgf.

-John

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

--
****************************
Dr Iain A Macdonald
Energy Systems Research Unit
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, UK
+44 141 548 3747
http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk
****************************

Hi All,

Here are a few more thought to add.

    * 3ds - this format has some limitations in data size/allocation. I
      have noticed on big models that have a lot of geometry, 3dsout
      from Autocad will stop on large entities. One thing to consider
      would be writing a script (autolisp) and using 3dsout on a per
      layer or per color basis, though this still may not work on large
      entities.
    * Max and objects converted to 3ds - there are lots of objects out
      in the 3D marketplace that are sold in multiple formats, some of
      these are actually modeled in Max and then converted to other
      formats. One problem that I have noticed with models created in
      Max is that because of the way Max deals with coordinate systems
      on a per object basis, models exported to other formats such as
      3ds do not always have things transformed correctly. I think that
      this must be a problem with the way Max deals with exporting to
      other formats. For example, I bought some nice 3D car models in
      3ds format, in a few of them the wheels where not in the right
      location when I viewed the model. PLEASE NOTE - I am not a Max
      user, but I have worked with customers who use Max, and it is a
      huge @#%$%^#$% pain in the @#%$$#$% to get things converted into
      something useful.
    * Polytrans - my latest effort at find a decent 3D conversion tool
      finally lead me to purchase Polytrans from Okino
      (http://www.okino.com/conv/conv.htm) along with the cad-pak
      module. I have used this for a few different things (though there
      are some minor problems with the native autocad dwg as they use
      opendwg vs native dwg). The nice things is that I now have a
      reliable way to export directly to obj!
    * 3Dwin4 and Accutrans3d - I have used the former with some success
      and heard of the latter. You will have to do a search on where to
      find them. These are shareware
    * Revit - As far as this is concerned, I have always thought that
      this must be a pretty great tool. However, I have never used it
      for production for the very reason that it seemed extremely
      difficult to get geometry out. This being said though, I have
      heard from relatively reliable sources that they are working on
      this, on the other hand though I think that in the bigger picture
      they are trying to determine the best way to fit Revit into their
      overall product mix.
    * Outsource Development of custom exporter - Depending on need and
      how much you use Revit it might be worth it to consider
      outsourcing the development of a native exporter. I have no idea
      what the Revit api is like though so not really sure what would be
      involved. You might check out: www.4d-technologies.com,
      www.fpsols.com, www.sycode.com

Regards,

-Jack

Iain Macdonald wrote:

···

Jeffrey,

I also get the same behaviour as John reports. In my experience going from dxf -> 3ds -> mgf -> rad (works better than dxf -> rad directly) missing surfaces are due to errors in the original cad model or small errors in curved surfaces being triangulated. I would recommend checking the original model.

Apart from that could there be any 3ds primitives that are not translated by 3ds2mgf?

Iain

John Mardaljevic wrote:

I then export out a nice
3DS file from 3D Studio, and run the 3DS2MGF -> MGF2RAD style of
conversion, and it gets most of the way through the conversion but then
hits a 'Unexpected EOF'. If I then render the RAD file things are
missing, for it didn't finish the conversion. It happens with this
script as well.

Jeffrey,

In my experience, the 'Unexpected EOF' report occurs with every successful execution of 3ds2mgf. In which case, the report may have nothing to do with the missing geometry.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but I thought it worth pointing out that this seems to be normal behaviour for 3ds2mgf.

-John

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

--
# Jack de Valpine
# president
#
# visarc incorporated
# http://www.visarc.com
#
# channeling technology for superior design and construction

John Mardaljevic wrote:

Jeffrey,

In my experience, the 'Unexpected EOF' report occurs with every successful execution of 3ds2mgf. In which case, the report may have nothing to do with the missing geometry.

That's very good to know! Well then now that shifts my focus to something else, instead of thinking something with the 3ds2mgf is wrong (or the data I'm feeding it is causing the EOF message).

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689

Iain Macdonald wrote:

Jeffrey,

I also get the same behaviour as John reports. In my experience going from dxf -> 3ds -> mgf -> rad (works better than dxf -> rad directly) missing surfaces are due to errors in the original cad model or small errors in curved surfaces being triangulated. I would recommend checking the original model.

Well, I know that the model is complete. Revit makes very complete, well detailed, and tight models. And I made the model I'm trying to use as an example, there aren't curvy bits in it, and when it's brought into 3D Studio it's complete, and it's normals are all ok, ect. ect. So I think the model is complete when I start, it's that stuff is getting lost out of 3D Studio upon export. But now that I know how 3ds2mgf behaves, I'm going to focus on getting my models out of 3D Studio intact first, see if that's the issue. If 3D Studio isn't exporting whole models that originated within Revit, that's a large issue that will mess up any format I try to use to get to Radiance.

Apart from that could there be any 3ds primitives that are not translated by 3ds2mgf?

When you export out a 3D model from Revit, you can export as solids or a polyface mesh. The second option is better, and is what I'm using. Those meshes wind up as meshes in 3D Studio, I don't know what they wind up as in a 3DS file.

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689

Jack de Valpine wrote:

Hi All,

Here are a few more thought to add.

   * 3ds - this format has some limitations in data size/allocation. I
     have noticed on big models that have a lot of geometry, 3dsout
     from Autocad will stop on large entities. One thing to consider
     would be writing a script (autolisp) and using 3dsout on a per
     layer or per color basis, though this still may not work on large
     entities.

Revit tends to make models with lots and lots of surfaces and information. So this could very well be the limitation I'm hitting.

   * Max and objects converted to 3ds - there are lots of objects out
     in the 3D marketplace that are sold in multiple formats, some of
     these are actually modeled in Max and then converted to other
     formats. One problem that I have noticed with models created in
     Max is that because of the way Max deals with coordinate systems
     on a per object basis, models exported to other formats such as
     3ds do not always have things transformed correctly. I think that
     this must be a problem with the way Max deals with exporting to
     other formats. For example, I bought some nice 3D car models in
     3ds format, in a few of them the wheels where not in the right
     location when I viewed the model. PLEASE NOTE - I am not a Max
     user, but I have worked with customers who use Max, and it is a
     huge @#%$%^#$% pain in the @#%$$#$% to get things converted into
     something useful.

Huh, that's not good to hear. The only reason Max is even in the mix for me is as a overblown file converter, really. I'd much rather prefer going to Blender, but Blender's DXF import functions seem not-so-good and aren't being done via it's Python API, but instead has been written into it's code,

   * Polytrans - my latest effort at find a decent 3D conversion tool
     finally lead me to purchase Polytrans from Okino
     (http://www.okino.com/conv/conv.htm) along with the cad-pak
     module. I have used this for a few different things (though there
     are some minor problems with the native autocad dwg as they use
     opendwg vs native dwg). The nice things is that I now have a
     reliable way to export directly to obj!

I wish this was viable option. See, Revit has materials in it already, and it's very handy to assign materials therein because then they relate parametrically to what materials show up in your Deliverables (for example, drywall looks like drywall in section and elevation), and they can participate in Structural Analysis. It's only that the rendering abilities of Revit are grossly limited via Accurender (it's built-in rendering engine) that I'm looking to use other tools with it. Now, Revit's exporting to DWG/DXF is really intended for sending 2D and 3D models out to consultants. Revit places things into layers based upon what they are, not by what material they are, but it does include the material information as X-data. 3D Studio knows how to read this data, so that when you bring in a model from Revit the materials are intact. Most other programs don't read this data, and so you wind up with a nice model, but one without materials already mapped, meaning you have to duplicate work and waste a lot of time. Theoretically you could write your own DXF2RAD converter that understood the x-data as well, that could produce a RAD file, materials intact. But no one has yet, and I don't have the time right now to learn how to take something like the Python DWG/DXF routines that are available and edit them for this sort of use.

   * 3Dwin4 and Accutrans3d - I have used the former with some success
     and heard of the latter. You will have to do a search on where to
     find them. These are shareware

I will give them a try, but again, I'd like a model with materials if I can get it.

   * Revit - As far as this is concerned, I have always thought that
     this must be a pretty great tool. However, I have never used it
     for production for the very reason that it seemed extremely
     difficult to get geometry out. This being said though, I have
     heard from relatively reliable sources that they are working on
     this, on the other hand though I think that in the bigger picture
     they are trying to determine the best way to fit Revit into their
     overall product mix.

It's a fantastic tool for Production, if the majority of what you do is typical Document sets, like Schematics, CD's, that sort of thing. If the end result is a PDF or printed paper, Revit is really, really keen. However, it only exports to DWG, DXF, and SAT. And only the DWG/DXF option retains materials (it's a long story) and so you're dead on in assuming that it's not the best tool for creating 3D models in whatever format you might want. The pain here is that it does create very nice and detailed models very quickly. It's just a pain to get them out into some other format. Now with 3D Studio's new ability to talk to Revit (somewhat indirectly, but still) there are a lot more options available, and I'm hoping that it might lead to an easy and fast Revit -> Radiance bridge of some kind.

I got into Radiance a while ago, but because of this difficulty of using Revit models with it I haven't gotten the chance to do too much 'real work' with it. I'm just a designer looking for a better rendering engine, really, not a lighting or analysis person.

   * Outsource Development of custom exporter - Depending on need and
     how much you use Revit it might be worth it to consider
     outsourcing the development of a native exporter. I have no idea
     what the Revit api is like though so not really sure what would be
     involved. You might check out: www.4d-technologies.com,
     www.fpsols.com, www.sycode.com

I use Revit a lot, however I'm currently just one guy doing his own projects and helping others out with Revit stuff. I might take a job with a huge firm tho, to help them with their transition to Revit, and as such might have a lot more resources available to me. The Revit API is all .NET based, so any .NET language would work (sadly :P). I've had enough time to find out the the API allows for something like a Radiance exporter to be made (I think) but not enough time to actually learn how to make one (again, just a designer, not a programmer, sadly).

Thanks for all the great info, I've got some research to do! If I figure out a quick way to go from Revit to Radiance I'll definitely post it here.

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689

Hi Jeff,

When you say 3D Studio do you mean Max or Viz? There is an okino polytrans plug-in for Max for geometry conversion in/out. Though I do understand that the main issue is getting the material assignments from Revit as well.

Also here is something that I grabbed off of the following list: http://www.formz.com/forum/forum_archive/forumC/general/186.html

There are a number of limitations and features of 3DS format that we
must keep in mind. First and most important limitation is the 65535
triangle limit on any single object. The 3DS file also has an object
limit of 65535 objects.

-Jack

Jeffrey McGrew wrote:

···

Jack de Valpine wrote:

Hi All,

Here are a few more thought to add.

   * 3ds - this format has some limitations in data size/allocation. I
     have noticed on big models that have a lot of geometry, 3dsout
     from Autocad will stop on large entities. One thing to consider
     would be writing a script (autolisp) and using 3dsout on a per
     layer or per color basis, though this still may not work on large
     entities.

Revit tends to make models with lots and lots of surfaces and information. So this could very well be the limitation I'm hitting.

   * Max and objects converted to 3ds - there are lots of objects out
     in the 3D marketplace that are sold in multiple formats, some of
     these are actually modeled in Max and then converted to other
     formats. One problem that I have noticed with models created in
     Max is that because of the way Max deals with coordinate systems
     on a per object basis, models exported to other formats such as
     3ds do not always have things transformed correctly. I think that
     this must be a problem with the way Max deals with exporting to
     other formats. For example, I bought some nice 3D car models in
     3ds format, in a few of them the wheels where not in the right
     location when I viewed the model. PLEASE NOTE - I am not a Max
     user, but I have worked with customers who use Max, and it is a
     huge @#%$%^#$% pain in the @#%$$#$% to get things converted into
     something useful.

Huh, that's not good to hear. The only reason Max is even in the mix for me is as a overblown file converter, really. I'd much rather prefer going to Blender, but Blender's DXF import functions seem not-so-good and aren't being done via it's Python API, but instead has been written into it's code,

   * Polytrans - my latest effort at find a decent 3D conversion tool
     finally lead me to purchase Polytrans from Okino
     (http://www.okino.com/conv/conv.htm) along with the cad-pak
     module. I have used this for a few different things (though there
     are some minor problems with the native autocad dwg as they use
     opendwg vs native dwg). The nice things is that I now have a
     reliable way to export directly to obj!

I wish this was viable option. See, Revit has materials in it already, and it's very handy to assign materials therein because then they relate parametrically to what materials show up in your Deliverables (for example, drywall looks like drywall in section and elevation), and they can participate in Structural Analysis. It's only that the rendering abilities of Revit are grossly limited via Accurender (it's built-in rendering engine) that I'm looking to use other tools with it. Now, Revit's exporting to DWG/DXF is really intended for sending 2D and 3D models out to consultants. Revit places things into layers based upon what they are, not by what material they are, but it does include the material information as X-data. 3D Studio knows how to read this data, so that when you bring in a model from Revit the materials are intact. Most other programs don't read this data, and so you wind up with a nice model, but one without materials already mapped, meaning you have to duplicate work and waste a lot of time. Theoretically you could write your own DXF2RAD converter that understood the x-data as well, that could produce a RAD file, materials intact. But no one has yet, and I don't have the time right now to learn how to take something like the Python DWG/DXF routines that are available and edit them for this sort of use.

   * 3Dwin4 and Accutrans3d - I have used the former with some success
     and heard of the latter. You will have to do a search on where to
     find them. These are shareware

I will give them a try, but again, I'd like a model with materials if I can get it.

   * Revit - As far as this is concerned, I have always thought that
     this must be a pretty great tool. However, I have never used it
     for production for the very reason that it seemed extremely
     difficult to get geometry out. This being said though, I have
     heard from relatively reliable sources that they are working on
     this, on the other hand though I think that in the bigger picture
     they are trying to determine the best way to fit Revit into their
     overall product mix.

It's a fantastic tool for Production, if the majority of what you do is typical Document sets, like Schematics, CD's, that sort of thing. If the end result is a PDF or printed paper, Revit is really, really keen. However, it only exports to DWG, DXF, and SAT. And only the DWG/DXF option retains materials (it's a long story) and so you're dead on in assuming that it's not the best tool for creating 3D models in whatever format you might want. The pain here is that it does create very nice and detailed models very quickly. It's just a pain to get them out into some other format. Now with 3D Studio's new ability to talk to Revit (somewhat indirectly, but still) there are a lot more options available, and I'm hoping that it might lead to an easy and fast Revit -> Radiance bridge of some kind.

I got into Radiance a while ago, but because of this difficulty of using Revit models with it I haven't gotten the chance to do too much 'real work' with it. I'm just a designer looking for a better rendering engine, really, not a lighting or analysis person.

   * Outsource Development of custom exporter - Depending on need and
     how much you use Revit it might be worth it to consider
     outsourcing the development of a native exporter. I have no idea
     what the Revit api is like though so not really sure what would be
     involved. You might check out: www.4d-technologies.com,
     www.fpsols.com, www.sycode.com

I use Revit a lot, however I'm currently just one guy doing his own projects and helping others out with Revit stuff. I might take a job with a huge firm tho, to help them with their transition to Revit, and as such might have a lot more resources available to me. The Revit API is all .NET based, so any .NET language would work (sadly :P). I've had enough time to find out the the API allows for something like a Radiance exporter to be made (I think) but not enough time to actually learn how to make one (again, just a designer, not a programmer, sadly).

Thanks for all the great info, I've got some research to do! If I figure out a quick way to go from Revit to Radiance I'll definitely post it here.

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689
www.becausewecan.org

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--
# Jack de Valpine
# president
#
# visarc incorporated
# http://www.visarc.com
#
# channeling technology for superior design and construction

Jack de Valpine wrote:

Hi Jeff,

When you say 3D Studio do you mean Max or Viz? There is an okino polytrans plug-in for Max for geometry conversion in/out. Though I do understand that the main issue is getting the material assignments from Revit as well.

Once you link in a Revit model into Max or Viz, the material assignments are there, so I'm assuming if you bound the linked model that any export would include the material assignments, for it's just a mesh in 3D Studio now. While I've got access to Viz right now, I could get access to Max instead, so I'll check out that plug-in.

Also here is something that I grabbed off of the following list: http://www.formz.com/forum/forum_archive/forumC/general/186.html

There are a number of limitations and features of 3DS format that we
must keep in mind. First and most important limitation is the 65535
triangle limit on any single object. The 3DS file also has an object
limit of 65535 objects.

Oh man, I'm sure I'm blowing past that limit. I'll look up the number of faces in the model when it's brought into 3D Studio, but this is a big ol' problem with Revit in general: that it allows you to make huge, highly detailed models of buildings that work very well in Revit but can choke other 3D software that's not meant to take models with so many surfaces...

Thanks again,

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689

Jeffrey McGrew wrote:

Jack de Valpine wrote:

Hi Jeff,

When you say 3D Studio do you mean Max or Viz? There is an okino polytrans plug-in for Max for geometry conversion in/out. Though I do understand that the main issue is getting the material assignments from Revit as well.

Once you link in a Revit model into Max or Viz, the material assignments are there, so I'm assuming if you bound the linked model that any export would include the material assignments, for it's just a mesh in 3D Studio now. While I've got access to Viz right now, I could get access to Max instead, so I'll check out that plug-in.

Yes, but I would imagine the most seamless link would be Revit to Viz?

Also here is something that I grabbed off of the following list: http://www.formz.com/forum/forum_archive/forumC/general/186.html

There are a number of limitations and features of 3DS format that we
must keep in mind. First and most important limitation is the 65535
triangle limit on any single object. The 3DS file also has an object
limit of 65535 objects.

Oh man, I'm sure I'm blowing past that limit. I'll look up the number of faces in the model when it's brought into 3D Studio, but this is a big ol' problem with Revit in general: that it allows you to make huge, highly detailed models of buildings that work very well in Revit but can choke other 3D software that's not meant to take models with so many surfaces...

Yes, but the thing to remember is that the 3ds format is really really ancient. It is probably around for convenience more than anything else and probably works well on models of objects. So this is really an issue with the format not revit, max, viz or whatever else.

-Jack

···

--
# Jack de Valpine
# president
#
# visarc incorporated
# http://www.visarc.com
#
# channeling technology for superior design and construction

Jack de Valpine wrote:

Yes, but I would imagine the most seamless link would be Revit to Viz?

No, it's the same these days. Max 8 and Viz 2006 both deal with Revit models the same, there's no difference. In the past, Viz understood Revit models, and Max didn't, but with the latest releases of both they now are on the same page.

Yes, but the thing to remember is that the 3ds format is really really ancient. It is probably around for convenience more than anything else and probably works well on models of objects. So this is really an issue with the format not revit, max, viz or whatever else.

Oh, totally. Just saying that I'm not surprised about hitting a limit re: number of faces, for it's something that happens in other contexts when dealing with exported Revit models. That's all.

Jeffrey McGrew

Because We Can, LLC
(415) 505-4689