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Monday, July 21, 2014

Revit Material Management Tips and Tricks

I have been getting many questions about different aspects of managing materials in Revit.  I thought it would be valuable to wrap a bunch of my material management techniques into a post here on the blog.  I also dug through the archives and pulled up some old posts (warning, some videos may be "pre-ribbon"!!):

Here is a good one from July 2009 (more material creation than management):

Tutorial - Families and Materials

While I was away from the blog and digging my face into the LEED reference guide I received a lot of emails. There were a few emails that were very alike and I would like to address the issue. It was very hard for me to think of a way to explain the answer in an email so I did it The Revit! way with a nice easy to follow video.

The question had to do with conflicts between family materials and project materials.

Topics Covered:
  • Creating a Render Material in a family.
  • Altering the Rendering Material
  • Understanding conflicts between the Project and Family materials.

Here is a great one from August 2011 explaining material management between multiple computers/users:

Revit Tutorial - Custom Materials on Multiple Computers

Being in school and in work can sometimes restrict you from copying and pasting custom materials into the Revit materials library. Then, you go to render and get that lovely error stating you are missing the textures... And you render a black shadowy object. Well, here is a tip that will allow you to keep your materials in your project folder or a "materials" folder... Then you can keep them on a flash drive and point Revit to it anywhere you are!

 It is very simple...

Click here to continue reading "Revit - Custom Materials on Multiple Computers"...

This is a very recent one (last week, 2014) about sharing materials between projects and creating your own material library.

Revit Tip - Sharing Materials Between Projects

Beyond actually creating custom materials this would be the number one question I get when it comes to material management.  Here is the scenario:

I have a project that I have created a bunch of new materials (or modified a bunch of defaults ones).  I tweaked and rendered these materials to point where I am finally happy.  Now, I want to bring these materials into a different project that has already been started.  How do I accomplish this?!

For a while, I was making sure the material and asset names were unique and I would copy/paste elements with those materials applied into the new project... Yeah, I did...  Not anymore!  Wait until you see how easy it is to share materials between Revit projects.

First, you need to understand that a materials and and asset are two DIFFERENT things.

Click here to continue reading this tutorial and to view the video....

A Few More Material Tutorials from the Archives:

Are You Cloud Rendering?:

... If you are you may be running into some little caveats.  I love cloud rendering and use it all the time but there are some things you NEED to know...

Here are a few posts about my issues with the cloud (past and present)...

Finally, Creating Custom Materials:

Now that you know are an expert material manager.... You need to learn how to create custom materials!  The ability to take texture images, create bump maps, alphas, cutouts, etc... and apply them to your model is what will help you make the most photo-realistic renderings you've ever made.

I go through the entire process in depth within my video tutorial series "BIM After Dark - Volume 1".  For example, check out this awesome tutorial to really make your glass material bump!  

BIM After Dark: Volume 1 - Available today!