3D Rendering in the Cloud – Revit Architecture 2012

I’ve been learning Autodesk’s Revit Architecture 2012 along with my kids and we are really enjoying it. We’ve used the open source Blender project and Sketchup a lot in the past but wanted to stretch our wings a bit more seriously.

With architectural smarts, Revit’s really fun to use actually. You don’t just draw masses and meshes (though you can!) and extrude standard shapes. Instead you deal with floors, walls, ceilings and you place components (desks, people, cars) and define materials, costs and more.

The built-in Seek family search tool gives broad access to detailed content, but I also use revitcity.com and you can also import Sketchup models. Sky is the limit really. By the way, it’s not just about 3D visuals, but about the infamous BIM: planning, scheduling, parts lists and more.

Enough intro… (it’s worth a try if you like this kind of stuff).

A labs.autodesk.com project called Neon recently came out that allows you to easily add a toolbar item for sending your projects to a cloud service for rendering. Neat idea, so I gave it a try tonight.

My little study project is a marina design. To render it locally in “best” quality mode took me just over 16 minutes.

To have the web service do it took 1 minute to “upload” and only 45 seconds to do the render (with similar settings). But it did sit in the queue for quite a while – I’m guessing I didn’t get all 64 of their cores working on my project, but it was interesting. I ran several tests earlier that got much better times, I’ll have to dig into how to optimise for performance at some point I guess. It would be nice to see if you are stuck in a queue or not though – that’s my only complaint.

You also get a nice online catalogue of sorts so you can review past renders and easily access them elsewhere. I can go out of the house and see what the kids might have been working on!

Good work on the Neon labs project. Two thumbs up!

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Tyler Mitchell

Product and marketing leader, author and technology writer in NoSQL, big data, graph analytics, and geospatial. Follow me @1tylermitchell or get my book from http://locatepress.com/gpt

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