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Monday, 18 January 2016

Revit Symmetry

The Oxford Dictionary defines the term, symmetry as: “The quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis”. Symmetry forms such a big part of our daily lives that we rarely recognize or appreciate it anymore. This entry has been inspired by a recent post on Boredpanda, and will illustrate 3 examples of symmetry in that can be found in architecture and engineering (Even though a bit of Photoshop may be involved).

Each example was both easy and somewhat difficult to recreate in Revit. Sometimes the modelling methods needed to be revisited, and other times quite a few renders were needed to get a mildly acceptable result. Note: Renders were created through Revit as well as by using Enscape.

Buildings were created through the Conceptual Massing Environment, with walls and roofs applied to these mass faces. Curtain wall storefronts were added to the atrium. The biggest challenge was to “accurately” locate the perspective view from the entrance level looking up. Definitely not as simple as one would think!

I am however quite satisfied with the in-Revit conceptual render, using NVIDIA Mental Ray with custom render settings:

I really enjoyed toying with Enscape for this render, too. I ended up saving 14 images, of which I couldn’t decide which to post. So, to be fair, below is the first attempt

Floors, slab edges, split surfaces, railings and a generic model family were used to recreate the illuminated bridge. The generic model family’s material was set to be self-illuminating. The squares were arrayed, ungrouped and rotated in 15 degree increments.

Replicating the image to be as close to the original source took some time. Quite a number of in-Revit renders took place to get the illumination colour intensity and diffusion to be “acceptable”.

I do however prefer the Enscape render. It might just be because I am a huge TRON fan!

Our last example is of a non-parametric steel structure. I decided to create this as an in-place model, as by then, it was 3AM in the morning already. Sweeps and Extrusions were used.

The Revit Render result was quite dull, but I am sure with a few more tweaks, it would have looked much better. I just didn’t have enough time.

A subsequent goal of this blog post, is to illustrate the user-friendliness and quality of the Enscape software – Instant Immersive Visualization. Sometimes one simply does not have time to spare to run a number of renders for a presentation, making subtle changes to each render as you go along. This is where Enscape definitely fits the bill.

For more information on Enscape software, you can contact the sole representative in South Africa: Modena Design Centres at +27 11 463 1553, or send an email to

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