vRay for Revit is Just The Design Tool BIM Has Been Waiting For

The past decade has proven to be a rough road for AutoDesk Revit. The few early adopters praised it for construction modeling integration and fast-twitch drawing creation, while hoards of old-guard AutoCAD users bashed it for being lazy, over complicated, and detrimental to the design process. The reality is Revit lies somewhere in between the two camps, and while it has come along considerable in terms of user experience and precision, there is still much to be desired from it as a design tool.

VRAY for Revit is poised to change that equation.

One of Revit’s most damning critiques is it makes designers lazy. Model a wall here, move some windows there, and expect the entire set of drawings to magically coordinate themselves. This removes much of the rigor required to design something as complex as a building. When using a 2D drafting program like AutoCAD, every line must be accounted for, checked, and checked again to make sure it reinforces something important about the design. Yes, Revit can make architects and designers lazy, but with the power of integrated rendering software like VRAY, it can be used to improve design rather than jeopardize it.

VRAY for Revit integrates directly into the primary program’s interface. We all know Chaos Group’s flagship rendering engine provides plenty of oomph under the hood, but what most aren’t aware of is how seamlessly the program works with Revit’s unique BIM experience. It’s great for architects because the model is already being constructed as if it were being built in the real world, so you know the rendered interpretation of that model is going to be 100% accurate. With Revit, the ability to swap out materials and adjust the design make rendering different iterations of the same scene fast and easy.

That’s what makes VRAY for Revit such a valuable design tool. With minimal effort, color, materiality, even fundamental massing can be swapped out on the fly and rendered in VRAY to give architects better insight, and clients more options for moving forward with a design. It makes for a more informative, more efficient feedback loop and does things Revit doesn’t exactly do very well on its own. For all the power it has as a construction management tool and production mechanism, it never had the visual fidelity to complete the package. With VRAY for Revit, now it does.

Perhaps even more important is the way VRAY for Revit allows studios to move into construction documents and design development faster than ever before. In most cases, the architect will wait until the design is far enough along that changes moving forward will be minimal before starting in on construction documents. That protects the firm from having to pour resources into making sweeping changes to a drawing set that was not properly worked out on the front end. By itself, Revit alleviates much of this pain by the swiftness with which changes can be made. However, it is difficult to weigh the merit of these changes without the proper visuals to inform the design.

VRAY’s seamless integration allows for greater flexibility because of how easily realistic images can be created with the design model. Everything runs in parallel - the design and the production, so no one side of the equation is ever left behind. This allows architects to move production towards the front end of the design process, where technical issues that might come up during detailing and construction can be identified earlier, and designed around when the aren’t costing the client or the firm or the contractor money. And saving money makes everyone in the food chain happy.

Revit still might make architects and designers a bit lazy when it comes to the discipline necessary to have complete control over a set of drawings, but VRAY integration goes a long way to working out some of those kinks by giving back the power of visual awareness.

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