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Thread: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

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    Default transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    We are a medium scale office transitioning from Autocad/Sketchup/3Dmax to Revit. While the documentation is going OK we are having issues convincing people to use Revit at the initial design phase for massing, sketch models and 3D schematic presentations. They say Revit can produce the same results as easily as something like Sketchup. Is it worth pursuing Revit as a beginning to end program? If so what are the key tips to convince new users?

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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    Usually the first step on a project is a presentation package to land the project or get funding, which is one of Revit's strongest features: realistic renderings. To convince new users, go to Revitcity's gallery of renderings:

    http://www.revitcity.com/gallery.php

    Compare to your typical sketchup presentation and you can see the difference. Also check out Revit's area plans with automated color by occupancy, which is also great for presentations. Then, after you land the job, you already have the exterior elevations massed and interior mostly laid out, ready for CD's.

    The problem comes with teaching old dogs new tricks. Most guys who've been using autocad for decades realize their skill set is getting phased out and resist the change, or even fight the change, because that would mean they might not be the most experienced guy in the room.
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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    I disagree with Revitaoist to a large extent (SketchUp can create amazing presentations, just look on SketchUcation's gallery; Revit's strength is not rendering), but agree that Revit can be used very effectively as a conceptual design tool. Does your firm's website show any of the presentation material you typically use? Could you post something that is typical because how much you have to change in your process depends on what you hope to produce.

    I think the primary thing necessary to convince people of it's usefulness in the early stages is the long-term pay-off. You are going to waste time transitioning your design from SketchUp/ACAD to Revit if you use both sets of tools. Why model something twice, right?

    If you already see the benefit later in the project, then how do you make people start it early. Area calcs are a huge one. If you already use 3ds, there is an excellent workflow between Revit and 3ds. If you ever do or have a desire to do preliminary energy analysis, there are some built-in tools that could be quite nice. Finally, if you do anything with facade systems more than just standard curtainwalls, you should check out the conceptual mass and adaptive component tools. Here's something cool that you can't do it SketchUp: Louvers that know their orientation.

    Beyond that, it's being in it for the long-haul. Why throw away your schematic model and start again when you could already be there (and more)? I think using it on a project as a case study is a good way to start, then giving a very well thought-out presentation of a successful project in YOUR office might help.

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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    I have attached some screen grabs of a early stage client presentation. its an animated flytrough.

    Quote Originally Posted by damon.sidel View Post
    I disagree with Revitaoist to a large extent (SketchUp can create amazing presentations, just look on SketchUcation's gallery; Revit's strength is not rendering), but agree that Revit can be used very effectively as a conceptual design tool. Does your firm's website show any of the presentation material you typically use? Could you post something that is typical because how much you have to change in your process depends on what you hope to produce.
    I have attached some screen grabs of a early stage client presentation. its an animated flythrough that was quickly done in sketchup. We are not interested in photo realistic renders or animations. If we need to do those we would outsource them. To be honest most of the renders on the Revitcity gallery were very cheesy and be stuff we would never do


    I think the primary thing necessary to convince people of it's usefulness in the early stages is the long-term pay-off. You are going to waste time transitioning your design from SketchUp/ACAD to Revit if you use both sets of tools. Why model something twice, right?

    If you already see the benefit later in the project, then how do you make people start it early. Area calcs are a huge one. If you already use 3ds, there is an excellent workflow between Revit and 3ds. If you ever do or have a desire to do preliminary energy analysis, there are some built-in tools that could be quite nice. Finally, if you do anything with facade systems more than just standard curtainwalls, you should check out the conceptual mass and adaptive component tools. Here's something cool that you can't do it SketchUp: Louvers that know their orientation.

    Beyond that, it's being in it for the long-haul. Why throw away your schematic model and start again when you could already be there (and more)? I think using it on a project as a case study is a good way to start, then giving a very well thought-out presentation of a successful project in YOUR office might help.
    Last edited by btoogood694277; 2011-12-05 at 10:12 PM.

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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    At this level of development with the graphics you are showing, I think an adept Revit user could definitely create this model as quickly as an adept SketchUp user. Also, the model you're showing doesn't really need the conceptual massing tools as far as I'm concerned. I consider myself as skilled modeling with SketchUp as I am with Revit and I'd be hard pressed to say it would be faster in one or the other for me. For what I'm seeing, it would really come down to the user's facility with the program.

    The walk-through would be doable in Revit, too, but the functionality would be different (not better or worse, just different). I like SketchUp's slideshow functionality, but don't love the jerkiness or start-stop appearance, it sometimes produces. Revit's walk-through is a true path animation, so you get a smoother ride. However, if you want to jump from one location to another, you'll have to make two walk-throughs in Revit and edit them together in a video editing software. You'd skip the strange through-walls transition you'd get from SketchUp, though. So, pros and cons for each.

    Just some ideas based on the images you posted: You could tout the curtainwall and stair tools in Revit, both things I see in your images. Curtainwalls would be faster in Revit than dividing lines and array a mullion-shaped extrusion in SketchUp. And stairs are always time-consuming in SketchUp to draw and redraw.

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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    The real crux of the argument is that Sketchup cannot do construction documents, which makes it worthless compared to Revit IMHO. Here's a walkthrough I did with Revit and WMM. Keep in mind I made a full set of commercial construction documents with the same model that made these renderings and animations.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd1shrcBS3g
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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    We have to admit that some people are very comfortable using Sketchup. Probably because of the user friendly interface and it’s very easy to use especially for an early stage of design. However, bear in mind that Sketchup model is not intelligent compare to Revit. Therefore, modelling in Sketchup is purely more to achieve basic forms, design and appearance. After that, the model can’t be used for further documentation stage if compare to Revit. Revit user could definitely create 3d building model that is intelligent and eliminate the duplication of workload by having accurate 3d model that can be developed from early conceptual stage until the end of documentation stage.

    I agree with damon.sidel. that any skilful Revit user could definitely create this model as quickly as skilful Revit user. However, in terms of producing conceptual / sketchy presentation is another task. Sketchup software is design purely for sketch modelling and to produce sketchy look render or animation. It’s totally different with Revit that using Mental Ray render engine. The end product of schematic design could be any look as long as it can convince the client. Some architectural firm prefer to have very sketchy or conceptual look (cardboard look or ghost model) for early schematic presentation. The reason behind this is to allow flexibility rather than lock everything in an early stage.

    Revitaoist, how long does it take for you to render that animation? How long does it take per frame?

    If I’m not mistaken, it’s actually take longer to render in Revit even with simple plain material compare to Sketchup, plus it’s actually recommended to do animation in other software e.g. 3DMax in order to get better animation quality plus saving rendering time. From my knowledge, you can’t use render farm to minimize the rendering time in Revit except dividing the animation frames into small frames to be rendered in multiple computer and combine them in Adobe premier or Window movie maker.

    As a Revit user, I think it’s important to develop Revit skills especially after considering that you don’t have to do double amount of works. Overtime, any beginner Revit user will find that Revit interface is user friendly and probably can do lot more 3d modelling, presentations and documentation works compare to Sketchup plus get the best outcome from same 3d model that evolves from conceptual to documentation stage.
    I guess at the end, there’s Pro and Cons for each software and depends on the user ability and facility as well.

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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    Another discussion was started yesterday about SketchUp and Revit here: http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=87524. While I was reading through responses, I realized that the issue was framed from a production point of view, not a design point of view. I posted there to add that the software tool you use should feel right for your personal design thought process. (Personally, for many projects that I'm designing I like to use SketchUp for the way it works with my thought process.)

    Then there was an interesting post after mine by user Overconstrained that reads in part "It also means that we as technicians get an in depth understanding of the building...." Which made me think: everything depends on process. There are pros and cons for using any piece of software and it will be different for each office, each person, and each project.

    So after all that, I think btoogood should start a dialog with his team about process that is somewhat independent of software tools. Maybe by framing it around process it will be a more productive discussion.

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    Default Re: transitioning from SketchUp to Revit for sketch models and schematic 3D presentations

    Sketchup is for people who like to make things that other people figure out. Revit is for people who like to figure things out. Anyone can figure out how to make Sketchup work. With Revit you have to have to have the mind of a technician to figure it out. That's why designers work in Sketchup and then pass the design to technicians who then figure it out. Designers don't care about learning software - it's boring. They just want a tool that works - and fast.

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