I feel like I'm about to start a weekly column on Revit-to-Max problems.
This one is a pain. I have a nice clean Revit model with a bunch of perfectly aligned walls. Heck, I've even joined walls from floor to floor. I want to take this model into Max and start rendering. One of the problems with rendering the Revit models that they have nice clean razor sharp edges, not very much like real-world materials. So, I tell myself, I can solve that easily within Max, right? That's why we pay a bunch of money for Max, to access all those great time-saving advanced features.
The Mental Ray renderer in MAX has a great feature. Under the Arch/Viz material there is a Special Affects panel, that will allow you add soft edges within the material itself. This is not a geometery modification, its just a special effect, but it can make all the hard edges of architectural models look soft. This was one of the touted new features of Max 9 when it was released. The only problem is...well, its useless for imported Revit models (won't see that one on the Max sales brochure).
Why? Because a nice clean, perfectly joined Revit model comes into Max showing complete edges for every wall, ignoring the joins themselves. Walls come into max as absolutely separate entities. If you apply the soft edges feature, this will not eliminate the wall overlaps, it will exacerbate them by drawing more attention to the edges.
BTW- lets not talk about the mapping coordinate issues involved here (yikes!). Is there a workaround for this one? Or perhaps, is it fixed in the new 2008?