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Thread: Exporting to Radiance!

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    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    holy ****!

    OK, so I finally got Radiance running properly on my home Linux box. Radiance is a open-source light calcualtion engine that can produce some of the best renderings youve ever seen. See http://www.visarc.com/visarc/projects/fs_projects_0.htm for an example of someone who knows thier stuff.

    Anyways, I successfully exported a DXF model out of Revit, conveted it to a Radiance model, and then defined materials and did some test renders.

    It's not much, but it's a start. must learn more!

    Zoog, i know you're into Linux. is anyne else interested in this stuff? I was thinking of writting up a general newbie guide to using Radiance w/Revit if anyone is interested...

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    Revit Forum Manager Steve_Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    Jeffrey,

    I need a "Intro to Linux/Radiance for Moderators"...I don't know the first thing about Linux, yet. Which means I haven't a clue about Radiance either yet. But after seeing those images, yikes!

    How about two paragraph, "you need this and this and this" to get linux and radiance going??

    Kick me in the right direction

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    AUGI Addict hand471037's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    It's simple.

    You will need:
    1. lots of time and 2. lots of patience.

    No, it's not too bad. But if you've never worked with Linux before, it can be a little daunting.

    to work with Radiance, all you need is:
    1. something that can run Unix. This could be linux or BSD installed on another partition of your windows box, a new Mac with OS X, or a full-on unix machine, like a Sun or SGI (altho now Macs can be more powerful for this level of work). This isn't as hard a step you might think; there are several easy to use Linux distrobutions out there that make it very easy to make your machine a 'dual-boot'. This means that when you turn on your computer, a little bootloader comes up that allows you to pick whatever OS you want to run. My Machine is a dual-boot windows 2K & Mandrake Linux.

    2. the Radiance software. It's open source, just like Linux, so it's free. You just download it from the website.

    The easyest way to make your machine a dual boot machine is to make a new partition on your hard drive, with either partition magic or some other tool (a free one is inculded in Mandrake 9.1), then download the linux distrobution (flavor) you want and install it on that new partition. Again, this is very easy with the newer distros. For example, if you wanted to use Mandrake, which i would recommend (because it's much easyer than the others), it's as easy as downloading three .iso's, burning them to CD, then dropping the first one into the computer and rebooting. The install is very easy, just pick the options you want. If you've installed windows before you'll be fine. Just let Mandrake auto-allocate the partitions, and don't tell it to format your whole drive, and you'll be fine. You could even use it in leu of partition magic, the install has a re-size tool that will let you make a new partition and such, but I don't know how well it works.

    Installing Radiance can be a pain. I'll write something up.

    As for using Linux & Radiance, well, there is a ton of stuff online and books available, but it's gonna take a far mount of time to learn. It takes a little while longer to learn how to do something in Linux than in Windows, but once you learn, you can do about ten times or more worth of stuff. for example, making a directory in Windows is very easy. In linux, it's almost as easy, but once you learn how you could, say, make it create your new directory, make auto-numbered subfolders with it, make a list of all those folders, then e-mail that list to someone- all with one line of text.

    It's kinda cool, and it's kinda scary.

    Anyways, the easyest way to get into this is to just by a Mac. but if you're too poor like me, then Linux it is!

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    Revit Forum Manager Steve_Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    Okay, need to buy some #1 but got lots of #2...(watch it J)

    What would the minimum specs be for Linux to do this?? I've got a few skeletons that I could assemble a separate pc with...at least to get my feet wet.

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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    One of the stregths of linux is the fact that it can run on almost anything. If you cobled together a spare computer, it would be more than enough to install Linux and start learning. it might be very slow, but it will work. My first 'learner' machine for Linux was a P-233 IBM thinkpad laptop. very slow, but it worked. A P-II or P-III would be plenty to get your feet wet, and then when you've got a better idea of what you want to do with Linux and/or Unix, and Radiance, then you'll be able to figure out where it should go. I mean, whether you should make your primary machine a dual-boot, or whether you should just buy a used Mac for Radiance work, or if you'll even want to use Radiance at all.

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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    Jeffrey,

    Those Radiance images absolutely rock

    I have very little 1. Time and almost no 2. Patience. Given that, is it worth perservering with Linux - Radiance ? The whole process sounds convoluted - DXF transfers, material assignments etc. If theres an (invariable ) change to the model, do you go through the whole transfer thing once again ?

    I would love to be able to get within cooee of those renderings, but don't know how long that would take. Exporting a Revit-Accurender to Photoshop for further enhancement won't cut it huh ?

    beegee

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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    Uhm.. well here:

    Radiance:
    made from day one as a tool for lighting anylisis & rendering for buildings.
    Large time investment, but HUGE payoff.
    Open source software means no vendor changes messing up your work.
    'real' light modeling, no faking, so things behave as real-world as possible.
    consistant, well documented, if complex workflow.
    workflow can be customized for *any* needs.
    Renderfarm & complete crash recovery.
    no limitations in resolution, geomotry, ect.
    Free.

    Commercal rendering engine:
    Made for animation, re-adapated for buildings.
    easyer to use. (but- and a big but- that all depends on what you are doing and what the interface is like).
    commercal vendor means product can change out from under you (ala Lightscape)
    Light is faked, Radosity and such, have to add fill lights and such to make things look right.
    inconsistant, partially documented, ineffiecent workflow (accurender, 3D Studio, Lightscape)
    Workflow is what it is, can't adapt it.
    Render farm costs extra or not possible, no crash recovery.
    limitations in resolution, geomotry, ect.
    Not Free.

    so... whether or not it will work for you I can't say. If they add a Viz 4 render engine to Revit 6.0, then you'll be a lot closer to making images like the ones i linked to. But you'll never really get there without spending either a lot of money for software, or lots of time on something like Radiance. Accurender and other rendering plug-ins are great, and good for quick things, but the are limiting. That's why I'm learning this software, because I want to make some very good imges for a project I'm working on, and i can't afford anything else that can do this level of work.

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    Revit Arch. Wishlist Mgr. Wes Macaulay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    Wait a sec on the Linux thing guys... you can get Radiance for Windows as freeware as well:

    http://floyd.lbl.gov/deskrad/download.htm

    And then all ya gotta do is learn Radiance. But with VIZ so likely to be a part of Revit in R6, I would almost think this is only providing a short-term alternative to Accurender.
    Wes Macaulay LEED AP
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    Revit 2014 x64 | Win7 x64 | nVidia GT 650M
    Tell Adesk what you think!

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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    I downloaded "Desktop Radiance" for Windows. It runs in AutoCAD. I have not had a chance to try it out, but if it is capable of the same quality, there is no need to go the Linux route. Has anyone else gone there yet?

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    Default Re: Exporting to Radiance!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey McGrew

    Radiance:
    made from day one as a tool for lighting anylisis & rendering for buildings.
    Large time investment, but HUGE payoff. < CUT >
    Jeff,
    Thanks for your well thought out response. If Radiance for windows works as well as the Linux version, that could be very interesting.

    Do you think Viz will be a big step forward ? or will it still only fall into the plug-in category. ( I don't anything about Viz , as you might guess ). If its not that big a deal, than I will certainly start learing about Radiance.

    beegee

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