Materials and Linked Revit Objects

When you export a DWG or DXF from Revit projects, materials are translated into a format that 3ds Max Design can understand. Revit creates materials in the same format as used by AutoCAD Architecture, VIZ Render and 3ds Max Design.

There are two kinds of materials associated with the Revit project; AccuRender materials and Revit materials. When a Revit material references an AccuRender material, the AccuRender material’s parameters are used; otherwise, the Revit material parameters are used.

There is an important caveat to this. AccuRender materials that reference a bitmap file are translated in 3ds Max Design without any problems, while AccuRender materials that are considered “procedural” are only translated at the most basic level.

Therefore, an AccuRender material that uses a bitmap image in the base texture definition will provide a more accurate translation to 3ds Max Design.

NoteThere are some limitations on what is translated between Revit/AccuRender materials and 3ds Max Design materials because there is not a one-to-one correlation between the two material definitions.

Material Assignments

The Revit DWG Exporter puts embedded information on each object it exports. Amongst this information are identifiers specifying material assignments. Revit creates the same kind of material definitions used by AutoCAD Architecture, VIZ Render and 3ds Max Design. When imported or linked, 3ds Max Design uses this information to translate and maintain the material assignment to the resulting scene object.

Because the material identifier is embedded, if you opened the DWG in AutoCAD, you would not see the applied materials.

Revit offers many options for specifying a material to an object or class of objects. Likewise, there are many ways where material assignments can be overridden. The results you see in the 3ds Max Design scene, in terms of how the materials are applied, match what you see in the Revit model.

The exception to the rule would be if many of the materials are AccuRender procedural materials. In these cases, you will see only the diffuse color.

Texture Coordinates

Material textures on imported or linked objects have the same appearance as within Revit or AccuRender. Of course, the exception to this rule is when AccuRender procedural textures are used.

When materials from Revit are viewed in the 3ds Max Design Material Editor, you'll notice that some settings are not translated or they are not set as you're used to seeing in 3ds Max Design. For example, if the texture map of a flooring material has a rotation of 45 degrees in the Revit project, the rotation setting does not translate when the model is linked/imported to 3ds Max Design. The rotation for the texture map is set to zero in the 3ds Max Design Material Editor.

Map Scaling

The scale of material textures is of primary importance. The File Link Manager or DWG/DXF Importer attempts to read and translate the offset and tiling of the materials so the texture maps appear in 3ds Max Design as they do in Revit.

However, map scaling may differ because the Tile Size settings in Revit are measured in decimal feet or meters even if your Project Units are set to Decimal Inches or Millimeters. Once the model is linked or imported to 3ds Max Design, you can turn on Use Real-World Scale and match the Tile Size settings. The main thing is to pay attention to the Tile Size settings when you create the material in Revit.

As a example, let's say you've created a material in Revit that uses a brick texture map with an X: Tile Size set to 20 and a Y: Tile Size set to 16. If you open that material in the 3ds Max Design Material Editor, you will find that the Width and Height Size settings are automatically set to 20' and 16' respectively. The texture mapping will always be scaled correctly in the scene. How a material is displayed in the Material Editor depends on whether Use Real-World Scale is turned on or off.

See Also