Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
by Kenneth Wong
With so much emphasis placed on Building Information Modeling (BIM) lately, the capitalized Information sometimes threatens to overshadow building aesthetics. But in the latest release of Revit, Autodesk is starting to restore the balance.
The introduction of Adaptive Components in Revit Architecture 2011 opens new possibilities for shape creation and form exploration. Coupled with subdivisional surfaces, the software pushes modeling to a new level, beyond boxy primitive shapes. It even pushes beyond the usual lofty, sweeping shapes. The new functions bring you closer to generative design, a field dominated by Bentley's GenerativeComponents. This is the area in which a form produced by your own rules and parameters may sometimes surprise you, delight you, and inspire you further.
In Revit Architecture 2011, rendering is just a click away, always ready to transform what you see in your window into a presentable illustration. Renderings in architecture software can seldom rival the photorealistic images produced in specialized software, but the textured, shadowed images in this release of Revit Architecture gives users greater ability to predict how the finished project will look.
One of the elements debuting in this release is "Adaptive Components," a feature that's nearly impossible to describe in text and still images. (To get a better understanding of it, please watch the accompanying video clip.)
In essence, Adaptive Components is an advanced form-creation tool. As such, it requires some learning and experimentation before you can expect to have full command of it. Those who are used to working in primitive shapes may find it a challenge to master, but those who are accustomed to working in NURBs modelers or with generative design tools (such as GenerativeComponents or McNeel's Grasshopper plugin for Rhino) may have an easier time.
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Revit Architecture 2011 includes progressive enhancements to its modeling and rendering features. A project is shown here in "Consistent Colors," a model-shading mode that uses solid colors and textural patterns.
Image: Courtesy Autodesk
Revit Architecture 2011 offers an interactive sun-shading tool that presents the sun's azimuth for a given day and latitude as a yellow arc. The time of day can be changed by sliding the sun icon back and forth across the azimuth, changing the angle of shadows cast.
Image: Courtesy Autodesk
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