Monday 26 September 2011

Background Image for Renderings

So you have this great model and you have 3D views that the client love....but... they have a fantastic view you want to accurately display while appearing to be standing on their balcony. Or they want to see how the building will look on their site so you can accurately place the building.

You have some photograph's of the site that you can use so bring them into your model!

Here is a (quick) example of a finished product. Here I created a camera view looking out over the balcony. camera placement is important, luckily you can always move the camera around to get the right angle to suit your image.

On the Rendering dialog box under the Background style you  can specify your image.

Here you can customize the image and the position of the image by adjusting the offset and scaling the with and height etc.

You can manipulate location of the image only from this dialog box.

Run the rendering in a low or Draft mode or render a region if you have a large view.  Make any changes to the location of the image or the situation of the camera to get a realistic appearance.

Here is a quick one I did, doesn't look too bad and the clients love this, it adds a sense of realism for them.

Things to look out for, look where the sun is in your photo, you may want to adjust your location and time of day under the Shadows setting to match your photo. Nothing worse than seeing the sun in your photo and seeing the shadows on what would be the sunny side of the building.

Take a bunch of site photos if possible taking into consideration the location of the house and the features of the view. Think of where you have placed the Camera View and try to replicate that location on site.

Remember if you are rendering a project that you have light sources in and your using interior lighting, create a  artificial lighting set where you can basically turn off the lights you wont need in your rendering, otherwise Revit will have to take into consideration all of the lights even if they will not affect your rendering, this will speed up your rendering process. Don't make Revit work any harder that it has too...

This also works great for interior views where you want to show the view through the windows, say from laying on the bed in the master bedroom, or standing in the kitchen looking out.....


  1. How did you create the interior shot? whenever I try to it, it just renders the image as a solid black and does not work. Could it be because I am on an older version of revit?

  2. Check your interior lighting settings, make sure it's set to daylight and your glazing is transparent. If no windows in the room you will need to place lights, even if they are temp lights just to illuminate the room. Steve Shell from BIM: Integrating Art & Technology blog has a great AU presentation on Rendering tips and tricks.

  3. Thanks I got it working, I had to relocate the image and I also had to save the image as a different format.

  4. I had no luck to move permanently an image with offset. I move it but nothing happens on the view and after opening again the "background image" window, everything on the offset is zero again.