written by Scott Rosenbloom
technical review by tod Stephens
SLOWLY BUT SURELY, REVIT ARCHITECTURE is becoming the standard for architectural design. A major difference between software like Revit (known as BIM or Building Information Modeling) and AutoCAD is that in traditional CAD you draw with lines, arcs, and circles, whereas in BIM, you create objects such as walls, doors, and windows. With the release of Revit Architecture 2009, the rendering engine mental ray was introduced. Although you can achieve photorealistic results using it in Revit, 3ds Max provides additional advanced tools for modeling, rendering, materials, lighting, etc. In previous versions of Revit, the only way to bring data into 3ds Max was to export it as a DWG and then use the File Link Manager (the File Import command could also be used but would cause a loss of Revit-based 3D data). There were inherent problems using this method, including the inability to bring over material image maps with accurate mapping. Autodesk has introduced the FBX file format as a go-between for its multiple 3D design products. The file format contains much more data than the DWG format, including the new ProMaterials, daylight systems, photometric lighting, and daylight portals.