BIM to VR with Revit Live 2.0AECbytes Sponsored Article (December 19, 2017)

Autodesk Revit Live is a cloud service that creates immersive visualization experiences based on models generated in Revit software. Revit Live enables architects, clients, and project stakeholders to experience a 3D model in a virtual reality world before the project is ever built.

Designers can explore their model and iterate options virtually to gain insight into the impact of design decisions. Clients, who may not know how to interpret plans and models, are able to understand and even feel what a design will look like.

Revit Live enables both desktop and full-scale virtual reality. Users can view their model on their 2D computer screen, or use a VR headset to step inside their design and explore in a virtual environment, making VR accessible for any designer at any skill level.

Autodesk first released Revit Live in July of 2016 to enable a two-click BIM to VR workflow. Soon after, Revit Live was expanded to work with Revit LT, a real benefit for designers working with the simpler BIM software who may also need access to more sophisticated visualization tools. Autodesk also added Revit Live to the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection, at no additional cost, making it easier for subscribers to get access to visualization technologies.

On December 6th, 2017 Autodesk released Revit Live 2.0 which added further improvements to improve speed, performance, and visualization capabilities.

Nic Fonta, Product Manager for Revit Live, shared, "During the past year, the product team visited AEC customers across the globe to get a first-hand understanding of their needs as well as the challenges they face when it comes to using visualizations to enhance how they present designs. The result of these visits and our development efforts have converged in Revit Live 2.0."

Simplification of Apps

The first area of improvement for Revit Live was to simplify the applications used to open, edit, and experience Revit Live files.

Autodesk had historically received many questions about the Live Editor and Viewer apps, and decided to eliminate the Viewer app and streamline the Live Editor to create the Live application.

As the Live application is always in presentation mode by default, there is no longer the need to offer a “presentation mode” option. Users who want to publish and share their real-time experience with collaborators can use the publishing capability for Windows, which produces a self-contained zip file. This self-contained Live scene does not require the use of an app and can be launched standalone, without requiring the end user to install anything on their machine.


The second area of improvement was in the area of speed. Users had experienced a challenge with the processing speed in Revit Live 1.x. In fact, speed was one barrier to adoption. Fonta explains, "'We’ve refactored our cloud service stack and pipeline so that it is more robust and much faster. We made sure that we can now process larger models more rapidly."

In addition, improvements in Revit Live 2.0 address the time required to load data in the Live app, significantly improving the loading time of the visualization. “While it’s good to have the cloud do the heavy lifting, users should not have to wait long to experience their design in real-time and VR,” explains Fonta.

3ds Max Interactive Interoperability

The third area where Revit Live 2.0 delivers is around 3ds Max interoperability. Many users wanted to make their models more interactive for client and stakeholder presentations. Revit Live 2.0 harnesses the full power of the technology that’s behind the service to offer full interoperability with 3ds Max Interactive, its interactive engine. This means that users can open Revit Live files directly in 3ds Max Interactive as well as in Revit Live. Users can edit their scenes, enhance visual quality, or add interactivity to their visualization experience, all in 3ds Max Interactive.

Fonta shares that "Revit Live 2.0 is paving the road to a more complete solution of efficient and smart data pipelines, allowing users to bring more data into real-time experiences. We want to leverage the 3ds Max ecosystem to help users tell compelling stories, whether those are through traditional renderings or immersive and interactive experiences."

With Revit, Revit Live and 3ds Max all available as part of the AEC Collection, users can extend design to visualization and virtual reality with one simple subscription. Download a free 30-day trial of Revit Live to put a BIM to VR workflow to the test. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in AECbytes sponsored articles are those of the sponsor and do not represent or reflect the views of AECbytes.