This page provides a step-by-step introduction to Materials in V-Ray for Revit.
In this tutorial we’ll go over applying materials using the V-Ray Material Browser in V-Ray for Revit. The next tutorial will focus on how to edit materials with the standalone Material Editor.
To follow this tutorial, you will need to have the V-Ray for Revit plugin installed.
This tutorial page is a companion that goes with the QuickStart video posted on our YouTube channel and is available here:
To download the files used in this tutorial, please click on the button below. This Revit scene is provided by Karam Baki.
Open the Example Scene
Open the materials1.rvt project, which you can download above. In this tutorial, Revit 2017 is being used, however this project was created with Revit 2016, and will upgrade automatically if you open it with Revit 2017. Please note that Revit 2015 and earlier versions of Revit may have difficulty loading this project.
Click the V-Ray tab. Start by just rendering what is already set up. In the Current View drop down, select the Render 1 view. Leave Quality to Draft. Click on Resolution in the V-Ray tab and select Crop Region. Select Printer with a DPI of 96.
Click Render With V-Ray to start the render.
By default, V-Ray takes the settings used to set up materials in Revit to automatically generate V-Ray materials to render them the way they were created. V-Ray Materials can be used to get extra control over the Materials in the scene.
As an example, we will replace the metal panel material with a V-Ray material. To figure out which material that is assigned, select one of the walls.
In the Properties, click Edit Type. Click the Edit... button in the Structure entry.
You’ll see that the outermost finish on the Exterior side is named Metal Panel.
With that information, cancel out of these windows and go back to the V-Ray tab and click Material Browser.
Type Metal Panel in the filter box at the top of this window, and the material appears below.
The material is set to AutoGen right now, meaning that the material is automatically generated by V-Ray, based on the existing settings for the material created in Revit.
Click on AutoGen to pulldown the menu and you’ll see a few different options.
Let’s take a look at the Color option, which simply replaces the material with a basic color. Just click the color swatch pulldown menu to select a color from the palette, or click Advanced for more color defining options. Rendering with a simple color is useful for testing color palettes early in the design stages and diagrammatic images, for instance.
We’ll select a simple brown here and hit Render with V-Ray to see the outcome.
Diffuse Texture Option
The next entry is DiffuseTexture, which uses a simple image as the base for the material.
Click Click to Select a Diffuse Texture.
Navigate to the Brick_diffuse.jpg file from the tutorial’s assets, and click Open.
Click Render with V-Ray and let’s see what this texture looks like.
We can see right away that this texture is not sized right. From the look of the bricks in the jpeg texture file itself, the square of bricks looks to be about 2.5 by 2.5 meters. But the default here in Revit is set to only 0.3 by 0.3 meters.
Set the Width and Height to 2.5. Your values may be different if you are using Imperial units like feet and inches instead of metric. If so, set your size to 7.5 by 7.5 feet. Click Render with V-Ray again and the bricks come out nicely sized.
You can set the rotation of the texture using the slider, but our bricks are looking correct, however the texture does look pretty flat. That’s because this is using just an image for the material with no additional parameters to give the surface more detail other than its color. Stop your progressive render and we'll look at the V-Ray Material next.
V-Ray Material Option
Let’s move on to using a VRayMaterial.
The file browser takes you to a folder that has a small library of materials that came installed with V-Ray for Revit. Navigate to where you downloaded the assets for this tutorial to find some materials that are bundled with this exercise. Select brick.vrmat and click Open. That material uses the same diffuse texture image of the bricks just used, so there's no need to change the size here.
Click Render With V-Ray and let’s see how it looks.
You can see that the brick texture looks much better and has more dimension as a full V-Ray material. To edit the material, click this button in the Material Map dialog to access it’s parameters.
We’ll go over editing materials in the next tutorial, but you can experiment in the VRMat Editor and see how that changes the look of the material. Just make sure to come back to the original settings to continue with this tutorial. If you are using Render with V-Ray RT be sure to stop the render before proceeding.
Now let’s take a look at how to use Global Materials. Click the Global Materials tab in the V-Ray Material Browser.
These controls allow you to override all the materials in a project with the ones you specify. For example, any surfaces without an assigned material or any materials experiencing a problem will render with the Unmapped Materials Color, which is currently set to magenta.
You can override both Opaque and Transparent materials by clicking their respective checkboxes.
Change the Current View to Render 2, and click Render With V-Ray.
We made the same overrides in the Exterior Lighting QuickStart tutorial earlier, to make it easier to judge only the lighting in a scene using a simple grey material override, which is the seen above. This may also be good for nice looking conceptual renderings as well, to avoid worrying about all the materials in a project.
When using overrides, we’re not limited to just a diffuse color. A pre-made material can be used by enabling the Use Premade Opaque Material checkbox here. Click on the Material "…" (a.k.a. ellipses) icon.
Select the material file InkWashToonWhite.vrmat found in the downloaded assets for this tutorial and leave the Width and Height as is.
Notice that there is a Sub Material. Some V-Ray materials can be a combination or layering of other materials for a more intricate look needed by a surface. In this case we have a Toon material.
Select the InkWashToonWhite material from the pulldown, which will create a black outline in the render.
For the Transparent Material Override, click on the color pulldown for Diffuse, and choose a cyan or aqua color. Set the Transparency to about 0.95 and the Glossiness to about 0.85 to allow the reflections and refractions in these surfaces to be somewhat blurry.
Click Render With V-Ray.
The Toon outline gives you nice, solid diffuse surfaces like this light grey, but adds black outlines around the geometry. This makes for a pretty nice conceptual image of your design. In the fenestration or glazing of this building, you can see that there is a nice, blurred look to the rooms inside as well as in the reflections of the environment. This is due to the Glossiness value set earlier.
There is a palpable beauty to real scale models of a design. Let's use a material to make your Revit rendering look like it’s been made with Bass wood. Click on the Material "…" icon to choose another material. Select the Basswood_Model.vrmat found in the downloaded assets.
Set Width to 5m and Height to 14.6m.
Choose Use Premade Opaque Material check box for the Transparent Material Override. Click the "..." button.
Choose the Transparent_Plastic.vrmat material file to give your glazing the look of scale model plastic.
Set your Current View to Render 3, which is more of an overhead view. Click Render With V-Ray and you’ll get a view of looking down at a scale model made of plastic and bass wood.
A library of these materials for your use can be found in the location where you installed V-Ray for Revit. In most cases, that’s in the C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\V-Ray for Revit\Content\vrmateditor. You’ll find a variety of surface types to use, as well as several diagrammatic materials designed for conceptual renderings like the ones we’ve seen in this tutorial. This includes different toon materials and even the look of 3d print materials.