Revit 2020 Custom Material on BIM 360 Design

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An interesting quirk was brought to my attention by a gentleman – regarding the failure of Revit BIM 360 Collaboration files to interpret custom materials.

If I don’t find the appearance that I need in Revit’s material library, I download the image online and use that instead. This is a common thing for Revit users to do. In this case I moved the image into a BIM 360 folder that is shared by everyone.

It displays fine in my Revit.

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

It does not display well in BIM 360 at all.

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

Next, I moved onto a different user’s computer and saw the material in the correct folder. Note though that the only difference in path would be the independent user name.

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

This time the Revit file refused to acknowledge the material at all.

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

As can be seen in the material browser.

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

And this is true even if an additional render path is set.

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

The issue is discussed on the forms here:

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

As a solution, Autodesk advises to use standard Autodesk Revit materials. But what if I need some other material: say the mood suddenly strikes me to render a fire in a log cabin, for instance? Perfect for you and your partner during a cold front in our Cape of Storms?

Autodesk, Micrographics, Revit 2020, Custom Material, BIM 360 Design

Well this is against the Autodesk BIM 360 rules – for now. If you want to be able to use such embedded materials in future, please vote for the idea here:

Of course, those of us lucky enough to have access to Lumion would never resort to Revit to render fires in any case – used by professionals around the world.

A true professional with a very large budget might even refine the process further and use Autodesk 3DS Max with Chaos Group’s Phoenix thrown in (that is the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of – and where you can’t tell reality from fantasy).

If you need help to implement Revit and BIM 360 in your company, please contact Micrographics so we may be of assistance. There are always protocols we can put in place to mitigate against challenges that might affect your production line (like rendering custom materials and how to go about managing the models for purpose).

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