Monday, June 12, 2017

Creating a Fence Material and Finding Local Assets

When you need a new material, searching the project and Autodesk libraries is the best place to start (see image below). Sometimes a material does not exist, as in this “fence” example, but an Appearance Asset does; which will get you part of the way there.
Searching for a material
Searching the Asset library reveals a chain-link fence option.
Searching for an asset
When this asset is loaded into a Material, it contains several settings, such as image size, cutout and Bump.
Adding a cutout image for a chain-link fence material
The image below shows the images used to create a fence render appearance (visible in realistic and rendered views). For these images, I did a Google “Images” search and quickly found a tillable image of a fence. Then I made a copy of the image, edited it in Photoshop to look like the second image below (which took about one minute), and then assigned this image as the “cutout” on the Appearance tab. The black areas in the cutout image are the transparent portions as seen in the rendered image on the right.
Combining main image and coutout image to produce result shown on right
For the fence example, you would still need to manually add the Identify and Graphics information manually. For example, the surface pattern and Texture Alignment (to make the drafting views and rendered views align).

Another cutout example...
Back rest mesh material: cutout: Furnishings.Fabrics.Netting.Mask.jpg

Surface pattern texture alignment
Another thing you can do is search the materials and textures folders on the hard drive. The image below shows the results from searching for “fencing” at this location (in Windows Explorer): C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Materials

As you can see there are several “fence” options not revealed in our previous searches (discussed above).
Searching the materials folder via windows explorer
  • TIP: Switch to thumbnail preview mode to see the images.
You can even search in the Revit dialog’s as shown below.
Searching within the Revit open/load dialog