Presentation-Revit to Composer lite & Composer V Revit 3D PDF plugin for workflow

In the previous post I looked at using Unreal Engine to do some presentation information on a project from Revit 2015. I found it had a steep learning curve and from Export from Revit you had to go into an intermediate programme such as 3d Max or Blender before importing it onto Unreal Engine. Then you had to make all your own materials etc etc. So no quick presentation workflow.

At the end I said I’d rather use Simlab Soft Composer as it fitted in better with my workflow and although the presentation quality was not as great it was an easier learning curve. My concern was that you had to pay for the prtogramme. On looking at their site I found there is a Free LITE version that you can download, so that is what I’ll be using here.

Free Revit Plugin for export to Composer

First of all, there is a free revit plugin that will allow you to download a model directly from Revit to Composer.

So I went to a 3D view in Revit and hit the “Transfer to SimLab” and it opened SimLab Composer (where you have to use LITE VERSION button on opening, and then it opened the exported model in Composer. Quick, easy and painless (unlike UE).

Free Composer Material Library

Also on downloading and installing SimLab Composer there is a free VR viewer & Free Material library that you can download, this came up as a pop-up on install. The materials download file is about 1.1G.

This is a reasonably friendly Materials library , but it only lets you tweak their current materials, it will notlet you change aspects of it like the Notrmal file or texture in ther LITE version.

Free assets

There are a few free assets such as chairs, doors and trees that you can download here. Not a massive amount but handy. I’m downloading soe doors and trees for a particular project i want to use them on.

I haven’t quite got the hang of these as they seem to zoom off somewhere else in the model.


I’ve spent a few hours setting up views and doing “CAPTURE VIEW IMAGE” with very poor results and distortions in the Width /Height of the model as it keeps on coming up with a pop up , when pressing F4 (rendering REAL TIME) “Light edition does not support rendering images larger than Full HD” and this works from resolutions of 640 x 480 right up to 1920 x 1080 (HD res). So very frustrating not to have any valuable output.

I was hoping for a quick and dirty render, not too fanciful but better than Revit, and was very dissapointed with all the pissing around for very limited images of crappy resolution and distortions.

i wrote to support about the issue, and will await their response. I would still be interested in purchasing the software (NZ 300) for the reduced 3D PDF exporting. But we’ll see what response I’ll get first. tHEY REPLIED THE SAME DAY.

The issue seems to be you have to set VIEW to FIXED VIEW then type render and it works fine. I created a video to show this bug

Reduced Revit models with Composer v Revit 3DPDF plugin -Composer wins

I was also hoping to be able to crop the model from Revit , and thinking about it I think I can!!! The new Composer 9 (I had V8) allows you to link the model from Revit, which is really handy, and if you use a scope box in Revit, only the scope box info comes across into Composer.

This is handy when you onmly want to show part of the model, but do not want to create a new Revit file and cut out half of what is already in there.

You still have to buy the full version ($200US for Arch version) where you get 3D PDF exports. But that is OK. It does help with the workflow.

I did a demo on this on a video that compares the workflow in the video below

End comment

Overall, I’m tempted to buy Composer. But on reflection, and having a few more plays with Revit I’ve decided to go back to Revit and see if I can do a bit more in Revit first using render.

I’ve been watching some vids on Rendering, materials and lighting and will try a few of those features out first. A bit of a circuitous route, from Unreal Engine, Composer & back to Revit.

It is good to try new programmes and revisit old ones to see if anything has changed. As I’m exploring Visualisation Presentations, not normally an area of my interest its worth seeing what is out there and what works. In some ways, if I can get a reasonable presentation from Revit its best to stick with it. So maybe that will be the next post.

Ive had a bug in the 3D PDF printing plugin in Revit. I’ve been doing a Title sheet for 3D PDF’s and the image on the title block dissapears if I use the Export Current View Button instead of the Export File button. So I have to wait for it to generate all views before selecting the 3D ones I want, then to greate 3D PDF with title. A longer process, but I can use the quicker method for testing and checking, just not for the Final 3D PDF files.