Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Visualization with Stadia

I recently became aware of a new application called Stadia.

It works like this: Model away in Revit, when you are ready to see something you submit your model to their cloud rendering service. You register your email address with them and you just enter it in the Revit interface. When you press Enter, Revit submits your model information to their cloud.

I believe there is supposed to be a "Bake" button on the panel too, but it hasn't shown up on my UI yet. At least there is an image file for one in the installation folder for Stadia. [I've been informed that I can download an update that will fix it.] After a few minutes you get an email with a link to download the results. Extract the compressed file that arrives, double click on the rendering.exe file and you can wander around your building. Move the mouse to tilt/turn and use the arrow keys to move forward/back/side to side. Pretty simple, once you get the hang of it.

It renders using the materials you've chosen, the lights you've placed...so the closer to what you want it is in your model the better the results. It's a bit closer to Revit's realistic visual style than photo real rendering. Naturally your mileage will vary according to your own sense of success.

In my brief experimentation so far I did find it necessary to put some site surfaces around the exterior of the building. Without such features you "fall" similar to Navisworks when "walking" through your building. Make sure you put a building pad in so the site doesn't go inside your building or you'll end up with dirt/grass inside too. Doors "open" when you approach them. They don't swing open, rather the panel vanishes as you approach, more like Maxwell Smart and doors perhaps. You can walk up and down stairs, also much like Navisworks. My first thought was that they are harnessing the Navis API perhaps but I don't actually know.

I did struggle with navigation initially because it wasn't obvious to me how to do it. I tried to use the scroll wheel to zoom but that just seems to "spin" the view in an awkward manner. I'm not sure why but I really found myself wanting to "zoom" at times instead of "walking" forward or back. My last submission resulted in a 20 MB zip file that I downloaded. It took about 5 minutes to get the email once I submitted the model to Stadia. I'm not sure if the result was actually sent to me faster than that because my email address is aggregated via Google so there may be a little delay involved with that step.

You can watch this video to see a sample (it's on the Stadia site too) of what you get after uploading your work to their "cloud" service.


Richard Binning said...

I am playing around and providing feedback to Robert too! Crashed the program on the first go around due to complex textures. Hopefully, they'll enable the texture cutout to work so my tile-less ceiling grid will be rendered!

Uses the Unity3D game engine. Cheers Steve!

Steve said...

I was using a smaller dataset so no crashes for me! Saw you at AU a couple times in the distance. By the time I got to where I saw you...you were gone!

Liza said...

After reading your post downloaded Stadia, while I like it very light and easy to use application