Author: Eugene O'Day Revit, Revit Architecture

Hi folks, IX here, one of the Senior Application Specialists at Ideate, Inc.

So, there I was on support one day (I kid you not) and I receive a call concerning a lamp not rendering as expected in Revit. I immediately thought this would be a great video and blog post.

The Issue

When I render in one of my rooms, with a particular lamp, the lampshade is solid. No light is escaping out of the shade, except for the top and bottom openings. So, what’s going on with my lampshade? This rendering issue ultimately boils down to the material that is assigned to the lampshade, and the lack of transparency for that material.



As I noted above, the outcome will depend on the material assigned to the lampshade. Is it fabric, glass, paper, silk, or Vinyl? Something else? Each type of material will have its own adjustments. For this example, let’s go with Fabric and Glass materials, and the material Transparency options, as solutions.

First, let’s talk transparency.

Revit’s material transparency section has the following 4 options:

1. Amount: This option adjusts the amount of light that passes through a surface rather than reflecting off of, or being absorbed by the surface

2. Image: Assigns an image/texture to the material  

3. Image Fade: This option controls the composite of the image and transparency amount, (e.g., the white of the image will be transparent at the overall amount and the degree to which the black is opaque is determined by the fade value)

4. Translucency: This option adjusts the percentage of the light that is absorbed and retransmitted as it passes through the surface, as though the surface were a back-lit movie screen.

The Fabric Solution

When creating this type of material, my intent for the lampshade is to have a fabric material that is somewhat transparent so light will escape out of the shade.

1. Duplicate the existing lampshade material
2. Rename new material to an appropriate name
3. Duplicate the Asset
4. Rename the Asset to an appropriate name
5. Select the fabric image file
6. Check on Transparency
7. Set the Amount to 75
8. Set Refraction to Air



The Glass Solution

My intention with the glass lampshade material is to have a color assignment with a level of transparency so light will escape out, and a transparent image will project out.

1. Duplicate the existing Glass, Frosted material
2. Rename new material to an appropriate name
3. Duplicate the Asset
4. Rename the asset to an appropriate name
5. Select the appropriate color
6. Check on Transparency
7. Set the Amount to 80
8. Select the appropriate image file
9. Set the Image Fade to 80
10. Set Translucency to 30
11. Set Refraction to Glass



To get an in-depth look into the above steps, check out my video, Revit Architecture: What’s Going on With My Lampshade?

Also, be sure to check out our e201 online classes on Working with Materials in Revit and Getting Started with Presentations, or sign up for our Revit Beyond the Basics class at one our our Autodesk Authorized Training Center locations.



Get more Revit tips and tricks here.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.

      Eugene O’Day
Eugene O'Day, IX
AEC Senior Application Specialist

Eugene A. O’Day, IX, with more than 25 years of architectural and mechanical experience, offers a trained focus on all things Revit and BIM. Teaching is a passion of his. Eugene has been an instructor in undergraduate degree programs, has traveled worldwide teaching Autodesk solutions to major corporations, has taught at accredited ATCs throughout the Northwestern region, and is a frequent and popular instructor, speaker, and presenter for AUGI® CAD Camps, Revit – and related product user groups. He has also been a trusted public school district advisor on new drafting instructor hires. At Ideate, Eugene provides training and support for Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and AutoCAD. Eugene is also a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional.