How to use and create custom HD materials in BIM projects. A practical guide through the use of BIM software for architecture.

When using BIM software for architectural design, one of the main benefits that most users look for, is to be able to produce superb rendered images of great visual impact and as quickly as possible.

The appropriate use of lights, shapes and colors is, for example, one of the aspects that can make it a high quality render.
Under this perspective, another feature that a BIM software must have, is to use the latest High-Definition advancements in textures and materials for use in their BIM models.
The latest architectural rendering software have definitely brought users, professionals and customers, constantly closer to 3D graphics and VR visualisation.

From 3D modelling to the use of materials with BIM software

Edificius 3D modelling, the first rendering software that integrates Real Time rendering and BIM to produce photorealistic rendering, starts from elementary volumetric shapes provided directly by the software. These objects are then converted into polygons and serve as a basis for producing more complex objects.

As seen previously, the main basis for defining a material is to load a series of texture or image maps that are fed to the CG shader engine.
Edificius supports most image formats. A wide range of 2D and 3D volumetric shaders makes it easier to characterize the materials for any surface. This allows you to easily simulate glass, wood, metal or any other real surface.

Assigning a HD material with a BIM software

You can see in the concrete, through an interior design project, how the correct use of HD materials can radically change the visual impact of an entire environment.
Let’s have a look at the following video and proceed in changing some of materials using those available in the Edificius BIM Objects Library.


First, we’ll open the General BIM Objects Library and try to assign a HD material.
As we apply a HD texture to a given object, you can see how its representation and reaction to natural light changes completely.
To create a HD material we need to load specific texture maps. Maps allow you to get very realistic effects in displaying the architectural model.

These image layers characterize the material and its behaviour and are normally created with dedicated software tools. Among the most popular you can find Pixplant, Substance Painter e Bitmap to Material, to mention just a few. Once a material is created, its composing image maps are organised into folders.

HD Materials

In the Edificius User BIM Objects Library we’ll first create a Folder, and then add a new material element.

Then we’ll proceed with assigning a name and then uploading the previously created material image maps.
Once the material is correctly defined, we’ll be able to see what kind of effect it produces by viwing it in the preview box.

Next, you can adjust the intensity levels of the individual maps by increasing the amount of reflection.
To cover a specific surface, one of the most basic tricks is to increase the surface extension values in x,y of the bitmap to avoid any tiling effects. In this case, it is very important to use high resolution compressed bitmaps to reduce pixelation.
Even by adjusting the normal or bump map effect, amplifying the presence of surface imperfections can radically increase the visual realism of the scene too.



Click here to download Edificius, the architectural BIM design software.