Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Setting Cameras in Revit for One Seneca Tower

Setting Cameras in Revit for One Seneca Tower

Now that the One Seneca Tower Revit model of the tower is complete, it’s time to merge it with the lower floors that includes a 4 story building and courtyard, setup cameras, and apply materials for rendering. So we divided the tasks and my team will set cameras and materials in the Revit model of the lower levels while I focus on the offices and luxury condominiums in the tower.

Similar to any other architecture project, we’ll inevitably discover additions and changes that need to be made to the Revit model from setting up these perspectives. In fact, while setting up cameras in the luxury condominium units, I’ve already discovered several additions that will capture our design in our final rendering. Here are some of my thoughts on these initial perspectives:

1. Penthouse Library

For the penthouse library, I setup the camera at the entrance of the room and focused it down the center looking towards the operable 4 panel glazed partition. Outside of the operable partition, there’s a curtainwall with a horizontal mullion at a typical handrail height. The glazing above this horizontal mullion is operable and slides open so that the balcony could be open in the warmer weather. During the cooler months, the curtainwall would be closed to create a thermal buffer zone at the balcony. This occurs throughout all of the residential units and is partially captured in this perspective.

Once I finalized the view area of the camera, I set the floor material to wood and placed some floor lamps in the space. From this perspective, I realized that I haven’t updated the bookshelf family in the Revit model so that it would extend from the floor to the ceiling. I also need to make sure that I set my materials for the Herman Miller wireframe couch, ottoman, and bookshelf. I might also place an area rug beneath the ottomans and maybe a decorative pendant light at the center of the space.

After setting up this perspective of the penthouse library, I couldn’t decide between a view within the space looking toward the exterior and a view from further back. I’ll make the decision this week during the test render stages.

OST Penthouse Library

OST Penthouse Library Alternate

2. Penthouse Living room, Kitchen, and Dining

Moving onto the next view, I decided to focus on the penthouse unit and placed a camera inside of the kitchen looking towards the living room and exterior of the building. The goal of this perspective is to capture the large kitchen island, dining room, and living room. Within this perspective, the balcony, which is the thermal buffer zone, could be seen outside of the operable partitions.

Once the perspective was set, I moved onto applying materials to the space. The floor will be wood, the walls will be painted a cool white, the ceiling will be a cool white, the cabinets will be glossy white, the table will be glass and steel, the chairs will be steel and light blue fabric, the sofas will match the fabric of the chairs, and the island counter will be a white marble.

Setting materials in Revit is very simple and I’m not too concerned with achieving an ultra-realistic base rendering with perfect material textures. I’m more concerned with the composition of materials in the space and how everything looks as a whole. I also trust the thousands of materials that come pre-installed with Revit and I have some favorites that make this process quicker and easier.

Regarding updates to the Revit model, I’ll need to add decorative pendant lights above the dining table and island, an area rug beneath the dining table set and sofa, and I’m contemplating a double sided fireplace that separates the dining area from the living room. The fireplace would serve both spaces and create a barrier between them. I’ll make the decision while running some test renders of this space. I’ll also need to delete what appears to be a second ceiling from the space so that the recessed can lights can render correctly. You can see what I’m talking about in the first test render below. There will most likely be a handful of test renderings to help me finalize the materials of the space.

OST Penthouse Living room and Kitchen

OST Penthouse Living room and Kitchen Render

3. Private Living room

One of the bedroom suites in the penthouse unit has a library, private living room, bedroom, walk-in closet, and large bathroom. So the third perspective that I’ve chosen is a view of the private living room that has 3 couches and an operable glazed partition that leads to the balcony. The materials of the floor, walls, and furniture will match the materials from the living room. Regarding additions to this perspective, I’ll most likely add a fireplace on the wall with a wall mounted television above the mantle and an area rug beneath the furniture.

OST Penthouse Private Living Room

Next Steps

Although these views seem to be coming along, I’m finding that finalizing the perspectives and adding furniture/entourage to the spaces is taking a long time. This is largely due to the fact that the Revit model is now moving at a snail’s pace. With all of the office and residential components in the model, it’s now taking forever to pan through the different views and place entourage at the correct locations. I’m still contemplating splitting the Revit model into a core and shell or an interiors model. We’ll also need to clean up our drawings and setup our final views for diagrammatic purposes.

With lots to do and a little bit of time left before the end of 2016, I still think my team and I could get this project done before the New Year!


One Seneca Tower Rendering - Trials and Errors

One Seneca Tower Rendering - Trials and Errors

Revit Model for One Seneca Tower is Complete

Revit Model for One Seneca Tower is Complete