Taming The Content Beast

with_the_lions_1Content is an insatiable beast. Demands are ever changing. As with most things, what worked yesterday is replaced by something that provides more value today.

At ArchVision we think of content in terms of flow, not something that’s static. While we continue to add new RPCs to your subscription plan we realize it is never enough. Though we try, it’s an impossible task to satisfy the thousands of unique needs of our customers across the globe.

Make

In order to best service and satisfy those varied needs we began investing in opening up the RPC Platform to encourage others to participate. We’ve always encouraged support for RPC content in the leading applications. The success of RPC begins and ends with broad support in what we call the “host” applications; the software you find critical to your daily workflow. Today you can use RPC content in 3ds Max, Autocad, Revit, Microstation, Rhino, FormZ, Modo, Photoshop and with the leading rendering solutions like V-Ray and Accurender. There’s rumor something might be in the works for SketchUp as well. Check out labs.archvision.com for more info.

Support for RPC in the host apps doesn’t quell the content appetite. We had to open RPC to anyone who wanted to take advantage of the tightly integrated workflow. We started this process several years ago by moving to a subscription business model. This allowed us to truly think of RPC content as a never ending flow available to subscribers and to look for others who may have content that could be delivered most effectively via RPC.

Last year we released a new and improved RPC Creator tool integrated with the ArchVision Dashboard. RPC Creator lets anyone drag and drop a PNG or TIFF formatted image onto Dashboard and instantly create an RPC. That ease of creating RPCs has brought thousands of new RPCs into existence over the past year.

As part of this initiative we were pleased to announce our first RPC Publishing partner, 3dRender, and the availability of their popular Pro-Viz People textures in the RPC format. We’ll be announcing additional partners in the coming months.

So now that we’ve got you making RPCs what’s the next logical step?

Share

Stash!We believe many of you will be willing to share the RPCs you’ve been making with the new RPC Creator tool. If every matted PNG or TIFF image could be converted to RPC it’s more likely you’ll be able to find just the right content to satisfy your needs.

So we’ve started an experiment we call Stash!. Stash! is a repository of RPCs you’ve created and offered to share with the community of RPC users around the world. It’s not fancy (yet) but gets the job done. All you need to do is hit the “Submit to Stash!” button and upload your Custom RPC. We’ll test the RPC and post your submission to Stash! to share with everyone.

If you haven’t visited Stash! you should check out some of the content your colleagues have contributed and add them to your collection. Better yet, if you’ve made something you think others would enjoy make your own contribution to Stash!

Randall

Add a License Promotion to Celebrate the New Year

ArchVision

Thanks for helping make 2013 a great year! It has certainly been a busy one. We’re excited about all of the new projects in the works for 2014. We couldn’t have done it without you. To say thank you and help boost your license pool ArchVision is offering a special promotion to add additional licenses and save.

Use the following promotion codes at archvision.com checkout to add an ArchVision Software License.

ADDAUSER to add a user license for $149

ADDAFLOAT to add a floating license for $299

Limited time offer valid through January 10th. License renews at regular price.

ArchVision Dashboard Releases with New Features

ArchVision Dashboard

ArchVision Dashboard just got better! This is a free update for all ArchVision users and is now available for download. Newly added features will improve your workflow. Check out the new features and improved user interface:

  • Drag & Drop support for RPC Content into Autodesk Revit 2013 & 2014, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk 3ds Max     Design and Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture.
  • Management tools for RPC Plug-ins.
  • Organization tools for local and global RPC Content.
  • Simplified licensing system.
  • How do you get ArchVision Dashboard on your desktop?
    Users will receive an update notification or you may opt to download the installer here.

    Who needs ArchVision Dashboard?
    ArchVision Software License and All Access License holders definitely need it! There are a few users out there who are still using legacy versions of 3d software applications who should keep their existing ACM to allow support for older plug-ins. Not sure what to do? Please contact support@archvision.com.

    Special thanks to our beta testers who worked with our team to get the kinks worked out earlier this year. Because of their commitment to improving the ArchVision experience, this version of ArchVision Dashboard lays the ground work to enable us to develop several new features, including cloud rendering support, content creation and new admin tools.

    If you have any issues that come up during the install process, please contact us so we can help you quickly resolve.

    A Recipe for Better Rendering with the mr Daylight System.

    explanation1

    Mental ray daylight systems are popular with Autodesk 3ds Max users because it is a single click source of light. However, without proper configuration, the RPCs can look to dark or to bright, or just not match the coloration of the rest of the scene. In an effort to reduce some of the difficulty users experience I wanted to provide some settings I use to get good results.

    First, we will take a look at a rendering created with the default settings and a mental ray daylight system. Looks pretty dull. Definitely not what we would expect to see in daylight. The color is poorly saturated (caused by the gamma settings), the RPCs are dark (caused by the exposure settings) and the RPCs don’t have the correct contrast (caused by the physical scale of the scene).

    default_rendering

    With only 3 changes we are going to make this look completely different without greatly affecting the red, blue and green spheres (representative of other objects in the scene). This will affect the way that the mental ray sky looks, but it should look more realistic in a scene lit by daylight.

    Change 1
    First, let’s change the Gamma to 2.2. Gamma for RPC objects is accessed by clicking on the Utilities panel and then selecting More followed by RPC Mass Utility. Instructions for this are available here. The results will look like this. Not an overly noticeable change, but the color is now more saturated.

    gammato22

    Change 2
    Next, we need to brighten the RPCs. To do this, go into the Exposure Settings (Rendering–>Exposure Control) and change the Exposure Value for the mr Photographic Exposure Control to 14. This will make a great difference in the brightness of the RPCs.

    exposure14

    Change 3
    Next we need to change the the Physical Scale (located just underneath the Exposure controls to Unitless and 90,000. This makes a world of difference.
    unitsto90000

    Lighting is the key to realism in 3D rendering. There are many different variables that can be modified to achieve different results, but I have found that when users are experiencing difficulty changing these few settings usually yields much better results. If you ever have difficulty with anything RPC related, ArchVision’s Customer Service is just a click away at support.archvision.com.

    ArchVision Dashboard 2.0[beta] Update Released

    ArchVision Dashboard 2.0[beta] released today. Beta user feedback continues to be incorporated.

    Key features include:

    Autodesk Revit Drag & Drop
    In addition to AutoCAD, 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design, Revit 2013 & 2014 now support RPC Drag & Drop. Local RPC Content may be dragged from Dashboard directly into your Revit 2013 or 2014 scene. We invite you check out this quick tutorial to see how it works and learn a couple tricks along the way:

     

    To enable Drag & Drop your RPC Content must be local and recognized as local by Dashboard and Revit. The thumbnail icon provides you an indicator so you can easily know the status.

    License management is now in the cloud! All RPC Plug-ins require a Dashboard on the same machine and the RPC Plug-in simply needs to point to your local Dashboard.

    Node-lock licenses
    Upon login your license will be detected and reflected in your Dashboard.

    Floating licenses
    Upon login, Dashboard will detect and check out an available floating license.

    Local RPC Content
    Dashboard scans and detects RPC Content. Local and custom content will populate. If you have custom RPC Content, a Custom RPC Channel will appear and populate with those objects. The scan occurs at start-up and when paths are added. Currently, we recommend you add a path to the specific folder(s) for an optimal experience.

    Want to try the latest beta and give us some feedback? Drop us an email and we will send you a link.

    ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6 Update

    ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6

    ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6


    ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6 is now available. Both 32-bit and 64-bit installers are available and can be accessed via the following links:

    ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6 32-bit (version 4.0.0.0)
    ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6 64-bit (version 4.0.0.0)

    ArchVision Viewport allows users to easily place RPCs into their Adobe Photoshop scenes. ArchVision Viewport licenses are included with ArchVision Software Licenses and may be purchased here: www.archvision.com.

    Learn all about using ArchVision Viewport here:
    http://help.archvision.com

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