Enscape provides its own native Material Editor that can be used in conjunction with the already powerful native Revit Material Editor. Although, there are some limitations in regards to Revit Project Materials that have an Appearance other than Generic, as described here.
Also, please be aware that Enscape now also provides a Material Library with pre-built PBR materials that can be imported into the Enscape Material Editor. This is currently the only way to bring in materials into the Material Editor without first creating the material in the native Revit Material Editor.
All materials listed in the Enscape Material Editor will also be available in the Revit Material Editor.
To apply any material that can be listed in the Enscape Material Editor to a surface in a Revit project, you will need to find and apply it via the Revit Material Editor in Revit itself. Applying a material to a surface via the Enscape viewport is not possible.
You can open the Enscape Material Editor at any time, whether Enscape is running or not, from within the toolbar in Revit under the Enscape tab.
Location of the Enscape Material Editor button in Revit
When opening the Enscape Material Editor in Revit, there will always be materials listed by default, even with a new blank Revit project file.
Enscape Material Editor opened
NOTE: If the Material Editor opens but is blocked with a notification informing the user that the license key has expired, or that there are no seats available on a floating license, then please refer to this article.
Before we explore the Enscape Material Editor fully, lets take a look at working with materials in the native Revit Material Editor. Enscape will generally be able to display the following Appearance parameters without having to use the Enscape Material Editor these materials will not show up in the Enscape Material Editor, so editing them inside Revit is recommended:
NOTE: It is possible to duplicate these materials as a ‘Generic’ material and this will result in them being listed in the Enscape Materials Editor. However, it is not recommended to alter these Revit materials, as the material will then look different in Enscape. For example, a Metal material that is Type Aluminium in Revit will lose its Aluminium qualities pre-built into the material in Revit. It’s advised to build such a material from scratch in the native Enscape Material Editor instead of duplicating the Revit Project Material, or simply leave the Revit Material Appearance as it is, Enscape will still interpret it correctly.
Additionally, new material classes available in Revit 2019 – including Normal Maps – are fully supported.
By setting the Revit material class to Glass, Enscape will render the material as glass according to your settings.
After opening the Enscape Material Editor you will notice that the list is already populated with most of those materials contained in the Revit project file (apart from Revit PBR materials, as mentioned in the Overview section). Shown here, the Aluminium Green is the only Aluminium material that is set to Generic in Revit’s Material Editor. The other two Aluminium materials listed (Aluminium and Aluminium Black) have an Appearance set to Metal, and are therefore not listed in the Enscape Material Editor.
The Revit Material Editor (left) and the Enscape Material Editor (right) showing the omission of Appearance materials other than 'Generic'
Two other functions that are available in the Enscape Material Editor are the menu button at the top which allows you to either Batch Import *.mattpkg files, or import materials from the Enscape Material Library.
You can also set the location where materials will be stored (such as a network drive) via the ‘gear / cog’ symbol at the extreme bottom left of the Material Editor dialog and this is also cover in the Material Library article.
Other Material Editor options
For that purpose, either import all the materials from the Enscape Material Library, or download the Enscape_3_1_Textures.zip file, unzip it to a shared or personal folder. Then, add the folder you unzipped the textures to as a path in the “Additional render appearance paths” in Revit itself.
The Enscape Material Editor can set each material to be set to a certain Type. Each Type has a set of pre-built qualities.
These following Type of materials are available to choose from:
Enscape Material Editor's material Types
You will notice that the materials listed in the Enscape Material Editor also have symbols next to them that reflect the material Type to make it quicker to work with.
The Material listed with its Type symbol
The Material listed with Albedo color
If the material contains a color in the Albedo slot, this will also be indicated by the associated symbol displayed with the same color.
In addition to the native Revit materials, there are some special materials that can be called either from within Revit’s native Material Editor via the use of keywords, or via the Enscape Material Editor via the material Type selection menu.
The “Generic” material type is suited for any materials that aren’t supposed to be rendered as grass blades, water surfaces, or have translucency applied.
This is the default material type in Enscape and can be used for the majority of all possible materials.
In Revit, there is no keyword for this material type, but the material’s appearance should not be anything other than those found under the Revit ‘Generic’ class.
Generic Material Type
The available options for the Generic Material Type in the Enscape Material Editor are as follows:
Generic Material Type
Another material, very similar to Grass, is Carpet. There are two keywords for this material, Long Carpet and Short Carpet. Just as with the Grass material, the keywords should be inputted in the Material Name that is shown in the list of the to the left of the Revit Material Editor.
The following image shows the Carpet material applied with the addition of an image file in the Image slot in the Revit Material Editor to create a patterned carpet.
The Carpet material in Revit
A Clearcoat material which imitates the type of paint that you find on car bodies or enamel paint, can be implemented in the following ways.
Either select it as the material Type in the Enscape Material Editor, where you will have the same settings as in a Generic material, apart from Transparency.
Or, open the native Revit Material Editor, and create a new default material.
Then click on the Open/Close Asset Browser window button in the Revit Material Editor.
Open the Asset Browser window
Once the Asset Browser is open, perform a search for Metallic Paint, and from the returned results select one of the assets and click on the arrow symbol in the Type column to replace the asset in the material.
Search and replace the asset of the material with a Metallic Paint asset.
Back in the Revit Material Browser, make sure that the Top Coat Type is set to Car Paint, and set the color of the Metallic Paint in the Color slot of the Browser.
Click Apply to apply the material to your object.
Clearcoat material with Enscape orange selected as the base color
When selecting Foliage as material Type, the Enscape Material Editor interface will look and behave identical to when selecting Generic as Type.
The difference this material type will cause is only visible on single-face objects. Please make sure the object you apply this material to doesn’t have any depth, and also that the material is applied to both sides of the surface.
If these conditions are met, Enscape will apply Translucency to objects this material type is applied to. This means that, if the Sun (yes, this doesn’t work combined with artificial lighting) is located behind said surface, it will be illuminated on both sides. This is common in nature for example with leaves, which is why this is the most common use case for this type of material.
NOTE: Foliage can not be applied via keyword in the Revit Material Editor.
Regular material on the left, Foliage material on the right
There are four types of grass material that can be applied through keywords, so by including one of the associated Grass keywords and applying it to the Revit Material Name, Enscape will render the material as actual grass blades. The color is determined by the color / texture of the material, so you can also use it for other grass like materials, carpets for instance. “Tall Grass” will display taller grass blades, while “Wild Grass” will make for a more uneven look and “Short Grass” will give you a freshly mowed lawn. Using the keyword ‘Grass’ itself will give you something in between the short and long grass types.
Take note that only the actual Material Name that is shown in the list area to the left of Revit’s Material Browser needs to be changed. You can place any word you want in the Name slot in the Revit Material Information area, as these Material Information fields have no impact on the result.
Setting the name of the grass material
Here, the four types of grass materials are applied using their associated keyword.
'Short Grass' keyword applied to material
'Grass' applied to material
'Short Grass' keyword applied to material
'Grass' applied to material
Additionally, selecting the Grass Type in the Enscape Material Editor itself will allow a finer amount of control over the material.
Here, you can see the material assigned in Revit, as well as how it is assigned in the Enscape Material Editor.
Grass Material Type
Notice the addition of sliders to control the Grass Height and Height Variation.
There is no Transparency slot associated with Grass.
Slider Control for Grass
The Self-illuminated Material Type, when selected, tells Enscape to literally handle your material as if it is glowing, and emitting actual light. You can choose a brightness between 1 and 100,000 candela per square meter (cd/m²), as well as the color of the light.
Self-illumination with checkerboard material
By setting the material class to Water, Enscape will render the material as animated water with refraction and caustics. Enscape will take the settings set in the water material into account and display them accordingly.
The easiest way to create water in the Revit Material Editor is to duplicate the existing Revit default Water material. Once that is done then you can change the type of water from a list of presets in the Type dropdown. You can also set the Color and Wave Height, both of which will affect the final result in the Enscape window.
Selecting Water as the material
Here is the water applied to the same surface as the grass material above.
Water is set as the material to the surface
Alternatively, you can select Water as the material Type in the Enscape Material Editor.
Water Color – Choose a color your water should be tinted in. No textures can be used here – water color is set globally
Water options in the Enscape Material Editor
You can now use Height Maps in Revit. It is possible to assign a displacement map directly in Revit’s Material Editor via the Bump slot and give the Amount a value above 500 which will implement the displacement function.
Displacement Map assigned to the Bump slot
However, it is much easier to assign in the Enscape Material Editor. The following options are available:
Bump maps can be any black and white 2D images. They tell Enscape to interpret a surface as protruding (bright parts of the texture) or recessed (dark parts of the texture).
Normal map are a type of Bump map that require an image with RGB values. These RGB components correspond to the X, Y, and Z coordinates, respectively.
Displacement maps are an enhancement of the bump mapping or normal mapping techniques applied to textures. Normally an Occlusion Map is the type of image you will use for Displacement maps. The actual technique employed in Enscape is called quadtree parallax displacement mapping for optimum performance. It’s worth noting that Displacement maps are incompatible with transparent materials so the entire “Transparency” section becomes unavailable where a displacement map has been applied (including mask textures). Furthermore, the brightness of Displacement maps cannot be further adjusted or inverted when editing the texture inside the Enscape Material Editor itself.
Height maps are incredibly valuable for realism in your images and this can not be overstated enough!
Height maps can make for incredible surface detail and noise, without actually affecting or adding more geometry. You can use this feature for noise on concrete surfaces, wood, tiling, or even full reliefs! This can go a long way in convincing the viewer that they are looking at a realistic picture.
Textures that are available online, either paid for or free, will generally have a Normal, Bump / Height, Occlusion map included or available additionally to the basic Color texture.
It is also worth noting that normal based self-shadowing of material surfaces implemented. This feature further improves the depth perception of materials, especially with displacement maps. It’s active for sun light only when the Rendering Quality level is set to “High”. On Rendering Quality level “Ultra” artificial lights will also cast normal based shadows.
Applying a Bump map
Applying a Normal map
Applying a Displacement map
As powerful as this feature is, it’s very easy to setup. Just select an image file by clicking the blue folder button next to the Texture slot. A Bump map doesn’t even have to be black & white, as Enscape will take care of that for you.
Normal Maps must have an RGB value in them.
As already mentioned, Displacement maps would be best served with an occlusion map if available.
You can switch between using a Bump, Normal, and Displacement map via the Type drop down option.
Select the Intensity (Bump and Displacement) or Amount (Normal) of the effect, using the respectively named slider. Negative values for bump maps. will invert the effect, causing dark areas to stick out and bright areas to be pushed in.
Displacement Maps will only adjust the amount, whether negative or positive values, in the same single direction from the minimum height value.
Bum map setting's options
The Reflections slot provides the following options:
Reflection slot and associated options
The Transparency slot provides the following options:
Transparency slot and associated options
Access the Enscape Texture Editor in two ways
You can either click on the blue texture reference link, or on the small thumbnail next to the texture reference link which will take you into the Enscape Texture Editor.
Here you can:
The Texture Editor interface is the same for any texture type. It’s meant to allow for simple image editing operations without having to leave the material editor.
The Texture Editor
Video textures can be applied to surfaces in Revit, and this can be done by either adding some information to the materials Description Information field found under the Identity tab in Revit’s Material Editor.
So add [video:<path>|<X>|<Y>|<rotation>]
Revit's Material Editor showing Description Information field under the Identity tab
The other option is to add the video file to the Albedo slot in the Enscape Material Editor via the blue folder symbol. The following formats are currently supported: .mp4, .mpg, .m2v, .3gp, .avi, .mov, and .mk,
When selecting a video file as the Albedo texture, transparency-related material settings are limited to Cutout-Transparency only allowing the application of a mask texture. The adjustment or inversion of the brightness of the video texture in the Enscape Texture Editor becomes unavailable in this scenario.
If you want to make use of Revit’s Graphics settings, make sure to switch the associated Enscape option which is found in the General Settings -> Revit -> Material Selection option.
Switch between using Revit's Graphic and Appearance Materials in Enscape
In order to be able to utilize existing materials, you can import multiple materials simultaneously via the Batch Import feature, or by importing a single material. You can also export single materials as a *.matpkg file.
To import a single material hover the mouse over any material listed on the left hand side of the Material Editor dialog and the material Type symbol will change to 3 dots.
Clicking on the 3 dots will reveal the menu options Export Material Package and Import Material Package. In order to import an existing material, click on Import Material Package which will allow you to navigate to the location of the *.matpkg file you wish to import.
Import and Export Material Package options
To export a material package file (*.matpkg), click Export Material Package and this will allow you to choose the location you would like to save the file to.
Export Material Package options
Finally, to Batch Import .matpkg files you need to click on the three horizontal lines menu next to the Materials title at the top left of the Material Editor dialog and choose the Batch Import *.matpkg… option. This will open a dialog window to allow you to navigate to the “.matpkg” files you would like to import. When Batch Importing the *.matpkg files you want to import must be in the same location.
Batch Import .matpkg option
Replacing current materials in the current project with materials from the Enscape Material Library is now possible from within the Enscape Material Editor.
To replace a material hover the mouse over any material listed on the left hand side of the Material Editor dialog and the material Type symbol will change to a meatball menu (3 horizontal dots).
Clicking on the meatball menu will reveal 3 menu options, one being Replace with Enscape Material.
Import and Export Material Package options
Once you click on Replace with Enscape Material the Enscape Material Library will open. The selected material will be previewed on the surface that has material to be replaced. With a material selected the Replace button will be available.
To confirm and replace the existing material with the newly selected material, click the Replace button and the material will be imported and updated.
Selecting a material from the Material Library
The process is illustrated in the video below.
Enscape does not currently support Revit’s procedurally generated textures such as Noise, Tile, Checker, etc. Only an Image file can be used.
Visit our Free Sample Revit Projects page to download a sample material test project and see some examples of what materials are possible
Material Sample Project for Revit