Version 1.5 Update with New and Improved Workflow
Enscape™ (www.enscape3d.com) version 1.5 was released this week with improved features and workflow. Just a few of the highlights:
- Photometric Lights: Lighting fixtures use real IES light profiles for extra realism.
- Sun Path: Revit’s date and world location is used to simulate sun angles
- Faster and Better Graphics: More fluid experience with less noise, better reflections on glass and water.
- Redesigned Settings: Grouped settings and partially re-settable tabs.
- Checkout Floating License: Checkout floating licenses for 24 hours.
- Oculus Rift: Plug and play with faster performance.
The full list of festivities is over here. Let’s go through each of the settings in this new release.
First of all, I’m going to drop my screen resolution. Enscape is fairly GPU intensive and keeping your screen resolution or window resolution to HD (1280 x 720) or so will dramatically improve performance on laptops. I run Enscape on a 2012 MacBook Pro via Bootcamp running Windows 7 (x64).
Let’s open the Enscape Modern Residence project.
From the Enscape tab in Revit:
- Starts Enscape
- Refreshes your Enscape window if necessary when changing settings.
- Determines which 3D View in your project is generating your Enscape real-time environment. Whatever is visible in this view is visible in Enscape.
- Allows you to load and place ambient sound sources around your project.
- One button still image screenshots – way faster than rendering in the cloud.
- One button export to create a fully explorable 3D standalone file.
- Manages all your Enscape settings.
- Provides feedback directly to the Enscape development team.
Sending email from this dialog is really helpful. It’s a great idea to include log files, which captures your computer hardware info and other settings.
9. About button.
This is where you’ll identify your Enscape version and enter license details.
- Now let’s start Enscape. The Revit project is in the background (visible though on the lower left). The Enscape settings window is on the left and the fully explorable, live Enscape view is on the right. In this view the instructions and navigation tips are visible. Here’s what each of the settings do:
- Determines the number of rendering cycles. They occur when you stop moving and allow the image to become more refined.
- Indicates Flymode vs. Gravitymode. Flymode is free exploration and allows you to pass through geometry. Gravitymode will drop you to the nearest surface. You’ll only be able to pass through doors.
- WASD are the keyboard controls for moving (respectively) forward, left, back and right. Although not shown, Q moves down and E moves up.
- Use the Space Bar to toggle between Flymode and Gravitymode.
- Hold the left mouse button and move the mouse to rotate.
- Hold the right mouse button and move the mouse to change the time of day. You can also press and hold the middle mouse button to pan the view.
- When you change the time of day, the time will be displayed in this area. The following series of images illustrate how the time of day effects your Enscape environment. And yes – that’s the moon peeking through the trees in the third image!
While moving, hold the shift key to run and the CRTL key to fly. This really speeds up navigation when crossing long distances.
Keep in mind that keyboard controls can be used in combinations – allowing you to move in multiple directions simultaneously. And pressing the H key will quickly toggle the display settings on and off.
Now let’s go through each of the settings from the General tab.
Papermodel Mode keeps the material bumps and removes the textures from your view. This is the default setting. Line Thickness helps enhance geometry edges.
Line Thickness set to the least value.
Line Thickness set to the highest value.
Polystyrol Mode softens the material bumps and removes the textures from your view. This is the default setting.
This is the least value. Note the harder edge around shadows.
This is the highest value. Note the overall softened look and feel.
Depth Of Field is off by default and it’s probably best to leave this setting off when navigating through the model. Otherwise it’s hard to “focus” on what you’re viewing.
Once Depth of Field starts, Enscape has a number of settings to control the focal point in the view. In the image below, the objects in the background are in focus.
By changing these settings, you’ll be able to adjust the focal point to control the clarity of objects in the background or foreground. In the image below, the objects in the foreground are in focus.
The Field Of View setting widens or narrows your cameras view type.
If you decrease the value, the model will almost appear orthographic.
Increasing the Field Of View can dramatically exaggerate the perspective.
Adding a Skybox replaces the default ground plane and sky. The image below uses the white cubemap. There’s a selection of cubemaps that can be downloaded from Enscape over here.
Global Illumination simulates the light bounces in your project. Turning it off enhances performance – but will also decrease the quality of lighting. Note the interior shadows in the image below compared to the image above.
To improve image quality, increase the Rendering Enhancement Cycles. This setting goes into effect when you stop navigating the scene. The more cycles, the crisper and more refined image.
One more thing. The Reset All button allows you to reset all of the settings to their default value. The Reset This Tab button only reset this tab to the default settings.
In the image below, the Contrast is set to the default value.
Now the Contrast value has been set to the highest value.
Sharpening controls how the sharpness of the overall image. Decreasing this value make the edges appear softer and less resolved.
While increasing Sharpening accentuates the edges and material maps.
Decreasing the Saturation creates a completely grey scale image.
Increasing the Saturation really exaggerates the colors in the view.
Sliding the Color Temperature to the left gives a more reddish hue.
While sliding the Color Temperature setting to the right gives a more bluish tint.
The Color Temperature Strength increases and decreases the effect of theColor Temperature setting.
While you navigate the view, you’ll become aware of a subtle lens flair effect. You can turn the effect completely off by setting the Bloom and Lens Flare Intensity value to the least value.
Setting the value to the highest setting will make the lens flair more pronounced.
The default Brightness setting is shown below.
Decreasing the setting to the lowest value will dramatically darken interior scenes.
Fog Density increases the appearance of light rays bouncing off the atmosphere in the scene.
The light rays are completely removed by setting the Fog Density to the lowest value.
Increasing the setting to the highest value really enhances the mood of the view. This is where Enscape really shines compared to the trial and error of typical rendering processes. Enscape avoids the constant tweaking and test rendering to see an effect. In Enscape, you’re able to see the effect in real-time before exporting the image.
Cloud Density allows you increase the number of the clouds in the sky.
Setting the value to the lowest amount makes the sky practically clear.
While setting the value to the highest amount lets only a bit of blue through the cloud cover.
Shadow Contrast effectively increases the brightness of the sun, which in turn makes the shadows more pronounced.
Decreasing this value give a very evenly lit feel, not unlike a rainy and overcast day.
Increasing the Shadow Contrast dramatically brightens the areas that are lit by the sun.
Now let’s move to the Input tab.
The higher the value of the Mouse Smoothing setting, the smoother the mouse movements. The Mouse Speed Multiplier allows you to increase the mouse movements movements. The Movement Speed Multiplier enhances player movement through the scene.
On to the Advanced tab!
If you want to see the screen tips, check the Show On-Screen Help And Icons On Startup option. Of course you can also use the H key to toggle the settings on and off.
Compared to the image above, the vertical lines are parallel after checking theArchitectural Two-Point Perspective option.
Check the Enable Oculus Rift option for using the VR display headset.
Enable Stereo Mode to either Side by side or Post side by side for use with a stereo device. Post side by side has a lower performance impact when navigating the scene.
The Screenshot Resolution setting determines the resolution of an exported image. If set to the resolution of your window, images are saved almost instantly. Image resolution of 4k and beyond are possible.
Automatic Screen Naming allows you to automatically save the image with a time and date in the location of your choosing. It’s kind of like being able to walk around and take pictures.
When using this setting, the image below was saved in less than a second and given the file name, “Enscape_2016-03-12-10-11-23.png”. The full sized image is over here.
Enscape swaps out any Archvision objects in Revit when the Replace Archvision Content option is checked.
If you uncheck this Replace Archvision Content, the planer elements are shown.
Enscape also allows you to add ambient sounds to your scene. If you want to see them in your Enscape scene, make sure the Show Sound Sources option is checked.
The Camera Synchronization Behavior setting allows you to synchronize the camera in the Enscape View with a camera at the same location in Revit. The options are Off, On and Live. When you select and move the camera in Revit – you’re moving the camera in Enscape. This setting also helps highlight the location of the Enscape camera in Revit. If the setting is set to Live, moving the Enscape camera will move the camera in real-time in Revit.
So what are my preferred Enscape settings? I tend to adjust the Saturation, Brightness and Shadow Contrast settings. The view below has the default settings.
By decreasing these settings, the materials in the distant appear more rich and less washed out for my liking.
The same thing goes for interior view. The default settings are shown in the image below.
By decreasing these settings slightly, the materials seem more muted, natural and believable.
That’s it! I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the walk-though of Enscape 1.5. If you haven’t downloaded the two week trial head over to www.enscape3d.com to sign up. If you’d like to see the full-size images contained in this update, they’re available over here. The folder also contains the standalone EXE file of the Enscape Modern House for you to navigate and explore (no install required).