Computer Aided Design: A “Must Have” in Architectural Industry

Computer Aided Design: A “Must Have” in Architectural Industry

Fabrication model


Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer technology for the design of objects, be it real or virtual. It is used to design curves and figures in 2D and 3D spaces. Though widely used in automotive, ship building and aerospace industries, it is extensively used and popular in the field of architectural industry. Today architecture design industry can not go one step without it. Here lies the importance of computer aided design services. Due to its enormous economic advantage, CAD is being considered a driving force in the architecture industry. CAD computer aided design and CAD design and drafting services have possibilities and overcome major challenges in the field of architecture. With the help of CAD design and drafting services, the world has created designs of buildings as beautiful as Sydney’s Opera House and as spectacular as the Buraj Al Dubai in UAE.

Due to the enormity of architectural sector, many categories have sprung out off the main category of CAD services. They are used to help meet almost every aspect of designing, drafting or planning need in an efficient way. CAD design services, CAD drafting services and CAD conversion services cater to the needs of architect designers. Computer aided cad design services provides an opportunity to create multi layered easily editable CAD designs. These designs can be customized whenever there is a need. The major advantage of using CAD design services is the creation of multi layered editable structure which saves much more information on the file than can be saved on the paper format. Besides, paper drawings are bulky, difficult to manage, share and store.

Due to its enormous economic advantage, CAD is being considered a driving force in the architecture industry. PhoenixEOS’s CAD design and drafting service is updated with Building Information modeling tool (Revit) which unifies all the processes of construction and facility operations in a single software environment removing possibilities of design conflicts and ensuring a well-coordinated design model.

PhoenixEOS’s team has ample experience and expertise in handling CAD related projects regarding paper to CAD conversions, CAD drafting and rendering. We have considered many as our partners in the recent past and successfully have completed more than 500 architectural projects spread over residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and other industries. PhoenixEOS’s CAD design and drafting services is updated with Building Information modeling (BIM) tool (Revit software) which unifies all the processes of construction and facility operations in a single software environment. With the help of 3D, it can show the entire building life cycle including the processes of construction and facility operation much before it is executed. PhoenixEOS’s suite of BIM solutions greatly improves productivity and efficiency by streamlining the process of creation, storage and communication of design critical information by way of intelligent 3D models.

PhoenixEOS offers and outsources BIM construction documentations services for your architectural projects. It also assists you to identify design conflicts and ensure a fully coordinated project design model that can reduce change orders and help you save time and money. Our CAD shop drawings are created with the purpose of streamlining the production and review process. To test us on the above just scan and send us your architectural drawings, a sample of your standards and finished set of drawings and email them to us. You are assured of receiving a set of professionally drafted shop drawings. Reference Computer Aided Design: A “Must Have” in Architectural Industry from Bluent.

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Cape Dutch Architecture

Cape Dutch Architecture

“Cape Dutch architecture is a traditional Afrikaner architectural style found mostly in the Western Cape of South Africa. The style was prominent in the early days (17th century) of the Cape Colony, and the name derives from the fact that the initial settlers of the Cape were primarily Dutch. The style has roots in mediaeval Netherlands, Germany, France and Indonesia.

Houses in this style have a distinctive and recognisable design, with a prominent feature being the grand, ornately rounded gables, reminiscent of features in townhouses of Amsterdam built in the Dutch style. The houses are also usually H-shaped, with the front section of the house usually being flanked by two wings running perpendicular to it. Furthermore, walls are whitewashed, and the roofs are thatched.

Most Cape Dutch buildings in Cape Town have been lost to new developments – particularly to high-rises in the City Bowl during the 1960s. However, the Cape Dutch tradition can still be seen in many of the farmhouses of the Wine Route, and historical towns such as Stellenbosch, Swellendam, Tulbagh and Graaff-Reinet.

One characteristic feature of South African colonial architecture which has attracted the attention of many observers is the extensive use of gables. Earlier research has repeatedly sought to justify the term `Cape-Dutch’ solely by comparing the decorative form of these gables to those of Amsterdam. However, in the second half of the 18th century, the period in which, the entire development of the South African gable tradition occurs, gable architecture had gradually ceased to be built in Amsterdam. North of Amsterdam, along the river Zaan, however, gable design remained vigorous until the capture of the Cape. South African gables have many features in common with gables along the river Zaan, in spite of the different materials used.” Source Wikipedia

Note: All renderings have been done using Enscape

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Vernacular Architecture

Vernacular Architecture

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Vernacular architecture stems from the belief that architecture is a balanced combination of logical knowledge, divine inspiration and common sense. “Vernacular architecture is the architecture of the people, and by the people, but not for the people.”

“Vernacular architecture,” Paul Oliver defines in his book ‘Dwellings,’ “is the architecture of the people, and by the people, but not for the people.” Vernacular architecture, as the term, refers to the construction methodology that natives employ to build shelters using locally prevalent resources and conditions.

The building knowledge is developed by trial and error and handed down the generations through local traditions. Therefore, it has been contemptuously dismissed as being crude and coarse. But, a new school of architects have developed on it in the last few decades to come up with fascinating, and sometimes awe-evoking, alternate dwellings that are in harmony with the natural landscape and the human spirit.

Estimates suggest that at least 90 per cent of buildings are designed with no help of any professional architects and designers. Local designs evolve in compliance with the economic feasibility, topography and climate. Indigenous materials are employed to create distinctive residences that merge with the surrounding landscape. Even the interior spaces are decorated in a fashion that evokes Nature. With swelling populations, unstable ecology and economic worries hitting hard, numerous architects around the world are increasingly looking towards sustainable solutions. They attempt to blend modern architectural theories to vernacular building cultures and often come up with strikingly surprising innovations. The resultant is humane and ecologically sound buildings.

With growing interest in earth-friendly building construction techniques, architects are relearning various practical aspects of infusing modern technologies with bygone traditions and cultures. They are actively building upon the knowledge of our grandparents to build homes that would secure our children’s futures. The vernacular is the source of many interesting innovations in building. From mud huts to European styled colonial mansions, from bamboo sheds to massive high-rises, modern architects are constructing shelters, where indoor and outdoor living seamlessly combines to awaken the senses and bring the dwellers closer to their natural world.

Vernacular architecture widely varies from the spectacular Mayan Tikal and Machu Picchu temples to humble dwellings like the African tree-houses and the Native American log cabin. The igloos of the Inuit (Greenland), rondavels of South Africa, tin-and-thatch houses of Togo, yurts of Mongolia, and the Bedouin tents are other classic examples of vernacular dwellings. Interestingly, public utility buildings like granaries, fortifications and religious institutions are more frequent vernacular structures than residential homes.

Folk buildings are built according to the local demand-supply forces. If they are nomadic settlements, light-weight building materials like bamboo, palm fronds and leaves are used for easy relocation. More permanent dwellings would be made up of clay, thatch and cow dung, which are relatively sturdy and durable. Sometimes, climate could be the design factor. Houses in river basins, like the Amazon basin in South America or the rainforests in Africa, are built upon tree-tops or on raised platforms supported by bamboo beneath. In windy regions, the roofs are sloped in the ideal direction. Rainy areas have conical or sloping roofs while dry areas have perforations in their walls. Similarly, cold regions have less or no windows; while warm territories would have houses that are relatively open that facilitates ventilation. The ‘scoops’ atop houses in Pakistan’s Sind district are innovatively placed to channel wind from the roof into each building, thereby keeping summer temperatures to tolerable limits.

Vernacular architecture taps the design capacity of ordinary people to build buildings that are not only low-cost but also familiar to the native inhabitants. This is especially important in the Third World where people lack capital. Thus, their housing crisis could be resolved through their participation in the designing of their own community. Additionally, vernacular architecture proves immensely helpful at times of disaster. When the displaced people are given back homes akin to their vernacular traditions, they recover better from the traumatic experiences.

Numerous modern architects have intensively studied vernacular architecture and claim to have drawn a good deal of inspiration from it. They have found innovative ways of incorporating them into human dwellings that are “environmentally clean” and “spiritually healthy.” The New Gourna township near Luxor, designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy in 1946, is the first recorded attempt are planning an entire town for the natives, in accordance with their local vernacular style. Today, there’s a renewed response to information and ecology. Architects are seeking new equations between buildings and the natural habitat.

Renowned architect, Eugene Tsui looks up to Nature as the basis of his designs. He has a compelling conviction that the strongest and most efficient structural forms known to mankind lie in Nature’s plan. He offers astonishingly original alternatives to the regular industrial (steel and concrete) construction that dominate today’s architectural landscape. He examines nature’s forms, structures and, materials in the scientific and architectural light, and presents an exciting glimpse of the world through his eyes. He brings alive the fascinating world of bird’s nests, termite towers, fish bubble homes, and snail shells which offer a hidden world of endless design possibilities and problem-solving ideas for our buildings. Tsui’s evolutionary architecture is vividly manifested in his architectural projects that may range from a residential remodel that features a dragonfly wings’ roof ventilation to a three-kilometer long city resembling a termite’s nest with crisscrossing steel cables that look like a spider web.

Vernacular architecture stems from the belief that architecture is a balanced combination of logical knowledge, divine inspiration and common sense. It should also be kept in mind that vernacular architecture can be overtly romanticized with a tendency to ignore the multiple inconveniences and discomforts. But, the challenge lies in finding befitting architectural solutions that advantageously blend empirical science with native traditions, in order to come up with an impeccable masterpiece. Modern architects have been successful, time and again, in building exquisite organic architectural designs that are inspired from the earthy vernacular traditions in architecture. Copied from architectural evangelist.

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Family Array Basics & Tips for Revit Beginner

Family Array Basics & Tips

Family Array Basics & Tips for revit


  • In the Family Editor you can Array a geometry or nested family (ex. linear or radial)
  • Always group and associate to assign an integer parameter for the array
  • Move to 2nd or Last depending on how you will dimension and calculate the Array
  • After an array, select an instance of the new group and then the array “dimension”
  • Assign a “Label” in the options bar to control the array count with an Integer Parameter


1. It’s not uncommon for a family content builder to parameterize the array count and then leave the count open for the end user to flex.  Consider adding an Optimal Spacing parameter so that when the length of the family is flexed, the spacing between shelves, muntins, rafter tails, etc. remains a desirable constant and let Revit calculate the Array Count.  The designers will love you.

Not good enough? For scheduling (ex. rafter tail counting) make the Array Count a shared parameter and the PMs will celebrate too.

Formula examples:

  • Optimal Spacing = a default “Length” value for the office standard
  • Array Count = (Length/Optimal Spacing) + 1

2. Ever need an array count of 1? There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Offsetting the first and last instance of an array (toward the center of the array) with an Offset Array parameter, so that the first and last overlap in the center when the array count is equal to 1.

Formula examples:

  • Optimal Spacing = a typical “Length” value for the office standard
  • Array Count = (Length/Optimal Spacing)
  • Array Count True = If(Array Count < 2, 2 , Array Count)
  • Offset Array = if(Array Count < 2, (Length / 2), 0′)
  • Other Possible Solutions:
    • hiding the first and last element of the array in the geometry of another element like muntins in the stile of a wood panel door
    • Using yes/no parameters to visibly turn off the array and turn on a single instance when Array Count = 1

3. Are you getting errors when you try to model 2 arrays in the same family?

  • Create the arrays in separate families and nest them into a host family

4. Are your muntins, shelves, or other crossing element arrays giving you the tic-tac-toe (#) look at an intersection? Does a join geometry not always work for you?

  • Consider adding a slight curve to the front and back of your muntins/shelves and don’t join geometry
    • might also be helpful for many railing family intersection challenges. Reference Family Array Basics & Tips by David.

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3D Technology – the essential partner to dynamic, value-driven Construction

3D Technology – the essential partner to dynamic, value-driven Construction

World-leading, innovative technology is being used successfully to make the aerospace and other manufacturing industries more responsive to demand, dynamic in development and increasingly efficient in delivery. I would argue that the construction industry is crying out for this innovation to drive efficiency, generate sustainability, improve safety and reduce waste. The techniques of Building Information Modelling (BIM), being applied in some areas of the industry, take us part-way but the full value has yet to be realized.

The technology used by the aerospace industry embraces the full spectrum: from initial design, detailed 3D digital mock-ups, to testing and proving in the virtual digital world. The 3D model is reviewed, revised, redesigned and tested to destruction without injury or damage. The same platform of collaborative data then tracks materials requirements and the manufacturing process, following the aircraft from assembly to sale and delivery. It integrates data across the life cycle of the programme, to generate efficiency, reduce cost, cut waste, increase sustainability, improve safety and create value.

Like an aircraft, a building is a system –  superstructure, foundations, air conditioning, useable spaces, arteries providing power, water, waste processing – a system for people. The building becomes more than concrete, steel, glass, bricks and mortar – it becomes a space for living, working or leisure, an intelligent space connected to other intelligent spaces – an intelligent system – an intelligent community.  This building, this intelligent space, lends itself to digital design, 3D digital mock-up, review and revision in the virtual world and the ongoing provision of through-life management. It is a complex logistical system which is simplified, made efficient, given value and given life through data integration and collaboration.


The architect Frank Gehry gave life to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by approaching Dassault Systèmes to use its leading-edge technology from the aircraft industry to imagine and create the impossibly fluid lines of his building. In the architect’s own words, this was transformational, and signalled a cultural change in modern architecture. The building was completed on-time and well within budget, achieving financial savings of 18% in the process. That act was to prove to be a game changer.

The imaginative use of this technology has the potential to make buildings not only iconic and sympathetic with their place in the landscape, but to be intelligent, energy-efficient and sustainable. The manipulation of data enables the integration of retained, legacy buildings, harmonized sensitively with the new development to create places which are special; balancing the old with the new, seamlessly merging the ideas of yesterday with those of tomorrow. This information provides the arteries which allow the dynamism of the construction provider to flow and the imagination of the client to be realized. It harnesses the desired outcomes of the client, the strength and capabilities of the construction industry, and the power of leading-edge technology, significantly improving the quality of sustainable construction and creating assets which are fit-for-purpose, environmentally sensitive and of lasting value.

Posted by John Stokoe Head of Strategic Development at Dassault Systèmes. For more information contact here.

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furnishings and decorations

Introduction to Autodesk Homestyler

Introduction to Autodesk Homestyler

“Design your dream home in 3D.

Express your creativity, find inspiration and make smarter home design choices, faster.”

Autodesk Homestyler is a very useful application which will allow anyone to design their perfect interior. The website is user friendly and does not require one to be tech savvy, nor have intimate knowledge about interior design.

From the Home screen, one will be able to either access the 3D Room Designer function, or access the 3D Floor Planner function.

3D Room Design

Below you will find some examples of users who have designed their dream home and/or room, have been creative, have found inspiration and have made smarter design choices, faster.

smarter design

When Creating a New Design, Autodesk Homestyler will immediately provide a help window to assist you in using the website with all of its relevant commands.

Autodesk Homestyler

To start off with, one can create any building shape, using the Rooms, Walls and Areas tool.

building shape

building shape

After a basic room shape has been created, we can now start decorating the interior. Quite a number of typical furnishings and decorations are available from the catalog toolbar.

furnishings and decorations

I quite like the Itemsized Product List, which will allow you to see which materials, furnishings, decorations, etc. you have placed in your room.

Itemsized Product List

 A Printable View will provide a Bill of Quantities of sorts.

A Printable View will provide a Bill of Quantities of sorts

Autodesk Homestyler is not only applicable to interior designing aspects. One can also do landscaping around your home.

Autodesk Homestyler is not only applicable to interior designing aspects

I believe that for the average person who would like to investigate their options when designing a home, Autodesk Homestyler will provide a good understanding of the potential end result. This result can then be discussed with architects, interior designers, landscape architects and the like, for further refinement. Reference Introduction to Autodesk Homestyler by Herman Solomon. For more information about it then contact us and click here to see our services.

The Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall Of China

wall of china

Standing tall, mighty, and unmoved over millennia, the 4,000 miles (6,500 km) long Great Wall of China is an architectural wonder of epic significance. The Great Wall is the largest ever built structure in terms of mass and surface area.

The Great Wall of China

Standing tall, mighty, and unmoved over millennia, the 4,000 miles (6,500 km) long Great Wall of China is an architectural wonder of epic significance. Snaking along through hills, plains, deserts, and swamps, with an average height of 25 feet and housing 25,000 watch towers (beacons) along the course, this robust man-made barricade requires more than just applause to truly appreciate the engineering and architectural feat that it is.The Great Wall of China, made up of stone and earthen fortifications was built and rebuilt over several generations. The construction was started from scratch by the Qing Dynasty in 5th century BC.  Several chains of walls were unified over the centuries as the different warring states came together under a unified empire. However, most of what we see today was built by the Ming Dynasty and continued till the 16th century. 

Design of the Great Wall
There are primarily three structures that constitute the Great Wall, namely walls, passes, and signal towers. Each is elaborated as under:

Walls: The wall forms the major portion of the entire built structure. It stands to a height ranging between 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters). The width at the base stretches to 21 feet (6.5 meters) and tapers to 19 feet (5.8 meters) at the top. At some places, where the terrain is rugged, natural features like river dikes, mountain cliffs, and gorges have been used instead of human construction.

great wall of china big
Passes: Where the Great Wall came across major trade routes, secure passes were built. These crossover points are about 30 feet (10 meters) high, with a width of 15 feet (5 meters) at the top. The passes have access ramps and ladders that were used for getting horses, merchants, and soldiers across both sides. The outer parapet has perforated battlements and the inner parapet had a low wall of 3 feet (1 meter) to prevent people and their horses from tippling down.

Signal Towers: These high bastions placed 18 kilometers apart from each other, and usually located on hilltops were used to transmit military information and communication. Smoke signals were used during the daytime and fire/lantern (beacon) was used in the nights. Some other modes employed were hoisting huge banners, making sound with large clappers, or by firing guns. The lower portion of these towers had restrooms for soldiers, storage compartments, and stables for housing horses, sheep, etc. 

The Development of the Great Wall over Centuries
Built along an arc that roughly demarcates Mongolia from China, the Great Wall is the largest ever built structure in terms of mass and surface area. The Chinese had learned the techniques of building heavy-duty walls during the ‘Warring States Period’ of the 5th century BC. The states of Yan, Qi, and Zhao constructed massive fortifications to protect their borders. These walls were built by stuffing earth and gravel within board frames.

When Qin Shi Huang conquered numerous states and unified China under his empire in 221 BC, he demolished previous walls that separated the states and instead ordered the construction of new walls on the northern front to keep away the Mongols. Given the scale and dimensions of the wall, transportation of such large quantities of raw materials was not feasible. Therefore, local resources were heavily used. Stones were used for construction over mountainous areas where they were plenty, while rammed earth gave shape to the walls in the plains.

In the later period, different dynasties like the Han, Jin, and Sui repaired, renovated, or expanded different sections of the Great Wall to serve as the first line of defense from the northern invaders. In 1449, after the Ming army’s defeat at the hands of the Mongols, a massive reconstruction of the Great Wall was ordered. The Mings constructed stronger walls and reinforced previous sections by using stone and bricks. Use of rammed earth as previously prevalent was restricted to a miniscule. 
largest wall of chinaMaterials Used in the Great Wall 

Sections closer to Beijing, the throne of the Ming dynasty, were especially reinforced to the point of making them impenetrable by any means. The walls were plastered with lime and tiles to add strength. Stones were cut into rectangular blocks and used in areas like the foundation, gateways and brims. Small gaps measuring 30 cmx20 cm were provided in the upper portion of the walls for use during battles. 

Built primarily with construction material available nearby the site, we find limestone blocks in use near the Beijing area. In other places, it could be burnt bricks or granite. At many places, the blocks are cemented together with a mix of rice and egg-white. In the western desert areas, as raw materials are quite scarce, rammed earth and wooden planks is used.

BIM Technologies

BIM Technologies

Over the past week we have been blown away by how fast our 16 year old work experience student Olawale Labulo who is from Peckham has picked up Revit and learnt about the fundamentals of BIM.

Having no experience whatsoever with Revit, and only using Sketchup for around 6 months, some of the work he produced is highly impressive. Not only getting to grips with modelling in Revit but also the understanding of some of the more advanced tools in Revit, for example modeling parametric array families has really impressed us all.

Below is a sample of some of the work he has been doing and a short snippet of his concluding statement. After giving him a simple house to model (which he completed in a couple of hours) he took matters into his own hands and started to design his own building (apparently inspired from the computer game Minecraft!).

BIM Technology BIM Technology

Here at BIM Technologies I learnt how to use Revit at the basic level; learning how to make families, stairs, floors, ceilings, roofs and rendering. I also learned what they did as a job; help fix problems in building designs that they found in big builds they have been assigned with.

This experience at BIM Technologies hasn’t motivated me to pursue a career in Architecture because before coming to work at BIM Technologies  I already knew what career I wanted to pursue; to become an Architect. However it did give me a further insight to what was to expect in the line of Architecture. So overall I have always been motivated to pursue a career in Architecture, but this experience has enhanced the motivation I have in becoming an Architect.

The things I find interesting about these professions is that they get to work on wonderful buildings in London and across the UK. The thought of knowing that u help in the construction of an iconic building or just a wonderful looking build brings great joy to me.

Ola is sure to be a future star of Architecture or any other career he decides to pursue. All of us here at BIM Technologies wish him the best of luck in whatever he decides to do, and hope he remembers us when he’s famous! Reference COYO – Work experience student at BIM.Technologies by Ben Malone.

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Down Save Revit Models

Down Save Revit Models

Paul Crickard hates that Revit will not allow him to open a 2011 model in 2010. When upgrading to 2011, his office decided to only move certain projects over and leave others. They took in to account the fact that we could not down save and once They were in 2011 they were stuck in 2011.

There is a workaround! If you really need to open a model from a later version of Revit you can — by using IFC.

WARNING: You will lose information. Your walls, windows, doors, and some other elements will be safe, but the model will not be 100% complete — depending on how detailed it is.

To see what will export, go to EXPORT>OPTIONS>IFC OPTIONS


As you can see, Area Tags will not export by default. If you are familiar with the IFC tags you can export objects that are currently not exporting by specifying what tag should be used in the IFC.


Export your model to IFC. Voila! you now have a text file (.IFC) that should look as follows.


From an earlier version of Revit click R>OPEN>IFC and select the file. Now you have a 2011 model in 2010 or 2009. This is also a good way to get your file to many other programs.

DISCLAIMER: Paul Crickard does not recommend using this as a way to work on a daily basis. This tip is for those times when it is absolutely necessary to go between two different version of Revit. You should talk with all parties involved in a project and decide on a version before beginning your project.

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Revit 2016 Render Engine Comparison

Revit 2016 Render Engine Comparison

NVIDIA Mental Ray or Autodesk Raytracer? That is the question. I believe that both render engines have their advantages and disadvantages.
The first render engine comparison is of an exterior day render. The NVIDIA Mental Ray image is on the left, while the Autodesk Raytracer image is on the right. Even though these two renders were created using the same quality settings, sun settings etc., one can clearly see that the Autodesk Raytracer engine saturates colours far more than the NVIDIA Mental Ray engine.

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When comparing an internal night render, one can see that the NVIDIA Mental Ray engine is far more “realistic” than the Autodesk Raytracer engine. Pay attention to the floor lamp on the left. No electrical, nor photometric properties were changed between the two renders, yet something is “off” about the lamp lighting. (It might have been a mistake on my side)

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If you do not have access to a dedicated rendering/visualization program and you can only render from within Revit, if your renders do not look “perfect”, there is no need to start moaning about the “limitations” of the program. You have 5 main options to choose from:
1. Choose which render engine will give you the best result: NVIDIA Mental Ray, or Autodesk Raytracer.
2. If one of the above options do not give you the results you want, how about rendering through the Cloud?
3. If neither one of the above options work for you, start post processing the image inside of Revit. Change the Highlights, Saturation, Mid Tones, etc. to make your image as close to perfect as can be.
4. You always have the option to export your Revit model to an external software program, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Navisworks, even Autodesk AutoCAD. From within these programs, you will be able to tweak your renders even further
5. Use post-processing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Make due with what you have. Make what you have work for you.