If you have been using Revit to create walkthroughs of your building you may have noticed there is not a default option for ‘walk up stairs’. Instead you have to create the scene yourself. By default the camera follows the line of sight, which is usually efficient when walking around on flat ground. The problem occurs when you try and walk up stairs or along other non-flat paths as this does not create a very realistic looking result.
I am going to share a few tips here which I picked up when playing around with this. The first thing you have to take into mind is the height of the eye, or in Revit’s case ‘Offset’. The default value will be 1750, I personally prefer to use 1500, but that’s just a case of perspective! Another aspect to bare in mind are key frames. Key frames are the frames which you place every time you click the camera tool when creating a walkthrough.
When you want to climb up stairs, plan where you will need your key frames to be, and by which offset increment you will need to increase it by every time. If you are unsure about the total height you need to increase it by over the course of the stairs, go into an elevation view, and measure from 1.5m on the base floor up to 1.5m on the destination floor. You may have a height of about 3m, split this into say 5 key frames, increasing the offset each time by 600mm. You may find you need to add more keyframes as you begin to edit the Walkthrough.
You now want to edit your Walkthrough and set the camera views so that you can create a more realistic stair climb animation. The first thing I like to do is watch the Walkthrough all the way through and see how it looks by default, takes notes of frames which you need to change. Once you begin to edit the frames, use the ‘Next/Prev Keyframe tool’. These are the main scenes, and the frames in between these will be a gradual increase between them.
The best way to edit the camera scenes is by using the ‘View Cube’. The ‘Walk’, ‘Look’, and ‘Up/Down’ tools come in very useful when dealing with walkthroughs. If you are trying to control the scenes with the usual Revit navigation methods you may be finding it very difficult to make precise movements. The view cube tools allow you to edit your cameras in a way which is much more precise; very useful especially when going up stairs! Go through all your key frames and make sure that all the camera angles are set up in the way you want them to appear.
A final tip to make a smoother walkthrough would be to increase the amount of frames that the walkthrough will consist of. I find that 600 creates a pretty smooth result. This is what I have used in the video below. You may wish to set some scene frame rates differently if you wish to pass a certain scene quicker than another. The more frame rates you choose the longer your video will be. I don’t claim to have a perfect method – any suggestions or tips are welcome.