How Revit Network Version Works

There seems to be a misunderstanding of how Revit (well all Autodesk products for that matter) runs in a network environment but it’s really quite a simple process. 

Understand that CADD programs are too large and to processor intensive to run across your network as they would grind all network traffic to a halt, therefore CADD programs need to be installed on the users local computer & not on the server.  There is a very small program that sits on the server and sends a tiny file to each users computer to track license checkout status.  When determining the number of licensed seats a company needs to purchase the question is not how many users we have corporately but rather how many users need to be running the software concurrently.

This means that you may actually deploy 10 installations throughout your CADD department but only purchase 8 network licenses.  While all 10 machines are capable to run the software only 8 may be in use concurrently.

Improve the Showcase Performance

The Showcase Help is quite umm helpful…

Combine and separate objects to improve frame rate

Large production models, which typically have hundreds of parts that are comprised of thousands of surfaces and surface patches, can significantly slow Hardware rendering performance (the frame rate) while interactively authoring or presenting a scene.

You can improve the interaction performance (even with multiple production models loaded and displayed side by side) by combining objects in the Organizer. Combining objects essentially flattens the selected object hierarchy to speed the frame rate. However, to prevent data loss (for example, material assignments), you must follow the workflow guidelines and possibly modify your workflow.


Hierarchies or groups containing accent lights cannot be combined. The combine option will be grayed out and unavailable when these items are selected. Deselect or remove the accent lights from the group and then combine.

Follow these working guidelines to combine nodes successfully without losing important data:

  • Resist combining objects that go into different alternatives or behaviors. If you do combine the objects, the assignments may break, and you may need to redo the reassignments.
  • Precalculated ambient shadows may be adversely affected when you combine mixed geometry (for example, polys and NURBS). Before combining, occlusion is applied differently to different data types (for NURBS, through textures; for polys, through vertex colors); after combining, NURBS and polys textures are ignored, and all occlusion is vertex based.
  • Combining a shadow caster will result in the entire combined node being a shadow caster for that light.
  • Combining objects that may appear to have the same texture may cause the texture placement to shift or scale in unexpected ways. In this case, re-place the texture on the combined object.
  • You cannot combine a node that has already combined objects within it; the combine button and menu item is not available in this case. An alternative approach is to separate the combined node, then combine at a higher level of the hierarchy.
  • Combining should be done only if you are sure that nothing else is going to change in the geometry. If you combine and then decide to update or re-tessellate your model because of changes done in the originating application, you may encounter geometry issues.
  • When combining multiple objects with different materials, the first material found is applied to all. For example:
    • Object A is combined with Material A
    • Object B is combined with Material B

    If you combine those two objects, you get:

    • Object C With Material A
  • If you plan to animate objects, keep the objects separate.

To combine objects:

  1. In the Organizer, select the objects you want to combine, then group them. The objects are grouped into one folder.

  2. Right-click the folder with the grouped objects, and select Combine. The objects are combined and you can no longer expand the node to see its contents.


    Double-click the folder to folder to give it a more meaningful name.

You can separate combined objects to gain access to parts of the combined geometry to work with it (for example, to flip normals, to remove duplicate surface, or to split geometry to add different alternatives or behaviors).

Separating is not the same as undoing (Edit > Undo) the combination operation. Separating retains the object hierarchy but gives you access to combined objects; undoing reverts to the original object hierarchies within a scene session.

To separate objects:

  1. In the Organizer, select the combined objects you want to separate.
  2. Right-click the selected objects, and choose Separate. The objects are separated, and you can now expand the node to see its contents.

Alternative Visibility Line up in Showcase

Set up and view visibility lineups

Visibility lineups are collections of objects or their attributes that you hide or show as a unit in a scene. For example, all the parts that make up a particular design for a hubcap.


A scene may have any number of model alternative lineups, but any one object can be in only one model alternative at a time.

Create a model alternative lineup

  1. Press the A key to view the Alternatives interface.
  2. Click the Create button at the top of the alternatives list.


    If you do not see this button, you may be in presentation mode. Press Tab to get back to edit mode.

  3. A list of possible types of lineups appears. Select Visibility Lineup .

    A new lineup is created to contain a new set of model alternatives.

  4. Select the objects in the scene that you want to add to the new alternative.


    If you cannot see the objects you want to add, they may already be assigned to another model alternative. You need to remove them from the other model alternative before re-assigning them (see below).

  5. In the appropriate lineup, click the Add Alternative button (called Add Next Alternative if there are other alternatives in the lineup).

    The selected objects are added to the lineup as a new alternative. The eye icon indicates the alternative is active and its contents are visible.

  6. Double-click the name box to add a text label for easy identification of the alternative.


    When authoring alternatives, do not use special symbols like the “#” symbol within the names. If the Showcase file is ever to be used through a web interface (either remotely or locally) special symbols will make it difficult or impossible to control the alternatives using HTTP protocols.

    Continuing this example, assume you select the blue objects and click Add Next Alternative. This would create a new alternative containing the blue objects and make it the active alternative. The red balls disappear, since their alternative is no longer active.

Remove an object from an alternative

  1. Click on the alternative you want to work with to make it visible.
  2. Select the objects you want to remove from the alternative.
  3. From the alternative’s right mouse button menu, select Remove Selection From.

    The object is no longer part of the alternative. It will still be visible for the current alternative, but will also be visible for other alternatives:

Add an object to an alternative

  1. Select the objects you want to add to an existing alternative.


    If you cannot see the objects you want to add, they may already be assigned to another model alternative. You must remove them from the other alternative before re-assigning them (see above).

  2. Click the alternative you want to work with.
  3. From the alternative’s right mouse button menu, select Add Selection Into.

Delete an alternative

  1. Expand a lineup to view its alternatives. Select the alternative you want to work with.
  2. From the alternative’s right mouse button menu, select Delete Alternative.

    The alternative is deleted from the lineup. The objects in the alternative are not deleted, but they are now visible and selectable for all other alternatives.

Select all objects from a particular alternative

  1. From the alternative’s right mouse button menu, select Select Contents (or Select Visible Contents if you do not want to select hidden items).

  2. All objects in that alternative are now selected.

Select all objects in the entire lineup

Right-mouse-button click on the lineup name, then choose Select Entire Lineup.

Optimize REVIT Files for use in Showcase

From the Showcase Help file…

General model preparation

Be aware of these general principles when using external applications to create models that will be imported into Showcase.

For best results, models should be built in real world size in their original modeling package.

The following characteristics of imported objects may affect Showcase performance:

  • Number of objects
  • Number of polygons
  • Amount of materials
  • Size of material texture maps

Once models are imported, use the following Showcase features judiciously to avoid performance impacts:

  • Shadows
  • Screen-Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO)
  • Animations

Prepare Revit models

Follow the guidelines described here for best interoperability between Revit and Showcase.

Revit Version

For best results, save your Revit file with Revit version 2014 before importing into Showcase.


You can only export one camera at a time. The camera in the active 3D view at the time of export is the camera that is saved to the FBX file.


To exclude certain geometry from the export, hide it using the “Hide in view” feature or the Visibility/Graphic Overrides window. Using Temporary Hide/Isolate does not exclude geometry from the export.

Unsupported items

The following Revit features and elements are not supported in Showcase:

  • 2D line work
  • Lights
  • Design options are not fully supported
  • Phases are not fully supported
  • Entourage (RPC) is not fully supported

Number of objects

Should you experience performance issues in Showcase while working with your Revit geometry, consider combining geometry in the Showcase Organizer to reduce the number of objects. It is best to do this once you are sure you will not need to re-import the data from Revit. Updating and re-importing data that has already been combined in Showcase will likely result in many visual issues.

Another alternative is to break the Revit model into multiple parts and import them separately. For example, export a building view that has everything hidden except the first floor. Then export a view that has everything hidden except the second floor, and so on. Then you can optimize each file in Showcase before importing the next.