Autodesk created something called Project Neon a little while back. Project Neon is a cloud-based rendering service Autodesk is testing out. Basically, Neon is a plugin that you install into AutoCAD or Revit 2012 and you can use it within the program to send a drawing or a view up to Autodesk servers and have it rendered. The benefit here is that the data is uploaded and rendered more quickly on Autodesk servers than it would be on your own computer. Of course, if you have fantastic hardware, then maybe this isn’t too big of a deal. However, for those of you who hate those long render times, then this may be worth checking out.
To get Project Neon, simply go to this website: http://neon.labs.autodesk.com/.
- Go to the “Start Here” section and you will be prompted to put in your Autodesk ID. If you do not have one, click the link that says “Need an Autodesk ID?” and register an account. Upon signing in, agree to the terms and conditions and you will be brought to a page where you can upload drawings to be rendered. You can also download the add-in for AutoCAD or Revit. Once you download the add-in, you simply run the MSI file it gives you and install it to the default directory.
- Boot up Revit or AutoCAD and click on the “Web Services” tab on your ribbon and you will see the option to “Render Online”. Upon clicking that option, you will be asked to put in your Autodesk ID. Once that’s done, however, you’re given a dialogue box with render options. In Revit, the box shows a list of your 3D views that you can render. You can choose your file format, image size, and render quality.
- Once you submit the job, you can opt to have Autodesk email you when the job is done. The email sends you a link to your gallery where you can view and download your render. All your render jobs are saved on the cloud so you can download them, delete them, or render a panorama anytime.
I just submitted a job within at 1:53 PM and I received confirmation that it was done at 1:59 PM. It took 6 minutes to render a semi-complicated drawing at the best render quality with the highest image resolution in JPG format. Not too shabby for something that would take my computer 20-25 minutes to complete.
Currently, there are Project Neon plugins for AutoCAD 2010-2011 and the Revit 2012 product line. As of right now, it is unknown if Autodesk plans to release Neon for other products such as 3DS Max or Maya. I assume they are working on a plugin for AutoCAD 2012.
Check it out and see what you think!
Author: Mark Philip