ArchiCAD plugin - PhotoRendering Settings

Inside the ArchiCAD environment PhotoRendering Settings dialog is the common place of the render parameters.

You can open this dialog from the 3D Visualization palette or from the menu Document > Creative Imaging > PhotoRendering Settings...


Into the ArchiCAD plugin we integrated nearly all the available Maxwell parameters. It means you don’t have to go to Maxwell Studio to finalize your scene settings you can do it directly inside ArchiCAD.

This page describes all the different parameters the ArchiCAD plugin adds to the UI. All Maxwell parameters are accessible from PhotoRendering Settings panel once Maxwell rendering engine is the active engine.


Please make sure Maxwell Render Engine is the current ArchiCAD render engine!

General Settings and Output

From here you can control the basic render settings such as specify the output, render time, sampling level etc. Please see the Render Options page for the Maxwell Render documentation for details on these parameters as they have exactly the same functionality.




Specific settings to the ArchiCAD plugin

  • Export Directory: Select the folder location of Maxwell generated files (mxs, mxi, jpg, ...)

  • Scene name: Name of the MXS file the plugin generates.

  • Protect Geometry: Enable this option to protect the exported geometry so that it cannot be re-exported from Maxwell Studio in OBJ format.

  • Geometry Scale: You can scale up or down the ArchiCAD geometries during the export process. Value 1.0 means the exported items will have the same size what they have in ArchiCAD. Value 2.0 meas scale up by 2 and 0.001 is the same as 1:1000.

  • Override Material: This option is a more flexible version of the previous foam material feature. Renders with simplified material setup can be very useful to study shadows and light. It has three modes:
    • Disabled:  This is the default mode, the plugin doesn't apply overwrite material.
    • All: It is the same as the Override Material setting in Studio, all the geometries are rendered with the same override material. You can choose override material if you click on the ... button.
    • Opaque: All materials are assigned the chosen overwrite material except transparent materials, which keep their glass materials.

  • Command Line: Additional command line parameters of Maxwell render (MXCL) can be specified here. Please see the Command Line page for more details.


  • Smoothing Angle: With this parameter you have advanced control about how the plugin exports smooth polygons. If the angle between adjacent polygons is smaller or equal to this angle, they will be smoothed.


    This parameter doesn't have any effect if you are in "3D Window" Export mode.

  • Clamp Reflect. 0: Maxwell materials with too high Reflectance 0° color value (close to RGB 255,255,255) can make your image noisy and not realistic. You have this option to automatically clamp the high color values.

For white materials RGB 225,225,225 is usually a good choice.


  • Radiance multiplier: This parameter is a global multiplier for automatically converted AC materials. In case the AC material has emitter property, plugin multiplies the power of the automatically calculated emitter component with this value.

  • Export Light:in ArchiCAD Lamp objects can have light components. These light components are not geometries, only definitions of virtual light models. Plugin converts these virtual lights to simple geometries for Maxwell with emitter materials applied on them. In case you don't want to export these, just turn off this parameters.


For information on using these settings please see the SimuLens chapter in the Maxwell documentation.

Channels Layers

For information on using these settings please see the Channels chapter in the Maxwell documentation.




Inside the Environment tab you can find the same environment parameters what you have in Maxwell Studio. You can choose between Sky Dome and Physical Sky modes or you can light your scene with HDRI images in Image Based mode. In case FIRE is active you can find the desired environment effect very fast.

For information on using these settings please see the Environment Lighting pages in the Maxwell documentation.


Camera parameters

For details on the Maxwell camera parameters please see the Camera chapter of the Maxwell documentation.

Unique parameters of the plugin

  • Autofocus: Normally plugin reads the focus distance of the ArchiCAD camera. It can be difficult to set the proper focus distance with the normal ArchiCAD tool, but yiin default plugin usese plugin can set the resolution of the rendered image according to:
    • Focus Distance: Manual focus distance of the exported ArchiCAD camera.


  • Resolution: The plugin can set the resolution of the rendered image according to:
    • ArchiCAD 3D window size - choose this one if you want to see exactly the same camera setup what you see inside the 3D window. (To be sure you will see exactly the same, keep the Film fit parameter ON.)
    • Render Size - in this mode the output image size comes from the ArchiCAD render size values. You can find the render width and height values at the top of the PhotoRendering Settings dialog below the Engine parameter.
  • Film fit: Keep this flag ON if you want the plugin the set the film width/height values automatically (proportional to the render image dimension).




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