If you need your 3D model to look 'nice' use Showcase.
This is designed for design review, not really presentation. Try Playing with the lights, not that there are many options. 'No lights' Works well for darker revit models, headlamp, is a waste of time.
Are you using Showcase 2012?
If you are, I would highly recommand trying Showcase 2013 SP2.
Autodesk made massive visual improvments in Showcase 2013.
I attached an image of the Revit sample scene that I imported into Showcase. Have a look
I would like to see what you have (a few pics), maybe I can assit you by offering a few suggestions on how to improve the visual quality of your Revit geometry in Showcase?
You do not need to get the design suite. I believe that you can purchase Showcase on it's own
Also, you can link the Revit Model without the suite. Here is how:
1) Export Revit geometry into FBX
2) Import FBX into Showcase
and anytime you re-export the FBX and replace the one that you used to import into Showcase, Showcase will inform you that you need to reload the geometry in the import status
To answer your other Question. Yes, Showcase does handle large data sets. However to get good performance you have to combine the geometry and break the link to the originating FBX file
Here is a tip:
Showcase ships with a plug-in called "AutoGroupCustom.py"
Running this plugin will automatically group and combine your scenes geometry to make it run nice an smooth, but beware that this would break the link.
You'll go from having thousands of separate objects to only a few hundred, which is more manageable.
AutoGroupCustom.py must be integral to the Revit Suite Workflow path, because using that seemed to improve the smoothness of the walkthru quite a bit.
1) How do I change/can I change my little screen name to something else (it is showing as "design").
2) How do I run that plug-in. I can't seem to figure it out.