Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ooh Spelting Errrs - Descendnig

Daniel Stine found this one and passed it along to me so I'm not being so picky, he is :)

Silly develepers, thats not how your spell Descending.

Just more proof they shouldn't have changed the Family Types dialog ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Walking and Relative to View

When we turn on shadows in a camera view they are affected by a subtle setting called Relative to View.

This setting is part of the Sun Settings dialog. When we turn on shadows in the view, activate the Steering Wheel and use the Walk feature the shadows will move as we walk when Relative to View is checked.

This caught me off guard today while discussing it (the Walk feature). One of the guys noticed the shadows were moving and remarked, "Why are the shadows moving? That can't happen as you walk through a building or around it!"

I wasn't focused on it, didn't even notice it... It took me a moment to get out of my fog, and in that moment, I even imagined Walk was moving the building instead of the camera (walking to and from the building). Then I opened the Sun Settings dialog to check things and another person said, "Oh it's got to be that!" (Relative to View). Yep...

When the option is not checked the shadows stay fixed relative to where the Sun is located. Crisis averted :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Spacebar and Titleblocks

Titleblocks are families. The Spacebar will rotate a selected family (90 degree increments by default). Remember that when you have a titleblock selected. Today that startled a person when they thought they were tapping the space to insert a space in a text field but it was no longer selected. The titleblock spun out of view. What the...? OH...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

BIM Workshops Sessions and Data

I gave presentations at three of the four BIM Workshops this year. The first was in Omaha (August), the second in Anaheim (September), the third in Phoenix (October) and I wasn't part of the fourth event in Honolulu.

Indulging in a little historical review, the Omaha event is four years old now. However for its first two years it was called Central States Revit Workshop. It's founder, Carla Edwards, lived and worked in Omaha at the time. She attended the first Revit Technology Conference in North America hosted in Huntington Beach, CA in 2011. She told me that she was inspired and determined to bring that feeling home to where she worked and to provide that kind of experience to others but with a local focus, the region near Omaha. She found that there were many people eager to help her make it happen as well as sponsors willing to support it. I was happy to be able to speak at her first event too, and each of them since then.

A year later, after wrapping up the second event, she made a big life decision; moved to California and joined U.S. CAD, an Autodesk reseller based in California. She brought the event with her. Now in it's third year, with U.S. CAD's help they expanded the event to two cities; Omaha and Anaheim...and that brings us to this year, the event's fourth. Phoenix and Honolulu were both a single day of sessions while Omaha and Anaheim were two days of sessions.

This year the following people were designated with a national speaker role; Andy Jizba, Bill Debevc, Brandon Pike, Brian Mackey, Carla Edwards, Chris Faklaris, Chris Keck, David Magid, Eric Chappell, Kelli Lubeley, Lonnie Cumpton, Paul Aubin, Robert Bell, Me, Steven Shell and Tom Whitehead.

This meant each of us agreed to give presentations at two or more of the events. Each location also featured a selection of local/regional people who were chosen after being invited to send in their session ideas. That gave each BIM Workshop a broad reach while drawing on local talent too. It was a good mix this year as it has been for each of the previous years.

It has been my intention all along to post the files associated with both of my sessions here so people can check them out. I just waited until the last event was concluded (and I needed a little time to update the documents a bit)...and here they are.

Session: Who Moved my Cheese?
Description: There are over 30 ways to lose something you’re sure was just there. Revit offers so much control over the way things can be seen that we need a chart or list to figure out what happened to them. This session will explore those and provide an opportunity for some group therapy (troubleshooting).

I organized this as a game show to get people directly involved in the class. I selected two contestants for each visibility problem (25 problems in all). They competed for Smarties (yes the little discs of sugary goodness). I was inspired by a challenge that some of the Autodesk Revit technical support team created for a past Autodesk University. They had a booth outside of the classroom areas where people could stop by and meet them. They encouraged us to take part in this Find my Chair challenge which included some pretty diabolical, even despicable, ways that someone could hide a chair. For example, one chair was a family that had been completely stripped, just an empty file now, and reloaded. If someone did that in your office you might be inclined to encourage HR to get involved?

My session wasn't nearly so mean. It was fun to do it. I've heard from quite a few people since that they enjoyed it too. Thanks!


Fwiw, since I ran it as a game show with a winner and loser for each round, more than a few people suggested that I should have awarded each round's loser with a Dum Dums, I did think of it...but I didn't want to harsh anyone's mellow.

Session: Shared Coordinates: Stay Out of the Rabbit Hole
Description: It seems simple enough. Then something goes wrong. There are a few too many ways that we can manipulate this information. People often make assumptions about how it should work but don’t fully appreciate the consequences. Let’s explore the subtleties and avoid falling down the rabbit hole.

In this session I described and demonstrated using a master Revit site model to provide the basis for the real world location of a building or buildings. Then I linked separate Tiny House models (yes, inspired by Sean Burke's own Un-Boxed House project). If you've been reading this blog for long you'll probably recognize the information as being derived from a series of posts I've written here before. As much as I'd like to think every Revit user has read my blog, there are a lot of people out there who have no idea just how much information about Revit is lurking out here in the internets. Then again, maybe they just have a healthier balance in their lives?


I hope that these prove useful or interesting. Let me know if you have your own Who Moved my Cheese Game show sometime.

Oh, Carla recently let me know that she's decided to accept a position with an architecture firm in Denver so she can get closer to project work again AND importantly be much closer to her family. There is that notion of balance again... I wish her all the best and I'm sorry she'll have a lot more snow to deal with there than here in Southern California.

Keep an eye on the BIM Workshops site for next year's details as they become available.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Revit 2016 - Licensing Access has Changed

Prior to Revit 2016 we could either take the Application menu > Licensing or the About Revit route to review our licensing information. Here's the first in 2015.

In 2016 they've removed the Application menu path leaving just the About Revit route.

Not a real hardship, just a big confusing if you were expecting to find it under the Application menu like in the past.

Thanks to Dave for the prompt!