Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parameters with Math Characters

Kudos to GMcDowellJr at for paying attention. I missed it entirely. We've been careful to warn people not to include math characters in their parameters names for so long that I just don't ever try to do it.

At some point in the recent past (my testing shows beginning with Revit 2014) Revit started reconciling the issue for us with these brackets [ ]. Just wrap your rogue parameter name using math characters with those brackets and Revit won't mind anymore.

Revit will even add them (the brackets) for us if we rename a parameter to include math symbol(s). For example, in the following image these parameters and the formula are fine.

Then I changed my parameter name and Revit put the brackets in the formula for me.

When I try this in Revit 2013 it doesn't mind changing a parameter name to include a math symbol if it didn't have one originally. If I try to create a new parameter with a math character and use it in a formula then I get the familiar warning. If I add the brackets myself, no difference. In 2014 and 2015 the brackets start working and get added to a formula for us, when necessary.

I don't recall The Factory ever taking credit for this change, a nice subtle compensation for parameter naming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stage Curtains

Back in January of 2004, about eleven months before I started blogging and a couple months before moving to California, I shared a couple stage curtain families at AUGI. They were made using Revit 6.0. I recently got a message thanking me for them which made me curious how well they'd upgrade to Revit 2015. I downloaded them from AUGI too since I'd lost track of the files since then. They upgraded fine. Well, without a warning message but they didn't retain all their parametric behavior unfortunately.

If you're like me, you can't help but second guess the things you did when you get to take another look at something you did in the past. This is no different. I didn't like my choice of parameter names and the logic I used to allow for them to be reconfigured. So I spent some time re-working them in Revit 2015.

Here's what they look like in play now, the main setting is a burgundy color, the olio setting is a lighter shade and the cyclorama legs, borders and rear traveler are just black (though they look gray). If you aren't familiar with theater terminology, the olio setting is traditionally fancy or at least a different color. It is typically used (closed in front of the main set) as the background for the opening act of a show, comedian, magician etc., far enough forward to leave most of the stage for the primary production (hidden from view) while leaving stage space for the intro act.

And in plan view

And in Section

If you'd like to download them here you go:

2015 Stage Curtain Border
2015 Stage Curtain Traveler

If you need them in an earlier version than 2015 these are the Revit 6.0 files. You'll probably have to tweak them a bit to retain their parametric relationships, such as changing the height of the curtain or length of the batten etc.

Revit 6.0 Border Curtain
Revit 6.0 Traveler Curtain

I'll close with a rendered view using some stage lighting fixtures that Andrew K shared at (works with ARCAT) and a couple saxophones that Michael Anonuevo shared with me back when he was working on his family editor book.

I did consider rebuilding these using the new Adaptive Point divide and repeat concept. Perhaps another day. It would be interesting to compare the performance of that technique against these. These do put a bit of a drag on a model because of the blend array that makes the curtain.

Okay, now I'm just having fun...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Revit 2015 R2 - Background Color

Continuing in the theme of filling long standing wishes, it is now possible to choose your own background color instead just using Invert Background to use a black background. Years ago I did attempt to live with a black background but found that I preferred the white background after a short transition. I find trying to use a black background quite disorienting now.

Regardless lots of users have a preference for something other than white. In particular, for some people, staring at a white screen all day bothers their eyes. Adjusting their monitor's brightness and contrast only goes so far to mitigate their discomfort. Now they/we can choose nearly any color we'd like to use instead of white, via the Graphics page of the Options dialog.

It is a bit quirky depending on what is visible in the view. You'll have to experiment some to find both a color you really like and can live with how information is presented in different views with it in play. Here's what I call Word Perfect background with some rooms using a color fill (well I remember a blue background in Word Perfect).

And this is casual attempt to mimic "butter" tracing paper background.

I'm probably going to stick with a white background but I'm sure there are many users who will enjoying having a little more control over what they stare at for 8+ hours a day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Revit 2015 R2 - Default Setting for Import Positioning

This is a welcome change, one many users have been asking for a long time.

The default positioning setting is now Auto - Origin to Origin, pause for the sound of applause (and comments like "finally") in offices around the globe...

If you change the default setting, the option you select for Positioning becomes the default instead for your current Revit session. Revit will also remember a different setting for Revit models and CAD files. For example, this will make it easier to use Auto-Origin to Origin for Revit models and Auto - Center to Center for CAD files.

Glad to see this subtle but heavily wished for change.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Revit 2015 R2 - Double Click Open an Older File

I wrote on Monday that Revit 2015 R2 warns us if we are opening an older file that will need to be upgraded first. Daniel Stine let me know that a different dialog appears if you double click a file to open it. Now I don't do that and don't recommend you do that either. Here's the dialog that appears if you do though and this one waits till you respond.