Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gotham - Not the hometown of Batman

ABL (Acuity Brands Lighting) just announced they've made their Gotham line available in Revit form. It has been over year now since CDV Systems sent me to visit them to talk about making Revit content and its great to see them persevering and expanding the products they are making available! Keep it up!!


Jason Grant said...

What was your thought about using sketchup information in Revit families since at least their Lithonia models seem to not be native Revit? With the amound of data that gets pushed into our hospital and lab projects I have a hard time trusting something that was not native Revit.

Steve said...

Hi Jason,

I haven't looked at all their content so I didn't know that there is some with SU content. Surprise!

But then we didn't actually create content when I worked with them it was a "front end" planning session. They've "taken the ball" and run with it earnestly.

I do know that they are a company with many products and their acquisition came about at different times. This means that one product line may be in Inventor while another is in AutoCAD...yet another in another. It makes their process all that more difficult to manage.

If memory serves we made a few priorities for content initially; physically correct size, factually correct data, connectors for RME and enough "representation" to distinguish it from another fixture type.

A stretch goal was to get great model/rendered appearance as opposed to the providing the correct lighting cast into the model.

How including a SU based representation fits those goals I really can't speak for them other than to assume it was expedient to do so. Perhaps it allows them to also provide a SU version for that application and not rework as much?

For their rationale I suggest you post a comment or questions at their blog. I'm confident that they'll share their perspective on it.

Tim Hogan said...

Hello, Jason.

I'm responsible for the models from Acuity Brands. Steve is right about us trying to balance competing criteria and to support multiple applications (including the next version of Visual Lighing Software, which will include rendering).

So, Sketchup was a good solution that allowed us to balance some of the needs.

In most cases, we think our products seem to work well as embedded embedded objects. That is, a 2x4 troffer or 8-inch downlight is not highly variable in appearance when considered in the context of the entire space. However, in some cases (for example, Peerless suspended systems), the parametric nature of native files would be much better.

At any rate, I'd like to hear from you and others about how our models can be better. You can reach me at

I've visited with lots of customers around the country and I'd be glad to come up to Boston to see how you guys are changing the world of architecture and design.