Thursday, December 31, 2009

Autodesk University Content - Prior to 2006

When you visit the Autodesk University site you can review the classes that are archived back as far as 2006. The classes from 2005 and as far back as 2000 are archived at AUGI (Autodesk User Group International). I received a comment on an older post of mine letting me know that the links I provided back then were no longer working. I fixed them this morning and also thought I might as well post about it too.

Autodesk University Content - 2006 to Present
Autodesk University Content - 2000 to 2005

If you are curious about what you find at AUGI these two images might help. You start by visiting AUGI and clicking on the Education menu item, then click on the AU Class Handouts link on the left side bar.

Now you need to select the year, the industry and finally click Go!

You'll receive a long list of classes to peruse. It would be nice if it could be searched by Author or product but this is what we have for now.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Revit Family Editor Videos

Warning!! Sales pitchy...

In the category of "Things I've meant to get around to but haven't", Paul Aubin HAS taken the time to record and produce videos from the summer series of online classes he did on the Revit Family Editor.

It is comprised of five DVD's (sold as individuals) and yes they cost money, but not a lot of money. Any seasoned family editor will tell you that doing the work, using the tools is the key to success. Not doing the work over and over and over, wrong and wrong...and finally correct, has value too. If Paul's videos can help you get there then I can put my hurt ego aside long enough to mention them to you here.

So if you've got some serious family editing ahead of might want to take a minute or two to check them out, they could save you some time in the long run? If you use this super secret code (don't tell anyone else) you'll be able to get 10% off the regular price (and I get a small share of the "riches" - full disclosure). Check out his site for details.

The DVD's are sold as individual purchases and Paul says he is working on a solution to provide a bundle order but as I wrote this it wasn't finished.

Hey Paul I'm looking forward to retiring early, thanks for putting them together!

[P.S. The code is displayed when you hover over the Secret Code hyperlink, in a tool tip. The secret code will be valid for purchases made from 12/28/09 to 1/28/10, one month]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays 2009

Another year has passed already! It is that time again!! Wishing you a happy holiday season and a nice start to the new year!

I enjoyed Alan's politically correct season greeting! You might too?

Christmas Gift from Jason Grant - Sheet Creator

As I mentioned in an earlier post Jason has posted an application he wrote for Revit 2010. It allows the user to create sheets sequentially avoiding the opening and closing of dialogs that the existing process in Revit requires. His post has a video the demonstrates the tool in action as well. He also provides a step-by-step process to get it installed.

A still faster way to make sheets if the actually naming isn't very important yet is this TIP.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Revit MEP and the Phase Feature

You have existing HVAC equipment. You've documented the existing system and connected everything. Once you demolish it in a later phase however it becomes disconnected in the earlier existing phase.

This comes up every now and then during discussions and a recent thread at AUGI brought it up there too. Jason Martin, with Autodesk, wrote a nice response worth echoing:

Jason wrote:

The basic problem is that things like ducts and pipes are only allowed to be connected to one other thing "per connector". If I have a duct that is connected to an elbow the connection between those two are "properties" of those two elements (i.e. the duct knows it is connected to the elbow and the elbow knows it is connected to the duct).

The secondary problem is that the "temporal" concept in Revit (phasing) is primarily a "display only" concept (there are some special cases where other things are done, but primarily it is limited to display). I'm not arguing that adding temporal intelligence to these elements isn't a good thing, as there are a number of other cases that it would solve (i.e. like the ability to move something that exists in "this" phase to a different location in a "future" phase phase), but it isn't there today.

From a practical standpoint this means the mantra of assign stuff to systems can't be met completely with existing demolished stuff. Something I'm sure the designers at Autodesk are wrestling with internally.

With regard to the AUGI thread and getting the appearance of the documents they wanted, Jason went on to suggest that they use Filters based on a different parameter than System Type since that parameter is lost when the elements are demolished.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Revit Xmas Eve

Jason Grant is teasing us with a post promising a free tool to create sheets more easily and quickerer. It won't be available until Christmas eve so you'll have to be patient till then! They say patience is a virtue!

Think Like Me

I spend most of my time teaching Revit actively in a class setting or one-on-one/one-on-few mentoring. I also end up doing it passively like with this blog or editing AUGI | AEC EDGE for example. One important thing (as instructor/teacher/writer/editor) I must do is connect with students/readers, in a manner that they relate to. Fortunately I manage to do this pretty well. I can't really expect 100% but it is a nice goal.

It is important to remember this bit of wisdom, Seth Godin wrote in his post today, "The problem, of course, is that people don't always think like you." His focus is on marketing your product but it applies pretty well to most anything you are trying to push uphill. I'll go so far as saying that anything Seth bothers to write is worth reading (if you think like I think).

You may not teach Revit but if you are using Revit you are probably trying to help it along, help co-workers's a good thing to keep in mind as you go about your day and try to help others along.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thinking Ahead - How Far Should That Be?

In September 2009 I wrote a post about the future already being here and now. I then read a post by Steve Johnson (from Perth, Australia) called, "Trusting Autodesk? Contemplating a New Product" on his blog Blog Nauseum.

I'll let you read his post there but the essence of his post was how can we be certain that the software we use today will be able to support our needs far into the future. His post was focused on the new Plant 3D product. It was this part that caught my attention (my emphasis in bold):

In a word, it comes down to trust. Each drawing used or issued by this utility is a legal document with a potentially very long life ahead of it. I showed the Autodesk person a drawing issued in 1901. The assets documented by that drawing are still in use today; indeed, many thousands of people daily depend heavily on them. Before we invest our money, time and training in Plant 3D, we need to know that the electronic drawings produced with it are going to be fully functional in the long term.

My reaction was, what software can boast that it will support a legacy file format that is as ancient as the document he pulled out of a drawer? I dare say none can. The first software I used to produce drawings was MAC Draw on a Macintosh Enhanced with an internal 800 kb hard drive AND an external 800 kb hard drive. Good luck opening that file today. The television studio equipment that my drawings documented was installed in 1988 and the drawings were probably never needed again, they were installation/shop drawings.

I've met firms that (a few) are actually upgrading every project they have done in CAD/BIM to the latest version of software they use each time they start using the newer version. Just think what committing to this means on a practical level as a task for each project. The thing is, unless you do this, you must continue to rely on the printed documents (or perhaps pdf versions) forever because you may not be able to open the project files in five, ten, twenty, thirty years from now if you don't upgrade them (current and old) routinely.

What if the software ceases to exist as Steve suggests in his post? What shall we upgrade to then? We can keep the software but we'd also have to keep a working computer available indefinitely that could run the software too! A trip to the DigiBarn perhaps?

Something to mull over...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Autodesk University 2009 - Missed It

Apparently I missed AU2009? I thought I was there but maybe it was just a dream compiled from previous trips? My wife and kids would like to know where I was for the week though... I received this in an email the other day and it made me chuckle. I imagine that many other attendees got the same message?

I know Autodesk is a big company and putting on AU isn't a simple task but I'd like to think that they'd at least know that I attended AU. I feel soooo like just a number right now. I DO understand that they are just trying to make sure that I understand I can access all that learning even though AU is over.

No worries...I got to talk to both Lynn and Shaan so I KNOW I was there!!

Autodesk University 2009 Day Four

A bit overdue but here it is...

I started out with another early morning meeting after getting far too little sleep the night before. A certain group of Australians (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) kept beverages appearing in front of me. It would be rude of me not to accept their offering(s) so I found it necessary to indulge their kindness. Thanks Shane, you aren't as mean as I've made you out to be before! It was good to see Bruce again too and I hope he had a blast motoring in Nevada after AU.

I made sure to prepare for the labs that I was assigned to as an assistant, three of them as I mentioned in my previous post. The first was a family editor focused lab presented by Joel Londenberg and Jarrod Baumann. Lots of good information for Revit MEP users as they went through the process of creating a nice air terminal family.

As many lab presenters experience there just wasn't enough time to really cover all the material (been there done that myself). I think my old boss Jim Balding once gave me the sage advice that you can cover about one-third the material you think you can. Mock-up your ideal class and then cut two-thirds...that's how much you'll actually cover. Their example of a built-in warning to indicate when the airflow is out of a specific range is a nice touch and would be a good topic for a future video post.

The second lab was Duct Duct Route Route by Michael Schinn with BIM Solutions. This lab ran out of time too but could have made it if the power point about "what we are going to do" was cut out in favor of a simpler summary. It might seem like I'm being critical, I'm not...labs are very hard to do. A typical training lab class at a firm or reseller is six to twelve, maybe a few more. When at AU it is 80-100 sharing 40-50 computers, a completely different animal. The thing that makes it really hard for students is that we tend to expect them to watch the presenter and do something at the same time.

This is why less is more in a lab. To Paul Aubin's credit his family editor lab last year was the first I've been a part of that not only covered everything but did so at a comfortable pace and seemed to keep everyone on track. Not an easy feat.

My last lab was for Jeffrey McGrew's repeat performance of his rendering class, "From Model to Marvelous". He's got a natural comfortable speaking style and his session has a nice balance of tasks and explanation. This class had fewer students than the first so it was a lot easier to assist and we had only one crash during the session (that I observed). It also ran out of time but deliberately so by choosing to leave the interior portion of the session for exploring on their own time after AU. The key to mastering this stuff is to keep using it later anyway.

After the last lab wrapped I had just enough time to hang out in the AU wrap up party for a little bit before heading off to a very nice CDV dinner at Aureole, thanks CDV!! The next morning I met with a few folks for breakfast before hopping into Jim's truck for the return trip to Southern California. The trip home was smooth sailing with none of the miserable traffic we saw heading west on our way to Vegas. Driving home from Vegas on Friday is a BIG difference from Sunday, everyone is heading TO Vegas on Friday.

As usual for me AU was gone in a flash, a blur of seeing old friends, meetings, trying to attend classes (only made half of one this year), participating in classes and late nights (too late nights). Only 11 months till AU2010...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Revit MEP - US and UK Content Extension - Subscription Only

Received word that there is new content available to subscription customers for Revit MEP 2010. David Pothier posted at Inside the System this morning.

US Content and UK Content

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hotfix Posted x 2

My prediction came true a day and then a few more days later. Two Hotfixes (what's the plural of hotfix??) have been posted now. The first deals with wall issues and the second with the missing Structural Settings access on the Ribbon panel for Structure. Click the links (Is there a Hotfix/Update?) on the sidebar at the right to visit the hotfix page for your version of Revit.

Revit Toolkit from Excitech - Coordinate Scheduling Tool

David Light's old firm Excitech has released a new tool that is free (for now) called Coordinate Scheduling Tool. It is intended to allow us to acquire X,Y,Z coordinates from certain Revit elements. It is currently limited to Revit 2010 versions and the 32Bit version of Windows XP/Vista (64 bit in development). This is an image of the Ribbon panel installed with the tool.

Here's a screen capture of User Options (snipped from their site).

Check it out!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Autodesk University 2009 - Day Three

Started out the day with a 7am meeting that wrapped up shortly after 8am. I ran into David Driver of 4D Design and we decided that we both needed some breakfast. I then wandered up to the speaker ready room to do some prep work for the labs I was scheduled to assist with (lab assistant). It was a bit hard to concentrate because Paul Aubin and I kept distracting each other with kept getting in the way!!

The first was Jeffrey McGrew's (Because We Can) From Model to Marvelous rendering class. It went well but we did see some random crashes while working with the materials dialog and several computers lost their licenses toward the end of the session, odd.

The second lab was A Quick Spin on Curtain Walls with Reid Addis, an applications specialist with Microsol Resources. We didn't see any odd crashes during this one and it was in the same room.

Three more lab assisting assignments tomorrow, a repeat for Jeffrey's class and two MEP related sessions, one called Duct Duct Route... and another about MEP content.

At 5pm AUGI had its general meeting. The board discussed AUGI's current status and the planning for the future. Looks like CAD Camps are coming back strong in 2010, hope that the economy supports them! They also turned over the latest top ten wish lists to the product managers for AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Revit Architecture and Inventor. The financial report shows that AUGI came in about the same place they did at the end of the fiscal year for 2008 based on the tax returns for that year. Not bad considering how the year started, with just 0.88 in the bank!

I shared a beverage with Chris Needham of C3 Consulting (Melbourne, Australia) and we caught up with what each other has been doing since we last saw each other at the RTC Conference held in Melbourne last June. Thanks for the beverage!! I finally got to spend some time chatting with Simon Whitbread from New Zealand during the AUGI Beer Bash.

I spent the rest of the evening on the convention show floor visiting various vendors, running into friends and hanging out at the AUGI booth. I got to take a look at the new site tools from Eagle Point for Revit which I hope to be able to play with a bit during the next couple weeks. Naturally I spent some time hanging out at the CDV Systems booth since I do so much work with them.

I wrote this from the AEC Lounge wireless zone practically alone except for a couple others chatting on the other side of the area. Must remember to take pictures...

Hotfix Pending or Posted

Word is a Hotfix will be out soon or already to address the Subscription Advantage Pack issue where the Structural Settings dialog is inaccessible unless you enable the old UI to get to it. Check the Hotfix shortcut links to the right side bar of this blog to see if it is posted already or soonish anyway.

Autodesk University 2009 - Day Two

The second day at AU started out with a trip to a class presented by Danny Polkinhorn (with WATG) about the Revit API. I only made it halfway through before getting a text summons to join an impromptu meeting. Once that wrapped up we went to the General Session where Elvis sang the legal disclaimer and gave Laura Wood (The AU Video contest winner) a peck on the cheek. I also got to meet her after the session wrapped but since I lack the gene that takes picture.

Amory Lovins discussion was inspiring and though provoking, people need to hear what he has to say more and more often. The notion of design the whole system makes sense in a "duh, no kidding" way...but why aren't we already doing these things if it is so obvious?

The first airing of my AU Virtual class went live at 1:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) and was marred by over-modulated audio (distortion). They discovered that my class and a few others suffered from this issue too late to fix mine for the first round. Nearly all the comments were focused on the audio and the goal of appearing live was very successful since most assumed that I could fix the issue by moving my microphone or talking more quietly...except I taped the class on Sunday night! *-) Apart from audio most attendees seemed pleased with the work. There were 1750+ attendees signed up for the class when it started and 1850+ after it ended. Today there are just under 2000 signed up.

The second airing of the class went live at 9 PM (Pacific Standard Time) and no audio issues!! Four comments at the end of the class and a few questions since so it went much smoother the second time around. For those of you who attended, thanks for making it successful for Autodesk to deliver this kind of learning opportunity.

I attended the special event after dinner that previewed the upcoming Avatar movie, pretty amazing 3D technology behind the movie!! The Marriott Hotel chain design story was pretty interesting too since I spend a fair bit of time in hotels and worked for a hotel/resort design firm in the past too.

I ended the evening attending Phil Read's "Order of the Drunken Leprechaun" get together at the Mix Lounge. Enjoyed getting to catch up with many people I only see once maybe twice a year.

Off to assist Jeffrey McGrew's rendering lab now...more later!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Autodesk University 2009 -Day 00

Technically this post is Day 00 and 01...

We chose to drive this year when Jim Balding suggested that we car pool this year and our Aussie friend Wesley Benn arrived in LA in time to make the ride more "international". We spent the four hour drive shooting the breeze. I dozed off for a little while, a habit when I'm a passenger unfortunately.

We arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday night around 5:30pm. We sorted out my confusing hotel situation which ended up working quite well after all. We registered and got settled in. I then ran down to visit with the AUGI board dinner meeting but couldn't stay because I needed to prep for my Virtual class taping. I wrapped up the taping just before 10pm and Wesley and I grabbed a bite to eat. What should have been an early evening became a late night gab fest, late but good fun.

Monday started out slow because of the late night but got busy as we caught up on various things and kept running into people to talk to. I made it to the blogger social hosted by Shaan Hurley and then rushed off to the AEC Mixer. It was good to run into old friends and meet some new folks too!

Wrapped up the evening with a nice late meal with a few good friends. Tomorrow AU begins in earnest with classes galore. I'll be available for Q&A at 1pm and 9pm as part of my virtual class sessions. I'm spending a lot of time as a lab assistant (5 sessions) for the rest of the week. Should be interesting.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Autodesk University Virtual - Shared Coordinates Class Handouts

If you've signed up for my virtual class and wondered where the handouts are, I've posted them today. I was holding off posting them so that I could rehearse (up to the last minute) and not discover some horrible mistake, at the last minute.

There is one handout, one power point summary (I don't know if I'll actually use the power point, hate them) and two dataset folders: Large Project and Small Project.

I dredged up this old building model, to use as part of the class, that I did with 5.0 maybe? I was curious to see how it upgraded to 2010, no errors, cool! It was back when I was more patient and I modeled in-place standing seams on the roof.

The class is: AB9114-1 Autodesk Revit Collaboration: Shared Coordinates for Projects Big and Small

It is schedule to be aired:

1:00 PM Tuesday, December 1, 2009 (Pacific Standard Time)
9:00 PM Tuesday, December 1, 2009 (Pacific Standard Time)

P.S. If you download the dataset and find a horrible mistake, please let me live in bliss for a little while and don't tell me right away. Maybe a little before the first class though? I am taping the class on Sunday night. Have to practice my mime routine and puppet show intro, maybe I'll have enough time left over to talk about shared coordinates too?

Edit: I updated the path the handout in the link at the top of the post. I have to sort out the dataset files since they are very old files now. Keep in mind that this class is based on a very old version of Revit now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shared Coordinate Features Disabled

A quick one before I head off to Autodesk University this weekend.

The coordinate features I want to use seem to be disabled!?!

Someone probably pinned the survey or project base point.

From Revit help documentation:

You cannot move a pinned project base point or survey point.

Pinning the project base point disables the Relocate Project and the Rotate Project North tools.

Pinning the survey point disables the Rotate True North, Acquire Coordinates, and Specify Coordinates tools.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Little Help on Thanksgiving

I received a message at AUGI last night from a member trying to find the help documentation for 2010 (in .chm format). I thought I'd post a more general response here too.

When you install Revit the Help documentation is supposed to be installed in this location:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program
C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program (32 bit Revit on 64 bit OS, prior to 2010 version)

I don't think they've posted either of these RAC files at the Revit sites at Autodesk.

Other Help Files (PDF) at Autodesk

Revit Architecture 2010 (English version is a 32 mb pdf)
Revit Structure 2010 (English version is a 28 mb pdf)
Revit MEP 2010 (English version is a 32 mb pdf)

Online Revit Architecture 2010 Help Doc
Online Revit Structure 2010 Help Doc
Online Revit MEP 2010 Help Doc

Where is my Command - Revit Architecture 2010

I hope this holiday finds you with much to be thankful for! If this holiday isn't "yours"...there are always good reasons to be thankful, may you have plenty of them! I can think of one starting with R... *-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Off Topic - The Axis of Reflection

Whenever I read the Status Bar information for the Mirror Tool I think of a one album only rock band from the late 70's called Axis.

I like listening to music using Pandora and today I stumbled upon what they've got about Axis and their one and only album "It's a Circus World":

Snip...Axis was a power trio made up of Danny Johnson (guitar, vocals), Jay Davis (bass), and Vinnie Appice (drums) that made only one album, It's a Circus World, in 1978. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide. (image below captured from Pandora's site)

Danny Johnson and Vinnie Appice split from their supporting role with Rick Derringer's group to form this group. As a drummer I really enjoyed Vinnie's work on this album. Every track is interesting and fun to play. In particular I liked his choices for Armageddon. The opening fill of Bandits of Rock is classic! Another is Brown Eyes. Okay I admit it, I could list them all... Cooler still, for me, is that I found that I could download the album at iTunes. I'd just about given up on hearing it again since the cassette tape I had died some years ago.

My friend Tony turned me on to Axis back when he and I were touring with the upstate New York rock band, New York Flyers in the early 80's. Tony is a passionate sound engineer. Later he went on to work with various notable country acts as well as Julio Iglesias, among others. He was/is a huge fan of Rick Derringer's and it was only natural that he'd be interested in any offshoot groups. Like me, sort of, Tony has settled down and stopped traveling by running a theater/stage facility in south Florida. He gets to do it all in one place, even mess around with lighting and he enjoys beating up the drum kit they have for touring groups that don't carry all their own equipment with them.

"Axis of Reflection" Hmmm, reminds me of Axis...which in turn causes me to "reflect" on the past.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Equipment Elevations

Revit MEP focus again - Trying to determine what the correct elevation for equipment can be awkward when each connector is at different elevations. Sometimes a VAV, (variable air volume) or AHU, (air handling unit)or RTU (roof top unit) has connectors at really convenient (meaning really inconvenient) elevations that don't seem to relate well (or at all) to the nice clean elevations, like 9'-0" or 10'-6", that you've chosen for your duct or pipe runs.

By the way, I added the words for the acronyms for my mother. I know my typical readers know what they mean but she reads this blog too sometimes and its bad enough that most everything is gibberish anyway but I have to use acronyms too?!?

What I do is sketch a short piece of duct/pipe from a connector on the equipment so that I can cheat and use the offset parameter of the duct/pipe to raise the equipment to the correct elevation that I need (Video?).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Air Terminal Doesn't See the Grid

Revit MEP focus - There is at least one air terminal family that doesn't play nice with ceiling grids. The family is called "Supply Diffuser - Square - Hosted.rfa". The culprit is that four reference planes do not have the correct IsReference parameter value. I've posted a Video to walk through fixing this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rename Corresponding Level and Views? - Huh?

Have you or someone you know answered "yes" to that question? You can admit it, it's okay, we're among friends! Revit keeps a watchful parental eye on Levels and View names that match. It doesn't let them get out of sight until there are no more matching names. When you are renaming views or levels just make sure you really read the message that appears. Perhaps a video demonstrates this a bit better than writing out further explanation?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dept. of Subtle - Architectural Tools

When you get to use all three versions of Revit it is only natural to see differences. Here's one example, how the floor, ceiling and roof tools are made available in each version. First up is the Revit Architecture ribbon Build panel. You can watch a short video if you prefer.

Notice the nice ascending order? Floor, then ceiling and at the top Roof. It's even logical, or at least to me it is. Next is the Revit MEP Architect Ribbon and the Build panel.

This time around they are jumbled a bit and not in ascending order. They could be but they aren't. Roof is also off to the side at the bottom and Column is where Roof ought to be (could be).

Last is the Revit Structure Architect and Site ribbon tab and the Architect panel. In this case we just have Roof because Floor is elsewhere, part of the structural set of features and ceiling is deemed unnecessary. I suppose this sort of inconsistency doesn't really affect many users but they could be more consistent?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Project Templates Class - Robert Manna at Autodesk University 2009

Robert recently posted that he is conducting a survey about his class subject, project templates. He asked me to help him get the word out. He wrote this on his blog:

I'm teaching a course on Project Templates this year. I'm really interested in getting feedback from many users. I've had several conversations and calls with folks from around the world about project templates in an attempt to gather as many points of view as possible. But I'm not done!!! Even if you can't make it to AU this year, take the survey now!

If you want to read about his class:
Good Autodesk® Revit® Project Templates: Keys to Efficiency

He is also moderating an UnConference for Project Templates.
What Makes a Good Autodesk® Revit® Project Template

Canon to buy OCE

I just read on Ralph Grabowski's blog WorldCAD Access that Canon is going to buy OCE for 1.1 billion (USD). Interesting development for OCE customers/users?!?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dept. of Wishes - Aligning Views on Sheets

This subject has been a recurring item at AUGI. I hear it very often during training with new users. I hear it from long time users too. I've posted about it here before.

I actually created a wishlist thread at AUGI about this subject on May 25, 2003, yes just over SIX years ago!! Okay, the thread wasn't at AUGI then, it was on Chris Zoog's server in his basement for his Revit user group forum at Zoogdesign. Since that site merged with AUGI (April/Mayish 2004) it's been part of the AUGI forum database.

If you are ready to put on your thinking cap you can check out the technique that JShaver shared in a thread at AUGI after reading my previous blog post. He describes a way to ensure that views are precisely aligned from one sheet to another. I'm serious'll have to really study it.

I decided after replying to the thread mentioned above to create a little video that describes one situation I wrote about. I remain optimistic, though after six years I'm still waiting.

By the way, watch for the interesting video "glitch" I observed on the grid prior to starting the video. When I turned on the Workplane Grid I changed the grid size and saw odd behavior, not all the grid lines would display until I changed the increment to 4 inches or larger. After doing some testing it turned out the Hardware Acceleration is affecting it. When I turn that off the grid works fine...driver? bug?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dept. of Wishes - Make the Active Preview the Default View to Open

A post at AUGI reminded me of a little feature that Revit has and something that would make it a bit nicer still. When we Save a file or use Save As to create a new file we can use the Options button to display this dialog.

When we choose a specific view Revit will only display the chosen view as our preview when we see it in the Open dialog. It does not however force that view to be displayed when the project is opened. That is the essence of the wish, to be able to tell Revit which view to open by default instead of whichever view was open when the file was closed. I created a video to explain it a bit more in detail.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Railing Over Wall Video

I posted this technique back in July 2008. I decided to make a quick video to accompany the information in the original post. I've embedded it here and in the old post.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AUGI | AEC EDGE - Article Content

There is a page available now to download content mentioned in articles that are part of the Fall 2009 issue. The first content posted is for Scott Womack's article: Revit Documentation and Detailing.

If you were hoping to get the content you can go HERE.

Architectural Fonts - A Blog Link

I read THIS post at the blog, Mirage Studio 7. It is written by a guy named Ngan and the blog is focused on architecture and Life/Humor. He provides related tutorials too.

I like the way he collected the various fonts that are available into this one post. For those of you interested in using the flair of an architectural font there may be one for you?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Dept. of Subtle - Three Parameter Tips?

I'm not sure all three are really tips.

Item One - The Tab order of the Calculated Value dialog in the Schedule Properties dialog is off. The first active field is the Formula field, the one with the cursor in it. Using the Tab key advances to the Name field and then back down the list but the Tab order of the fields is "out of order". Revit jumps over the Formula field to Cancel instead. What makes it more odd is that Revit Structure and MEP don't have this problem.

Item Two - Moving parameters UP or Down in the list of parameters in a schedule can be a bit of a pain when there are a lot of them. When you move something well down in the list toward the top, the list doesn't scroll when the parameter moves up out of view. I usually grab the big chunk of parameters above and move them down instead.

Item Three - Use the formula field to apply parameters quickly to all types in the family. This will apply them and "lock" them out from user intervention if you leave it this way, locked out in the project setting that is. However if you apply and then delete the formula value, Revit will leave the value behind in each type and now they are editable. Matt Jezyk shared this one a few years ago and I posted about it once before back in September 2005.

Here's a video to show what I'm writing about and you can listen and watch here.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Off Topic - OpEd Video Trivia

It has been interesting for me, since I started posting some videos, to see how many times they've been watched and how they shift around in the list according to the number of views. I started posting them a little over two months ago. So far the curtain wall videos are the most viewed. The louver curtain wall example has 791 views as of tonight and the curtain wall butt glazing example is at 517 views. It's catching up pretty quickly considering I posted them about a month apart.

The Dutch stair examples "lorded" over the curtain wall examples for awhile but they are settling in at third and fourth place now with 498 and 377 views. The view range videos however are advancing pretty quick, especially considering I only posted them two days ago. Their views are: Plan views (187), Ceiling Plans (155), Site/Roof plans (124). Too soon to say how the newest one for the Top Offset posted tonight will do.

I'm anxiously awaiting the first video to get 1,000 views, hmmm what should that viewer win? How would I even know who it is? Better not open that can of worms I suppose. I'm glad they seem to be finding favor!

Another bit of trivia is the visits that this site gets. When I checked earlier Google Reader reports that this blog has 737 subscribers. Google analytics tells me that for the last couple years there has been a steady stream of between 400-500 visitors Monday thru Friday, like clockwork. It topped out at 640 last April until the past two weeks when it hit a new high of 670 at the end of October.

The last two weeks have had four days each that broke 600 visits. Visits drop to 100-200 on the weekends. I guess that means that most of the readers have lives on the weekends but some still don't know how to stop Reviting on the weekend.

The top four referring sites for the last 30 days are Google (5,800), Direct (2,800), Caddigest (619) and David Light's blog (398). Since January there have been nearly 58,000 unique visitors.


Video Four - View Range - Top Offset of Primary Range

A comment on this previous post asked about the Top Offset of the Primary Range. I added a fourth video to the post to address that question. If you are in a hurry, you can click to watch it now. Here's a screen capture of the new image in the Revit help documentation for the View Range topic.

Want to read all about it there? Have you tried their new online help document yet?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

AUGI | AEC EDGE - Correction

As editor of the magazine, AUGI | AEC EDGE, I'm supposed to catch errors and keep things well organized. It seems that somewhere along the line I managed to miss the fact that Bruce Gow's article went missing!!! So poor Bruce was excited to find that his article was not anywhere to be sorry mate!!

As a consolation prize I'm going to make sure his mean boss Shane sends him to AU this year no matter what!! (yeah I know he isn't mean and he's already sending you...but it sounds much better if it seems like I can actually influence him?)

I'll make sure his article gets in the next issue and hopefully since the missing one was part one of two I'll get them both and wrap them up into one nice article for our readers. First round or two or three is on me at AU Bruce! That's Foster's you want right? *-)

Now that I've mentioned the next issue, are "YOU" interested in writing for the magazine? Let me know. Check out the Magazine information and/or my information on the side bar at the right side of this site to contact me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

AUGI | AEC EDGE Fall Edition is now available!

The second edition of AUGI | AEC EDGE is now posted.

This one features articles by:

Paul Aubin, Bob Bell, Sean Burke, Erik Egbertson, Tannar Frampton, Chris Fugitt, Ted Goulet, Bruce Gow, David Harrington, Debasish Karmakar, Karen Kensek, Jonathan Landeros, Anthony Mason, Phillip Miller, John Morgan, Michael Partenheimer, Todd Shackleford, Chad Smith, Scott Womack and alphabetically last, but not least, Jay B. Zallan

We hope you'll enjoy it!

Dept. of Hacking - Panel Report Custom Formatting

Faced with an odd situation where a field in Panel Reports will NOT display data I did some digging around today and then again tonight. I realized this evening that I could do some interesting things with the Panel Reports that I didn't really expect. First of all a file called PanelSchedule.xslt exists in the Program folder where Revit MEP is installed, which is typically located here:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit MEP 2010\Program (64 bit and 32 bit OS)
C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk Revit MEP 2010\Program (32 bit Revit installed on 64 bit OS)

If you double click the file to open it, most likely, the VSTA (Visual Studio Tools for Applications) interface that is part of Revit will open to let you edit it. I created a video that clocks in just under five minutes to show the file and what I did to change the report. Here's what the finished report looks like.

Here's what the html file looks like after I added some text to the Description parameter field that I added.

You can just listen and watch the video here now too.

I've written about Panel Reports before HERE and HERE.

Monday, November 02, 2009

How View Range Affects various Views and Elements

The blog Design ReForm posted a nice demo that shows how the view range settings are related in 3D space. I thought I'd tag on to it by creating a few that show how various view range settings affect different views. Just in case you don't have a spare 15 minutes, keep in mind that each video is between 3-5 minutes long. Jing's free version limits videos to no more than five minutes which is perfect for me because I don't want to do longer ones, I don't want to steal your attention for too long. As such I normally wouldn't put these together in one post but they are all related to each other, so I did. You don't have to watch them all now 8-).

The first video deals with plan views.

This next video is about ceiling plans and framing plans.

The last video is about site and roof plan views.

My session of Jing ran out of memory right as I was about to wrap the third video so I left it as is, lazy guy syndrome. I hope that between their video and these that view range starts to make more sense!

Added 11/05/09: Video Four of Four - View Range Top Offset of Primary Range

Friday, October 30, 2009

Doors and Scheduling To Room From Room

Revit door schedules can include a parameter for From Room and To Room. The way a door determines which is which depends on how you place the door. The door is To a room when the swing is defined into that room initially. When you place it the other way then the To value is based on the adjacent area, like a corridor.

Further, when you change the From or To Room values in a schedule Revit will honor your choice and toggle the other to the opposite value. If you just flip the door in the plan view though the schedule does not change. This is intentional.

A door may need to swing into a corridor for exiting but technically belong to the room and therefore the To value should not change. This may be the exception to the rule but that's how it works.

I created a video that demonstrates this a bit. I also mention a limitation that was mentioned in a post about this at AUGI. The limitation is how thin a room can be before the door no longer can generate a To Room value in the schedule. The magic number is 14", in my testing, any thinner and no To value.

If you want to listen and watch here instead...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Model Review - Check for Mirror Casework and Furniture

This post is dedicated to a practical example of using the new tool for Revit called Model Review. This tool is part of the Subscription Advantage Pack that became available recently. As it happens this tool was acquired by Autodesk from Avatech Solutions a few months ago for a tidy sum. I'm sorry to admit that I didn't spend a lot of time getting comfortable with it before the purchase. I thought I'd make up for ignoring it by focusing on a specific problem it can help solve. I should also mention that Beau Turner recently wrote a few nice articles about the tool on his blog "Will Render for Food".

The problem: Users are mirroring casework and furniture elements and some of those items are not supposed to be mirrored because they have very specific manufacturer codes. A left-handed version has a different code than a right-handed version so mirroring will create a right-handed version that looks like a left-handed version. Tracking this situation down isn't easy the way Revit is on its own.

Enter Model Review: (it was called BIM Review before). We can create our own review criteria that will check the model for mirrored components. This is a default condition that exists in the Model Review configuration and it is easy to use in your own Check file. Rather than spending a lot of time itemizing the process in text here the video will cover that. I've posted the example file so it can be downloaded if you are interested in reverse engineering it. Technically you can just reverse engineer the existing templates...that's what I did.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dept. of Subtle - Editing Tools Improvement - Update Feature

Harlan Brumm mentioned this as part of his video on the Subscription Advantage Pack (SPA). David Light also mentioned it and posted a link to Harlan's video to make sure it isn't missed. In an effort to "one-up" those guys with "oh, think that's a good post...well try THIS one!" I offer this video, just focused on this change. What change? The Modify panel that appears when you select elements has changed. Previously choosing one of the tools disabled the others. This update now allows you to change your mind. If you pick Mirror > Pick Mirror Axis and realize that you should have selected Draw Mirror you can without starting over!! Sometimes something obvious isn't...

Autodesk University Virtual - Four Free Premier Passes

I have four three two one complimentary Premier Passes to AU Virtual 2009. They are a $99 value if you want to attend and nobody from your company is attending in person. Autodesk is giving a complimentary pass or two to each attendee of the real deal.

My dilemma do I give away my four free passes? Do I run a video competition like the one that Laura did? Do I ask for letters stating why you should get one? Do I just give them away to the first four people who send me a six pack of...? Must mull this over. Open to suggestions...feel free to comment.

Update 11/02/09
All handed out! Guess it worked itself out. I hope that the people that got them will enjoy AU Virtual! I also hope they get to go to AU next time!

Dept. of Bugs - RAC - Structural Settings Missing

It appears that the new Subscription Advantage Pack has hidden the Structural Settings dialog. Prior to the update it was located on the Structure Panel on the Home ribbon tab. The update adds a new Ribbon tab called Structure, but no access to Structural Settings via a sneaky arrow at the base of one of the panels as might be expected.

There is no Structural Settings listed under Settings on the Manage Ribbon tab either. As a comparison, in Revit Structure there is a large button dedicated to this.

I think the Revit team is going to send someone out in a VW bus tomorrow to fix this personally. It's going to be called the Great VW Bus Structural Settings Fix Tour of 2009 or GVWBSSFT09 for short.