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