Monday, June 30, 2014

Easy Keynoter

Phillip Miller, the brains behind the Family Browser and Kiwi Custom Solutions has a new offering called "Easy Keynoter". Here's what his new site page for the product has to say:

Easy Keynoter for Autodesk Revit 2015 is not just another glorified keynote text file editor. Easy Keynoter can do that plus so much more. The main features of Easy Keynoter are:
  • Fully integrated into the Revit UI
  • All Keynote data stored within a Database. No reliance on Revit reading txt files or the need to have intermediary xml files. This means that there are no issues of multiple users editing the keynotes at the same time as with other systems.
  • Add Edit and remove keynote changes are reflected immediately in the Revit project. No need to manual Load/Reload operation from within the Revit UI
  • Drag and Drop Keynotes from the Palette directly onto Revit Elements to keynote those elements.
  • Super fast search function. Easy keynoter will display all search compliant keynotes in seconds. We have tested this on a keynote file with over 20,000 keynotes and the results displayed within 1 second.
  • Easily Import/Export your existing old Keynote.txt files into and out of the Database.
  • User management. Create user groups and assign who is allowed to add/edit/remove keynotes from the database.
  • One Revit power user that has seen this product commented. “Mate, looks absolutly awesome, bring it on.”

Looking forward to checking it out!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CCTV Enhancement in Fuzor

I wrote about the Kalloc Studios product called Fuzor after seeing it at Autodesk University. I sat down with them at RTC in Melbourne and was really impressed with how much they've done since then (as in, "Oh! Did we tell you we've incorporated Clash Detection too?"). We chatted about a variety of things, one of which was security cameras.

I've worked with a few clients for whom security camera documentation is a big deal. I received an email this afternoon letting me know that they've got a cool addition they are eager to show me (and everyone) at RTC in Schaumburg next week, security camera features. Keep in mind that we sat down together less than two weeks ago and none of the below existed.

They've created three types of cameras so far: Small, Large and Dome.

You can switch between these types at will to achieve the look you want. They also have the option to choose black and white or color. Here's a sample screen shot. They've also taken notice of some important camera characteristics.

They've made it possible to save your current configurations as well as load previously saved configurations from the main Fuzor user interface. This is a sample dialog for selecting configurations.

That's a lot of ground to cover in two weeks!! If you think your firm could benefit from this sort of viewing and visualization enhancement then Fuzor's just presented another strong practical reason to check them out, ...and this is just a first pass, they'll be looking for feedback to make this a killer feature.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Revit INI Tweak and Properties Palette Apply Behavior

Courtesy of Aaron Maller the other day...

Aaron said, in a conversation about the Apply behavior of the Properties Palette:

You guys know you can edit that with a setting in the INI file, right?

He offered this explanation:

Within the [UserInterface] section of the Revit.ini (see image), add the line:


When you move your mouse out of the Properties Palette Revit will no longer commit changes you make. They (the Factory) quietly changed the way this INI key worked, between versions 2013 and 2014. In 2013, if you did this you HAD to use the Apply button to commit your change(s). In 2014 moving your mouse out of the Properties Palette will NOT commit your change(s). When you CLICK in the viewport, or elsewhere, Revit then commits the changes. The same is true in 2015 too.

That's SUBTLE and NICE! Thanks for the tip Aaron!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Lock Down a Family

Projects that use Worksets have four kinds of worksets: User-Created, Project Standards, Families and Views.

User-Created worksets are the bookshelves we create to organize building elements logically (read How Many Worksets...). The other three are always there but ordinarily we can pretend they don't exist. Each family that is loaded into a project is assigned its own Family Workset. It happens quietly behind the scenes. We don't have to do anything at all.

Ordinarily we don't wittingly or intentionally interact with a Family Workset at all. For example, we can place hundreds of doors and not affect any doors's Family Workset. However, if we assign a value to a door's Type Comments parameter we'll find we are the Borrower of the door's Family Workset. Altering Type parameters affects the Borrower status of a family's workset.

Occasionally we find it desirable to lock-down some families. Users might get unruly and make changes we've agreed not to make without approval or someone can accidentally reload a family from the wrong library. I'm positive we can come up dozens of other examples.

We can deliberately become the Owner of any families we'd like to prevent users from altering significantly. Select the family workset and click the Editable button. Our username will appear in the Owner column. It's for this reason that most people create an alter ego like "Family Manager", "Model Manager", "Model Admin", or "Bubba"... you decide which is best. This alter ego only opens a local file when they need to deal with updating families or whatever other task they are reserving for certain roles.

This will prevent users from easily reloading and changing type parameters. They can still alter instance parameters. They can also move, swap the family for another with the Type Selector or even delete the family. There are still plenty of things that can go wrong. We've just made it a little bit harder to do a couple specific things wrong.

Be careful with Editing Requests, making them or granting them, when you lock-down worksets. Users can become the borrower unexpectedly, as THIS POST describes.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Sheet View in a Titleblock Family

Brian wrote to mention a quirky subtle situation that he thought I'd be inclined to write about.

Brian wrote:
Open a Titleblock family and then double click on the schedule in the project browser to open it in a separate view. With the schedule as the current view, close all the other active views. Notice that the view with the titlebock itself closes and now there’s no way to open it again, since it’s not listed in the Project Browser.

The subtle bit is that the view is still there in the project browser, it's just hiding under Sheets instead of Views where we'd expect to find it. It's that even more subtle dash listed beneath Sheets.

Yep, it's quirky enough for me.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Revit MEP - Copy to Clipboard and Paste Aligned

Face-Based families don't seem to like when we use Copy to Clipboard and Paste Aligned. Specifically they may go where we want but they don't report the correct elevation value. For example these two Air Terminals are reporting 18'-0" after I used Copy to Clipboard and then Paste Aligned to Selected Levels, choosing Level 2.

They ought to report 8'-0" since that's their actual elevation above the floor, their host ceiling's elevation. You can see they are reporting an elevation that is equal to the offset from Level 1, the host level of their original ceiling. Using the Edit Work Plane tool is little help unfortunately. I tried it but Revit doesn't change their elevation value, I assume because they are already hosted by the ceiling I picked. That made me think of trying to host them to something else temporarily. Then I used Edit Work Plane again to host them on the original ceiling, no joy.

I resorted to using the Pin Trick. I pinned them and then used the Pick New tool. When I picked the ceiling as the new host the terminals stay put, because they are pinned, and Revit now reports the correct elevation again.

Quirky is alive in Revit!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

RTC and my Playlist

I don't recall whose session, or which event, it was that I first heard some music played while we all gathered in the room. I just remember thinking, I LIKE that! I've played music ever since then, before and after my sessions, if it was possible.

I just returned home from speaking at RTC in Melbourne. It was great, even if Melbourne was a bit damp! In keeping with other events, at least one person always asks me about the music I'm playing. I've chosen to use Joe Satriani's music as a prelude for the last couple years. His music is melodic, energetic, and mostly instrumental. I used his new album Unstoppable Momentum for my What's New... session. It features Vinny Colaiuta, one of my favorite drummers, as well as a bunch of other excellent musicians.

I used a shorter playlist for my other session "Grumble, Grumble, Snort". I knew I only had 15 minutes between the end of the previous session and the beginning of mine so I chose Jeff Beck's "Hammerhead" (a tribute to musician Jan Hammer and featuring Australia's own Tal Wilkenfeld on bass), Joe's "Jumpin' In" and "Can't Go Back" and finished with The Tubes "Mr. Hate". I figured we'd start off the session after hearing a "grumpy" sort of tune, to set the mood.

I don't know about you but music is always "on" in my head.

Use Spotify? Here's a LINK to the short Playlist