Wednesday 26 September 2012

Adaptive Components

I've been playing with Adaptive Components lately (and having fun with them) exploring the possibilities and what they can do.

I can see up using adaptive components for a number of building elements from undulating ceilings to curtain wall panels...

Zach Cron from Builtz blogspot yesterday wrote an excellent blog on Adaptive components, well worth checking out and if you haven't looked at adaptive components yet check them out, you'll be surprised at what you can do with them...

I write more on how to use adaptive components in an upcoming blog.....stay tune!

It's all about adapting!


Monday 24 September 2012

Augmented Reality using Autodesk Showcase

I have been recently trying out the Augmented Reality (AR) plug in for Autodesk’s Showcase 2013 software.

I first saw this in 2010 at Autodesk University at the Autodesk Lab’s booth. I was quite amazed with it then and thought the possibilities are endless.

Basically what you can do is “Augment” reality by placing a digital model in the real world using a digital video camera or a Webcam.

Currently the AR plug in is still in development and only available as a Beta download from Autodesk Lab’s web site. I tried it out on the sample files that came with Showcase, namely a house and a car (I prefer the car, it looks cooler!). I also looked at how to bring in my own Revit Models,  if you own the Design Suite Ultimate I believe there is a tool available to directly export your model to Showcase…. For those of you who only own Revit all you have to do is export your model to a FBX (3Ds Max) format, and download the free trial of Showcase, that’s what I did.

Imported the model into Showcase, you then have to create a group in showcase so the “model” stays together, make the background “Infinite”, this allows for your webcam to pick up your background. Under the AR plug in you can then setup the “Marker” which your model will be placed upon, a marker can be any type of image. I used QR code and also a simple “X” I printed out as well, they both work well.

Enable the AR Mode and point your camera to your printed copy of the “Marker”. I had to use an external webcam for this as I don’t think the webcam on my laptop was good enough quality but I did still get it to work. I also found the external web cam easier to move around and point to the marker.

What you should be able to see is your model placed on your marker, you can pick up the marker and move it around, move the camera towards or away from the marker, introduce other markers and have multiple models displayed.

I can see us using this for conceptual site development where we may have a range of building concepts and look at alternate site placement in real time. It is also possible to  layout multiple buildings such as a College or University campus, we can then look at options in real time and see how each 3D model of the buildings interact with each other…Awesome!

Check out my Vimeo video, that quality of the video is not great but you get the idea!:

Using technology to our Advantage!


Tuesday 18 September 2012

Revit Tips and Tricks - Part 3 of 3

This is the third and final in a series of Tips and Tricks for Revit Architecture 2012 - 2013

11.       Locking a 3D View

When creating 3D views to use on your sheets you can “Lock” the view to prevent you from inadvertently orbiting or rotating within the view.
On the View control Bar select the “Locked 3D View” icon. Revit will ask you to give this view a unique name and to save the orientation. After this has been done you can now add text and even tag objects in your locked view.

If you unlock the view the tags will disappear (until you relock and Restore Orientation) but your text will remain and try it’s best to remain readable according to the orientation of the view.


12.       Dimension Center Symbol

When Dimensioning to Center of Walls, Openings or Columns you can specify the Dimension style to add a Center Line Symbol and even change the leader line style.

For Example, here I changed the leader line to Centerline and added a Center Line symbol.

Duplicate the dimension style and modify the settings under the properties of the new style.


13.       EQ. Dimension Enhancement Properties (2013 Only)

You can customize how dimension segment values display in an equality dimension.
           On the Properties of the EQ’d dimension you can now select:

  • Value - displays the dimension value for the segment.
  • Equality text - displays the Equality Text Label specified in the type properties. The default value is EQ.
  • Equality Formula - displays the Equality Formula specified in the type properties.

14.       EQ. Dimension Enhancement Dimension Edit Type (2013 Only)

When editing the type of a Dimension you now have the option to control the Equity function.

You now have the option to control:

·         The Equity Text. You can type what you would like displayed here.

·         Create a formula to show the value of the segments based on Dimension Parameters.
·         Edit the display of the Witness lines.



15.       Object Transparency (2013 Only)

Sometimes to clearly show objects in your model you need to be able to make some things transparent. This works well if your showing a office layout or Stairs in a 3D view, you can make the walls and doors transparent to clearly show the design behind these objects.

Under the “Override Graphics in View” you now have available a Transparency option where you can set the transparency of an object (or group of objects).

Friday 14 September 2012

Keytips -keys tips to shortcuts

I'm re-posting this earlier post of mine because I have recently re-discovered this nice little feature which helps you remember the short cut commands.

I stumbled across this the other day when I inadvertently hit the Alt key while keying in a Revit command. stoopid keys aren't always where they should be... :-)

Keytips provide a way to access the application menu, the Quick Access toolbar, and the ribbon using the keyboard. To display keytips, press the Alt key.

You can use keytips to navigate through the ribbon. Type the keytip for a ribbon tab to bring that tab into focus and to display the keytips for its buttons and controls. If a ribbon tab has an expanded panel containing additional tools, type its keytip to display the panel and see keytips for those tools.

When you select a keytip, more keytips will be displayed for that tool, for example if I select "H" for the home tab in 2012 it will then show me the shortcuts for the tools on the home tab...


Thursday 13 September 2012

Revit Tips and Tricks - Part 2 of 3

This is the second in a series of Tips and Tricks for Revit Architecture 2012 - 2013

6.       Placing the Sun Relative to View

If you want your shadows in your 3D view to remain constant and not move every time you orbit your model uncheck the Relative to View check box under the Sun Settings dialog box.


7.       Orient to View, View Cube  

Under the options of your View Cube in a 3D view (Right click on the view cube or select the small triangular drop down on the bottom right corner of the View Cube).

Here you can orient your 3D view to as per your Floor plan, Elevation, Section and other 3D views. This is handy if you like to work in a 3D view, you can orient to a section view or a floor plan view to work in your model. It will automatically create a section box for you… you can then save the view by renaming it.


8.       Replicate View

To open a second window for the current view, click View tab Windows panel (Replicate). This tool is useful if you want to pan and zoom on certain areas of the design, while also viewing the entire design in another window. (Use the Tile tool to see both views at the same time.) Any changes that you make to the project in the new window also display in other windows of the project. You can zoom in on one view and orbit around, the other view will orbit to match but not zoom in to match your other view.
This tool does not create an additional view.


9.       Shortcut to Editing Families (2013 Only)

In RAC 2013 if you double click on a family it will automatically open up the family in the Family Editor.


10.       Zoom Fit (Extense)

If you double click your wheel mouse in a view it will activate the Zoom Fit command.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Revit Tips and Tricks - Part 1 of 3

This is the first of a series of Tips and Tricks for Revit Architecture 2012 - 2013

1.       Project Browser Search (2013 Only)

If you Right Click on a Project Browser view you now have the option to type in a key word which will then be highlighted in the project browser hierarchy.


2.       Project Browser Right Click Shortcut

If you right click on Legends, Schedules and Sheets you have the option to Create “New”.


3.       Saving Families in a Project

You can save all of your families in a project into a specific folder by going to the Save As function under the Application icon and selecting Library – Family. This will then ask you where you want the families saved and save a copy of all the families in your project into the specific folder.

Here you can also save Views into another Revit project, this does not save the model into another project, just selected views as 2D views.

4.       Plan Region

Use the Plan Region Tool to show windows that are higher than your view’s cut plane.

You can edit the View Range of a Plan Region independently from the View you are working in.

5.       Ambient Shadows

This style creates shadows with subtle gradients which gives your model more realistic shading and depth.


Friday 7 September 2012

Mindfulness in Revit

My son Jacob found this and made it his background on his computer...
He gave me a copy of the image so I too can use it as my desktop back ground....

Basically it's things we need to keep in mind, aka - mindfulness -

I should add "Revit" too this list though... ;-)

Being a Revit Jedi...

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Panoramic Renderings

The Revit Kid recently posted a solution to be able to extract the panoramic views you can create in Autodesk 360. 

But be careful...I ran a virus scan on the download and it picked up a trojan...!
Being able to create panoramic renderings is great using Autodesk's cloud rendering but... you cant extract them!

Programs similar to KubeGL and Photosynth allows you to open the saved jpeg file and view it as you would normally using Autodesk 360...

Sorry Jeffrey but my preference is 

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Ambient Shadows

Here is a great tip on improving your presentations by using Shadows, in particular Ambient Shadows.

To turn on Ambient Shadows go to your Graphic Display Options dialog box (down where you select Hidden line, Shaded etc…)

Check the Show Ambient Shadows check box.

Here are is a before and after shot showing the difference that Ambient Shadows will make to your view with shadows.

Notice how Ambient Shadows makes your view “softer” and more appealing to the eye.

Without Ambient Shadows

With Ambient Shadows

Saturday 1 September 2012

Not BIM - Lance Armstrong....

So this is totally irrelevant to BIM and even the construction industry!!!

And I have been resisting the urge (all be it unsuccessfully) to comment on the Lance Armstrong media storm.

Some of you may have heard of Lance, if not here's a brief summary.... he's one of the worlds greatest cyclists... google him if you need to know more.

What I want to talk about is the fact that after many years of speculation and "hounding" (not my words...) by the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) and accusations and investigation, Lance has finally had enough and said that he will no longer fight the charges against him....He at no point admitted that he "doped" just that he is tired of fighting the accusations and has had enough.

No whether he in fact has taken illegal enhancing drugs is really no concern of mine, what I have an issue with that he has successfully passed hundreds of "doping" tests submitted to him by the race event authorities and the USADA. He has not failed one of their own tests, yet they keep on pestering this poor bloke even after he retires from professional competitions.

Now the ramification for "not fighting the allegations" are that he is stripped of all his title including the seven Tour DeFrance titles and he is banned from competitive cycling for life and possibly other competitive sports such as triathlons. All this and they haven't proven a thing!

Now I'm not saying that he didn't take performance enhancing drugs, all I know is that cycling is a very competitive sport and I'm sure at that level of competitive sport athletes not only push themselves to the limit, they also push the boundaries of the sport to the limit (and sometimes beyond). Still.. Lance never failed a test... is that because he never took enhancing drugs?  Who knows! If they couldn't test for it and he passed the level of testing that was in place at the time then in my opinion it's a fair level playing field. He passed given the rules that apply at the time.

If in the future the testing is more stringent and advanced than it is now great! 
So if in the future they find that caffeine is a stimulant and they decide to label it a banned substance a lot of cyclists will end up being banned from the sport and stripped of their titles.!

We will have to wait and see how all this unfolds, either way there in no doubt that Lance Armstrong has achieved astounding results in his chosen sport as well as for cancer which he supports through his "Livestrong" foundation. He has be a large part of the renewed interest in cycling for over 10 years and I believe no body can take away the sense of achievement that I'm sure he has for what he has accomplished.

Either way.... as the great Freddie Mercury once said "Get on your bike and Ride!"...

Oh... does anyone have a Revit Family of a Time Trials Bike?
Preferably a Trek. ;-)