Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Autodesk Exchange now with Revit Apps!

Go to http://apps.exchange.autodesk.com/ and click Autodesk Revit on the drop-down list.  A number of free add-ins are already available.

Autodesk Exchange has been active for AutoCAD for a while now, but it looks like this will become a somewhat 'official' delivery method for add-ins in the future (think Autodesk Seek for add-ins...)

Direct link:

Autodesk Exchange for Revit

Autodesk ceases Windows Vista support for new products

Beginning January 1, 2012, Autodesk will have formally ceased support of the Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System for all new (and upgraded versions) of its products and services released in 2012.
Currently shipping versions and previous versions of our software (delivered prior to January 1, 2012) will continue to be supported on this operating system.

Autodesk - Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Vista Compatibility - Microsoft Windows Vista Support FAQ

Pretty funny that XP is still supported... that OS has some legs!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Open Source Dynamo plug-in for Vasari meets Autodesk Labs

Just in case you missed this - Autodesk has picked up the previous work of Mr Keough on Dynamo and provided a Labs plugin for Vasari!

Dynamo for Vasari
Build parametric functionality on top of Vasari with a graphical user interface. Autodesk has extended the open source effort of Ian Keough by adding some additional nodes and packaging it in an installer for Vasari to make it easier to get up and running. The download also includes some sample workflows.
// Download
// Wiki help

Two New Free Addins available for Project Vasari - It is Alive in the Lab

More from Wiki help below:
Autodesk has extended the open source effort by adding some additional nodes and packaged it in an installer for Vasari to make it easier to get up and running. We have also provided some sample workflows which you can find below...


  1. Download the zip file from the Labs site.
  2. Run Vasari_2-1_WIP_Dynamo_Add-In.exe
  3. Keep the option to also install Vasari_2-1_WIP_Solar_Radiation_Add-In.exe
  4. Launch Project Vasari

Getting Started

  1. Launch Dynamo.
    Click Add-Ins tab>Visual Programming panel>Dynamo.
  2. Follow the sample workflows below for instructions on use.

Revit Hardware

Alexander Vysotsky makes the following recommendation:
CPU - i7 second-generation
Memory - 8 or 16 GB of DDR3
Video - NVidia Quadro, more accessible - GeForce (Budget)
Hard Disk Drive - solid-state, more available - WD Raptor
Screen - 1 or 2 display with a resolution FullHD (1920 x 1080), 22 inches

Google Translate
Заметки о Revit и том, что с ним связано: Конфигурация компьютера для работы в Revit

For further information, check out my previous posts:
Xeon vs Custom Built

The CPU to beat (December 2011)

Hardware priorities for Revit

Computer configurator for Revit

Revit benchmark

Forum links (2009)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Google Earth 6.2 new rendering method is smoother - better background images for Revit?

Google Earth 6.2 features a new way of rendering all those mosaic pics of satellite and aerial photographs, smoothing out the borders between them so the globe looks even more like our beautiful blue planet.
That smooth beauty is not just visible from a distance, either — as you zoom in, the seamless look continues, all the way down to the closest views.
If you haven’t used Google Earth in a while, download Google Earth 6.2 and look at how much better it’s become.

Google Earth 6.2 Is a Massive Improvement, Shows Smooth Blue Planet [PICS]

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Find and view selected objects in 3D camera views using the Viewcube

To lock to the current selection
  • Right-click the ViewCube and click Lock to Selection. If Lock to Selection is checked when a view orientation change occurs, the ViewCube uses the selected objects to calculate the center of the view and zooms to the extents of the selected objects. When the option is unchecked, the ViewCube uses the selected objects to calculate the center of the view and zooms to the extents of the model.

To examine an individual object with the ViewCube
  1. In the model, select one or more objects to define the center point of the view.
  2. Click one of the preset locations on the ViewCube, or click and drag the ViewCube to reorient the view of the model. The ViewCube reorients the view of the model based on the center point of the selected objects.

Real-time visualization with Lumion

I have previously posted about the future of real-time visualization tools.  Lumion appears to be developing a bit of a following.  Have you used it?  How did you implement it?

If you haven't seen what it does before, there is a set of videos at this link:
Revit Landscape - Urban Design: Lumion 3D

Promo video:

If you want to see a project go from Revit to Lumion (also this thread):

A free version for non-commercial use is available from this page.  The free version will apparently be updated to version 2 in January 2012 (only a few days of that month to go...)

The company line:
Lumion® is a real-time 3D visualization tool for architects, urban planners and designers.
It’s perfectly suited for creating videos, still renderings and live demonstrations with a quick turnaround.
Lumion offers excellent graphics in combination with a fast and efficient workflow, saving you time, effort and money.
It is in fact so easy to create awesome still renderings and videos with Lumion® that it almost feels like cheating.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scripts and plug-in for Grasshopper from The Proving Ground

Nathan Miller of The Proving Ground says:

"As a key component of this, I have added a lot of content to my program lab. The page includes a growing collection of scripts. My focus right now is on documenting code for RhinoCommon and Grasshopper that I think may be useful in scripting workshops. Processing and Revit code is also sprinkled throughout.

The Proving Ground by Nathan Miller: The Proving Ground Wiki and Program Lab

ANZRS version 3 just released - download links

For more detail on the changes since Version 2, please refer to the ANZRS v3 Change Log. Download

Download ANZRS version 3.

Read more / via
ANZRS version 3 now released! | Australian & New Zealand Revit Standards

Friday, January 20, 2012

Overclock your video card - but stop if you smell something burning

In the past, overclocking your graphics was risky, difficult, and yet at the same time it could be very beneficial.  These days, it is easier to do, but video cards are often cheaper and some people may ask 'is overclocking really worth it?'

In any case, if you are interested in giving it a go, the new overclocking utility of choice is MSI Afterburner.

Obviously, you use this utility at your own risk...

MSI Afterburner

Platform: Windows
Price: Free
Download Page

  • Change your core clock, shader clock, memory clock and fan speed using simple sliders
  • Works on nearly any video card, not just MSI-manufactured cards
  • Turn on voltage tuning for super high overclocks
  • Built-in access to MSI’s Kombustor benchmarking tool
  • Monitor your clocks, voltage, fan speeds, frame rate and more from the app’s drawer or from an on screen display during games
  • Save your settings to five different profiles for quick loading
  • Take screenshots and capture videos from your games with hotkeys
  • Fine tune the automatic fan control so you stay at the temperatures you want
  • Multiple different skins for changing the interface
  • Start with Windows or apply settings at boot, so your card is always overclocked
App Directory: The Best Video Card Overclocking App For Windows | Lifehacker Australia

Make Windows Explorer Left Sidebar Expand As You Navigate Through Folders

In Windows 7, by default, Explorer’s sidebar stays the same size unless you click within it. That is, if you use the right pane to navigate through folders, as most of us do, the left sidebar doesn’t change. With a simple tweak, though, you can have the left sidebar focus on your current folder in the tree as you click around the right pane. To enable this feature:
  • Open up Explorer and go to Organize > Folder and Search Options.
  • On the General tab, look under “Navigation Pane” and check “Automatically expand to current folder”.
Make Windows Explorer’s Sidebar Expand As You Navigate Through Folders | Lifehacker Australia

The Revit Community

It can be really had to keep up with all of the Twitter and blog data that is generated every day on the topic of Revit.  However, if you have the time to skim through the main Revit blogs and tweets, you will likely find something that will increase your productivity.

In the interest of sharing, here are a few links that may help you get started -

My blog reading list:
Google Reader link here or site link here

Another blog list:
Revit OpEd: Blog Listing - Revit Focus

Revit chat (IRC site open to guests):

Revit content:
Crowd sourced content list

Architecture magazines - full issues for download

Old school:  Arts and Architecture

Dwell magazine back issues

Also old school:
New Zealand Design Review

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Press and Drag = 0

A few years ago, Phil launched his anti Ribbon campaign with a T-shirt (anyone remember Use2009UI=1)?

In response to this post and various recent tweets, I thought some of you might appreciate an anti Press and Drag shirt.

Click here to buy a Press and Drag shirt


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Autodesk Student Version Download Center

Here is a link:
Download Center

How to fix broken Russian Type Catalogs

There have been a few posts recently about how to fix Type Catalog errors.  If you use Russian Revit (particularly Web Update 2), the following fix will be useful (the key part is changing the file encoding to Unicode):

We find the folder for Russia, such as doors, inside we see two types of files *. RFA and *. TXT First, the actual file of the family, the second directory sizes. Here is a directory and have a problem! Open the text file the appropriate "problem" families, with - Notepad:
Without changing anything, just save the file as ... and change only the encoding to Unicode.
Resave the file over an existing one.
Before opening the file, do not forget to remove the check mark in the properties file read-only

via Translated version of

Borissofff: Cервис-пак для Revit 2012 (WU 2) и ошибка кодировки

Some Photoshop Tips for enhancing Architectural Photographs

I'm sure many of you are very experienced Photoshop users, so I won't bore you with too much detail.  There are just two things I wanted to mention:
  1. If you have a photo that was taken in less-than-perfect light, try the Image - Adjustments - Shadow/Highlight tool.  Some experimentation with this adjustment can yield very good results.
  2. One principle of Architectural Photography is that of Straight Verticals.  If you have an image that has warped verticals due to perspective, you can use the Filter - Distort - Lens Correction tool in Photoshop.
Here is an example:

Original Photograph

Adjusted Shadow / Highlight and Lens Correction

For more photography and composition principles, check out AB4061 Is That a Photograph? Architectural Photography for 3D Rendering

Monday, January 16, 2012

Create a multiboot USB pen drive inside Windows with YUMI

How to Create a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive

  1. Run* YUMI- following the onscreen instructions
  2. Run the tool again to Add More ISOs/Distributions to your Drive
  3. Restart your PC setting it to boot from the USB device
  4. Select a distribution to Boot from the Menu and enjoy!

YUMI - Multiboot USB Creator (Windows) | USB Pen Drive Linux

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Revit Forum - in German

Here is a link:

Translated to English

If you want to quickly search the major Revit forums, feel free to use my custom search tool.

Revit Accuracy and Precision

Do you ever struggle with lines jumping around at extreme zoom levels, or weird numbers appearing when you are using many decimal points in your dimensions (like 1000.0000034)?  This may be why:

Revit uses double precision numbers for all calculations (as do all CAD systems), and they are only good to around 14 or 15 digits.

(the above post was by irwin, Revit Founder)


Other programs allow more decimal digits but they do try to fake (unsuccessfully) more precision than they can really provide.

Clean up your DWGs before Linking them

Great list of tips on cleaning up DWG files, including how to PURGE REGAPPS.  Read more at:
The CAD Setter Out

Interestingly, one of the most important BIMandments, according to Twitter, is to never import a DWG file.

This post gives a kind of list of best to worst practice:
What Revit Wants: DWG Import and Link Methods

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TinyTask - ultra lightweight macro recording tool

This little utility is VERY basic.  It can basically can record mouse movement and clicks, and keyboard input.  You can record a task, save it to a file, open an existing recording, and play.  There are some basic options to do with 'Play Speed' and number of repeats.

Download link

It can even save your recorded macro as an EXE file - however:
There are pros and cons in saving the macro in .rec file or compiling it to an .exe file. Once compiled into an EXE file, you can run the macro without TinyTask. However, the play speed and repeat count/continuous playback option are hardcoded during compilation and can no longer be changed. If you save it into a .rec file, it requires TinyTask to run but you can set the play speed and repeat count/continuous playback.

For more detailed information, check out this post:
TinyTask: Small and Lightweight Automation Software | Raymond.CC Blog

Image via Raymond.CC Blog

A feel good Twitter story

Do you ever have trouble installing Revit?

David Jnr Adjei

2012 does not want to install on my PC. It never completes, Help?
Luke Johnson

Use Process Explorer and kill any msiexec that keeps thrashing the CPU high .. after this installation should continue
David Jnr Adjei

Luke that worked perfectly, finally can get some work done. Thanks for your help
Luke Johnson
Glad I could help! Have fun with it.

How to easily make an RSS feed from a Twitter search

Simply replace the following bolded text with whatever you desire:

Hashtag search:

User mention search:

Keyword search:

These actual links can be used in most RSS readers.

Read more and via:
Creating a Twitter Search, Hashtag, User, Favorites or List RSS Feed � Learning LibTech

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BIMandments on Twitter

An interesting discussion is starting on Twitter in relation to key principles or rules when using BIM and particularly Revit. Check it out:

This word is a mashup of 'commandments' and BIM (obviously).  Feel free to add your thoughts by adding #BIMandments to your tweets.

Twitter / Search - BIMandments

VEO™ Preview Videos from M-SIX !

Thanks for your interest in M-SIX.
Here's a 3 minute preview of the first wave of apps built on the VEO™ Platform.
Connection Speed:Video Size:Resolution:
Very Slow (500 Kbps)Tiny478 x 268
Small640 x 360
Medium960 x 540 <-- Best choice for most
Very Fast (30 Mbps)Large - HD1280 x 720
HTML 5 (iPhone / iPad)
iPhone478 x 268
iPhone / iPad640 x 360
iPad960 x 540
If you haven't already, please follow M-SIX on LinkedIn for updates and announcements.

via http://www.m-six.com/Video/li/VEO-Preview.html

Hatch Hacks

Do you love or hate Revit Fill Patterns?  Here is a collection of some tips and tricks related to Fill Patterns, or 'hatching' in AutocadSpeak.

On your system, open up your Revit installation directory, and the Data subdirectory.  There should be two PAT files here:
revit.pat (This file contains the standard set of custom fill patterns distributed with Autodesk Revit.)
revit metric.pat

If you want to load some of these patterns into your project, use the normal procedure (Fill Patterns - New - Custom -Import).  Copy the location of the PAT files from your navigation bar in Windows 7 into the dialog and hit Enter.  Click on one of the files and you can select one of the patterns to load.

General Hatch tips
(refer to "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2012\Data\revit.pat")
  • Once a pattern is imported, it is stored in the project, independent of the original file.
  • Drafting patterns are defined in paper units. If you import the pattern at scale 1 and print at 100% zoom, the pattern's dimensions on paper will be exactly as specified in the file, regardless of view scale.

Location of Default Revit fill patterns
Default Revit fill patterns are stored in the revit.pat and revit metric.pat files in the Revit program group Data directory. The revit metric.pat file contains various metric masonry and iso patterns. 
via Creating a Custom Fill Pattern - WikiHelp

Differences between AutoCAD and Revit .PAT files
(refer to "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2012\Data\revit.pat")

  • AutoCAD has an 80-character line size limit, Revit's is 4096.
  • AutoCAD allows arbitrary sequences of dashes, spaces and dots, Revit coerces them into dash-space format by inserting zero spaces and dashes.
  • AutoCAD has a notion of dots, Revit expands them (including the zero dashes it inserted) into short dashes.
  • AutoCAD has a maximum of 6 components to a line pattern, Revit has no limit.
  • AutoCAD does not allow spaces in a pattern name, Revit does.
  • AutoCAD allows only one pattern per a custom file, with pattern name matching file name, and with the file residing in a known location. Revit has none of these restrictions.
  • AutoCAD and Revit utilize different logic to decide whether a pattern is acceptable.

I previously reposted a method on how to bring AutoCAD hatches into Revit with correct scaling.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Balusters subcategory missing when trying to add a Parameter to it ??

Revitez has picked up that the Balusters subcategory is missing from the Parameter Properties dialog box in the current version of Revit 2012:

If you attempt to make a View Filter, however, the Balusters subcategory IS present!

See Google Translate of original post:

How to request physical media of Autodesk software

How to get your Autodesk software on a CD, DVD or USB drive

You are a Subscription Customer who is having trouble with your download and would like to obtain a physical copy of your Autodesk software.

As a Subscription Customer, you can login to Subscription Center to request the physical media (e.g., CD, DVD, or USB—depending on the product) associated with the software licenses you have purchased on Subscription.

To request physical media of your Autodesk software, follow the steps below.


Continue reading at:
Autodesk - Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional Services & Support - How to get your Autodesk software on a CD, DVD or USB drive

If you want to format the USB media and you are having trouble, have a look at:
Repurposing the Autodesk USB Media
(this is my most commented on post)

Dynamo files updated

I have previously posted about installing Dynamo on Revit, finding Dynamo on github and using Microsoft Kinect with Dynamo (multiple videos).

The Dynamo files were updated 4 days ago. Check it out at:
Downloads for ikeough's dynamo - GitHub

Old School Simpler Railings without Baluster Placement dialog box

Did you know that there is a different style of Railing description?  This style does NOT have a 'Baluster Placement' dialog box.  The only Baluster settings in this form of Railing are essentially to select a Baluster family and set a separation (see image).

If you want to use this simpler type of railing definition, you can still download a sample file from Autodesk that includes this older method.

Link to download the file here.

Lightweight version here

Sample file index page:
Revit Instruction & Help Samples\Revit Samples\Metric

This issue is similar to using legacy mass forms in newer versions of Revit.

Python for Energy Modeling

I have previously posted about Python and Revit (including revitpythonshell ) here.

There are some very detailed posts coming from openRevit about using Python in Energy Modeling.  Check them out:

Python for Energy Modelers – Part 1 | openRevit
This even shows you how to install it...

Python for Energy Modelers – Part 2 – Simple Pre-processing | openRevit
This focuses on some basic simulation scenarios.  Quote:
  1. Identify in your simulation workflow something that you need to do manually many times for each simulation, or something you need to do for each of your many simulations. If you can write the problem down in one sentence, it’s a great candidate for scripting.
  2. Next, break up the problem into many small simple steps, this is your pseudocode.
  3. Now try to write it out in Python. Remember, Google is your best friend, if you have a question about something in Python, chances are there have been hundreds of others out there with the same question!
  4. Finally, once it all works, clean up and comment your code, think about how you or someone else might use it in a year!