Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Project Photofly from Autodesk

Autodesk labs has refined their interesting program Project Photofly. It is a free dowload from autodesk. Basically it creates a DWG / or FBX (can be used with Revit / 3DS Max) out of photos taken of the building using your typical digital camera.
You take a series of photos of the building from all angles and the project photofly stitches these photos to make a 3D model. Autodesk has a detailed shooting guide. I suggest you read these before starting.
Something to look for:
  1. moving objects in photos (cars, humans etc.)
  2. too much background or foreground disturbances
We are starting on documenting a structure in a couple of weeks and will update this post!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AU 2010 - Virtual Classes

The Autodesk University fever has started and this year around, Autodesk is offering virtual classes for those who cannot attend the event during Nov 30th to Dec 1.
Autodesk has issued a list of classes that can be attended for free.  You can pay $139 and get a premium pass. (Even this is free for subscription customers) You will have to register for both the programs here: http://au.autodesk.com/?nd=registration_landing

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recover erased data from disks

This tip is not about Revit.
Sometimes we erase (and also empty 'recycle bin') data by mistake. There are lots of commercial programs available that can bring back these erased data. "PC Inspector smart recovery" is available free from download.com and can bring back data from SD cards, thumbdrives, etc. too. Very hand tool.
Recently I visited an architectural site, and even though the CEO had allowed me to photograph the building, the stupid security guard got hold of my camera and erased all the pics. Luckily I found this program and was able to unerase all the photos!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AutoCAD 2008 Scale list and copying & pasting issue

This is more of an AutoCAD 2008 scale list issue. In some of our Acad 2008 files, copying and pasting even a simple line took more than 10 minutes. The copy operation was quick. But the pasting operation went on and on. This is because of a bug in Acad2008 scale list, which the service pack 1 didnt fix. If you are on subscription and you are on AutoCAD 2009 or up, you are good!
There is a scalelist popup menu in autocad (typically) at the lower right corner. 
Pressing this menu button shows the scale lists used in the drawing. Typically the number of list are less and shows like this:
However, autocad 2008 tries to bring in scalelist from any xrefs / blocks imported from other drawings and over a period of time the number of scale list can reach 1000s and makes the dwg really slow. The worst offender is the paste command (because acad is looking for ways to bring in MORE scale lists!!!!) The screws up with Revit whenever such a DWG file is inserted into Revit.
The scale list of the corrupted file looks like this:

This image filled up the whole screen.
To remove all these scalelist, you can use the "-SCALELISTEDIT" command. Typing the comand without the "-" crashes AutoCAD. Using the "-" forces the command to use the command line. You can follow the command line prompts to 'reset' the scale list. You will have to keep doing this if the DWG files gets corrupted again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Moving a set of views from one sheet to another

Revit does not allow the same DWG view to be placed in more than one sheet. For this reason, when we want to move a set of views from one sheet to another, it does not let copy or cut and paste. It gives a “multiple instances of the same view in sheets not supported!”


One way to move the views, is to open the sheets category in the project browser


and just drag and drop the views to another sheet in the project browser or in the DWG area.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Referencing Detail and Referencing Sheet

Some of our government clients wants us to show the referencing sheet and detail numbers in the View title like:


Revit has this nice feature too!


Basically, these parameters show the sheet number and the detail number where this particular detail is referenced. This works perfect in most of the cases. However, sometimes the detail is referenced in more than one view (and so in different sheets). This can happen because of many reasons – dependent views or ‘show in – intersecting views’ parameter, etc.


In such cases, unfortunately, there are more than one referencing sheet that refer the detail in a drawing set. It looks like Revit shows the first sheet it comes across (per alphabetical order?) in the drawing set for this referencing sheet / detail parameter. It is read only and so, we cannot change it.

The workarounds is to manipulate the referencing sheet parameter by renaming / renumbering the sheet (not good) or to hide the unwanted callout / section / view tag category in the visibility graphics (not good again). (Just hiding the unwanted view tag using the View > Hide in view > elements option does NOT work!)

I think Autodesk should make this read only parameter a drop down menu where we could choose our preferred sheet from a list of available sheets…

If you like this option, please submit a support request with Autodesk.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Export to DWG from Revit issues

Even though Autodesk owns both AutoCAD and Revit, it is quite ironic that the export to CAD command does not work properly. There are so many issues outlined even in 2006, and most of them are still resolved.

The most irritating is the one related to the dimensions. When I export a sheet like:


with dimensions and if I choose any option other than the “overrides BYENTITY” in the CAD Export Format dialog box:


It results in out of scale dims like:


Not good.

Page setups are not similar in Revit and AutoCAD. So those don't get transferred too.

AutoCAD has a ‘nice’ printer called ‘None’ which has all the page sizes. Revit should retain the paper size from the title block and use the None printer while exporting sheets. This will not give a ‘printer missing’ error message in AutoCAD (when the DWG file is being opened), but still give the user an option to select an appropriate printer from the user’s network to print to the correct size.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turn off grids and levels from linked Revit projects

We link a structural revit project into most of our revit projects. We typically develop the grid and after finalizing it, let our engineers maintain it.

We cannot show their grids in our views because, Revit does not allow the linked grid heads/extension to be tweaked. So, we typically copy/monitor the grids. However, when we tweak the grid heads, we see the linked grid head beneath:


One could go into the visibility graphics, and switch off the grids from the linked file on a view by view basis, but exploiting the workset option is more elegant.

Go to File menu > Manage links… and select the structural model and select ‘Reload From…”


and select the same linked structural file. Before pressing ‘open’, select the small arrow next to the ‘open’ button:


and select specify. Then press ‘open’. Revit shows the ‘Linking Worksets…” dialog box.


Select the ‘Shared Levels and grids’ workset and press ‘close’ and then Ok and again Ok. Now the ‘Shared Levels and grids’ workset from the linked file is closed and is NOT visible in any Revit view. Even though the linked grids are not visible, Revit still ‘monitors it!!!


If for some reason you want to see the structural grids, you can repeat the steps above to make them visible.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Structural columns dont show up in detail views

This is a corollary to one of my previous posts: http://revitize.blogspot.com/2009/09/structural-framing-and-plan-display.html

Here is a structural column in the 2nd level plan view. There are two callouts – magenta is of Floor Plan type and the blue is of Detail View type.


The column goes from the 2nd level to 3rd level.


The respective callout views we get are:




But if the column is changed to span from 1st level to 3rd level like:


The column does NOT show up in the detail view type:


To make the column visible, you need to edit the family and uncheck the “show family pre-cut in plan views” option in the family category and parameters. More explanation on this here.

It is painful to edit structural families, because when we get the updated structural project from the engr., the family edit needs to be done again. Unless the structural engr does it in their project.

I would really like Autodesk to make this option as the default.