Monday, November 24, 2008

Mastering Revit Structure is here!!!

November 24, 2008
revit book cover

"These authors are a virtual 'dream team' of Revit Structure expertise."
-- from the foreword by Nicolas Mangon, Senior Structural Business Line Manager, Autodesk, Inc
Los Angeles based structural and civil engineers Brandow & Johnston announced today that Tom Weir, Director of BIM & CAD Operations for the firm, has authored and published the first comprehensive book on the use of Autodesk Revit Structure software. Mastering Revit Structure 2009 is aimed at the structural engineer, designer, or draftsperson making the move to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and interested in developing a solid foundation in Revit Structure concepts and a mastery of the advanced techniques which unlock the full potential of the software.

Weir, the lead author, was joined in the effort by Eric Wing of C&S Companies, Jamie Richardson of Ericksen Roed & Associates, and David Harrington of Walter P. Moore. According to the publisher's synopsis, "the(se) expert authors drew on years of experience to compile a comprehensive guide to the core concepts of Revit Structure with tips, tricks and examples specific to the professional structural engineering setting". The result is an 816 page paperback volume that guides users through interface, project setup and templates, view use and management, structural elements, structural analysis, drafting, detailing and annotations, phasing, collaborating, printing and publishing, and creating custom content. Mastering Revit Structure 2009 is available on-line at, other on-line book distributors, and in bookstores throughout the country.

In addition to his role with Brandow & Johnston, Tom Weir is founder and Co-Chairman of the L.A. Revit Users Group, moderates the Autodesk User Group International (AUGI) Revit Structural forum, teaches Revit Structure at Autodesk University, and wrote the first Autodesk Official Training Courseware (AOTC) for Revit Structure.

Brandow & Johnston is a national leader in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and has completed over 200 building designs using Autodesk Revit Structure software.

-Congratulations Tom and all involved with this great book...It's definitely a book for Revit Structure Users in the trenches. Congratulations also goes out to all the people who buy this because their Revit chops will surely blow a good way!!! The other Co-Chairman -J

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

AU Unplugged...Rock Out!!!

Here we are again on the eve (nearly) of AU2008. I am proud to tell you that with all of your help (well those who voted) 3 of the 3 sessions I submitted were voted in for AU Unplugged.

The sessions I am running are:

The Promise of BIM Wednesday 4:00 - 4:50 pm

Transition & Transform: From CAD Users to Revit Superstar Thursday 1:00 - 1:50 pm

Revit: What If??? Thursday 4:00 - 4:50 pm

These will be in the Venetian's Casanova 603, 604 & 606 Rooms... Ohhh Plush!!! I'll update this when I get the location for my sessions...they won't be hard to find though!!!

Based on last year's response to the Unplugged session I ran we are expecting great results and direction for future Revit development. ADSK will be listening (and in the rooms I believe) so these are expected to be very useful, insightful and a great place to formulate our ideas into a cohesive approach to get more and more product development based on our real-world needs...Imagine...

I hope to see all of you (who are going) in Vegas!!!

Here are a few (other) links that I think may be useful:

AU Class List

AU (Show Guide) Jams

AU Pod Casts

The Gensler AU Program (See below)


Useful Vegas Phone Numbers

Gamblers Anonymous (Vegas)

The following is an excerpt from an ADSK Email:

"The Gensler Program!
Each year, digital design leaders from Gensler travel to Autodesk University from around the world to share, learn, and network with each other and their colleagues. This year, for the first time, Gensler will share its projects, delivery methods, and best practices with other AU 2008 attendees.

The program content is focused on design leadership and innovation within collaborative AEC teams. The digital transformation of the AEC industry demands new methods of knowledge sharing, collaboration, and process integration among designers, engineers, builders and owners. Gensler’s approach is intended to accelerate this industry transformation.

At AU 2008, all participants are invited to enroll in one or more of Gensler’s offerings.

Gensler is a global architecture, design, planning and consulting firm with 3,200 design professionals in 30 offices and projects in 70 countries. The firm’s work reflects a broad and deep commitment to sustainable design and the belief that design is a powerful strategic tool for transforming organizations and enhancing the lives of individuals and communities. Gensler has been ranked #1 among architecture and interiors firms by World Architecture, Architectural Record, Building Design & Construction, ENR, and Interior Design magazines."

Needless to say I will be involved (and have been) with some of these presentations, as are a whole bunch of us at the red G... This should be an exciting day of eye opening BIMtopianism...

Friday, October 24, 2008

AU Unplugged!!!

It seems that all 3 possible AU Unplugged sessions that I submitted are on the final list (YAAY) that has opened up for all to vote on; the results of which culminate with their inclusion into an exciting part of this December's AU!!!: AU Unplugged.

Please review my submissions (re-posted below) (ok... go to the website and vote for everyone else's submissions too (if you must)) then vote for one or all of mine if you find that they could be interesting or useful. WOW, am I modest, or what?
The link for AU Unplugged Voting is here: NOW OPEN and I encourage you to share this link with anyone you know that will be at AU (or not). Voting is limited to one entry per IP address. (so use your friends computers and home also!!! :-))

Voting will be open until November 7thThe selected sessions will be posted to the AU website by November 12th.

See you at AU!!!,


Revit: What If???Jay B Zallan, VDC / Revit Leader
What if we could remake Revit from scratch? What would that look like? From a 10,000 foot view to an "on the ground" end user we can have what we want. If you have ever dreamed of transforming Revit and BIM into a truly holistic project delivery vehicle, then join us and we will work to shape the future.

The Promise of BIMJay B Zallan, VDC / Revit Leader
Integrated project delivery (IPD) and BIM is what the industry is moving towards. If we act now we can make the promise of a real integrated profession a reality. Calling all AEC futurists, forward thinkers and those who turn their own dreams into realities to a forum to not only be heard but to guide the future of BIM and all the tools we use. Have you ever thought how fantastically (profitably too) our practices would work if the central model was just that, a real Central Database; then no matter what tool was used it would work with the data in that one database...Revit, Maya, Photoshop, anything and everything would use the same data (well, just the parts it needs) and there would always be informational fidelity and harmony... How??? Come on by and we'll see!!!

Transition & Transformation: From CAD Users to Revit Superstars.Jay B Zallan, VDC / Revit Leader
The transition from CAD to Revit is so much more than even the last transition we went through, which was moving from hand drawing to CAD. I believe moving to Revit is more like going from the horse-drawn carriage to flying a rocket to the moon!!! Many of us have and are still in the midst of transitioning users into Revit and BIM, and to share our insights and to gain more perspective will forward the adoption and success rates of those responsible for transitioning users, as well as the users themselves.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Filter This!!! Selectively Selecting in Revit.

Here we go with 9MB of Filtering goodness. (You may want to click the "Play" button!!!)

Can't be easier than that, huh??? I hope it was worth the wait!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Know The Blog's Lapsed

But I will get something new in a day or two...vacation, you know.
In the mean time, check out one (or all) of these mixes from j77 If that's your musical bag.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Revit Users and You (Sirs?)

An excerpt from an Evite for the Los Angeles Revit Users Group meeting for July: (yes, click the link if you'd like to be invited...just use the "CLICK HERE IF YOU ARE NOT:" button if you want to show up or reply, etc.)...

Tom Weir (Brandow & Johnston's own) will present "Ain't it the Pits" -a how to build an elevator pit presentation; as well as a special review of a 100% Revit Project under construction (Shhh, it's a secret Hollywood studio). Then, we will be holding a "Coordination" panel discussion with all 3 current Revit disciplines: Structure, MEP & Architecture. Bring all of your questions and
comments to add to the topics we will outline. The final list of industry participants is growing but as of now Tom and I will join Jonathan West from Mazzetti & Associates and David Wilmans & Nik Muir from Gensler; we will keep you posted on others as they are confirmed. This is shaping up to be a great session that will help us all move forward in a more collaborative AEC world. See you there

Jarrod Baumann and Joel Londenberg of Design West Engineering have also been added to the panel, so we are even more excited about this meeting.

Also in the list of attendees someone (Thanks Henry!!!) asked a question so I'll answer that here since it doesn't fit the theme of the RUG but is a common question:
Q: How to host cars on ramps? A:
Use a floor!!!

Ramps don't allow that. You could get into elaborate faking but I'd just say use a floor. BTW: all of my "Parking Ramps" are floor objects anyways...We want to get the areas counted with all the other slabs, right?
Ramps really should be called "Handicap Ramps" or "I'd-Rather-Have-A-Smooth-Transitional-Device-To-Get-Up & Down-Rather-Than-Having-A-Stair-Ramp-not-to-be-used-as-parking-ramps-or-roads-Ramp"" -That is their as-designed function (in Revit), everything else is just a workaround!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Voting: Poll shows .026% turnout last week

It's good practice for November to vote here (look at the right of this page!!!) As of this past week the turnout is that .026%. Perhaps the candidates are not so good...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


In regards to the previous post I want to answer a comment left by Chris (and thank him for asking!)...So here 'goes.
Anonymous Chris said...Do you know what advantages this offers, compared to Autodesk's now-recommended FBX workflow? -Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Well as I said, I will be looking at this and posting some results in the near future but from discussions with visualization colleagues (who I trust) and from what research I have already done, the possibilities to round trip objects back and forth without polygon loss is in itself a step above straight FBX-to-MAX (until (if) ADSK allows this directly in their products)!!! I suggest you hit the discussion groups (use the Google machine) and see what you can see as to what other people are experiencing with Revit's FBX to MAX... As to Npower's solution here is what they say on this page:

"...The 3ds Max nPower advanced visualization environment provides your Revit model with infinite resolution surfaces producing stunning photo-real surfaces that you can easily cut away and reveal without rendering artifacts. Easily create close-up renderings without conventional polygon faceting by easily controlling the level of detail on any selected Revit object. Compress your Revit model data structures to the absolute smallest memory footprint with our Power Cache technology giving you the extra space you need to render hi resolution large format images. Organize your Revit model in Max with our advanced Revit Material support by layer and an easy to browse instanced multi-sub object material. Collaborate with other CAD applications like Inventor and Rhino to produce highly accurate complex design and planning visualizations. Conceptualize freeform volumes, structures and shapes from furniture to light fixtures with the industry's most flexible solid modeler and then export them directly to Revit for dimensioning and construction. If you’re looking for a Revit to Max and back solution that will give you the edge in the world of architectural visualization then..."

I find it interesting (or #@*^!) that ADSK says that "interoperability" is a main concern and push for them (see any keynote speach from the recent past...AU, etc...) since it seems that other companies write code to get more interoperability out of ADSK products than they do themselves. Behemoths move so slow and ultimately go the way of the dinosaur if they don't learn to adapt and respond faster. But perhaps my view is a bit harsh since Npower is part of ADSK's ADN (advanced developer network). I comment because I love.

With that rant over (for now) here are a few more assets I found while bouncing around the Web... Autodesk has some FBX and other videos at: This Site!!! that are worth a look.

Oh and BTFW: I just nearly soiled my armour when I came across this tidbit: Click This if you dare!!! ADSK and who are going to become interoperable? Bentley?... Seems so... Has Robert Aish put something up ADSK's sleeve??? I can only hope. Perhaps ADSK stock is a good thing; it is up nearly a dollar per share today; Now if they'd only get their own products interoperable with each other...

Monday, July 07, 2008

BiDirectional isn't a dirty word!!! (except in my mind)

All I can say is *#@^! (AKA: OMFG) I am very excited about this one. Reality may never be the same after this hits home (and production)!!!

Sarcasm alert...Sarcasm alert...

I suggest that nobody else looks into nPower's bi-directional translation solution!!! Yes it's a link!!! I don't think anyone would benefit from real interoperability between Revit and 3DMAX; or any other software for that matter. I think softwares that Designers use should be rigid and inflexible, continuing to allow limited Design & creativity options, nor do I feel that they should allow for exponential growth of ideas...Uhh...Hmmm...Perhaps that's what the sarcasm alert was for...???

BiDirectional!!! Can it be??? Can we actually round trip objects to and from 3dMAX and Revit!!! I think we can!!! Tune in again soon to see some results...

In the mean time, click the image below for the video... I mean DON'T click the image below, you'll just be wasting your time with the possibilities...

Monday, June 23, 2008


Do you want to use a Text Override in Revit? Great just don't be too clever because you can really fuck your world up.

Below is the dialog that pops up when you click the Numerical Value of a dimension in Revit, since the release of 2009. Good so far... I like the new additions to just Prefix & Suffix... The whole Above & Below fields are quite useful.

What isn't altogether wonderful is the "Replace with Text" value. I say altogether because we can get this to be horribly incorrect, even though it's a good tool when used correctly. If objects report an odd dimension then just move the objects; please don't use fake dimensions and really only use the Text Override for text ONLY.

I know that you may be thinking I am off base here but remember the fact that we weren't able to fake a dimension meant we had to actually do our job correctly(er)... what was so wrong with showing the supposed number with V.I.F. after it, etc.... I know there are uses for replacing the actual # with text only but we can always find a way to subvert that system and get our documentation to be, well, just plain wrong; And don't our contracts say that the printed documents take precedence?!!! If so this new functionality is one to steer clear of, lest we add a new item to the list of possible litigation we are exposed to.

If they would have asked me I would just have had this value be visually toggled or it would simply not allow any numbers in it... Why? Look at the 2 dimensions in the next image and tell me what the top dimension says... (Note: The bottom dimension is the true dimensional value)

Yeah, by using that accent grave ( ` ) symbol I made Revit's previous incomparable correctness fall apart. All would be good if Revit would have actually not allowed the number to be fucked with, like the following dialog states...

The fact that while one can't use the "foot" and "inch" symbols ( ' and ") together; one could use the accent grave ( ` ) symbol, etc; then Revit sees the whole string as text and bottom line DOES for all intents and purposes allow the reverse of what the previous image says.

Remember, If you want to keep your job then just move the objects if a dimension is reporting an odd value; please don't use fake dimensions and only use the Text Override for "Text".

The following is another good issue to think about if you use "broken" or "split" views: CLICK ME; I'M FROM AUGI.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Scope Boxes Redux

Looking for some guidance on how to use scope boxes? Wondering just what you can use them for? Thought so...Here is one way to use them to get multiple floor plans to be the same exact size on sheets... Ooooh consistency; I like it...

1) DRAFTING>SCOPE BOX (Yes any way you like... I use SB as a keyboard shortcut...)

2) When in the SB tool be sure to name it (or them), then draw the scope box(es) and adjust it (or them) to the necessary size(s). Below I have two; Left Wing and Right Wing... It's political season, I guess...

The next image is the Properties of the Left Wing SB.

Here is what they look like in plan:

Here is what they look like in 3D: Hint; Be sure to set the height appropriately for your use; it may be the entire building, it may be just a few gotta think this one through and you may employ several methods in any one project...

3) This next step (which I do not illustrate with images) is to duplicate all necessary views (in this case I used two Plan Views; but Section and Elevations can leverage SB's too). I created two duplicates of both the Level 01 and Level 02 Plans and named them Left & Right, as needed. (Yes we will have a lot of views)!!!

4) Then, using these Views' properties dialog you would associate the necessary views to their corresponding (or applicable) Scope Box.

The following image shows how nice and aligned not only the plans are (Revit likes to do that automatically -sort of-), but it also shows how the edges and extents of geometry is perfectly aligned and the same size...

-Any more questions? Leave a comment and I'll respond...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jetway Explained

This will only help those with this family but that number is growing (here at work, at least). For those who need it here are the parameters explained... Yes, click the images to see enlarged views!!!
Family Parameters: Airside_LoadingBridge.rfa

Plan View related parameters illustrated:

Elevation related parameters illustrated:

How's that?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Old to New: Upgrading oddities 1 (of more??? )

Have you tried to upgrade a file (or files) to Revit 2009 and found that it or they won't upgrade (yet)? Well, we have and although Autodesk Support is one possibility for a solution, that can take weeks + to get a result and even though I am the person that emails them most every day asking if they are done, it can take a while (understandably...they have a lot of clients!!!).

So what am I talking about? OK, I will tell you:

Yesterday I got a message from a colleague who wants to be referred to herein as Sasquatch (Actually he corrected me, saying: "Quasimodo would have described me a little better! Ha Ha") so, thanks
Quasimodo...(AKA John C Raiten).

So anyways, John asked if I had any ideas as to how he could upgrade a 140MB project file to Revit 2009, since I recently had a problem file that needed ADSK's help in upgrading. I got in touch with him this morning to suggest he try a parsing of the file, since there seems to be no other options beyond this or ADSK Support... Well I found that he finally had success (Yaay!!!) and here is the synopsis:

"If at first you don't..."

1) Detached and 'saveas-ed' (lol) a new Central file, so as to not destroy the original file.
...tried to upgrade the entire project file with no luck...

2) Purged Unused, Audited, removed errors. (always a good set of ideas).
...tried to upgrade the entire project file with no luck...

3) Removed
all links.
...tried to upgrade the entire project file with no luck...

Now here it gets fun...remember I said parse? well Sasquatch tried that after the obvious ways it "SHOULD" have worked all failed...

4) Grouped logically related bits of geometry (did I mention this project is approximately 5,000,000 sf?) why do I add that? Well, when I say bits I mean a Shit-load: He then saved the groups out as Links.
(Hmmm, perhaps you are beginning to see now?)
...wait for it...

5) He repeated this a handful of times; until only Levels, Grids and Annotations, Views, Sheets realistically everything shy of the actual building, existed in the original file.
...tried to upgrade the now building-less project file with luck... (Yes I said WITH luck, now we are getting somewhere). This point of time is also known as the dénouement...

6) Upgraded each of the linked group files, one-by-one.
...I can sense the end...

7) Linked them all in to the new 2009 main file, Bound them (oooh kinky) and ungrouped them and...

It Fucking worked!!!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Smart Geometry Dumb Geometry

I see this (Smart Geometry type of thing) being widespread (on the horizon) and in Revit... do you AutoDesk? If not then I will include herein excerpts from an interesting article (and a link to the original); so perhaps we can get some groundswell for these capabilities to be built into Revit.

-My editorialization is in maroon.

"Robert Aish leaves Bentley" Yes, it's a link.
by Lars Hesselgren - 01 November 2007

"...Most people's reaction to the news that Robert Aish has resigned from Bentley and
is joining Autodesk is "Well what happens to GC now?". As you may imagine this was indeed the reaction of myself and the members of the SmartGeometry Group... (I say what happens to Revit now!!!???)

...We have to acknowledge the enormous role Robert played in creating Generative Components.
It was very much ‘his baby’...Robert Aish from YRM and Intergraph Master Architect days had joined Bentleys and was testing his first iteration of GC, so he joined the group. Our first outing with an incredibly rough Alpha was in Cambridge (2003); Robert did a new build every day...

...And of course at the end of the day Autodesk’s move underlines the acceptance into the marketplace of tools designed for the new design age where computers are used as active design participants. It is a fundamentally different concept from BIM which is a wonderful data storage method, but which leaves design out of the equation..." Yeah, Design is back into our tool box and perhaps one day it'll really be available and flexible in Revit too. -Or will that idea just be killed off?

Now, I know that there are methods for creating "approximations" or "visualizations" of complex designs, based on relatiotional formulas (I refer you to Phil Read's AU class that he gives each year) but those massing studies are a bit limited and don't generate building components, that are adequately quantifiable or "real", etc. they mainly look like objects... We need real objects to be controlled in any manner we dream.

I have one humble request: ADSK please get this type of geometry creation into Revit ASAP, I suggest you ask Mr. Aish; I'd bet he can show you how...he is on payroll, no???!!! ...or is this already happening (insert sly smile here) ...Hmmm...

That ends this transmission...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tags Tagging The "Right" Thing

A new Revit user came in with this question... "Why doesn't my Curtain Panel Tag show the number?" ...Breath just breath...since I have heard this type of thing a lot I didn't burst out into a cynical laughing fit... ((WTF is the Parameter "Number"? I know it's being picky but if we would all call things what they actually are then life may be a much better place... It's not misremembering, it's telling a lie Mr. Clemons!!! Well anyways, back to my first tangent: I think they mean to call into play the parameter "Mark"). See it's just my cynical streak running wild... Oh well, on with the solution.

Select the Tag in question and choose EDIT FAMILY, from the Options Bar; then in the family editor, select the original parameter label and click the "SELECT PARAMETER" button from the Options Bar; you should see something similar to the following:

Since there was no value input for Type Mark in the object; and since we want to see the Mark (AKA: Number) we need to change the label to look at the parameter "Mark": (popular guy)

Then simply load (the modified family) into your project (saving the family is probably suggested...just remember to change the name :-)).

Now, when the Mark value is input in the object(s) Properties' (similar to the next image)...

the panels in question will go from this:

To this:

Now just apply this to every possible tag (And more???!!!) you have and you could have 1 to over 100 problems solved with this one posting!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hail to the Chief(s): Onward and Upward for LA's Revit User Group

Please join me in congratulating me (Oooh, that's awkward) on becoming the Los Angeles Revit User Group's Co-President.

I will be Joining Tom Wier of Brandow & Johnston, Inc. in the operations of this, the greatest Revit User Group in the world.... OK here in LA
at least!!!

I know this will be a great opportunity for me personally as well as professionally and wish to thank everyone who has helped me obtain such a level of total world domination...uhhh...I mean... to a place where I can help inspire and be inspired from users throughout Los Angeles and the (Revit) world at-large (yes
bloggers, you too!!! Thank you all).

Since I first saw Revit I realized it's power and BIM's potential as being the way that we could bring Architecture to a higher level of achievement and I will strive to share this vision to as diverse an audience as is possible. Who knows, perhaps we'll get some new Reviteurs and help inspire the broader field of Architecture into unimagined accomplishments!!! I can dream, but you should know that I will also act on these dreams!!!

I am looking forward to bringing the LA (and beyond) Revit community to an even better place than we now enjoy and I invite you all to be a part of that.

One of my colleagues sent this to me so I felt it appropriate to pass it along...(really, none of this is going to my head)... I have always been confident in myself... Ooooh, awkward again!!! LOL. -J

Four Sundays in May

I hope you can make any or all of the Sundays listed below, from 12:30 to 3:15 pm (If you're in LA that is).

The occasion? Well, I'm glad you asked: it's for Family Days at LACMA... And guess who's teaching again???

I will be leading a painting on canvas adventure (canvas paper, that is), in a great setting with easels and sunshine...

If you've never been, well Nike says just do it!!! Everyone under 18 years old gets a free Museum membership. Yes, a real membership!!! Plus everyone is welcome to join in all the creativity -and what could be better than collaborating on Art with your friends and family? Not too much if you ask me!!!

There will be several stations setup with all you'll need to get your inner (or outer) Artist going, in a multitude of media; so kids (OK everyone) bring your family and friends and have some creative fun.

Click Above Me!!!

Picasso, Matisse, Degas—Oh My!

May 4, 11, 18, 25, 2008

Visit the newly reinstalled modern art galleries! Works by leading modern artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Edgar Degas will inspire you to make your own art with Larry Ashton, June Edmonds, Mahyar Nili, Quan Yen Tran and Jay Zallan.

View works from the museum's permanent collection in tours led by LACMA's high school interns exploring the influences, design, materials, and techniques used by modern artists.

Thanks to all the great staff and volunteers who make this happen week in and week out!!! With a special thanks to my great friend Alicia and the entire Education Department for providing me with a continued opportunity to help inspire Art in our community. You guys are amazing!!!

I will plan on seeing you there!!! (Yes YOU!!!)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Are Your Callouts Out Of Shape Or Do You Just Want Them To Be?

Callouts being Rectangular and only rectangular is one of those things that The Factory (Revit's, not Andy Warhol's) seems to think that we are not intelligent enough to create, or need to create...Or is it the other way around??? Could it be too difficult to program??? I mean, we got to the moon on less than a cell phone's computing power, right!!!??? Oh well...Until they give this to us here is one workaround...

But First: Is the rectangular Callout really unusable in your project? I always try to use the original callouts, but if it is just not acceptable then go to step #1.

1) Create an actual Callout, that generates a Plan View (and If you like to work predictably and consistently, then set it's extents to a "Scope Box" via the properties, as shown below). Note: Yes, I created the Scope Box before I created the Callout, but you can do it after...

Below is the end result of step #1:

2) Select the original, generative Callout and Right-Click and Hide Element In View (Here's the 1st thing that needs to be communicated to the team as well as manually managed throughout the life of the project
again... see the question in red, above).

3) Create our Proxy Callout that References (an) Other View and choose that generated view from the drop-down. Refer to the next 2 images!!!

When creating the Proxy, Referential View make the rectangle nearly impossibly small (zoom, zoom, zoom!!!)

Progress so far:

(Yes you may want to place the Scope Box(es) on their own workset that is Not "On By Default In Every View" (See the dialogue box that pops up when creating a new WS for this check box)...

4) Draw Detail Lines (I used the Double Dash) that express the Callout Bubble that you actually want...(and isn't that the whole point for this? BTW: See that red question again)

4a) Group the lines for either more control (or less control), depending on your users and their proclivity to delete or move items, etc... Still, I like to group them. (ha ha, the Callout can't be part of the group...Remember that I mentioned manual management? Well that's another one to watch as the project progresses).


I know I editorialize a bit but we need to be self critical and really understand the ramifications of any workaround; this may be thought of as being analogous to questioning oneself before running a marathon with stiletto heals on... They may look good and make your legs look beautiful but are the benefits worth it? Sometimes this is yes, sometimes no... If we think this through each time then we will be in good shape whatever the choice...

Until The (Revit) Factory finally gives us the power to create irregularly shaped callout bubbles...If they ever do!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

OK so sometimes we need to just pick flowers...

It's been an outrageously busy week so I am going to post a recount of a lesson in perspective that is both humorous and true.

Enjoy, -J

Chapter One: (Eeeewwwww)

A short while (and about 25 lbs ago) I was in the "run" leg of a Sprint Triathlon (1/2 mile swim, 20 mile bike, 3+ mile run) about 1 mile from the finish I heard someone from behind exclaim that he had to pass me because he couldn't let someone with a disturbing injury beat him... (I had played hockey a few days before and got hit with a puck in the back of my leg...I did have a huge bruise but there was no more pain; I must admit that the huge, multi-colored bruise looked nasty). Well, I managed to beat him (ha ha); but, as it turned out this was just a sign of things to come...

Chapter Two: (WTF)

After the race I was getting some re-hydration and bananas and was walking back to the race staging area to begin to pack up and leave when I again heard someone behind me exclaim their horror at the bruise. The person was saying that he was inspired that someone with such a bad looking injury actually competed and finished the course... I turned in the middle of answering to him that "...Oh, it was just a hockey bruise and nothing too serious..." yet as I turned and finally saw this guy (a really toned athlete) I saw that he had only 1 leg (he wore one of those racing prosthetics)... He did the same race as me with only one leg and he was impressed by me??? WTF/LOL!!!

Chapter Three: (Hmmmm)

After running thru a long list of thoughts that flooded me I finally had a nice talk with him about how funny it seemed to me that he is the one to me who is truly inspiring, running on one leg and that he thought my little (well OK big) bruise was inspiring to him was a great irony...we both had a little laugh and a realization about perspective...we both seemed to think our situations were merely our normal state...

Monday, March 03, 2008

More Fun With Views: Stacked Isometrics and More

A friend asked me how I made stacked 3D Plan Views in a project I was showing him; so I offer this up for everyone (who sees it) to use and abuse... I bet you (us) abusers can find many other uses for composite Revit Views!!! (perhaps one day I'll post my shortcuts too) Ready, Set...


1) Model your building (LOL)
2) Open Up a 3D View (you can have a lot of fun with Camera Views and these techniques as well!!!) I'll use this one:
3) View>Orient>To Other View (or in my world OO...great for repetition!!!)

4) Yeah, It's obviously imperative to choose the appropriate View for what you are attempting...(Hmm Sections? Although not shown possible!!!)

Here's how that 3D looks now...BUT WAIT!!! (although if you create 2 of each View you can place the 3D "Plan" with shadows next to the isometrics that this posting illustrates...Ohhh More Fun!!!)

5) Now
View>Orient>Save View (or in my world SV...Are you getting the idea that using shortcuts are faster for repetitive tasks???!!! I think I just saved $100.00)

6) Then (AKA: now)
View>Orient>Northeast (or whatever you like...If you're not bored with the shortcut train of thought here it is: SV...Yes, Save View). Saving the View will create a new Default 3D view, thus enabling you to repeat the steps above as many times as needed (in this example there are 7 total)...

Here is a completed ISO Plan that will be stacked with the others... (Yes, I created one for every Level: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...+ a Site view that I discarded in the end)

7) Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat...

Here is a sheet view with all 7 views stacked (Yes, you'll want to place the views in an order so as to not cover the wrong ones up...let's say lowest to all depends on your desires...
remember they will snap to alignment if you move them in line with each other)

WAIT A MINUTE!!! Did I just stack them on a Rendering from Revit? And did I actually only select Medium Quality, then push the Render button and let Mental Ray work??? Oh yes I did!!! I also must admit I did open the exported .tif Rendering output in my photo editor, to place a background, due to the fact that when (in Revit 2009) you export a rendering as a .tif or .png it also saves out an Alpha channel (which even accounts for glass, etc...) I say F' Yeah to that!!!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Computer Security & 2009 Rendering "Too Much Perfect"

Yeah, Yeah I know this isn't BIM, or even Revit related but I did find this interesting & important; since computer security is paramount if we are to use them in business.

See this Article. (or the Times Online Source Article) for a glimpse of Microsoft's ongoing lax security. Sorry Bill, I love you but something needs to be done. ' Glad I don't use HotMail!!!

BTW: Rendering in Revit 2009 is "too much perfect"... Thanks ADSK for Pimping My Revit!!! Images soon...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Revit Architecture 2009 New Features Workshop

So, above is a peek at the Revit Architecture 2009 New Features Workshop... If you want to see a FULL RESOLUTION+ slide show of the workshop (or you don't see the Flikr library above) then CLICK ME!!!

I will get into more of the items in depth, but I thought you'd like to see the images above ASAP!!!

Soon the Revit Architecture web site will be updated with Revit Architecture 2009 info...HERE, I think.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Do you want to save Thousands of dollars this year? Well just follow me...

OK so you don't have to follow me, I'm just listening to John Lennon... But if you want to save those thousands of dollars follow the directions below...

First of all I did not come up with this but I'll take credit (no pun initially intended) if you want to send me a check!!! OK here we go:

Create a new drafting view and place some text in it. Maybe the text says:

-Perhaps you'll write your own blurb!!!

Now this next step is the most important and it’s getting 'buy-in' from the whole team: HAVE THEM ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTION OF SAVING TO CENTRAL FROM THAT VIEW!!! Remember to close all hidden windows as well!!!

You don't know how to get buy-in? Here's a trick I like; just understand that you may get laughed at when you say that saving 15 seconds at opening can save $1,000 but let them laugh, you'll have the last and best laugh in about 1 minute!!!

1) Have a meeting with the Revit team and make sure your bosses are present. The more bosses the better!

2) Tell them that you have a way to save thousands of dollars (and use my name, if you like!!!)

3) Do this math on a large white-board or paper if you can, if not it's ok:
Revit projects average between 15 seconds and 1 1/2 minutes to generate the on-screen geometry during opening a file ...So let's use an average of 1 minute and let's say there are 5 people on the team:
(1x5=5 minutes per open) x 2 times a day [morning & after lunch] = 10 minutes a day. Hmmm I see where this is going...but wait it gets better!!!

10x5 = 50 minutes a week's getting more clear and approaching impressive...

50 x 50 weeks = 2,500 minutes or 41.667 Hours a year (yes I said HOURS!!!) Now are you impressed? Wait!!! There’s one more thing... The big bosses always like this and they usually get the team members to buy in after hearing this:

41.667 x Billable Rate (maybe $100, or more an hour) at 100 per hr. = $4,167.00 per large project saved a year by this dumb, yet brilliant workflow enhancement... Oh and the small projects usually average 15 seconds saved = $1,000.00 a year +/-... Not bad for low profit margin projects too!!! Saving all this money for doing what we have to do anyways!!! That's strangely amazing!!!

No one's laughing at this anymore, huh?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shared Coordinates And... 1

I am preparing a course on leveraging Surveyor's cad files to orient projects to true North, etc. and I just wanted to begin by placing a few assets that are already out there and their original links; so here we go:

From the AUGI posting: Click Me!!!

The "Factory says: This is one place where you have to follow the rules.
Revit's internal calculations do not like very large coordinate numbers. There are many number systems used in an app like Revit, some for calculating values, some for driving the display, etc. In some cases these systems differ in the precision of the numbers they can use.

When numeric values are small, these differences in precision are insignificant. When numbers get large, the differences while still small on a percentage basis become large enough to effect the results of display and operations. Thus, it is important to keep your Revit project near Revit's origin. (near means within 1 mile/1.6km) Revit's origin is near the center of the space made by the elevation symbols in the default template.

The Rules
* Always build your building near the starting point of the default template.
* Model it with Project North pointing directly up. (lay it out as you would have it appear on sheets)
* If you are using a dwg based site, Link your site file Center To Center.
* Move or rotate the SITE under your project until it is correctly positioned relative to the building. (do not move or rotate the project itself).
* Use the Acquire Coordinates tool and pick the site.

This will set your project's shared coordinated to those of the dwg's wcs. True North will be the dwg's Y axis. Now your building knows where the dwg 0,0 is, but it can still record its own information in well behaving small numbers. It knows and can orient to either True North, or Project North. Once the shared coordinates are set, subsequent imports can be made origin to origin using shared coordinates."

Another fine (merely excellent) asset is one of TG's posts Found Here!!!

This should be a good start...To be continued (with pictures most likely!!!)...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Update: Why can't designers model in Revit (yet)?

Well, I am making progress in the translation of this class and expect to post it this month. I just got back the feedback responses from participants, as collected by ADSK and I am really pleased by the comments...the checks are in the mail!!!

Thanks to all who participated and to those who provided feedback. Perhaps ADSK will let me do more sessions in the future!!!

Even though there were preconceived notions as to the benefit of this session the reality was that it was (and is) a forum for positive change and inspired a lot of both thought and action...Without much further ado: Here's that feedback... (yes, it's a bit of an ego trip, but honestly it illustrates what not only I have to offer our world of BIM but what all of you bring to bare; as I see the results here as speaking as a microcosm of the entirety of the Revit community, illustrating the need and usefulness of pushing the envelope (sometimes in a confrontational manner, in order to get people's open listening)... BTW: I especially love the comment "Brilliant"!!! I think it was a brilliant session too...

  1. Have you heard of AU Unplugged before arriving in Las Vegas?

Yes -14 (74%)

No- 5 (26%)

No Answer- 0

2. Did you vote for any session to be included in the AU Unplugged scheduled?

Yes –6 (32%)

No-13 (68%)

No Answer- 0

  1. Please rate the following on a scale from 1 to 10. (a-e)

a. Overall satisfaction with this session. 8.68

b. Format of this session. 8.89

c. Session leader’s knowledge of topic. 9.05

d. Sessions leader’s effort to engage participants 9.31

e. The benefit or value (information, contacts, etc.) 8.73

You gained from this session.

  1. Would you recommend this session or one similar format to others?

Yes –18 (95%)

No- 1 (5%)

No Answer- 0

5. What did you most like about this session?

Interactive, open, honest

Open, honest, healthy

Good discussion

Discussion and idea flow


Open exchange

Wide Spectrum of personalities/experience that attended

Good discussion

Free discussion and debate

Open discussion

The open discussion and knowledge of the attendees


Interactive rather than just listening

Open Discussion


Open Dialog

6. What did you least like about this session?

Too short

Trivial topic

Off topic at times

The group was not a good match for the topic

Hw at times people pulled the conversation to the technical

Schedule conflict w/classes


Not enough seats

Could talk express my thought without stepping as others


Longer more session

I think the idea is great

More unplugged sessions

More of them

Schedule times to not conflict with added perhaps as breakfast and lunch sessions

Publicize and list schedule in augi daily sheet Just keep doing it