Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Address(ing) Keynotes | Revit | Customization | CSI

Many of you may have seen the class or handout or presentation or...regarding my Bootlegging Keynotes processes... Well, a question I answered on Revit Forum finally put me into (public) action on this one, so below you will find downloadable keynote databases and the handout explaining, to some degree :-) the workflow... Do enjoy and remember, if you have Revolution Design's Keynote Manager you will love the files and their usefulness even more... Me, I still use the old text editor but I do validate in both Revit as well as KN MGR...and who knows, maybe even ArchiCAD too ;-)

Final Word: a disclaimer!!! If there are any errors or omissions in the keynote text file it is your responsibility to verify and repair. I take no responsibility for the correctness of the files, as the CSI information is a moving target. I have however taken every precaution against any errors but honestly I had no outside QC, so we are all on our own!!!

First Off The Keynote Database w/ Custom portion AND CSI (Based on the MasterFormat) w/ a highly customized and rationalized Organization...you're welcome!!!;-)

Next up Bootlegging (Using) Keynotes For Good, Not Evil (NOT JUST SCHEMATIC EITHER!!!)

Friday, October 04, 2013

3D Grids In Revit | An Oldie But Goodie Done Again

So I need (or want :-) to use a Grid represented in 3D in Revit and while Navisworks can now visualize the levels and grids in 3D, alas Revit cannot (still/yet?) -Insert smily of choice, I prefer to simply say that's typical...

Anyhow, I hoped to find John Raiten's 3D grid (I know he had a nice one from our Gensler days), but since I can't find it or don't have it in my dropbox folder I bounced around the Revinternet and the first one I stumbled on was in Russian...

Well no, it wasn't in Russian, though the author's name is, so credit him by hitting his post too... but although it is a nice posting he did talk about a method to use Autocad data as one method for grid representations and that to a lot of folks, me included, can be thought of thus: "Any Autocad data in Revit is the worst thing one can do to a Revit Project!" So there :-P

Additionally I want one to do a bit more, so I just made my own that you can d'load Right Here!!!

I am not going to do a full how-to, since it is ready to go for you but I will go into a few things that one needs to be aware of for 'proper' use (AKA: Not blowing it up), So on with the show...

The top-left most image is what the 3 types of the Line Based Generic Model of 3D Grids look like ...in 3D obviously.

I made the "line" portion quite thick and grey, so it pops but is distinct from other graphics.
The 'circle' is an extrusion with thickness and material control... Size should not be messed with except by experts and should only be done at the family level, not from the project!
The 2nd image on the left is what it looks like in the family environment's 3D'ness...
The image right shows them in plan with a standard OOTB grid. The Type Names are specified in blue tags.
I realized a bit of a naming gotcha... I should have Type-Named "One Letter" something like 'One Letter and Two Numbers' but since it also works with many (not all) pairs of double letters... AND it was already finished when I realized that, so it is simply Type-Named "One Letter". Though as you can see it IS still useful for double numbers and some double letters...
 The "Text Only" Type is really my preference so you can all consider the ones in 'bubbles' as a gift :-)
The parameters are quite formulaic ;-) -naa it's just that they do rely on some basic formulas as you can see below...
I am not mentioning (hey I am just about to :-) the "Two Letters" Type very much since, in order to fit the larger letters in pairs (if needed) like 'MM' and 'WW', etc. the bubble needs to be too big for my taste; but there you go anyways...choices: always choices...
As you can possibly guess if you change the sizes of the bubbles or the number of bubbles from the project (instead of simply choosing the correct Type) you will probably blow these up!!! So either don't do that or if you do please send all complaints to The Senate!!!

Finally the final image below is of the Object Styles, Sub-Categories from the project environment. I set these up from the family to allow easier, more flexible choices for the glass materials I built them with...

So if you want to mess with your own copy of these; feel free to download, use, share, complain about, etc...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Coordinate and Dominate BIM Project Success | Virtual Reality Q & A

I received the following questions and thought it most effective to post the answers here, so more people can get (more) informed... Following the questions and answers you will also find the link and embedded class handout, so do enjoy. You can also find the class recording on the Autodesk University website but the audio is horrible due to their lacking internal technical setup, so I am not posting that...too bad also, since it was a great session...-maybe next time ;-)

Hello Jay,
I was reading your AU2012 presentation and have a question for you.  On page 25, there’s an augmented reality of the drawing.  I’ve been playing with augmented reality for a bit, but was wondering what you used to create that?  I was thinking a great idea would be to print one of these tags on the sheet, but not sure how easy it is to align the scale of the model with the drawing and location of the drawing.  If you could share what you used to get that (software/plug-ins/app) and any issues you had, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance for your thoughts…

Thank you to C. O. for the questions and glad it seems to be getting out there and helping...here are the answers:

-Thanks again Darren Roos (the VR were part of his portion), Marcello Sgambelluri and Troy Gates for all their help and input in making this a quite useful session for BIM & AECO!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

75 Revit Add Ins | OK, Over 100 | RTCNA 2013

[EDIT 07/29/2013] "Additions To The Main Handout" was added as a link and embed at the bottom of this posting... My fear of inadvertently leaving some Add-ins out was made clear by Chris Price (Mr. Spot) and we (I) thank him for reminding me about Xrev's offerings... and being gracious about it :-) [END EDIT except for the embed and link below ;-)]

 So RTCNA 2013 is over, my knee is healing from an early morning post-party spill ;-) No worries, just a scrape :-) so now is the time to post my handout. BUT FIRST: I do need to explain. The class was run with a kind of Socratic Method to it... A lot of questions for the crowd, a portion of the class was "taught" by some of the actual developers of the add-ins listed and I would like to thank everyone who participated for helping make it an awesome session!!!

OK, now to the handout that you can get from the image, link below or from the embed, also below... One final thought before you get them: I do have some comments about the add ins mentioned but be aware: YOU MUST VET THESE OUT FOR YOURSELVES, MY NEEDS ARE DISTINCT FROM YOURS, SO SOME ADD-INS MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOU THAT AREN'T FOR ME; SO PLEASE DON'T EXPECT FULL REPORTING OF WHAT EACH ONE DOES IN MY WORLD. Also you may want to "test" them on a non-production machine since some are a bit of a pain to uninstall... OK, Ready? GO!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flight | Data | Visualization

Planning to fly to a BIM Conference like RTCNA or AU2013?
Planning a vacation?
Do you (also) simply like airline data and visualizations of live (and existing) events in society?
Do you wonder at the sheer overwhelming amounts of 'things' going on in nature at any one time?
-Well, If any of these apply to you, you may want to check out the following... The images are all links.
-Enjoy, J

Check out PlaneFinder.net to keep up...with planes in the air via the images and Live Map below...

Turns out Flight Patterns and Contrailz are 2 awesome sites to get your visualized flight data on...

Contrailz: Yes, it's searchable!


FlowingData Article by Nathan Yau:

Need to track a flight to pick someone up from an airport (etc.)? Try FlightAware.com

-All credit to/of original authors...Nathan Yau, Aaron Koblin, Alexey Papulovskiy (and everyone else involved ;-) THANKS!!!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Elevation Markers | Share | Load | Use

In response to a RevitForum post -where I included the Elevation Markers I created a few years back; when we were finally allowed, by the developers, to modify them (nearly) as we require... I am including them herein, for anyone interested to use...thus the "sharing" part of the title.

While these do not (since they (still) can not) exactly appear like the old hand-drawn ones (for reasons that I understand, due to sheet placement, etc.)...These are (IMHO) perfect! -Well, as much as they can be ;-) The little lines in the Interior Elevation markers (Unfilled) are needed due to the construct of the 'pointers' so If you find that an imperfection, that's on you...I got over it :-)

So without further ado: Download 'em from below, embed 'em into your template, set 'em as your Elevation Tags (refer to the image at right) and have at it!!!

The "Circle" and Parameters, followed by the embedded Types:

The "Pointer" and Parameters, followed by the embedded Types:

Download the "Circle" Here

Download the "Pointer" Here

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Autodesk Expert Elite(s) + Revit Technology Conference North America: What's That Spell? J

  • Jay Zallan has been recognized by Autodesk as an Expert Elite Member.  "I am quite honored; simply to be mentioned alongside the other distinguished Expert Elite members, some of whom I know personally to be the best of the best in their fields. I would like to additionally thank the entire Autodesk team for their recognition of my efforts, toward helping evolve AEC."
  • Additionally Mr. Zallan has been added to the extraordinary lineup of speakers for the Third Annual 2013 Revit Technology Conference North America [RTCNA], to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada July11th through Saturday, July 13th. "RTC is one of the best places to share ideas about not only Revit but BIM and AECO, as it focuses on bringing industry, thought and technical leaders together, providing all attendees a unique, intimate and focused conference, forwarding the efforts of these BIM leaders worldwide."
RTC | 75 Add-Ins: 75 Minutes
Here's what I will be presenting, come July... Yes, the image is a link to the schedule ;-)
-Two things up front:
  1. I was asked to take this class over when the original speaker backed out for reasons unknown (to me). I am again honored that folks on the RTC Committee and in it's leadership thought of me when looking for speakers. It seems they feel that I can bring the goods and deliver a top notch presentation and I will endeavor to rise to this challenge once again.
  2. Don't worry, I will show 75 add-ins (at least) but we will go in-depth with a select number of those... you know: the ones that truly deserve a deeper look -and there are some, as you may (or may not) know!!!

  Hope to see you at RTCNA!!!

Autodesk Expert Elite
"Autodesk Expert Elites are the top contributors to our community—Autodesk customers who regularly share valuable insights and expertise about how to use our products and services." -Autodesk

All I can say is THANK YOU!!! I am extremely and humbly honored!!!

Thank you to not only Autodesk and RTC for their fantastic recognition but also to all of you; who continue to read and support my BIM and AEC endeavors and provide a place for my voice(s) to be heard and possibly even allowed to help!!! 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Groin Vaults For Your Single Groin Needs

I dare say "Watch the video below" So I shall...Watch the video below (Please). If you want a quick way to model Groin Vaults that is...

Why do I dare? Well, so I don't have to elaborate (at this time) on my thinking that much of humanities' outlook; that things (Revit Modeling, in this case) are difficult or not as easy as "other" software, etc. is usually an ego response to a lack of understanding, clarity or or perspective.

I posit that many, if not most times it is us marginally evolved primates who add the complexity; it is us who fail to think things through before bounding forth... Software only does what we tell it and until we know the entire breadth (or most) of the possibilities available in a software, we are not yet qualified to render an intelligent viewpoint. But Hey, we enjoy freedom of speech, so I guess one can bring any viewpoint (erroneous or not), just be ready for the fallout ;-)

I am not saying that I don't jump into things with both guns blazing, as it were, but if I am trying to create something in a modeling software, I might try what "I Think" should be done first; but I do keep an open mind that "it very well be my lack of understanding" that makes me think "it can't be done", etc...since usually (read as: kinda all the time) it can be... That said:

Watch the 3 minute video Below (or from the link below the embed)...

Groin Vaults For Your Single Groin Needs

Actual Modeling time of Groin Vaults: 1 minute 50 seconds

If I wouldn't have been explaining at the same time, it would have taken about 1 minute or less

If you are one who complains that "in other software it only takes a few button clicks to do this" I say to you: I am NOT going to count my button clicks but I do feel that 1 minute to model a Groin Vault is really a non issue.... Oh how does "the other" software handle schedules, sheets, (Shall I go on)???

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What's the best computer to buy for Revit 2014?

Here we are are again at another release cycle for the Building Design Suites (Including Revit) and all the Autodesk offerings! So with that comes the inevitable questions, namely: What's the best computer to buy for Revit 2014?
Aren't you excited?

This post will be in two parts: 
1) Generic Recommendations 
  • Useful to spec your own machine and suggested peripherals
2) Specific Recommendations
  • Nearly an actual manufacturer recommendation

Part 1 | Generic Recommendations 

Autodesk's SysReq's can all be found at the prior link but I would emphatically caution you to go well beyond even their "Performance: Large, Complex Model" spec's, as I will illustrate below!!!

The "Performance: Large, Complex Model" spec's (With my comments in Blue):
  • Windows 8 64-bit Enterprise or Professional edition, or Windows 7 64-bit Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, or Home Premium edition OK, say goodbye to Vista64!!!
  • Multicore Xeon or i-Series processor or AMD equivalent with SSE2 technology (highest affordable CPU speed rating recommended) -Can't agree more, this is where the bulk of $$$ should go!
  • Multiple cores for many tasks, up to 16 cores for near-photorealistic rendering operations Yes! 16 cores!!!
  • 16 GB RAM (Usually sufficient for a typical editing session for a single model up to approximately 700 MB on disk. This estimate is based on internal testing and customer reports. Individual models will vary in their use of computer resources and performance characteristics.) It's 2013 now and we should think of 16 GB being the base amount for Workstations, but 32GB or 64GB are my recommendations! 128GB seems a bit costly for average projects and users but those who do large projects should really fight for 128GB.
  • Models created in previous versions of Revit software products may require more available memory for the one-time upgrade process -See? 16GB is not going to be "enough" to work effectively for many, if not most of us.
  • 5 GB free disk space; 10,000+ RPM for Point Cloud interactions Can you say: SSD? Solid State Drives are mandatory IMHO!!! Use the old spinning drives for archiving, etc. but use SSD's for all system and other software + Active Workstation storage... Several drives may be required (read as: ARE Required) these days... Also; only 5GB of free space? Hahaha -if you only have 5 free GB of space you need some help -or a new SSD!!!

  • 1,920 x 1,200 monitor with true color That should say: 
  • 2 x 24" Monitors at 1920 x 1200 pixels for a Basic setup
  • 2 x 27" Monitors at 2,560x1440 pixels for a Recommended setup
  • 4 x 24" or 4 x 27" Monitors for a Preferred setup
  • DirectX 10 capable graphics card with Shader Model 3 as recommended by Autodesk
    •  See this link to find "Certified" Graphics cards, etc. The ADSK "Recommended" ones may be OK but then again, maybe not... Use at your own choosing, after testing.
  • Internet Explorer 7 (or later) Yeah that will happen since it's built into Microsoft Windows, though I use Mozilla Firefox primarily.

  • MS-Mouse or 3Dconnexion-compliant device -I suggest the following:
  • Download or installation from DVD9 or USB key OK
  • Internet connectivity for license registration and prerequisite component download OK

Part 2 | Specific Recommendations

Well I am (still) not going to recommend any one manufacturer with an emphatic endorsement...but I was close!!! -And it may seem like I am recommending one mfg. but, well, you decide for yourself...

I was close to recommending BOXX Workstations outright...Close.

The BOXX 4920 and BOXX 4050 Workstations were graciously extended as Demo's to prove out their potential ROI to me; toward my potential and necessary future acquisitions. What I found was, that for me, in AEC, with different project types and sizes, the BOXX 4050 appeared the best candidate; balancing performance in a moderately cost effective Workstation. 

Why am I not emphatically recommending BOXX outright? I have mixed thoughts... The BOXX Workstations and the GOBOXX Laptop/Mobile Workstations are truly great machines; although they are a bit expensive in direct comparison to other mfg's..

1) The BOXX 4050 is a machine that I will be specifying for a select group of Designers and 'Large Project' teams. The productivity increases will pay for these Workstations in a matter of month's... Over the 3 year run of the Workstation, I see a lot of ROI (AKA: profit) from this approach...

That said and to be totally honest, I will also acquire both HP Workstations and Dell Workstations, spec'd to match the BOXX 4050 apples-to-apples and see if the cost differential or support or if anything else affects my future purchases... I have already tasked my long-time, multiple firm Network Team (SADA Systems) to get quotes for similarly spec'd Workstations from both HP and Dell and they report the cost delta ranges about $500 to $1,000 less than BOXX, but only time will tell if the components perform comparably, keeping in mind that the BOXX Workstations are overclocked to their maximum.

With the cost of the BOXX 4920 coming in just below $6,000 I cannot see the ROI being clear unless one has an unconstrained budget. Of which I do not...do you??? The ROI between the 4050 and the 4920 does NOT make sense to me, being that $2,000 only gets marginal percentage point increases for the cost (see the rendering "Time" differentials below).

The BOXX 4050 though, coming in at just about $3,900 makes it attractive, given the performance it provides and where, for just over the cost of a single 4920, one can get nearly 2 of the 4050's, if not 3 other decent machines... It's all a balancing act, no? 

That all said; the BOXX Workstations did work amazingly fast and I really liked having them around.
For instance the rendering differences were extraordinary. -I rendered the same file from 3 machines: Note the costs are "as configured" -one can spend a bit more or less depending...

Project File Size: 19.5 mb

Faces: 35,316

Materials: 105

Rendering Results:

HP Z400 ($2,500 +/-)

Res: 2800 x 2100

Time: 56m 59s

BOXX 4050
($3,900 +/-)

Res: 2800 x 2100

Time: 19m 0s

BOXX 4920
($6,000 +/-)

Res: 2800 x 2100

Time: 17m 24s

So there it is in not so small a nutshell...Get the most you can afford and make sure the service contract is up to your needs as well!!! 

Cheers, -J