Saturday, 31 October 2015

Understanding the Coordinate Systems in Revit

There was a time I thought I understood the Revit coordinate system. Project base points and survey points, it seemed straight forward. Then a few years ago I learnt about the 'hidden' internal coordinate system in Revit that Origin to Origin uses and I started to pay a little more attention.

The problem for me with shared coordinates is that it is not an area of Revit I use on a regular basis. I would typical mess with it at the start of a project to set up files and consultants links, then be working on the project for 6 months and forget it all. I wrote a 3 page step by step process to help and have referred to it ever since. 

Some months ago though I was troubleshooting a shared coordinates problem with a colleague. We had a consultant link not playing ball and I was getting unexpected outcomes trying to fix it. It made me realise perhaps I hadn't grasped the Revit coordinate system as well as I had thought...until now. 

I recently watched an Autodesk University presentation by David Baldacchino. You may recognise the name if you are a reader of his blog 'Do U Revit'

The presentation he gave 'Navigating through the storm using coordinate systems in Revit' is definitely worth the watch. Its full length is around 90 minutes and if you visit the link you will find handouts and resources to go with the presentation. Thanks David!! 

Revit Rendering

I get a lot of questions from my students about rendering this time of year. Fair enough, it is a complex process of material setup and asset configuration. Add in the various options to rendering quality, lighting, shadows and rendering engines available and the outcome can be a slow and sometimes confusing process. 

I myself am no rendering expert. The type of work I do in the office often doesn't give me the opportunity to play with rendering as much as I would like. There are a number of rendering tips out there though, that I often refer too and share with others. 

I have collated a handful of them (some new, some old), hopefully they can assist you in getting the best outcomes from your rendering. 

Remember, a good rendering takes a lot of hours. Ensure you allow enough time in your program to spend on materials and lighting and also decide which rendering engine you will use from the start, as outcomes will vary. Also don't forget, Revit doesn't have to have the last word on the final render. Don't hesitate to take your final render into photoshop afterwards to make any final lighting and material tweaks to improve the final image. 

Finally, if you create a good quality material or bump file, don't lose it! Start your own material library and keep materials, entourage, lighting settings etc filed away, ready for next time. 

Happy Rendering! 

Updated Family Types Dialog Box

The 'Family Types' Dialog box has been updated in Revit 2016 R2. Previously, tools displayed as text buttons. These are now icons to give us more real-estate in the dialog. As part of this change, you may notice now, you can click the modify icon for built-in family parameters. In 2015, the modify button was always grey, which sometimes caused confusion for those not in the know. 

In 2016 R2, when you click the modify, it displays a dialog box identifying it as a built-in parameter. You still cannot edit or delete this parameter, however it should make things clearer for those unsure as to why Revit won't let you modify the parameter. 

I like enhancements like this, I find in teaching, things like this help a great deal in explaining what Revit is actually doing and makes things clearer for the end user.

Revit 2015

Revit 2016 'R2'

Revit 'R2' Update

In August I posted about 'Autodesk Revit Sunrise'. It gave us a sneak peak into some of the enhancements Autodesk are working on. 

Well as many of us were hoping for, some of these enhancements have been delivered by the way of an update, 'Release 2'. The update is for subscription customers only and rather than rehash what many have already posted, I have provided a few links on what's new. 

My personal favourites so far would have to be...

  • Isolate solid voids with filter tool (finally!)
  • Family element visibility setting
  • Project browser enhancement (The smallest things are often the best)
  • Named reference planes
Global parameters is an interesting one. I will have to play with this one a little more before I give any feedback, but I can certainly see the potential. If in the future you can link it to family parameters, that could be very powerful.