Sunday, 30 April 2017

Reported Issues Resolved with Revit 2018

A few weeks ago Revit 2018 was released with some great new features. You can read more about it in my previous post here. (There is already a 2018 hotfix released. 2018.0.1 should be available through your Desktop App).

There was a discussion in the Autodesk Revit forums recently about a user trying to obtain the release notes, in particular, a documented list of 'resolved issues' for Revit 2018. Someone from Autodesk came to the party and provided a link to a list of 'Reported issues resolved with Revit 2018'. Well, here it is, and it's a loooong list!

In reading through this list, I noticed there were a few minor "fixes" or "improvements" that I thought were worth highlighting as they result in new behaviour.

In no particular order here are a few that stood out to me...

"Added the ability to use the middle mouse button for manipulating the view when a warning dialog is open"
Previously, if reviewing warnings in a 3D view, you could only zoom the model when the warnings dialog was open. We can now pan and orbit to help us see warnings in 3D views.

"Fixed an issue with view templates so that the 'view orientation' is not editable when a view template is assigned to the view"
In 2017, the view orientation (True North/Project North) was editable, even when a view template was applied. In 2018, this has been fixed and now appears greyed out when the view uses a view template.

"Fixed an issue so that floors, ceilings and roof elements can now have 0-thickness membrane layers, similar to wall elements"
Self-explanatory, which now means the membrane is also accepted as a "face layer". So you shouldn't see this warning anymore...

"Added a warning message when two floors occupy the same place".
Ever notice when you had duplicate floor elements you didn't get a warning message like walls? Well, now a yellow warning dialog pops up if you have 2 floors on top of each other. It will also now appear in your warnings dialog.

"Fixed an issue so that subcategories in the Object Style dialog can be deleted and renamed using the default keyboard shortcuts (Delete and F2)"
This was a welcome fix. Previously object styles could only be deleted and renamed using the buttons in the dialog box. In 2018, they have fixed it so the 'delete' and 'F2 keys' work as expected to delete and rename object styles.

"Removed the positioning option 'Manual - Base Point' from the Link CAD Formats dialog".
I never used this. It never worked. Seems Autodesk couldn't get it to work either? So they just removed the option entirely! ("Too hard" basket perhaps or maybe lack of complaints that it didn't work highlighted how few people used it?). Steve Stafford at Revit OpEd documented the problem back in 2015!

Link DWG in Revit 2017 
Link DWG in Revit 2018

"Enabled the activation of the right-click content menu through the context menu key on Windows keyboard. The context menu key is to the right of the right-Windows key".
I don't use it. Someone out there must have asked for it? Unless they read this blog, they will never know!

"Improved the performance of the Type Selector and Structural Connection Settings dialogs in steel connections context".
I documented this in a previous post last year explaining how you got a 'no matches' result in the type selector after placing a steel connections component. This has now been resolved. (This was resolved in the 2017.1 update)

Suite workflows: Showcase removed
If you didn't already know, Autodesk Showcase has been discontinued as of this year. Therefore, the 'Suite Workflows' for Showcase in the application menu no longer appear. A lonely menu now.

So, there you go, minor things? Sure. Worth knowing? I think so, it can't hurt and it all goes towards improving your experience with Revit. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Rewind Navigation Tool in Revit

I was reminded of the 'rewind' tool today and with it, learnt something new!

We all navigate 3D models and camera views often throughout the day. One thing that has always caught me out is accidentally orbiting a camera view, forgetting that I would not be able to get back to the view angle I began least I thought. Cue the rewind tool!

The rewind tool allows you to retrieve previous views from the navigation history that is retained for each view opened. The tool saves thumbnails of previous views states as you navigate within the view. 

Where can you find the rewind navigation tool? There are a couple of methods. The first is to look for your Navigation Bar in your model view. It typically docks just below the view cube.

If you cannot see it, ensure you have it turned on via the User Interface button on the View Ribbon.

You can also activate the Navigation Wheel via the built-in shortcut SHIFT+W.

To 'rewind', just hold down the rewind button on the navigation wheel and drag your cursor to the left or right to return your view back to the desired location! Easy!  

Always a good day learning something new!

It is also worth mentioning, you can always lock your 3D views using the 'Save orientation & lock view' via the visual control bar...

Friday, 14 April 2017

Revit 2018 - What's New & First Impressions

*Updated 15/04/2017
Revit 2018 has arrived...

In this post you will find some links to the Autodesk Knowledge Network information as well as my initial impressions of the interface. I think there are some really nice new features to get excited about for this release, but first, the links. 

You can find the Revit Knowledge Network article on What's new for Revit 2018 HERE.

The 'Upgrade Information for Revit 2018' can be found HERE.
It is important to note, that if you are upgrading from 2016 or earlier you will need to read up on the information related to text. You can find the Autodesk knowledge network article about text measurement HERE.
I have also posted previously about the issues I encountered when upgrading to Revit 2017 last year (when the new text measurement method was introduced) See 'Upgrading to Revit 2017 - Text Issues', 'Upgrading to Revit 2017 - Text Issues in Detail' & 'Revit 2017 - Text Justificaton'. 

Finally, there has also been some installation changes for 2018. Autodesk continue to expand on bundling Autodesk addins with the software. (For Revit 2017, Dynamo was included). We now see popular addins such as e-Transmit, Worksharing monitor and more included. Unlike Dynamo which moved to the Manage ribbon, these addins remain on the 'Addins' ribbon. Read more HERE

Revit 2018 may not yet appear in your account management yet. I also note at the time of writing, Autodesk Virtual Agent didn't have access to Revit 2018 yet either. Luke Johnson at 'What Revit Wants' has more links for the Autodesk 2018 suite of tools, including Revit Live (Previously known as Autodesk Live).

Installation & Dynamo Conflict
A few days ago, I updated Dynamo to the new 1.3.0 version released on April 6th. It seems Revit 2018 might not like that....I received this warning during installation...

We'll see what others experience. If you look at my ribbon though you will notice the 'Visual Programming' panel (introduced in Revit 2017) is missing entirely! 

So I had to reinstall Dynamo 1.3.0 for 2018 & then the visual programming panel showed up with Dynamo & Dynamo Player. Something to be aware of if your Dynamo disappears!

What am I most excited about in Revit 2018? 
Number one would have to be the ability to have railings hosted on topography. (In Revit 2017 Autodesk introduced the ability for us to host railings on floors, walls and roofs). 
So with this new ability we get more creative with our railing profiles for site. We can use railings for road kerbs, retaining walls and even just to host a sweep. Finally something that follows topo! 

What about a Rescode building setback railing?! ('Rescode', aka Clause 55, is part of our local planning scheme requirements here in Victoria, Australia).

Rescode setback following topo! No Dynamo required!
Although I didn't have to try very hard to break it already! 

The other feature that I was really happy to see was the ability to schedule links and groups! Finally, we can schedule apartment types in multi-res work, room types in health projects, general model management and more. 

An Unexpected Change
The Revit application menu button in the top left of the screen has been replaced with a 'File' Tab. I like it, subtle yet effective. I think this type of stuff goes a long way towards making the program interface more professional.

The Interface
When you open Revit 2018 for first time, one thing in particular will stand out. The interface has had a cut & polish. You may notice the panel titles have had their background colour removed and the icons appear more crisp.
What is most noticeable however, is the 'Dark' theme. (You can apply this in the options under Interface)
Autodesk seemed to have really dialed up the 'darkness'. I think the icons are a little harder to read on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) and for someone like myself who likes the QAT below the ribbon, it creates a more noticeable dark heavy band separating the options bar and ribbon. It's a shame the colour doesn't adjust according to which position the QAT is in.  Decide for yourself, you can see in my comparison below: 

Looking on the bright side (no pun intended), the 'Light' theme option actually looks much nicer in my opinion. So maybe it's time for a change? 

There are some subtle changes too. We now have a Print button on the QAT. Although the 'New' button is still off by default. I never have, and never will understand that.

Guess the Version Game: The application icons look identical between Revit 2017 & 2018. 
Can you tell which icon is 2017 & which is 2018?!?

Is this really so hard?
I know that is going to annoy a lot of people. Why Autodesk don't attend to this is beyond me, especially when you are working with an application that pretty much guarantees most users will have at least 2 versions on their machine. Is it so hard to add an '18' to the icon? 

We had enough time to add tick boxes to the 'Tag All Not Tagged' dialog box though... 

Don't get too excited about the listed feature regarding 'Tag All not Tagged'. It's just tick boxes...

Stairs & Railings
Multi-storey stairs now parametrically update with levels, even if the level heights vary. You can watch the video HERE. There are also updates and improvements to railings HERE.
Some minor tweaks to the railing icons now indicate 'Place on Stair/Ramp', instead of the previous 'Place on host'. The 'Stair by Sketch' drop down has now been completely culled. 

This was a slow phasing out which started a few releases back, and is now completed in Revit 2018. You can still create stairs by sketch, however your only option now is to convert component stairs to a sketch. This will now remove any confusion. That being said, if you are reading this and saying "I use stair by sketch", then read this post by the Revit Cat.

Tim Waldock at the Revit Cat has written A LOT on stairs and railings in the past. Stay tuned to his blog, no doubt he already has a few things in the pipeline to discuss these new features and what he did to break them!

Worksharing Monitor
Now included as part of the Revit install (finally!). This feature is a must have for worksharing projects. Even without worksharing, the system performance monitor integrated into the dialog is a nice tool. We also see e-Transmit and Model Review addins included. 

Coordination Model - Link Navisworks Files
You can now link a Naviswork model into your project for context. You will find the new 'Coordination Model' icon on the Link panel on the insert ribbon. Fantastic, looking forward to using this feature. It allows you to insert NWC and NWD files. I will be interested to explore this feature in terms of performance and file size. 

*Insight 360 Plug-in for 2018
I haven't seen any news yet of any Insight 360 updates. I am expecting them though as the Autodesk team have made mention of it in the forums a few times. In the mean time, you can access the new Insight 360 plug-in for Revit 2018 HERE.

So, that's it for now, no doubt more will come next week as webinars and those who are far more in the know than I am post their comments. There is also an upcoming webinar by Autodesk, you can register HERE.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

That Pesky Associate Global Parameters Button

I have noticed in my classes a button causing a bit of trouble lately. A recent post in the Autodesk Revit Forum prompted me to write this post. 

What am I talking about? The associate global parameters (AGP) button that now appears next to many instance and type parameters in Revit. AGP is a nice feature, introduced in the Revit 2016 Release 2 update, they allow us to associate parameters in the project environment, allowing us to make global parametric changes. You can see this knowledge network article here to learn more. 

Where I see it causing problems for users is when trying to change the material of objects. You can't actually see the material browser button until you click in the cell. So naturally, users click on what they can see, which now happens to be the AGP button. 

When you click this button, the AGP dialog box opens and users are left scratching their heads. (I have even seen some students attempt to search for the material in this dialog).

What you really need to be looking for are those 3 little dots next to the material name. As I mentioned before, you can't actually see this button until you click in the material cell. If you know where it is, you can actually just click in this spot, the button shows and opens the material browser. 

I have never understood why this button is hidden. There should be a permanent 'pencil' (Autodesk symbol for editing) next to the material parameter that is visible and clear for users to click on. Something like this...

I am off to the Revit Ideas forum... 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Everyday Dynamo: New 'Beaker' Package

Bill Allen & John Pierson from Evolve Lab recently released a new Dynamo package called 'Beaker'
I am excited by what I have seen so far. Many of the nodes revolve around the idea of filtering which will make things a lot easier when trying to find specific data. I am looking forward to simplifying some of my own everyday graphs with these new nodes! 

My favourite node so far, would have to be the Collector.OfCurtainWalls! 

Thanks Bill & John for the development of this package!