Friday, 17 August 2018

Revit 2019.1 Released

This is just a quick post about Revit 2019.1 which was released a few days ago.

For all the new stuff, you can visit the Autodesk Revit Blog. I will post in the coming weeks about my thoughts on some of the new stuff. The new start page has already got people talking on the forums. I am yet to tinker with it officially (outside of the feedback forums), so I will hold my thoughts till then. 


What's New Autodesk Help here. Release notes here.
Link to the blog post can be found here.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Can You Place a Loaded Image?

What did Liam Neeson say to the Revit user who wanted to place an image loaded into a Revit model?

...Good Luck.
Try and place an image from the Manage Images Dialog

Just use the 'Image' button you say? Ok, let's try that...
Awesome, now I have two.

*Update 20 June, 2018
I have a Revit Idea asking for a fix for this problem here!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

QAT in Revit 2019 Moving the File Name...

I recently logged a report with the development team on the curious case of the moving file name... 
It seems with the refresh of the interface in Revit 2019, the addition of icons on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) is shifting the file name, even when it is docked below the ribbon...

Revit 2018 behaving correctly

Revit 2019, lots of QAT icons moves the file name at the top of the application bar..
...eventually cutting it off. 

I will keep you posted on the fix. 

Monday, 11 June 2018

Land of the Subtle...Filled Regions in Revit 2019

A colleague of mine recently pointed out a subtle change to the filled region settings in Revit 2019.
I have been so distracted by the new (and very cool) background / foreground options in Revit 2019 that I didn't notice in the filled regions dialog Autodesk have made a subtle change to the terminology & method to making a filled region transparent or opaque... 

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Best Blog for Enscape Tips & Tricks

This is a quick post for users of Enscape.

I recommend the use of Enscape to my students due to its versatility and ease of use. It is also a great communication tool for students to walk through their models. 
A worth while blog to visit is the Enscape Blog. There are always really useful posts to get the most out of not only Enscape, but Revit as well. The latest post by Dan Stine is a good example of this. He has outlined some 'Best Practices for Revit Project Setup' to help you get the most from your Enscape experience. Enjoy! 

p.s. If you like this post, check out Dan's blog 'BIM Chapters'. 

Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Big Update - A List of Updates from Revit 2016 to Revit 2019

Are you using an older version of Revit? Perhaps you are using a version going all the way back to Revit 2015 or Revit 2016? The question I have been asked numerous times over the last month is, why should we upgrade?
The release of Revit 2019 last month is well worth consideration and the argument to upgrade from older versions of Revit, in my opinion, just got a lot stronger. 

This decision also needs to be weighed against signing up for a subscription licence. Autodesk hasn't been doing so well introducing subscription to it's business model. There are endless discussions in the forums and unhappy customers. The ever increasing cost of licences has made it a hard (& bitter) pill to swallow. That together with the long and well documented history of Autodesk's fairly slow development in general, has left many people happy to settle on there final perpetual licences of 2016 / 2017. (The new "Collections" don't help either).

There has been some improvement though, more transparency from the development team and since the Revit Ideas kicked off, more interaction with customers about what we want in the software. The Revit Blog also posts a roadmap, to let you know where development is heading.
So I think, for many offices, Revit 2019 may be worth a closer look in considering a possible upgrade as I 
believe the list of enhancements and day to day productivity gains since Revit 2016 to the now current Revit 2019, is too many to be ignored.

I have had to go back to using Revit 2016 for a number of months now in one of my jobs. I still use Revit 2018/19 regularly so going backwards so many versions has really made it obvious to me some of the updates and performance improvements I have taken for granted.

Out of interest, I decided to compile a list of all the note worthy Architectural & multi-discipline updates & enhancements to Revit since the 2016 "Release 2" update that was only available to subscription customers at the time. 
I enjoyed compiling this list, it was a good refresh and reminded me of a few minor updates that I had forgotten about myself.  

This turned out to be a lengthy post, so in an effort to keep it as concise as possible, I have simply listed the change/enhancement and only in some cases a short explanation. If you need more info on the update as well as a list of all minor, MEP & structural updates, I have provided all the links to the "What's New" articles as well as links to my past posts on new features. 

Detailed explanation of the R2 updates by the Revit Cat
  • Global parameters
  • Cancel print / export jobs (rather than previously only being able to cancel one sheet at a time)
  • Family editor - Visibility preview
  • Family editor - Filter voids & solids
  • Revit Links - Unload 'for me' option allows you to unload a link without effecting others when syncing
  • Worksharing - When detaching models, "_detached" is now appended to the file name instead of just a blank file name
  • Underlay - New properties and terminology has been created in the properties to make it more clear of the underlay conditions
  • Filters Dialog - Now listed alphabetically and sorted in a tree structure for rule-based and selection-based filters
  • Reference plane names can now be added directly in the model area
  • Perspective views - More tools becoming accessible while in perspective views
  • Wall joins can be nominated in the options bar prior to placing walls
  • Railings "preview" option added
  • Rendering - Autodesk introduces "Raytracer" a faster rendering method than the old Mental Ray. This now moves towards CPU rendering instead of previous GPU rendering. 
  • Energy Analysis tools improved & expanded
  • PDF Links - When you create a combined PDF in Revit, the references in PDF's create live links to the corresponding sheets
Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Occlusion culling / Draw visible elements only - Best in 3D views
  • Colour fills now completed as background process

My previous post on the Revit 2017 release.
My previous post on the Revit 2017 text issues.
Detailed post by Revit OpEd 
  • Text editor & Text measurement - This was a big update. I wrote several posts following the 2017 release and they are well worth a read as there were many issues at the time relating to text measurement in particular.  
  • Depth Cueing - New graphic display option for elevations & sections
  • Rendering - Raytracer becomes the only method of rendering
  • Schedules - Combined parameters & full view templates for schedules
  • Family editor - Calculated values in annotation tags
  • Family editor - Sub categories for reference planes
  • Reference plane category for filters added
  • Keynote Legends - Only shows keynotes visible in the view
  • Global parameters - Further enhancements after the 2016 R2 release.
  • Hosted railings on components - Ability to host railings on faces of floors, slab edges, walls or roofs
  • Dynamo - Now included as part of the Revit application install
  • Worksharing - With the new inclusion of *'Collaboration for Revit' (C4R) the method to enable worksharing has changed. You now need to click the 'Collaborate' button on the collaborate ribbon. More info here
Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Display of walls - Revit now regenerates walls only for those visible in the drawing area. If a wall is very small, it displays as simplified lines allowing for faster navigation. 

*Note: As of Revit 2019, C4R is now replaced with BIM 360 Design

  • Dynamo Player - Run dynamo scripts from the dialog in lieu of opening the application
  • Model in perspective views - More Modify commands available
  • Repair Central Model - New tools to attempt to fix corrupt central models
Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Support for 4K monitors
  • Model in perspective views

Minor fixes, nothing major in my opinion. See the 2017 article

My previous post on the Revit 2018 release.
  • New File tab - This replaces the application menu button (a.k.a "the big R")
  • Railings host to topographic surface (fantastic feature)
  • Multi storey stairs - Multistory stairs automatically adjust if level heights change (Stairs by sketch no longer available)
  • Schedule model groups & RVT links
  • Add parameters to model groups, RVT links and schedules - You can now create custom project parameters for these new categories. 
  • Coordination Models - Ability to link Navisworks models into Revit for coordination as an underlay
  • Railings & Type Properties - Dialog improved to allow access directly to top rail and handrail properties
  • Worksharing Monitor & Transmit a Model addins now installed with Revit 2018
  • Project Sub-categories for reference planes
  • Parameter tooltips expanded throughout the interface
  • Symbols in text notes now available
  • Print command added to the quick access toolbar
  • Labels now use rich text formatting, consistent with text notes 
  • FormIt Converter - Improvements in the FormIt converter all transfer of materials into Revit

Revit 2018.1
  • Browser organisation for schedules - Ability to sort the schedules list in the project browser, similar to views and sheets. (Still can't do this for legends)
  • Dynamo Player Upgrade - Dynamo player now supports running scripts with inputs. 
  • Railings re-hosted - The sketch of Re-hosted railings will now appear on the new host

Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Updated graphics & hardware options - This includes a new Hardware tab.

Revit 2018.2
  • Expand/Collapse Project Browser via new right-click commands
  • Fill Patterns dialog - The dialog has been improved including a new search feature and ability re-scale imported patterns. 
  • Section Box shape controls - Functionality has been improved to make selection of shape handles more reliable, resulting in less miss-clicks (of geometry behind)
  • Family loading - Revit remembers the last folder from which you loaded families during the current session. 
  • Family editor - Column widths in the family types dialog are now maintained in the current session. 
Revit 2018.3
  • Mainly fixes of reported issues and the introduction of Revit Cloud Worksharing (formerly Collaboration for Revit)

My previous post on the Revit 2019 release.
  • Tabbed views - Faster and easier navigation of multiple windows over single and dual file use
  • Multi-monitor support - Many offices run dual monitors, now the primary software in your office can maximise this investment.
  • Levels in 3D views (grids still not available in 3D views unfortunately)
  • OR in filters - More complex and flexible filtering rules can now be created
  • Uncropped perspective view - Allows you to work in full screen perspective views
  • Scope boxes can be applied in 3D views
  • Double fill patterns - You can now combine drafting and model hatch patterns. This change has been pushed through-out the Revit interface including the materials browser. 
  • Renaming level for corresponding views - This dialog box can now be turned off (Finally!!!)
  • Delete level warning dialog - If you attempted it, deleting levels was very time consuming. This simple dialog makes life much easier and deleting levels can now be done a little more confidently with a full list of effected elements. 
  • Slow double click to rename views available
  • Railings can be split outside of sketch mode
  • Software version of files now visible in Open dialog
  • Dimensions for curved objects in section views (perpendicular) now available
  • Materials & Physical assets - The improvement to the physcial assets in Revit will see your render quality get an upgrade courtesy of the factory. Enscape have also been quick to update their software to take advantage of these new materials. 

It's a long list isn't it!? Sadly, many would still not be impressed. This is always going to come down to how everyone uses Revit differently. 
One item of development that is typically overlooked though is performance. Whilst there are key performance updates that are noted above, it is the performance updates "under the hood", that have also had an impact in ensuring models remain speedy as the software improves (and hardware) improves. 

As I always say though, participate in the Revit Ideas forum and Autodesk Feedback Community if you want to have a say!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Revit 2019 - What's New & First Impressions

Revit 2019 has arrived...

It has been an exciting past week with the arrival of Revit 2019. The list of new features and enhancements I think will see Revit 2019 as a key release in years to come. 
As many of you probably know by now, one of those key features is the multi monitor support together with tabbed views.

You can find the Revit Knowledge Network Article on What's new for Revit 2019 HERE.

The Upgrade Information for Revit 2019 can be found HERE.

The Revit Blog here also outlines some of the new features.

A list of resolved reported issues & improvements (minor) can be found HERE.

Finally, with the release of 2018.3 and Revit 2019, you can read the updated Revit Roadmap HERE.

Here is a list of the Architectural & multi-discipline updates (at the time of writing) and I will be sure to keep this updated with more minor updates that aren't typically covered in the marketing stuff as I discover them.
  • Multi-monitor support
  • Tabbed views
  • 'OR' in filters
  • Levels in 3D
  • Uncropped perspective views
  • 3D view projection toggle
  • Scope boxes can be applied in 3D views
  • Scope box list now sorts alphanumerically
  • Double fill patterns
    • Material browser foreground / background fill patterns
  • Material browser; new physical assets (improved render materials)
  • Delete level warning now itemises what will be deleted
  • Renaming level for corresponding views dialog box can now be turned off (Do not show again tickbox)
  • Material browser cleaned up with only one AEC library
  • Vertical text alignment
  • Ability to slow double click to rename views
  • Ability to split railings outside of sketch mode
  • Display software version for files in the Open dialog
  • Improved fidelity of FormIt imports
  • Access to new BIM 360 Design (replaces C4R) (also released in 2018.3 update)
  • Dimensions for curved objects in section views (perpendicular)

Note about installation: It has been flagged that Revit 2019 installs with the latest version of Dynamo 1.3.3. For some, the downside to this will be this version is not compatible with Revit 2016. You may need to reinstall Dynamo 1.3.2 afterwards. Further information can be found in the Dynamo forums if you run into problems. 
Also, there is known bug that Autodesk is working on fixing relating to common key functions not working in Dynamo for 2019. See post HERE at the Dynamobim website.

What am I most excited about in Revit 2019?!?
Tabbed views!, No, wait... multi-monitor support! No, actually, OR filters... oh wait, double hatch patterns! OK, so there is A LOT to like about this release. At the moment, I think tabbed views is leading the way for this question, but yesterday I was testing on a sample project and the dual monitor support put a big smile on my face. Then today I was testing some updates for our future drawings and double patterns was oh so easy.

The double patterns is a change that may take some getting use to. This will effect all areas of Revit where you can assign a fill pattern. You will notice now the terminology "Foreground" & "Background" used throughout the interface, from filters, to filled regions to the material browser.

Updated material browser interface

Updated VG fill pattern interface

Updated filled region interface

I am looking forward to applying this change to our documents. We have both timber and masonry fire walls throughout our documentation highlighted by a red fill. The problem has always been we couldn't simultaneously indicate the wall hatch representation for the material and the solid fill, now we can. With double fill patterns, we can now assign a background colour of red solid fill and foreground of masonry diagonal hatch. Perfect.

It is worth noting though background fill can only use drafting patterns (including solid). To ensure consistency, I am thinking that users should only use the "foreground" fill for single hatch patterns or things may get confusing. 

In the VG a double hatch pattern applied to walls for example looks like this...

Some Other Things I Noticed...
Tabbed views and multi-monitor support is great, but at the moment, off frame views act like a separate window application. What this means is when you pull a tab out of frame onto a second monitor, you can't add more tabs to this frame like you can when the frame is in Revit.
Instead, you will have to pull multiple views out of the Revit application frame and dock them into place using the Microsoft method of window docking.
Hopefully this is addressed in the future, being able to simply click tabs in out of frame windows would be much easier.

I am not thrilled about the slow double click to rename feature. We all know what this is like in windows when you mis-click the folder and you enter rename mode instead, I am hoping I don't start experiencing this in Revit now with views. Time will tell.

The factory concentrated on levels in 3D views. This is good, but to be honest, when I voted on the idea in the Revit Ideas forum, I was voting for grids in 3D views and for most people, I think this is far more useful so I hope this addition isn't too far away.

The material browser is busy. With the introduction of double fill patterns, the material browser dialog box has a lot going on and I think this could have been done better. I mocked up my own interface idea below. I just don't understand why we need such a big white box to show the fill pattern. Look how small the box is in visibility graphics and even that is split in two now!

I think this is a cleaner solution...

The Revit Icon; what is now a running joke, the Revit Icon has been the same since 2017. We use a software program that almost guarantees most offices will use more than a single version, and here we are with something so simple being ignored.
I wasn't going to wait for Autodesk, so I made my own this year. Those who have kept up with the changes for Navisworks 2019 will understand the irony of my colour choice*. 

*With no 'New features' list yet, the only change for Navisworks 2019 appears to be the icon colour going from the traditional green to now being blue. So now everything is blue? How boring. I think all the applications of the suites should have their own colour! Look out AutoCAD, you could be next!

Maybe the Navisworks team should have assisted the Revit team with a new icon?