zhukoven | Shaping the future of technology-driven design
My name is Konstantin Zhukoven, and this is my blog about innovative technologies that we use on a daily basis to boost our productivity. Acting as BIM Manager with structural engineering in the background, I am keen on cutting edge technology. I believe that sharing and open source phylosophy would drive our AEC industry forward.
Imagine that you use Revit 2017/2018/2019, or whatever version prior to Revit 2019.2, and you need to place an image that is already loaded within your Revit model. What would you do? You open the ‘Manage Images’ dialog hoping to re-place your image (Insert > Manage Images):
Surprise! Manage images does not allow you to actually use your data stored within the model database:
There are a couple of workarounds for managing Revit images, like using pyRevit add-in to export all images from the model, then re-import them back:
And now that we have Revit 2019.2 around, we can use an OOTB button that simply places an instance of selected image to the current view:
So if you struggle to fine this tiny time-saving button, then update your Revit install.
Following up with Revit 2019.2 update install issues, there is another critical point that wasn’t documented. When you install Revit 2019.2, it silently updates your current Dynamo install to the 1.3.4 version.
As a general rule of thumb, Dynamo supports three versions of Revit: the current release (2019) and two versions back (2018 and 2017).
Revit 2019.2 update has been around for a couple of days now. It brings some great features that enhance connectivity and productivity (see the list of enhancements @ Autodesk blogs). But in some cases the update fails to install correctly, and here is why:
The problem with Revit 2019.2 occurs on systems that had the Revit 2019.1 update installed first and the Revit 2019.0.2 security fix applied later.
The Revit 2019.0.2 security fix failed to block the unsupported update path, leaving Revit 2019 in a bad state.
The only known solution for this problem is to completely uninstall and reinstall Revit 2019, and then apply the 2019.2 update (see this thread @ Autodesk forums for reference).
If you experienced other installation issues, please see the Troubleshooting article @ Autodesk knowledge network.
MissionControl is a web application presented by Konrad K Sobon at Autodesk University 2017 that allows you to access Revit data from a web browser. It brings important data from Revit models right at your fingertips in a clean and responsive format:
MissionControl has some nice features like:
Dashboards for data visualization
Revit add-in with model health report and tasks list
Enscape3D evolves with a decent speed, introducing a bunch of great features with each release. This is probably because of the way Enscape team interacts with their users through the Trello development agenda. Everyone has access to this board and can not only see the future development plans, but also vote for the favorite ideas.
The latest and greatest Enscape3D 2.4 brings a lot of new features, some of them are just brilliant:
Web standalone export
6X faster video rendering
Improved sky rendering
Water on mini map
New mouse/keyboard input
Normal map auto-detection
Quality & performance improvements
Video export performance
Image quality and stability
Improved depth of field
Panorama flagged as 360° image
Latest Nvidia Display Driver compatibility
I’m going to focus on these two things that I highlighted in red. The first feature is called “Asset Library” and contains a number of entourage components like furniture, people, trees. Asset library resides on the Enscape ribbon in Revit, which is pretty cool:
The button opens an asset library window with categories, search bar and preview images. Clicking on the image inserts the element in Revit:
My second favorite feature is the brand new Web standalone export. With Enscape 2.4 you’re able to export your walkthroug to WebGL format compatible with almost all of the modern web browsers (see the screenshot from Firefox Quantum below):
The export process is super easy: just launch Enscape3D walkthrough by pressing the Play button, then click on Export Web Standalone. Enscape will open a web page in your default web browser and after a while (depending on the size of your model) you’ll be able to walk in your model inside the browser! Read the Web Standalone how-to article at the Enscape3D website.
That is a long waited feature, because now you can share the walkthrough with a client, or any other person who doesn’t have a powerful workstation to run EXE files with realtime rendering. Of course, there are some limitations, but anyway Web Standalone is a game-changer.
So I’ve played with Enscape3D Web Standalone for a while, and here is what I’ve found:
Export process is fast and easy. Enscape uses Amazon web services for model conversion and hosting.
Web viewer requires WebGL 2, which means that it won’t run in old browsers and iOS mobile devices (at least for now):
Some android devices support WebGL 2, but the viewer lags so much that it’s barely usable, which is also sad. Click here to check if your browser supports WebGL 2.
I don’t know why, but Web Standalone doesn’t run in my desktop Google Chrome. The loading bar gets stuck at 100% and nothing happens. If you happen to see such weird behaviour, try using different browser (Firefox Quantum for example).
Web Standalone does not support WASD buttons for moving. Navigation however is working with arrow keys. Other hotkeys (space, shift+mouse buttons work as expected.
Overall graphics quality is pretty good, given that we look at WebGL. Textures, trees, water, shadows are present, but do not expect the PC-like quality in web browser.
If you are an Enscape3D user like me, go ahead and try these awesome features: version 2.4 is available for download here.
Bad news for everyone who has been waiting for the next Revit 2019 Extensions release. Autodesk recently published the following statement concerning the fate of Revit Extensions:
As of April 20, 2018, Autodesk will not deliver Revit® Extensions for Autodesk® Revit® 2019. Instead, customers using the timber and reinforcement modeling extensions can easily migrate to alternative solutions delivered by technology partners.
Revit 2018 is the last version that supports Extensions.
I recently ran into an issue with shared parameters that have the same name but different GUIDs. This happens when somebody creates the new shared parameter instead of using an existing one. And the difference between parameters’ GUIDs is a huge problem: Revit knows that these parameters are not the same by looking at the GUID.
Revit does not show parameter GUID unless you export this parameter to the txt file. And this may be a problem if you have tons of shared parameters loaded to the project.
So I thought that it would be a good idea to build a Dynamo script for reporting some information about shared parameters. Firstly I queried unique Ids for the shared parameters:
Turns out, these Ids are not the GUIDs that I was looking for. This could be checked by opening the shared parameters txt file. That’s why I built a couple of custom nodes using the Revit API to extract data from shared parameters:
The first one (called “SharedParameters.GUID“) extracts names and GUIDs from the shared parameters in the Revit project. These are the GUIDs that could be found in the shared parameters.txt file.
The second one (called “SharedParameters.Info“) extracts type, group, and unit type from shared parameters in the Revit project. This data may be useful for managing parameters (like sorting / grouping) in Dynamo.
Autodesk has just published an update for the public Revit roadmap. The updated document contains both new features that have already been implemented in the latest 2019.1 release, and plans for the future development.
We’ve add some major projects to our roadmap for this update. We’ve decided that is time to start working on improvements to wall elements since walls are such a critical piece of the project. We are starting slowly with some more straight-forward improvements that have been on Revit Ideas, but behind the scenes will be working to make the data of walls more robust and better serve the future. Our goal is to reduce the need for complex modeling tools (like in-place or massing) and provide better data for quantities and materials as you design for better understanding of the impact of design choices.
The Rhino Inside technology allows Rhino and Grasshopper to be embedded within other products, including Revit and AutoCAD. This repository contains all the sample developer code for loading Rhino inside other 64-bit Windows applications.
Note that you’ll need to download Rhino WIP version to be able to play with Inside technology.