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Friday, March 05, 2010

How To Create a Revit Walkthrough and then Upload it to Youtube

Here is a brief how-to on creating a large, high resolution rendered Revit walkthrough (or sun study) and then subsequently compressing and uploading it to Youtube.

  1. Setup your walkthrough view.
  2. In Revit, Export - Walkthrough and divide the total frame count of the animation into parts that have a manageable number of frames (I recommend 100).
  3. Do this for each part of the Walkthrough (ie. create files with frames 1-100.avi, then 101-200.avi, 201-300.avi etc). Use 'Full Frames (uncompressed)' when creating these parts.
  4. Use VirtualDub to join the parts together. In VirtualDub, open the first part. Press Ctrl-Right arrow (this takes you to the end of the file), then go File - Append AVI Segment... and choose the next part. Do this however many times is need to append all parts to the original file.
  5. In VirtualDub, go to Video - Compression and I recommend using the 'Cinepak Codec by Radius' if you have it. Quality = 100.
  6. In VirtualDub, go to Audio and choose 'No Audio'
  7. Choose Video - Full Processing Mode
  8. Now go File - Save as AVI and create your combined and partly compressed AVI file.
  9. Open Windows Movie Maker. Import the combined file into the collections.
  10. Drag the file into the storyboard at the bottom.
  11. Go to File - Publish Movie. Choose 'This computer' and click Next. Choose a filename and location and click Next.
  12. I recommend choosing 'Best quality for playback on my computer'. This should reduce the file to a manageable size.
  13. Now, open your browser and login to your Youtube account. Choose 'Upload'.
  14. Select the compressed video you have created, and upload it. This may take a while, so just wait patiently (or do some other work!)
  15. Once uploaded, you can now share the link code with Clients or others who may like to view the animation.

Below is an example of a 1000 frame rendered animation we recently produced at Dimond Architects. It started out at about 1.2 gb, then VirtualDub compressed it to around 225 mb, then Movie Maker compressed it to about 20 mb.

It took about a week for one workstation to produce this:

Feel free to share links to any files you upload to Youtube by commenting on this blog post.

Copy from Annotation to Model Families in Revit 2010

Learning Revit Architecture 2010 - links

I was interested in what I could find on Scribd to do with Revit - turns out there are some resources available. Have a look at some of the search results here:
autodesk revit architecture essentials search
Revit doesn't want you to copy lines between Annotation and Model Families (see below)
However, it can be done. This is the workflow to copy lines from Annotation to Model families:
  1. Copy lines from the Annotation Family to a plan view in a Project File.
  2. Copy the lines from the Project File to a Profile Family.
  3. Copy the lines from a Profile Family to the Model Family.

Pretty tricky workaround huh?

Learning Revit Architecture 2010 - links

I was interested in what I could find on Scribd to do with Revit - turns out there are some resources available. Have a look at some of the search results here:
autodesk revit architecture essentials search

Please note that I am not responsible for the legality or copyright of the content that others have made publicly available on the internet.

Here are some direct links:

Resource page at Sybex (CD resources)

Easier model text on a curved wall in Revit 2010

Daryl posted a good tip for placing model text on a curved wall. While it is a creative solution I believe I have a better method for you all.

First off create a new family from the Generic Model – Face Based template. Put in a piece of model text, give the model text an instance parameter so you can change it in the project, you can also give parameters for material and depth. Load this into your project and place on the face of the wall (which can be done in plan, elevation or 3d)

Now in plan view array some ref planes around the center point of the wall to get your spacing between the letters correct, to align these just select and drag to align with the ref plane, you cannot use the align tool. Now if the wall ever changes the text will go along with it.



Area boundary lines, Groups & Area Schemes -Revit 2010

I’m sure many of you have had a multi-story modular building (e.g. apartment complex) where it made sense in the same area scheme to group your area boundary lines and copy them to other similar floors. We have found it works very well as long as the group is limited only to the boundary lines.

We currently have been creating a master plan for a large multi-purpose venue. It involves planning areas and using them in different event modes. I didn’t think it would be an issue to have several different area scheme types for the same plan, set up the area boundary lines in one of them, group it, and copy it to the other area scheme types plans (the plans are still changing so it was to improve efficiency).

What we discovered; you can copy the grouped area boundary lines across different type area scheme plan , but; when you try to edit the group with adding or taking away boundary lines it will break the group in the other type area scheme plans.

This bug happens in Revit 2010 and 2009. We reported the problem to Autodesk and they have confirmed the issue.

i.e. – Don’t use grouped area boundary lines across different area scheme type

Error message consumed in Mass

If you are use to reading my posts you would know that I am a fan of having very few error warnings in a project file. I was a bit disappointed to see the new 2010 massing tool, is not exactly helping us keep our files clean.

If you create a line slightly off axis in a new mass you will get a report similar to below.

You will have no problem finding the mass with the error from the Mass ID number. Select the mass and go into edit mode. Now try doing a select by ID number on the line. It will select something, but you will never be able to isolate it or find it.
Autodesk have confirmed the problem, and I really hope they fix it. IMHO it is an an over sight by the developers. In the mean time here is Autodesks work around that they came back with. It works, but it is a workaround.

After you find a mass which has a slightly off axis error, apply walls to each face. The slightly off axis message will transfer to the wall applied to the slightly off axis mass face. When the error appears that is the face with the error. Now you just have fix it.

Pantone Color Picker in Revit 2010

I’m sure many of you are aware of this annoying bug in Revit 2009 and 2010 when using the Pantone Color Picker. The Pantone Color Picker worked so well in Revit 2008. You could search the Pantone color by number and Revit would find the color quickly and give you a preview.
Now (Revit 2009 / 2010) when you are in the Pantone Color Picker when you enter a Pantone color number, nothing happens. To find the desired color, you have to manually scroll through till you find it. To add to the issue, after selecting a color and clicking OK, it trows you out of the Revit window and into whatever application you have running in the background. Let’s hope Autodesk can fix it for 2011?

Divide Surface by distance bug in Revit 2010

In massing if you select a surface and create a divided surface. Now change the grid spacing to distance. Remove the distance displaying , type in 2 (i.e. 2mm) and do nothing for a few seconds.

You are very likely to get this Revit crash error:

I’ve reported the problem to Autodesk.

The work around is; if you are going to use distance for your grid spacing, select the grid and edit the spacing form the element properties dialogue box, rather than the options bar.

ACIS (.SAT) files not cutting correctly in Section

It’s been 2 months since by last post. Work has been very busy, I also just started as REVIC chairperson (Revit users group of Victoria Australia) and I’ve been enjoying our nice long Christmas break.
We started to try importing ACIS (SAT) files into Revit from Rino. The reason for going via ACIS was as some of the geometry was curved. You may know, when you try to import a curved dwg file geometry into Revit, it comes in with triangulated faces and thus is very messy when viewed. ACIS can be exported from Rino to avoid this.
The ACIS files did in general export without a problem out of Rino. During the import process the files were imported into an external generic model family (we also tried an in-place family). However when we took a section in one direction It did not cut correctly (I looked like an elevation). Cutting the section in the other direction worked fine. We tried all the various different SAT exports in Rino and tried some different geometry and the same issue happened. Importing using the same method with a dwg file worked fine.
We have made Autodesk aware of the problem which they acknowledge and they are chasing it up with their Revit development team. I have not come across a direct workaround for this problem. My advice, avoid ACIS file imports where you want them to cut in section until Autodesk resolve the issue.

Revit 2010 Silhouette Bug

When you have silhouette edges turned on (under Graphic Display options) in a view in Revit 2010, you cannot “Override Graphics in View” by Element or by Filter as you did in Revit 2009. The override ends up being behind the Silhouette rather than overriding it.

What really annoys me about this bug is I have been trying to spend a lot of time ensuring users are producing good looking drawings with appropriate line weights. When using Silhouette you can still individually line work each line, but having the option of using filters or overriding items by element to change line work is very powerful a large repetitive elevations.

Autodesk have been made aware of the problem and have passed it onto their development team.
The best work around is to use the line work tool and specify the desired line style.
Problem exists on Revit 2010, including SP1 and SP2

Using the Scale Parameter with-in a Family in Revit 2010

I’m sure many of you have always wanted to get a Scale Parameter working in some Families. A good example would be a detail component family of a 2D tree (plan or elevation). You may want to insert several instances of the same tree but at slightly different sizes. You would think it should be easy to do.
If you have ever inserted a .dwg (Import Symbol) file, you will notice you have a scale parameter in its type properties. By adding a number parameter in the family file inputting the scale factor in the .dwg (Import symbol) you should be able to make the dwg import symbol whatever size you want. Flexing the parameter and dwg with-in the detail component family works perfectly. However when you load the family into a project it won’t work!
From a post on AUGI back in the start of 2007 this was a know bug with no workaround (i.e. Revit 9.1). We are now in Revit 2010 and we have 2011 coming out in 3 months. What’s the chance it will be fixed in the 2011 release?

Creating an elliptical room in Revit 2010

We had to draw up a kiosk stall which happened to be elliptical in shape. I was very surprised to see when using the wall tool there is no option of elliptical or spline wall. I know drawing an elliptical or spline based wall is going to be rare, but it came up in one of our projects it is obviously needed.

However there are to workarounds.

  1. Create an in-place wall using an extrusion.
  2. Create an elliptical mass and apply a wall by face.