Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Revit 2016 Autodesk Raytracer: Rendered sections can include poche

Autodesk Raytracer render engine with Objects Styles "Cut" poche override

Mental Ray render engine with same Objects Styles override settings
Recently I was generating some marketing images of a specific project and thought I'd try the new render engine that Autodesk has added to Revit, the "Autodesk Raytracer". In the process I discovered something ...That the cut-poche overides in Object Styles are reflected in the rendering with this engine. Note the two renderings above. One is Mental Ray and the other is Autodesk Raytracer and both have essentially the same settings. This makes generating cool marketing and presentation images so much easier! Thank you, Autodesk. Strangely enough though is that the Autodesk-cloud-rendered images use still another render engine that does not reproduce this nice feature.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Digital Tutors - Utilize Revit's tools to maximize your DESIGN WORKFLOWS

The latest lesson on Digital Tutors was just released. Digital Tutors is a great resource for professionals looking to learn a new tool or improve on their current skill-set.
In this series of Revit tutorials, I show you how to create several design options for an office lobby, explore the creation and use of Revit’s materials, and render a walk-through to understand the space.
I show you how to create and use specific design options to optimize your design workflow, as well as discuss the material assets library and create complex materials. I also show you how to set up advanced view types, talk about rendering options and create and edit walkthroughs.
By the end of this Revit training, you'll be more knowledgeable on how to maximize your potential with visualizations within Revit.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


A portion of the laser scan point cloud loaded into Revit

A number of people have asked "What is Scan-to-BIM?" and so I take the opportunity here to showcase an exciting project as an example. 

In short, Scan-to-BIM is where we take a highly-accurate laser-scan of a space or building and build an existing conditions Revit model for use, reference, or archive. Why do this? Anyone who has had the experience of using a laser scan will likely tell you that they would never do it any other way going forward for several reasons.
  1. Accuracy - laser scanners such as the Faro Focus3D X 330 which I prefer are accurate to the fraction of a millimeter and can scan as close as 0.6m to as far as 330m. From experience I can tell you that people (of which I include myself) make mistakes, especially on surveys.
  2. Accessibility - sometimes it is difficult to measure high ceilings such as the Academy of Music. Laser scanning makes this a snap, including this information in the scan, as it not only scans great distances 360 degrees around, it also scans above.
  3. Speed - Scan duration, with standard scan resolution in b/w is approximately 2 minutes, and in color approximately 5 minutes, per scan "drop". A "drop" means each time the scanner is set down to scan. There were 4 scan drops for the main room seen below in Carpenter's Hall. Each took about 5 minutes which means in a span of 20 minutes we had a detailed measurable account of the entire space. If this were surveyed by hand, it would most likely mean going back to the project site to verify, and sometimes more than once, racking up hours and hours. Instead, it was short work. With a laser scan, if any measurement needed verification or a moulding profile like below is required, the information is available on demand with no need to revisit the site. 

Photo of the main hall in Carpenter's Hall

With the scans complete, the Revit model could start and the process is fairly straight-forward. The raw scans are "Registered" (tied together accurately based on markers within the scan) using the Faro Scene software or Autodesk's Recap Pro, then linked into the Revit file using the "point cloud" button on the Insert tab.
Detail of the point cloud in Revit showing dimensioning of the interior wall

Note that if you are working with a team in an office, you will want to place the scans in a network folder before inserting into Revit, otherwise, the other team members will not load the files correctly.

Note also that point clouds can be rather large files, often in the Gigabytes, so check with your IT group before clogging up your servers.
Detail of the door frame moulding and column fluting.

Building the Revit model is then fairly straight forward as well. You see the point cloud in the model space and then begin drawing walls, creating and placing elements until you have the level of detail required. One thing worth noting is that with exisitng buildings, you will find the walls and other building elements are not always plumb and often you'll find yourself questioning which point to select to begin drawing. My rule of thumb is to start with the middle-most or average point within the extremes, and to make your model plumb. This will result in some inconsistent overlap of the point cloud and your model but at the end of the day, if the project needs to be rebuilt, the plans will not want to have odd angles and measurements. On the other hand if the project is a renovation or retro-fit, then you might reconsider this. Regardless, you will have the point cloud which can be placed on the sheet as it is with any new construction modeled as a hybrid drawing.

Screen capture of  the Revit working model
There are many other uses for laser scanning, Scan-to-BIM, and modeling, including construction monitoring, real estate transactions, building damage recording, monument protection, facilities management, accident re-creation, and much more.

Autodesk Account To Replace Autodesk Subscription Centre

I thought this information was worth reposting as I've been impressed by the growing number of cloud services through Revit and other tools and have been playing around with it for a bit:
From Redstack.Com.Au

Autodesk is in the process of replacing Autodesk Subscription Center with the new and improved Autodesk Account to provide a greater level or online service to their clients.

Subscription Center is an online portal where Autodesk users can manage their product licenses, subscriptions and services.  From Subscription Center, users can manage their Autodesk license and subscription accounts and services, download files, access support and more.  This service is scheduled to close on March 13, 2015.  a web portal where users can go to manage their Autodesk product licenses, subscriptions and services. This site provides access to download files, tech support, and other services. Autodesk is closing that service on March 13th, 2015.

Autodesk will replace this service with the new Autodesk Account.  From here you will be able to setup your personal profile, manage and access your licenses, subscriptions, software, services and a range of support services.  This new service will be suitable for both maintenance subscription and desktop subscription clients.  The interface is greatly improved for ease of use.

You will be able to login using the same subscription ID and Password you currently use at the screen show below:

From this screen you will be able to access your products and services including updates and trials. Also available is reporting on the licenses you have and the ability to add mobile devices.
If you are trying to download the products you have on Subscription like Product Design Suite, you will need to select the Products link and Download other Autodesk software product(s). This will open a new window so you can access your downloads.
Login to your new Autodesk Account and start using it now.  See the video below which further explains the coming changes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BIM Perspectives - NY May 29th

Join me in NY at the BIM Perspectives event, where I and a number of Industry professionals will be speaking on BIM in the Practice of Architecture and Engineering:

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Perspectives is a series of events that we hold in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. In this event, you will hear from various members of multi-disciplinary project teams about their best practices for using BIM as a basis for a collaborative design and construction process. You will learn about the challenges and benefits of implementing BIM technology from the perspective of leading local and national AEC practitioners.
This year's theme for BIM Perspectives New York is "Collaboration," focusing on the entire project team. From the property owners and facilities professionals, to the architects, engineers, construction, and specialty contractors, we will investigate new ways to accelerate innovationon. We will examine how cloud based and mobile collaboration are empowering extended team members and enabling flexible and dynamic project workflow.


Thursday, May 29, 2014
8:00 am – 1:00 pm EST

McGraw Hill Auditorium
1221 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10020

Microsol Resources is an Approved Provider through the AIA/CES and will provide a Certificate of Completion for 3.5 AIA LUs and PDH for this seminar.

There is no cost but you need to register to participate


Safiy Abdur-Rahman, Director, Integrated Building Solutions | BIM, NYC DDC
Ian Atkins, Associate Principal, Firmwide BIM Application Manager, KPF
Craig Barbieri, Design Technology Manager, Pennoni
Luciana Burdi, Deputy Director for Capital Programs, Massachusetts Port Authority
John Cannistraro, President, Cannistraro
Erik Churchill, Project Manager, SHoP Construction
Jon David, Regional Manager | Virtual Design and Construction, Turner Construction
Laura Handler, Director of Service Design & Strategy, Tocci Building Companies
Stephen Jones, Senior Director, McGraw Hill Construction
Jan Leenknegt, BIM Manager, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Robert Mencarini, Principal, Array Architects
Ken Murphy, BIM Director, Thornton Tomasetti
Joe Romano, Principal, Vice President, Langan
Shawnita Sterett, Director of Infrastructure, Autodesk
James Vandezande, Principal, HOK

They will be discussing the following topics and more:


Microsol Resources has been delivering integrated solutions to the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries for 25 years. It is a recognized leader in building information modeling (BIM) technology solutions, as well as an Autodesk Platinum Partner with offices in New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA, with a professional staff of BIM/CAD Applications Experts focused on supporting the AEC community.