Thursday, December 18, 2014

Revit OpEd: Revit 2015 R2 - Perspective View Changes

Another long-time wish list item...

Revit OpEd: Revit 2015 R2 - Perspective View Changes: It is not uncommon for a new Revit user, that is already familiar with Sketch Up for example, to be a bit surprised that we can't do rou...

Revit OpEd: Revit 2015 R2 - Reveal Constraints

Steve Stafford demonstrates a long-time wishlist item. Maybe now we can allow our beginner users to constrain the model...maybe not.

Revit OpEd: Revit 2015 R2 - Reveal Constraints: A new view override feature called Reveal Constraints is part of the subscription only R2 release for Revit 2015. It is intended to make it ...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Revit OpEd: Supplementary Files

Revit OpEd: Supplementary Files: Ryan Duell, with Autodesk and The Revit Clinic , created a list of ten supplementary files for Revit and where they are located by default, ...

  1. UniformatClassifications.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\\Program - This file houses theUniformat Assembly Codes, and the location is fixed; it cannot be moved or specified in a library location. Sorry this means you can't move it to a server. If you wish to edit this file in one location, it is recommended to keep a copy on a server location, and create a batch file to copy and replace the specific file on the user workstation. This file is read once at the Revit application launch.
  2. Revit.ini - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\\Program - This file contains the variables, paths, recent files, worksharing paths and more for each version of Revit. For some additional tips on editing this file see one of The Revit Clinic's previous posts HERE.
  3. RevitKeynotes_Imperial_2004.txt - C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\\Imperial Library - This file contains the full set of keynotes, provided by Autodesk, which can be assigned to elements in their Type Properties. This file's location can be specified in the project or template, and modified under Annotate > Tag > Keynote Settings.
  4. Journal files - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Journals - Revit creates these files as you work. Journal files capture all actions from the current Revit session. For additional information please see the four part series at The Revit Clinic: Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.
  5. Worksharing Log File – Central file location "..._backup" folder - The file is named after the central file, with a .SLOG extension. For worksharing-enabled projects all of the central file and user interactions are recorded in this log file. For some additional information please see the previous post HERE.
  6. Exportlayers-dwg-AIA.txt – C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RAC 2011 - Export Layers and Properties settings are stored in this layer mapping file. This is used when exporting a project to DWG or DGN for example. For additional information reference the Help Documentation HERE.
  7. UIState.dat - C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\ - Revit stores user specific customizations to the user interface such as the ribbon and quick access toolbar. For additional information see the Help documentation HERE or if you need to reset this file Click Here.
  8. KeyboardShortcuts.xml - C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\ - After any change is made to the User Interface and Keyboard Shortcuts, this user-specific file is created to maintain the shortcut customizations. As a rule use the Revit interface to edit your keyboard shortcuts because it is easy than trying to edit this file directly. You can copy (via a Batch File process as mentioned earlier) the file to pass the office standard shortcuts to other workstations however. For additional information reference the technical solution HERE.
  9. Shared Parameters Text file – User Defined - This text files stores the parameters added to families or project files. This file is not actively linked, and should never be manually edited. Additional information is available HERE. I've also posted several times about this concept, OneTwoThreeFourFive, and Six. I've mentioned them in many others too.
  10. Revit Server Log Files - C:\logfiles - If using Revit Server, these log files are very useful should you run into any troubleshooting issues.
  11. Importlineweights-xxx.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit xxx 2011\Data (XP Location) - These files are used to define how imported cad file elements are interpreted to use different lineweights within Revit. If you import cad details and the don't properly show the graphical quality you expected then you need to change the settings for the file you are actively using. There are several sample files included with Revit. You can change the file you want to reference prior to importing information. This means you can have different "rules" for different kinds of external CAD data.
  12. Revit.pat - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit xxx 2011\Data (XP Location) - This is the resource file that your template's have for fill patterns and use to define the patterns for each filled region. A fill pattern can be acquired from other .pat files but they do need an extra declaration of either %TYPE=MODEL or %TYPE=DRAFTING. These help Revit understand which purpose they are intended for. You can read more about this by opening the file and reading the introductory paragraphs provided in the file. A metric version is included too.
  13. shxfontmap.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit xxx 2011\Data (XP Location) - This file tells Revit which True Type Fonts you want it to use when it encounters a .shx font in a CAD file during the import process. It is a simple text file. Just add a line the defines the .shx font you want to catch and which TTF font to use instead. Setting this may help you keep some pesky external details from having their text information stretched or compacted because .shx fonts are not supported in Revit directly.
  14. Add-ins - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\2011 (XP Location) - If you install external applications (3rd Party Software) they should be placing information that Revit needs to run their application in this folder location. If you need to disable their software for some reason or want to create your own you should be aware of this location. You can READ a post at The Revit Clinic for some additional information.
  15. IFC Shared Parameters.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program - Similar purpose as other Shared Parameters but for IFC export instead. I don't know why this file isn't with the other Shared Parameters.
  16. OmniClassTaxonomy.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program (XP Location) - Similar to the Uniformat structure used for Assembly Codes, this is the file that defines the available OmniClass selections when you are creating a component/loadable family.
  17. Sitename.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program (XP Location) - This file is the preset locations provided if you choose to pick a city for your project location. Perhaps somewhat unnecessary with the new Internet based map tool for location but you can add cities via this file.
  18. SiteAndWeatherStationName.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program (XP Location) - Similar to previous but for Weather Stations.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Revit Hatch Mirror Bug

I have filed a Defect case with Autodesk regarding this issue and I recommend you do the same. I'm hoping they will fix this in the next update. I will welcome any workarounds that you have found on top of the one that I have offered.

Fill Patterns (Hatch) do not mirror correctly. Below is an image of a Ceiling, mirrored. It contains a Model Pattern which rotated when the Ceiling was mirrored. Making a Group of the ceiling seems to help. That being said I just witnessed a client's Fill Pattern rotate to some odd angle when mirrored.

Below is an image of a simple Filled Region mirrored. Should it not be bookmatched? Yes, it should but you can't do it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Visibility Issue: View Range not Affecting Structural Slabs

Autodesk Revit Development team, please fix this bug. Okay maybe it's not exactly a 'bug' but it is a feature which causes confusion and delay.

Model elements located outside of the view range generally are not shown in the view. The exceptions are floors, stairs, ramps, and components that stay or are mounted on the floor (like furniture). These are shown even when slightly below the view range.
Slab edges are shown when their bottoms are within a tolerance of the primary view range bottom.

Foundation slabs and structural floors located outside the view range use an adjusted range that is 4 feet (approximately 1.22 meters) below the bottom of the primary range.Floors are drawn with the Beyond line style if the floor exists within this adjusted range. 

Here's the credit:

Friday, April 04, 2014

Measuring Revit Skills

Is there a standard measure of an individuals Revit skills? Would be nice to track individual and office progress. Might even be a cause for bragging rights. Below is a look at this from my perspective. After filling out the spreadsheet a person ends up with a Revit Score. Your comments are welcome. If you would like a copy of the Excel file in order to make suggestions send me an email

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hidden Lines not Wider than Category

In Object Styles (or Visibility/Graphics), the Structural Framing Category, Projection Line Weight is set to 4. This means that the Hidden Lines Subcategory cannot be set higher than 4. Actually, it can be set higher than 4 but will not display higher than 4. 

Structural Framing Lineweight not Changing in Section

Imagine you have a Girder and a Joist as defined by Revit. You would like the Joist to be a thinner lineweight than a Girder, in every view. Not possible by default. Changes to the Subcategories of Structural Framing in Object Styles only affect plan, NOT SECTION. Subcategories of Windows, Doors, Wall Sweeps and other objects are affected by changes in Object Styles, just not Structural Framing. How do we work around this programming error? Edit the Structural Framing Family, make a new Subcategory, Assign the geometry to this new Subcategory. Now in the Revit Project file, open Object Styles and edit the lineweights of the new Subcategory you just made.
Anyone know why this is the way it is? Anyone have a better workaround?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Revit and Landscape Design

When asked 'does Revit do Landscape Design?' some will immediately say 'No!'. They are quick to point out it's 'limited' site tools. But I think we need to ask 'limited compared to what?'. AutoCAD doesn't come close to the overall drafting efficiency that Revit provides. Plus, AutoCAD has no automated site tools and it's 3D tools are definitely 'limited'. How about Sketchup? Sketchup has a similar 3D toolset to AutoCAD, granted it's graphics are much nicer. Still, both Sketchup and AutoCAD  slow to crawl when dealing with large file sets. AutoCAD Civil 3D is a wonderful tool, it handles large files and has excellent 3D and BIM tools. Civil 3D should be the tool of choice for landscape architects, problem is it's relatively hard to set up and use.

So to what are we comparing Revit's tools? To Revit mostly. All of us in the Revit community have been asking for improved site tools in Revit from day 1. This is mostly because of the potential we all see. Has Autodesk done anything about it? As of today, not much. Yet Revit's 3D and BIM site tools are better than AutoCAD and Sketchup and are easier to use then AutoCAD Civil 3D. So can Revit be used for landscape design? Yes, landscape designers and architects are using this tool around the world with success. Below are some examples:

Revving up for Revit, Building Information Modeling for Landscape Architecture 
Kudela and Weinheimer Landscape Architecture

Site Engineering for Landscape Architects
By Steven Strom, Kurt Nathan, Jake Woland

Posted on July 12, 2013 by Stephen Blacklock

Landscape Architecture in BIM
A Landscape Architects Revit Blog

Autodesk Revit Architecture...for landscape architects?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Repeating Stuff Along a Line

How does one quickly make a repeating object along a line? This might be used for repeating site elements like parking and trees. You can do this one of three ways:

1. Railing
2. Curtain Wall
3. Divided Line in Conceptual Mass

Pros and Cons:

1. Railing
Pro: Easy to Edit
Pro: Can be Hosted to Ramp
Con: Can't schedule the individual Balusters
Con: Categorized as a Railing

2. Curtain Wall
Pro: Easy to Edit
Pro: Can Schedule the Individual Panels
Pro: Can be stacked
Con: Categorized as a Curtain Wall
Con: Cannot be sloped in Z

3. Divided Line in Conceptual Mass
Pro: More 'Z' direction possibilities
Pro: Easier to extract location data (x,y,z)
Con: Not easy to Edit
Con: Standard Parking and Tree Families don't attach very well to Adaptive Points.
Con: Can't change in Project, it's a static Family

Process for Either Railing or Curtain Wall
New Family
Baluster-Post or Curtain Wall Panel Template
Insert Families: Parking, Trees, Cars etc.
Import into Project

Railing/Curtain Wall, Edit Type Duplicate
Replace Balusters/Panel with New Family
Set Spacing

Monday, January 20, 2014

Revit OpEd: Reset Shared Coordinates

Revit OpEd: Reset Shared Coordinates: There isn't an easy button to just eliminate shared coordinates in a project. You can move the Survey Point back to the same spot as th...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grumpy Muppet Returns: More Terminology Confusion

I have previously written about the lack of terminology consistency in Revit. This slows the understanding of certain Revit topics. Makes me wonder how this terminology is translated into Revit in other languages. Many around the world will just use the English version, but would some of you who use Revit in another language let me know how the different versions of Revit are translated? You can comment below or send me a Tweet @jaypolding

Site/Coordinates Naming

The Level Type Property 'Elevation Base' reads the opposite of what I would expect.

If I change the Project Base Point to an elevation of 100' and change the Level to reference the Project Base Point, the Level will read 0'. But if I change the Level to read the Survey Point the Level will display 100'.  On top of this, changing the Survey Point Elevation has no visible effect on the Level.


Editable Yes.
This means that it is NOT editable. Try explaining that the first time! I know, it refers to the Workset only being Editable by the Owner, but it IS confusing.

11 Names for a Family:

General Naming Rant:

Edit Sketch
Floor: Edit Boundary
Roof: Edit Footprint
Wall: Edit Profile
Railing: Edit Path

Could Autodesk consolidate all of the above into one button which says "EDIT SKETCH"? Because that is all you are doing.

Top and Bottom of Stuff

These could also be standardized:

Walls: Bottom/Top Constraint
Floor: Level
Roof: Base Level
Beams: Reference Level
Stairs: Base/Top Level

Monday, January 13, 2014

ORUG Meeting, Feb 6

Proving your designs are sustainable.

Verifying radical sustainable design strategies using Revit, CFD and other tools.

The purpose of this event is to connect and discuss the issues and topics that affect us.  On February 6, 2014 we will look at how to prove your design is sustainable.  The industry is going ‘Green’ yet the majority of what is being constructed seems to be performing in the opposite way.  We will discuss radical sustainable design strategies using Revit, CFD and other tools.


Welcome and Update
Guest Speaker Mark Drieger of ATA Architects
Addressing the SB10 Building Code Energy Requirements
Appetizers will be served throughout event

This event is proudly sponsored by:

February 6, 2014
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Free Admission
LocationThe Brazen Head Irish Pub (map) 
165 East Liberty St.
Toronto, ON M6K3K4

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Creating Contract Admin Sketches-Revitdialog

I've yet to find a good alternative to the following workflow for Contract Admin. Little tip, use a Solid Fill instead of a Masking Region for desired effect on titleblock. Please comment on this...

Thanks to Chris from Revitdialog for this blog post...

Managing the Contract Administration Phase

....Two situations can happen during the Contract Admin phase, 1. A view that is already part of the bid documents needs to be modified in some way.  Think, more information – not a change in design – which is similar but different.  2. The contractor is hinting that a view that doesn’t exist in the bid set should be provided.
Regardless of the situation the work flow is the same.  Modify or create your view.  Put on a sketch titleblock that has a mask in it.  PDF / DWF the view.  Send to contractor.  There is this notion that you have to save each and every sketch that goes out of the office in the Revit environment.  I don’t see the need and it just complicates things.  You’ve already archived the bid set.  You already have a PDF / DWF snapshot of your changes.  Are you afraid that, the less than 1% of the time, you’ll have to go back and modify a view that was already issued?  It’s not that difficult to add the titleblock again.  I’ve automated mine so it requires very little effort.
Another question came up that had no resolution within the session.  How do you number the sketches?
You really have two ways of doing it.  The traditional way of naming them ASK-001, 002  ect.  Most are familiar with that naming method.  I would add an additional parameter field in the titleblock cross referencing what it was issued for (Site Instruction, Change Order, etc).  Makes things a little bit easier.
Another method I found to be beneficial is to document how it was issued, as my starting point.  So if I was at the 100th Site Instruction, I’d name my sketch sheet SI100-A01.  If I was issuing out a change order, it would be CO005-A01.  If you ever picked up that document off a desk, you knew immediately how it was issued.  Warning – those with severe OCD might not like that method.  In that case, you might be stuck with the previous method.
Modify what you got.  If you don’t have it, create it and put it on a sheet.  Add your titleblock and then PDF / DWF your sketch.  Send it to the contractor.  Go have a beer because your model is up to date and you did the least amount of work possible to keep the construction beast fed and moving.  Repeat. Read the full blog post here.