Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Autodesk FormIt - Intro and Resources

Last week Autodesk announced FormIt - a new conceptual design application built from the ground up for the iPad. I had a chance to talk briefly with Tom Vallaro ( @tomvallaro ) after he presented FormIt to a group in an open theater at AU2012 and was really excited to hear some of the things they are working towards with FormIt (some of which I can't share here).

Have an iPad?
Do you like free apps?

Then check out FormIt! If you like Sketchup/Vasari, you will love how FormIt works.

iTunes store link
Autodesk FormIt website
Autodesk Blog Revit Clinic
What Revit Wants
The Revit Kid

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Music in my World of BIM (or how iTunes 11 left me longing for 10) - Off Topic

If you are a human, chances are you love music. For me, music really helps me get stuff done - especially when faced with a looming deadline. So imagine my surprise when I upgraded to iTunes 11 yesterday and the interface completely changed on me. Actually, I should have expected it, but it left me staring at a barren landscape with seemingly no way to find my playlists I've painstakingly built. Thus began the great button hunt of 2012. Below I can sum up in about 3 steps totaling 7 clicks on how you can get iTunes 11 looking pretty much like iTunes 10 (please note this is on Windows7 64bit OS).

In iTunes 10 I was still using a list view of my music library (playlists & radio too). I don't need giant squares showing album covers. Give me a list view!

Step one:
Activate the Menu Bar

Step two:
Turn on Sidebar & Status bar via the View menu pulldown


Status bar:

Step 3:
Click Music (or radio if looking for stations)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Off Topic - Space Shuttle Overhead Video

So, I was able to successfully see the space shuttle fly overhead. I've posted my video to YouTube for those that haven't seen it. It was loud and low, flanked by 2 escort fighter jets - what a great experience! I'll never get to see that spaceship in the sky again and as it was major part of my childhood as I grew up, I was really glad I got to see it one last time in the air (even if it was strapped to the back of a 747).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Off topic - STS-125 Atlantis

The last time I got to see a space shuttle, it was Atlantis taking off from Kennedy Space Center on mission STS-125 to make one last servicing to the Hubble telescope. Attached pic was the best I could get at the time with the equipment I had. Maybe now I will get a little closer to seeing one in the skies, one last time on Friday September 21st here in Southern California.

Off topic - SPACE SHUTTLE!!!!

Schedule below has been pushed out one hour to 8:30am departure from Edwards!
I can hardly contain myself! I have to thank my Boss for forwarding me the below approximate schedule for Endeavour as it travels from Edwards Air Force Base to LAX before making its ultimate journey through the streets of South Los Angeles en route to the Science Center:
12:35 p.m.
Endeavour touches down at Edwards
7:15 a.m.
Endeavour leaves Edwards
10:30 a.m.
Endeavour begins flyovers of several Southland locations (sequential order not released for security purposes):
Proud Bird Restaurant (LAX)
Griffith Observatory
Boeing Plant (Seal Beach)
California Science Center (Exposition Park)
Downtown Los Angeles
Hollywood Hills
Huntington Beach
Getty Center
JPL Pasadena
Santa Monica Pier (Lucky fans will see the flyover from the Ferris wheel)
Space X (Hawthorne)
Universal Studios
Queen Mary and Aquarium
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives at LAX

Time to break out that telephoto lens!!! I hope I can catch a glimpse!!!

For more info, check out the California Science Center website.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Set your Phase(r) to Stun

I'm presenting a lunch workshop internally on Monday dealing with Phasing in Revit. I've settled on a title of "Stun your Coworkers with Phasing in Revit". Other titles that I kicked around or were suggested to me included:
  • Don’t Klingon to old habits, get stunned by phasing in Revit
  • Temporal Mechanics is not just for Trekkies – Phasing in Revit is for Everyone
  • Don’t be stunned by phasing in Revit
  • A new phase of your life in Revit
  • The time is now for a new Phase in Revit
  • Don’t let Revit phase you – Phasing made easy in Revit
  • Demolish any Misconceptions of Phasing in Revit
If you've ever wondered about my sanity, wonder no more...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Splash Screen for Vasari Beta1

A much more appropriate splash screen for Vasari!

Vasari Beta1 - New Features

You've been waiting for Vasari compatibility with Revit 2013, haven't you? New features list from the Vasari Wiki (I like how the URL lists it as version 0):

The following features are new or enhanced for Vasari Beta 1.

  • Family editing. Now you can double-click an instance of a family in a project to open the family for editing. See Modifying Families in a Project (or Nested Family).
  • Surface Transparency Sliders. The Ghost Surfaces and Transparent Override options were replaced with a Surface Transparency slider. Now you can set a Surface Transparency override between 0-100 by Element, Category, Filter and View. Access the Surface Transparency slider from the Graphic Display Options dialog, or select an element, right-click, and select Override Graphics in View By Element, By Category, or By Filter.
  • Visualization Graphics. Anti-Aliasing now provides smoother lines for geometry in all views. See Hardware Acceleration.
  • Conceptual Design Environment. You can divide paths, curves, and form edges with nodes that can host components and component arrays. See Associative Division and Component Repetition.
  • Cloud Rendering. With a subscription to select Autodesk products, you can use the Autodesk 360 Rendering service to create photorealistic images and panoramas from any computer. See Cloud Rendering.
  • Revit 2013 file-format compatibility. Compatible with Revit 2013 and includes all the features from previous versions of Project Vasari.
I don't know about you, but I'm really glad to see they added support for online Cloud Rendering. My favorite though would have to be double click editing of families! Makes things so much easier to deal with!

For community support, check out the discussion forum they have going!

Also, don't forget the add-ins for Vasari - they've been moved to here: Add-ins Download page
This page includes:
  • Dynamo
  • SDK
  • Relationship Viewer
  • Parametric Sliders
  • Parameters from Image

Well, it finally happened...

Project Vasari has graduated from a Technology Preview on Autodesk Labs to a full fledged beta.

We all knew this would happen eventually. We all know that after beta versions, they become customer ship versions. Those usually have a price tag associated with them.

For now, Vasari Beta1 can be downloaded for free still.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Complacent or Compliant? You Decide!

You better know. No, you MUST know what is running on your network lest Autodesk License Compliance come knocking and find something you weren't expecting. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend you run a tool they have that will scan your entire network and report back to you only what is there.

Behold the Autodesk Inventory Advisor

When you download the zip file, it has 2 files inside it - the installer and a quick start guide which also contains the unlock code to use the software.

Using the tool will require network administrator privileges so you will likely need to shack up with IT to run this, unless you are the IT dept. too.

You have a couple options to scan the network - importing your Active Directory or scanning by IP range were the 2 we looked at. We went with the IP range option as it would be more complete.

Once finished scanning you will get a full report of every Autodesk software across your entire organization with options to export to different types of formats. Here is an example of what you might find.

Don't wait - go make sure your Autodesk license usage is compliant!

Monday, July 16, 2012

USC Practical BIM 2012 Highlights

USC Practical BIM 2012 event this year was excellent! Great speakers sharing what they've done to make BIM practical for them and how we can do the same. For those that weren't able to be there, here are some of the highlights from the day.

Session 1A: Practicing Practical Practice
Some called this slot the BIM Dream Team as Marcello Sgambelluri, Jay Zallan & Troy Gates presented topics. Marcello talked about project budgets and not allowing over zealous modelers eat away your fees by generating unneeded geometry. Just because its spatially correct, doesn't mean its nessecary. Talk with the whole project team, including the owner, to ensure you are working towards a common goal. Jay mentioned that AutoCAD processes don't always require architectural practices to be good, whereas BIM processes do - something I'd agree with. This means planning! Plans are nothing - planning is everything! Do you plan out how you will execute your next BIM project or simply hope it will go well? Troy spoke about how his company always follows a BIM execution plan for BIM projects they work on. It's essential for seamlessly integrating all the teams and the technology used. In all, I'd have to say these 3 sessions were the highlight of the entire day!

Session 2A: Connection : Customization : Cloud
Johnson Fain showed off some of their design work done in Revit to kick off this session - great designs were shown! It was interesting to see their software history shown as having gone from AutoCAD to Revit around 2005. Dennis Sheldon, CTO of Gehry Technologies, shared some insight on projects they are working on, including a massive shared project with over 200 concurrent shared users accessing the model, 80 trades involved & spread internationally across 12 countries. Mario Guttman presented some of the great tools he has been developing for Revit, specifically those found at Whitefeet. Go check them out if you haven't already!

Session 3A: Integration : Collaboration : Ownership
Michael Cervantes from LACCD presented their efforts on BIM from an owners perspective. They are holding lofty standards on their projects done in BIM to ensure they can take advantage of the data downstream after project completion. This was also the first time I'd see a presentation done with Prezi - really slick presentation tool that's way better than PPT.

Session 4A: BIM Implementation
It was great to see David Graue & Gautam Shenoy present how they've approached bringing BIM into HNTB. They likened BIM to Warcraft - A Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMPORPG). Everyone has a role to play - learn to rely on each others strengths as you go on your campaign!

Session 5A: Real and Virtual
Kimon Onuma presented the efforts that Onuma Systems have put into with the California Community College District (CCCD) on getting all campus facility data into an online system. Due to the efforts they've put into it, you can view the majority of info about CCCD facilities in Google Earth. You can also continue to add info and data as new projects are completed or as existing buildings are retrofitted. Kimon closed by asking "What would you do with 71 million square feet of BIM"? Why not surf it?

Hopefully, you too will find success on your next BIM project by applying practical efforts to it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Version of Revit Do I Have & How to Borrow a Network License...

That tiny, miniscule button in the upper right corner of Revit (and most other Autodesk products) will do 2 things for you that I commonly get asked about.

  1. What version of Revit am I using & do I have a service pack (web update) installed?
  2. How do I borrow a network license?
Item 1 - Checking what version of Revit you are running:
  1. Click the highlighted button
  2. Choose "About..."
  3. Note the version shown (indicated by yellow rectangle) and whether or not there is a service pack installed - if a service pack/web update is installed, it will say something like Web Update 1 underneath the "Build" number

Item 2 - Checking out a Network License
  1. Click the highlighted button
  2. Choose "About..."
  3. Click the "Product License Info..." button in the bottom right corner.
  4. Click "Borrow License..."
  5. Pick a date from the calendar and click the button "Borrow..."
  6. Please note that even if the calendar window says to pick within the valid date range, the company you work for may limit this range to less than the range shown