Monday, March 21, 2011

The gag order is lifted!! Its 2012 Time!

Yep, that time of year again folks a new release is right around the corner! With any luck I'll have some follow-up posts but I'm working a on a project these days as the PA, so that has been keeping me a bit busy! I have to say I would love to get my active project into 2012 for a variety of reasons (most of which are listed below).

While I would not consider this year's release to be a blockuster, its still solid. As has been typical for the last couple of years Architects will mainly benefit from what are considered to be "platform" enhancements (because in reality they're useful to everyone) but I would say are mostly driven by Architecture customers. This year's release I would also say has a bent towards addressing issues that large projects (and therefore mostly large firms) have to deal with. Structural folks who are really interested in the analysis model, and looking for analysis packages to more easily talk to Revit (bi-directionally) should also be jazzed as much of Structure's enhancements revolve around completely rebuilding the analysis engine, for that they have the "Core Modeling" (conceptual massing environment) enhancements from '10 & '11 to thank.

Lastly '12 sees the release of new tool subset (currently only available in Architecture and Structure), we now have version 1 of "Construction Modeling" tools. While targeted as a toolset for contrators or design build shops working in Revit, I think that as these tools develop, they should prove quite useful for architects and engineers too.

Things that excite me about this year's release:

  • Tagging Rooms, Spaces & Area across links.
  • Tagging Keynotes across links.
  • Revamp of "Graphics Display Options" dialog:
    • Ambient Shadows print/export.
    • Ambient Shadows in Hidden Line (really sweet....).
    • Shadows in Consistent Colors (a little odd I know, but in line with traditional colored elevation techniques).
    • Ghost Surfaces (the biggest complaint will be no way to adjust the level of ghosting, but still great for diagramtic views).
  • Adaptive Components can be placed "in project"*
  • Revamp of CAD export dialog, most importantly settings are stored in the project now, so no more custom export files, except to define specific standards to be used for different clients/jobs.
  • Construction Modeling**:
    • Parts - has great potential for panelized wall systems (a pet interest of mine).
    • Assemblies - has lots of potential.
  • Introduction of Workplane Viewer to the project environment (still needs some work, but plenty of potential)
  • Worksharing Display (visualization of use of worksets):
    • Similar to the Temp Hide/Isolate and Reveal Hidden Commands.
    • Four modes: Checkout Status, Owners, Model Updates, Worksets
  • Revit Server improvements:
    • Cache files are cleaned up.
    • Permission data is cleaned up.
    • Admin console provides more detailed information about SWC's and Model Size versus Data Size.
    • Compatible with 2008 R2 and VMware.
    • Comprehensive API, including the ability to create new locals files with programming.
  • Point Cloud integration: built using Autodesk's existing technology, also "version 1" but a good start and it has full API support, so software vendors specializing in Point Clouds will be able to build Revit Addins that take advantage of their technology and integrate with Revit.
* With great power comes great responsibility... Alas the number of categories that AC's can be in is rather limited, mostly out of concern of potentially "breaking" the software. With any hope that list will increase over the coming years.
** Remember this is version 1 of a whole new toolset. There are most definitely some limitations here but also a huge amount of potential in the long run. I'll be covering "Parts" to some extent in my RTC course this June.

Those are the things that most interest me. MEP as expected continues to see a great deal of development, but at this point I'm just not enough of an engineer to appreciate the improvements. As with any Revit release there are subtle fixes (bug or otherwise), background improvements that you'll never really "see" and plenty of small enhancements and features.

With any luck I'll be following up with a couple of posts on "practice" adaptive components, but alas one is "in  the shop" right now being looked at by the experts as it seems I've managed to break Revit (as usual).

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