Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Big (old) news

So I'm like two weeks late on this, but it was official on the last day of AU. Burt Hill has merged. I'm now officially an employee of "Uncle Stanley". Still not quite sure what it means in the long term, but at least I have a job, and so far the people I've met and talked to seem to like me... :-)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Inspiration from AU

Where did we take that photograph of existing conditions?
Where am I standing while looking at this rendering?

Familiar questions when working with Revit, right? Revit provides no good way to mark, or locate cameras, renderings or photos, right? Well earlier this year I created a generic annotation component to callout "cameras" this came out of the need to identify photo locations on a site. It was nice, but completely manual in nature, particularly in terms of setting the detail and sheet numbers, which also meant it did not update correctly.

Ever since the customizable elevation tags came out I've tried to think of something useful to do with them, sure you can finally "tweak" the OOTB content to look exactly like what you drew on mylar, but really? How important was that? Inspiration finally struck when I was hanging out in the AEC lounge at AU answering user questions, you can use a custom elevation view type to "callout" a photo or camera location!

click for enlarged view

How does it work you ask? First I've got a custom pointer family and body family. These are assigned as a new elevation tag, which is then assigned to a new Elevation Type. The last trick is, when you go to place the elevation, you choose "Reference other view" in the Options bar. From Reference other View you can choose  either drafting views (good for site/existing condition photos) or any view saved as a "rendering" (image) in the project. Once placed you can rotate and adjust as needed, since it is not a "live" view, these annotations will only show up in the view they're placed in. Of course, because its an elevation tag, it will carry the sheet/detail number references when you place your drafting or rendering view onto a sheet.

So, there are a few "drawbacks" to this approach....
  1. You can't actually directly reference a real "camera" (Autodesk are you listening?) but you can save a camera view as a "rendering" in your project browser tree (warning, this is the same as inserting an image in a drafting view, so watch your file size!).
  2. You can't really adjust the size of the "Field of View" without having multiple custom Elevation Tags assigned to multiple Elevation Types (could get quite messy in the project browser).
Other then that, I think this is likely to work really well for a number of people, particularly if you're dealing with photos or renderings, annotated 3D views might be trickier. One solution might be to place the actual camera view on a sheet, reference an empty drafting view and place the drafting view on the same sheet, and use its title and detail number to identify the annotated camera view. Not perfect, but better then anything else, right?!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

AU 2010

Somehow it is already Wednesday!

I'm finally actually taking a class being given by James, Phil and Jim about "Future Technology". On Monday I had the pleasure once again of attending the third annual Computational Design Symposium. Of note from that event was a company named "Evolute". While they don't have a a software tool for Revit (only Rhino) there is some interesting potential if you're using Revit's conceptual massing tools and exporting to Rhino to leverage their tools to help further rationalize the form.

The classes I'm teaching/running have all gone really well so far. The recording on Sunday for the Virtual session on collaboration in Revit (Revit Server) went really well, both lectures are done, with a crowd that stuck around and the first lab went very well with most people keeping up!

A huge thanks to all of my co-speakers and lab assistants who helped out and Autodesk staff who provided technical review of the documents related to worksharing and Revit Server.

All in all a very succesful AU so far!