Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shortcut Keys

I think I have come to accept that I am a horrible blogger. I seem to blog a few entries each year. I have had a lot of interest in this blog and perhaps it is time to start posting useful information more often as I have previously promised. Revit is a fantastic program, and I would love to see more firms and individuals leverage this software more and more.

I think I will go through some of the helpful tips as I would teaching a new employee at our office. Let's start with Shortcuts.

Revit uses a pair of two key commands for all of it's shortcuts. The defaults are very intuitive and many custom shortcuts can be setup. For example WA for wall, DR for door, TL for thin lines, TR for trim etc. If you don't know the shortcut key, don't worry about having to research to find it, just find the button, hover the mouse over, and it will tell you what the shortcut keys are.

If you create additional shortcuts and the key commands start to get used up, Revit allows you to go to three or more keys, for example, if you want to use MA for both Masking Region and Mass, you can instead setup the shortcuts to be MASK and MASS. Easy enough to remember right?

Don't feel limited to only two keys if you're like me and want a shortcut for everything. I've been using Revit so long, I don't know where half the buttons are in the Ribbon because I'm so used to using the shortcut keys for almost everything.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Revit 2011

You may or may not know Revit 2011 was released on Monday. So login to the subscription center and download your copy!

Revit 2011 has some great new features, but not too many that are very notable. Some of the notable features are:

  • Sun Path
  • Consistent Colors and Realistic Views
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • New View Properties Dialogue
  • Many UI changes
  • Grid guide for sheets
  • UI for keyboard shortcuts and the quick access toolbar
Probably my favorite new feature is the sun path. You can toggle it on and off in the bar at the bottom next to shadows. Oddly enough they added the preview solar study feature under the shadows button and they renamed shadows to solar study. The best part about it is that it is a more graphical way to adjust shadows on a project. No more guessing and checking what visually works for presentations. Now you can set a range of a date and time and drag the sun around until you find what you like. Hoorah they finally figured that one out!

Ambient Occlussion is pretty neat. You'll find it in the graphic display options. It adds some very realistic shading without shadows.

The grid guides for sheets is supposed to help align drawings from one sheet to the next, but Autodesk fell flat here. You can only have one grid per sheet and you can only align drawings by grids in the model or view ports. You cannot align object in a model such as walls and it is not smart enough to stack the drawings for you if you come close by dragging. That really leaves out small projects that have no need for grids. :-(

Keyboard shortcuts dialogue came out in a Subscription advantage pack before, but now it is built in. Don't know what that took Autodesk so long, but to my surprize, they included one for the quick access toolbar. It can be placed below the ribbon an organized fairly easily similar to AutoCad buttons. One step closer to filling the gap in production. The best part of Keyboard shortcuts is the ability to type up to 5 characters or as little as 1 character for shortcut commands, however if you have something with the same character(s) you most add an additional differentiating character to both. Example: I use FR for Filled Region. The new default for FR is Find/Replace. If I assign Find/Replace to FR1, I cannot still use FR for filled region, it must also have a third character like FR2 or something easier to remember. Now I could do FIND for find replace and FILL or FR for filled region. You get the idea. Best part of all is you can test your new commands on the fly.

Most of the other changes are minor, or don't really effect me all that much. If they are going to make so many minor updates, I wish they would resolve some of the major annoyances of Revit like text formatting, scalable text, the ability to create text tables or support for excel files. Or I wish it could fade objects in the distance, purge unused materials, non-paper trees in the new realistic view, or any number of simple annoying Revit traits. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Plantings, arghhhh!!

When you've been using Revit as long as I have, you start to forget all the wonderful aspects of it and the amazing things it can do easily, and start to dwell on the frustrations and incompetencies of the software. So bear with me if I sometimes VENT about Revit.

I've said it before, but trees and plantings are by far the most frustrating part of Revit. I desire a great presentation tool, not a great rendering tool. It is very nice that Revit incorporated decent rendering capabilities within the program, but who has the time to sit and wait for things to render all the time. Yes, I'm talking about RPC plantings and people. RPC allows these items to look very realistic when rendered, but in all other situations, they look terrible!

These RPC 'paper looking' items cannot be customized. You cannot change the shapes, change the color, or delete that funky looking base. You must start from scratch, and you must use 3D objects rather than planes. All might be okay if there was a tool that created elements similar to these 'paper trees.'

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lineweights in Revit

Are the Revit defaults for lineweights making your building elevations look flat. Well here is how you change them in your whole project:

Type 'vv' or 'vg' for visibility graphics dialogue box. Once open, click 'Object Styles' button. The difference between Object Styles and Visibility Graphics is that visibility graphics applies only to the view you are in, Object Styles applies to the whole project. Make a change and click apply to preview what line weights you are changing, if you don't see any lineweights changing, make sure 'Thin Lines' is not toggled on 'tl'. Thin lines will toggle off lineweights and show all lines as thin lines for practical purposes of designing with Revit. The Thin Lines feature does not change lineweights of print views.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Revit Trees, Shrubs, Bushes, Plants, People

I commend Autodesk for implementing some pretty spectacular rendered trees into Revit 2010 in the form of RPC trees. However, what happened to our standard view trees? I use standard views more than I render anything in Revit. Am I stuck with the ugly 'paper' cutout trees? Not with a little ingenuity and some knowledge of families. Hopefully you can take my trees from my file sharing page, customize them some more, and send them back my way?

I uploaded some trees to my file sharing page here that I hope everyone can get some use out of.

I created some trees (rather manipulated the Jonathan Furlong's trees from Revit City) to create a unique mix of standard view, and RPC render trees and other goodies. I named them all 'Perfect', as that is what I continue to work them into being. The 'Perfect' Families are standard view only and the 'Perfect RPC' families are both standard view and RPC view.

If you want a different plan view look, swap out the imported cad file in plan view (import to current view only) with one found in my file sharing area under Revit Files--Plantings--Cad Plans.

I realize I only have one style of tree going, so please contribute! Try to keep geometry to a minimum so Revit doesn't take forever to add shadows or draw them. Just use mine as an example.

Also, ever noticed how dark the Revit people are in standard views? And no matter how hard you try, you cannot change their color. Soon, I will post my 'Perfect People' and 'Perfect RPC People.'