RTV Tools

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Workarounds for Sharing Colour Overrides From Navisworks to BIM 360 Glue

Recently I had an issue sharing colour overrides from Navisworks to BIM 360 Glue. This has been ok for a while, but something broke. After some investigation, it turns out that one of the sub-Models in the Glue merged model was causing the problem.

I typically convert IFCs using the Link method, which results in DirectShape objects. It seems that one of the Architectural files that I converted this way from ArchiCAD to Revit and then to BIM 360 Glue was stopping the colours from getting baked into the BIM 360 Shared View.

To workaround this issue:
  1. Determine what problem model/s you have (possibly those converted from IFC)
  2. Open your Merged Model in Navisworks for BIM360
  3. Hide these problem models in Navisworks scene
  4. Run Appearance Profiler or otherwise apply colour overrides
  5. In the BIM 360 Shared Views pane, click New to make a new Shared View on BIM 360 Glue with the colours 'baked in'
  6. Go to Glue desktop app and confirm the colours are working
  7. Then, Unhide the problem model here...
  8. And then make a new view in the desktop app
  9. This new view should have all models you want showing, and the colour overrides working ok.

On a related note, you may have seen this warning:
View in model is still processing and some items may not be overridden
It seems that this might put your Glue merged model in a dirty state? Try deleting all views with this message before trying to create Shared Views from Navisworks with colour overrides.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Download Enscape Alpha Version with Vive VR Support

Latest Alpha version of Enscape now has Vive support, as per the alpha release notes.

Here's how you get it:
  1. Go and register first at http://enscape3d.com/
  2. Then go to the Download page (link removed, but you can get it after registering): Download - Enscape™
  3. At the bottom of the page, click I want to test the Enscape Alpha! 
  4. Download and install

Note: this version also allows rendering of stereoscopic imagery, such as for Google Cardboard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How To Display Multiple Instances of a Single Linked Revit Model In Different Ways

In Revit, each Link is bound to both a Type and an Instance. So you can have one Link 'Type' - relating to a single RVT file that is linked into the project. But it can be placed multiple times in the project, thus having multiple instances. In workshared projects, the Type and the Instance can belong to different Worksets.

Did you know you can use Linked Views to display two identical copies of the same linked model in different ways?

To add control, you should create 3 worksets - 1 for the Type, and 1 for each Instance, as shown below:

Then, set up two different Linked Views in that linked model. In this particular case, I want to use a model converted from ArchiCAD to a single Revit file. But I want to be able to separately load and display the Site objects, and the Building objects. So I have an Link Instance for each, and linked views for each. The whole rig can be seen in the image below.

Using the worksets, I can separately Load / Unload each Instance (closing a Workset unloads any Link instances on that Workset from memory). And using the Linked Views and Overrides for the Instance, I can display each instance as I like. I can also load both instances and show both in a 'combined' view.

Final note: Link Instances can be located in different positions in the Host model, and they can have different Shared Coordinates. Using the methods above, you have a lot of flexibility to be able to use a single linked Revit model in many different ways...

One Way To Work Quickly With Large Federated Revit Models

A federated Revit model is a model containing many Revit links, and they can be quite slow to work with. There are a few steps you can take to speed things up, and one of them is creating a set of fast view types and a related view template.

Here's how:
  1. Make a View Template called "No Model" and untick all the Model categories in that Template
  2. Make a set of View Types called "Fast Plan", "Fast Section" and so on
  3. Set the View Template for those Types to the "No Model" template you created

Now, when cutting sections or making new floor plans using these 'fast' view types, the view will generate quickly without any model elements. Then, you can decide if you want to switch view templates / types to something more useful for coordination or documentation.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Reset Navisworks to Default Settings

If you have a Navisworks crashing or Navisworks not starting up problem, you might try resetting Navisworks settings.

Here's how:
  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Type %appdata% in the address bar
  3. Rename the relevant Navisworks folder here with a .bak extension
  4. Start Navisworks

Note: You can actually get to the options from the start menu, even if Navis won't launch...

There are other places that Navis may stash some settings. You may also want to check out:

Upgrading Corrupt or Problem Models in Revit, and How to Fix Spot Elevation Not Detecting Linked Element

Ok, two unrelated issues here, but both are along the lines of "weird stuff that happens in Revit that can be fixed but doesn't always make sense". If you use Revit long enough, you will certainly come across issues like this...

Firstly, certain Electrical penetration families were not tagging for height when using Spot elevations. These elements were in a model, which was linked into another model. The fix? Super weird one. Try turning on Lighting Fixtures in your View (in the host model). Then, those spot elevations worked… Even though the penetration family was a Generic Model with Nested Mechanical Equipment inside a link file. I'm thinking this one was either an upgrade error, or perhaps the families had some earlier history as a Lighting Fixture?!?

Secondly, I came across a Structural Consultant Design Model in Revit 2015 that doesn't want to upgrade to Revit 2016. This is due to some corruption inside various families. Here are a few things to try... along with the ultimate solution.

1) Try opening the model in the newer version of Revit with Detach and Audit ticked, and choose Specify from the Worksets dialog dropdown. If the Opening Worksets dialog appears, Close all the Worksets and press OK. Then, Detach and preserve worksets. You should see the Model Upgrade progress dialog.

This fails with the following error:
The file cannot be opened. There are too many elements missing in it. Please contact Autodesk Support.

2) Next steps are more detailed and resulted in a successful upgrade:

    1. Open in 2015, with Audit and Detach, no Worksets open
    2. Save As
    3. Open in 2016, with Audit and Detach, no Worksets open
        a. Delete families when prompted (as you can see, it is one problem Rebar family)

        c. Ok to mass errors:
        e. Click to resolve Join errors

    4. Save As
    5. Setup starting view...

And here are some model tidy-up steps that I did, just #GoodRevit with some Dynamo:
    6. Make these worksets:
        a. Hide-CADs
        b. Hide-Topo
        c. Link-Control
    7. Move DWGs to workset by:
        a. Getting Ids in Dynamo
        c. Group
        d. Change Workset
        e. Set workset invisible
    8. Move Topo to workset and set invisible
    9. Acquire Coordinates from Control Model
        a. Copy / paste control model from current ST file to this upgraded one
        b. Link neutral coordinate file
            i. Acquire
        c. Then acquire from BMGR control file
        d. Save
Finally, sharing with team:
    10. Save to Box
    11. Open in Fed
    12. Glue

Massive Paint.NET Plugins Pack for Download

Paint.NET is an excellent free photo and picture editing software, probably the closest you can come to Photoshop for free (without learning gimp and that big open source world). The 'megalo' pack includes 800+ effects plugins for Paint.NET, its definitely worth checking out...

Make sure you have up to date AV software before downloading anything...

You may also want to install the plugin browser from here.

Home page:
Paint.NET Plugins Pack - Megalo Effects & FileTypes V26

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Enable Text Message Relay for Skype To Send Text Messages from Your PC and Download MMS as Files

If you have a Windows 10 Mobile phone, and Windows 10 PC, the Skype Preview app updates allow text message relay and sync to be enabled with two easy steps:

1) On the Windows Phone: 
  • Messaging - Settings, change the Default messaging app to Skype Preview.
  • Skype Preview - Settings - SMS, turn SMS Backup and Sync to Enable, and 
  • set to Download messages from - Any time

2) On the Windows 10 PC:
  • Skype Preview - Settings - ensure SMS sync enabled and
  • set to Download messages from - Any time 

Once all of this is connected and syncing ok, you can easily send text from the Skype Preview app on your PC.

Also, you can browse to the location of downloaded Multimedia messages (MMS), such as picture or video messages. They will be in a folder location like this:

Best Practices for Box Sync if You Have Long Scanning Times

Box.com and Box Sync are part of a really robust ecosystem for managing large files and large folder structures. We have found them to be very reliable overall, even when working with large BIM files and datasets.

However, there is one interesting 'catch' to how Box Sync works. I received this advice from Box Support after making a feature request:

So, at this point, any change in your local mirror of a Box folder will trigger a re-scan. I have around 270000 files amounting to 741 GB syncing to Box. This means the scanning time is quite long and I guess sometimes it doesn't even get out of that loop until I stop touching those files.

The quickest workaround is to use the web app to upload / download if you have a requirement to do something quickly.

I will consider other ways to work around this issue. Any ideas out there? And don't tell me I shouldn't be syncing so much :)

Friday, November 18, 2016

How to Disable to the Revit IFC Importer in Navisworks

Starting in Navisworks 2017 Update 1, Navis started using the Revit IFC importer. Not everyone likes this, so just go into your Options - File Readers - IFC and untick Revit_IFC if you want the old reader back:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Change Notification Settings By Project and Overlay Any PDF in Revizto 4.2

Revizto 4.2 has been released, with some nice enhancements including:
  • Ability to overlay any PDF onto 3D
  • Significantly improved Clash visualization
  • Export of sheets from Revit in Vector format, now with linked models
  • ArchVision RPC support
  • Improved email notification settings for the Issue Tracker.
Here is the overview video:

And if you want to modify notification settings, follow these steps:
  1. Login to Revizto portal at https://revizto.com/en/user/login
  2. Click your profile menu and "Notifications"

  3. Set global settings here, or switch to  "Project settings" to modify by project

  4. Click the menu beside a project, and then you can disable with "No notifications", or modify at project level with "Custom Settings"

  5. Then modify the settings at project level and press Save
Another nice update... Revizto continues to develop great features and assist us in new and better ways of working.

    Thursday, November 10, 2016

    Turn Any Photo Into Enscape Content In a Matter of Minutes

    With the newly announced partnership between Archvision and Enscape, some interesting possibilities have opened up. If you own both Archvision Dashboard and Enscape, you can rapidly create custom RPC and view it in your Enscape presentations, including in VR.

    Overview of the process

    You can also read the full media release here.

    Here's how to do it:

    Edit your image...

    Save as PNG with Transparency (I used Irfanview here)

    Drag and drop to RPC Creator in Archvision Dashboard...

    Set the approximate height dimension...
    Click Apply / Process...

    Then drag and drop to Revit,

    Locate it correctly,

    and start Enscape...


    Wednesday, November 9, 2016

    Automatically Post to Slack from Revit with Slackit for Revit

    Slack is a pretty awesome messaging tool, primarily due to the number of integrations it supports. I had a note to myself from months ago to check out Slackit, and today I finally got around to trying it.

    Basically, it is a Revit addin that can publish information about the current Revit session directly to a nominated slack channel.

    Here's how I got it working on Revit 2016:
    1. Download code (clone into Github Desktop)
    2. Open SlackIt.sln in Visual Studio
    3. Compile (after fixing RevitAPI and RevitUIAPI dll reference to Revit 2016 program folder)
    4. Build the solution, which should automatically setup the addin for you. The addin code also tells you a bit about the author and the hackathon where it was put together...
    5. Start Revit
    6. Get token from slack
    7. Start Slack from the Settings button first

    8. Fill out the form

    9. Do some things in Revit, like sync with Central, and see the notification 
    10. Experiment with the screenshot tool

    I expect we will see some interesting integrations between Dynamo and Slack pretty soon too...

    Github at https://github.com/pix3lot/Slackit

    Home page at https://devpost.com/software/slackit

    Tuesday, November 8, 2016

    How To Download Free Trial of Previous Versions of Revit

    Sometimes you need access to an older version of Revit, perhaps to assist in a tricky upgrade process or because you want to view a model in its 'native' state before upgrading. How can you get a trial of an older version of Revit?

    You can download by:
    1.       Go to this link
    2.       Click Download Links
    3.       Click Revit Products
    4.       Click Autodesk Revit
    5.       Under Revit 2016, download by clicking Part 1 and Part 2
    6.       After download completes, run the file Autodesk_Revit_2016_English_Win_64bit_dlm_001_002.sfx.exe

    During installation, choose to install as a Trial (do not enter serial number).

    Monday, October 31, 2016

    Building A High Performance Portable BIM Workstation - Part 3 - Software Installation and Deployment

    Setting up a BIM workstation can take some time. From unboxing to actually being ready-to-work you have to go through various 'layers' of installation, like:
    • updating Windows
    • installing major software packages
    • installing addins
    • installing useful system utilities that speed up your day

    In a large, corporate IT environment, most of this is handled by an IT department, and usually these are set up as deployment images. However, in a small or medium office, you may have to do some of this work yourself.

    With that in mind, I'm sharing my notes on the steps I took to get my Metabox portable BIM workstation up and running. I may start to put links against most of these steps as time allows, because I have posted about a lot of these programs before. Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts or advice.

    Installation Order - from unboxing to System Image:
    1. Windows 10 Pro (preinstalled)
    2. Sign in with a new, temporary, local user admin
    1. Do Windows Update Fix (see below)
    1. Setup E: drive (secondary large HDD, change drive mapping)
    2. Login with Microsoft (personal Id)
    3. Place OneDrive onto E: drive
    4. Change PC name
    5. Move Windows Downloads folder to E: drive
    6. Samsung Magician install - test speed of SSD. Very nice.
    7. Install Office 365 64-bit (work Id)
    8. Login with both Ids
    9. Change OneNote backup storage location to E: drive
    10. Delete previous Windows installations using Disk Cleanup
    11. All Windows updates again
    12. Box Sync install
    13. 3dconnexion software install
    14. Ccleaner install
    15. Teamviewer install, setup, login
    16. Set Desktop Scaling to 150%
    17. Revit 2015 install (not entire suite) from IDSU2015 media, perpetual license
      1. Transfer activation via Export / Import to Autodesk Id
      2. Confirm activation
    18. Building Design Suite Ultimate 2016 (subscription)
      1. Revit 2016
      2. Navisworks 2016
      3. AutoCAD MEP2016
      4. Raster Design
      5.  (not entire suite) via Install Now
      6. Confirm activation
    19. Infrastructure Suite 2017 (subscription)
      1. browser download method
      2. Revit 2017
      3. Navisworks 2017
      4. Civil3D 2017
      5. Raster Design
      6. Confirm activation
    20. Install Revit 2016 SDK R2
    21. Download and install latest version of Autodesk Desktop App
    22. Install Locate32
    23. Change Desktop App storage location to secondary drive?
    24. Autodesk Updates
      1. 2015 Updates
        • Revit 2015
          • Revit 2015 UR3
          • Revit 2015 UR4
          • Revit 2015 UR14
      2. 2016 Updates
        • Revit 2016
          • Revit 2016 Release 2
          • Revit 2016 R2 Update 6 Fixes
        • AutoCAD MEP 2016
          • AutoCAD MEP 2016 Service Pack 1
        • Navisworks 2016
          • Navisworks Manage 2016 SP4
          • SP4HF1
        • AutoCAD 2016
          • AutoCAD 2016 Hotfix 4
      3. 2017 Updates
        • Revit 2017
          • Revit 2017 SP2 Fixes
        • Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2017
          • Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2017 SP1
        • Recap 360 Pro 2017
          • Update 2 v3.0.2.12
        • Map 3D 2017
          • Map 3D 2017 SP1
        • AutoCAD 2017
          • AutoCAD 2017 SP1
        • 3DS Max 2017
          • 3DS Max 2017 SP2
    25. Install BIM 360 Glue desktop app
    26. Install latest Glue addins (Revit 2015, 2016, 2017)
    27. Bit of a strange dialog box menu disappearing issue… so:
      1. Reinstall Chipset drivers
      2. Install Extreme Tuning Utility (for CPU overclock)
    28. Had to manually remove 'old' Bim 360 glue addin from 2016 install, %programdata% location
    29. Navisworks Exporter updates
      1. Navisworks 2016 R3 Exporter install
      2. Tested ok
    30. Revit addin install:
      1. RTV Exporter
      2. Bonus Tools
      3. Unifi
      4. Revitlookup?
        1. All versions?
    31. Uninstall Dynamo 0.9.1 (from 2017 install)
    32. Install Dynamo 1.1
    33. Install Autodesk Screencast
    34. Install Revizto
      1. Download building models
    35. Set up Outlook
    36. Install Firefox
    37. Install Github Desktop
    38. Install 7-zip https://sourceforge.net/p/sevenzip/discussion/45797/thread/3097bf8b/
    39. Install Bluebeam Revu and activate
    40. Reinstall Box Sync (due to some sync errors)
    41. Install FreeFileSync
    42. IFC Exporter Addins for Revit
      1. 2016
      2. 2017
    43. Install Tekla Bimsight
      1. Move BIMsight storage location to E: drive
    44. Properties+ addin for Navisworks
      1. Version 2.1.0 covers 2015, 2016, 2017
    45. Install Advanced Renamer
    46. Export the 'currently installed programs' list from Ccleaner
    47. Install NotePad++
    • XML tools plugin
    • Use Language - XML for dyf etc editing.
    1. Install Paint.Net
    2. Install drivesnapshot
    3. Ccleaner - cleanup, empty recycle bin etc
    4. Revizto
    5. Create system image - done

    Windows Update Fix

    All Windows Updates
    1. Failed!
      1. And rolled itself back
      2. And wifi died
    2. Reset the pc using Windows Reset
    3. Connected to Lan port (no need for drivers)
    4. Internet problems so:
      1. Download all metabox drivers (1.8 Gb)
      2. Install Chipset
      3. Install Killer Wifi (2 x reboots)
      4. Killer BT (1 x reboot)
      5. Airplane mode utility (1 x reboot)
      6. Intel Management Engine interface
      7. Control Centre Utility (1 x reboot)
      8. Now, use Fn + F11 to turn off sleep mode.
    5. Almost thought wifi was working, but then…
      1. IRQL_ error again, BSOD
      2. Reboot BSOD
      1. Reset PC again!
      1. Now, use this page first https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
      2. Download 3gb and update
      3. Multiple restarts
      4. Finally windows is up to date

    Other software installed:
    1. Install BD writer software
    2. Install imgburn
    3.  Install Collaboration for Revit 2016
    4. Install Killer network software (updated)
    5. Install Onetastic (for OneNote macros etc)
    6. Install Dynamo Studio
    7. Install Google Chrome (For Flux.io etc)
    8. Install JDK 64 bit
    9. Install Bimserver:
    10. bimserver-1.4.0-FINAL-2015-11-04
    11. bimserverjar-1.5.55
    12. Install Adobe Flash Player
    13. Install Oculus software
    14. Install Vive software
    15. Install Irfanview
    16. Install Unity
    17. Install Enscape
    18. Install Wix https://wix.codeplex.com/releases/view/624906
    19. Install Q-Dir
    Other errors and notes:Boot error fix:
    1. Received the winload.efi error
    2. Disabled UEFI boot
    3. Restart
    4. Enabled UEFI boot
    5. Restart
    6. Working again

    XTU Update error:

    C:\ProgramData\Intel\Intel Extreme Tuning Utility\Temp

    Intel Driver Update Utility Install
    Useless, uninstall