Sunday, January 19, 2014

Love/Hate Relationship with Worksharing Monitor

"Worksharing Monitor" has been around for many versions in Revit. I love using it and always recommend people using it whenever they are on a large team working on worksharing file. It is helpful to see who's in the model and who is synchronizing with Central (SWC) to avoid chaos.

Up until now, this tool is still written as an addin. For one who needs to use it, you have to install this addin, then the tool can be found via the Addin tab. Revit 2014 made a nice improvement, worksharing monitor (WSM) finally gets its own icon in the Addin Tab.

I have a number of users who complain about WSM not being able to open in Revit 2014. I have seen this problem in the past; often times it requires Revit to restart in order to resolve this issue. This time, however, is different, no matter how many times they restart Revit, WSM is still off. After some investigation and tests with IT, we were able to identify the blame. The user was streaming "Spotify" in their workstations while trying to run WSM. After closing Spotify and re-run WSM, they are able to open WSM without any issue. **Note: You can continue to use Spotify after launching WSM.

I have heard other people from the RFO that WSM can be blocked with other software. As it turns out, many streaming sites change port configurations on the users' computers to optimize the use of them. I wish Autodesk can integrate this very useful tool into Revit in the future version. In the mean time, if you run into a similar problem, maybe you could try closing Spotify or other software and run WSM again.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Making of Greeting Card

First post in 2014 I wanted to share with you on the "season greeting" image that I did back in the Christmas holiday. This was the third year that I made my own greeting card using Revit. In the other two years of the greeting images, I always had the same character "Parametric Snowman" as the main scheme but I would try to play with different background each year.

Snow and snow flake made from curtain wall system

So, this year following the "same" tradition, I chose snowman as a main character again but coming up with something new as a new "backdrop".

Staging of the Revit "model"

Snowman in the foreground used scalable trick by Kelvin Tam by nesting two levels of the "planting" family. 3D model text was created as face based generic model family. See more from this post.

When it comes to the Christmas light in the background, I got this initial idea from this precedent image.

I thought adaptive component is the way to do it. Immediately I start thinking of how I would go about making this Christmas light family.

I started by importing an image of the light bulb and used it as reference to make it as a nested light fixture family. I even assigned light source so it could glow.

Next, I nested this into an adaptive component. I stumbled on this for a number of times before I got it the way that would have the bulbs spread on both sides of the cable. After some trials and errors, I ended up creating 3 adaptive points and host the nested family on the opposite sides of point 1 and 2. The third adaptive point was needed since I need the first one to repeat itself once I nested this into another adaptive family.

Another challenge I had to overcome in this study was getting the orientation of the nested light bulb to point to my desired orientation. Andy from Shades of Grey made a series of diagram in this post that was helpful to get better sense of how adaptive point behaves. Still, I had to struggle many times to get it right. 

Once this was done, loaded it to another family, I created a 3 point spline and made all 3 points as adaptive points, divided the spline. Place the family on the first 3 points of the spline.

After the family is in place, select it and click "repeat"!

Finish up the cable as a sweep and assign material to it then it was good to go! I learned that if I set the nested light bulb as "Shared" before loading into the adaptive component, I can actually render them glowing with the photometric light source in the project.