We have been using HoloBuilder to capture as-built conditions on a huge hospital project, in order to maintain the federated BIM dataset (BIM to FM / Asset Information Management). 360 photos are a very quick and easy way to capture the context of building elements, but not their geometry.

 

This tip comes from one of our local HoloBuilder experts, Lisa Verschoor:

How to move across an updated drawing/sheet in HoloBuilder and have the already existing waypoints attached to the earlier version carry over automatically

    • Open HoloBuilder
    • Select sheet you want to replace (in example pic below I’m replacing sheet 020-H-003)
    • Click on the “Exchange this sheet” button (two opposing arrows)

 

    • Prompt will ask “Do you really want to replace the current Sheet with a new one?”
    • Click Ok
    • Now drag and drop updated sheet
    • Select High Res option
    • Ok
    • All done! 🙂

You may have noticed that Revizto notifications now provide a direct link to Open that issue in Revizto. This special hyperlink will prompt to open Revizto, and it will jump to the correct issue in the Issue Tracker.

The special link is made of a few parts, notice the project number and issue ID in bold below:

https://api.sydney.revizto.com/v4/region/redirect?url=revizto%3A//viewer/50789/issue_tracker/44

Using the predictable syntax above, you can use your own Revizto regional server, project number and issue ID to create these hyperlinks yourself, either in Excel or programmatically.

You can leverage this mini-api in a number of ways:

  • you can paste these links into the Revizto Issue Tracker to allow you to jump between issues in Revizto
  • paste the links into Word or Excel or other emails as part of a larger report or conversation
  • inject these links into another BIM platform such as a Revit URL field, so that you can jump from a specific item in Revit to the related Revizto issue
  • use these special links in a project portal or project management system

This is just the beginning for a new era of connectedness between the Revizto Issue Tracker and other platforms… watch this space!

Revizto continues to improve its very powerful web Dashboard features. The web Dashboard gives a live view of issues for your team, and can be completely customised to give the most focused overview of your current project Status.

To create a web Dashboard and Group by Tag, just follow these easy steps:

      1. Open https://ws.revizto.com and access the Project you want to work on
      2. Click on Dashboard
      3. Click “Add New Dashboard”
      4. In the Dashboard view, click “Add New Chart”
      5. Customise the chart to include only certain tags, and enable the Grouping by Tags function. Below is an example:

In the above example, you can see how I included only the high level tags that are used (on this project) to keep track of the construction zone of specific issues. Then, the Grouping function slices those issues and gives us quick insight into the Zones requiring immediate action by the project management team.

I’m sure you can see how easy it is to setup powerful and focused dashboards to successfully manage your BIM and Construction team with these new web features in Revizto.

Here are the other currently supported Grouping categories in Revizto:

Models change rapidly at various stages of the project, and it can be useful to review model status between different revisions of the models.  What changed? Why?

There are a number of Model Compare tools out there, Navisworks has one built-in and there are addins for Revit. But what if you just want a quick visual check?

Here is one method using Revizto…

Using Two Instances of Revizto and the Issue Tracker to Compare Models

  1. Open two instances of Revizto and put them side by side on your screen (large monitor will help)
  2. On one of the instances, go to Project -> Revisions and open a previous version of your model

  3. You can now navigate between two different versions in these two instances
  4. The issue tracker data is always up to date, so you can use the Issue Tracker to co-locate yourself in each file and check the differences. Just click on the same issue in the Issue Tracker, and then click on 3D to visually compare the models. Obviously, you can also enter data and snapshots into the Issue Tracker as per usual, perhaps to comment on why a particular model changed between versions.

Another Idea…

Essentially, this idea was to launch two instances of Revizto and use the Camera Share tool to navigate the same model between them.  It was a bit more involved, and it requires you to have access to two different login accounts for Revizto, and two different login accounts for the current machine, and Revizto is installed ‘For Everybody’.

  1. Ensure you have psexec available
  2. Make a CMD with this text:
     psexec -u OtherWindowsUsername -p OtherWindowsUserPassword -d -i "C:\Program Files\Vizerra LLC\Revizto4\Viewer\Revizto.exe" /language ENU

    (needless to say that you should be careful to protect the password above)

  3. Open Revizto normally and login
  4. Run this CMD file, and in the new instance of Revizto you can login to a different Revizto account
  5. Open the same Revizto project in each
  6. You can now use the Camera Share tool to ‘drive’ both instances simultaneously. Pretty cool!
  7. In one of the instances, open a previous Revision of the model
  8. *This is where the idea fell down, as Camera Share no longer offered to share camera between two different versions of the model :)*  Evidently, it won’t let you navigate non-similar models at the same time.

I re-tooled the steps above from my previous post about logging into multiple Autodesk logins at the same time:

How to Workaround A360 SSO issues by Running another Instance of Revit in Same Windows Session as different User

Aerial imagery and 3D models are extremely powerful visual tools. Often, these are used primarily in early design and master planning. Some software tools connect directly to aerial imagery and 3D data providers. Unfortunately, Google has not really opened up the connection to their base 3D data. But we can capture imagery from it, and then rebuild in another photo-to-mesh tool, like Recap Photo. Keep in mind that you will be creating a 3D mesh, from an isometric 3D world view, which was created only from aerial images. Basically, your output will vary, and will probably not be high quality. But for the intended use in early design and master planning, the below workflow may be useful…

Note: Please investigate the license and copyright of this data for such use.

Here’s how:

  1. Open your desired 3D isometric aerial imagery in desired application (such as Google Earth, Google Maps or similar)

    *Note: User to be aware of relevant copyright restrictions
  2. Open ScreenToGif (downloads here). This is used to create snapshot images of the screen very quickly.
  3. Setup the scene, so that you have the ScreenToGif window appropriately overlaid onto your actual imagery
  4. Start recording, and slowly orbit at least 360 degrees as shown
    here
  5. In ScreenToGif, open the image folder
  6. Convert the images from PNG to JPG (I used Irfanview Batch Convert)
  7. Load into Recap Photo, make new Object project, spend 12 cloud credits and start the mesh creation
  8. After meshing, in Recap use the measurement scale tool to scale the model based on the distance between two known points

  9. Export the 3D Model from Recap. Various formats are available. In this case, I exported directly to FBX with Y-Up and imported straight to Revizto. You could also import FBX to AutoCAD and then to Revit, or you could bring it into Meshmixer first to delete some parts of the model via OBJ.

In Revizto, the direct FBX import looks like this:

Sheet overlay in Revizto. Simply with a PDF and some freely available aerial imagery, we now have a 3D collaboration workspace ready to go:

In the latest Revizto update (version 4.6.3, build 41736) you are able to change the UI scale in the General settings. This is very useful for 4K screen resolutions:

You can also set the Default Launch Screen as shown above.

The ability to update existing viewpoints is also present. You navigate to a Viewpoint, then as you move away from it a update icon will appear next to the viewpoint name. Just click that icon to update the Viewpoint. The video below shows this in action:

Recently, I was involved in the development of a construction animation with my colleague here at Virtual Built. The end result was very good, but I observed quite a few challenges he faced along the way. For example, to get the data in we had to manipulate and modify quite a few things. We had a city model in FBX, but it was difficult to work with. My colleague had to add a lot of content to the animation to make it realistic, and then he also had to do some significant post-processing work to end up with a convincing end result. To achieve this, we used about 4 or 5 different software packages. At the time, I was thinking “surely we could produce something more easily and quickly in Lumion!“.

Right now I am pleased to be able to have a look at Lumion 8 in detail in this review, and I will be thinking about how Lumion could have optimised or assisted in the animation production. As you know, I have written about Lumion before, so let’s focus on a few major headings:

  • What Key Features in Lumion 8 can be used to really enhance and present your design? How could we quickly apply these new features to some existing workflows?
  • More links for Lumion 8 information
  • How to apply the OpenStreetMap patch?
  • Video Tutorials and Webinars
  • Graphics Card Hardware recommendations
  • Release video and first renders in Lumion 8

 

Key Features of Lumion 8

Let’s go through some of the key new features one-by-one. Firstly, I used OpenStreetMap to bring in some city context, then opened a model in Revit 2018 and used the LiveSync addin to bring the model into Lumion 8. This took about 40 seconds on my machine, as the video below shows:

Then I cleaned up the OSM City Model a bit (inside of Lumion) and positioned my model. I hid the Topography in Revit, and it immediately and automatically was hidden in Lumion (nice).

Now it was time to try out some of the new features of Lumion 8!

Styles:

What it means: “No more hunting around for the right effects. Gone are the days of meticulously balancing sliders. Once you dress up your 3D model with Lumion materials and objects, just click the Styles Button and select an interior or exterior style. In an instant your design becomes a beautiful render with a carefully balanced effects combination.”

How I used it: In my case, I used the model I had running in LiveSync. Styles is part of the Photo capability of Lumion, so to use it:

  • click the Photo button
  • click the Style button
  • choose a style
  • be amazed at how quick and easy it was to get something that looks great 🙂

Here is an example of the “Color Sketch” style. It amazed me how this transformed a somewhat bland image into something that had a kind of organic and architectural feel.

Here is one of the ‘hero’ shots showing the Styles feature:

Sky Light daylight simulator
What it is: Ready to render? If you haven’t added the Sky Light effect, then…well…no. Maybe not. Because it’s an impressive technology developed especially for Lumion 8 to heighten your image’s sense of environment, realism and depth. Sky Light is an advanced, daylight simulator for softening and dispersing the scene’s environmental lighting. Used in combination with Soft Shadows and Fine Detail Shadows, it strengthens the real-life interplay of these elements. Watch as the foliage and trees become photorealistic, and discover as people, buildings and landscapes suddenly look like they belong where they are.

How I used it: I tried out turning Sky Light on and off with different Photo Styles. It is one of the FX options, as shown below:

Here is another example of the daylight simulator:

Soft and fine shadows
What it is: Designing realistic shadows, whether from scratch or in a rendering program, may be one of the most difficult things you can do. Until now. In Lumion 8, you can inject realism into your render by turning on the Soft Shadows and the Fine Detail Shadows as part of the Shadow effect. Instantly, the shadows become softer, the penumbras grow. Hundreds of fine detail shadows are enriched and a realistic sense of depth permeates the image. You’ll feel yourself smile as you view your unbuilt design looking uncannily like the real thing.

How I used it:

I tried it out on my sample model. You find these options under the Shadow FX of the Photo toolkit. In the image below, the Soft Shadows are shown as the sun hits the floor, while the Fine Detail Shadows are showing the foot path outside the building with more clarity. So in a scene that was more developed, these options can really make the overall visual more clear and appealing.

Here is another example of soft and fine shadows:

Hand-drawn outline effect (Pro only)
What it is: Lumion 8 makes it easy to clearly communicate the form of your design with the “hand-drawn” outline effect. Apply it together with photorealistic, sketch or artistic effects to draw a focus to your building’s general shape and form. It’s the bones of your design, rendered beautifully and easily.

How I used it: You can add the Outlines effect from the FX button. Once you have added the effect, you can fine-tune with the 3 sliders. I found that increasing the Outline Density really helped to punch out even very thin elements in the scene.

Here is another example of the Outlines effect:

Soften hard edges (Pro only)
What it is: In real life, the edges of any surfaces generally appear slightly rounded or worn. They are never perfectly sharp. With the new edges slider in Lumion 8, your model will take on a more natural and weathered look, one better representing the real qualities of physical homes and buildings. Impart age and realism by smoothening the edges of adjacent faces. Soften the corners of brick, concrete, wood and other materials. A simple slider movement, a more realistic building. Easy. Effective.

You can check out an tutorial of how to apply this Material modifier here:

Here is a comparison image of the Soften Hard Edges feature:

“Look at fixed point” for the handheld camera effect

What it is: Create an impressive first-person video and never lose sight of the most important parts of your design. As an addition to the handheld camera effect, the new “Look at fixed point” option in Lumion 8 lets you lock the camera onto a single target point.

Check out this video of the ‘Look at fixed point’ feature:

Feature Summary

We have just looked at a few of the key features in Lumion 8, but I think you will agree that yet again, Lumion brings new productivity features that are also artistic and professional. I recommend you give Lumion 8 a try, and keep in mind that some of the more impressive features are available in the Pro version only.

Below I will include some links and more information about Lumion and Lumion 8. You can get it here.

Trial version is available at this link https://lumion.com/free-trial.html (not yet updated to Lumion 8?)

More Links for Lumion 8

New Features

Focus on 5 New Features

Focus on 5 New Tools for Productivity

Styles Feature

Sky Light, Soft Shadows and Fine Detail Shadows

Sketch, tilt and render

 

Important Changes to OpenStreetMap

With Lumion’s OpenStreetMap (OSM), it became possible to instantly surround a project with context. OSM was also a beta feature still in development and it used a third-party service to import accurate map and building height data.

The third-party service has announced they are closing down, and on February 1st, Lumion will no longer be able to download the map and building height data.

In light of this news, Lumion developed a little tool called the “OSM Patch” to ensure continued map functionality.

  • Click here to download ‘OSM Patch’ for ‘Lumion 7.5 Pro’.
    Click here to download ‘OSM Patch’ for ‘Lumion 8 Pro’.
  • Close Lumion
  • Extract into your relevant \Program Files\Lumion 8.0\ directory and ‘Replace’ files.
  • Start Lumion
  • You should be good to go with OSM

Video Tutorials and Webinars

Expand your rendering capabilities with more video tutorials:

Effects

Build Mode

Materials

 

Graphics card recommendations:

  • Popular Choice: GeForce GTX 1070 for its mix of optimal performance and accessible price.
  • High-end: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti for its extremely fast GPU and excellent efficiency.
  • Mid-range: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB for its attractive price/performance, quiet operation and quality efficiency.
  • Budget: GeForce GTX 1050 for its affordability and ability to provide a smooth, optimal Lumion operation.

 

Release Video and First Renders in Lumion 8

Parisian Bistro, rendered with the highest quality enabled in 18 seconds
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

Farnsworth House, rendered with the highest quality enabled in 22 seconds
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

Farnsworth House Interior, rendered with the highest quality enabled in 22 seconds
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

Currently, exporting a flat 2D DWG file from AutoCAD or Navisworks to Revizto will probably yield the following message:

However, you can simply take these steps to work around the issue:

  1. Open the DWG file
  2. Select all objects
  3. Change the Thickness to something small but non-zero (like 0.1)


  4. Export the model to Revizto (either directly or via Navisworks)

  5. Once in Revizto, you may want to change the background of your Scene to all-white or some solid colour. Just click on Edit -> Lighting and Materials

  6. In the Editor, click on Illumination -> Environment Settings and change the Sky Type to Color

  7. Finally, click Save and Quit

In Revizto Viewer, you can now see your DWG file as thin surfaces where there used to be 2D lines. This also means that you can use the measure tool:

You can use a similar method to the above (change Thickness to non-zero) while using a 2D DWG file, to:

  • export from AutoCAD to Navisworks as ‘3D’ elements
  • export an FBX from AutoCAD as 3D

Revizto doesn’t strictly offer an API (yet) for connecting to its data. But you can use the command line to export an Excel file of all of the current issue tracker data. And you could schedule this export as a Windows Task. If you are in the habit of creating custom dashboards and connecting a whole lot of data together (as I am), then this could prove to be a pretty powerful way to access and share issue tracker data with the wider team. Further, it provides an opportunity for accessing model markup information even in a non-cloud-connected state

Here’s how to export from Revizto using the command line tool, called ReviztoConsole :

Get the Revizto Project ID by hovering over the project name in the Viewer:

 

The command line syntax is like this (notice the project ID):

C:\Program Files\Vizerra LLC\Revizto4\Service>ReviztoConsole issues --project 12845 --export xlsx --outfile E:\temp\12845_issue_export.xlsx

Which looks like this in Explorer:

And the Excel file looks like this:

As you can see, a lot of the issue tracker fields are available here. The Snapshot and Comment fields also may include hyperlinks to a web-hosted version of the issue snapshot as well.

Note: you can use the command ReviztoConsole projects to show a list of your current project IDs and their parent folder name on your system.

Here is a list of the main Revizto Keyboard Shortcuts:

(Shortcut) – Action

(2) – 2D

(3) – 3D

(4) – Issue Tracker

(ctrl+O) – Open project gallery

(ctrl+shift+O) – Import project

(ctrl+R) – Rooms

(ctrl+X) – Section Cut

(ctrl+B) – Objects

(ctrl+I) – Issue Tracker

(ctrl+M) – Ruler

(Home or ctrl+H) – Home

(ctrl+T) – Create video track

(ctrl+E) – Sheets

(ctrl+shift+I) – Create a new issue

(ctrl+W) – Viewpoints

(M) – Opens a map

(ctrl+click) – multiple objects selection

(alt+click) – teleport

(+) – Increases a field of view

(-) – Decreases a field of view

(0) “zero” – Restores a default field of view

(tab) – hides the right vertical tool bar menu in the Issue Tracker, objects, rooms, viewpoints, camera share

(Esc) – Exit

Navigation modes:

(F5) – Sets navigation mode to Like in Video Game

(F6) – Sets navigation mode to Like in Revit

(F7) – Sets navigation mode to Like in SketchUp

(F8) – Sets navigation mode to Hybrid

(F9) – Sets navigation mode to Navisworks Walk

(R) – Toggles the Fly/Walk modes (if available)

Markup mode:

(P) – Pen

(Q) – Callout

(T) – Text

(L) – Line

(A) – Arrow

(E) – Ellipse

(shift+P) – Polyline

(R) – Rectangle

(space) or (V) – Edit Mode

From here
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You can also read about the different navigation modes at:
Navigation

Also this information on 3dconnexion: