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

Recently I had an issue where an Xbox One Wireless controller, connected via Bluetooth, was not working properly in Revizto. When I went to the USB Game Controllers control panel, it showed a 3Dconnexion KMJ Emulator device. This is related to my 3Dconnexion SpacePilot Pro. In order to solve the conflict, I disabled the ‘game controller’ component of the 3Dconnexion KMJ Emulator, using these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager
  2. View Devices by Connection

  3. Right-click the game controller sub-item and Disable device

  4. Restart the PC

After this, the issue was fixed and the Xbox controller worked perfectly in Revizto.


The 2019 release season is here…

Links are for Autodesk 2019 trial versions, you will need your official Autodesk license to activate.

Revit 2019


Revit Server 2019


Autocad 2019


3ds Max 2019


Navisworks Manage 2019


Navisworks Simulate 2019

Recap Pro 2019


Inventor Professional 2019



More links to follow…



The product keys for Autodesk 2019 products are as follows:

Product Name Product Key
Autodesk 3ds Max 2019 128K1
Autodesk 3ds Max 2019 with Softimage 978K1
Autodesk Advance Steel 2019 959K1
Autodesk Alias AutoStudio 2019 966K1
Autodesk Alias Concept 2019 A63K1
Autodesk Alias Design 2019 712K1
Autodesk Alias SpeedForm 2019 A62K1
Autodesk Alias Surface 2019 736K1
Autodesk AutoCAD 2019 001K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture 2019 185K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite Premium 2019 768K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite Standard 2019 767K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical 2019 225K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite 2019 596K1
Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2019 057K1
Autodesk AutoCAD LT Civil Suite 2019 545K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D 2019 129K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Mechanical 2019 206K1
Autodesk AutoCAD MEP 2019 235K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Plant 3D 2019 426K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Raster Design 2019 340K1
Autodesk AutoCAD Revit LT Suite 2019 834K1
Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2019 765K1
Autodesk Building Design Suite Standard 2019 784K1
Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate 2019 766K1
Autodesk Burn 2019 C0YK1
Autodesk CFD Design Study Environment 2019 812K1
Autodesk CFD Premium 2019 810K1
Autodesk CFD Ultimate 2019 811K1
Autodesk Civil 3D 2019 237K1
Autodesk Fabrication CADmep 2019 839K1
Autodesk Fabrication CAMduct 2019 842K1
Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep 2019 841K1
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Premium 2019 757K1
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Standard 2019 789K1
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Ultimate 2019 760K1
Autodesk Factory Design Utilities 2019 P03K1
Autodesk FeatureCAM Premium 2019 A9FK1
Autodesk FeatureCAM Standard 2019 A9GK1
Autodesk FeatureCAM Ultimate 2019 A9EK1
Autodesk Flame 2019 C0TK1
Autodesk Flame 2019 – Education C14K1
Autodesk Flame Assist 2019 C0VK1
Autodesk Flame Premium 2019 C0XK1
Autodesk Flare 2019 C0WK1
Autodesk Helius PFA 2019 899K1
Autodesk HSM Premium 2019 C12K1
Autodesk HSM Ultimate 2019 C13K1
Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium 2019 786K1
Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Standard 2019 787K1
Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate 2019 785K1
Autodesk Inventor 2019 208K1
Autodesk Inventor Engineer-to-Order 2019 – Developer A66K1
Autodesk Inventor Engineer-to-Order 2019 – Distribution 996K1
Autodesk Inventor Engineer-to-Order 2019 – Server 997K1
Autodesk Inventor Engineer-to-Order Series 2019 805K1
Autodesk Inventor Engineer-to-Order Server 2019 752K1
Autodesk Inventor HSM Premium 2019 969K1
Autodesk Inventor HSM Ultimate 2019 970K1
Autodesk Inventor LT 2019 529K1
Autodesk Inventor OEM 2019 798K1
Autodesk Inventor Professional 2019 797K1
Autodesk Lustre 2019 C0UK1
Autodesk Lustre Burn 2019 C10K1
Autodesk Lustre ShotReactor 2019 C11K1
Autodesk Manufacturing Automation Utility 2019 A9YK1
Autodesk Manufacturing Data Exchange Utility Premium 2019 A9VK1
Autodesk Manufacturing Data Exchange Utility Standard 2019 A9XK1
Autodesk Manufacturing Post Processor Utility 2019 A9TK1
Autodesk MEP Fabrication Suite 2019 00QK1
Autodesk Moldflow Adviser Premium 2019 571K1
Autodesk Moldflow Adviser Ultimate 2019 572K1
Autodesk Moldflow Design 2019 837K1
Autodesk Moldflow Insight Premium 2019 574K1
Autodesk Moldflow Insight Standard 2019 573K1
Autodesk Moldflow Insight Ultimate 2019 575K1
Autodesk Moldflow Synergy 2019 579K1
Autodesk Nastran 2019 986K1
Autodesk Nastran In-CAD 2019 987K1
Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2019 507K1
Autodesk Navisworks Simulate 2019 506K1
Autodesk PartMaker 2019 A9SK1
Autodesk Plant Design Suite Premium 2019 763K1
Autodesk Plant Design Suite Standard 2019 788K1
Autodesk Plant Design Suite Ultimate 2019 764K1
Autodesk Point Layout 2019 925K1
Autodesk PowerInspect Premium 2019 A9JK1
Autodesk PowerInspect Standard 2017 A9KI1
Autodesk PowerInspect Standard 2018 A9KJ1
Autodesk PowerInspect Standard 2019 A9KK1
Autodesk PowerInspect Ultimate 2019 A9HK1
Autodesk PowerMill Modeling 2019 A9UK1
Autodesk PowerMill Premium 2019 A9AK1
Autodesk PowerMill Standard 2019 A9QK1
Autodesk PowerMill Ultimate 2019 A9PK1
Autodesk PowerShape Premium 2019 A9MK1
Autodesk PowerShape Standard 2019 A9NK1
Autodesk PowerShape Ultimate 2019 A9LK1
Autodesk Product Design Suite Premium 2019 782K1
Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate 2019 781K1
Autodesk ReCap Pro 919K1
Autodesk Revit 2019 829K1
Autodesk Revit LT 2019 828K1
Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2019 547K1
Autodesk SketchBook for Enterprise 871K1
Autodesk TruComp 2019 00EK1
Autodesk TruFiber 2019 01WK1
Autodesk TruLaser 2019 00DK1
Autodesk TruNest 2019 – Nesting Engine 00FK1
Autodesk TruNest Composites 2019 00BK1
Autodesk TruNest Contour 2019 00AK1
Autodesk TruNest Multi-Tool 2019 00CK1
Autodesk TruPlan 2019 01VK1
Autodesk Vault Office 2019 555K1
Autodesk Vault Professional 2019 569K1
Autodesk Vault Workgroup 2019 559K1
Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2019 955K1
Autodesk VRED 2019 884K1
Autodesk VRED Design 2019 885K1
Autodesk VRED Presenter 2019 888K1
Autodesk VRED Professional 2019 886K1
Autodesk VRED Render Node – consumption-based license 2019 A93K1
Autodesk VRED Render Node 2019 890K1
Autodesk VRED Server 2019 887K1
Autodesk Wiretap Gateway 2019 C0ZK1
FeatureCAM Premium 2019 P16K1
FeatureCAM Standard 2019 P15K1
FeatureCAM Ultimate 2019 P17K1
HSMWorks Premium 2019 873K1
HSMWorks Ultimate 2019 872K1
PowerInspect Premium 2019 P13K1
PowerInspect Standard 2019 P12K1
PowerInspect Ultimate 2019 P14K1
PowerMill Premium 2019 P07K1
PowerMill Standard 2019 A9ZK1
PowerMill Ultimate 2019 P08K1
PowerShape Premium 2019 P10K1
PowerShape Standard 2019 P09K1
PowerShape Ultimate 2019 P11K1
T1 Enterprise Multi-flex 2019 535K1

A few years back, everyone was excited about the 3D and visualisation aspect of BIM. It seems that more and more, people are getting excited about BIM Data. Many companies are building and adapting business intelligence solutions that somehow connect to or wrap-around the BIM world. One of the most popular tools at the moment is Power BI. It is extremely flexible and easy to set up and use for data analytics.

When you connect the Power BI web service to your own database, you also have to provide some mechanism for Power BI to periodically update the base dataset. The common answer to this question is the “On-premises data gateway”.

When you install the gateway on your own hardware, there are two types of gateway to choose from:


If you are already running a data gateway for Power BI, what happens if you want to transition the ‘gateway’ role to a new machine? Well, you need one key piece of information: the Recovery Key from the gateway when you set it up originally. If you do have this, you can simply ‘take over’ the role from an old machine and apply it to a new machine:

  1. Download the PowerBIGatewayInstaller.exe gateway installer from this page
  2. Choose your gateway type
  3. Choose to “Migrate, restore or takeover an existing gateway”

  4. Enter the information, including the recovery key

  5. Done

If you don’t have a recovery key, you will have to:

  1. Install a completely new gateway:

  2. Switch the gateway used on the web app side (Scheduled Refresh page). You will probably have to do this for every dataset.

Feel free to reply with any of your cool BIM data workflows 🙂

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
  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!


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 (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:


Build Mode



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

Starting at this tweet, Konrad Sobon triggered quite a discussion around Revit addins and how to manage users, deploy addins, and track their usage. He has worked on coding a tool called Mission Control for HOK that has a MongoDB backend and evidently harvests data from Revit sessions across the company. This is just one of many tools we are seeing recently related to project data, project intelligence, and similar analytics.

Based on this little exchange with @gschleusner , @arch_laboratory is hard at work making sure we will all have access to this soon 🙂

When working with serious hardware and big 3D models, computer memory management is an important thing. You want every byte of RAM to be doing a job for your system. So I was very interested to read this detailed write-up by randomascii where he describes ‘zombie handles’ that can hold or consume memory on your system. His post is very detailed, but I will go ahead and over-simplify it for you:

  1. Download findzombiehandles_prebuilt package from here (or clone the github here)
  2. Unzip it and open an elevated Command Window at that location
  3. Run FindZombieHandles

You should get a list of zombie processes and the parent executable that initiated them.

From here you could investigate further with Process Explorer or attempt to kill them with Task Manager or taskkill.

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