One of the many BIM Services we provide at Virtual Built Technology is Construction Animations and Visualisations.

Check out our latest Demo Reel!

Let us know what you think… leave a comment or get in touch info@virtualbuilt.com.au

The Technical Stuff

Some of you may be interested in how we go about producing some of this content. I’ll keep it short and sweet, but you can see some of the programs we use below.

Models:
The actual model content always comes from a variety of different sources, but primarily we produce most of our modelling content in Revit. This is often where we start, where we federate models and develop up a scene.
However, we’re also use prone to using Sketchup, 3DS Max, Meshlab, Reality Capture (Drone captures), Lumion (for content)

Animation and Visualisation:
When we get into animating our scene, we again play with a few different tools. Navisworks is ok for relatively complex scenes, and if you persist with the rather clunky Animator you can get some really cool shots and sequences. The biggest downside with NW is the visualisation department. You can render our the animations, but it’s really intense on your computer…
Navisworks is also good for dealing with construction programs in Primavera or MS Project which although not impossible (with the use of scripts) is difficult in other software.
3DS max is also good for animations, but we’re finding lately that’s it’s a bit overkill for what we need to do, plus there’s quicker and easier solutions.
That brings us to Lumion. Lumion is really great at producing some of this content. However, I’m not going to go into it too much… stay tuned for an upcoming post!

Post Production:
Gone are the days of Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Most of our content goes into post in Final Cut Pro and Motion. Here we’re slicing up music, adding annotation and text overlays. Here we also can add calendar sliders and other widgets.

Workflow:
As you can see above, we need to use a lot of different applications to get to the result. On some projects we may use several applications several times over to get to the final deliverable. There is a lot to of other things to consider along this journey too… things like file formats, budgets, and timeframes. The biggest thing here then is having a good workflow.

What technology stack should you use when managing and collaborating on a significant and complicated design-build infrastructure project?

Stantec recently shared their workflow on their Ideas website – and it has Revizto right in the middle of it.

Here are a few quotes to get you started:

“The team decided to implement Revizto early in the design phase. It’s an easy-to-use, secure, file-neutral, cloud-based, model-review solution. Model files were published to Revizto, unattended, every night. Each day, the design-build team and Sound Transit could visualize the current design in all areas of the facility. We saw a vast improvement in collaboration and engagement because the model was accessible to anyone, from anywhere, at any time.

Revizto’s issue tracker became a one-stop shop for model-issue and clash management. Typically, a team might use Revitzo to coordinate a single building model. But our team took that a step further by using it for the entire site—multiple buildings, the site, the tracks, and the underground utilities.

This is a process we intend to implement across our suite of transit projects going forward, changing the way we do work by building it into our mindset from the start. By using Revitzo at the very early stages of design, we were able to facilitate a level of teamwork and collaboration that was instrumental in helping us to meet deadlines, stay on track, and stay in lock-step as a project team.

the ability to visualize and identify issues early and across the entire facility saves thousands of dollars in change orders and construction delays.”

Interior of Sound Transit OMF East (image from Stantec post)

Read the whole post at:

https://ideas.stantec.com/design-technology/merging-design-technologies-helps-fast-track-transit-project-in-fast-growing-seattle-area

Over at Virtual Built Technology, we have an aspirational view of our industry – that together, we can arrive at a set of best practice workflows for BIM and VDC projects.

We have been developing and refining our own set of internal workflows for a number of years, and today we would like to start sharing those with the world.

We will periodically post best practice workflows in the Resources menu on our site.

bim and vdc resources

From here you can browse to various resource types, including:

  • Workflows – for workflow documents and flow charts
  • Content – for BIM files like Revit templates and families
  • Automation – for scripts, like Dynamo graphs

The individual resource pages are also fully Disqus comment enabled, so you can start a conversation there. Let us know if you think we are on the right track… or not 🙂

Already, you will find our How to Use a Revit Control File guide, and a script that will automatically create section-boxed 3D views from a Revit Control File.

Also, from anywhere on our website you can immediately contact us using the Intercom badge at the bottom right of the screen – it looks like this:

Click on it anytime and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions, or would like assistance with your BIM and VDC projects.

We look forward to engaging with you soon!


It is extremely easy to reduce the size of a point cloud dataset using Recap. “Decimation” is the process of discarding points from the data to improve performance and reduce disk usage.

With the release of point cloud support in Revizto, you can now bring a point cloud into the Revizto platform in a number of ways:

  • Export from Navisworks
  • Export from Revit
  • Import points directly in RCP or RCS format

Once the reality capture model has been added to Revizto, you sync it to the cloud. From there, you can download and view the point cloud on your iPad, and of course you can start creating issues that relate to the captured condition on site. You can even overlay 2D drawings onto the reality capture data.

The decimation process is very easy :

  1. Open your Recap file (add scans and index first if necessary)
  2. Click Export
  3. Give your file a name

  4. Click the settings button
  5. Move the slider to adjust your point decimation – you might use around 50mm decimation for a lot of site applications.

  6. Save the file

There are other considerations, such as:

  • How can you set up coordinate systems to work with Revit, Navisworks and Revizto?

These will be considered in more detail in another post.

Harlan Brumm recently tweeted about updates to Revit:


Details and direct links related to the above are provided below:

Revit 2018.3.2

Details:

  • includes an update to the product which is needed to maintain access to the following feature after October 31st, for more details refer to Autodesk Knowledge Network:
    • • P&ID Modeler
  • Fixed a security vulnerability in communicating with web services.

 

Revit 2017.2.4

Details:

  • Fixed a security vulnerability in communicating with web services.
  • Upgraded AdWebService to enable alternate user authentication methods.

 

Revit 2019 ?

  • Similar fixes were included in 2019.1 as per this related post

 

In unrelated news, latest Autodesk Desktop Connector can be downloaded at this link

 

Once you start to run more than 4 monitors, most computers start to struggle. So, then you need more computers to have more monitors 🙂 And then, you need to share one keyboard and mouse across multiple computers… so you need a mouse and keyboard sharing utility, that preferably also shares your clipboard.

I just added the 5th monitor to my office setup:

All you need is to install Mouse without Borders on both machines. The utility allows you to use keyboard, mouse and clipboard from one computer on another one.

You can get Mouse without Borders from Microsoft Garage here.

Experienced Navisworks Coordinators typically have a very solid workflow in place for grouping clashes into clash groups. Some prefer to do that part manually (with selection and filters), so they can observe and determine which items should be grouped together. Others will use an auto-grouping tool, like bim42 Group Clashes, or iConstruct.

If you are using iConstruct and you wish to use the Navisworks clash group data downstream, you may wish to preserve existing clash groups at each subsequent clash run, and only group the ‘new ungrouped’ clashes. The bim42 Group Clashes tool has a tickbox for this, and iConstruct 2019 provides a filter. If you are using iConstruct 2018 or older, you may be wondering how to preserve existing clash groups and only “push” the grouping rules for clashes that are currently not grouped.

 

Here’s how:

  1. Run the Clash Manager from iConstruct
  2. Find the list entry without a name
  3. Versions:
    • iConstruct 2019 has a filter for “Show Ungrouped Clashes”
    • iConstruct 2018 – select only the ‘unnamed’ Clash Group: ,
  4. Then click “Create Clash Detective Group”
  5. iConstruct will immediately create the relevant groups from only the ungrouped clashes
  6. You can then go ahead and Sync to Revizto, or use the data downstream in some other workflow

 

Here’s a video from Robert Gadbaw that clearly demonstrates this workflow:

This workflow will allow you to use iConstruct to group your clashes, and preserve those groups when Syncing with Revizto. Revizto has a very solid and customisable connection to Navisworks that includes the ability to sync the clash results with Revizto Issues in both directions.

I’m sure you are aware that intellectually Revit shared coordinates take minutes to explain, but emotionally they take years to master 🙂

I’ve been looking for a way to check and validate coordinates using the Revit API. One method I implemented in VirtualBuiltApp is to gather Grid Intersection coordinates and compare those, but obviously you need a federated model with links to achieve that comparison.

One interesting fact to note is this:

  • two Revit models can Report functionally identical shared coordinates (same translation and true north rotation), and you can still receive “The host model and the link do not share the same coordinate system. Default center-to-center positioning will be used”. hashtag sadface, hashtag why-revit-why

If we put this another way:

  • if two models don’t have some related history (created from the same file), or
  • if Acquire or Publish Coordinates has not occurred between those models, then
  • the Shared Coordinate error will appear — even if they report identical Spot Coordinates and True North Rotation

If you are wondering what the Revit API actually does support in terms of Shared Coordinate setup and validation, here is the best bit of Revit API Shared Coordinates information I can share:

A GUID-based relationship is set up between the files. Setting up the same relationship has been possible via the API via Document.AcquireCoordinates() for a few releases.

With 2018’s SiteLocation.IsCompatibleWith() it is also possible to identify if two coordinate systems are the same.

This is part of a long thread between Dale Bartlett, Jeremy Tammik, and the Revit development team.

Also, keep in mind that BIM 360 Design (Revit Cloud Worksharing) does not support Publish Coordinates. Only Acquire Coordinates can be used in that environment.

If you have Desktop Connector installed, you probably realise you can ‘upload’ Revit models and other files to BIM 360 Docs by dragging and dropping to the folder in Windows Explorer (using Desktop Connector). However, when you try and link this using the BIM 360 shortcut in Revit, you might not be able to see the file…

Here is a workaround that may allow you to link a non-initiated Revit model into your Revit file:

  1. Ensure you have Autodesk Desktop Connector installed
  2. Start Link Revit command from the ribbon
  3. Update: Click on the Address drop down
  4. Click on This PC
  5. Browse to BIM 360 from the window below:

  6. Select the file (non initiated) that you want to link

You should get the BIM 360 prefix in Manage Links:

Here is a video of this process (with audio, This PC – BIM 360 workflow):

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/3a990f58-ed3a-4dfb-9398-e4ab08fcebe5

 

Here is another short video of this process here (no audio, copy-paste directory from Windows Explorer method):

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/02ecf93e-6359-45e4-9253-48481e4e8ea6

Thanks to @BIM4GIB we have a script to automatically download the latest Uniclass 2015 tables from the NBS website.  You basically download and unzip, then run the script and you get a Uniclass2015 dataset downloaded.  Awesome stuff, nice work Rene Pellicer!

From the readme:

1. Copy the folder “Uniclass2015-GetLatest” from the ZIP file to your C:\ (This is critical or the script will fail)
2. Double-click on the “Uniclass2015-GetLatest” shortcut. A PowerShell icon will appear in your taskbar. Click ‘Open’ on the dialog box.
You might have to type “Y” (without the quotes) in PowerShell to confirm you want to run the script, depending on your security settings.
3. Wait approx. 50 seconds. Excel will open and close several times. That is a feature.
4. After the script has run, a dialog box will appear. Click OK
5. You should now see a new spreadsheet called “Uniclass2015-AllTables.xlsx” in C:\Uniclass2015-GetLatest\
6. Classification Manager…

Placing the folder in C drive:

 

Script running:

Download script here

or Uniclass2015-GetLatest

From https://twitter.com/BIM4GIB/status/1040552536988635137?s=19