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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.
Sometimes you have a set of DWFs that you would like to work with in Revit. For example, you might have DWFs of site equipment, fences and trucks that would be useful for site modelling in Revit. Here is one way to get those dwfs into a more Revit-friendly format…
Note: You need to have iConstruct with their Smart IFC Exporter for this workflow
Create a container NWD for DWF files, so that you can fix rotation and coordinates:
Steps toconvertDWFto IFC with colours and object selectability:
Open two Navisworks 2016 instances
Open the rotator.nwd from above in one instance
Append any DWFs you would like toconvert
Adjust their Units and Transform until they look right
Save the rotator.nwd
Open the container.nwf
Refresh to reload the rotator if necessary
Now, hide everything but ‘shell’ elements using a search like this:
Save the search set for Item Type = Shell
Set up an iConstruct IFC config…
Type a Name
Press Building button
Expand to IfcBuildingElementProxy, userdefined
Choose search set for Item Type = Shell from above
Should look like this…
Close config dialog
Go to Smart IFC Export and choose the export config you just saved
Fill out next dialog and press ok
Choose target IFC location
Wait for Navisworksto export the IFC
Phase 3 – intoRevit
After IFC is created, open Revit. Ensure you have latest IFC updates installed, then open the the IFC. Wait for Revitto complete importing… For the most part, you should get a pretty good looking result. One exception is where the DWF had one ‘shell’ with multiple materials, like this:
In any case, now you have a bunch of ‘Revit elements’ (yes, I use the term loosely) that can be made into Model Groups. They aren’t in families, but you can make them into little rvts to load as links. I realise there are some limitations in this workflow, but in some cases there is no other way…
If you are interested in more to do with DWF conversions, check out these links:
Free Add-In developed for use by Autodesk Revit programs in the Structure and MEP disciplines. This application is recommended for use with IFC-based model exchange between GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD and Revit applications. The Add-In for Revit applications variously enables direct import of ArchiCAD IFC models and IFC model export to ArchiCAD, or serves to optimize Revit’s standard IFC import and export functions used to exchange data with ArchiCAD.