Zhukoven Dynamo 2.3 package update and GitHub homepage

Current status

The recent 2021.2.27 update brings several breaking changes to the Zhukoven Dynamo package:

  1. Support for Dynamo 2.3:
    • Updated nodes library structure.
    • Fixed issues with broken Inputs and Outputs.
    • Improved nodes stability.
  2. Discontinued support for Dynamo 1.3.x due to the changes in file format (from XML to JSON).
  3. Zhukoven package now has a new “Home” on GitHub: https://github.com/zhukoven/DynamoZhukoven
Package versionTarget Dynamo versionTarget Revit versionSupport status
2021.2.27Dynamo 2.3.0Revit 2020.2.3✅ Current
2019.5.7Dynamo 1.3.3Revit 2017Discontinued
Package version compatibility

What’s next?

The next package updates will use a slightly different release naming scheme – Calendar versioning, which will replace the actual package publish date I’m using now (YYYY.MM.DD) with Major.Minor.Micro scheme based on the current year and month (i.e. 2021.2.1, 2021.2.2, etc).

I will be adding sample DYN files to the package’s Extras folder and document nodes library on GitHub.

And as always, if you found an issue, feel free to contact me – this time by opening an issue on GitHub: https://github.com/zhukoven/DynamoZhukoven/issues

Managing images is easier with Revit 2019.2

Imagine that you use Revit 2017/2018/2019, or whatever version prior to Revit 2019.2, and you need to place an image that is already loaded within your Revit model. What would you do? You open the ‘Manage Images’ dialog hoping to re-place your image (Insert > Manage Images):

Surprise! Manage images does not allow you to actually use your data stored within the model database:

There are a couple of workarounds for managing Revit images, like using pyRevit add-in to export all images from the model, then re-import them back:

And now that we have Revit 2019.2 around, we can use an OOTB button that simply places an instance of selected image to the current view:

So if you struggle to fine this tiny time-saving button, then update your Revit install.

Revit 2019.2 forces install Dynamo update

Following up with Revit 2019.2 update install issues, there is another critical point that wasn’t documented. When you install Revit 2019.2, it silently updates your current Dynamo install to the 1.3.4 version.

As a general rule of thumb, Dynamo supports three versions of Revit: the current release (2019) and two versions back (2018 and 2017).

Revit
version
First stable Dynamo
for Revit version
Last supported Dynamo
for Revit version
20130.6.10.6.3
20140.6.10.8.2
20150.7.11.2.1
20160.7.21.3.2
20170.9.0Latest Daily Build
20181.3.0Latest Daily Build
20191.3.3Latest Daily Build
2019.21.3.4Latest Daily Build

See the Dynamo primer for more info.

While the Revit 2019.2 & Dynamo 1.3.4 updates may not break your existing Dynamo workflows, it would be better for Autodesk to notify users of these hidden installations.

How to fix Revit 2019.2 update install issues

Revit 2019.2 update has been around for a couple of days now. It brings some great features that enhance connectivity and productivity (see the list of enhancements @ Autodesk blogs). But in some cases the update fails to install correctly, and here is why:

  • The problem with Revit 2019.2 occurs on systems that had the Revit 2019.1 update installed first and the Revit 2019.0.2 security fix applied later.
  • The Revit 2019.0.2 security fix failed to block the unsupported update path, leaving Revit 2019 in a bad state.

The only known solution for this problem is to completely uninstall and reinstall Revit 2019, and then apply the 2019.2 update (see this thread @ Autodesk forums for reference).

If you experienced other installation issues, please see the Troubleshooting article @ Autodesk knowledge network.


Enscape3D minor update 2.4 deserves a major title. Here is why.

Enscape3D evolves with a decent speed, introducing a bunch of great features with each release. This is probably because of the way Enscape team interacts with their users through the Trello development agenda. Everyone has access to this board and can not only see the future development plans, but also vote for the favorite ideas.

The latest and greatest Enscape3D 2.4 brings a lot of new features, some of them are just brilliant:

  • Asset library
  • Web standalone export
  • Adjustable grass
  • 6X faster video rendering
  • Improved sky rendering
  • Water on mini map
  • New mouse/keyboard input
  • Stability fixes
  • Normal map auto-detection
  • Quality & performance improvements
  • Video export performance
  • Image quality and stability
  • Panorama upload
  • Improved depth of field
  • Panorama flagged as 360° image
  • Latest Nvidia Display Driver compatibility

I’m going to focus on these two things that I highlighted in red. The first feature is called “Asset Library” and contains a number of entourage components like furniture, people, trees. Asset library resides on the Enscape ribbon in Revit, which is pretty cool:

Enscape3D 2.4 update

The button opens an asset library window with categories, search bar and preview images. Clicking on the image inserts the element in Revit:

Enscape3D Asset library

My second favorite feature is the brand new Web standalone export. With Enscape 2.4 you’re able to export your walkthroug to WebGL format compatible with almost all of the modern web browsers (see the screenshot from Firefox Quantum below):

Enscape3D WebGL2 Firefox

The export process is super easy: just launch Enscape3D walkthrough by pressing the Play button, then click on Export Web Standalone. Enscape will open a web page in your default web browser and after a while (depending on the size of your model) you’ll be able to walk in your model inside the browser! Read the Web Standalone how-to article at the Enscape3D website.

That is a long waited feature, because now you can share the walkthrough with a client, or any other person who doesn’t have a powerful workstation to run EXE files with realtime rendering. Of course, there are some limitations, but anyway Web Standalone is a game-changer.

So I’ve played with Enscape3D Web Standalone for a while, and here is what I’ve found:

  • Export process is fast and easy. Enscape uses Amazon web services for model conversion and hosting.
  • Web viewer requires WebGL 2, which means that it won’t run in old browsers and iOS mobile devices (at least for now):

Some android devices support WebGL 2, but the viewer lags so much that it’s barely usable, which is also sad. Click here to check if your browser supports WebGL 2.

  • I don’t know why, but Web Standalone doesn’t run in my desktop Google Chrome. The loading bar gets stuck at 100% and nothing happens. If you happen to see such weird behaviour, try using different browser (Firefox Quantum for example).
  • Web Standalone does not support WASD buttons for moving. Navigation however is working with arrow keys. Other hotkeys (space, shift+mouse buttons work as expected.
  • Overall graphics quality is pretty good, given that we look at WebGL. Textures, trees, water, shadows are present, but do not expect the PC-like quality in web browser.

If you are an Enscape3D user like me, go ahead and try these awesome features: version 2.4 is available for download here.

 

ArchiCAD Connection add-in updated for Revit 2019

Graphisoft has recently updated its ArchiCAD Connection Revit add-in that streamlines the dataflow between ArchiCAD and Revit through the IFC format.

ArchiCAD Connection has several main features:

  • “Improved IFC Import” has extra options compared to the native Revit IFC importer.
  • “Link IFC” merges IFC models into the current Revit project as a non-editable reference.
  • “Export to ArchiCAD” enhances Revit elements conversion to IFC for use in ArchiCAD.

ArchiCAD connection may be also useful for non-ArchiCAD users, because it correctly exports IFC with shared coordinates.

The add-in is available for download from Graphisoft Interoperability section after logging in.

Getting some data from Revit shared parameters with Dynamo

I recently ran into an issue with shared parameters that have the same name but different GUIDs. This happens when somebody creates the new shared parameter instead of using an existing one. And the difference between parameters’ GUIDs is a huge problem: Revit knows that these parameters are not the same by looking at the GUID.

Revit does not show parameter GUID unless you export this parameter to the txt file. And this may be a problem if you have tons of shared parameters loaded to the project.

So I thought that it would be a good idea to build a Dynamo script for reporting some information about shared parameters. Firstly I queried unique Ids for the shared parameters:

SharedParameters UniuqueId

Turns out, these Ids are not the GUIDs that I was looking for. This could be checked by opening the shared parameters txt file. That’s why I built a couple of custom nodes using the Revit API to extract data from shared parameters:

SharedParameters package update

The first one (called “SharedParameters.GUID“) extracts names and GUIDs from the shared parameters in the Revit project. These are the GUIDs that could be found in the shared parameters.txt file.

The second one (called “SharedParameters.Info“) extracts type, group, and unit type from shared parameters in the Revit project. This data may be useful for managing parameters (like sorting / grouping) in Dynamo.

Shared parameters nodes are included in the recent Zhukoven.com package update (2018.9.21 – see the downloads section).

Revit roadmap update – September 2018

Autodesk has just published an update for the public Revit roadmap. The updated document contains both new features that have already been implemented in the latest 2019.1 release, and plans for the future development.

We’ve add some major projects to our roadmap for this update.  We’ve decided that is time to start working on improvements to wall elements since walls are such a critical piece of the project. We are starting slowly with some more straight-forward improvements that have been on Revit Ideas, but behind the scenes will be working to make the data of walls more robust and better serve the future.  Our goal is to reduce the need for complex modeling tools (like in-place or massing) and provide better data for quantities and materials as you design for better understanding of the impact of design choices.

Read the full article at Autodesk blogs.

Rhino inside Revit is live on GitHub

It’s been a month since I wrote about the work-in-progress McNeel’s technology called “Rhino Inside”:  Will Rhino 7 run inside Revit? And now it is live on GitHub!

sample3

The Rhino Inside technology allows Rhino and Grasshopper to be embedded within other products, including Revit and AutoCAD. This repository contains all the sample developer code for loading Rhino inside other 64-bit Windows applications.

Note that you’ll need to download Rhino WIP version to be able to play with Inside technology.

Revit RFO Benchmark v3.2 now supports Revit 2019

Revit RFO Benchmark is the free Microsoft PowerShell-based benchmark that analyzes Revit performance. The benchmark has recently been updated to version 3.2, which supports Revit 2019 and comes with the following list of enhancements:

  1. The Squiggly Lines graphics test has been removed from the Full_Standard set.
  2. A new Graphics_Comparison set compares standard graphics views, squiggled views and now 3D levels views.
  3. If your DPI Scaling is above 150% you will get a warning, but the benchmark will proceed. If it crashes, especially in the middle of Model Creation, try setting your DPI Scaling lower. It seems there is a problem with high DPI scaling and journal playback. More detail on that in a separate post.
  4. DPI Scale is now included in the report, so we can try to grok what settings and what hardware actually works.

Revit RFO Benchmark is available for free download from RevitForum.org (note that you’ll need to log in to your Revit Forum account first).

And if you are struggling to launch the benchmark on localized version of Revit, try these suggestions: Revit RFO Benchmark fails with journal error on localized Revit installs

What’s new in Navisworks 2019.1

Navisworks 2019.1 update (available via the Autodesk Desktop App) comes with the following list of bug fixes and improvements:

Improvements

  • [LMV] Support .VUE file property.
  • Fixed incorrect IFC Class and Element description in IFC hierarchy.
  • AVEVA E3D import (RVM file format) – missing attributes in the object properties.
  • Allow Display ID to be shown in Timeliner overlay text.
  • Add a space between the date and time in TXT clash report exports.
  • Read shared parameters in corresponding to IFC data.

Bug fixes

  • Timeliner Auto Attach not working on certain Category/Property.
  • SceneConvertServer doesn’t shutdown.
  • Setting global options via API or XML file has no affect with out-of-process loaders.
  • ArchiCAD 21 cannot export nwc with error “Cannot write output file”.
  • Cannot check ArchiCAD 21 in “Configure Installation” dialog when installing NWExporter2019.
  • C++ error rendering a model.
  • Navisworks does not display anything if the assembly is saved in a substitute LOD.
  • Navisworks Manage 2018 crash with CER during Save.
  • CER when load IFC file after install IFC for Revit.
  • Navisworks License Timeout.
  • Multi – threaded clash, crashing with a point cloud data set.
  • A Chinese translation mistake in Archicad config file “nwexportarchicad.name”.
  • ArchiCAD21 Exporter options display unreadable code in localization OS.
  • Exported NWC and Glued model are not what is displayed in Revit.
  • English Language Pack – Spanish category objects in selection tree.
  • Revit to Navisworks Export is excluding certain instances of family.
  • Navis exporter progress dialog issues.
  • Global Options overrides are not passed onto SceneConvertServer.
  • Some files cannot be loaded with internal error.
  • Cannot load rvt because of an internal error.
  • Navisworks 2018 crashes with saving file.
  • Embedded texture is not displayed while opening NWD file.

Direct download links for 2019.1 update could be found at Luke Johnson’s blog.

If you are interested in Navisworks future, please vote for bringing back Navisworks Idea Station here: Autodesk community ideas.

 

Will Rhino 7 run inside Revit?

McNeel & Associates have recently published a webpage about the “Rhino Inside” technology, which sounds pretty amazing:

Rhino 7 WIP (Work in Progress) can now run inside other 64-bit Windows applications such as Revit, and potentially AutoCAD, Solidworks, Photoshop, Excel, etc.

Imagine that you could run Rhino’s geometry engine inside Revit environment. This could be a game-changer for those who work with conceptual design.

The bad news is that “Rhino Inside” is in the early phase of development, so that there is nothing to see or test for the moment. Even the Rhino Inside webpage is full of placeholders for the download and help links:

Try Rhino inside Revit (RiR)

  1. Download and install the Revit plugin.
  2. Try the Rhino, Grasshopper, and Python examples.
  3. Build your own RiR tools. How to get started…
  4. Check out the source code for RiR and the related examples.
  5. Try writing a Rhino Inside plugin for your favorite product. How to get started…

Personally, I don’t mind the wait: it’s almost certainly better to have the new feature work well when it launches, rather than launch with bugs.

What’s better than clash detection? Live clash detection!

We’ve been doing iterative clash detection in out projects for years. This is an old-fashioned and time-consuming process, which consists of repetitive manual or semi-automatic tasks:

  1. Convert each discipline model into the Navisworks / Solibri file formats.
  2. Update project federated model.
  3. Run multiple clash tests.
  4. Publish results.
  5. Introduce results to the design team.
  6. Next hour/day/week/month repeat steps 1..5

Wouldn’t it be great if we could spend our time in a more effective manner? There are actually a couple of software platforms that offer live (real-time) clash detection inside Revit environment.

BuildingSP ClashMEP

Read more about ClashMEP here

MagiCAD for Revit 2019

Read more about MagiCAD for Revit 2019 here

Both of these Revit add-ins use the same concept: they provide you with clash detection in real time, while you build your model. There is no need to iteratively run clash tests, and you can visually see the conflicts in views and schedules. You can see the full process in these videos above.

The future of clash detection is coming!

Conductor Revit & Rhino add-in becomes free and open source, bringing Trello boards inside your models

Conductor is a Revit and Rhino add-in that integrates Trello task management with your models. This add-in has originally been released as paid application (I’ve already mentioned it in my post last year) by Nathan Miller from provingground, and now it’s available for free.

Conductor uses Trello API to move your tasks between Revit (Rhino) and Trello. The integration is clean and seamless:

 

Below you can find the the add-in requirements:

  • Revit 2017/2018*
  • Rhinoceros 5.0 64-Bit for Windows*
  • Windows OS (Developed and tested with Windows 10)
  • ClickOnce installer is best used with Internet Explorer
  • ClickOnce user installer assumes a standard Windows user setup
  • Internet connection
  • Trello account (you’ll also need to authorize the app with your own Trello token)
  • * Versions for Revit 2019, Rhinoceros 6, and Navisworks 2019 are forthcoming.

You can also read the full description here (including the download links), and release notes here. Source code has been posted to bitbucket.