Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Un-Masking Your Furniture

Check out this new video on my YouTube Channel. (Yes! I started my YouTube channel a while back!)

I covered this everyday common issue when it comes to using 3rd party manufacturer furniture content on projects. The "masking region" issue with furniture families has been around for many years now. They can be commonly found in the free Revit content from the furniture manufacturer's website.

Go check out this video to learn how to clean up this annoying graphic issue!

Also, subscribe to my channel if you want to see more content in the future. 😉

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Season's Greetings 2022

It's that time of the year! I wish everyone to have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in 2023! I have set my goals to add more content in 2023. Hope I can keep this promise to myself. (Giggles) I am trying something this year to kick this out as a GIF.
Here's the still image rendered in Enscape!
Cheers and all the best!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Walk Down the Memory Lane - Curtain Wall

Christmas is near and it's that time of the year! 

Just thought about my annual Revit greeting card and how I modeled the Revit scene. The use of snow (and snowflake) has been in the background for years. 

Snow and snowflake in the scene

People who see this for the first time often asked how the snow and snowflake are modeled in Revit. This is done by using the Curtain wall tool (seriously!). No Dynamo or any scripting is needed to achieve that. 

This brings up a class I presented at 2012 Autodesk University. I can't believe it has been 10 years now. 

The topic was Unfold the Curtain! Think Outside the Curtain Wall Tool in Autodesk Revit

This was my first in-person live presentation at the Autodesk conference. I happened to search for something through the site today, and I am surprised to see the resource files from 10 years ago are still available online. That includes the recorded session!

If you are interested in seeing some creative use of the Curtain Wall tool, head over to the link below and check it out! Many of the techniques I covered are still applicable in Revit. 

No need to sign in to the site. 

Unfold the Curtain! Think Outside the Curtain Wall Tool in Autodesk Revit

If you have issues viewing the content, I have the pdfs saved here via Google doc.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Finding (Material) Neverland

Have you ever experienced your Material Browser taking forever to open the second you click that icon? 

One of the known issues I come across is if the project has a custom image map used for material Appearance but they are nowhere to be found, Revit is trying to find them through the path originated in its location. It will try to find them until it times out. In other words, the more missing material you have in the project, the longer for Revit to try to find them (i.e. the stalling). 

An Autodesk Knowledge Base post offers a similar explanation. 

This has become a serious headache for the user when:

  • The Revit file was upgraded many versions ago and the material referenced location does not exist.
  • The Revit file has material borrowed (or transferred) from other projects. 
  • Custom material assigned to family content from other sources (e.g. manufacturer content)

How do you resolve an issue like this?

While I haven't found an easy solution, the only way is to identify which material via Material Browser has the missing image, and replace (or repath) with the image that Revit can access. Once that is done, the material browser can operate normally. 

This can be a daunting task if the project has hundreds if not thousands of material. Can I use Purge Unused to get rid of those materials? The short answer is yes but it is only possible to purge out material that is not assigned to any Revit system or component families. Even with purge unused, there could still be a lot of missing images referenced with the rest of the material. 

There have been some postings using Dynamo to help find these images. The process still has its shortcoming. 

I came across a tweet the other day when someone mentioned using a Revit add-in Ideate BIMLink tool. I started researching that solution. 

What's interesting is this tool and its feature has been around for years. While BIMLink is a licensed Revit tool, I haven't had the chance to use it until recently. What's more, the original intent of using a BIMLink feature is to swap material assignments for custom families to aid in a quick iteration of rendered design options for casework, furniture, and lighting.

Using BIMLink
Start Ideate BIMLink (I am using the 2022 version)

Click New

Then select \06 Project Standards > Project_Stds-Materials > Next

Under the Properties tab, you can add any additional properties to the right. You can also include materials from the linked Revit model by choosing Include linked elements.
Click Done to go back to the setting. 

Once you are back to the setting, click Export
This will generate the entire inventory of the materials list from a single (or multiple) Revit files whether the material is in use or not. 

Choose a destination location to save the excel spreadsheet. 

Open the exported file in Excel. 
The image path is under Appearance: Image

This is where you can see if there are any invalid paths that are no longer accessible by the Revit file. 

Another interesting fact, I was able to identify the material pathing if these custom materials from manufacturer content are ever loaded into the file. 

This example shows the content creator from the furniture company Steelcase placed the custom image map under the person's desktop?? Seriously!?

This is another reason why I have a trusting issue with third-party content downloaded from the internet even if they are from well-known companies. 

I wrote this post years ago that explains why it is important to have a vetting process in place if your office decides to use content generated by a third party. 

In Closing

I hope this helps to resolve the issue with Material Browser which is slow to open. While the process is still tedious, it offers a more manageable way to track down a specific material with this issue. 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

BIM Smith Winter Wonderland Holiday Revit Family Competition

There is no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Over the year-end holiday season, BIMSmith, a free Revit content online platform, hosted a Revit family creation holiday competition. It's a winter holiday-themed for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Year. 

The rule is pretty simple. You create a Revit family that displays a seasonal or holiday theme. Then post the images of the family on one of the social media channels that are allowed and tag them. You can submit more than one entry. If the entry is chosen as a finalist, the actual family will be submitted for review. Of course, the work must be your original work. 

While many are still working from home or spend more time at home during this pandemic, as a long-term Revit user with a passion for content creation, I thought I'd give it a shot. 

My original plan was to submit an entry to beat the deadline on December 22, 2020. I later found out they had extended it to January 15, 2021. 

My first entry (Giant Ornaments)

That's the time (December 21) I started my winter break from my work. I normally would spend my Christmas break out of town with family, I now had all the extra time on my hands, so I started to think about creating more families for the competition. 

I started to build my second one, then a third one, and more ...

By the time I was done, I had a total of 5 entries! I can assure you that wasn't part of the plan, it literally just happened. 

Out of the 5 entries, one was selected for the semi-final. It was a neon sign with the New Year 2020/2021 in it. The numbers (lights) lit up and down to represent the transition from the year 2020 to 2021. I actually enjoyed making that family a lot. I plan on writing a post to document the process for the family to share here on my blog.

BIMsmith recently made an announcement for the winners. My neon sign was selected as SECOND PLACE!!! That was pretty awesome. You can go check out the winners and other entries from this link

Neon sign created as Revit family rendered as GIF

You can find my other entries below in this post. 

This wired mesh Christmas tree is done as an adaptive component. The spacing of the grid, height, radius are all parametric. 

Wired mesh Christmas tree with lights

Rendered in Enscape

Round ornaments with number 2 0 2 0 and hung with cords. The last ornament "0" breaks open to show "1" for New Year 2021.

Rendered in Enscape and images run as GIF

Santa Claus and Elf sleighs. The sleigh is parametric. The width is adjustable to accommodate more passengers. I also made an option for Elfs. 

Sleigh modeled as family. Rendered in Enscape


I am thankful for BIMsmith to host such an event to encourage Revit users to showcase their creativity in family creation. I am very much looking forward to this competition in 2021.