Monday, December 16, 2013

Correct Annotation Orientation of Sloped Details in Revit.

Ok RTC talks for both AUS and USA are in, for those who don't know if you log in to the RTCAUS submit speaker tool you can actually see if your talk has been accepted or not for RTCAUS only.

However not sure how official this is until the actual emails of confirmation go out, but check anyway!!

A user had an interesting issue the other day, I have replicated a simple version for example.

Basically he wanted an angled detail showing the true length of the member, here is a simple layout below of the project.

Now you can see in the Elevation he has gone ahead and drawn a Detail Section View as you cannot draw sections on angles.

Now when the view generated it did two interesting things, first the changed from Vertical layout to Horizontal, and any attempts to rotate the crop box fail, you can rotate it successfully to any but 90 degrees.

However we were able to place it on a sheet and use the rotate sheet view as seen below.

Once we applied dimensions they weren't correct orientation nor was the detail view title as you can see.

So with this in mind we thought we would try to create an assembly view, one thing not commonly know about assemblies if you can modify the orientation to generate views automatically based on the Origin Point.

So we selected the object and made the frame into an assembly, then we edit the assembly, you can see the dot and we just need to move it to the correct height and then rotate the point to match the angle of the framing you might need to set your workplanes for this.

Your point should reflect something like the following.
Once the location is set you can then generate your views, anytime you make a plan detail view always make an elevation or section view, this is because by default the plan views ends up cutting the middle of the assembly and you need to move the section marker in the assembly elevation view above all the objects to see all the members.
Once you have done this you should see the framing plan similar to before only this time you can actually rotate the crop boxt to 90 degrees and then place it on the sheet correctly.

Placing this on a sheet then rotating did not fix the issue, so you must rotate the cropbox.

You will get correct orientation of titles, dimensions and tags.
Obviously a downfall is this only works with items that can work with assemblies.

Alright I'm off on holidays with the family, so safe travels and merry xmas, happy new year and hopefully I will kick off with some of the other things I am doing with Dynamo and the API.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Amazon EC2 Services & VEO

So one project I am involved with at the moment is a test bed Integrating IBM Maximo and VEO together.

We have a project recently completed that required a Combination of Plant3D, Civil3D and Revit.

We managed to get the data into VEO directly from Plant and Civil using a cool trick that the dev team gave me. This involved putting the VEO AutoCAD plugin files into our AutoCAD verticals and running the exporter.

We are using a test environment that needs to be accessed by multiple parties in Australia, Philippines and the US so we thought the best way forward would be to setup a Amazon service account to allow access.

We are using the paid version as we use a number of services, however there is a free startup version that last for 12 months fulltime and limited compute/data for those who want access to their own cloud PC on the go.

There is alot of hype of cloud and what Amazon actually provides so this will go through what a setup is, what you actually get with Amazon and how it's charged.

Amazon EC2 service is the ability to create virtual machines that you can create online through the Amazon web app, then access via Remote Desktop(RDP).

The solution is nice is you can start and stop the instance anytime you want, and you are only charged for the compute time the actual VM is running, for anyone using VMware or Citrix this should be common stuff.

For anyone interested in trying VM technology Virtualbox is an awesome free software that allows you to make many virtual machines, if you have spare windows, licenses or want to trail Linux it works perfectly, and great testing environment for all sorts of things. I primarily use it for web programming testing environments and beta software.

So anyway if you go to AWS you can see the sign up for free or create an account.

Once this done you can log into the management console with your user name and password.

There are a whole ton of services you can activate and use on the fly but I am only interested in the EC2 service at this point in time.

Once inside you can see the dashboard and there is an option to create an "Instance"(instance is a single Virtual Machine). This will then allow you to set the specs for how much CPU, RAM and space you want, this is all tied to the cost structure, so don't go latest and greatest unless you really need it!! This stuff is like a teenager with a brand new iphone and no lockage on internet use, you can very quickly rack up large dollars if your not careful and read everything :)

Your Dashboard looks something like this.

On the left hand side I can then click on instances and see all my virtual machines I have created if I right click on an instance I will get options to start/stop the instance and all sorts of stats the key is really the start stop, we always stop our session when finished if your running web or services you need live then fair enough, but for our testbed with our specialist all adding various parts to our system we only have it on when someone is accessing the system.

Once started there is some bootup time, and some status checks need to be performed, once everything checks ok and green lights up you can connect to your instance.

You can either download the RDP or type the details in your Remote Desktop login.

I prefer to download each time as our IP address changes and that linked to the login also machines on domains might not recognise the login name.

Once logged into your operating system you can work as per normal.

Obviously depending where you are in relation to your can cause some lag but I was able to work on a US West Coast server from Philippines with little issue.

I'll follow up on how Maximo and VEO integration is going later, but suffice to say so far we are have some favourable results and a workflow for making this reality.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Introduction & VEO

Well after many years of thinking about it I thought I would finally kick off my first blog.

I have decided I need a place to keep track of all my bits & pieces I solve as I work on various things and thought this would be the place to do it.

So an issue many people have with VEO when starting out is that any sort of photo realistic materials can't be modified in terms of selecting new images.

As a result the non-rendered images when we are trying to achieve things like Blockwork or CMU aren't achievable at this point in time.

Here is a way to swap out materials with ones you want.

Disclaimers: This hack won't render, nor is it shareable unless you copy the images onto someone else's cached version of VEO.

Anyway back to the hack.

In the location where your VEO_Cache folder resides(by default this in your documents) there is a folder called TextureCache.

The Cache contains any images from projects that have applied materials that you have viewed in VEO.

Each image is stamped with a long ID and stored as a jpg.
This file name is fixed in the VEO cloud or render service so you can easily put the cache on any material on any system and you will get the result.

Apply a particular style in VEO and then simply find the matching image in the texturecache folder.

All you need to do is get any image you wish and rename to the identical name of the image you are replacing.

When you open VEO and reload the project you should see the updated image on any objects assigned with that material.

The images are by default 512 pixels so simply adjust to get your scaling and tiling correct.