Friday, August 6, 2010

New in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011

Whats New in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
  • I have been  wondering, since Autodesk  had launched Revit 2011, that what next would be beyond this. It seems Autodesk have heard the seamless voices of the user, eversince it had launched Revit 2010.

    Since Revit 2010, the user were wondereing what to do with the new interface Autodesk Revit, s0 this has been a constantly debated, argued, discussed subject amongst many a Revit user on the AUGI forums. So these are the main topics of improvement,

    • Contextual Tab display
    • Contextual Tab display behaviour
    • Modeless Properties Palette
    • Modify Tab is both static and contextual
    • Modify Tools improvements
    • Quick Access Toolbar customization
    • Resizable Dialogs
    • Worksets and Design Options

    • Contextual Tab display

     Autodesk Revit 2011,  allows rapid access to modification tools. When you select a tool and start to work with it, the modify tools are constantly at hand. The Ribbon also seems to be a lot faster and there is icon clarity with other Autodesk solutions. The other obvious change is the disappearance of the Type selector from the Ribbon. This is not going to be to everybody's taste; as it now resides in a modeless Properties Palette.

    Modeless Properties Palette
    The Modeless Properties Palette can remain open or closed. This reduces the need to “click” open the type or instance properties, as settings are always quickly visible. It takes a bit of getting use to and does take up screen real estate, but it can be docked onto another monitor if you have a dual screen setup. After a short time, I found that you do get use to it and access to properties requires far less picking and clicking. If you don't like the PP palette on screen all the time you can hide it with a keyboard short cut, but this then causes you a bit of an issue as the Type selector is no longer accessible, but you can get around this as you are able to add the type selector to the QAT (quick access toolbar).

    Quick Access Toolbar Customization

    The QAT is now customisable as it has its own dialogue box which allows you to reconfigure tools quickly if required. Other noticeable changes to the UI include resizable dialogs as well as a workset and design options improvements. The latter can be easily accessed from the main window without having to hunt through various ribbon tabs.

    Graphic Display

    Two additional view styles have now been added to the View Control Bar, these include a Realistic View which will display materials and textures defined to elements in real-time. You also have a Consistent Colours view styles, which displays colours in a constant manner across all faces of the model in a 3d view.
    Realistic View

    Conceptual Massing

    You can now dissolve a form using the new dissolve function. Say you build a form from lines or reference lines and you decide you want to take it back to the line work it was originally created from. Just select the form and choose dissolve. Once a form has been dissolved the surface created is lost, however the profiles and path remain, allowing you to edit these and recreate the form after you have made any adjustments.

    A new feature called the workplane viewer has now been included, making the editing of profiles within a form a lot easier. This is a floating dialogbox that provides a dynamic view and when adjustments have been made to a profile they are automatically adjusted within the main form. The divide surface tools introduced with the new conceptual massing tools in 2010 has been further enhanced and you can now divide a surface by intersecting levels, reference planes and lines drawn on a reference plane.

    Parameter enhancements
    I regularly tell users that it's the "I" in BIM which is one of the most important assets of the BIM process. So being able to extract data from your Revit model so that it can be used for other functions is an everyday occurrence for the users I work with. So to improve the data pipeline workflow, Autodesk have introduced what is referred to as a Reporting Parameter. These are a special parameter type which do not actually drive forms or geometry, but instead will report its own value driven by a dimension in the family model. What this actually means is that a dimension can be uncovered and reported in a way that can be used for downstream applications. A simple user case maybe that you need to report the width of a wall for a door or window frame in your schedule. Until now this was not possible, but with a reporting a parameter assigned in your door or window family you can pick up the wall width instance so that the reporting parameter can report the width of the wall and this can be scheduled.


    Mental ray rendering was introduced with RAC 2009 and generally it's been a hit with Revit users. Certainly the quality of renders I have seen has been superb. But to some extent quality was limited by desktop power, with rendering being limited to 4 cores only. This meant, that you may have a super all bells and whistles workstation with processors multiply , but the 4 core throttle resulted in Revit not being able to make use of all the workstation power at your disposal. In 2011, this restriction has been removed. In 2011, Autodesk has also made updates and modifications to material editor interface as well as deploying a common material library, you can also now use an image as a background when rendering.

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