November 19, 2013 1 Comment
November 12, 2013 2 Comments
Since the release of Autodesk 360 Cloud-based Rendering, the demand to render RPC Content in the cloud has been constant. Initially, only the in-application RPC entourage rendered in the cloud. After much collaboration between ArchVision and Autodesk, RPC rendering support is now available for all ArchVision Dashboard RPC Content objects. Please keep in mind that this is early in the release cycle; user feedback is critical. Let us know how your experience goes!
How do I enable support?
To enable support for rendering RPCs in Autodesk 360 download the Autodesk Revit 2014 Update Release 2 from the Autodesk Revit Services & Support page.
How do I place RPC Content into my Revit Project?
To take advantage of this feature simply Drag & Drop RPC objects from ArchVision Dashboard into your Revit project and then click on Render in Cloud under View. For instructions on using RPCs in Revit, please click here.
Which RPC Content is supported?
Every RPC that is featured in ArchVision Dashboard will render. Custom created RPC Content support is coming soon! ArchVision Dashboard provides the platform for a series of new features, including RPC Drag & Drop into Revit and will also enable support for RPC Custom Content in the future. We are seeking beta testers now. Email us at email@example.com for more information.
Things to Know
To ensure correct rendering results, please use a camera view. At present, orthographic views are presenting unpredictable results. This is a known issue and is being addressed. Some users are reporting ‘Unknown Errors’ with job submissions. This is also being investigated. If you experience other issues, please report them to Autodesk 360 and to our firstname.lastname@example.org channel.
Watch for updates here at blog.archvision.com.
October 21, 2013 Leave a comment
Hard to believe but RPC recently celebrated it’s 15th birthday! The original 3D Studio RPC plug-in and a whopping 32 pieces of RPC content were introduced to the world at the AEC Systems tradeshow [Booth 631] in Chicago in June of 1998. The “ArchSoft RealPeople Plug-in” with Casual People Vol 1 was $399. Business People Vol 1 was another $199. How things have changed!
Over the years ArchVision’s RPC products moved beyond a relatively simple 3D Studio plug-in and a handful of content libraries to plug-in or native RPC support for over a dozen design/rendering platforms, several thousand RPCs produced by ArchVision and tens of thousands of custom RPCs created by our users. In hindsight I can break the past 15 years into two major epochs. The first was one of easing RPC integration with our partner’s software products and continued growth and supply of RPC content. By 2005 ArchVision had produced and released over 100 content collections and supporting over a dozen rendering applications including most industry standard Autodesk, Bentley and Adobe products. A customer purchasing all of our products would find a sticker shock of nearly $30,000 at checkout!
Beginning in 2005 we began making major investments in our back-end infrastructure; setting the stage to move to a subscription-based licensing model. January 2007 brought the start of RPCs second epoch, RPC All Access. RPC All Access took what was previously $30,000 of software and made it all available for $499 per year! A huge value proposition for our customers and a dramatic change in how we thought about our products and business model.
The launch and iterative release of our Dashboard product over the past couple of years is ushering in our latest epoch in delivering relevant design visualization and content management solutions. Our goal is to remain current with changes in our customers evolving production environments and continue to provide value. We have found ourselves serving not only full-time visualization artists using products like 3ds Max but also many architects creating visuals directly inside products like Revit. We see this as a challenge to move beyond “Rendering” to that of helping create “Presentations”. We’re excited about ArchVision Dashboard as it is setting the stage for a bevy of new features and services to help in this transition. Following is a rundown of the latest RPC features enabled by Dashboard and a sneak peek at features we have in the pipeline.
Drag & Drop
Support for RPC with Revit goes all the way back to Revit 3, prior to Autodesk’s acquisition of the platform. Most recently, Autodesk chose RPC as the native tree/plant solution for Revit. Revit users will find a good selection of tree and plants shipping with the product. Getting additional RPCs outside of what shipped with the product was another matter. As I’m sure many of you are painfully aware, getting an RPC from All Access into Revit was over 20 steps! We found that unacceptable and went to work on making that a one-step process from Dashboard. Now users can drag & drop any RPC from Dashboard directly into their Revit (2013 and above) model. You can also Drag & Drop directly into 3ds Max and Autocad from Dashboard.
One of the primary goals of Dashboard is to provide improved ways to organize and search your content. Channels are one of our first organizing tools. We think of Channels as the first order of organization designed for visual browsing. Clicking on a Channel within Dashboard filters specific content that has been tagged to that channel. Dashboard supports what is called a “many-to-many” relationship between content and Channels. For example, you may find the same Oak Tree RPC in the Trees Channel as well as the Revit Channel. Channels represent different ways of organizing all of your content into logical groupings. A future update of Dashboard will allow you to create your own Channels and organize content in new ways.
Search is one of the easiest ways to find content. In order for search to be effective the content being searched must carry the appropriate “tags” or “metadata” relevant to that piece of content. With Dashboard we’ve made all content search-able by their tags.
A great feature of Dashboard is the ability to monitor the applications you have installed that support RPC and help you keep RPC Plug-ins and related software installed and up-to-date. We call the service that enables this feature “Beacon”. Beacon keeps track of the current versions of software that are available and alerts you within Dashboard of any updates that are available. One click within Dashboard is all it takes to keep plug-ins up-to-date.
Over the past year we’ve been working to move from a machine-based licensing model to a user-based licensing-in-the-cloud model. There are several reasons for this move. First, it fits better with the way our customers use our products. They aren’t always working from one machine, sometimes moving between offices and from work to home. With Dashboard you can log in from anywhere automatically retrieving your license. This move to cloud-based licensing is also necessary for us to play well with the next generation of our partner’s products and services such as Autodesk RaaS.
We’re listening! Many customers have dozens or even hundreds of users within their organization and admittedly, we haven’t made it very easy to deploy our solutions across an enterprise. We’re working to change that. Watch for a new “headless” Dashboard release for servers and easily deployable MSIs before year’s end. We’re also building a new Admin panel inside of Dashboard where you’ll be able to see and manage licenses and content across your organization. After that we plan to tackle centralized path management. See, I said we’re listening!
RaaS (Rendering as a Service)
Autodesk launched it’s first labs experiment called Neon for rendering Revit models as a cloud service in 2010. After native support for RPC was introduced in Revit and the RaaS service became official last year, our respective teams went to work on making sure all RPC Content will render in the service. We’re about there! Watch for full RPC-RaaS support beyond the native content that ships with Revit soon.
We’ve had RPC Creator tools available for most of the 15 year history of RPC and you’ve created thousands of your own custom RPCs! Soon you’ll be able to drop any 32-bit PNG, TIF or TGA image onto Dashboard and convert it to RPC! This will allow you to take all of your commercial entourage libraries like those from Imagecels or Dosch Design or your own custom collection and convert them to RPC. As RPC they become infinitely easier to use in any RPC-enabled application such as Revit or 3ds Max. Dashboard will even automatically generate the preview images and icons for the RPC. All you have to do is give the RPC a name and specify it’s real-world height. No more building geometry, creating materials, adding textures, making objects ‘look-at’ cameras, blah, blah blah. Just drag & drop and RPC takes care of the rest!
Entourage silhouetting within Revit… that’s all we’ll say for now!
October 14, 2013 Leave a comment
Watermarking RPC Entourage allows users to test out content before they buy. If you plan on using RPC Content with Revit 2014 you will need to purchase an ArchVision Software License to remove watermarks. However, there are some common configuration errors that can often result in licensed users still getting watermarks. To prevent and eliminate these issues, our support team has created a document of these common issues for Revit users.
Discover the keys to a successful deployment with Revit here:
ArchVision Software Licenses can be purchased here.
September 23, 2013 3 Comments
Team ArchVision has been working to make RPCs easier to use than ever before. We’ve moved the licensing to the cloud and put path configuration right at your fingertips.
I have created two easy-to-follow videos that show you how to configure paths in ArchVision Dashboard and configure RPC Plug-ins to connect to it.
First, lets start with path configuration.
Next, let me show you how to configure the RPC Plug-in to connect to the Dashboard
Piece of cake. So what are you waiting for? Get your ArchVision Dashboard here.
August 6, 2013 3 Comments
ArchVision Dashboard just got better! This is a free update for all ArchVision users and is now available for download. Newly added features will improve your workflow. Check out the new features and improved user interface:
How do you get ArchVision Dashboard on your desktop?
Users will receive an update notification or you may opt to download the installer here.
Who needs ArchVision Dashboard?
ArchVision Software License and All Access License holders definitely need it! There are a few users out there who are still using legacy versions of 3d software applications who should keep their existing ACM to allow support for older plug-ins. Not sure what to do? Please contact email@example.com.
Special thanks to our beta testers who worked with our team to get the kinks worked out earlier this year. Because of their commitment to improving the ArchVision experience, this version of ArchVision Dashboard lays the ground work to enable us to develop several new features, including cloud rendering support, content creation and new admin tools.
If you have any issues that come up during the install process, please contact us so we can help you quickly resolve.
July 5, 2013 Leave a comment
What better place to showcase new Revit features? ArchVision is looking forward to participating in RTC North America, July 10-13. Attendees have a chance to learn best practices and get some incredible tips and tricks from the industry’s top Revit experts. The Revit-centric meeting is managed by users for users and is a perfect opportunity to catch up with users and engage them about some new ArchVision Dashboard 2.0[beta] features and technology trends.
ArchVision Dashboard 2.0[beta] provides an immediate improvement to Revit users with support for RPC Drag & Drop into Revit 2013 and 2014, RPC Content and Plug-in management tools and a variety of other features.
ArchVision will demo new content conversion tools and organizational tools:
- Convert 2D Images into RPCs Instantly
- Tag and Organize Content
- Drag & Drop .rfa, .dwg, & .skp Into Your Apps
Stop by and check it out!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
July 3, 2013 Leave a comment
Mental ray daylight systems are popular with Autodesk 3ds Max users because it is a single click source of light. However, without proper configuration, the RPCs can look to dark or to bright, or just not match the coloration of the rest of the scene. In an effort to reduce some of the difficulty users experience I wanted to provide some settings I use to get good results.
First, we will take a look at a rendering created with the default settings and a mental ray daylight system. Looks pretty dull. Definitely not what we would expect to see in daylight. The color is poorly saturated (caused by the gamma settings), the RPCs are dark (caused by the exposure settings) and the RPCs don’t have the correct contrast (caused by the physical scale of the scene).
With only 3 changes we are going to make this look completely different without greatly affecting the red, blue and green spheres (representative of other objects in the scene). This will affect the way that the mental ray sky looks, but it should look more realistic in a scene lit by daylight.
First, let’s change the Gamma to 2.2. Gamma for RPC objects is accessed by clicking on the Utilities panel and then selecting More followed by RPC Mass Utility. Instructions for this are available here. The results will look like this. Not an overly noticeable change, but the color is now more saturated.
Next, we need to brighten the RPCs. To do this, go into the Exposure Settings (Rendering–>Exposure Control) and change the Exposure Value for the mr Photographic Exposure Control to 14. This will make a great difference in the brightness of the RPCs.
Lighting is the key to realism in 3D rendering. There are many different variables that can be modified to achieve different results, but I have found that when users are experiencing difficulty changing these few settings usually yields much better results. If you ever have difficulty with anything RPC related, ArchVision’s Customer Service is just a click away at support.archvision.com.
June 11, 2013 Leave a comment
ArchVision Dashboard 2.0[beta] released today. Beta user feedback continues to be incorporated.
Key features include:
Autodesk Revit Drag & Drop
In addition to AutoCAD, 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design, Revit 2013 & 2014 now support RPC Drag & Drop. Local RPC Content may be dragged from Dashboard directly into your Revit 2013 or 2014 scene. We invite you check out this quick tutorial to see how it works and learn a couple tricks along the way:
To enable Drag & Drop your RPC Content must be local and recognized as local by Dashboard and Revit. The thumbnail icon provides you an indicator so you can easily know the status.
License management is now in the cloud! All RPC Plug-ins require a Dashboard on the same machine and the RPC Plug-in simply needs to point to your local Dashboard.
Upon login your license will be detected and reflected in your Dashboard.
Upon login, Dashboard will detect and check out an available floating license.
Local RPC Content
Dashboard scans and detects RPC Content. Local and custom content will populate. If you have custom RPC Content, a Custom RPC Channel will appear and populate with those objects. The scan occurs at start-up and when paths are added. Currently, we recommend you add a path to the specific folder(s) for an optimal experience.
Want to try the latest beta and give us some feedback? Drop us an email and we will send you a link.
May 23, 2013 1 Comment
ArchVision Viewport for Adobe Photoshop CS6 is now available. Both 32-bit and 64-bit installers are available and can be accessed via the following links:
ArchVision Viewport allows users to easily place RPCs into their Adobe Photoshop scenes. ArchVision Viewport licenses are included with ArchVision Software Licenses and may be purchased here: www.archvision.com.
Learn all about using ArchVision Viewport here: