Two Simple Fixes for Revit Drag & Drop Issues (Recently Discovered)

Last week there were three separate support incidents where users experienced difficulty with Drag & Drop. These were caused by something my team had not encountered before. In each case the users were dragging and dropping RPCs from Dashboard into Revit 2014 but nothing was appearing in the project. Upon troubleshooting we could not find any incorrect configurations that would account for this inability to Drag & Drop.

After hours of trying to reproduce and determine the cause of this, I called in the aid of ArchVision’s Development Team (the code wizards). They quickly analyzed thousands of lines of code to discover explanations for these issues. It turns out that there were actually two separate issues that have very simple fixes. First I will explain the causes and then the simple solution.

Cause # 1: Missing RPC Family Template file.

When Revit is installed a special family template folder is created in C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RAC 2014\Family Templates\English_I (location varies slightly by Language pack). RPC Family.rft must be present inside this folder or Drag & Drop cannot be performed. The problem occurs when non-default install locations are used. Inside Revit the location of the Revit Family File path is shown by clicking on Revit–>Options–>File Locations.

family_location

This can be resolved by downloading the following file and putting it into the directory specified in “Default path for family templates file”

Download the necessary file here: RPC_Family.zip
It will need to be unzipped for Revit to recognize it. Once in place simply restart Revit and Drag & Drop will work.

Cause # 2: Language Pack Issue.
The second Drag and Drop issue was caused by an issue with non-English language packs. The Development team has resolved this with 2 special patch files contained in a zip. Please download these here:
AVRevitPlugin.zip

Unzip these files and extract them to C:\Program Files (x86)\ArchVision\Revit Plug-in\2014 replacing existing files of the same name. Restart Revit and Drag & Drop will work.

As always, if you experience any issues at all, please contact ArchVision Customer Service at support.archvision.com.

Live Webinar Tomorrow: Discover What’s New with ArchVision RPC and Revit

Live Webinar 11-20-2013

ArchVision Dashboard Configuration 101

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.

Help documentation is available here: help.archvision.com
Support is available here: support.archvision.com

5 Rockin’ Revit Presentation Tips from Steven Shell, Architect

Revit Tips:  Marketing + Proposal Process

Revit Tips: Marketing + Proposal Process (image: Daniel Hughes, Bradley BIM)

When you see a great blog post, you have to share it! Everyone enjoys learning Tips & Tricks to improve their workflow and they become more valuable when they improve your presentation. Daniel Hughes, of Bradley BIM, storyboards architect Steven Shell’s tips to show you how to make your Revit presentations “POP” for consultants, contractors and facility owners — without using Revit rendering or Adobe Photoshop. Hughes summarizes the 5 basic tips:

1) Turn On Ambient Shadows in Hidden Line View
2) Add Background Image to Hidden Line View
3) Apply Graphic Override to Individual Element
4) Apply Graphic Override to Category
5) Switch Hidden Line View to Realistic View

See Hughes’ complete storyboard that starts with a standard, Revit hidden-line Camera View and goes to a Revit Realistic View: Revit Presentation Tips.

Like Daniel Hughes, we highly recommend you sign up for Steven Shell’s class at Autodesk University 2013. Registration opens September 12, 2013.

A Recipe for Better Rendering with the mr Daylight System.

explanation1

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).

default_rendering

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.

Change 1
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.

gammato22

Change 2
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.

exposure14

Change 3
Next we need to change the the Physical Scale (located just underneath the Exposure controls to Unitless and 90,000. This makes a world of difference.
unitsto90000

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.

Updates Server Upgraded to Accommodate More Features

Over the past few weeks your Dashboard may have prompted you with the message “AV.02.007 cannot connect to updates.archvision.com.” Increased user traffic resulted in connection time outs. To address this we have re-engineered a new server to accommodate the increased traffic, as well as, provide users faster access to downloads. Users should now only experience this error message when their Internet Security product (firewall) is preventing their Dashboard from connecting to ArchVision’s Updates Server. We appreciate your support during the upgrade process.

Error Message AV.02.007

Error Message AV.02.007

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