Tag Archives: tutorials

Video learning keeps getting easier

etpI’m not sure about you, but I love watching movies, often for entertainment. My wife usually manages our Netflix queue, which consistently has 300+ titles on it, and I’m piling up more as I think about what I want to see. Occasionally, I like learning new things by watching videos. There are so many providers out there, and as I mentioned earlier, Autodesk now has there own YouTube channel, but then again who doesn’t? You can even watch previous years’ Autodesk University classes online at au.autodesk.com.

Also, for those that are interested in learning Ecotect, I’ve been pointing them to the training packages available for download (see image to the left). These really give the student a head start, and when I come in to provide training, we can cover in-depth the topics that matter most to them.

Which brings me to my own efforts to reduce communication barriers through the use of free video clips, as in the past three posts. I’ve been posting on YouTube and Screencast.com. My reason being: they both have their strengths. Screencast.com is much higher quality, and I can keep it ad free for a reasonable cost, while YouTube offers more ways to stumble upon my work. Of course, no sooner do I start using the free Jing (a free Windows and Mac OSX screen capture utility), that it’s maker, TechSmith also now has Camtasia for the Mac, and it’s only $99 until the end of the year. It’s very full-featured for such a great price.


Now you can easily stitch together shorter videos made with other tools or other platforms, or capture the screen directly and craft highly professional looking videos, on a Mac. I especially like the “Smart Focus”, zoom in effect. This will make creating tutorials formatted for smaller screen, like an iPhone much easier to read – so look out for those in the future. Check out the tutorials, especially the getting started series to learn more: Tutorials for Camtasia for Mac. There’s also news on the site that they are in the process of developing Snagit for the Mac as well.

I’ve been using products from TechSmith for years now on the Windows platform for creating learning videos and visual help files for architectural firms, similar to content offered at CADLearning.com. Check them out, these videos are a great complement to instructor-led training and can increase your ability to retain concepts learned. There are courses for most of the popular Autodesk products, and more are coming on line regularly. Full-disclosure: I was involved in working closely with instructor Reid Addis for the CADLearning “AutoCAD Architecture 2010 Tutorial Series”, and have authored earlier versions of the course.

I’ll continue posting free lessons here at “Paradigm shift”, while I continue to explore new and interesting ways to combine video with live instructor-led training. It’s just another way of adding value, and helping you be more productive, at 30 frames per second.

Working with Entourage

If you wish to concurrently work in Revit for creating construction documents, and visualizations, you must learn to separate logically. Digital entourage such as RPC content, or people cars and trees can coexist in your building information model. This video shows how you can use worksets to contain elements you do not want visible in all views.

Warning: I finally picked up a new headset for creating these recordings, so the volume may be a little higher than previous videos. Enjoy.

View directly on Screencast.com or YouTube

As an added tip: If you forgot to uncheck the box “Visible by default in all views”, no problem, just carefully follow the steps below:

  • Create a brand new workset to contain the model components you wish to control visibility of, being sure this timeto uncheck the ‘visible’ box
  • Be sure to ‘synchronize with central’, or ‘save to central’ depending on your version of Revit, reliquishing all borrowed
  • Make the workset you wish to convert ‘editable’
  • Choose the old workset containing the objects you wish to make invisible in the project views
  • Click Delete
  • Now the important part here is to choose the new workset to move these items to, we certainly don’t wish to delete our model components
  • Now just use Visibility/Graphics Overrides (keyboard shortcut VG) to change the visibility in selected views from the Worksets tab.

For other cool tips, or more information on this method described above be sure to go to http://au.autodesk.com, sign in and search for the Autodesk University 2008 class I co-authored called “Horrible Hacks”. If you are attending AU this year, hopefully I’ll see you there.

Create Exploded Isometric Views

This technique, illustrated in my earlier slide presentation, is covered step-by-step in what should become the first of many screencasts. You can use this technique for many purposes, to illustrate the systems which make up a building, to show a detail in 3D, or just to create the traditional “You are here” maps, ubiquitous in the shopping mall world. Hopefully this gives you some new presentation techniques, or if you haven’t used Revit 2010 yet, I’ll help you find the “orient to view” tool. Enjoy.

You may also view directly on:

Screencast.com or You Tube

Update… bear with me while I sort out the volume level.

SeaRUG Meeting

The July 22nd meeting of the Seattle Revit User Group (SeaRUG) will be co-sponsored by sdb consulting and United Reprographics. I will be providing the lunches to this month’s meeting. I will also be presenting and host a panel discussion along with Pat Byrne of Byrne+Works Architecture, and David Redding, an HVAC designer. The presentation topic will be “Presentation Techniques with Revit”.

From the announcement:

    Meeting Information:

    When: Wednesday, July 2, 2009 (add to Calendar)
    Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm
    Where: Seattle Public Library – Central Branch
    Microsoft Auditorium – Level 1
    1000 4th Ave (corner of 4th & Madison)
    Seattle (Map It!)

    This presentation will explore a wide range of presentation techniques available in Revit. Whether you are an engineer or an architect you will learn new ways to represent your projects and discover techniques to refine and improve your current presentation methods. Revit beginners will be exposed to a wide range of tools while advanced users are sure to discover something new. A panel discussion will follow the presentation. This presentation is suited for all AEC professionals using Revit.Thank you to those of you who contributed images to this presentation! For those of you who want to submit images, it’s not too late…please forward any images and/or techniques you would like to share with the group to admin@searug.org.

    Please bring Revit related questions to ask in an open forum setting or forward relevant topics to admin@searug.org.

    Please RSVP by noon on Monday, July 20, if you plan to attend, so we can have an accurate head count for lunch. You must be a registered member on the website to submit your RSVP. Please visit our website at www.searug.org for membership information and registration.
    Register Here

I hope to see you there.

Where did those tutorials go?

If you’ve loaded up Revit and were looking for the help-based tutorials and the associated training files to go along with them, never fear. Go to the menu bar and click Help > Tutorials, and there will be a link that takes you directly to the content downloads. The instructions are simple to download and replace your current help file, and choose Imperial or Metric content for the training files.

Where do I find the archive of Webcasts, presented by Autodesk?

Resource Centers to the rescue.
If you’d seen some of the web tutorials presented by Autodesk, but have lost the various URLs, this site that collects them all: www.autodesk.com/get2bim. Choose your discipline and click the “Learn More” button. You’ll have access to the full archive of all webcasts, and links to sign up for any upcoming events. This is a great way to find out about new versions of the Revit applications, and is full of time-saving tips and tricks.