Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010,a first look.

Autodesk Revit, the building information modelling is gaining grounds, slowly but steadily. The new generation of architects are willing to push the limits in terms of technology usage too.

Now as of this software has got power but adoption was not that as per its capabilities. Time is changing and people are now aware that they have to move to new and productive things.

I have seen this one almost 6 years back and amazed at its efficiency. Since then the software has made quite a lot of improvements in itself. Now the User Interface is the standard UI for all the Autodesk products. The main tool bar is on top with a “start” kind of button on the top-left corner.

The first screen has got the option to create a new project or open one, along with family creation options right up-front. This gives the user an advantage by saving in time,which was previously took the user to go on to menu and select the desired option. Nice UI improvement.

The first thing comes to mind,when one creates or opens a project is, where is the UI customizsation option?! Well, all the options are now in the top bar of the software.

To customise the UI of the environment,one has to go to view>UserInterface

Now one has option to show/hide Interface elements, along with Project Browser and Browser Organisation.

Now all the options regarding the detailed and general settings about the software as a whole is in “options” menu,which is inside the main button in the top-left corner.

This menu opens up the settings dialog box where one can set to use the graphics card(Hardware Acceleration),Anti-Aliasing on 3D views, setting of file locations(including template files and family files) and customising the View-cube and where to display it.

Once inside designing or creating stuffs, all the options for a particular options are up in top again.

This means the wall creation tool details are right on the top bar just above the design area and below the component selection area. Again a very nice improvement on the UI,saves a lot of time for the user avoiding un-necessary clicks here and there.

The Instance Properties and Type Properties for a family is at one place and can be opened directly in one click. There is no more go through the Instance properties to edit Type properties. Real time saver again.

Now all the settings are done and we are moving in our design process. Still we need some more tweaking to fit in our own style.

So the detailed tweaking for the project,the components, even the line style,shadow and snaps settings are inside Manage>Settings

Along side that the material editing menu. This opens up the material editor. So all the managing things regarding the project is inside the “Manage” menu.

Now the big screen real estate saver is a tiny arrow just at the end of the menus.

This tiny arrow shows/hides all the visual elements on the top bar. The result is one can just turn off all those icons on the top bar with the texts only or even completely hide those menus,exposing more screen area to work with.

Now each element one is working with adds its own menu just at the ends of all menus(just next to “Manage” menu and before that magical tiny arrow for top UI show/hide,we talked now)

Another great addition to the UI is the 3D box and the shortcut wheel as in all other Autodesk products. Once inside a 3D view, one can see these on the top-right corner by default. This gives a nice one point access to move arround in the 3D space.

The rendering dialogue box is now up front in the UI. This is placed with all other view related settings icon,which are just below the design are.

This is again a nicely done UI. The rendering options are just a click away in the same user interface. And this rendering settings dialogue has got all the options to tweak the rendering settings along with the sun,exposer and rendering quality.

Over all Revit 2010 has got massive UI improvement to ease things out for an user. But it could mean a little difficult UI if someone is coming from the previous versions of the software. Hope I have made a good inside into the new UI to make the transition smoother from the older version to the new one.

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Author: saumya

designer / developer / maker / educator @saumya

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