The One About Learning Visual Programming.

Dynamo is cool. Seriously though, if you didn’t start out with visual programming in your life, it may take a while to wrap your head around, but it is a key tool that is evolving the way we will work in design. Keep in mind, it may not be necessary to know how to build programs within Dynamo, but you need to know enough about it to be able to run Dynamo scripts developed by others. It is kind of like driving a car…you don’t need to know how to assemble an engine to drive a car, but it is probably a good thing to understand the basics of the operations before getting onto the highway. Also of note, if you think you are going to avoid Dynamo…well…you probably can. In the same way that you could avoid BIM, avoid complex form building, automated routines, the move towards AI, and basically the key futures of the AEC industry. So, learn how to take Dynamo for a spin:



The One About Simulation, FormIt, and a bit of Design Thinking.

So, simulation is not just about tweeking the design you know, but informing the design you should be doing. This video introduces the concept of how to begin generating, and looking at simulation data as part of the predesign process:


The One About PhotoModeling Context in FormIt.

FormIt is pretty brilliant, and has grown like crazy over the last few years. For context modeling, you will need a few simple work arounds, and you will need to learn some simple methods of sourcing material (not unlike using for topography). This video will take you through the basic steps we have been using to trace the footprint of a building, apply a surface and estimates of building height, add an appropriate amount of detail for 3d printing a context model, viewing the model in realtime, and leveraging the adjacent buildings characteristics for your design’s contextual response.


The One About Topography in FormIt

From AU 2017: This video carries the topography model from Flux.IO and Revit into workable geometry in FormIt – marrying the file to a satellite image, adding a material, setting up layers, and preparing the work for additional context.


The One About FormIt and Flux and Revit…but not in that order…

Ok, so an extra long title since my last post was April. Seriously, April. That said, i have a ton of new work to start sharing that is going to launch with my Pre-Design Thinking with FormIt class from AU 2017. This class covers sites, context, fabrication, Dynamo, FormIt, a few little bits in Revit, Live…lots of stuffs. Up next will be a series on 3ds Max Live, probably my new best friend once the beta officially lands (so happy!!).

Regardless, great to see everyone at AU (OH!! Your the BIMsider!), and on this first video…the audio is a bit splatty, sorry about that, vid 2 gets better…

The first vid covers, pushing the data to Revit, then to FormIt. Great results, and slick process that we are all in on in the studios of HSA.


The One About Tran-soo-lents.

I started early in practice career with a very good friend, Jennifer W, who loved to combine words (she probably still does, but i am not sure, we don’t get to talk nearly enough!! She also has the best laugh ever…) and my favorite word combo she delivered is also one of my favorite architectural materials. Take something that is transparent, something that is translucent, muck it up with a Midwest accent and you have transoolents. In CG, the appearance of this type of material can be a bit tricky to pull off, especially in trying to slide in a material pattern as well. One of my students found a product – essentially a transparent wood glazing – that we needed to implement in Revit. The following video, which guest stars Meagan E (who is a brilliant student – someone is going to be thrilled when they give her a job opportunity!), was cut directly from out sit down session in trying to figure out the right way to resolve the material in Revit. The video itself is a bit sloppy (i like to call it honest), as it is essentially just the two of us hashing out the right process for her project – but it is one of those “how to” questions that is in demand…so…enjoy and apply!


The One About Sections, Perspectives, and Photoshop.

Ok, so i got a bit carried away with my time management on this one. That, and the YouTube gods tell me that all videos should be broken into segments no longer than my average view time (about 5 minutes) to maximize earning potential…but seriously, i feel like if i had to watch 6 vids to get three good tips i would want to pinch a porcupine. That said, it is still a bit of a doozy to watch 34 minutes for the same thing. So…here is a quick tip: 2.00 turning on the section box, 8.50 selection sets, 16.30 edges matter. Cool? Just gave you at least 20 minutes+ of your life back. But you know the rule, ask a prof how to make a cool section perspective from Revit and get a 34 minute answer:

This tutorial set certainly doesn’t take you through everything you need to know to wrap up a great image – and i mucked up a step too: You need to set your image size using the “Size Crop” tool prior to exporting your pdf file from Revit to ensure consistent line weights – make sure you do that.

Other tutorials to reference (absolutely amazing stuff):

Photoshop. Architect:

ARQUI9 Visualisation:


The One About the Curvey Curves

At times it is great fun to push Revit around to start building forms of a more organic, fluid, and less “buildingy” variety. While the following is not a perfect method (is there such a thing?), leveraging the Mass family under Model in Place components will let you start creating forms through a modeling method referred to as lofting – which is essentially connecting together a series of profiles to develop an overall form. This first video will get you started on both building and fabricating pieces using this technique, covering processes, a few good things, and a few limitations as well.


The One About Revit, Google Maps, and Scales

Sometimes you just need a quick background plate in Revit – giving you basic locations, sizes, and etc. – to be roughed in for schematic design. This video will do its best to walk you through that process: Grabbing an image from Google Maps, Importing and Scaling in Revit, and beginning to translate that into line work and models.


The One About Revit and Rendering

At times I find myself trying to find and build tutorials on complex workflows to help elevate designers to realize lofty concepts in digital design thinking. At some point in time though, i also realize that there is always a massive demand for an overview of some very basic things…everyone is not on the same BIM journey at the same time. As such, this is an introductory look at rendering and compositing in Revit, from the basics of setting up a camera to adding the rendering into a background plate with entourage in Revit: