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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Case Study - Rocky Mountain Modern House

Even though this project is from a couple years back I’ve been wanting to use it as a case study and share it on the blog since it’s completion.


Because this project and the initial presentation illustrates all of the facets of Revit for presentation style graphics in one deliverable.  What I’d like to do in this blog post is break down the presentation page by page and give a little background on what technique, tip, or tick was used to produce the graphics (ie. floor plan, elevation, diagram, etc…).

First, I’d like to give a little background on the project itself …

Continue reading to view the “Rocky Mountain Modern” Case Study…

Friday, September 14, 2018

Free Workshop: 4 Steps to Sexier Revit Views

Over the last few days I have been posting about the two major problems facing most Revit users when it comes to presentation graphics:

1. "Default" Revit is Ugly.
2. The time/expectation it takes to produce the quality you desire.

What if I told you that you can eliminate both of these problems?  Imagine a world where your Revit plans automatically look beautiful and all you have to do is design and model.  Imagine what it would be like to pump out 30 renderings in a matter of minutes.  Imagine only spending 10 minutes or less in Photoshop but creating “cover page” quality images. How amazing would it be to not cringe when you see your boss walking over to your desk because you know he or she is going to change the renderings you just spent all week on?

Stop imagining.  You can live in that world.

How do I know?  Because I have lived in the world of nervous nail biting when given a seemingly impossible deadline.  I have lived in the world of lower the quality of my product because there simply wasn’t enough time.  I have also lived in the world of not know how to actually make my Revit presentation graphics looks better.  As I mentioned in my previous posts, I also had some pretty ugly Revit presentations.  Not anymore.

I now live in a world where I can change 30+ renderings multiple times a week (with post-processing).  I now live in a world where sexy floor plans, diagrams, and exploded axons are the standard operating procedure.

I live in the world where Revit is sexy…

And you can to.  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I Need Those Renderings… By Tomorrow

Yesterday I published a post about how ugly “default” Revit could be.  I was hoping to evoke a response out of you, and it worked.  I received a bunch of emails and comments describing your experiences with Revit and presentation graphics.  As I suspected, this problem is an epidemic in academia and pervasive in the workforce.

Doesn’t it feel great to know you’re not alone?  In fact, I decided to highlight a few of the stories:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Your Revit = Ugly

Let’s face it. Out of the box, Revit is ugly.

I bet many of you reading those first two statements are nodding your heads.  Those who aren’t, create a new camera view in Revit right now without applying any templates.   Yeah, pretty ugly right?  Like you, I have always been frustrated with the un-attractiveness of “default” Revit.

The good news is you don’t have to live with “default” Revit.  There are lots of features and settings that can make Revit sexy.

The bad news?  No one knows about them!

Between teaching at a university, working for a large construction firm, and running this blog for the last ten years I have seen my fair share of Revit projects and presentations.  The quality of presentation materials (plans, sections, elevations, renderings, diagrams, etc..) coming from these models is inconsistent to say the least.  Therefore, Revit still has a reputation in many corners of our industry for “looking bad”.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Revit Tutorial - Diagrams: "BIG" Style

The diagram has been a staple in the architecture community for as long as I could remember.  From 2-dimensional "parti" diagrams to full-on exploded axonometric diagrams, many techniques and styles have been used to describe our vision to the world.

A specific style of diagram has arisen thanks to the popularity of Rhino and Bjarke Ingels. This diagram is a blend between a 3-D form and a "parti" and truly is a great way to present your architectural concepts to the world.  It has the vector graphics feel of a graphic designer but the shading and composition of a "cel shaded" video game.

It looks something like this...

Well, guess what?  The image above was modeled and created directly in Revit and Revit only... No need to use Rhino, Grasshopper, Illustrator, or any other piece of software.  

Continue reading to learn how to make "BIG" style diagrams in Revit....

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Revit Tutorial - Adding Depth to Your Elevations (Redux)

I posted a tutorial over five years ago that illustrated how to add some serious depth to your elevations in Revit (Click here to view that post and tutorial).  The concept of creating better looking elevations is clearly a pain point for many Revit users because the aforementioned video has been viewed nearly 27,000 times! Technically, this tutorial is still relevant and the technique can still be used today.  So be sure to check it out.

Fortunately, the process of adding depth and making better looking elevations is a lot easier thanks to a new feature in Revit (introduced in 2017) called "Depth Cueing".

I decided to not only create a new video tutorial about how to use depth cueing, but also dig into the feature and really understand how it works. 

Continue reading to view the new Adding Depth to Your Elevations tutorial and my notes on how it works...

Friday, August 17, 2018

Coming Soon... We're bringing sexy back...

I am back from BILT North America full of excitement and motivation.  As usual, the conference was fantastic.  I was able to catch up with some old friends and meet plenty of new ones.  I can't tell you how humbled I am to meet readers of this website in person.  You are all amazing!

My presentation, "Construction can be Sexy: How Visualization Helps us Build", went extremely well.  I was a bit worried turnout would be low due to the fact that it was the first session on Saturday morning. If you have been to a BILT event before, you know that getting up for the first session can be very difficult.

I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout and engagement during the session.  Thank you all who attended and asked such poignant questions!

Coming Soon...

My session at BILT focused solely on presentation techniques (from diagrams, to renderings, to virtual reality).  Focusing on this topic has proved timely as I am hot and heavy into the creation of BIM After Dark - Volume 1 (Redux)...  Additionally, while at the conference I was reminded that many folks are still struggling with getting their Revit models to look the way they want them to look.

I closed Volume 1 a few months ago so I can re-build it from the ground up (after nearly 5 years and 766 students!).

The time has finally come to set a date for open enrollment of the brand new Volume 1 course.

Are you ready?

Mark your calendars...

BIM After Dark - Volume 1 (Redux): BIM can be sexy...

Open for Enrollment:

September 17th, 2018

What is BIM After Dark - Volume 1?

Volume 1 is focused on one thing and one thing only: making your Revit models look good.  From floor plans, to topography, to sections, to diagrams, and renderings.  Volume 1 is a comprehensive course that will take your presentations to the next level.

Who will Volume 1 be for?

If you are tired of people telling you that BIM is not for presentations and that Autodesk Revit is only good for documentation, this course if for you.

If you spend hours developing a fully detailed building information model but find yourself underwhelmed with the graphic presentations and renderings it produces this course is for you. 

If you want to take your rendering, post-processing, and overall presentation skills to the next level with proven techniques, short-cuts, and processes this course is for you.

Finally, if you want to learn how to make images like the one below as quickly as possible then this course if for you.

Learn how to make images like this with your Revit models...

What will it contain?

In "Revit Kid" fashion, the course will include simple, easy-to-follow, video tutorials, sample files, optional live sessions with me, and possibly some bonus items.

Click here to view the contents of the course...
(Thanks to those who gave amazing feedback on the video outline a few weeks ago).

How do I enroll?

Monday, August 6, 2018

It's BILTNA Week! See you in St. Louis!?

BILT North America is this week!

I am pretty excited to be heading to another BILT conference (formerly known as RTCNA).  I love looking back on my previous review posts from this conference...  They remind me about how valuable and impact each year has been for me.

Every year I come home with a sense of vigor and excitement.  Additionally, my mind is usually spinning around all of the ways I can use the new tips, tricks, and topics discussed that week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Let's Assemble in Hartford - Live Event

Did you hear?  Autodesk acquired Assemble. Many of you may have heard this news and thought:

"What is Assemble?" 

I have spoken a bit about Assemble here on the blog and appeared as a guest speaker on a webinar with Assemble back in September of last year.  Additionally, I have been using Assemble for just over three years now.  That being said, I am extremely excited to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of Assemble Systems for you here on the blog. 

Unfortunately, I am not finished with my big Assemble review post yet....

Fortunately, if you are located in or around Hartford, Connecticut I will be speaking at a networking event about how Turner Construction uses Assemble on August 2nd!

Continue reading to find out more about the event and how to register... it's free! (Oh, and there will be beer ... ;) )

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Enscape3D - Free Sample Projects and Files

Photo courtesy of

Last year I published a post that explained why Enscape3D had become my virtual reality (VR) software of choice.  If you missed it, you can read the "Virtual Reality and Revit" review post by clicking here.

Well, fast forward to today and Enscape3D is still my VR program of choice for many of the same reasons I mentioned last year.  Of course, the folks over at Enscape3D have done a great job adding new features and improving the software since then.  Today I just wanted to point out a little-known resource available on the Enscape3D website...

Continue reading to find out about the free Enscape3D sample projects and where to find them....

Friday, June 22, 2018

Volume 1 Closes Tonight + Discounts Ending

Tonight is the night.  Volume 1's cart and sales page will officially be taken offline.
Time Remaining to get Volume 1 or use the discounts....

As I mentioned on Monday, I will be taking down Volume 1 to completely recreate the series from the ground up.  If you have been thinking about purchasing Volume 1 today is the day to act and make sure you take advantage of all the great content, help shape the new version of Volume 1, and utilize the deepest discounts on the courses.

Not Sure if Volume 1 is for you?

Who is BIM After Dark - Volume 1 for? 

If you are tired of people telling you that BIM is not for presentations? That Autodesk Revit is only good for documentation? If you spend hours developing a fully detailed building information model but you are under-whelmed with the presentation images or renderings you create from it Volume 1 is for you.

Don't believe me? 

Keep reading to find out....

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Best of BIM After Dark - Volume 1

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Volume 1 is closing this Friday and I thought it would be fun to look back at the most popular presentation content here on the blog. Five years of “presentation” content is a lot to look through but here are some of the most popular posts (some of which are directly extracted from Volume 1).

The “BAD Ultimate Gallery”

There is definitely a sense of nostalgia I feel when looking through the renderings and images within the “BAD Ultimate Galleries”. It also reminds me that I need to make a “Part 3” with examples newer than 2014. Either way, I think these galleries represent what can be created using the techniques, tips, and tricks from BIM After Dark - Volume 1:

Click here to view the BAD Ultimate Gallery - Part 1

Click here to view the BAD Ultimate Gallery - Part 2

Tutorial - Adding Depth to Your Elevations

Believe it or not, this tutorial is one of these most visited posts on the blog. It also has over 25,000 views on YouTube. Clearly, creating sexy elevations is a need/want for Revit users. Good news, this tutorial is still relevant today… Although, I will be exploring the “Depth Cueing” abilities of newer Revit versions for the re-make of Volume 1….

Rendering Tip - A Simple Material Change to Add Realism

This tutorial is also one of the highest ranking on the blog. Why? Probably because the default Revit glass material can be underwhelming in many situations. This tutorial shows a technique that will create a dynamic and more realistic glazing material.

Click here to view the tutorial and video….

Revit Material Management Tips and Tricks Post

This post is actually one of my favorites because I find myself referring to it from time to time (yes, I do forget the content in some of the posts I’ve created over the years). This post included tutorials about creating a materials library and bringing it from project to project.

Click here to view the ultimate Material Management post...

Course Closing Discount is Still Going On...

Don't forget this week I will be offering 20% off BIM After Dark - Volume 1 and 10% off any other BIM After Dark volume or bundle.

For 20% off BIM After Dark - Volume 1 use offer code “sexyclosing20”

Click here to purchase BIM After Dark Volume 1 before it closes!

For 10% off any BIM After Dark course use offer code “sexyclosing10”

Click here to view the Bundle discounts (remember, it will be 10% off this already reduced price).

Click here to view Volume 2 - BIM Can Make Paper...

Click here to view Volume 3 - We are family…

Remember, Volume 1 will be closing this Friday, June 22nd, 2018 at 8PM EST.