Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Revit 2010 - Counterstrike Review
The last few guests exit as the last piece of confetti falls to the ground. The party is over. All the hype, anticipation, and excitement is slowly fading. Revit 2010 has been released, downloaded, and installed. The smokes has finally cleared and it's time to really take a look at the program.
I am using Revit 2010 as a student and as a professional. I just completed my first student project with Revit 2010 and worked on it for the past five days. I would first like to address the new ribbon bar.
Using Microsoft Office 2007 has given me quite a negative bias towards the idea of a ribbon bar. I am surprised to find that I like the ribbon bar! Regardless of the tons of negative reviews about it (see Phil's post and Augi Forums) I have found it pleasurable to work with. The collaboration of keyboard shortcuts and the new ribbon flowed very nicely for me. Many of the negative reviews about the ribbon revolve around the amount of mouse clicks it takes. Well, with the old design bar on the left it is exactly the same. If you are in the "Basics" section and need to place a structural column a few clicks are required. Ultimately, the ribbon bar has always been there... just on the left of the screen instead of the top. The main negative comment I will make about the ribbon bar is the fact that certain tools, such as the "thin lines" and "split" are hidden within it. The solution to this was simple though. I just right clicked the icons I wanted and added them to the Quick Access Toolbar. Once I added these few tools to the Quick Access Toolbar I found the overall workflow to be very similar.
Putting aside the debate and conspiricy theories about why big bad Autodesk utilized the ribbon interface I believe it was not as horrible of an idea as many are exclaiming. The ribbon's advantages in Microsoft Word or Excel are appearent because those programs are very linear. Step one follows step two, etc... Revit is not a linear program. The user is consistently navigating back and forth between all aspects of the ribbon. Revit is more like step one, step two, step six, and back to step two, etc... I believe this is where all the frustration arises. I felt the frustration for the first day or so. After two days I began to get comfortable with the new locations of the SAME tools and my workflow has not been interrupted. Once again, I would like to reiderate that the ribbon has ultimately always been there.
An issue that seems to be constant with the reviews on the Augi Forums is Revit 2010's unstability. I have yet to have a stability issue. In fact, I find 2010 to be more stable than 2009 on my computer. Revit 2009 has been prone to lots of errors for me. Revit 2010 has not given me a single error since installing it (knock on wood). For those of you who follow my blog you know I am running the program on a Mac. That's right... Running it on a Mac and not getting any errors.
The speed of the program overall has increased greatly for me. I believe this is due to the 64bit program and operating system as well as the new DirectX graphic accelleration. I've done multiple tests opening very large projects (over 50mb projects) and the panning, orbiting, and overall speed has increased quite a bit. See my "Rendering Speed Test" post for information about the increase in rednering speeds.
The final addition I would like to review is the conceptual massing environment. Many users are complaining about their "wishlists" not being taken into consideration. In my case, a massing environment like the one added to 2010 was part of my revit wishlist. As a student, the ability to model organic forms, manipulate them, and parametricly drive them is absolutely priceless. The only downfall is that the conceptual massing environment is only an environment. The integration between the conceptual massing environment (or family) and the project is not as developed as I would like. Something as simple as allowing a conceptual massing family change it's family category would be a serious improvement. Better yet, to add the modelling capabilities to all of the family type editors would be very useful.
My perspective of Revit and Autodesk may be much different from the various reviews I have read. I am not an Autodesk shareholder. I have not had to purchase the program for my own business... yet. I use the student and commercial versions every day and utilize all the resources possible. Call me naive if you would like, but I choose not to buy into the "big bad company that conspires and does not care one bit about its costumers" theories. The sad truth is, Revit would not be what it is today without Autodesk's millions of dollars invested in it. There would be no Revit Structure and MEP. Many of us would not have even heard of the program!
In conclusion, I am satisfied with Revit 2010. I believe it is a step in the right direction (perhaps not a big enough step... but a step nontheless). The overall performance has increased dramatically, workflow has not changed much, and the ribbon is just an upgrade to an old design bar.
Now... let's hear the counters!
The Revit Kid.com! by Jeffrey A. Pinheiro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at The Revit Kid.com.