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Thursday, April 8, 2010

A happy and sad Revit story and a Tech post - Unable to highlight or select 3D subobjects in AutoCAD 2011

I received a phone call this afternoon from a gentleman inquiring about learning Revit. He had recently moved here from California and he said "I arrogantly believed with my experience and AutoCAD skill level I would be able to get a job with no problem." He proceeded to tell me that all of the jobs that he applied for required Revit experience. He said he was so old, when he started drafting it was on linen paper.

From the late 19th century until the middle of the 20th century, drafting linen, also known as drafting cloth, was commonly used as an alternative to wood-pulp and rag papers in creating technical drawings. Its major benefits were considerable strength, especially in erasing and redrawing, durability in handling, and translucency for making multiple reprographic prints. Manufactured as an undyed muslin woven fabric, typically using cotton or linen fiber, the textile was highly starched and then calendered to create a smooth surface for precise ink and graphite lines. Although drafting linen was most typically used in creating original drawings, it was occasionally used as the underlying support for blueprints and other similar reprographic processes. Drafting linen largely fell out of favor after the development of drafting film — varying in chemical composition from cellulose acetate to polyester—in the 1950s.
I was intrigued by his story and saddened when he told me that he drives a truck at night to make ends meet. He wanted to take our Revit class so he could find a job at an architecture job. He said he liked driving the truck and it was completely different than anything he had ever done in his life.

We discussed the old school way of drafting, how the industry had shifted and the future of architecture. We talked about the workflow and process of Revit. I asked him a few questions. I asked, do you know what goes on the bottom of a house. He answered 'a foundation.' I then asked what goes on top of the foundation, to which he replied, 'the walls and columns.' Lastly, I asked him what goes on top of the walls. He answered, 'the roof.' Great, I said, you've just learned how Revit works. It's intuitive and the more you know about construction, the easier it is.

I brought up the fear subject. Most of you probably have forgotten your struggles with AutoCAD the first few months you used it. Since AutoCAD and 2D are so complicated, those who are afraid of Revit think that BIM and 3D must be really complicated. They're so caught up in the 2D to 3D AutoCAD extruding tools adn the complications of trying to use AutoCAD to create anything in 3D, that no one ever really even considers looking at Revit to see how it works. It's the biggest cause of being BIMpotent.

So, after a very nice conversation, I gave my new friend some links to download the Autodesk displaced student Revit version, www.revit3d.com/displaced, the link to play with Revit for a few weeks, www.revit3d.com/start and invited him to take our class for free via our live simulcast of our monthly Revit class. I asked him how he found me and he told me he Googled Revit training and saw my phone number at the top of my blog. I know I spend a lot of time ranting about CAD vs BIM, but having the opportunity here to help those in need is very fulfilling for me. You may not believe this, but I hate selling software. I do, however, love teaching, technology and computer automation. At the end of the day, Revit really does sell itself. You don't need a reseller to tell you that. What you may need is a helping hand in the process and all of the complexities of the new workflow.

Why did I write all of this? Well, because of Autodesk Tech Issue below about AutoCAD and it's overcomplicated attempt at being a 3D parametric program. I can't imagine what all of you went through to learn it, deal with it's complexities and finally overcome it to make it do what you needed it to do and in a timely fashion. At the end of the day, it's all about billable time. How many millions of hours are wasted every year on this archaic methodology of documenting the construction of buildings.

My conversation today changed me. It saddened me as to what has happened to your industry from the recession, the fear of job loss, the fear of losing one's home and how to make ends meet because of the loss of a job you may have been doing for 20 or 30 years. So, night after night, I stay up late, searching and reading all I can absorb about Revit, BIM, LEED and IPD so I can somehow do what I can to help you be successful and be a provider for your family. It's exhausting to keep up with all of the information that comes out on a daily basis. I don't know how anyone just starting with Revit today can possibly absorb it all and be productive and make money.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, and I have written something that has helped make a difference in your life or job, please drop me a note. You can even do it anonymously in a blog comment. Every day my words and thoughts show up in your inbox or on your screen and I'd like to know each and every one of your stories. It helps give my blog it's focus and direction and allows me to help others. To my 200 new subscribers in the past 2 months and to the 13,308 visitors of the last 12 days, thank you for being a part of the Revit family.


Published date: 2010-Apr-08
ID: TS14953918

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2011


You've noticed that rollover highlighting and selection of 3D objects in AutoCAD 2011 is not affecting subobjects or the hidden faces of 3D objects.


AutoCAD 2011 introduced the CULLINGOBJ system variable that controls whether 3D subobjects that are hidden from view can be highlighted or selected. This system variable affects all objects that are behind a 3D object in one of the visual styles that masks objects, e.g, hidden, conceptual, realistic, etc.

The default value for CULLINGOBJ is 1 which means that highlighting and selection only affects the subobjects that are normal in the current view.

In this image, CULLINGOBJ is set to 1 and the back faces of 3D objects do not highlight or show grips.

In this image, CULLINGOBJ is set to 0 and the back faces and grips show for the entire object. This is similar to the behavior in AutoCAD 2010.

Changing the CULLINGOBJ system variable from 1 to 0 will restore subobject highlighting and selection to match AutoCAD 2010 behavior.

Autodesk - AutoCAD Services & Support - Unable to highlight or select 3D subobjects in AutoCAD 2011


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