A Point In Design

Review of Revit 2012
April 15, 2011, 8:09 pm
Filed under: Commentary/Reviews

Download Revit 2012

After using the above download link I gave the new version a test drive. Note, the download is 3GB so it will take an hour plus depending on the speed of your internet connection.

Installation & setup
Even though the file was huge, the setup was painless. I like that the installer didn’t have to connect to the internet again to download all of the families (ie balusters, doors, etc) like in previous versions. That is a time saver. I chose a custom install, choosing not to install the Design review software, which in my mind is pretty useless running on Microsoft bloatware (.NET crap). I also chose to install all the rendering libraries for fear that if I didn’t (as in past releases) rendering won’t work. About 30-40 minutes later the install was done. No reboot necessary.

Uses & Workflow
After passing on Revit 2010 & 2011, the 2012 release seems to have finally gotten the UI ribbon right. Object layout seemed obvious and I finally felt that I could transition to the new UI. The new version has all the features I mentioned in my initial post with more apps for evaluating solar heat gain/loss. Being a single seat user, I didn’t evaluate the new work-sharing features, so I can’t comment on those. I really appreciated the decision to place the properties dialog front and center along with the apply button. This makes changing the position of an object (say from 1′ high to 2’6″ high) a lot quicker with fewer mouse clicks.

In terms of overall use, the only limitation I did see on my machine was that the 3D views seem to take a little longer to open then in Revit 2009, perhaps a second or so longer, but the resulting image was more detailed. This time delay may be a function of my video card, as my card is not on Autodesk’s approved list and my computer is 8 years old. Rendering takes longer (specifically the amount of time the computer needs to calculate the model before the rendering engine launches and starts counting). I also noticed that Revit 2012 seems to be better integrated with windows as it shows the correct amount of memory being used by the application in windows task manager while running and rendering. Prior releases would indicate the app was using only 100k of memory when in fact it was using well over 2GB.

Materials & Rendering
I love that you can finally purge materials, and as I suspected it does dramatically reduce the size of the project file by doing so. I also liked that you didn’t have to go back and update the materials in individual families unlike the upgrade from Revit 2008 to 2009. Having the background image for renderings is great, so you can finally get images that don’t have the crappy horizon line scarring your rendering. I was also amazed that the application was able to locate all of the decal items that were imported from a 2009 project without having to remap their location. I was really surprised by that. Revit 2012 also remembered all the lighting groups and their settings for individual views.

I did come across an issue with sun setting and renderings. By default the sun setting dialog is set to (In Session, Lighting) (See image below)

I found on my machine that when I ran the rendering it would fail with an error that an unknown error occurred while processing the image prior to the rendering engine even starting. I then located my old custom sun settings created in Revit 2009 under the still tab and used those. Things worked fine after that.

Bugs & Issues
I was initially disappointed that Sketchup import functionality was not working for me. Importing a sketchup file would just hang at 2% and you would eventually just have to kill the revit application. I resolved that by copying the dlls for sketchup from Revit 2009 into the 2012 directory. After that sketchup imports worked fine. My bigger problem came from a print spooler issue that appeared in windows. The Revit install appeared to have corrupted the print spooler service in windows so whenever you went to print a document, even outside of revit, the error “print spooler was unable to start” appeared. I uninstalled Revit, then the material libraries, and finally deleted the created folders in the install directory. I then reinstalled the product. Both the sketchup import issue and the windows print spooler issue disappeared. My suspicion is that all of that .NET bloatware that is bundled with Revit corrupted the windows OS.

Despite my initial hiccups with the first install, I like this new version of Revit and think it is worth upgrading to it. For future releases, consider porting the help subsystems and design review to a java or a flash based app. It smaller and more streamlined. So readers, Check out Revit 2012, the app has a 30 day trial period before needed to license and email me with your reactions.

4 Comments so far
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Comment by September Garriepy

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Comment by Find sex in MULGRAVE

i have aproblem in rendering the revit file bcz of low memory..it cnt render.plz give solution as soon as possible…i have a xeon processor.32bits system

Comment by deepika agrawal

Hello Deepika Agrawal,
Thanks for commenting. Depending on the amount of memory in your computer and the size of the Revit project you are working on this may be a problem. If you are attempting to render a 3d or perspective view you could try to make the image smaller on the screen by using the scroll button on your mouse (middle scroll wheel). You will notice that the render dialog will indicate that the file size of the image will become smaller from say 2Mb to 900kb. Then try attempting to run the rendering function again. If it still fails I think you may be out of luck. I have noticed that Revit 2010 and later require much more memory to fully function than say Revit 2009. Autodesk has added a lot of functionality that really hogs the cpu of the computer as more features have been added to the product. Generally speaking you need a machine with at least 2.5GB to 3GB of physical memory to run Revit without issues.

Comment by bestarch

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