April 28, 2016

Pushing Calculated Values to Tags Using Revit 2017

One of the great new features in Revit 2017 is the ability to push Calculated Values directly into a tag without a special manual entry Shared Parameter. This method works extremely well for Occupancy Calculations and Room Programming exercises. 

In previous versions of Revit, pushing a Calculated Value into a tag was an impossible task because calculated values were not viewed as parameters. The typical workaround has been to create a Shared Parameter for a tag value and add that parameter in the schedule next to the Calculated Value. In order to get the calculated value into a tag, you would then have to manually enter the tag value from the schedule so that the data was in alignment with the calculated value. 

While this method has provided a good-enough workaround, it can be quite labor intensive, especially if there are a lot of fields to manually fill in. Additionally, any changes to the model and calculations would not be reflected in the tag until you revisit the schedule and find the discrepancies between the Calculated Values and the tag values. To quickly find the discrepancies between the Calculated Values and Tag Values, you could create another Calculated Value within your schedule that would report and flag the discrepancies with a color. With the model being an evolutionary document, you end up having to do a lot of coordination throughout the design process, which may make you uncertain about your Revit model data.

With the new workflows in Revit 2017, the need for a manual entry Shared Parameter is no longer necessary, thus simplifying your schedules and coordination. All that is needed is to create a common Shared Parameter that can be used in both the Tag Family and the Revit Project for calculation purposes. Once this is properly set up, the calculations from a Revit project can then be pushed into a tag, allowing it to automatically reflect model and data changes. With this new method, you will be a lot more certain about your Revit model data.

To learn more about this new Revit 2017 feature, be sure to check out this video on our YouTube channel.

Sash Kazeminejad
AEC Senior Application Specialist 
Sash brings proficiency in Autodesk solutions including AutoCAD and Revit Architecture to Ideate customers. His industry experience includes project management, BIM Management, and design for Architectural firms in California, Montana and Oregon. He is LEED accredited professional and is on track to achieve California licensure with Oregon to follow. In his academic life, Sash was awarded a variety of college scholarships, earned a BA in Environmental Design, a MA in Architecture from Montana State University (MSU) and taught Building Information Modeling courses at MSU Gallatin College. As a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. Find him on twitter. 

April 25, 2016

e-Learning - Upcoming Revit and Ideate Software Classes

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Ideate BIMLink for Revit MEP Projects
4.29::Revit 201:
Working with Parts in Revit
5.3::Revit 201:
Roofs in Revit Architecture
5.5::Revit 201:
Stairs and Railings in Revit
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

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Contact the Ideate Training Department at 888.662.7238 x1012 or education@ideateinc.com

April 21, 2016

Revit Architecture: What’s going on with my Lampshade?

Hi folks, IX here, one of the Senior Application Specialists at Ideate, Inc.

So, there I was on support one day (I kid you not) and I receive a call concerning a lamp not rendering as expected in Revit. I immediately thought this would be a great video and blog post.

The Issue
When I render in one of my rooms, with a particular lamp, the lampshade
is solid. No light is escaping out of the shade, except for the top and bottom openings. So, what’s going on with my lampshade? This rendering issue ultimately boils down to the material that is assigned to the lampshade, and the lack of transparency for that material.

As I noted above, the outcome will depend on the material assigned to the lampshade. Is it fabric, glass, paper, silk, or Vinyl? Something else? Each type of material will have its own adjustments. For this example, let’s go with Fabric and Glass materials, and the material Transparency options, as solutions.

First, let’s talk transparency. 

Revit’s material transparency section has the following 5 options:

• Amount: This option adjusts the amount of light that passes through a surface rather than reflecting off of, or being absorbed by the surface

  • 0% = Completely opaque
  • 100% = Completely transparent
• Image: Assigns an image/texture to the material  

• Image Fade: This option controls the composite of the image and transparency amount, (e.g., the white of the image will be transparent at the overall amount and the degree to which the black is opaque is determined by the fade value)

• Translucency: This option adjusts the percentage of the light that is absorbed and retransmitted as it passes through the surface, as though the surface were a back-lit movie screen. 

  • 0 = Not translucent
  • 100 = Completely translucent, such as frosted glass
  • This option is only active when Transparency option has a value greater than 0
  • Refraction: This option adjusts the amount that the light bends when it 
  • 0 = No Refraction
  • 5 = The most refraction available
  • This option is active only when the Transparency option has a value greater than 0
The Fabric Solution
When creating this type of material, my intent for the lampshade is to have a fabric material that is somewhat transparent so light will escape out of the shade.


1. Duplicate the existing lampshade material
2. Rename new material to an appropriate name
3. Duplicate the Asset
4. Rename the Asset to an appropriate name
5. Select the fabric image file
6. Check on Transparency
7. Set the Amount to 75
8. Set Refraction to Air

The Glass Solution
My intention with the glass lampshade material is to have a color assignment with a level of transparency so light will escape out, and a transparent image will project out.


1. Duplicate the existing Glass, Frosted material
2. Rename new material to an appropriate name
3. Duplicate the Asset
4. Rename the asset to an appropriate name
5. Select the appropriate color
6. Check on Transparency
7. Set the Amount to 80
8. Select the appropriate image file
9. Set the Image Fade to 80
10. Set Translucency to 30
11. Set Refraction to Glass

For a more in-depth look into the above steps, check out this short video.

For more information on materials and rendering checkout our e201 online classes on Working with Materials in Revit and Getting Started with Presentations, or sign up for our Revit Beyond the Basics class at one of our Autodesk Authorized Training Center locations.


Eugene O'Day, IX
AEC Senior Application Specialist
Eugene A. O’Day, IX, with more than 25 years of architectural and mechanical experience, offers a trained focus on all things Revit and BIM. Teaching is a passion of his. Eugene has been an instructor in undergraduate degree programs, has traveled worldwide teaching Autodesk solutions to major corporations, has taught at accredited ATCs throughout the Northwestern region, and is a frequent and popular instructor, speaker, and presenter for AUGI® CAD Camps, Revit – and related product user groups. He has also been a trusted public school district advisor on new drafting instructor hires. At Ideate, Eugene provides training and support for Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and AutoCAD. Eugene is also a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional.