How to get Autodesk Revit models into Acrobat 3D version 8

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I get asked this question alot, and I have to say it is very easy to get your Revit models into Acrobat 3D version 8. The question you have to ask yourself; do I need the BIM data, or is this just for review and mark up! Whoa, Tim, now you’re getting technical on us! Well, just sit back relax and let your ol’ buddy Tim step you through the process.

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Ok, in Acrobat 3D version 7, it was a bit of a challenge to get your full Revit Models into it. But in version 8 we updated the Capture Routines to work better with Revit’s graphic sub system. ….Sub grap…syRev…..HUH! Well let me take a step back and give you a little technology back ground.

One of the coolest things about Acrobat 3D is the fact that you can make 3D PDF files from any 3D application on the planet! We have direct translators for many of the major 3D CAD packages such as Catia, Pro-E, UGS, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Inventor, AutoCAD (yes, you can do 3D in AutoCAD), 3D Studio Max, Maya,…(For a full list Click Here) But, you may notice that the list is very heavy on the manufacturing side, so what about AEC and EPC formats? Well we are working on them, but in the mean time what do we do? As I was saying above, Acrobat 3D has a very cool technology called OpenGL Capture, what that means is any package that supports OpenGL, we can get the 3D data out of it! Very cool huh! That is the first method I will show you. Using OpenGL Capture to get your Revit 3D Model

 

Ok to do this first you have to open Revit with a model open, use any model here because you are just telling Acrobat 3D that a 3D program exists and you are enabling the Capture. So, Open Revit first, then open Acrobat 3D Ver 8, I will tell you that a program has been recognized for capture close the 3D package and re-open, (that is why I said to load with a small model so you don’t take the hit twice). In Acrobat 3D you will see a dialog box up with 2 buttons, select the Settings Button. This will take you to a settings dialog

 

Select the Settings button and you will see the 3D Capture Settings Dialog box, the Preset Name should say Autodesk Revit XXXXX(based on what version you have)

 

 

You will need to jump to the OpenGL tab and change the settings; to get the settings for Revit and other software packages please go here to get the latest and greatest! It can also be found by searching our Knowledge Base for Article 332661. Here are the settings for Revit. Note that you only have to do the set up the first time you capture from a new 3D application. After that the set up data is retained.

 

 

With that all done we can now get to the Capturing!

 

 

Ok so now close, Acrobat 3D and start Revit, load your model. Then start Acrobat 3D version 8. In Acrobat 3D go to FILE|CREATE PDF|FROM 3D CAPTURE this will start Acrobat waiting for something to grab. Go about your business in Revit, or at least rotate the model a few times. This will fill the OpenGL pipeline with data that Acrobat 3D can use. Once you have done that, HIT THE PRINT SCREEN button on your keyboard. Today, you get no indication that anything is happening, and it could take up to 60 seconds for Acrobat to come up with the Acrobat 3D Conversion dialog box but you will hear your hard drive become active as the data is written and the 3D data constructed.

 

 

In the Acrobat 3D Conversion Dialog box you will see a tabbed area that allows you to tune your import, in this workflow; I will be using the U3D format not PRC (I will discuss that one in another entry) So, on the General Tab you can set the back ground color, lighting, rendering style, Animation…, I suggest you create a small model and just experiment with these settings.

 

 

The Import tab allows you to select the format you wish to use, in the case as mentioned I will use the U3D format and keep it with a high resolution.

 

 

The Optimize tab will allow you to compress your model for size sake, again you will need to play with this to get your settings.

 

 

The Enhance Tab allows for Animation control, again this is for another post

 

 

And Transform, will allow you to manually rotate your model, set a scale and add custom units
Now just say Ok and you will get your 3D model in Acrobat 3D in about 30 seconds.

 

 

You have full control of the model, you can change lighting, create views, do mark-ups, cut sections (all will be covered in later posts) One thing to notice is the Model Tree. The OpenGL Capture will get all materials, colors, objects, really anything that is posted to the screen, but we lose the BIM data. So going back, that is why I asked what are you using the model for? If it is Mark-Ups, or visuals this is a perfectly fine workflow. But what if you need the BIM data? Well not to worry!

Did you know Acrobat 3D with the new version 8 will read in a Native DWF file? Well now you do, and with that, we can keep all the 3D metadata!
So to keep all the 3D Metadata, Publish a 3D DWF from Revit, then Drag and Drop the DWF file into Acrobat 3D

 

 

You will then get the model and all the associative data

 

 

And that’s it, sounded hard but was very easy! That’s it for this entry. To see a video of this process click here

Have fun and remember to keep some life in your life.
Tim Huff
Acrobat for AEC / EPC

 

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