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Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

Matt Stachoni CADapult Ltd

CR422-1 Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2011 is a breakthrough product for contractors and
design professionals of all kinds. We will take a high-level view of the product, covering all of its major functions and feature sets. We will focus on using Clash Detective in real-world cases to easily identify and correct design problems before they hit the streets and cost real money. Additionally, we will explain how to use the TimeLiner in conjunction with Clash Detective to produce a true 4D construction representation of your project to manage workflow and head off disasters, both big and small. We will explore using the Presenter module to produce compelling visual images, as well as create walkthrough animations combined with scripts that react to events.

About the Speaker: Matt is currently the senior AEC Software Technical Specialist for CADapult Ltd., a leading Autodesk Reseller in the Mid-Atlantic region. Matt specializes in Revit training and BIM implementation for design firms and the construction industry. He has over 20 years experience as a CAD and IT Manager for several A/E firms in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Boston, Massachusetts, and has been using Autodesk software since 1987.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

What is Navisworks Manage?

Autodesk Navisworks Manage is best described as a model aggregator that is designed to bring together 3D models and their associated design data into a single working environment for design review, coordination analysis, simulation and presentation. Navisworks has specialized tools and a highly optimized 3D geometry engine which allow this composite virtual project model to be interactively reviewed, visualized and analyzed in various ways in order to validate the design and provide predictability for construction and operation. It is also important to understand what Navisworks is not. Navisworks does not provide any ability to create model 3D elements or modify the data in your design models. It does not have any facility for working with 2D elements. Within the Navisworks workflow, the authoring of design data is completely separate from the review, analysis and coordination of that data.

A Little Navisworks History

The core of Navisworks was originally developed in the UK at the University of Cambridge back in 1995 as part of a student thesis project. The intent was to manage and review multiple, very large 3D files which, at the time, was very difficult on the hardware of the day. In 1997 a Sheffield, UK 3D graphics software company called LightWork Design found the research project, licensed the software and started marketing it to the building industry. In 2000 the company NavisWorks became a subsidiary of LightWork Design, eventually became a separate company altogether, and developed the product further under the name JetStream. Autodesk bought the NavisWorks company in 2007 for $25 million in cash, rebranded the software as Navisworks, and released the first release in 2008 as Navisworks 2009. Thus, while it has been around for some time, its only been an Autodesk product for a few years, and the underpinnings of its European heritage are still clearly evident.

Navisworks Manage Components

Navisworks is built on a core 3D aggregation and information engine that brings your models together and allows for real-time easy 3D navigation. This core provides the ability to identify objects by properties provided by the native application and includes tools for finding items based on those properties. It includes the ability to save viewpoint and viewpoint animations, allowing for real-time walkthroughs, and allows the publishing of 3D geometry and Navisworks data for review. Navisworks then builds on this core information and navigation engine with the following six task-specific features which work together to fully realize your project. Model Design Review includes functionality that leverages the core information engines 3D navigation abilities, object tree hierarchy, and the ability to search for and select elements based on their properties. You can modify the model objects visibility, color, and transparency, and fully section the model to analyze things in great detail. You can transform (move/scale/rotate) items to coordinate model positioning and resolve conflicts for the design team to incorporate later. Navisworks provides a full range of tools for measuring, redline, tagging, and commenting.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

The Clash Detective tool is a powerful geometric analysis component that compares model items against each other and allows you to identify, inspect, and report interferences clashes between those items. You have control over different clash types (hard, clearance and duplicates), clash tolerance distance, and are able to set clash rules. Clash tests can be saved, commented, be iteratively run, and have their status tracked throughout the design process. The TimeLiner provides 4D construction schedule simulation (a simulation that includes time) of your project model. With TimeLiner you create tasks with start and end dates, and assign items in your model to those tasks. You can then run a simulation which shows items in your model being added or removed over time according to the scheduled tasks. TimeLiner also allows you to import project schedules from a variety of sources such as Microsoft Project and Primavera P6. Once your schedule is input, you can run a simulation which animates the construction process. Actual and Planned dates can be associated with each task, simulating actual versus planned schedules. The Presenter toolset allows you to easily apply a rich set of prepackaged materials, lighting schemes, Rich Photorealistic Content (RPC), and background effects to your models, and render your scene to create photorealistic visualizations. While not a substitute for advanced visualization applications such as 3ds Max or Maya, Presenter can still be used in the pipeline to easily prepare the model for further downstream visualization work via exporting your Navisworks file to the FBX format. The FBX, or FilmBox format is a platform-independent 3D authoring and exchange format that offers greater interoperability between Navisworks and other Autodesk visualization products including Maya, 3ds Max, and SoftImage. FBX supports the export of geometry, materials, viewpoints, and lights, so that the downstream visualization workload is greatly reduced. The Animator tool allows you to animate 3D elements in your model. For example, you can animate how a crane moves and, more importantly, see how it will interact with the site materials and the various work packages happening on the site. Animator supports common animation workflows such as creating keyframes and interpolating movement between keyframes. The Scripter works with the Animator to add event-driven interactivity to animated objects in your model. Events refer to things that happen in the program, such as mouse-clicking on an element or physically colliding against it. For example, events can be added to a door such that it will open when you collide with it, and close the door when you move away. Navisworks provides the ability to combine TimeLiner simulations, Animations, and Clash Detective. You can clash test your construction simulations to provide 4D analysis and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) benefits to test work packages and construction tasks, such as site work vs. foundation formwork, or see how a cranes animated range of operation could affect existing steel construction crews and the feasibility in location of material lay-down areas.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

The Navisworks 2011 Product Family

Prior to the acquisition by Autodesk, these modules were sold separately under the product name JetStream. The core engine was called Roamer (in fact, the Navisworks executable is still called roamer.exe), which aggregated the models and provided redline and export data functionality. The other modules were sold separately and plugged into Roamer: Publisher (and it ancillary reader, Freedom), Clash Detective, Presenter, TimeLiner, and RVM Reader, a utility to read piping .rvm/.rvs files generated by the AVEVA Plant Design Management System. Today, Autodesk has merged the functionality together to create a Navisworks family of three separate products, delineated by their feature sets to provide specific solutions. Navisworks Simulate allows you to aggregate your 3D models together, perform real-time viewing and 3D navigation, and provides the Review toolkit (measure, viewpoints, walkthrough animations, redlines, and sectioning). Simulate includes the TimeLiner, Presenter, Animator, and Scripter modules. It then allows you to publish your files for further collaboration. Navisworks Manage provides the Navisworks Simulate feature set and adds the Clash Detective, which is of primary interest to the construction industry, and the subject of this class. Navisworks Freedom is a freely available viewer for Navisworks .NWD and 3D DWF files, and allows you to perform real-time 3D visualization and navigation, select geometry and review object properties, and view comments, redlines, and playback TimeLiner simulations. In 2010 there was a product called Navisworks Review which had the model aggregation and design review toolkit. In 2011 this has been retired and rolled into Navisworks Simulate.

Design Model File Format Compatibility

One of the most compelling aspects of Navisworks is its versatility in importing models from a wide array of authoring applications. Navisworks has an internal File Reader component that can read about 24 different file formats; the exact list is detailed in the Help system. Primarily it supports all of the 3D CAD formats from most of todays most popular design applications, such as DWG, DXF, SAT, STL, STP, DGN, 3DS, IGES, PRJ, IFC, and even SketchUps SKP format. Navisworks also supports popular laser scan (point cloud) formats from Leica, Faro, Riegl and others, which can be used in Clash Detective operations. Navisworks also supports Autodesks Object Enabler technology, allowing you to import AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP models, as well as 3rd party AutoCAD-based add-ons such as CADmep+ (i.e., CADDuct and CADPipe). As soon as you install the appropriate Object Enabler software, Navisworks will take advantage of it when importing DWG files that require it. Navisworks also supports importing file formats for ancillary construction-management applications such as Asta PowerProject, Microsoft Project, and Primavera. These project scheduling file formats are supported in the TimeLiner module to create your 4D simulations.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

Navisworks File Formats

Navisworks creates three native file formats. Whenever you import any native CAD file format - one that is Navisworks supports out of the box with its File Reader functionality - an .NWC cache file is automatically created in the same directory with the same name as the original file, with an .nwc extension. NWCs are very small, highly optimized files which contain compressed and simplified 3D geometry as well as object property data from the authoring application. NWCs can be up to 90% smaller of the original file size; this enables smooth program operation even with extremely large models. When you open or append a native CAD file, that file is listed in the Selection Tree. However, you are always working from the corresponding NWC cache file data. When you refresh or reopen your Navisworks working file, Navisworks compares the NWCs against the originals; if any of the original CAD files have changed, Navisworks builds a new NWC file automatically. You can also opt to export an NWC file from the source CAD application. When you install Navisworks Simulate or Manage, it installs a set of NWC file exporter utilities for supported installed applications, such as AutoCAD, 3ds max, Inventor, and Revit. If you do not have Navisworks and are using a file format that is not natively readable by Navisworks, e.g. Revits .RVT, you have to use a file exporter add-on to create the NWC. Autodesk provides a free NWC Exporter add-on for Revit, and other design software developers provide their own NWC exporter utilities. When you use the exporter with Revit, you should first create one or more 3D views optimized for working in Navisworks. The resultant NWC is (as an option) a direct copy of the view from which you export, including any View/Graphics overrides for element categories and settings for view extents, e.g. a Section Box. If you export a floor plan, you will get a 3D slice of your building based on the floor plans View Range values. This technique allows you to perform floor-by-floor model review which can be distributed among several people in the review team. You save this collection of model files as an NWF, or reference file. This is your master working file, and contains links to the original native CAD files (DWG, DGN, SKP), as well as any Navisworks NWC or NWD files (described later) you may have brought in. The NWF contains no geometry at all; it only contains the Navisworks specific data, such as saved selection and search sets, viewpoints, animations, geometry appearance overrides (e.g., color, transparency, position), markups, as well as Clash Detection, TimeLiner, Presenter and Animator/Scripter data. Because no actual model geometry is saved in the NWF file, NWFs are considerably smaller than the other two formats. From the NWF you publish an NWD file. An NWD includes all of the compressed model geometry together with Navisworks specific data, such as review markups and Clash Detection information. The NWD is best thought of as a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of your project models and, like NWCs, are very small in comparison to your actual 3D CAD/BIM models. It can be password protected and is usually ideal for collaboration tasks across offices, and can be freely viewed in Navisworks Freedom.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

Output Formats
Navisworks can output several different kinds of data, such as 3D DWF, the FBX (Filmbox) format used in design visualization products like 3ds Max, Google Earth KML, as well as common image formats (PNG, TIF, BMP, JPG, etc.). Animations can be exported to AVI using a variety of built-in compressors. Navisworks in particular makes heavy use of XML, or eXtensible Markup Language, as a platform-neutral data storage format for importing and exporting internal datasets such as clash tests, search and selection sets, and saved viewpoints. This allows you to, for example, set up a series of search sets based on common design file parameters (e.g., search for all components in a Default Air Supply system), and save those searches outside of Navisworks which can be brought into other projects that would use the same search parameters. This can save a lot of time in your future project design review tasks. Clash reports can be exported to XML, or as an HTML web page with images and descriptions of each clash, as plain text, or as a series of saved viewpoints. TimeLiner data can be output to .CSV and imported into project management applications or Microsoft Excel. Printing is handled as with any other Windows application. Only the current viewpoint is output. It is important to note that there is no path from Navisworks back to an actual authoring format such as DWG or RVT. It is strictly a downstream product intended for model review and coordination purposes.

Who Uses Navisworks?

With all of this compelling functionality, Navisworks is quickly gaining popularity across a wide spectrum of end users. There really isnt any place in the AEC world that it doesnt fit well. Its conventional audience has been the general contractor and construction manager to coordinate construction, visualize conflicts and site conditions, and aid in scheduling. However, it is also becoming a favorite tool for subcontractors, such as HVAC duct fabricators, who need to ensure their prebuilt components will not conflict with others. Navisworks is gaining momentum in design firms, who are quickly implementing BIM and incorporating it for ongoing independent design review, from Schematic Design through Design Development to Construction Documents. They increasingly need a way to leverage all of the 3D models created from a variety of sources. Even projects that are on a 100% Revit platform, Navisworks coordination and clash detection toolsets are compelling features and provide a fuller feature set over Revits built in interference condition tool. It should be noted that Navisworks is not only meant for the AEC industry. While it is perhaps most useful in a building project construction context, its ability to work with model formats such as Inventor means it can be used as a collaboration and markup tool in manufacturing, industrial design, and other non-building industries.

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The Navisworks Manage 2011 User Interface

The Navisworks interface consists of the following major components:

The Navisworks User Interface

Application Button/Menu Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) InfoCenter Ribbon Interface

Selection Tree Dockable Window Saved Viewpoints Dockable Window Saved Selection & Search Sets Collapsed Dockable Windows

Scene View Navigation bar ViewCube Status bar

With 2011, Navisworks has adopted common user interface elements seen in most other Autodesk applications, such as the Application Menu, Ribbon, and Quick Access Toolbar. In particular, Navisworks Manage 2011 makes excellent use of the Ribbon UI framework to make the program more accessible and easier to use. The tools are clearly defined and logically grouped together, making them easy to find. Keytips are supported by the application menu, QAT, and ribbon, which display the ALT+ [accelerator] keys in the UI. Tap the ALT key once to display them.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

Application Menu, Info Center and Quick Access Toolbar

The Application Menu (the big green N) provides commands for opening, saving, importing, exporting and publishing Navisworks files. Many of the Export commands are also available on the Output tab as well. One of the little-used features on the Application Menu is the pushpin located to the right of the list of documents. Pinning any of these documents keeps them persistent on the menu, enabling you to always access certain files instead of just a simple history. At the bottom of the Application Menu is the Options command, which accesses the Options Editor dialog box. Well discuss the specifics of Options Editor throughout this handout and in class.

The Navisworks Application Menu

The InfoCenter is a direct pipeline to the Help system as well as Subscription Center, product updates, and RSS feeds of related web sites. The Quick Access Toolbar allows you to place often used commands there instead of navigating through Ribbon tabs. As with other Autodesk applications, you can add Ribbon tools to the Quick Access Toolbar by right-clicking on a tool and selecting Add to quick-access toolbar. However, with experience you will find many commands are at your fingertips via context menus, which may mitigate how much tabswitching you may need to do.

Ribbon Tabs
In keeping with other Autodesk applications, the 2011 release introduces the Ribbon interface. This replaces a very toolbar-heavy classic UI in previous releases which was rather difficult to work with for new users. The Ribbon groups common-task commands together and, with the text labels, makes them much easier to identify. The buttons to the right of the tabs allow you to toggle the ribbon maximize/minimize states to control the amount of space the ribbon takes in the application window. As you work with the Ribbon you will notice certain behaviors. The buttons with a blue background indicate that those program modes (e.g., the Home tabs Links and Quick Properties) and related dockable windows are present in the interface, either fully displayed in the interface or as collapsed tabs on the application window edges. Command tools may also be grayed out depending on the current context, but become active when necessary. The Home tab > Hide button, for example, is grayed out when nothing is selected, but will become active when something is selected, and turn blue when your currently selected objects are hidden. In addition, some of the tabs themselves are contextual, and will only appear when you have selected something or execute a particular command. For existing users upgrading to 2011, Navisworks classic UI is still available via Options > Interface > User Interface; however we will not be discussing it in this class.

CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

The Home Tab:

The Home tab contains all of the tools necessary to import files into your scene, perform basic project tasks, select and search for elements, hide and unhide selected elements, and enable / disable various modes and dockable windows for specific modules of the application. The Viewpoint Tab:

The Viewpoint tab contains tools for controlling your current scenes display properties and saving, recording, loading and playback of saved views called viewpoints - and viewpoint animations. The Save, Load & Playback panel title has a tool launcher which will open the Saved Viewpoints dockable window. Your Scene View is always looking at the model through a camera, and navigating the model simply moves the camera. The Viewpoint tab has camera controls for toggling between the Perspective and Orthographic display modes, Field of View control, and aligning the camera to combinations of the XYZ axes. With Field of View, the smaller the number, the more orthographic the display and the less distortion you see due to vanishing points. The higher the Field of View, the more of the model you see at the periphery, but vertical elements start to tilt inward giving some distortion. Generally, you modify the FOV to provide a balance between how much of the model you can see and how distorted things display. The Camera slideout panel displays the cameras current X/Y/Z position, the target point coordinates, and roll setting. Thus, your viewpoints can be very finely tuned fairly easily. Viewpoint animations are made in one of two ways: You can record interactive walkthroughs of the scene made via the Walk or Fly tool, or by animating transitions between saved viewpoints. In addition, you can create an animation in the form of a slide show. Viewpoint animations can be exported to a variety of formats and played back in a variety of software such as Windows Media Player. We will discuss viewpoints and viewpoint animations later in this document. The Motion Settings panel sets the linear and angular speed when navigating the model via the walk/fly tools, and sets the realism settings such as enabling gravity and collision detection that keep you on the ground and wont let you pass through walls. Tools in the Render Style panel set the Scene Views lighting and rendering mode, and enable/disable the display of primitives such as surfaces, lines, points (typically from a point cloud), snap points, and 3D text. The Enable Sectioning tool brings up the Sectioning Tools tab for creating cross-sectional views of your model.


CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

The Review Tab:

The Review tab contains panels for measuring, redlining, tagging and commenting. The Measure panel contains tools for measuring length, angles, and area by picking points on the model. Its tool launcher brings up the Measure Tools dockable window, which has the same measurement tools and displays additional coordinate and distance information. If you have an object selected and use the Measure tool, the Transform command is activated, which allows you to transform (move) the objects in the scene by that measured amount. This is handy for positioning one model to coordinate with another model if the two are not based off of a unified origin point in the source CAD files. Measure tool options, such as line thickness, color, and visibility properties are available in the Options > Interface > Measure page, and snap modes for vertex and edge are available via Options > Interface > Snapping.

The Measuring Tools dockable window and measurement of model geometry directly in the Scene View

Comments allow you to add non-graphical notes which can be associated with viewpoints, animations, selection sets, tasks, tags, and clashes. The Comments dockable window enables you to view and manage comments in the current context, and can be enabled via the View tab > Comments > View Comments. Note that without any comments previously added to an animation, selection set, tasks or clashes, you must be in a Saved Viewpoint to access the context menu and add a comment. Find Comments is a useful command to search for comments based on criteria such as


CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

text, author, ID number, and source (Clash Detective, TimeLiner, Tags, Viewpoints, and Sets) Redlines are annotations which are made on screen and are contained in saved viewpoints. If you navigate away from the saved viewpoint, your annotations in that viewpoint disappear, but reappear when you restore the Viewpoint. Redline has several different drawing tools available text, ellipse, cloud, freehand, line, line string, and erase - as well as controls for color and thickness properties. While these markup tools are not as easy to use or as comprehensive as those found in Design Review, they are good enough to sketch out an idea.

Using the Redline tools to mark up a Saved Viewpoint

Tags combine the best features of redlining, viewpoints and comments into a single callout tool. When you tag something, you create a callout by picking two points, the leader endpoint then the location of the tag callout symbol. A saved viewpoint is automatically created if required, and you then add a comment to the tag. Tags typically provide the best bang for the buck in terms of overall usefulness, because they create a comment which can be searched, a saved viewpoint, and a link at the tag location that can restore the viewpoint.

Using Tags with comments


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The Animation Tab:

The Animation tab contains controls for recording and playing back interactive viewpoint animations as well as any animations you have created with the Animator tool. We will review the Animator toolset later in this document. The Animator and Scripter tools, shown in blue here, enable those dockable windows. The View Tab:

The View tab contains buttons for enabling navigation aids in your current Scene View, such as the Navigation Bar, ViewCube and Heads Up Display (HUD), which displays a positional readout and compass of your current camera location in the model.
HUD with XYZ axes and The Reference Views tool provides two navigation aids: Section View positional readout and Plan View. These are dockable windows which displays fixed views of the entire model. Plan View display the model from the top, and Section View displays it from the front. A triangular marker represents your current viewpoint and moves as you navigate. You can drag the marker to move the camera in the Scene View.

The Scene View panel allows you to modify your current Scene View in a number of ways. You can split a single Scene View area into multiple Scene Views, which is useful for looking at a condition from more than one vantage point, or comparing lighting and animation styles, animating different parts of your model, and so on. The secondary Scene Views are in dockable windows that can be undocked and arranged across multiple monitors. Each Scene View can have different lighting schemes applied via Presenter, which we will discuss later. Only one Scene View can be active at a time. To activate a scene, click in the Scene View; however, this also has the effect of selecting whatever you clicked on, so be careful. If you rightclick in a scene you will select the object and get a context menu. Using the middle mouse button to activate a Scene View is generally the easiest (and least aggravating) method. The Background tool provides a way to change the background behind the model to one of three modes: Solid color, single gradient, or horizon. The default black background often makes 13

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it difficult to see items clearly, so this is one of the first things people fix after they load their model files. Note that you cannot perform this operation when no models are loaded. The Scene View panel has a control for enabling a full screen mode. Normally on a single monitor setup, this simply removes the UI from the screen and gives you only the entire Scene View full screen. However, Full Screen mode with multiple monitors is interesting, because if you put the Navisworks application window on the secondary monitor and fire up Full Screen mode (or hit F11), it will put the entire full screen Scene View on the primary display monitor, and leave the UI on the secondary, enabling for very a effective multi-monitor workflow. Note that you really need to have a solid OpenGL optimized workstation-class graphics card to do this, however.

Figure 1: Full screen mode using two monitors

The Output Tab:

The Output tab is your one-stop shop for all of your output needs. From here you can print, publish to NWD, 3D DWF, FBX or Google Earth KML, export images and animations, and export Navisworks-specific data to XML files such as clash detection tests, search sets, and viewpoints. All of these tools are also available in the Application Menu > Export menu. Publishing to NWD brings up a dialog box that allows you to insert information about the file as well as password protect it. Publishing to NWD is a topic of concern for some people. Navisworks NWDs are version specific, but publishing does not allow you to save to a different format. If you need to save down to a previous version, publish the NWD with the May be resaved option checked. When you open the published file, you can SaveAs to a previous format.


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Contextual Tabs Some tabs in the Ribbon are contextual; that is, they appear only when you select something or execute some command. Its important to pay attention to them, and Navisworks provides a green tab and ribbon background to let you know it is available in the workspace. These include the Item Tools and Sectioning Tools tabs. Item Tools Tab:

The Item Tools tab appears in the Ribbon whenever you have objects selected, and contains tools for acting on those selected objects. It has controls for modifying the visibility (color and transparency) and location (transform) of the selected objects, as well as resetting them to the defaults. It also contains some specific unique tools for working with objects. The SwitchBack tool allows you to send the current view of the currently loaded file back to AutoCAD (version 2004 and later) or a Microstation-based product (/J and V8). To use SwitchBack with AutoCAD, first load the nwexport application by running the nwload command in AutoCAD. (Use Appload to load the Navisworks ARX file found at C:\Program Files\Common
Files\Autodesk Shared\Navisworks\2011\NWExport2010\nwexport2010.arx).

When the SwitchBack tool is selected, AutoCAD will launch source file and the currently selected object is selected. You can then make changes, save the file, and once back in Navisworks hit the Home > Project > Refresh tool to see those changes updated. The Hold tool will grab an element and move with you as you navigate through the model using walk, pan, fly and so on. This is useful for simulating a site condition. Clicking on the Hold button will release the object in place; the Reset Transform button will reset the object to its original position. The Look At > Zoom tool will zoom in on the selected object. The Focus on Item tool will center the view on the selected object.. When you navigate around a model, Navisworks intelligently prioritizes objects to drop out, or cull, complex objects to maintain fluidity in the application. Sometimes it drops out geometry that you would like to remain visible; the Require option tells Navisworks to always display those selected objects when navigating so they do not drop out. The Transform tab allows you to move, rotate and scale items around in your Scene View. Again, these operations do not affect any source files. This is used primarily to do two things: First, to move model files into alignment with each other which do not align in world coordinate space (this condition is, sadly, more common than should be). Second, you may move an item which interferes with something else in order to resolve a design conflict. The Links panel allows you to add links to selected objects. When you select Add Link, you can link the object to a file or URL.


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Links are typically created from various sources: original links that have been converted from the native CAD files, links added by Navisworks users, and links generated automatically by the program, such as selection set links, viewpoint links, Tag links, TimeLiner task links, and so on. These can clutter your display, so you can use the Options > Interface > Links page to control what categories of links display, the maximum number of icons on screen, hide colliding links, and other features. One neat feature of Links is that any URL that is embedded in a Revit family will appear as a hyperlink in Navisworks. Typically this would link directly to e.g. a manufacturers cut sheet and specification for a sink fixture, so that real-world data is properly coordinated with each furnished and installed component. Sectioning Tools: When you hit the Viewpoint > Enable Sectioning button, you can turn on sectioning for the current viewpoint, and enables the Sectioning Tools contextual tab in the Ribbon.

Navisworks support has two sectioning modes: Planes and Box. Planes mode allows you to make up to six sectional cuts in any plane, and turn on any combination of those sectional cuts at one time. You can link the section planes together and move them as one unit. Section planes have gizmos similar to the ones found in 3ds Max and Maya to modify their position. Box mode uses 6 defined planes to create a complete section box around the model. Only the portion of the model inside the box is displayed.


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Dockable Windows
Navisworks is somewhat different from other Autodesk applications in that it extensively uses dockable windows arranged around the central Scene View area, instead of palettes and discrete dialog boxes as in AutoCAD. Dockable window are really a combination of palettes and dialog boxes; they can collapse like palette but provide extensive functionality like dialogs. They are responsible for Navisworks core feature set and are logically grouped into three categories. Review Related Windows The Review-related windows contain tools required to select objects, search for objects, and perform review operations. These windows include the Selection Tree, Selection Sets, Find Items, Properties, Comments, Find Comments, and Measure Tools. Viewport-Related Windows These windows provide tools required to set up and use Viewpoints. This includes the Saved Viewpoints window, Tilt, Plan View, Section View and Section Plane Settings. Main Tools Windows These windows form the major feature set in Revit and are comprised of the Clash Detective, TimeLiner, Presenter, Animator, and Scripter windows. Dockable windows can be activated (enabled in the interface) by pushing the appropriate tool button in the Ribbon. When enabled in the interface, the Ribbon button background will be blue instead of white. This is a visual cue to let you know some function of the program is turned on and is often very useful as we will see later. Dockable windows can be moved, resized, and either floated in the Scene View or docked to the sides. Windows can also be pinned in place or set to auto-hide, only materializing when moused over. Click-drag on a dockable window title bar to move it around, and Navisworks provides an on-screen window docking indicator tool along with a blue visual preview area which tell you exactly how a window will lay out when docked. Docked windows have an Auto-Hide pushpin option in the right corner of the title bar. Similar to Auto Hide in AutoCAD tool palettes, this button will either pin the window into place permanently, or it will collapse against the side of the application window when you mouse off of it. Windows will collapse against whatever side they are docked, leaving a tab along the edge to recall it back into service quickly. Due to the layout of a specific window, you will find some windows are more logically placed to the sides or the bottom. For example, the Selection Trees layout is tall and skinny, so it is best placed to the left or right of the Scene View. The TimeLiners wide layout naturally wants to be on the bottom of the application window. Windows can be grouped together, such that more than one window can occupy the same amount of space on screen. Grouped windows are accessible via tabs at the bottom of the group. Windows can also be stacked on top of each other as well.


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Context Menus
In Navisworks, context menus abound everywhere. Right-clicking on a file in the Selection Tree brings up a host of options. Right-clicking on an object in the Scene View brings up a menu of available commands, most of which are found in the Item Tools tab discussed previously. Rightclicking inside of a dockable window displays a shortcut menu of available commands, such as adding a Selection Search Set. Right-clicking on any single item or group of selected items in a dockable window displays context-appropriate commands for the item.

Saved Viewpoints Context Menu

Scene View Context Menu

Selection Set Context Menu

File Context Menu

Notice the Update entry in the selected Saved Viewpoint to the right. When you wish to make a change to a Viewpoint or selection/search set, r/clk on that item in the dockable window and select Update. This will update its settings to the current search, selected objects, Selected Viewpoint Context Menu or viewpoint settings. The rule of thumb is this: When in doubt, right-click. Chances are you will solve a problem and possibly find a shorter way of doing something.


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Windows and Workspaces

Due to the task-specific nature of Navisworks feature set, you can save and load Workspaces to display only those dockable windows in the configuration you desire. These are accessible in the View tab > Workspace panel. Workspaces are actually very useful for getting yourself out of trouble; sometimes you may have a dockable window which, for some reason, is not displaying in the interface even though it is activated. Resetting your Workspace to Navisworks Standard will restore the onscreen positions to the out of the box position.

Navigation Controls
A large part of Navisworks initial learning curve is in understanding how to move around your scene fluidly and effectively. The controls for walking, flying and general orbiting can take some getting used to, even for veterans of 3D applications like 3ds Max or SketchUp. Mouse Controls Practice is the key to controlling your 3D environment with your mouse. In particular, understanding what SHIFT + button combinations do with the various pan and orbit commands is critical. As in AutoCAD and Revit, the middle mouse wheel will zoom in and out. The middle mouse button will pan. Press and hold the SHIFT key along with the middle mouse button to orbit around the currently defined pivot point. However, this point may not be suitable, particularly on large models that are far from the origin. A good habit to form is to select an object first, and your orbit will center around that object. (Using the SteeringWheels feature, you can interactively set the pivot point by holding down the CTRL key and middle mouse button to drag a new center pivot point.) Also important is to understand how the mouse functions using classic navigation modes, which are optional under Options > Interface > Navigation Bar. These options make Navisworks orbit and walk controls behave as they have under previous releases. Experiment with both classic and new navigation modes to see which suits your taste. Note: Controlling the mouse in these Setting options for navigation modes classic and standard modes is outlined in a chart provided in the online Help


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ViewCube The ViewCube is a familiar control for anyone who uses Revit or AutoCAD, and it operates much the same way. When things get wacky and you end up upside down, use the ViewCube to right yourself quickly. In particular, the Home view (restored by clicking the little home button to the top left of the ViewCube) is an effective way to get yourself back on track. Navigation Bar

Underneath the ViewCube is the Navigation Bar, new to 2011. The Navigation bar has tools for the various spatial navigation controls such as the Navigation Wheels, pan, zoom, orbit / free orbit / constrained orbit, look around / look at, and the walk/fly tool for interactively navigating your scene. You can also enable the Third Person option which gives you an avatar and a 3rd person viewpoint. Using the avatar in combination with collision and gravity is a powerful tool for navigating around buildings, stairs, and complex mechanical systems. Crouch will drop your camera down when it detects a collision with an overhead item like a beam or pipe. Typically the Navigation Bar is linked to the View Cube, but you can unlink the two and position the Navigation Bar anywhere along the edges of the Scene View. Walk / Fly Navigating in 3D space via the Orbit and Pan tools has its limits. Often you need to get into a tight space or need to walk down the corridor. For this you need the Walk or Fly tool. The Walk tool is useful for maneuvering around the building in a realistic manner. To walk, you hold the left mouse button and move the mouse up to move forward and pull back to back up. You can also arrow keys to maneuver. The further away from the center of the screen you move, the faster you walk (use the SHIFT key to speed up as well). The middle mouse button will pan to the left or right and raise your elevation up and down. The mouse wheel will tilt your head up or down. The Fly tool is a bit harder to use, but still effective at navigating around large models like cities, especially if you have a solid OpenGL graphics card. Its great for Death Star trench runs down a city street or in an MEP ductwork model. The trick is to not make any large moves too far up/down/left/right will send you doing barrel rolls under your model. Pushing the left mouse button will start flying forward; drag left/right to bank left and right. Push the mouse will lift the nose, pulling back down will dive. Pushing the middle mouse button will fly, but roll the plane instead of banking; its an opposite direction from normal flying, so push in the direction you want to roll down. Holding down SHIFT will speed up your plane. You will bank left or right when dragged in that direction; its often better to use the left and right cursor keys to spin around and make flat turns. The down cursor keys will fly backwards.


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With both of these modes, you have the options for enabling Collision, so you cannot walk through walls. Gravity (applicable to Walk only, for obvious reasons) and will allow you to walk up and down stairs. Just dont walk off of a solid surface like a floor. SteeringWheels The SteeringWheels interface provides a Swiss-Army knife kit of zoom, orbit and pan tools. Clicking on the SteeringWheels tool allows you to drag it around the Scene View which encourages heads-up navigation. Use CTRL+middle mouse button to set the pivot point for Orbit operations. The SteeringWheels is actually extremely useful in Navisworks, where traditional means of navigation even with fly and walk are twitchy and often discombobulating and confusing. Because Walk doesnt really allow you to turn in place

Status Bar
The Status Bar displays the performance status of the current project file. There are four performance indicators: Scene Drawing, Disk to Memory, Web Server Download, and Memory Usage. The Scene Drawing indicator bar indicates how much of the current view is drawn. When the progress bar is at 100%, the entire scene is completely drawn with no drop-out. If there is too much data for the computer to handle, there is drop out in the scene view and the progress bar turns yellow then to red, indicating a bottleneck in drawing the scene. The Disk to Memory bar indicates how much of the current model is loaded from disk into memory. When the progress bar is at 100%, the entire scene is resident in memory. Again, if there is too much data, the progress bar will change to yellow then red. The Web Server Download progress bar indicates how much of an NWD file opened over the Internet has been downloaded from the web server. When the bar is at 100%, the entire model has been downloaded. The Memory Usage Indicator Navisworks. displays the amount of memory currently being used by


CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

Navisworks Options
At the bottom of the Application Menu is the Options button to access all of the programs settings. You can also access the Options Editor dialog via the F12 key. Navisworks Options are divided into five categories: General, Interface, Model, File Readers and Tools. Each category has multiple pages of various settings. As you can see, there are quite a few settings to play with; fortunately you probably wont need to touch about 80% of them. The few which are important will be reviewed in this document. For example, under Interface > Selection, you set options for how selected objects display. You can specify what color to use when selecting an object; I recommend a bright color, like green as seen in this screen shot Tip: Holding the SHIFT key down as you launch the Options dialog box from the Application Menu will give you extended options to modify Registry settings and certain export variables. Setting Display and Default Decimal Units After you install Navisworks, you want to ensure that you are displaying the correct units for your project related tasks and file types. As it originated in the UK, Navisworks initially uses units of Meters for display and most supported file types, so you may need to change this to an Imperial units format as desired. When you open CAD and laser file scans, Navisworks reads the file units directly from the files. If that is not possible e.g., the file is unitless then Navisworks uses the units configured for that file type in the Options Editor. Thus, you may need to go to Options > File Readers > DWG/DXF and ensure the Default Decimal Units is set to Inches, not Meters. Do the same for other file formats you will encounter on a regular basis. For Revit files exported to NWC there is no units issue, because the NWC file is already in the correct units, by virtue of the export process. Next, go to Options > Interface and set the Display Units to your desired display units. Changing this value does not scale the models; it only changes what is displayed in measurements and other reporting tools. Because the Options dialog sets global options which are saved to your system, you really only need to do this once.


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Importing Your Models

Appending and Merging Files and the Review Workflow The first thing you will do once you fire up Navisworks is to bring your CAD/BIM models into your empty scene. The Home tab > Project panel > Append/Merge tool prompts you to select files in any of the available formats, including Navisworks own NWC, NWF and NWD. The Append tool is used to build complex scenes from smaller individual model geometry files. Each file is added to the current scene at the default origin from the source file. If everything lines up in the original authoring application, they should line up in Navisworks. You can also open NWD files on the Internet via a URL using the Open URL option in the Application Menu. Navisworks does a very good job at making sure your scene stays responsive at all times, so you do not need to have the full file downloaded before you can start navigating. You typically only need between 10% and 50%. The Web Server Progress bar in the status bar indicates how much of the file has been downloaded from the Internet. Once you have your scene of models, you can save the file as an NWF and start adding Navisworks specific data saved viewpoints, animations, clash detection, etc. to this working file. Then you may opt to publish this data and the geometry out to an NWD file, and send that off to other parties for review. Those people may in turn append your NWD, add their own comments and viewpoints, and save that off as an NWF. Remember, the NWF doesnt contain any geometry; it only references other files in this case, the NWD, which does have geometry and Navisworks-specific data. Thus, you can have multiple NWFs out there all referencing the same geometry file(s) with added comments, viewpoints, clash test and so on. Once you gather up all of these NWFs, the Merge tool is used to bring all of that NWF data together into one file, neither duplicating the NWD or any review markups common to all NWFs File Units and Transform If your file types units are set correctly under Options > File Readers, you are probably good to go. As a safety precaution, measure something of a known distance such as a door width to ensure the units settings are correct. If not, you may have to scale the file up to the correct units. To do this, right-click on the file in the Selection Tree and select File Units and Transform. Selecting the correct units will scale the file up by the conversion factor. For example, changing a Revit file done in Feet to Meters will scale the entire file up by 3.281. File Options In addition to Global Options, your NWF file has its own series of options that are set in the File Options dialog box accessible via the Home tab > File Options tool. This dialog has settings for object culling during navigation, orientation, desired navigational frame rate (the default is 6 frames per second), head light and ambient light settings, scene lights, and data tools links.


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Viewpoints and Viewpoint Animations

Viewpoints are an important feature in Navisworks. They allow you to save and recall not only view orientations, but also save settings for item visibility, including color and transparency overrides, and navigation settings such as linear and angular motion speed. Viewpoints are snapshots taken in the model as it displays in the Scene View. Viewpoints not only just save information about what is displayed and how, but also contain annotation from redlines and comments, so you can use viewpoints as a design review audit trail. Viewpoints are also used as links in Scene View, such that you can click on a link and it restores the viewpoint and displays the redlines and comments associated with it. The saved viewpoints, links, redlines and comments are all saved as part of the NWF file, independent of the model geometry, and published to NWD. Because the model geometry will change over time, the viewpoints allow you to visually see how the design is evolving as those redlines and comments are incorporated. Specifically, viewpoints store the following information: Camera position, projection mode, field of view and orientation Lighting mode, render mode and toggles for the display of geometric primitives (surfaces, lines, text, points) Sectioning configuration, discussed later Optional overrides: Item Visibility (hide/required) Appearance (color/transparency) Linear and angular speeds of motion Realism settings (collision, gravity, third person, crouch) The currently selected navigation tool Redlines Comments

Saved Viewpoints Window Saved Viewpoints and Viewpoint Animations are displayed in the Saved Viewpoints dockable window. Right-clicking in the window brings up a context-sensitive menu with options for saving the current view as a Saved Viewpoint, creating a new folder, add a new viewpoint animation (which in turn can contain viewpoints as keyframes), or add cuts, which are points in an animation where the camera pauses for a while.


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You can easily organize your viewpoints, using drag and drop to arrange them into folders, add them to an animation, copy them using the CTRL key, and so on. You can also manage viewpoints from the Viewpoint tab > Save, Load & Playback panel > Current Viewpoint drop down > Manage Saved Viewpoints. Right-clicking on an existing saved viewpoint will bring up a context menu to copy the viewpoint, add a comment, update the viewpoint to the settings in the current Scene View, and edit the viewpoint camera properties as seen here Creating a Viewpoint Animation Viewpoint animations can be created very quickly to as you navigate around your model, recording your motion and point of view. There are two ways to create a viewpoint animation in Navisworks, interactively or as animated transitions between saved viewpoints. To record an interactive navigation animation, go to Animation > Create panel > Record. Navigate around your scene as you would normally do, using the Walk/Fly tools, Orbit, etc. One nice technique is to enable Options > Interface > Use classic Constrained Orbit (Turntable), which spins the model around a center point. Classic turntable mode allows you to set the motion and it will keep spinning. Start the recording and let it spin freely. The other technique using animated transitions between saved viewpoints is easy as well. Right-click in the Saved Viewpoints window and add an animation. Start at one point and save a viewpoint. Navigate to another point, and save another viewpoint. Keep repeating this throughout the model. In the Saved Viewpoints window, drag and drop these viewpoints under the animation node, making sure you arrange them in proper order. These saved viewpoints become keyframes and the resulting animation will interpolate between them, providing smooth transitions; you now have a walk/flythrough animation. You are free to add new viewpoints, modify their properties, and edit the animation itself (right-click on the animation and select Edit) to change its duration, loop playback, and smoothing options. To fine-tune your animation, you may need to edit each of the Viewpoints properties and edit the linear and angular speed. This specifies the speed going to the next viewpoint keyframe in the animation.


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Searching and Organizing Your Models

Selecting Objects and the Navisworks Model Hierarchy
Once you have your models brought in and done some exploring with the navigation tools, its time to look at the geometry itself and try to make sense of it. Thats where the Selection Tree, Sets, and the Find Items dockable windows come into play. The Selection Tree dockable window provides a tree-view of the entire model hierarchy as defined by the source CAD application in which the model was created. This varies on application, but Navisworks breaks this down into a common hierarchy that, while a little unintuitive at first, is easy enough to manage. At the bottom of the Selection Tree window are either three or four tabs : Standard, Compact, Properties, and Sets. The Standard tab shows the elements in the full hierarchy and is used most often. The Compact tab shows a simplified version of the hierarchy (you can customize the level of complexity displayed in the Options editor > Interface > Selection > Compact Tree options). Properties shows the hierarchy based on the items properties, which enables simple manual selection by item property. The Sets tab will only appear if you have selection sets/search sets created. At first, the organizational structure of the Selection Tree is complex and confusing. For some kinds of files, it doesnt make a whole lot of sense, and there seems to be a lot of duplication inside of one single object, such as the HSS 8x8x3/8 column shown in the screen shot. This is a combination of how Navisworks want to categorize items and how Revit expresses them internally at a very low level. Understanding the resulting hierarchy you see in the Selection Tree of a single item is important, but you will see later, not THAT important. The point is to not get hung up over the structure, because in reality it really affects very little else about the program. The important concept to in learning to navigate the tree. At the top of this hierarchy is the source model file name itself (dwg, dxf, 3ds, or nwc such as for exported Revit files). After that there is Layer or Level, then a Group of objects, such as a block definition in AutoCAD or a steel column instance along with its structural analysis component from Revit Structure. Then you have the Instanced Group, followed by Composite Object, then finally the raw 3D Geometry.


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Each of these five object types is represented by an icon in the tree, described in the table below:

You thus use the Selection Tree to navigate through the list individual items inside an object, the whole object, whole layers, or the entire file. When you select elements on screen, those elements are highlighted in the Selection Tree as well. You can use the Selection Tree hierarchy to drill down into the selected element to see what components make up a complex object. When you select an object, it highlights in the Scene View using the color you set under Options > Interface > Selection. Elements that are hidden are grayed out in the Selection Tree. Selection Resolution While the Selection Tree is your go-to window for exploring the model hierarchy, interactively selecting objects in the Scene View is much more typical in day to day usability. The Selection Tree is primarily used to examine and select the sub-components of a complex object. However, given the complexity of the Object Tree, Navisworks needs a way to allow you to select the right node in that tree easily. The term Selection Resolution refers to how far up or down an objects Selection Tree path Navisworks goes when you select that item interactively on screen.


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The six choices are File, Layer, First Object, Last Unique, Last Object, and finally Geometry. This list breaks down as follows: File: Selects the whole model. Layer: Selects everything on that particular layer or level First Object: The first object in the path that isnt a layer Last Unique: Selects the most specific object, furthest along the Selection Tree path, that is unique and not multiple instanced. Last Object: Selects the most specific item furthest along the Selection Tree path that is marked as a Composite Object. If no composite object is found, the geometry is selected. Geometry: Selects the last object in the path, most specific, which may be multiple instanced. Typically, this is set to First Object most of the time. If you need to select something deeper, you can then drill down to select internal geometry along the objects path using the Selection Tree. Because the Selection Resolution affects day to day working with items in your Navisworks file, you will need to change this often. You can set this option numerous ways: First, you can set it under the Options Editor > Interface > Selection. Secondly you can right-click in a Scene View and select the appropriate option from the context menu. Third, you can go to the Home tab and use the Select and Search panel dropdown. Finally, you can interactively cycle through the selection resolution by holding down the SHIFT key when clicking an object.

Selection Sets and Search Sets

Because of the nature of how Navisworks groups objects in the Selection Tree, you need to be able to intelligently save and find items easily. The Sets window is a critically important component of Navisworks, as it contains a list of your saved Selection Sets and Selection Search Sets. A Selection Set is a static, named selection of objects. There is no intelligence behind this set; if the model changes the same items will be selected (assuming they are still present). However, a Selection Search Set is a dynamic, defined search query that you make with the Find Items dialog box, discussed later. Search Sets are much more powerful tools, because a search query will always return all of the elements it finds, even when new elements are added to the model later. To save a Selection Set or Search Set for selected objects or the current conditions set in the Find Items window, right-click in the Sets window and select either Save Current Selection or Save Current Search. Selection Sets and Search Sets are noted with a different icon as defined previously and shown here. You can also show the selection and search sets as links in the Scene View, which are created automatically by Navisworks. Clicking on a link selects all of the geometry associated with the selection or search set, and highlights it in the Scene View and Selection Tree.


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Selection and Search Sets can be reordered, moved, and organized in folders if required. Rightclick on the Sets window to create new folders to logically group your sets.

Item Properties
As you select items on screen or via the Selection Tree, the Properties dockable window populates itself with the CAD/BIM data from the authoring application. This data is critical to examine as you build conditional statements to query the model for items.

The Properties window has a dedicated tab for each category associated with the currently selected object. Each category contains a list of associated properties. Navisworks converts different CAD formats into this structure, and adds application specific object categories and properties as well. For example, the previous screen shot shows the properties of a duct selected from a Revit MEP model. Notice how it contains categories (tabs) for Revit specific data such as Phase Created, Reference Level, Revit Type, and ElementID. The Properties under each category mirror what are in Revit: Family Name, Family Type, , Revit category, System Name, geometric properties, etc. Adding Item Properties You can add custom properties or add additional property information to existing items in the model. You can also add additional property tabs or additional fields to existing tabs, all without accessing the original CAD application. To do this, follow these steps: 1. Select an object that you wish to add custom properties to, and right-click on the Properties window. 2. Click Add New User Tab and a new User Data tab will appear. 3. Click the new User Data tab, right-click and select Rename Tab to rename the tab to something meaningful. 4. Right-click in this new tab and click Insert New Property, and select a new property Type. You can choose from String (text value), Boolean (Yes or No value), Float (decimal number), or Integer (whole numbers). 5. Enter the name for the new property, e.g. Department. Hit Enter to accept the name. 29

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6. Right-click on the new property and click Edit Property Value to enter a new value associated with that property. Quick Properties A feature called Quick Properties is available in the Home Tab which, when enabled, will pop up information when the cursor is moved over an object, without having to select the object. The Quick Properties will disappear after a few seconds. In previous releases this feature was called Smart Tags. Under Options > Interface > Quick Properties you can specify what property data you wish to show. By default it shows the Item Name and Item Type as seen here. However, in the Options Editor you can specify what category and property to display. For example, if we set the Category to Element and the Property to System Name, we can instantly identify to what system a selected duct or air terminal belongs.

Default Quick Properties for a selected duct Item Name and Item Type


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Using the Find Items Tool

The Find Items tool is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. Without the ability to intelligently search for objects based on their model properties, you cannot make search sets, and it would take forever to get anything done. Indeed, the Clash Detective and TimeLiner tools very much depend on first mastery of the Find Items tool.

The screen shot shows the basic idea for using the Find Items window. On the right pane you have four columns: Category, Property, Condition, and Value. In the space below you create one or more conditional search statements which spell out what to find. When working with Find Items, you typically want the Properties and Sets windows active as well. You may want to create a new Workspace specifically for finding items, because this is a specific task you will need to do on every project. Conditional search statements set up a list of conditions using the available properties in the scene. The easiest way to set up a condition is to first select an item you wish to filter out for selection, review its properties, determine the combination of properties needed to build the condition you need, and build the conditional search in the right pane of the Find Items window. The Category column (not to be confused with Revit categories) lists all of the Navisworks property categories that are available in the scene. The specific list of available categories list depends on the authoring application. For Revit models, the two you will use most often are Item and Element. The Category you choose specifies the list of Properties to choose from. The Category used above is Element, which is also the second tab in the Properties window. When 31

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Element is selected, all of the Properties listed under the Element tab are available. In the above example, the Property was set to Category which refers to the Revit Category. The Condition field has six options: Equals, Not Equals, Contains, Wildcard, Defined, and Undefined. The most popular choice here is Contains as it will use the Value as a textual wildcard. The Value selection contains all of the valid available values for that Property (e.g., a list of all Revit categories in the scene). However, you can edit this Value box and type in your own search criteria. Used with Contains this is a very powerful way of filtering many things at once; the above condition will find any item whose category that contains the word ducts. In the left hand pane, you can narrow the search down to one or more models, or levels in a model. Select the point in the tree that you want to search. Once your conditional search is set, be sure to uncheck Match Case; this will ensure you catch everything regardless of how it was set up in the original application. Once your condition is set up, Find All button to check your search criteria. The Properties window will display how many items were found. Setting up rigid search statements is typically to be avoided. For example, recall that Revit has categories for Ducts, Duct Accessories, and Duct Fittings. Looking for only Ducts will only grab those Duct elements, not the attached accessories or fittings; this rarely makes much sense.

Searching for Category Contains Ducts" will only find items in the Ducts category

Instead, you probably want to loosen the criteria to read Element Category Contains Duct (not Ducts). Click under the Value box and type the word duct. When you hit the Find All button, it 32

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will find everything whose Category includes the word Duct, grabbing the accessories and fittings in the process. The efficiency of doing this largely depends on your authoring design application, so it makes good sense to become aware of how that software categorizes elements.

Searching for Category Contains duct" will catch Ducts, Duct Fittings and Duct Accessories

Advanced Conditional Statements with AND, NOT and OR Obviously, defining only one statement is pretty limiting. You can add additional search criteria under the first criteria for item search. Each additional statement is ANDed to the overall statement. For example, if the first statement is A and the next is B, the end result is an inclusive search for A AND B. You can define a criteria to be an OR condition, however. Right-click on the space underneath of the first criteria, and choose Or Condition from the list. In this manner you build an A OR B search criteria. In the following dialog, we have a selection that will find Ducts OR Duct Fittings. OR conditions are shown with a little black plus sign next to the condition.


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Setting an additional OR condition to select Ducts OR Duct Fittings using the context menu

Remember that even with multiple conditional statements, you are always building a SINGLE search query with the Find Items dialog; this complete conditional is tested against every single item in the model. This means you cannot build the above search criteria using an AND condition, because that query would find every single item whose Revit category value was both Ducts and Duct Fittings. Because elements typically cannot belong to more than one category, this condition would always return No objects found. By using an OR condition you catch all elements of either Revit category. You can also create a Negate condition. If you select Negate Condition from the context list, it will select everything that does not match that criteria. You could, for example, search out all Ducts in the first condition, but in the second condition set a Negate Condition for Elements whose Type Contains Taps. That would select all ducts except for Taps types. Once you hit Find All and confirm your test is correct, right-click in the Sets window and select Add Current Search Set to add that search criteria to your search sets. If you need to alter a Search set criteria, simply select the search set, which both selects the objects and loads the search in the Find Items window, modify the search, hit Find All to test, then right-click on the search set and click Update. Creating New Search Sets by Modifying Existing Ones A typical task is to create many search sets based on some common criteria, e.g. by Revit category, or set up a new search that is very close to an existing one. This is very easy to do once you have the first one set up. Click on the saved search set in the Sets window, and that search will appear in the Find Items window. From there you can modify the conditional statement, hit Find All to test, then right-click in the Sets window to save this as a new search set.


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Modifying Visibility Properties with Overrides

The next useful step in performing your design review process is to modify, or override, item visibility properties: hidden/displayed/required, color, and/or transparency. You can hide elements easily by first selecting them, either on screen, from the Selection Tree, or (most usefully) from the Selection/Search Sets. Hit the Hide button on the Home tab, or rightclick on a selected object in the Scene View and select Hide. Optionally, you can also select Hide Unselected which is a quick way of hiding everything else EXCEPT what you have selected. This is a huge time saver when working with large models and you need to isolate out a certain thing or group of things. Overriding the selected items color and/or transparency is similarly easy. Select an item or a search set that represents the things you wish to change, right-click in the Scene View, and select Override > Override Color. This allows you to color code various elements and building systems to make it easier to identify things on sight. Overriding transparency can be very effective. For example, turning all interior partitions and ceilings to a 90% transparency is useful to keep them in the scene for context, but still be able to see through them for piping, conduit runs, air ducts, etc.

Additional Navisworks Features

Location Options Navisworks includes the ability to centralize sharing of Navisworks settings, workspaces, data tools, avatars, Clash Detective rules, Presenter archives, custom Clash Detection tests, object animation scripts, and other settings with other users. These settings can be shared across a project, or a specific project group depending on your needs. Instructions for setting up shared folders is detailed in the Navisworks Help file, under Quick Start > The User Interface > Location Options. Keyboard Shortcuts Navisworks includes a large array of keyboard shortcuts to perform its functions. For example F12 will open the Option Editor. F11 will toggle Full Screen Mode, CTRL+F12 will open the Selection Tree, and so on. The complete listing of keyboard shortcuts are detailed in the Help file, under Quick Start > The User Interface > Default Keyboard Shortcuts > Quick Reference. The Help also states that you can customize the shortcuts, but doesnt tell you how. To do so, you have to edit an XML file located here:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Navisworks Manage 2011\Layout\RoamerCommands.xml

Note: It is highly recommended that you back up this file before any editing.


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Setting Up the Model for Design Review, Analysis and Simulation

Part and parcel of analyzing BIM models to look for conflicts or create your simulation is to fully comprehend what is important from what is not. Understand that there will almost always be duplicate work done between trades in order to get some things to function properly in those models, such as lighting fixtures that exist in both the MEP and architectural model, or duplicate structure in both architectural and structural models. As BIM software progresses, this may lessen over time. Regardless of software limitations, to completely remove any duplicates would require a definition of exactly where one firms work stops and the others work begins. For most projects, this level of exacting, surgical design is not going to happen. Coordinating and handling complex and duplicate work for coordination is a topic outside of the scope of this class. I highly recommend checking out previous AU class sessions on the subject, such as Elizabeth Raycrofts 2009 class entitled Chaos: Multidiscipline, Multi-Firm, Multi-Location Autodesk Revit Projects for a solid understanding of how to effectively deal with these problems in a BIM centric workflow. Also understand what software limitations exist on the design side. For example, many people use a structural floor when modeling composite roofs in Revit, because this element type allows you to model the actual deck fluting and direction. The roof element, sadly, does not. Thus, dont be surprised to see floors where the roof should be and plan accordingly. Realize that compound walls of steel stud and gypsum wallboard layers are imported as simple two-plane geometry. To accurately simulate wall stud construction separately from the application of gypsum wallboard layers, you have to model it as three separate but attached walls. Just because we live in a 3D world - and should design that way - does not mean that 2D suddenly died and is not a factor. It should be dead, obviously; however, you will most likely encounter files with 2D linework used for anything from site conditions to furniture layouts to light fixtures. Often this is not critical, but you do need to ensure that what needs to be in 3D for coordination purposes is 3D, and hide the unnecessary 2D elements. If you are not the originator of the model and cannot set up specific Navisworks-optimized export 3D views or remodel things to fit your needs, it is critical that you communicate with the designer to help them better model the building and export things properly for coordination purposes. Chances are any costs would quickly be made up in saved coordination time. Remember that you are going to work with many different iterations of the same files, so anything fixed early in the process had benefits that multiply over time. The best way to work together is when everyone has a basic understanding of what the other guy is going through. Identify, Head Off, and Eliminate the Obvious Problems First Given that your input model files are probably not going to be perfect renditions of architectural only or MEP only elements, your first job is to segregate the model into those elements which are important and useful from those which are duplicates and are not useful. Only work with those elements whose authors have control and design ownership; that is, if you have lighting in two files, you will probably choose the MEP lighting fixtures and ignore the duplicate architectural lighting. Coordinate those separately so that they are in agreement, of course. But then decide which should be used for the purposes of Clash Detection and TimeLiner 36

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simulations, and Hide the other trades duplicate work completely. The best thing is to agree on ownership early, and communicate to the architect to export their model without the lighting category displayed. Next, identify easy to spot false positives which would naturally clash due to modeling limitations, and are not important for the purposes of clash detection. For example, clashing an entire Architectural model and the Structural model makes little sense in most cases, because the elements naturally touch or are embedded within each other. Put simply, the level of modeling done in the source BIM authoring applications are not precise enough to make the clash results meaningful to much of a degree. Similarly, dont worry too much about things like single piping roof penetrations; modeling those small penetrations are typically not worth the effort because they would naturally be handled in the field without issue. However, if you have a solid concrete or CMU wall that has an opening specifically framed out for HVAC penetrations, then this would be an important clash test to run to ensure that the hole is properly designed and the ductwork and piping will fit. Building Optimized Selection Search Sets Based on BIM Data Once your models are Appended into your scene, youve verified that everything lines up properly, done a basic navigation walkthrough, set up several Saved Viewpoints and other parameters for further work, you are ready to set up all of your selection search sets. This step is critical for all downstream operating like Clash Detective and TimeLiner. You will use the Find Items tool to build search queries for similar elements based on their BIM properties, such as Revit category or building systems such as Supply Air or Hydronic Return. Having a large assortment of search sets enables you to have granular control and target specific combinations of elements to clash against each other, which streamlines your coordination process across all of the trades and provide leaner, more focused reports. As discussed earlier, start by setting up search sets which typically use conditions such as Element whose Category Contains ___ type of tests, combined with some other AND, OR, NOT modifier condition. Remember that multiple conditions are normally ANDed together; you can then use the Or or Negate conditions as well. Or conditions show with a little black plus sign next to them. With the Match Case option unchecked, Negated conditions have no graphical identifying mark; you have to right-click on the condition to see if it is Negated or not. Combine similar categories together into a single search, such as our Contains Duct example earlier. Combine the Category search condition with a System Type Contains <Supply/Return/Exhaust> using an AND condition. Remember that air handling equipment can belong to several Systems. Because the Mechanical Equipment category is so broad, you may want to have one or more separate Mechanical Equipment search sets available that include additional conditional statements. For duplicate elements between trades, such as lighting fixtures in the architectural and MEP models, explicitly search for duplicates with the Category criteria, along with an Item whose


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Source File = arch.rvt condition, or something similar, to uniquely identify MEP elements in the architectural file. Alternatively you can select the arch.nwc file as the source in Find Items. Note that the order in which your conditions appear is important. There are no parentheses to visually determine groupings of statements. All statements are read from left to right and from the top down, and all statements are normally ANDed together by default. You can arrange your statements into groups, using the OR statement between them. The group of statements above the OR statement are ANDed, as are the group of statements below, allowing for a A AND B) OR (C AND D) type of condition. When search conditions are evaluated, Negated (NOT) statements are applied before AND, which is applied before OR. Be careful about their order and grouping for statements such as A AND B) OR (C AND NOT D) and test things out appropriately. Negated conditions are notoriously tricky to troubleshoot; you may want to try another tactic if they dont work out to your satisfaction. Run Through the Model and Find/Hide Everything Next, you want to first ensure every element belongs to one or more search sets. A common practice is to create the search query, save the search set, then immediately Hide those elements. As you progress through creating your various search sets and hiding those elements, sooner or later you will be down to zero elements visible. Sometimes it is difficult to see very small items in the Scene View; you can use the Select Box option to window the entire Scene View and see if anything displays as being selected in the Properties dockable window. Export Those Search Sets! Creating all of those search sets can take quite a while to build and test. It would be terrible to have something crash or go wrong and lose all of that work. Thats where Exporting your search sets becomes important. Go to the Output tab > Export Data panel and select Search Sets to export the sets as XML data. Because you may need to set these conditions up again in future models, you can import this XML file and all of your search sets are now available. Thus, try to set up a global starting standard set of search sets at the ready to import into all new projects so you can save a lot of set up time. At the very least, create a series of search sets that just selects entire Revit categories, since this is a typical jumping off point for further search refinement. Set up Viewpoints with Saved Visibility Overrides Once every element in the model belongs to the appropriate search set(s), create a configuration of hidden/displayed search sets of elements to begin your operations. For comprehensive scenes with architecture, MEP and structure, you probably want to start delineating saved viewpoints which only show HVAC and Steel, or Lighting and Piping, for example. This reduces unnecessary clutter in the Scene View, improves response time, and makes for quicker clash detection, because hidden items are not included in clash tests. For coordination / clash detection of MEP and structural elements arguably the most popular coordination task required - you may turn off (or delete) the architectural model entirely. To this end, put together a series of saved viewpoints which also save the hidden/visible state used for later operations. Remember that individual saved viewpoints can store the 38

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hidden/required markup information, overriding the global setting of whats hidden and visible elements; this is similar to a Layout layer override in AutoCAD. You can do this two ways. To make it a global setting, go to Options > Interface > Viewport Defaults and check Save Hide/Required Attributes. This will make every viewpoint save the condition of hidden/required elements separately. To save this setting one a viewpoint by viewpoint basis, uncheck this option, then right click on the saved viewpoint name in the Saved Viewpoints window, Edit, and select the Hide/Required attribute. (When the setting is checked in the Options Editor, this option is grayed out in the Viewport properties). You can also saved a material override by viewpoint as well. Because having every viewpoint save this data can greatly eat up a large amount of memory (remember that viewpoint animations contain lots of individual saved viewpoints), it is suggested to leave this as a viewpoint-specific setting and unchecked in the Options Editor. Color Coding Similar Elements and Building Systems As mentioned earlier, it is extremely helpful to color-code your search sets, overriding color and/or transparency. I suggest coming up with a standard office-wide palette of colors for your various project components and building systems, just like a set of AutoCAD layer standards. For HVAC systems you would color code Supply Air, Return Air and Exhaust Air. Its also useful to color code systems who system type is listed as Undefined to tag them for further refinement if required. However, be aware of the possibility of someone using ductwork fake things like cable trays.

Color-coded MEP systems Supply Air is yellow, Return Air is purple, Exhaust Air is cyan, and Undefined is gray


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Considerations When Working With Revit Building Information Models

Working with Revit models in Navisworks presents some particular issues that will drive your workflow and perhaps require better communication with the design team. You can tackle some of these issues in Revit when creating export-specific views with certain View/Graphics overrides applied. For example, if you have lighting and plumbing fixtures in both the architectural and MEP models, you can hide the fixtures in the architectural files Export to Navisworks 3D view. Positioning Models and Conversion Options One of the biggest problems is with simply spatially coordinating your models together. With AutoCAD files, its fairly easy to orient each file around a base common WCS origin. The resulting DWG files can be appended into a new Navisworks file and everything lines up. With Revit itsdifferent. Revit doesnt have an explicit coordinate system thats exposed in the software as does AutoCAD. It doesnt really matter where the models are in 3D coordinate space. Its the relationships between models which are important. Because of this, Revit uses an internal Project Base Point, Survey Point, and a system of shared coordinates to help interlock models together. Ideally, the architect first builds the model, which establishes its location to the Revit project origin, sends it to the MEP engineer, who links it into a new MEP project using Origin to Origin positioning, and both models are now properly aligned. While that sounds logical, it doesnt always happen in the real world. Models may be created from some other reference point or from DWG plan files which were never coordinated themselves, so it becomes a mess. There are many ways of dealing with this. One way is to link the MEP and structure models into the architecture model, and position them correctly (hopefully they all have a structural grid which can be used to easily align things). Once aligned in the architectural model, you can go to Manage tab > Project Location panel > Coordinates > Publish Coordinates. Select the MEP link, and the shared positioning coordinates are written back to the MEP model. Do the same for the structural model. More information on this is found here: When you export your NWC files, ensure you are using Shared coordinates in the Navisworks Exporter settings dialog box, as seen here. When these NWCs are brought into Navisworks, they will properly align. As a side benefit, you can now link the models together in Revit using Shared Coordinates.


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Another method is to draw a very tall box, obelisk, or some other identifiable geometric marker in each of the Revit models at some known location, such as (-10,-10) from the lower left corner of the building. When exported to Navisworks, you can translate each file, using vertex snap to align the markers together. A third variation is to import a simple AutoCAD drawing with some crosshairs located at the WCS 0,0,0, and align the point together. Other NWC Exporter settings to note are: Convert Element Properties: By default, a certain set of element parameters are converted to properties in Navisworks. These work for 99% of the tasks you need to do in Navisworks; however, there are times where additional properties may be needed for object search criteria. Checking this box includes additional element properties which may be necessary in your Navisworks workflow. Note that checking this box can, depending on model complexity, increase your export times dramatically. More information on converting element properties is here: Convert URLs: This converts URLS in Revit to links in Navisworks. This is great for being able to access web based information such as plumbing fixture cut sheets in Navisworks simply by clicking on the link. Try and Find Missing Materials: Unchecked, the conversion will not try to find missing materials for the export. This can be handy for speeding up the conversion.

In-Model Issues
There are additional issues which may mean modifying families and geometry in the design files themselves. Because of this, you may find yourself working in a copy of the original design model and tailoring it specifically for downstream work to be done in Navisworks. This is obviously not ideal, but its a fact that coordination work often has building model requirements that go above and beyond what an architectural or MEP designer would ever do in the production of construction documents. Lighting Fixtures For example, the current version of the Navisworks exporter interprets lighting fixture light sources as cones or other geometry, and exports them as such. There are two ways of dealing with this - either in Navisworks or in Revit. Generally speaking, anything you can do as preexport preparation work in Revit is worthwhile. Handling it in Navisworks Depending on the light fixture, its either easy or impossible to globally search for light source geometry. On some lighting fixtures such as the 8 incandescent downlight shown below, the light source geometry has uniquely identifiable Properties, such as Material = Default Light Source, (or Revit Material = Default Light Source) and thus is a candidate for a search set:


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Light source geometry with searchable properties

Once saved as a search, its easy to select and hide it. However, on other light fixtures, no searchable data is available in the object properties:

This 24" lamp light source geometry has no identifiable property available to create a proper search condition

If you Hide this item, Navisworks may give you this dialog stating that this particular nested geometry is instanced multiple times and hiding it hides all instances of the object which is what you want.


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However, this has some huge disadvantages: 1. Its still an extra step. 2. You probably arent going to catch every light fixture in one shot because they have different types, so you will have to do this more than once. 3. Because you cannot search for this offending geometry based on property, you cannot create a search set. Instead, you need to manually create a selection sets. If any new fixtures are added, that new light source geometry will need to be manually selected and the selection set updated with everything selected. Handling it in Revit In Revit, the process is to eliminate the geometry from the export process altogether. Hiding the Light Source subcategory in your export view will not do the job. To do this you need to edit the family and remove the option to use a light source 1. In the Revit model, right-click on the light fixture family and select Edit Family 2. In the Family Editor, click Home tab > Select panel > Families and Parameters to bring up the Family Categories and Parameters dialog box. 3. In the Family Parameters list, uncheck Light Source. 4. Click OK to save and load the family back into the project, overwriting the existing version. 5. Repeat this process for all remaining fixtures. Note: This affects renderings and lighting calculations, so you run the real risk of enraging your lighting designer. Additionally, if you decide to bring the lights back in, checking this box will insert a default light source, so any IES data or other parameters will have to be re-introduced. A perhaps smarter way of dealing with this is to create a parallel lighting fixture family that is exactly the same, except without the light source. Then you can easily substitute this lightless light fixture before exporting the model to NWC. Of course, due to worksharing considerations and the general crankiness of your typical lighting designer, creating a copy of the model for export is probably the safest action. Of course, the ultimate answer to this dilemma is for Autodesk write the Exporter to have an option to exclude light geometry. I suggest we all badger them for this change.


CR422-1: Introducing Navisworks Manage 2011

Clash Detective
Navisworks Clash Detective identifies, inspects and reports interference clashes in a 3D project model. Clash detective eliminates the tedious and error-prone manual task of checking multiple 2D documents and reading all of the interspersed information to arrive at a complete coordination result. Clash Detective can be used any number of ways, as a quick one-off sanity check to make sure things are going in the right direction, to an ongoing audit check of the project as designs are refined. Clash Detective can clash-test between 3D geometry, and between 3D geometry and laser point-cloud geometry. Clash Detective can also perform time-based clashes from TimeLiner simulations, ensuring two work packages do not physically conflict with each other in the project schedule. You perform all of your clash detective work inside the Clash Detective dockable window. This multi-tabbed interface has all of the controls for setting up multiple clash tests, setting up the rules for clash detection, selecting the items to compare against each other, examining the results, and creating clash reports in various formats. What to Test Clashing one whole model against another whole model is usually not very productive; it typically results in numerous false positives which are often irrelevant and unimportant. Instead, set up a batch of targeted clashes between selected items, which leads to better, more focused reports. In the example seen below, we are clashing Structural Elements against Ducts, Accessories and Fittings, which is a very common clash test. Remember to clash elements in the same file against each other as well, particularly MEP files with HVAC, piping and electrical components in one file. Intra-office coordination is often overlooked; some designers like to work in the dark and dont effectively communicate, even when in close proximity to other members on the same teach. This is why search sets of building systems and categories is so useful. Remember that hidden items are not included in clash tests; a good practice is to perform your clashes inside saved viewpoints which are properly configured such that they are repeatable across the project coordination phase through many iterations. Experience will soon teach you what clashes are required in 99% of all cases. With the proper preparation, clash runs are extremely easy and fast. Furthermore, you will quickly get a handle on what is important and what is not. However, realize that every model is different. Be aware that you are often at the mercy of the model originator, which can make your life difficult when they do not understand your particular needs from them for coordination to take place. Communicate with them often and strive to get an optimized file for analysis.


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The Clash Detective Window the Select Tab

The Clash Detective window has five tabs: Batch, Rules, Select, Results, and Report. The Select tab is where you start to create a clash test by selecting items to test against each other. The left and right panes contain a tree view of two sets of items to be tested against each other. You simply select items in each pane to test against each other. At the bottom of the panes are tabs to determine what is displayed: Standard (entire model tree view), Compact, Properties, and Sets. This is where your work in creating search sets really pays off, because you can use them to easily set up meaningful clash tests. The window at the right shows a clash test between the search sets of structural elements and ducts, accessories & fittings. Under the selection tree are three buttons to define what kind of geometry to test: surfaces (the default option), items with center lines, e.g. pipes, and points from a laser point cloud. Typically this is set to surfaces only. However. if you want to run a clash test between some surface geometry and a point cloud, you can set up the geometry in the Left pane, and click the Point Cloud button under the Right pane. The Surface button under the Left pane is toggled on by default. Additionally, you typically set the clash Type to Clearance with a large Tolerance of, say, 1 foot to have it register. If the Type is set to Hard, lines and surfaces will actually need to intersect with any points to register a clash. The Self-Intersect check box tests geometry in that pane against itself, in addition to the testing that would happen against the selected items in the other pane. This is typically unchecked. You can also select geometry for clash testing directly in the Scene View and/or the Selection Tree window. Once selected, use the Select Current button under the desired pane to create the corresponding clash set.


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Run Settings This section sets up the parameters for the clash test to run. The setting for Type can be either: Hard: Where two objects physically intersect, as dictated by the Tolerance value. Clearance: Where two objects come within a certain distance of each other, as dictated by the Tolerance value, as well as those that physically intersect. Duplicates: Where two objects are identical in both type and position. This is typically used to clash an entire model against itself (i.e., select the entire model in both left and right panes). This detects any items in the scene which have been duplicated by mistake. Note: Do not confuse this with duplicates between trades, e.g. MEP lighting and architectural lighting. Often, those duplicate items may be in the same position but are of different types, which a Duplicate test would not flag. Look for those when performing your initial design review. <Custom Clash>: You can set up a custom clash test and save it to a Navisworks search folder, and it will appear in this drop down. This is discussed later in this section. Tolerance specifies the distance by which Hard and Clearance clashes determine whether two objects intersect. Its units are determined by your Display Units. Link specifies whether you wish to perform interference checking on TimeLiner simulations or Object animations, e.g. checking a door swing or a crane moving across the site. We discuss this linking of Clash Detective, TimeLiner and Animator later. The Start button runs the clash test. The Found box displays the number of clashes found.

The Batch Tab

The Batch tab lists your clash tests and their results in a table format. This list is called the current batch. You have several options to operate on your clash tests.

Add: Adds a new blank clash test to your current batch. You can then go to the Select tab and set up its parameters. Delete: Delete a clash test 46

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Compact: Deletes all Resolved clashes from the selected test Clean: Resets the status of each clash in the selected test to New. Clear All: Deletes all clash tests, and displays a single, empty clash test. Update: Runs all clash tests in the current batch

Rules Tab
The Rules tab allows you to define custom ignore rules to be applied to your clash tests. Each of the default rules can be edited and new rules be added as necessary.

The Help file details what these default rules mean, and how to create new rules using the provided templates. Creating rules is handled in much the same way as creating rules in Outlook for handling email.

Clash Results
Once Clash Detective has run, a complete listing of each clash is shown in the Results tab of the Clash Detection dockable window. The results of each selected clash is shown in the Scene View using options selected in the Display area.


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The Results area shows the clashes that were found, sorted by severity (the distance by which they intersect). Each clash is noted by a clash status and icon color; each clash item is also color-coded with these colors in the Scene View when the Highlight box is checked. Status is defined as follows: New - a clash found for the first time in the current run of the test. Active - a clash found in a previous run of the test and not resolved. Reviewed - a clash previously found and marked by someone as reviewed. Approved - a clash previously found and approved by someone. If the status is manually changed to Approved, the user currently logged on is recorded as the approver, and the current system time is used as the time of approval. If the test is run again, and the same clash is found, its status stays as 'Approved'. Resolved - a clash found in a previous run of the test and not in the current run of the test. It is, therefore, assumed to be resolved. Note: If the status is manually changed to Resolved, and a new test finds the same clash, its status will be changed back to New. Old - any clash in an old test. The icons still have the code of the status from the previous run, but this is a reminder to say that the current test is old. Clash Groups You have a full array of context menus when you right-click on a clash, a clash group, or a clash inside of a clash group. You can, for example, add a comment to a clash via the context menu. You can group clashes together into clash groups. The icons underneath the Results area create a new clash group and explode, or ungroup, a clash group. The Item 1 and Item 2 panes below contain data on both clashing items from the clash selected in the Results area. Selecting the item in the Item 1 or Item 2 pane, then clicking on the Select button will selects a clashing item in the Scene View and in the Selection Tree. Selecting the item in the Item 1 or Item 2 pane, then clicking on the SwitchBack button allows the current view and currently selected item to be sent back to the originating CAD applications. This button is not available when multiple items are selected on the tree. Display Area The Display area sets options for efficiently reviewing clashes in the Scene View. The options are: Select Filter: Shows only the clashes that involve the items you've selected in the Scene View in the Results tab. If a clash group does not contain any clashes involving the selected item, the whole group and its contents are hidden from view. Clear this check box to display all clash results in the Results tab. Note: Empty group folders always remain visible. If a group contains any clash involving the selected item, the group (and all clashes contained therein) remain visible. However, any 48

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individual clashes in the group that are not directly involved with selected item are displayed in italics. Auto Reveal: For an individual clash, selecting this check box temporarily hides anything obstructing the clashing items so that you can see the selected clash when zooming in on it, without having to move location. For a clash group, selecting this check box automatically shows the worst clash point in the group in the Scene View. Auto Zoom: Selecting this check box automatically zooms the camera to show all items involved in the selected clash or selected clash group. Clearing this check box allows you to keep the main viewpoint static while flicking through the clashes one by one. Save Viewpoint: Selecting this check box saves the current view of the clash or a clash group so that when the clash or the clash group is reselected, the saved view is displayed. Animate Transitions: Select this check box if you require animated transitioning between clashes. When you click on a clash in the Results tab, the view transitions smoothly from the current view to next. You can use the Options Editor to customize the duration of animated transitions. By default, this check box is clear. Tip: To benefit from this effect you need to also select the Auto Zoom check box or the Save Viewpoint check box. Highlight All: Select this check box to highlight all found clashes in the Scene View. Dim Other: Select this check box to turn all items that are not involved in the selected clash or selected clash group to gray. This makes it easier to see the clashed items. Transparent Dimming: This check box is only available when you select the Dim Other check box. Select this check box to render all items that are not involved in the clash transparent, as well as gray. You can use the Options Editor to customize the level of dimming transparency. By default, 70% transparency is used. Hide Other: Select this check box to hide all other items except for all those involved in the selected clash or selected clash group. This enables you to focus better on the clashing items. Note: Selecting this check box makes the Dim Other option unavailable. Clear this check box if you want to use transparent dimming. Simulation: Select this check box to use time-based and soft (animation) clashing. It moves the playback slider in the TimeLiner sequence or an animation scene to the exact point at which the clash occurs, and enables you to investigate the events happening immediately before and after the clash. For clash groups, the playback slider is moved to the point in time of the worst clash from the group. See Time-Based and Soft Clash Test Results.


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Typically, the most useful options are Dim Other, Transparent Dimming, Save Viewpoint, Auto Zoom, Animate Transitions, and Auto Reveal, as seen below:

View in Context Often, models are so complex and crowded that understanding the location of a clash is difficult. The View in Context options enable to your temporarily zoom out to a point of reference in the model, giving context to the clash location. Use the Go to Home View option to take you to the previously set home view as defined for the ViewCube. Press and hold the View in Context button to show the chosen context view in the Scene View. Once you let go of the button you zoom back to the clash location.

Clash Reports
The Clash Reports tab enables you to set up the format and write out reports of the details of all clash results found in the selected test.


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The Contents area lists the clash data to include in the report. The Include Clashes > For Clash Groups, Include option is used to specify the clash groups in your report. If the test does not contain any clash groups, this option is unavailable. The Include Clash Types area determines what clashes to include in your report. The Report Type allows you to select to report the Current Test, All Tests (Combined) or All Tests (Separate). The Report Format selects the various formats supported: XML, HTML (web page), Text (.txt), and As Viewpoints. XML and HTML both create reports with .jpg viewpoint images for each clash. Make sure you have the Image check box checked under the Content box; otherwise the report will contain broken image links. Create a separate folder for each XML or HTML clash test, as the number of .jpg files can be pretty large. As Viewpoints creates a folder called [TestName] on the Saved Viewpoints dockable window; each clash is saved as a viewpoint with an attached comment describing the clash. The Write Report button creates the report.

Managing Clashes
The ability to manage the same clash tests run over time is important. Use the Batch tab to run all of your clashes at one time. Use the Compact button to delete all Resolved clash results. After a while, run Clean to reset all clash test history; it will then be like they have never been run, and all future clash results will have a status of New. Creating a series of standardized clash tests is a good way to save time and effort. As with most everything else, once they are set up they can be exported and imported via the Output tab > Export Data panel > Clash Tests XML. Use the Navisworks Application Menu > Import to import these clash test XML files into new files. Note that there are some limitations in exporting clash tests. Remember that you export clash tests to be reused in other projects. Thus, any clash test based on explicit selections of items will not be exported. For example, clashing layer DUCT against layer STEEL is not a valid clash for export, because it is too specific to your particular file what if your next project has no such layers? Instead, set up searches for these layer names and select these searches to clash test. Exported clash tests can be used as a basis to define custom clash tests, which can save you from having to constantly re-import clash tests with each new project. First, export the clash test as an XML file. Copy the exported XML file to the \custom_clash_tests folder under one of the Autodesk Navisworks search directories, e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2011\custom_clash_tests on Windows XP, or C:\ProgramData\Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2011\custom_clash_tests in Windows Vista/7. Once these are exported into this folder, restart Navisworks. They will appear in the Select tab > Type drop down window. Simply click the Start button to start the test; all other options and rules are specified by this custom test. 51

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TimeLiner adds 4D simulation to your model. It links your construction schedule to the model, tying together construction tasks with the items in your model. Once the TimeLiner task schedule is complete, you can run a simulation on it, which is an animation showing the construction progress with as items becoming visible, reflecting the effects of the schedule on your model. You can compare planned dates to actual dates. You can export images and animations from TimeLiner simulations, and TimeLiner will automatically update the simulation if the model or schedule changes. You can import and link to schedules from a variety of sources, such as Microsoft Project and Primavera. You then connect those schedule tasks with objects in the model to create your 4D simulation. If the tasks in the source schedule changes, TimeLiner can update the link to synchronize with the changes. Navisworks provides the gateway to adopting a Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) methodology, where you use 3D modeling software to design and evaluate the construction process before actual construction. This involves simplified modeling of the overall site plan, site equipment, work packages, materials and so on mostly with very little detail, or as semitransparent boxes. You can do this easily with programs such as in AutoCAD or SketchUp, add this construction site model to your overall building model, and interplay with those 3D items. VDC can be explored in Navisworks by combining the functionality of TimeLiner with other Navisworks tools. By doing so you can pre-visualize the construction site processes, and leverage tools to better plan the entire construction phase: Linking TimeLiner and Object Animation together enables the triggering and scheduling of object movement, based on start time and duration of project tasks, and can help in site and process planning. For example, you can schedule and animate the moving of a crane across the site from point A to point B during the course of a day. On that particular afternoon, a workgroup working nearby causes an obstruction along the route. By animating work crews based on the project schedule, you can visualize the issue and plan an alternate route or modify the work package schedule to avoid this conflict. In this way, site planning problems can be visualized, identified and resolved long before going to site. Linking TimeLiner and Clash Detective allows for time-based clashing, that is, if you include static model representations of temporary site items, such as work packages, crates, cranes, installations, lay-down areas, trucks and so on, you can link those items to your TimeLiner schedule, and they can appear and disappear at particular locations at particular times. It is possible that some static package objects could take up the same space as some other static object at some time in the schedule. That can be registered as a clash in Clash Detective. Linking TimeLiner, Object Animation and Clash Detective together enables time-based clash checks on the project. If the workgroup packages discussed above are modeled (typically, just as semi-transparent boxes) and animated, then placed on site driven by the schedule, the collision of the crane and the workgroup package can be recorded in Clash Detective. These are considered soft clashes.


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The TimeLiner Window Task Tab

The TimeLiner window has six tabs: Tasks, Links, Gantt View, Configure, Rules, and Simulate.

The Tasks Tab shows all of your project tasks listed in a multi-column table. You can move, resize, and sort these columns, as well as add new user columns. You create tasks one of three ways: Manually, one at a time; Automatically, from the item structure in the selection tree, or by selection/search sets; Automatically, built from links to external scheduling project files. With automatic task creation, tasks can be automatically attached to corresponding model geometry. With manual task creation, you have to attach task to geometry individually. Tasks can be organized in a hierarchical structure, listed by links to schedules brought in from scheduling software. Tasks use an icon on the left-most column to identify the current status of the task, with relation to attached items and links to external schedules: Task has no attached items Task with attached items Task with links synchronized to an external schedule Task with link to external schedule, including Task Type (Construct, Demolish, Temporary) Task with link to external schedule that is either broken or old (unsynchronized) The Status column contains icons which identify planned vs. actual relationships. Each icon shows two horizontal bars. The top bar represents Planned dates, the bottom bar represents 53

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Actual dates. If the Actual start and finish dates are the same as Planned dates, the bars are displayed in green. Any variation between Planned and Actual dates is displayed in red. Missing Planned or Actual dates are shown in gray. The Status icons provide a graphical idea of the relationship as seen in the following chart: Actual start and end dates equal Planned start and end dates Actual end date before Planned start date Actual start date after Planned end date Actual start date before Planned start date and Actual end date after Planned end date Actual start date before Planned start date and Actual end date equals Planned end date Actual start date equals Planned start date and Actual end date after Planned end date Actual start date equals Planned start date and Actual end date before Planned end date Actual start date after Planned start date and Actual end date equals Planned end date Actual start date before Planned start date and Actual end date before Planned end date Actual start date after Planned start date and Actual end date after Planned end date Uses Actual start and end dates only Uses Planned start and end dates only A check mark in the Active column turns that task on or off. When turned off, that task will not appear in the simulation. For hierarchical tasks, turning off a parent task automatically turns off all child tasks. As with most of Navisworks, context menus are important in the TimeLiner (notice there are no buttons or other UI elements to do anything). Right-clicking any column header brings up a shortcut menu for adding/deleting/renaming/sorting users columns.


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Right-clicking in the Tasks tab will allow you to: Add/delete tasks; Attach, detach, and append selections, searches and selection sets to existing tasks; Relink a linked parent task (and its child tasks) with your scheduling software; Unlink, or break the link between the task and the scheduling software; Validate the schedule by identifying items that have not been included in any task, are duplicated in multiple tasks, or are in overlapping tasks. Automatically create tasks based on the models topmost layers/levels, topmost items (which could be layer or level) or selection sets. This attaches the appropriate model geometry as well. Add comments to a task.

You can use multi-select (holding down SHIFT/CTRL) to select multiple tasks, right-click, and perform an option on those tasks at once. Manual Task Entry Workflow Putting together tasks manually in the Tasks tab is fairly straightforward. The workflow is: 1. With a model loaded, right-click in the Tasks area, select Add Task; right-click on the new task to rename it. Set the task as Active. 2. Set the Start and End dates, and if required, the Planned Start and Planned End dates. The check box will enable the dates, and the drop down arrow will enable a calendar control to pick the date. 3. Under Task Type, select Construct, Demolish, or Temporary. Tip: Use Demolish for tasks such as site clearance. Use Temporary for temporary tasks such as moving cranes. You can create and add customized tasks, if required, using the tools in the Configure tab discussed later. 4. In the Attached column, you need to attach model items before the task will display in the simulation. Again, this is where search sets come into play. Right-click in the Attached box, and select Attach Selection Sets and select the search or selection set created previously. Note that search sets appears here as well. You can also attach the current selection, or select the attached selection. 5. Alternatively, you can bring up the Find Items window to create a search on the fly. One you select Find All and have those items selected, right-click in the attached box and select Attach Search.


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6. Note: For simple simulations, the other columns (Link, Index, UniqueID, etc.) do not come into play just yet. When we add animations to a task, the Script/Animation/Animation Behavior columns will come into play. 7. Repeat these steps for all new tasks that you wish to add to the simulation. Optional Task Creation Workflows Instead of creating each task by hand a laborious process, to be sure you can shortcut this somewhat by adding named tasks for each topmost item in the model, either layer or item, or create a task for each selection set. Use the context menu Tools > [Option] to do this. When you choose one of these options the items will be attached to the task automatically. For example, if you choose layer you will get a task for each layer in the model, with the items under that layer attached to that task. Optionally, you can create the tasks manually, and use Rules to attach tasks to items automatically. Rules are discussed later in this section.

The Links Tab

The Links tab enables you to import tasks from a third-party scheduling application such as Microsoft Project MPX, Primavera, and ordinary CSV files. This tab shows all of the links to external schedules in your project in a table format.

The links show the name, source, linked project file, and link status. Link Status can be: Synchronized: All linked tasks have the same values as the external schedule; Old: Linked tasks have values that are out of date compared to the external schedule, and need to be synchronized with the source file to update the tasks in TimeLiner; Status Not Available: Its not possible to determine if the tasks are Synchronized or Old. This will happen for schedule sources which do not provide any way of determining when a schedule was last updated; Broken: The external schedule cannot be accessed. Either the file was moved or deleted, or the required software is not installed or functioning correctly. For example, you need Primavera installed to link a P6 file. TimeLiner will still function using the task values determined when the link was last synchronized.


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To add a link, right-click in the Links tab and select Add Link > [Select Link Type].

When you add a linked file, you are immediately taken to the Field Selector dialog box, where you can link any unrecognized, additional fields in the original schedule file to columns in the Tasks tab. The Field Selector dialog is used to map fields when importing data from the linked external file. In the example below, the linked file has an actual start dates field that need to map to the Planned Start dates column in TimeLiner. The list of selectable fields under the External Field Names drop down will vary based on the allowable data type for that Column. In other words, only external fields that have a data type of date are allowed to be mapped to the Planned Start column.

Again, shortcut menus are available in the Links tab for most tasks. Right-clicking on a link opens a shortcut menu to add and manage links to project files. Importing Tasks from Linked Schedules After you add a link and assign any field mapping, you need to bring in the task list from the external schedule. Select Rebuild Task Hierarchy from Link from the Link context menu to import all of the tasks from the project file including their start and end dates, and any additional fields which were linked via the Field Selector dialog box.


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Once you rebuild the tasks, all of the tasks now are visible in the Tasks tab:

You would also use Rebuild when tasks have been added to the external schedule. This will rebuild the complete task list including the latest tasks and data. Other options in a Link context menu are: Synchronize Tasks from Link: Updates all data from the external schedule. Rebuild Task Hierarchy from All Links: Used when you have multiple linked schedules. Edit Link: This will open the Field Selector dialog which determines various options used when importing data from a link. Note, however, that this only imports the tasks. You still need to attach model items to each of these tasks. You can do this manually by selecting items, or assign search sets to linked tasks, but this can still take a lot of time if you have a lot of tasks. To solve this, Rules can be implemented which define how TimeLiner Tasks can be mapped automatically to items, selection sets, search sets, and layers with the same name. Rules are discussed below. Note that links are not live as they are with AutoCAD xrefs or Revit model links. You have to manually refresh things.


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Gantt View Tab

The Gantt View tab gives you a read-only graphical representation of the project schedule.

Under Display Dates, you can switch between showing Planned, Actual, and Planned vs. Actual dates. The Actual and Planned date ranges are shown in blue; for Planned vs. Actual, the planned dates show as gray bars, actual as red bars. You can use the Zoom control to modify the resolution of the displayed chart.

The Status column displays icons which show planned and actual relationships; these icons are slightly different that those on the Tasks tab, as they show early (blue), on-time (green), late (red), and planned (gray) portions of the task. The online Help describes what these particular icons mean.


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Configure Tab
The Configure tab allows you to set up task parameters called Task Types and define Appearance Definitions for those Task Types.

Task Types Task Types are assigned to tasks and categorize them for purposes of simulation. TimeLiner comes with three predefined Task Types Construct, Demolish, and Temporary. Each Task Type has an Appearance Definition assigned to each of the five different possible event points in the simulation - start appearance, end appearance, early appearance (task started before the planned time), late appearance (task started after the planned time), and simulation start. These modify the tasks attached items visibility properties when seen in the simulation. The default three Task Types and their default Appearance Definitions are: Construct For tasks where the attached items are to be constructed; these tasks are highlighted in green (90% Transparent) at the start of the simulation and are reset to their model appearance at the end of the task. Demolish For tasks where the attached items are to be demolished; these tasks are highlighted in red (90% Transparent) at the start of the simulation and are hidden at the end of the task. Temporary - For tasks where the attached items are to only temporary; these tasks are highlighted in yellow (90% Transparent) at the start of the simulation and are hidden at the end of the task.


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Appearance Definitions Appearance Definitions are named settings of transparency and color which are then assigned to the event points in the Task Types. There are 10 Appearance Definitions by default, and you can create your own custom Appearance Definitions. Again, all operations to create Task Types and Appearance Definitions are done via shortcut menus as you right-click in the TimeLiner dockable window.

Rules Tab

The Rules tab allows you to set rules for how you can automatically map TimeLiner tasks to items in your model, using various mapping rules. By default there are three rules: Map the TimeLiner task name to items with the same name, matching case; Map TimeLiner task names to selection sets (and search sets) with the same name, matching case; Map TimeLiner task names to Layers (or Levels in Revit) with the same name, matching case.

You can create your own Rules by hitting the New button, and using one of the Rule Templates to define a new rule. As with the Clash Detections rule system, defining a Rule is very similar to making rules in Outlook to sort your email. Once the rules are defined and selected, hit the Apply button to automatically attach items that match that rule to the appropriate tasks. If you set things up properly between selection search sets, rules, and task names, you can easily create tasks and automatically attach model items to those tasks in just a few steps.


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Simulate Tab
The Simulate tab is where your TimeLiner project schedule can be displayed in the Scene View.

At the top of the window are the standard VCR playback controls. Hit Play to play the simulation in the Scene View. The Simulation Position slider bar can quickly scrub backwards and forwards through the simulation. The Settings button opens the Simulation Settings Dialog Box that enables you to define how the schedule is simulated. You can override the start and end dates, focusing on a small sub-section of the overall project. You can also define the interval size as well. As simulations play back, text is overlaid on the screen to display any combination of day, time and date, and tasks as current as any point during the simulation. Click the Overlay Text drop-down arrow to select the position of the overlay text, and hit the Edit button to set what is displayed. The View areas determines how the simulation plays back the relationships between actual, Actual (Planned differences), Planned, Planned (Actual differences), and Actual against Planned. The Help file has details of what each of these options means and how each affects the display of various elements through the simulation.


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Overview of Animation
The Animator tool provides the ability to create object animations, which are prepared sequences of changes to the model. You can make three major kinds of animations: Manipulate object transforms (move, rotate and scale) and object visibility (color and transparency). This package of changes is referred to an Animation Set, which records the geometry to be animated and a list of keyframes which describe how it is to be animated. Manipulate viewpoints via navigation tools (walk/fly/orbit) or by using existing viewpoint animations. This type of change is called a Camera. Manipulate cross sectional cuts of the model by moving section planes or a section box. This type of change is referred to a Section Plane Set.

These three component types are all saved in a container called a Scene. Inside a scene you create one or more Animation Sets (scenes can have as many animation sets as desired), a single camera animation and a single section plane animation. You can have as many scenes as you need in a Navisworks model file. Navisworks supports object animation and object interaction as follows: Animation specified by keyframes with or without linear interpolation between keyframes; Camera, section plane, and object animation; Multiple independently moving objects independently started; Multiple animations of the same object in the same scene; e.g. a moving crane also moving its arm at the same time; Simple event-drive scripts which drive animation; Linking to TimeLiner to trigger animations as tasks start; Linking to Clash Detective to run clash tests at specific steps through an animation to check for animated vs. animated or animated vs. static object clashes.

The following is not supported in Navisworks: Animation specified by anything other than objects, for example a spline or path. Animation of lighting; Moving a whole object and creating an independent trigger to move part of an object, e.g. move a whole crane and have a separate button that triggers the arm moving at a point; Cut and paste capabilities in scripting; Linking to TimeLiner and having different TimeLiner tasks trigger animations that depend on each other; Real time collision checking that stops when a collision between two moving objects is detected.

Its easy to create complex animation, because the basics are all the same. The Animator and Scripter interfaces are just about as complex as TimeLiner or Clash Detective. This handout will 63

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cover the basic ideas and workflows. Please consult the Navisworks Help file for information on specific controls and options. About Keyframes In animation lingo, a Keyframe is a snapshot of your objects position and visibility at a certain point in time. It is used to define position and properties of the changes made to the model. Back in olden times, filmmakers used stop-motion techniques for animation. They positioned a model, shot a frame; made a tiny adjustment, shot another frame. 24 of those made one second of film. To make the animation work, animators defined keyframes that defined the model be in a certain position at a particular point in time, and worked towards those keyframes targets as they positioned/shot each frame. With Navisworks animation, you position the items at the desired time, capture a keyframe, and the computer records that position information and will interpolate the object between the keyframes. About Cameras and Viewpoints In an Animator scene, a Camera contains a series of viewpoints and an optional set of keyframes to describe how the viewpoints move over time. If no keyframes are defined, the animation will use the current Scene View viewpoint. If a single keyframe is defined, the camera will move to that viewpoint and then remain static throughout the scene. If multiple keyframes are defined, the camera is animated accordingly. Each scene can only have one camera in it. You start by adding a blank camera, then manipulate to the required views and create the desired keyframes. You can also copy an existing viewpoint animation straight into the camera.

The Animator Window

The Animator dockable window is split into four main components.

At the top, the toolbar has tools for editing objects, creating keyframes, setting the current Scene and time slider, and controlling playback.


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Below the toolbar on the left side is the scene tree view that lists all of the scenes, their respective animation sets, camera and section box set in a hierarchical list. You can add, delete, and reorder scenes and animation sets using the controls at the bottom. On the right is the Timeline view, which shows the animation timeline with the keyframes for animation sets, cameras, and section planes in the scene. At the bottom is the Manual Entry bar for manipulating geometry by typing in numbers instead of using gizmos in the Scene View. You can also modify color and transparency using controls that will appear in this area. The Animator Toolbar The Animator Toolbar has tools for modifying the objects transform (move, rotate, scale), color and transparency. When you select an object in the Scene View and click one the transform tools, a gizmo will appear on the object with handles that you can use to interactively move, rotate or scale the object. Alternatively you can use the Manual Entry area at the bottom to enter values. The Capture Key Frame button takes a snapshot of the current change to the model and creates a new keyframe in the timeline view. The playback controls play back the active scene animation. The Toggle Snaps button provides snapping control when manipulating objects by changing their position, rotation or size.

Animator Scene Tree View The Animator tree view lists all of the scenes and scene components (animation sets, camera animation, and section animation) in a hierarchical view; its used to manage your animation scenes. You can select scene and scene components, and use context menus to add scenes, animation sets, camera, section plane, folders, cut/copy/paste, and so on. The icons below add and remove components and reorder scenes in the tree view, and zoom the timescale bar up and down.


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The check boxes control whether the corresponding item is active (only active scenes will play), whether it loops, ping-pongs, and if it should run indefinitely. Animations typically stop at the end of the timeline. Looping and Ping Pong are available for scenes and scene animations and control playback mode when the animation reaches the end. Loop will reset the animation back to the start and play it again. Ping Pong (P.P.) will play the animation to the end, it will run backwards until it reaches the start. Infinite will make the scene play indefinitely until the Stop button is clicked. Timeline View The timeline view shows the timeline for each animation set, camera, and section plane in a scene. It is used to visualize and edit the animation along its timeline. A timeline has a colored animation bar which is used to visualize the duration of an animation of a scene component. Cameras show a green bar, animation sets in blue, and section plane sets in red. The animation start and end times can be edited by dragging the solid diamond shaped keyframes at each end of the animation bar. Keyframes are shown as black-filled diamonds in a timeline; they turn white when the time slider passes over them. Keyframes have context menus to edit, cut, copy, paste, delete them, and an interpolate checkbox to determine if the animation interpolates itself between keyframes or if it instantly jumps to the second keyframe. You can R/C on a keyframe and select Edit to access its properties; you can make exact changes to the time, translation of the selected objects, and other settings The timeline bar at the top of the timeline view shows the time scale displayed in seconds. You can zoom in and out of this scale using the Zoom buttons in the interface. Each timeline starts at zero. The time slider is the black vertical line that represents your current time position in the animation timeline. You can drag the time slider back and forth (called scrubbing) or use the time edit box in the toolbar to set it exactly. As the time slider is moved, animated objects in the current scene update as if the animation were playing back. The red vertical line at the right is the end slider, representing the end point of the current active scene. This is hidden if the Infinite check box is checked for the current scene in the scene view.


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Animation Creation Tutorial

Lets cover the process of adding an animation to two sets of double doors at the entry vestibule of a building. Imagine that you are in front of the building, looking at the entry vestibule. Setting up the Animation Scene 1. For convenience, start by saving a viewpoint where you want to start, or restore a saved viewpoint. Lets assume this saved viewpoint is called Entrance 1. 2. In the empty Animator window, click the green Add(+) button at the bottom and select Add Scene. Click on the new scene, and rename it Opening Doors. 3. Select the Opening Doors scene, and click the Add(+) button > Add Camera > Blank Camera. A camera should now be displayed under the Opening Doors scene. 4. Click this camera, and click Capture Keyframe on the toolbar. This captures the camera at this current view and places the keyframe at the beginning of the camera timeline. 5. In the scene, select the left door, which we need to animate (it may be easier to select if you move closer to it). Note: if the door is part of a larger composite object, such as a block, you will have to drill down the object tree to find the geometry that is just the left door panel. Note that depending on how the original geometry is created, and how Navisworks organizes it in the Selection Tree, this particular example is either easy or impossible. 6. In the Animator, select the scene Opening Doors, click Add (+) > Add Animation Set > From Current Selection. Click the new animation set and rename it Outer Left Door and set it active. This new animation set now knows it is to work on the outer left door. 7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add animation sets for Outer Right Door, Inner Left Door, and Inner Right Door. Editing the Camera and Camera Viewpoints 1. Youve already added the camera and created the initial keyframe at the current viewpoint. Well now set up a walkthrough by adding additional keyframes to the camera animation. 2. Select the Camera in the scene. In the timeline view, drag the black time slider to 8 seconds. If it is hard to get it right at 8 seconds with the slider, use the time slider text box in the toolbar to enter it exactly. Notice the scene does not change. 3. Use the Walk navigation tool to walk towards the building until you are between the outer and inner doors (make sure you have collision turned off). 4. Click Capture Keyframe on the Animator toolbar to add a keyframe at this point. This captures a keyframe at the current view and places it at the current camera timeline. 5. In the timeline view, drag the black time slider to 13 seconds. 6. Walk through the second set of double doors into the lobby, and click Capture Keyframe. 7. In the timeline view, drag to 18 seconds. 8. Use the Navigation Wheels > Look tool to spin around in place to view the doors you have just walked through, and click Capture Keyframe. 67

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9. Drag the time slider to 22 seconds. 10. Walk backwards a few paces and click Capture Keyframe. 11. Click Stop and then click Play on the Animator toolbar to view the animation you have created. You should see yourself walk through the doors (they dont open yet), turn around, and walk backwards a little bit. Manipulate the Geometry 1. Select the Outer Left Door animation set. The left door panel should be selected. 2. Scrub the time slider to 4 (or enter 4 in the time position edit box). 3. Click Capture Keyframe to capture a keyframe for that animation set. You will see an open diamond in the Outer Left Door animation set time line. (The keyframes are open diamonds when they are coincident with the time slider) 4. Set the time slider to 7 seconds. 5. Click the Translate Transition Set button on the Animator toolbar. The translation gizmo should be displayed near the selected door. 6. Grab the green square handle and drag the door panel to the left until the door has moved left and is completely open. Make sure you pick the square handle at the end (the cursor will turn into a hand) to constrain movement to the Y (green) axis. If you select the yellow square you will be constrained to the Y/Z axes and the door could move up as well as over. 7. Note: You can also type 3 in the Translate Y box at the bottom. Note the units are in feet. 8. Click Capture Keyframe. An open black diamond will appear in the Outer Left Door timeline. 9. Right-click on this keyframe, and select Copy. 10. Drag the time slider to 18 seconds. Right-click, then select Paste. This will paste a copy of the keyframe on the 18 second mark. We copy these because the keyframe stores the position and condition of whatever is in the animation set. The start to close condition is exactly the same as the end of opening condition, so we can copy the keyframe. If you dont get it exactly at 18 seconds, r/c on the keyframe, Edit, and type 18 in the Time edit box at the top. 11. R/click on the keyframe at 4 seconds and Copy it. Drag the time slider to 21 seconds and paste it there. You should see the door closed. 12. Click Stop, then click Play. You should see the door be closed until 4 seconds, open between 4 and 7 seconds, stay open until 18 seconds, then close between 18 and 21 seconds. 13. Repeat steps 2 through 13 to the other three door panels. Translate the right side doors -3 feet in the Y axis (simply type -3 in the box; feet is assumed). 14. Activate the Camera and click Play. The four doors should open.


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The completed animation timeline should look as follows:

The completed animation timeline

Manipulating Geometry and Visibility Properties In the exercise above we used the Translate animation set button to translate, or move, the door in the X/Y/Z axes using the Translate gizmo. Similarly, we can use the Rotate animation set and Scale animation set buttons to rotate and scale the animation set objects using those gizmos.

Translate, Rotate and Scale gizmos on a door

Similarly, we can use the Change color of animation set and Change transparency of animation set buttons to modify those properties at those keyframes; change the settings in the Manual Entry area at the bottom.


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Animating Section Plane Sets

A Section Plane Set contains a list of section planes and a list of keyframes that describe how they move. Each scene can only have one section plane set in it. Just as we animated a viewpoint and a set of items, we can also animate a section plane or a set of linked section planes. To add a section plane set and capture sectioned views: 1. In the Animator, right-click on the desired scene (or create one), and click Add Section Plane. You are now ready to manipulate section cuts. 2. Select the section plane set. Go to Viewpoint > Enable Sectioning. The Sectioning Tools tab will become available. 3. We are going to use Planes mode in this example. On the Planes Settings panel, select one of the six available the section plane that you wish to manipulate from the drop down. 4. Set the alignment from the drop down list, e.g. Align Right. 5. Click the Planes Settings tool launcher, and in the Section Planes Settings window, make sure that plane is enabled (the box under the light bulb is on) and that the proper alignment is assigned to it. 6. If you wish to link planes, select two section planes to be active, and click the Link Section Planes button in the Planes Settings panel. 7. In the Sectioning Tools tab > Transform panel, click the Move button to bring up the sectioning plane if its not visible. Use the plane gizmo to position it where you want to start the sectioning. You can also use the Transform slider panel to set the values explicitly. Note: Those gizmo colors Red, Green and Blue correspond to the X, Y and Z axes of the section plane, respectively. However, the X/Y/Z coordinates in the Transform panel are based on the world coordinate system of the model, and will not match the section gizmo except for a plane whose alignment is Top. Its a good idea to know which way the positive X/Y/Z axes are; one easy way to do this is to use the ViewCube to go to the Top view, and ensure North is pointing up. 8. With the time slider at 0, click Capture Keyframe on the Animator toolbar to create a keyframe with the current section cut. 9. In the timeline view, move the time slider to the desired time. 10. Move the section plane gizmo to the desired location of the section plane for that particular time. Click Capture Keyframe to record its position. Youll notice the section plan set has a red timeline. 11. Repeat steps 8-9 to capture additional section plane locations with keyframes, if desired. Note that you can animate a section going through the building with as few as two keyframes for start and stop position. 12. Click Stop then Play to view the animation.


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Adding Animations to TimeLiner Schedules

You can link object and viewport animations to your construction schedules and bring new life to your simulations. For example, you can start your simulation with a camera showing an overview of the whole project, then as tasks are simulated you can zoom into a detailed view of the model. As your schedule progresses in the simulation you can play animation scenes; so you can animate the arrival and depletion of material stockpiles together with vehicle movements and monitor vehicular access to the site. Add an Animation to an entire schedule In the Simulation Settings dialog, select the Animation drop down to link a saved viewpoint animation or a camera animation (discussed later) to the simulation. That would allow you to view your simulation while performing a walk-though around the building. It may be useful to create a simulation-specific animation that focuses on areas of the building at the same time as the tasks in those areas are being performed. Adding Animations to Tasks The animation that you can add to individual tasks in TimeLiner is restricted to scenes and animation sets from the scenes. By default, any added animation is scaled to fit the task duration. You also got an option of playing an animation at its normal (recorded) speed, by matching its start or end point with the task. Note: Animation keyframes may contain transparency and color overrides. During the TimeLiner simulation, the transparency and color override data from Animator are ignored. To add an animation to a task, go to the Tasks tab and in each task you wish to add animation to, and edit the Script and Animation columns.

When you add scripts (discussed in the next section) to TimeLiner tasks, they enable you to control how the animation will play (forwards, backwards, a segment at a time and so on). Script events are ignored, and the script actions are run regardless of the events. You can also use scripts to change the camera viewpoints for individual tasks, or play several animations at the same time. Note: Before you simulate our schedule, be sure to enable animation scripts in your file, by clicking the Enable Scripts button on the Animation tab > Scripts panel.


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The Scripter adds interactivity to your model. Scripts contain definitions for one or more events, things that happen in the model or by the user; and actions, e.g., play an animation of a set of doors sliding open. By combining scripts with animations created in Animator, the model animation can be triggered by an event created in Scripter - you dont have to explicitly fire up an animation to have it run. Script events can be the result of something happening in the model, but also be interactive, that is, an animation triggered by specific user-made events such as a key press or mouse click. By linking TimeLiner and scripted object animations together, you can trigger and schedule object movement based on start time and duration of project tasks. This is a typical scenario with VDC simulations to help with workspace and process planning. For example, if you have a crane moving across the site, you can see if any workgroups working nearby cause an obstruction along its route. Linking scripted animations into Clash Detective can check animated versus animated or animated versus static object clashes. You can link all three Clash Detective, scripted object animation, and TimeLiner together to provide clash testing of fully animated TimeLiner schedules. Instead of visually inspecting a TimeLiner simulation for conflicts, run a Clash Detective test that links the TimeLiner. This section will cover the basics of scripting and how to set them up. The final section in this handout will focus on linking scripted object animations, Clash Detective, and TimeLiner together. Creating Scripts Building scripts is a two part process. First you need to define what things you want to have happen, e.g., have some doors open as you walk up to them. This defines an Event, which is the occurrence of an incident or situation. Events are typically things like mouse clicks, key presses, or a collision, as in our case with doors. Scripts can have more than one event in them. However, building several events in one script requires forethought because the event structure becomes very important. Events use Boolean logic to determine if something happened, that is, AND/OR statements. You will have to use logic that makes sense, ensuring that brackets are properly closed and so on. Your script will only run when all event conditions in the script are satisfied. After you configure your events, you need to create and configure your Actions what action takes place when triggered by an event. Scripts can have more than one action in them, but they are executed one after another, so it is important that their order be correct. However, scripts do not wait for one action to complete before moving on to the next action. After you configure your scripts, you need to Enable Scripts in the Animation tab. Once enabled, you can interact with your model, and scripted events will happen. Note: When scripts are enabled, the you cannot edit or create scripts in the Scripter window.


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Event Types There are seven event types available: On Start, On Timer, On Key Press, On Collision, On Hotspot, On Variable, and On Animation. Each of these is pretty easy to configure by itself; however, it is when you need to combine them that things can get interesting. A brief description of each Event Type is as follows: On Start Event: triggers a script as soon as scripting is enabled. If scripting is enabled when a file loads, then any start events in that file are triggered immediately. This is useful for setting up initial conditions for your script, such as giving values to variables, moving a camera to a defined start point, and so on. No properties need to be defined for this type. On Timer Event: Triggers a script at predefined time intervals. You can specify interval, regularity, and regularity frequency (one time or continuous). On Key Press Event: Triggers a script with a specific button on the keyboard. You can specify the key, and how it is triggered on (via key up, key down, or while key pressed). On Collision Event: Triggers a script when the mouse collides with a specific object. You can specify the object and to include the effects of gravity in collision detection, e.g. walking across a floor would trigger the event. On Hotspot Event: This triggers a script when your mouse is within a certain range of a hotspot. You can specify the hotspot type (a sphere in space, or a sphere around a selection); how the event is triggered (entering, leaving, or in range of the hotspot); specify the position of the hotspot (if its type is Sphere); hotspot objects; and radius of the hotspot in millimeters. On Variable Event: Triggers a script when a variable meets a predefined condition. You can specify the name of the variable; operand value to be tested against your variable (a number, string, other variable, or Boolean true or false); and Evaluation, the operator used for variable comparison. Valid operators are Equals, Greater Than, Greater Than or Equals, Less Than, Less Than or Equals, and Not Equal To. On Animation Event: Triggers a script when a specific animation starts or stops. You can specify the animation and how it will be triggered (on start, or on end).


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Action Types There are eight Action types: Play Animation, Stop Animation, Show Viewpoint, Pause Script, Send Message, Set Variable, Store Property, and Load Model. A description of each is as follows: Play Animation Action: Specifies which animation should play back when the script is triggered. You can specify the animation, if you want the animation to stop at the end or snap back to the beginning, and when the playback starts and ends (start, end, current position, specified time). Stop Animation Action: Specifies which currently playing animation to stop when a script is triggered. You can specify the animation and how you want the animation to reset itself when stopped. Show Viewport Action: Specifies which viewport to use when a script is triggered. Pause Script Action: As mentioned previously, actions are executed one after another without waiting for one to finish before moving on to the next. The Pause Script action stops the script for a specified amount of time before the next action is run. Alternatively, you can create several scripts to execute actions separately. Send Message Action: Writes a message into a text file when a script is triggered. This can be useful when creating several interactive scripts to test if a particular script is working. The location of the text file is specified under Options > Scripter > Path to Message File. Set Variable Action: Assigns, increases, or decreases a variable value when a script is triggered. You can specify the variable, value and assignment operator (Set Equal To, Increment By, Decrement By) Store Property Action: Stores an object property in a variable when a script is triggered. This can be useful if you need to trigger events based on embedded object properties or live data in a linked database. You can specify the objects (either by selection/search set or current selection), the variable to set, and the property category and property name (similar to how you specified these in the Find Items tool) Load Model Action: Opens a file when a script is triggered. This file replaces the currently loaded model. The Scripter Workflow Creating scripts is pretty easy using the Scripter window. You first define scripts, optionally grouping them into folder. Then you select the objects to work on, define Events (On Start, On Collision, On Hotspot, etc) and set their properties, then define Actions and set their properties. To enable scripting to work, you need to ensure the Animations tab > Script Panel > Enable Scripting button is pressed.


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The Scripter Window

The Scripter window looks complex but it is actually very easy to use:

Continuing on with our entry door example, we first need to create different animations than in the previous example. Thats because those animations opened then closed the doors after a period of time. We want our animation to be event driven, that is, to open the doors when we come near them, and then close the doors whenever we go away, not on some timer. An animation that does both will not work. To close the doors, our script will simply run the open doors script in reverse, which we can do with a Hotspot event. This actually works better than an On Collision event, because it is flexible in terms of radius and how it triggers. Collision simply triggers when one thing hits another, and uses the internal collision detection mechanism, whose radius is adjustable in the Options > Viewpoint Defaults > Collision > Default Collision dialog box. First, create an animation that just opens both outer doors, and one that opens the inner doors. You still have to create 4 separate animation sets as before because there are four doors, but only need two keyframes for each (one at the start, one at the end say, at the 3 second mark).

Simpler door animation used for scripting


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In Scripter, we need to do 3 tasks: Add scripts; select objects and add Events to each script, and add Actions to each script. Add a script by right-clicking in the window or clicking the Add Script button. Name it Outer Doors Open. Do the same for Outer Doors Close, Inner Doors Open, and Inner Doors Close. Select the Outer Doors Open script. In the Events window, pick the On Hotspot event type from the icons at the bottom. Select both of the outer doors in the Scene View (it helps to set up selection sets of each door panel first). In the right hand Properties pane, select the following parameters: Hotspot = Sphere on Selection; Trigger when Entering; Selection --> Set from Current Selection; and Radius = 3 ft. In the Actions area, click the Play Animation action button to add it. In the Properties pane, set the following parameters: Animation = Outer Doors; Pause at end = checked; Starting at Start; Ending at End. This opens our doors. To close the doors, we repeat the above steps for the Outer Doors close script: select the outer doors, add an On Hotspot Event, and add a Play Animation Action. The difference here that the On Hotspot event has Trigger When = Leaving, and the Play Animation action has Starting at End and Ending at Start. Edit the scripts for Inner Doors Open and Inner Doors Close in the same manner. When finished, go to the Animation tab and Enable Scripts. Go to the View tab and split the view vertically, and in one view restore the Entrance 1 saved viewpoint. Activate the other scene, and walk through the doors. You should see them open as you pass through them. When finished, uncheck Enable Scripting so you can edit your scripts again.


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The Presenter module provides an easy to use interface to assign materials, lighting, environments, rendering effects, and RPC content to your scene, adding a greater level of realism. Presenter is more than just making pretty pictures for a brochure; you can interactively set the materials, lighting and environment in your model before you do anything else, such as perform design review tasks, TimeLiner simulations, or perform Clash Detection. Indeed, it is as a utilitarian scene fixer-upper that it provides much of its value. Presenters rendering capabilities are, in todays terms, fair to midland, to be honest. Weve all seen what kind of excellent photorealistic images we can get in Revit, Maya, and 3ds Max. Navisworks Presenter is a little behind the times in that context. However, Presenter provides more than enough realism so that you may not have to buy those advanced tools (and figure out how to learn them!) for the occasional presentation and marketing pieces. Presenters primary benefit is its drop-dead-easy user interface. It simply could not be easier to pick assets such as materials and lighting schemes from the provided library, bring them into your models palette, and drop them onto objects in your scene. Editing materials, lighting and other content is equally as easy, with simple dialog boxes for editing their parameters. The Presenter Window The Presenter window has seven tabs across the top, and two panes below.

The seven tabs are used to view, select and apply a variety of material and lighting to the model. The tabs are: Materials: A wide variety of materials is included with Navisworks, which can be selected and applied to individual or groups of model items. New materials can be created and existing materials customized. Lighting: Includes various lighting studios and lighting options that can be applied to the model. Lighting options can be customized. RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content): Add images from various sources, including websites, to add entourage such as people, trees, cars, and so on.


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Effects: Includes a variety of backgrounds and environments which can be applied to your scene. Additional backgrounds can be added from sources such as websites. Rendering: Includes rendering styles which affects the way a scene is rendered. Customizable. Texture Space: Defines the way in which a texture map is applied to a model item, e.g. a cylindrical texture space applied to a pipe will provide a more realistic appearance. Rules: Applies materials to models according to user-defined criteria. This is mostly used to speed up the process of applying materials to many items at one time. Archives The left pane of the Presenter window contains three predefined Archives that are installed with Presenter. Recommended archives contain materials, lighting, effects and rendering styles that are recommended for most users in most cases. Standard contains additional materials, light studios, effects, and render styles. These materials cannot be fully reproduced by the OpenGL graphics API that Navisworks uses for graphics display, and cannot be seen properly in interactive (Full Render) mode, but will display in the full renderings. The Templates archive contains instances of each type of material, light, effect, and render style, giving you easy access to building your own photorealistic assets. Archives are provided as LWA files. Additional LWA files can be downloaded from and added to the Materials, Lighting, Effects, and Rendering tabs. Log onto the site, create a profile with a username and password, and have access to hundreds of free materials, lighting, RPC assets, and so on. Once you have your materials, lights, effects and so on added to the model Palette, you can edit them simply by double-clicking on them. They are saved with the scene in an NWF or NWD file. Save any user-generated assets in the Users archive. Simply drag from the palette to the User archive of your choice. You can right-click on a user archive and select Save Archives to save it to disk. You can right-click on a material in the right (Palette) pane and copy the material to the clipboard, delete it, apply/remove the material from the scene, Select all Instances, and other options. Refer to the online help for advanced materials handling, e.g. saving your own edits to materials in an NWP file. Project Palette The right pane is your projects palette. Any item placed here can be added to your model. The palette serves as place where you can customize materials, lighting and so on, without disturbing the Archives themselves. If you drag an item from the archives directly into the scene, it appears in the palette. Applying Materials Applying materials to model objects could not get much easier. You select the Materials tab, browse for the material you want from the archives, drag it to the right pane, and release the mouse button. Applying a material to the model is similarly a simple drag and drop affair; drag the material from the right pane onto the model item and release. You do not have to select the model item beforehand. The appropriate texture mapping is applied automatically. To apply materials to 78

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multiple items, select the material to be applied, click on the first target model item, then hold the CTRL key down and click each additional item the material is to be applied to, then release the CTRL key. Press the ESC key to clear the selection of items and view the results. Note: Materials are applied based on the current Selection Resolution. Alternatively, you can select the items first, right-click on the material in the right pane, and select Apply to all instances of Selection. Of course, you can use any means of selecting objects to apply materials. Use the selection tree and selection/search sets to select multiple items. You can also drag a material right to the object in the selection tree or search set. As with the Scene View, you can select the material, then use the CTRL or SHIFT keys in the Selection Tree to select multiple model targets. You can also right-click on those items and select Apply to Selected Items. To remove a material from an object, right-click on the item or the Selection Tree. Click Presenter > Remove Material. To remove it completely from the scene, right-click on the material, and select Remove from all items. Materials, Lighting and Render Mode Its important to understand that, as easy as Presenter is to use, the viewpoint you see if a very dumbed-down version of what the materials and lighting actually look like. Click the Render button at the bottom of the Presenter window to see your scene come alive. The Full Render render mode (Viewpoint > Render Style) will display with smooth shading and include any materials you have applied with Presenter.

Shaded mode and Render mode

You may notice that switching viewpoints loses the background or materials. The render mode is saved on a viewpoint by viewpoint basis; enable Full Render mode to see all of the Presenter effects. Applying Lighting Lighting is applied a little differently. Lights are actually complete lighting effects, not individual light objects as you would place in Revit or Max. Simply drag a studio light effect from the left pane to the right, and it is applied to the model 79

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Note: It is recommended that you first start by only using the Environment Light Studio or the Standard Light Studio effect found in the Recommended folder. This is a quick way to apply predefined lighting to a scene that will almost always work well enough. Adding additional light effects such as Ambient, Distant, Point, Eye, and Spot lights will most likely require additional adjustments. Refer to the Help section for additional information. You can enable or disable light effects individually to experiment with combinations of effects. As with materials, lighting in the viewport is only an approximation of the final rendered product. Perform a test rendering to get an idea of the actual finished lighting effect. RPCs RPCs are premade image assets which can be added to your scene. There are only a few RPCs available, but much more are available online at Inserting an RPC is the same as a material; drag it from the archive into the palette, and drag it onto the scene. The RPC will appear after a brief delay. When you right-click on an RPC, you will get the option to move it to a new position. Note that there is a problem with the OOTB RPC content. You may at first notice that they are not showing up. The problem is that the path to the RPC content is set to be relative, not absolute, so Navisworks cannot find the actual image content. To fix this, double-click on the RPC content to edit it. The File Name is something like textures\RPC\[Name of Content].rpc. This needs to be changed to the full path, which is %ProgramFiles%\Autodesk\Navisworks
Manage 2011\presenter\lads\layla_data\textures\RPC\[Name of content.rpc]

To save this for future projects, pull in all of the RPC content, edit each one to the correct path, and drag them into the My RPCs folder. Adding Background Effects Similar to Materials, background effects are simply images that are applied as environmental backgrounds to your rendered scene. Drag and drop a background into the right pane and it is automatically added to the scene. Any background effect you added previously is removed. Rendering Effects Rendering Effects specify the rendering quality level for your scene. You can select a low quality fast rendering effect for testing and to experiment with materials and lighting. You can then select a high quality photorealistic rendering effect for the final renderings. Renderings can be exported from the Navisworks application menu > Export > Rendered Image or via the Output tab. The export Rendered Image dialog has standard parameters and controls for selecting output file type, resolution, and path.


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Linking TimeLiner, Animations and Clash Detective

One of the major features of Navisworks is the ability to link a TimeLiner schedule to your Clash Detective, allowing the automation of interference checking throughout the lifecycle of the TimeLiner project. In this regard you can see if two work packages physically conflict with each other at a certain time. You can link clash detection to object animations as well, so that animated objects will be clash tested against other selected objects through its animation path, not just its static position. In this manner you could check to see if a forklift carrying a load of bricks could make it across the construction site without hitting trucks or interfering with other work packages. Linking TimeLiner schedules into Clash Detective is not difficult, but some preparation work needs to be done beforehand. First, you want to ensure youve created 3D geometry for each work package on the site that encompasses the area/volume required using simple semitransparent blocks. Create a selection set that encompasses all of the work package geometry. In TimeLiner, make sure that the static work packages are displayed, and that you have tasks set up for each work package with start and end dates (they can be created using linked schedules). Make sure you have task types created for each of those static work packages (e.g., WP1, WP2 and so on). Configure them with the proper Appearance Definitions. Play the simulation to view the static work packages; check that they are in the correct location and over the correct period of time. Click the Task tab before opening Clash Detective (this is important). Keep TimeLiner open as you work in the Clash Detective. In the Clash Detective, in the Select tab, click the Sets tab in each pane. Select the All Work Packages selection set in each pane. In the Run > Link drop down list, select TimeLiner and click Start. Clashes between work packages will appear in the Results tab. Linking an animation is similar. First, create the required geometry that you wish to animate, that covers the area or volume required. Create the animation scenes with the desired objects using the Animator window. In the Clash Detective, select the objects you want to test in the left and right panes. On one side should be selected the objects for which you created the animation scene. In the Link drop-down, click the animation scene name, and in the Step field, enter the interval period in seconds that determines how often a clash test is made throughout the simulation. Click the Start button. Clash Detective will check each interval in the animation to see if there are any clashes.


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Additional Implementation Thoughts

Hardware Considerations If your current PC is over 18 months old, you most likely will need a new graphics workstation to properly use Navisworks. On large, complex models, the faster your CPU, the more RAM you have, and the better video card you have will definitely make a difference. With of the complexity of operations you will need to perform, the Windows 7 64-bit Professional operating system is now considered mandatory. Its the only operating system that can handle over 4GB of system memory and is much more stable with applications like Navisworks. 8GB is considered a practical minimum amount of RAM for Navisworks; the more you have the better. Navisworks perhaps taxes your system a little less than Revit but not by much. Choosing a workstation-class video card such as an nVidia Quadro is also important. Unlike almost all other Autodesk applications that use DirectX, Navisworks instead uses the OpenGL graphics API. This means that your graphics card must have a proper OpenGL driver that is tested by Autodesk, and be able to handle graphics acceleration properly for optimum performance. With the large datasets of complex geometry you have with structure, ductwork and piping, having a powerful card that can handle complex geometric calculations is critical. Gaming cards like the nVidia GeForce typically do not have very solid OpenGL drivers; they tend to be only functional enough for compatibility, and not optimized for heavy CAD or 3D use. One of the important aspects to consider is that, at the time of this writing, Navisworks rendering engine is not multithreaded, so it does not take advantage of multi-core processors as does Revit and 3ds Max. For heavy rendering operations, some may find that exporting your Presenter data with the geometry, viewpoints, materials and lighting as an FBX file, then using a dedicated system for rendering in 3ds Max to be cost effective. For more information about specifying hardware for Navisworks and Revit, please refer to my other AU 2010 class, CM220-1 : A Hardware Wonks Guide to the Revit Platform. Learning Navisworks As with any new software, making an investment in Navisworks requires time, money, and a dedication to the BIM process to realize all that it can do for your project. For all of its power, Navisworks is actually one of the easier programs to learn; the curve is fairly shallow and you can quickly come up to speed on the majority of its feature set in about two days. With a little practice you can fly around your model quite easily, and its powerful ability to disseminate complex 3D geometry easily means that you will quickly find value in working with it. What takes longer is pushing the software to fully realize what you want to get out of it. Most people purchase Navisworks Manage for the Clash Detection feature; indeed, it is the only thing different between Manage and Simulate. However, many do not leverage the use of animations in their simulations or clash detections, because perhaps they think animating is not worth the effort. But because animation is fairly easy to use once you know how you may find yourself throwing animations in to add a new level of interaction with the model. The trick is to get over the learning hurdle and make the feature set work for you.


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In total, it takes about two days of instructor-led training to understand all of the programs functionality; learning on your own will usually take longer. From my experience, you can best learn Navisworks using actual BIM project files, to really get a feel for how it is used in the real world. After that, the next best source for information is in the Help files themselves. Navisworks comes with two excellent Help files which are most useful: The Navisworks Manage Help file, which details every little thing about the program, and the Users Guide, which steps you through the program using samples files provided. I also encourage you to seek out all of the other Navisworks and BIM related Autodesk University class sessions. Download the handouts and the screencasts; they are full of valuable ancillary information about how people are implementing this new technology in the real world and are seeing positive results. There are some great Navisworks forums at Autodesk and AUGI.COM, located at and, respectively. Become a member of both forums if not already, and bookmark these links to get great peer-to-peer support; they are often monitored by Autodesk support personnel who will often chime in with solutions as well. The number of blogs dedicated to Navisworks are currently a little thin, although many BIMspecific blogs also include information on Navisworks. Some good resources are:

Thank You As you can see, Navisworks offers a wealth of powerful options and opportunities to really explore your BIM models and site construction process in visual detail. I hope this class met your expectations and helped increase your understanding of this complex product. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at the email provided below.

Regards, Matt Stachoni

Senior AEC Software and Information Technology Specialist

CADapult Ltd
3 Mill Park Court, Suite A, Newark, DE 19713 (302) 733-0477 x121 Phone (302) 547-0895 Mobile

Empowering Design With Integrated Solutions