Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why we need Track Changes

Track Changes:

We need the capability, in my opinion. Have you used it? In Acrobat and Microsoft Word? I use it when im proofreading peoples papers for classes or for work. The beauty of Revit is it updates things automatically. But that beauty is killed when we have to chase down all the automated changes by hand, to mark them as changed, during the Revision period. Not to mention, getting back in line with my original post, what happens to keeping track of changes youve made, if and when we ever get away from a standard set of documentation? Suppose hypothetically, that im leading a team of ten. No sheets in a document set. Instead, we have hyperlinked files, some showing Axons, some showing details, some showing plans, etc. Its ahrd to imagine it not being "sheets," but try. Now, if its hard to track revisions NOW, when we have standard sheet layouts, what will happen if and when we have to intrinsically "know" all the fancy knwe views we have? Already Revit lets up put 3D views on sheets. Well, everytime someone puts a 3d view of a building on a sheet, do you remember to cloud it AND the plan AND the elevation AND the section? It seems restricting, that a program lets us avoid hitting every sheet for change, but we have to check each sheet on our own, in case it needs a cloud or change tag. Let me know what you think?

The reasoning is as follows: Where Revit is great, is making change. The entier model updates at once, its amazing. BUT, we tend to use a lot of Working Views, that arent in the drawing set. I may make a change on "Floor Plan - Aaron Working", and it may actually "revise" 4 Floor Plans and Elevations in the Drawing set. Even with this automation, i have to manually look at each drawing, to see if there is something i need to cloud. Its not feasible to Cloud things automatically, but maybe it could have a dialogue that lists what VIEWS have had things change?Maybe they just highlight in the Project Browser until someone right clicks and says > Revision noted? The beauty of this would be clouding could be done much faster at the end of the Revision. Right now, we spend hours again, checking to make sure we have Clouded and tagged all the right sheets.


RobiNZ said...

Great blog and great question.

Revision capture is a major challenge. I wonder if the whole concept of revisions with clouds marked on sheets is such a "drawing'centric" solution that just doesn't work with BIM.

We are on ADT and have exactly the same problem. Altering the model may ripple thru literally thousands of objects and many views, schedules, sheets etc. Where & how you mark revisions seems like a simple problem but when the drawing is just a report I think it's the wrong place.

We used to revise drawings because they were the "containers for the design" along with the documentation function. It wasn't represented anywhere else other than the designers head. Now the model is the true representation and seems the only logical place to capture revisions.

The mechanism to capture and reflect those changes in document sets is a challenge I'll leave to someone else. Maybe you don't cloud and rely on phased, dated, issues where the current set is accompanied with a true document comparison. This "difference issue" only highlights changes, something like the "compare" feature in Autodesk Design Review 2008 generates?

Malleristic-Revitation said...

Great point. I shouldve kept in mind my first post when i wrote this post, haha.

I agree, down the road we should do away with the clouds all together, but i fear it wont happen until we move to an alternative method of project presentation.

If nothing else, i like the Compare method you speak of, although i havent use it. I could see an automated comparison turning in to a techno-jargon nightmare though, reading like "Wall Modified: Length from 12-7 1/16" to 12-7 1/32"; Reference Interior Face to Exteror Face; Wall Type changed to MDG1-EIFS3." just for one wall. After all, if the model has to decide what is a relevant change, how will it know not to disclose every little detail youve tweaked, even if it was simply cleaning up a wall join?

Id love something clean, like Microsofts Word. The new item is present, maybe in a different color or with some other form of identification... Then a right click displays the changes, maybe with a floating tag written in as a comment by the user?

I suppose it only works if building Models get submitted in a different format than paper... But who needs paper anyway??? :)

RobiNZ said...

The DWF Compare tracks geometry, not objects, so captures all changes in a 2D drawing. Additions are one colour, deletions another.

Haven't tried it with Ex-Revit DWF yet but will ADT all object changes that alter geometry/appearance are captured. If you altered one wall style to another and nothing changed graphically you'd not see it so it's not perfect but it's closest I've seen to the "word type revisions" you mention.

To see an example look at "features" at