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November 16, 2010

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Tom,

Great insight! You need to include some metric templates. :-)

You ask: "what would Gabriel think of this?"

My name is Gabriel. I'm a BIM manager for a consulting MEP engineering firm.

And I think this is a colossal waste of precious development resources that could have (SHOULD have) been used to make the product you've already got work the way you promised it would.

There are so many "bugs" that still need fixing. But never mind your existing customers - they've already paid. Gotta hook new ones.

I have got to agree with Gabriel. It's nice that you're playing around with new ideas, but there's some serious work that needs doing with the existing program. Please get to it instead of attempting to add pretty but not useful solar analysis tools and more buzzwords.

Make stairs work, make good 3d-modelling tools, make interior renders reliable... there's a long long list. Please adress some of these issues hampering productivity on a daily basis.

@gabriel and @erik, As with any company (including yours, I suspect), different people work on different projects for different business reasons. On this blog we strive to give everyone a well-rounded look at what goes on here. This is just one of many projects that we are going on inside the factory. Rest assured, many more of my smart and dedicated colleagues are working in earnest on all aspects of the Revit platform. This is just one r&d effort that I have been working on and thought it was interesting to highlight.

I for one applaud this effort. It is a good idea to try to appeal to the architectural student and designers in general. That crowd has proven to be one of the toughest to convince to use BIM tools.

As a "sandbox" to try new ideas Project Vasari may prove very useful. It gets new features in front of users more quickly, without affecting Revit's release cycle, and without having to be limited by the very broken Beta program. Project Vasari will get more broad feedback, which can only make Revit better.

Right now it seems feedback and feature development is only affected by marketing and a select group of firms whose workflow and architectural process is very specific. This is causing really important features that most of us need not to be focused on, because the big clients might not need them. These big firms can afford many software solutions, programming specialists and support departments to make up for gaps in the software's functionality. The majority of us cannot, and I appeal to Revit's developers to look beyond the star architects.

What's next? The answer giving by Tom Valloro or Autodesk that they don't really know what's next, concerns me very very much. It implies that they really don't have any clue of the architecture industry. The sad part is that the other autodesk departments do know. Just look at how Autocad has risen from the dead when they saw the current industry trends.

The Project Vasari could be a great product if the proper conceptual tools where implemented. Or at least, if the intention is to implement better tools in the next release. But to sit back and wait for feedback is a death sentence for this product.

That said, I think the factory should really investigate what conceptual packages people are using currently in practice or at schools, especially the specific tools they are using in these packages. It would then be obvious that Revit and Vasari doesn't offer non of those tools. So by providing a free package to get people on board would only attract a few people who are living under a rock. People have grown accustom with tools that allow you to add vertices and edges to faces regardless of the directions it was extruded. People have been using tools like end-caps, bevel, 3d fillet, soft selection, 2 rail sweep, etc for years now. And to mention the obvious modifiers like, twist, smooth, 4x4 cage etc.

So, please take a look at those tools and figure out why people are using them. If you can come up with a tools that can provide the same results or better, then you will have a great product. You guys invented the create form tool which is already quite revolutionary. Just make the effort to make it worth using Vasari instead of rhino. And now you have the chance with Vasari without having to compromise in a full fledged packaged as Revit.

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