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Author Topic: Importing huge Revit files into Pathfinder  (Read 4180 times)

alvarez.fpe

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Importing huge Revit files into Pathfinder
« on: August 21, 2015, 01:51:36 pm »

I have been working on a project where the design team worked with Revit.
Following the procedure in the User Manual, i had the RVT file converted into a DWG file. I imported the file into Pathfinder and I looked at workload in the Windows Task manager. It went up to 10 Go, with a 113 Mo DWG file. Then, a window appeared about the fact that the video card was not enough to deal with this workload and pathfinder was forced to close.

I tried to remove layers and objects in the DWG file but as the design team linked most of the objects in the layer 0, the size of the file did not lower that much...

As I had to complete the job very quickly, I did not have time to "play" with AutoCad.

So I imported the DWG into PyroSim and imported the PSM file into Pathfinder. It seems that PyroSim is more robust to deal with AutoCad import than Pathfinder.

Even though I was able to use the 3D visualization of the PyroSim model within Pathfinder, the rendering is not as beautiful as with an AutoCad native file, mostly because PyroSim objects creates all the polygon lines and I did not get any nice textures for walls, floors...

In brief, I am still away from the rendering you present with the Thunderhead Stadium. Since you are the owner of the Thunderhead Stadium copyright, could you please provide us with a tutorial showing the AutoCad native file (I am not an expert in that software, so I am wondering what "objects" you can export, such as textures, lighting, shading... into Pathfinder), the import of this file into Pathfinder, up to the results?

This stadium example could also be used to set up "tours" with camera viewpoints, as this is also something that could be useful to pathfinder users as architects (FPE main clients) can really see the benefits of using a 3D tools such as Pathfinder and PyroSim.

Thank you for your help.

PS: if any other Pathfinder users have any experience with huge Cad/Revit files and they used their own procedure to "make it work", please do not hesitate to share your experience as well.
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Charlie Thornton

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Re: Importing huge Revit files into Pathfinder
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 09:24:13 am »

Until I read this, I would have claimed that PyroSim and Pathfinder had basically the same ability to import a DWG file. It sounds like there may be a bug in Pathfinder that is interfering with the import. It may be helpful to have the specific DWG file you are trying to import if the problem is related to a specific entity type. If you are able to share the model, please email support@thunderheadeng.com and they can walk you through the process to upload a large file. In the meantime, we will test with our own set of DWG files.

While you are waiting, you may want to experiment with the "Revit to FBX to AutoCAD to DWG" import path listed in the the Pathfinder Users Manual under Importing Revit Files: http://www.thunderheadeng.com/downloads/pathfinder/users_guide.pdf

I would usually suggest this fairly circuitous approach for users who wanted to preserve colors in a particular way, but it transforms the model enough times it may shake out the issue you are seeing.
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alvarez.fpe

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Re: Importing huge Revit files into Pathfinder
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 01:42:08 pm »

The import in Pathfinder went well but then it froze, with the error message about the video card.
I tried to increase the Max. Graphics Buffer Size in the "Preferences" window but it did not help.

Unfortunately, I am not able to share the original architectural files with you.

I will try the "fairly circuitous approach" soon and I will let you know.

Best Regards.
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Richard O'Konski

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Re: Importing huge Revit files into Pathfinder
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 01:59:16 pm »

I'm also surprised by the memory issue you encountered in Pathfinder. Both PyroSim and Pathfinder use the same code and data structures to import/store the data. When I test here in the office with large DWG files, Pathfinder actually uses a little less memory that PyroSim. Unfortunately, there's not much we can do to debug the problem without the file that's giving you trouble.

The circuitous approach to making the DWG is actually the only way to import textures from a Revit model into Pathfinder or PyroSim, and it's the approach we used for our stadium model.  Autodesk (the owner of Revit and AutoCAD) is very unfriendly to third party software when it comes to texture and material information. When you export a Revit model directly to a DWG, Revit excludes the texture information. If you export a Revit model to an FBX, it contains texture information, but this information is only readable by Autodesk products, which requires you to import it into AutoCAD and then save it as a DWG. 

We are currently working on a way to streamline this process by importing FBX files directly into our software, but as I said, Revit stores the texture information in a proprietary format, which means that their FBX files wouldn't be any good for PyroSim and Pathfinder. Fortunately there is a commercial third-party plugin you can buy for Revit that would export a more friendly FBX that we will be able to import into our products, textures and all. We're hoping to include the FBX support by the end of the year.
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Richard O'Konski
Thunderhead Engineering