Monday, September 21, 2020

ENSCAPE Blog Post - Meet Dan Stine:)

My friends at Enscape asked me to answer a few questions for a fun blog post, about me:)

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, September 18, 2020

Vive Sync - Free VR Meetings by HTC

I had a great demo recently using HTC's new VR meeting platform, Vive Sync. It is a free VR meeting platform and supports various ways to communicate and share/review documents, like a PowerPoint presentation stored in OneDrive. Today's post is all about that!

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Adding a Pause in an Enscape Animation

Today's quick post highlights how you can add a pause to a video/animation within Enscape. The method involved stacking multiple keyframes in one location, similar to my previous post, Animate Time of Day from a Single Location in Enscape.

keep reading to learn more...

Monday, September 14, 2020

Animate Time of Day from a Single Location in Enscape

Creating a video in Escape is very easy. But, as with any sophisticated program, there are a few tricks you might not be aware of that can make your presentations even better. Today, I will share the steps required to animate the time of day from a single location.

For more on creating videos with Enscape, see my blog post on their website: A Guide to Video Creation in Enscape. The following image is from that article.

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, September 11, 2020

Advancing Computational Design 2020 Conference - Virtual Event

I will be participating in a panel discussion at the upcoming Advancing Computational Design 2020 Conference next month... today's post is about the conference and the session!

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

NDSU - First Week of School - Fall 2020

In the midst of the 2020 global pandemic, another semester starts at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, ND. This is where I teach a graduate architecture and landscape architecture seminar on Building Information Modeling (BIM). Students have the option of attending in-person, as with most of their other classes, but since I am teaching remotely - from Texas - everyone is connecting individually via Zoom.

Fall 2020 Class via Zoom

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, August 27, 2020

AU 2020 - My Selected Session on...

I will be presenting techniques to develop next level architectural visualizations using Revit and Enscape at Autodek's flagship conference, Autodesk University. Of course, the 2020 conference will be virtual this year... but, the plus side is the conference is free!

This will be my first AU representing Lake|Flato, as its Director of Design Technology!

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Inside the Factory Sessions - A New Video Series by Autodesk

Autodesk has started an interesting new video series looking under-the-hood and behind-the-scenes at their flagship architectural design product, Revit. This appears to be, in part, a response to an open letter to Autodesk, co-signed by several architecture firms in the UK, voicing their concerns about  rising costs and slowed architecture-specific tool development.

In this first episode they jump right into the deep end and talk about multi-threading, hardware, and performance in general!
"we want your models" for performance testing; Sasha Crotty, Sr. Product Manager, Revit Platform & Services at Autodesk

"for us, feedback is a gift" Harlan Brumm, Senior Product Manager - Architecture at Autodesk

keep reading to learn more...

Monday, August 24, 2020

AIA Philly COTE Recordings - Environmental Design Tools

Per my post from about a week ago, AIA COTE Philly 2030 Working Group - Environmental Design Tools, I am following up to share the links to the recorded presentations.

Get an overview, in 20 minutes each, of the five main tools designed for architects to do early energy modeling; Sefaira, Cove.Tool, Insight, Climate Studio, and Rhino/Grasshopper/LadyBug/Honeybee.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, August 20, 2020

AIA Austin Design Excellence Conference - Reducing Embodied Carbon Session

AIA Austin Summer Conference is now...AIA Austin Design Excellence Conference!

Tomorrow, my colleague, Kate Sector, Design Performance Coordinator at Lake|Flato, will be presenting with Roderick Bates, Principal and Researcher at KieranTimberlake, on reducing embodied carbon. 

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

AIA COTE Awards & Lake|Flato Winning Projects

Have you heard of the AIA COTE Top Ten Awards? Today's post offers a brief introduction to the award, some resources to develop the 10 metrics jurors look for. and a list of Lake|Flato's winning projects.

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, August 14, 2020

I Moved to Texas!

Posts have been slow recently due to my recent move to Texas and ramping up in the new position as Director of Design Technology at Lake|Flato. Today's post shares a little about the move and transition!

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Enscape Blog Post: Creating Realistic Glass in Architectural Visualizations

Recently, I had the opportunity to take a deep dive on glazing settings with some of the developers at Enscape. The goal was to better understand, and then document, how to take real-world glass manufacturer data and apply that to a Revit material in such a way that it would be accurate, consistent and repeatable! The resultant blog post is now live on Enscape's website!

Learn how to properly set the Visual Light Transmittance (VLT), Visual Light Reflectance (VLR), and glass color!
Keep reading to lean more...

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

AIA COTE Philly 2030 Working Group - Environmental Design Tools (10 AUG 2020)

AIA Philadelphia has been hosting a great series of events each month. Today's post is about next week's 'working group' and a presentation I will be giving... and its free!

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Top 5 New Revit 2021.1 Features

Its that time of year, and a new Revit "dot" release has dropped! This update, 2021.1, includes bug fixes and new features. Today's post highlights five that jump out at me and provides links for more information!

keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Phil and Pieter Talk Custom Enscape Assets via YouTube Video

Phil Read and Pieter Schiettecatte talk custom Enscape assets via YouTube video. A great tutorial on the entire process, from original asset procurement to viewing in Enscape.

Keep in mind that custom asset support is on the horizon as seen in the Enscape 2.9 roadmap, so you will want to start getting familiar with this process!

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Material Bump Basics for Enscape

Using bump maps in a material definition is key to quality visualizations with Enscape, or any rending engine. A quick post today with a tip on making sure the bump map is doing what you want, and not creating the opposite effect.

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, July 17, 2020

My Visit with Renowned Architect David Salmela

Before I close the moving truck door and head to Texas in two weeks, to finilze my transition to Lake|Flato Architects, I had the opportunity to visit with one of my favorite architects, David Salmela, who lives/works just a few miles from my house here in Duluth, Minnesota. Today's post shares a little about David, his home/office and a sketching book I co-authored which includes some of David's informal sketches.

Note: The only time we were not wearing masks was for this, very brief, socially distanced selfie.

keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Enscape 2.8 Has Dropped! Plus, What Will be in 2.9?

Enscape 2.8 has dropped! You can download it now and start exploring the new features.

What are those new features? That is the topic of today's post!

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

A+I Enscape Asset Creator - Development Update!

Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York City is continuing to develop the A+I Enscape Asset Creator tool that was mentioned in this blog post: Tutorial: how to create custom Enscape assets

Today's post highlights the developments that have been made to that tool.

keep reading to learn more...

Monday, July 13, 2020

Autodesk AEC Community Website - My Featured Post

Did you know Autodesk has an AEC Community page with related resources? That is the topic of today's post, which includes one of my blog posts featured on that site!

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, July 10, 2020

Revit 2021 Issue with Realistic Views on Sheets

Two realistic views on a the same sheet with different Graphic Display Options anti-aliasing settings in Revit 2021 causes a problem when it comes time to print. Today's post highlights this little bug.

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Updated Enscape Grass Post - Plus Animated Vegetation Coming Soon!

I recently updated my post, over on the Enscape blog, about grass! Learn about that and a new related feature coming soon... animated vegetation!

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Autodesk BIM 360 Design and the Challenge with Tracking User Access

Did you know an Autodesk account belongs to an individual and not a company, even if the company initiated the account using a company email address?

Learn about this and how it can lead to challenges tracking who has access to your projects in today's post! I have seen this many times, and even experienced it myself when I joined Lake|Flato Architects recently.

The image shows multiple BIM 360 Design hubs accosted with projects I should no longer have access to. I am in the process of getting myself removed, but there should be a better process that would protect the firm and the project from staff who have left an organization... especially if disgruntled.

keep reading to learn more...

Monday, July 6, 2020

Meet Fabio Sato - Revit MEP Guru from Brasil

In today's post... I wanted to introduce Fabio Sato and share a link to his YouTube channel where he shares some Revit MEP content creation tips and tricks. If you work in Revit MEP, why not check it out and subscribe to keep in touch!

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

NVIDIA Quadro View

NVIDIA just released a new desktop management tool called Quadro View. Several months ago I was given the opportunity to beta test it. It is a great tool for people with several displays and who use many applications at once. It is even better for those who have ultra-wide monitors as you can carve out areas within that large display to essentially act as separate displays, where the app will snap into place.

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, June 25, 2020

AUGI World June 2020 - My Article on New Revit 2021 Features

Check out the latest AUGI World magazine to learn all about the 2021 lineup of Autodesk products. This includes my What's New in Revit 2021 article!

keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

New Chapter - Lake|Flato Architects

I am beyond excited to announce my new position as Director of Design Technology at Lake|Flato Architects in San Antonio, Texas.

Today's post is all about this new chapter...

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, June 19, 2020

Link to Recording: BIM After Dark - Live: Revit & Enscape - Top 5 Secrets Revealed w/Dan Stine (Episode 12)

A quick post to share the link to the YouTube live session last night with The Revit Kid Jeffrey A. Pinheiro! In this session I share who my new employer is! The official reveal will happen here, on BIM Chapters, on Monday!

keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

BIM After Dark - Live: Revit & Enscape - Top 5 Secrets Revealed w/Dan Stine (Episode 12)

First off... thanks so much for all the kind words so many of you shared in response to my announcement that I will be leaving LHB and heading off to a new opportunity next week.

In yesterday's post I mentioned I will be a guest on Jeffrey A. Pinheiro's The Revit Kid live YouTube 'happy hour' this week. We will be talking Enscape, but I will also drop where I am going here first! We will also be giving away some free stuff.

Show up, subscribe, learn, share, and win!

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

End of a Chapter - My Last Week at LHB

An amazing opportunity has presented itself and I will be pulling up my stakes and moving my family across the country in the near future. In today's post I will reflect on the my time at LHB and then later this week I will reveal where I am going and talk about the future!

Sneak peak: tune in to this week's The Revit Kid's live YouTube Happy Hour, to hear us talk Enscape, and be the first to hear where I am headed! Learn more about this happy hour tomorrow... including info about free stuff we will be giving away!

Custom Coke bottles from Mike Murphy at Autodesk

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Wacom Tablet for Bluebeam Markups and more

In a work-from-home world, during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves looking for alternative ways to mark up documents in Bluebeam Revu within AEC. Staff are no longer able to print hard copies, mark them up by hand, and then scan those sheets back in to delegate tasks. The main obstacle being designers don't have large format plotters or even 11x17 printers at home, for the most part. And, really, that is probably a good thing as it is not the best use of resources.

Consider going digital for the entire process. If you have a tablet or stylus enabled screen it is easy to do markups in Bluebeam. If not, the Wacom tablet might be a good solution.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, June 5, 2020

Autodesk Expert Elite - My Featured Profile

A quick share to highlight the Autodesk Expert Elite program and that I am featured on it's "overview" page:)

keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Enscape custom assets - how to make leaves

Today's post comes compliments of industry expert Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York CityClick here to see all this posts on this blog, include the very popular recent post: Tutorial: how to create custom Enscape assets.

Many of you have reached out on how to create custom Enscape assets with cutout maps. A typical example of this is vegetation: because the polycount must be kept low, each leaf cannot be modeled in full detail. Instead the shape of the leaf is approximated with just a few polygons and then extra definition is added by using a transparent .png image for the leaf’s color texture.

In this tutorial we will use an ivy plant as an example. You can download the Blender file here.

Ivy model rendered with Blender 2.9 

Ivy model with wireframe, notice the leaves are only roughly modeled with 6 polygons each

keep reading to learn more...

MEP Town Hall by ATG

This looks interesting... I personally know three of panelists and am sure they will all have some good information to share!

Join this Town Hall event to speak with your MEP design peers. Learn how they are overcoming their daily design challenges remote working, Revit short comings, point clouds, data sharing amongst disciplines etc… We all have these challenges, but now you can hear from and talk to industry leaders about it. How are they overcoming these challenges and thriving, rather than just surviving.

This is an open forum discussion format. So, bring your questions and outlooks to this event and feel free to share them. The panelists for this event have experience in all aspects of MEP from a engineering and contracting standpoint.

To sign up, click here.

Note: I noticed a typo in the image above... Jon works for DLR Group.

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Check out my video-based  courses on ArchSmarter.

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Keep Your Graphics Driver Current with NVIDIA Quadro Experience

Today's post shares a free tool from NVIDIA you can use to make sure your graphics driver is up-to-date when using a Quadro-based GPU. The tool is the workstation-based NVIDIA Quadro Experience, which is similar to the consumer/gaming-based NVIDIA GeForce Experience.

What is NVIDIA Quadro Experience, in their own words:
NVIDIA Quadro Experience is the companion application to your Quadro® graphics card that enhances professional workflows. It facilitates collaboration with versatile screen recording and streaming capabilities and simplifies your workflow with quick access to your favorite GPU-accelerated  applications. It also provides automatic alerts for new driver releases, so you can access the latest software features at your convenience. When you’re not working, Quadro Experience also provides access to gaming features.

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, May 29, 2020

YouTube Video on Revit Content - Part 1

In today's post I want to share part 1 of a training session I did a few months ago. It was part of a rather informal presentation, so not super polished. It covers, in a single presentation, the basics of Revit content... such as:
  • Mass elements
  • Model in-place
  • Loadable content
When to use, when to avoid and such... is the focus of this presentation.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Autodesk Webinar Recording - Generative Design now in Revit 2021

Autodesk's Lilli Smith and Zach Kron gave a presentation yesterday, to about 1200 attendees, introducing Generative Design in Revit.

Here is the link to the recording... click here.

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Check out my video-based  courses on ArchSmarter.

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Recent Autodesk Desktop Connector Developments

Yesterday I learned some new things about Autodesk's Desktop Connector, which is a tool that works in conjunction with BIM 360 Design projects (Revit and AutoCAD Civil 3D). This includes info about update notifications and a tool to purge local files! This constitutes today's post.

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Tutorial: how to create custom Enscape assets

Today's post comes compliments of industry expert Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York City. Click here to see all this posts on this blog.

I want to share a workaround we’ve developed to set up a custom Enscape asset library. We’ve been using this workflow for 10 months and it has worked well for us. That said, use this at your own risk because it’s not officially supported by Enscape.

A screenshot of our custom library with 347 assets

To create an Enscape asset you will need:
  • A 3d model (.gltf file + .bin + textures )
  • Optional: a simplified placeholder (.obj)
  • Optional: a thumbnail (256x256 jpg)
  • Our in-house Asset Generator tool
Enscape uses the open source .gltf format for its assets. We’ve build most of our custom assets in 3ds Max, exporting them to Gltf with the free Babylon Exporter.

However, for this tutorial we will be using the powerful new Blender 2.82, as it’s free, open source and has a built in .gltf exporter.

keep reading to learn more...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Microsoft Teams Custom Backgrounds and Firm Branding

Since the beginning of the work-from-home orders due to the global pandemic, LHB has been using Microsoft Teams much more intensely for many things, such as:
  • Virtual Meetings
  • Digital Water-cooler
  • Digital Happy Hours
  • Pandemic Leadership Organization
  • Staff Training
  • Live Events (presentations)
Initially, Teams only allowed the background to be blurred out and could show a maximum of four video feeds. Now we have up to 3 x 3 video and can select from a provided list of background images. Today's post shows how you can use custom backgrounds and touches on how LHB's marketing team served up a stack of images for staff to use and help with firm branding!

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, May 21, 2020

New Book: Microsoft Office Specialist Excel Associate 365/2019 Exam Preparation

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I have many interests and find ways to develop them into training materials... like blog posts, staff training, conference presentations around the world and even textbooks! Today's posts will unveil my latest project(s)!

I have developed a new certification study guide for a topic that is not directly related to the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry... and, as you will see at the end of this post, a sister-book is already done and in the publishers hands.

Presenting my newest book:
Microsoft Office Specialist Excel Associate 365/2019 Exam Preparation

I feel this offering is very special in that I used my skills as an architect (WI) to develop compelling graphics which will help students better understand multi-step tasks. Additionally, as an educator, I know students have different learning styles. So this book also comes with 70 videos, flashcards and software! Yes, the book comes with a practice exam that mimics the real exam.

Key Features

  • Explains everything current Excel users need to know about the exam process
  • Covers the five main categories of the exam
  • Includes practice exam software, videos and flashcards
  • Reviews the Excel user interface and terminology

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Popular Enscape Blog Posts Refreshed

I recently had the opportunity to refresh three popular blog posts for Ensacpe, on their website. Combined, these posts have had tens of thousands of views so it makes sense to update them to represent the current state of Enscape when people, for example, find the post via a web search.

In case you have not been to the Enscape site recently, they have updated the blog design as shown in the following image. BTW, I co-authored the 'work from home' post shown here with lots of technical tips you can check out here.

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Review of Precision 5750 Laptop - What Dell Calls "the World's thinnest, lightest and smallest 17" workstation"

As one of only seven people in the world, outside of Dell, to have hands-on testing of the new 1/2" thick Dell Precision 5750 workstation-grade laptop with a 17" 4k touch display, I am extremely excited to share my review in today's BIM Chapters post... spoiler; this will be a game changer for many architects, engineers and designers in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry.

The unit is aesthetically pleasing, light , reasonably powerful, flexible and has an incredible display powered by an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with 6GB of dedicated GPU RAM.
What do you get if you cross my high-end Dell Precision 7730 laptop with my kid's Microsoft Surface Book? A Dell Precision 5750. You can quote me on that:)

The 5750 is not for everyone, e.g. large and complex custom architectural VR projects, but it is very capable as you will see in this review. I have tested everything from streaming 4k movies, to using Autodesk Revit, to Enscape's real-time RTX-enabled rendering engine, to using the HTC Vive Pro for virtual reality.
Disclaimer: I’ve been partnering with Dell and they sent me an early sample of the Precision 5750 for free to try out and share my thoughts.
Continue reading to learn more...

Thursday, May 14, 2020

NVIDIA GTC 2020 Keynote Highlight

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang delivered his GTC keynote remotely from his home kitchen in California during the COVID-19 pandemic! They continue to amaze me with the new tech they develop every year. They have a section on RTX Graphics and show an amazing real-time rendered game with physics that I want!

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

BILT-NA also Canceled this Year

Another not-surprising announcement, this week, that BILT-NA 2020 San Diego has been cancelled. They oddly call it postponed, even though I have to resubmit my approved sessions and it will be in a different location a year later... but, in any case it was the right move!

Next year, BILT-NA will be in Denver Colorado.

keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

AU Conferences go digital in 2020

Autodesk's Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Campbell let the world know that all Autodesk University events will be digital this year due to the global pandemic. Unfortunate, but a very good idea!

AU is a great learning and networking event for anyone in the AEC space. Last year I had the privilege of attending two Autodesk university conferences, in Las Vegas and London. Here are the two recap posts I wrote about them:
Here is a selfie of me with Autodesk's CEO Andrew Anagnost... from an Autodesk Expert Elite lunch.

Keep reading to learn more...