The following pointers will serve as a reminder of how to manage your Revit project in LIVE once you have imported it via the LIVE Service.
1. Set the Rendering Style
By default, the project opens up fully-textured so that you can enjoy a real-time experience in LIVE. However, you do have other style options to remove textures from the building and/or the surrounding environment. This can be handy to do volumetric studies where black and white let you focus on the design rather than be distracted by colors and textures.
2. Navigate and Explore the Scene in LIVE
There are essentially two navigation modes available to you: Orbit and Tap&Go.
In Orbit mode, you are in a Birdseye view and you can drag to orbit around, and zoom and pan using the mouse wheel to get closer or sideways.
Tap&Go mode provides you with a first-person perspective exploration mode. You get into Tap&Go mode either by using the appropriately-named button at the bottom of the screen, or by clicking a point in your project where you want to land. Once you are on the ground, you can drag to look around. You can also walk around using the W and S keys to move forward and back, and the A and D keys to move sideways. The Q and E keys help you look left and right.
You can also use Tap&Go to click any point in the scene and sit back and enjoy the ride while LIVE takes you there. If you click a point on another floor, LIVE will take you there while avoiding obstacles, even if it means taking the stairs.
If you’d rather fly or walk through obstacles such as walls and floors, then you can achieve that by double-clicking a destination point.
Additional settings such as Travel Speed, Field of View and Human/Camera Height can be further adjusted in the Settings menu at the bottom of the screen.
Tip: you can also go faster simply by holding down the Shift button as you’re moving around, so you don’t have to alter the speed in the Settings menu.
3. Use the Views Panel to Switch between POVs
Apart from the easy Navigation Tools that let you go anywhere you want, you also have access to 3D views defined in Revit and found in the Views panel on the right side of the screen. A click on a thumbnail takes you to that POV.
One exception is the Home view at the top of the panel. The Home view is a Birdseye view of the project that does not originate in Revit but gets created by the LIVE app to act as a base or Home view. You can choose to keep it or delete it. Deleting a view is as simple as clicking the x-icon next to it.
Views can be reordered easily with a simple click and drag. They can also be renamed by double-clicking their labels.
Keep in mind that the view that is positioned at the very top of the panel automatically becomes the Home view, which makes its access easier since there is a dedicated Home button once the Views panel is collapsed.
Tip: if you delete a view in LIVE and then resend the Revit model to the cloud to update the .lvmd file, that deleted view does NOT get recreated. However, if the updated Revit model contains new views with new names, then those will be imported and made part of the new LIVE scene.
If you hit a sweet spot during your navigation and end up with an interesting POV, you can add that view to your tally by simply using the New Point of View button. A new thumbnail named “Point of View” is created; and you can rename it by double-clicking its label. Any such custom views that you create in LIVE are retained if and when you update the Revit project and send it again to the LIVE service.
Finally, it is worth noting that views can also be represented in the scene as Pins. This is an option that you can be enable or disable in the Settings. When the pins are visible, then you can click on any one of them to take you to that view, without having to open the Views panel.
4. Adjust the Sun and other Light Sources
If your Revit project is geo-located, and set to a particular date or time of day, then that information comes across from Revit to LIVE.
Currently in LIVE, the information about the geolocation is not exposed, even though LIVE does take into account the location of the project and the North direction. However, the date and time are not only exposed but you can also change them from within LIVE to study shadows and lighting effects at any time of the day, any day of the year.
Below you can see the same shots of the scene taken at 4pm and 9:30pm, two weeks apart:
By default, artificial lights are set to be enabled only at night, and this is something you can change in the Settings > Lights menu. You can choose to force them on at all times, turn them off at all times, or set them to Automatic so they’re only active at night, which is an option that works rather well.
5. Access BIM Data Using the Info Tool
The Info tool at the bottom of the screen is easy to use. With this tool enabled, you can select any objects in the scene which highlights in blue, and an overlay panel displays the BIM information related to that object, as it was set up in Revit.
6. Enter the VR World
Starting with LIVE 1.6, you have support for VR hardware to experience your scene in an even more immersive way. You have two choices of hardware at this time, the HTC Vive headset or the Oculus Rift in conjunction with an Xbox Controller.
Once the hardware is installed and configured properly, you enter VR mode in LIVE by simply clicking the VR button in the bottom right corner.
Once in VR mode, you can experience your design in a natural way, as you get a more realistic idea of what the space feels like once you stand in it.
You can also move around by teleporting from one point to the next using VR controls. Aiming can differ slightly with VR hardware, but moving to another point is usually done by holding and releasing a trigger button on the controller.
As an alternative, you can also use an available minimap feature to teleport to any spot in the scene. A minimap is essentially a miniature of your scene model. Controlling a minimap can differ in its ease-of-use between different VR systems.
You can exit VR mode at any time using the Esc key.
7. Use Present Mode
Use Present mode to simplify an already simple UI. Enter this mode from the top of the screen, which now displays the name of the current view as well as left and right arrows to cycle through other defined views without opening the Views panel.
To exit Present mode, simply press the Esc key.
8. Publish your Design
In addition to experiencing your design interactively, you can use the main menu button in Autodesk LIVE to publish your scene so you can show it or send it to your clients. From that point on, you would only need the LIVE Viewer app to view and experience the published presentation.
The Autodesk LIVE Viewer looks and feels like the regular LIVE app, only with fewer options. In fact, it is very much like the Present mode mentioned earlier. It is available for both Windows and IOS and you can get it for free from the Autodesk App Store or the Apple App Store.
Publishing to Windows is a no-brainer, you only need to select an output folder and LIVE will create a .live file that shares the same name as the original .lvmd file. A .live file is the file type you need in LIVE Viewer. You only need to drag that file into LIVE Viewer to open it and explore the scene, much like you do with LIVE Editor and .lvmd files.
Publishing to iPad needs an additional step or two and is still in Beta as of this writing. In a way, it is as easy as publishing for windows where you choose a local path and you generate a .live file. From there, you have the option of using iTunes to transfer that file to your tablet. If you’re comfortable using iTunes, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Another method which becomes more relevant with each passing day is to use a cloud collaboration service. If you use a Cloud Collaboration app such as A360, then you can post your .live file there and simply access that folder using your iPad. Once you locate the file and tap it, you can then download it to your tablet.
What makes the cloud method even more significant is that with the file on the cloud, you can simply send an email link to friends, colleagues and clients alike, so that they can have access and experiment with the project using their own tablets and LIVE Viewer.