Tag Archives: badmonkey

Bad Monkey Stream in Porto

Marcello, Julien, Adam and me are going to give you a Dynamo show the world has never seen before. At 09:00 on Friday October 21 in Porto the four of us host a Dynamo Lab at Revit Technology Conference together, and you should consider being there.

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Marcello Sgambelluri hardly requires any introduction if you have ever been attending a conference with any Revit in it the past decade. The american with the curly hair constantly keeps hammering top rated classes around the world, but to the best of my knowledge this is the first time he ever sets foot on European soil. I am plainly super exited to have him coming here, and that we are doing a class together.

Julien Benoit from Nantes has been my very good friend ever since we met at the first ever RTC held in Europe, in Delft back in 2013. Julien has been teaching Revit and Dynamo to French engineers and architects for a number of years, and the work that he and his colleagues are doing is simply amazing. We did a joint lab together with Andreas Dieckmann at RTC last year, and it was a no brainer to set up a similar session again.

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Put Adam Sheather next to almost any normal building industry professional, and he will seem like a God. Literally. Put him next to me, and I will look like the biggest retard who ever put on two shoes. I call him The Prodigy. The man writes code like he never did anything else, but there is so much more to the bearded Australian. The creator of Dynaworks has great visions and thoughts about the future of building design and construction, has a great sense of humor and currently holds the world record for longest RTC lab – 300 minutes, all alone and hung over in Melbourne in 2014. Like Marcello, I don’t think Adam has shared many skills in Europe before, and it is fantastic that he is making the long trip from Brisbane to Porto to be a Bad Monkey on stage.

The four of us have got something special lined up for the hopefully many lucky souls who sign up for Session 2.1 Bad Monkey Stream: Learn Dynamo. We will each run one half session focusing on teaching participant different ways of creating their own scripts for various design problems. Be there! You will be a much better person after.

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Bad Monkeys

I am a Bad Monkey. So is Julien. And Andreas. And Konrad, Dimitar, Adam, Brian and Marcello. Even Huyn is one although it’s hard to tell. We have a webpage. It’s at badmonkeys.net and is as volatile as we are.

I like being a Bad Monkey. I like having other Bad Monkeys watching my back. They do, you know. Every time I try to fuck up something in Dynamo, they pull me out of the failure and guide me on the right track. Every time I n00b around in Grasshopper, Konrad stretches his long arms over The Atlantic and points me in the right direction. Every time I challenge my geometry skills in Dynamo, Dimitar reaches out from his tree in Singapore and rains his magic on me. And every goddamn week when I try to do any type of generic computation or list manipulation, The Machine Himself Dynamo Grand Master Bad Monkey Andreas Dieckmann descends from the skies with his cape and shy smile to rescue me from certain doom.

One dark and slow morning a while ago Aleksandra came over to my desk and asked about the best way to number more than 600 rooms in the project we were working on. The coffee was still warm, and I already sensed it was going to be a good day. The way room numbering sequencing worked in France, where our project was located, related to both Level, Department and Grid location. That meant a room on Level 3, with Department ID 9 and located as the second room of that department between Grids 3 and 4 (read left-right, top-bottom) would receive the Room Number 3903-02. After some thinking I told Aleksandra that this could be automated with Dynamo and I could do it. My coffee hadn’t started cooling before I began worrying about my response. Even though all the data I needed was available in the Revit database, I had no clue how to do it. My first two tests were promising, but by the time I got around to iteration three and four I started thinking that I had to write each piece of data to temporary parameters, and then pull the temporary data from Revit and combine them in Dynamo to write one Room Number parameter.

Aleksandra

Aleksandra

Just after the morning with Aleksandra, I flew to Budapest to meet Monkeys Julien and Andreas. First thing they said when I laid my stress upon them was “Hell no, do this in a smart way by sorting all that data automatically”. “Okay….” I responded, nervously scratching hair that started to fall off.

The following week, less than 3 days before deadline, I woke up to a message that brought the biggest smile to my face and all my hair back. “Check your email. Andreas.” I rushed to work, grabbed a new coffee, opened his Dynamo script, copied the parts I was missing, ran the definition and watched in confused disbelief as all the hundreds of rooms got perfectly numbered according to all possible French rules. By that time Aleksandra had been putting her impressive Revit skills to better use on important design tasks, and I had all day to work on the facade, where I used Konrad’s free software for Grasshopper data linking and Julien’s free software for cutting thousands of Nested Families.

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Download Andreas’ script if you want to try for yourself: RoomNumberingByLevelGridAndYPosition

The Bad Monkeys made a Snøhetta design much better. They made an owner’s building more complete. And they helped Snøhetta employees, including me, sleep at night. For free, during their spare time.

I think the Bad Monkeys are so awesome that I am embarrassed to say it. I’m thinking “Am I exaggerating how awesome what we are doing is?” I don’t think so.

Last spring Konrad sent me a book. He wanted me to read Adam Grant’s ‘Give and Take – Why Helping Others Drives Our Success’ after he saw a blog post I wrote about my former boss Christine on how we shared knowledge and content when we worked together. The book explains with astonishing examples and scientific evidence how people throughout history has benefited from helping others, with no or little regard for their own success or personal gain. After finishing the book, I felt more confident than ever that the future of the world holds great promise for all the beautiful people who help each other every day. The world will be shaped by the givers, not the takers.

I read another book last year, The Martian by Andy Weir. (Thanks Ian Keough and Matt Jezyk!) Hopefully without spoiling the story for anyone who has not read it or seen Matt Damon on screen, here’s a beautiful excerpt for the final pages:

“If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.”

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It’s pompous, I know. But it gave me goosebumps. Our group of monkeys grew from a community of people who enjoy helping others. I feel that we are a small part of a new connected world where people help each other regardless of business, discipline, department, company, country, culture or continent. Maybe we will realize that the old way of thinking about company knowledge as a secret asset that has to be safe guarded, hidden and protected will give way to an idea that every company, employee and client will prosper if we all help each other a little more.

Here’s a huge THANK YOU to the Bad Monkeys for being awesome. You guys rock.

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Learn Dynamo

How?

There are hundreds of ways you can learn Dynamo. My good friend and mentor Julien Benoit at Groupe Legendre teaches his colleagues every day. Dynamo is so integrated in his team’s project that they have to. For many of us this is more a case of playing around until we find relevant problems to solve. I have three main categories of ways to learn Dynamo.

First, use the resources on dynamobim.org and dynamoprimer.com. They include video and written tutorials that cover basic and advanced procedures of computing and automating data. Simple exercises like form creation, parameter manipulation and Excel interoperability are perfect introductions to understand what kind of magic you can pull on your colleagues and clients.

Second, interact with the community. Like many new, free open source programs Dynamo has conjured a fantastic community of people who help each other every day. Guys like Dimitar Venkov and Andreas Dieckmann have done miracles teaching people how to solve their own design problems. Actually Dimitar has two live Code Blocks in critical workflows on my current project at Snøhetta, and I would have gotten nowhere without Andreas’ Clockwork Package. The same goes for Konrad Sobon who created Mantis Shrimp that allows me to move data between Grasshopper and Dynamo, something I do on a daily basis at Snøhetta. Adam Sheather made Dynaworks, a Package that Julien uses to move clashes between Navisworks and Revit in his own workflow. All of these were developed for free under open source licensing. That’s the result of a community of people who like to help others.

Last, arrange courses. When I worked at Dark we asked Nathan Miller to fly from Omaha to Oslo to direct a three day training session. Nate came, and I invited BIM specialists from other companies in Oslo to split the cost. I personally made leaps in understanding computation during those three days. Let me know if you want to set something similar up for you and your colleagues. I can deliver introductory curriculum and pretty advanced architectural design with Dynamo. I can also get you in touch with people like Julien, Andreas and Nate who are on a completely different planet when it comes to advanced topics. As a sidenote to that, Andreas’ topic for his Dynamo class at Revit Technology Conference Europe 2015 in Budapest this fall is Automate Automation. No? He basically has Dynamo run multiple Dynamo definitions in multiple Revit sessions at any time. It blows my mind so hard that I need alcohol and nicotine to not pass out.

When?

“I am too busy. I have no time. All the deadlines. Bu-hu.” We all have time, we just use it differently. I make Dynamo-time when I’m alone at nights (yes it does sound a bit dirty), or sometimes when my wife is working. I also make Dynamo-time at work, and constantly try out stuff that often breaks. When it works, I make awesome. And catch up all time spent. Usually.

Why?

Because then you decide what happens.

30 years ago design professionals started drawing lines, text and hatched areas on computers instead of paper. Then 10 years ago we began modeling information in 3D databases. But the operations were not vastly different. Draw, move, rotate, copy. From now on we will start programming information. For coding n00bs like myself visual programming software like Dynamo and Grasshopper are perfect introductions. Building designers need to start making our own software to understand how our components interact, how they perform and to feel greater ownership to our own processes as designers.

To finalize, some images of our latest work at Snøhetta. Facade components beautifully placed according to inner facade mullion and framing placement, and randomized with 4 different sizes, 4 materials, approximately 50 % flipped and “some” of the flipped panels sandblasted. Totally 64 different types. Plus the cut corners, of course. All Dynamo and Adaptive Components.

Fully Clothed

Fully Clothed


Half Naked

Half Naked


Nude

Nude


Close Up

Close Up

 

Dynamo in Oslo and Copenhagen

“What is the coolest possible thing we can do?”

Lars Robertsen at Autodesk asked me that question two months ago. I responded “Well that would be having Julien Benoit, Andreas Dieckmann, Matt Jezyk and Dieter Vermeulen come to Norway to show of amazing Dynamo material.” I have to admit that Zach Kron was on that list as well, but I´m sure Matt will do just fine without the Barry White of BIM at his side.

My friends are coming to meet you. Seats are limited, so hurry up. If you are using Revit, you need to learn Dynamo. It´s as simple as that. And you will struggle to find a better lineup of people to teach you. This is the A Team. (Sorry for the lack of humbleness. I have decided to stop using that for a while.)

The events are all free, and are the results of a collaborative effort between Dark Architects, Snøhetta, Autodesk, C.F. Møller and Multiconsult. It´s a beautiful thing when people just get together and teach each other stuff.

Register:

Copenhagen August 26 Event

Oslo August 27 Event

Thanks to Julien, Andy, Matt and Dieter for coming, Cathrine Mørch for hosting, Jill Nilsson for organizing and Lars for asking an awesome question. See you all there!

Dynanimator released: Animating Data Changes in Revit with Dynamo

You know that feeling? When you have an idea? And you know that if you succeed, you’ll love the outcome? I have that now.

Numeric Parameter

The first time I saw someone animate data changes in a building design environment, I was blown away. I think the people responsible for the slightly embarrassing incident were Stephen Melville and he’s team’s work at Ramboll Computational Design in London. Around the same time I saw Zach Kron’s flying bird wings – a GIF animation made in Revit with Harry Mathison’s Image-O-Matic. That led me to produce a number of similar movie clips, based on Revit’s Conceptual Modeling Environment and Harry’s tool. Later, when I read Michael Kirchner’s research on creating iterative daylighting analysis workflows using Dynamo and Cloud Rendering (Part 1:Changing a Family Instance and Saving an Image), I realized that I could build my own animation workflow with Dynamo.

During Autodesk University 2014 I collaborated with Andreas Dieckmann, Julien Benoit and Ian Siegel on a Dynamo Hackathon project called Dynanimator; a set of technologies in Dynamo that creates image exports per parameter change iteration. Today we have published it. The Package is based on Dynamo version 0.7.5, but should work perfectly on 0.8.

The outcome will be a set of images. I normally create GIF’s in GIMP 2 or MP4 in Windows Movie Maker. Sometimes, when I’m in the mood, I combine multiple MP4’s with selected audio in Camtasia Studio, like I did in my post Animate design iterations in Revit with Dynamo from late in 2014.

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Check out our GitHub repository for additional information about usage, collaboration, samples, etc.: Dynanimator

Last, here’s a short video tutorial showing how I use these nodes:

In the future we want to start combining this technology with both analysis and optimization techniques. Try to visualize an animation that shows how a room gets optimized for daylighting. I think that’s a very interesting way to communicate visually what you are doing as a designer.

Now bring your models alive, and share your animations with the rest of the world!