April 19, 2012 | By EWG

Revit 2013 in the house

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We installed Revit 2013 and are running it exclusively now.  The most obvious change is the material library. The interface and terminology are on the list of future learning achievements, there are plenty of sources on the web to check those out.

The most obvious problem we ran into was that our materials weren’t rendering.  This issue was related to the the issue of the raytrace rending option that did not work when we upgraded.  Both issues are related to us running Revit on Parallels, augmented by using a Mac that is getting on in years.  The on board graphics card (or the virtual one that Parallels supplies to run Windows, that is translated through Parallels into the Mac) is ‘not supported’ by Autodesk and not upgradeable.  Sounds reasonable actually, but, how to fix?  A few minutes whipping around the internet found this little gem:

Hardware acceleration is not available in the Parallels 7 environment, and Revit will revert to a DirectX 9 based software graphics mode, which will not render materials, sky, artificial lights, and other features when the Realistic visual style is in effect.

o Workaround 1: When you first start Revit and see the Graphics Options – Cannot Use Hardware Acceleration dialog, select the Save Hardware Acceleration Setting option, and then close and restart Revit. Upon restart, DirectX 11 software mode will be used and features will display correctly in Realistic visual style.

o Workaround 2 (found this tidbit at “What Revit Wants”): Manually add the following to the [Graphics] section of the Revit.ini file before startup: UseGraphicsHardware=0

EDIT: Workaround 3 (allow hardware acceleration hack) – from Gordon in the comments:
Dig down to the Revit folder in program files, where Revit.exe lives, and look for a file called AdskHardwareCertificationReport.xml. Delete this file. Revit will now allow you to enable hardware acceleration, and performance will be MUCH better than the no HA fallback of using WARP (which is an API that uses the CPU to mimic graphics hardware and manages to provide performance on par with, say Intel HD2000 hardware). WARP is much better than true hardware acceleration disabled as in earlier versions, but no where near as good as Parallels virtual hardware.
End Edit

This issue was also reposted at microsolresources.com:

Workaround 2: Manually add the following to the [Graphics] section of the Revit.ini file before startup: UseGraphicsHardware=0″
Workaround 1 did not present itself to me, but workaround 2 was pretty easy to achieve:

[Graphics]
TempDimFontSizeInPoints=12
InvertBackground=0
Antialiasing=0
SemiTransparent=1
UseGraphicsHardware=0

I added the last line above to the 2013 Revit.ini file, restarted RAC 2013, and….

As they say these days: “SWEET!!”

Thanks to the site of which the source cannot be concretely identified, CLICK ME.  There are a few other issues that are shown in a fixable light should you need more things to work even better.

So it’s fixed and the materials are working for the most part, although there are some network translation issues that we’re juggling a little.  The Raytrace option is very cool, and the rendering in general seems to be much more realistic.  You also get realistic plantings and entourage, no more waiting for the render to complete to see what Nancy looks like in your scene.

We’re happy and awaiting the wonderful day that Autodesk will give this up on the Mac without having to run through a translator.

Below is a simple raytrace view rendering in progress.