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Sun, May 13, 2007 at 3:32:20 AM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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AudiA4


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Having just installed Revit Architecture 2008 on my Macintosh running on Windows XP, I'm somewhat taken aback by the coarse interface of WIndows in general and Revit in particular.  Having used the Macintosh interface (specifically OSX) for the past 5 years in which everything is rendered anti-aliased using technology called "Quartz" interface (using Adobe's pdf underlying foundation), it seems clunky.  Specifically, having launched Revit, all elements in the drawing are (with current settings anyway) jagged and course.  While I'm sure I can get used to it, I find this distracting and, I don't know, so 20th century.Admittedly, I've NEVER used Windows or any Autodesk product, so I am naive at best, but is there a system-wide setting or a particular setting in Revit?  Does Vista integrate this?  I'm familiar with "cleartype" from my Pocket PC phone, but does this only affect text?  Any help would be appreciated.

Edited on: Sun, May 13, 2007 at 9:07:00 PM

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Sun, May 13, 2007 at 12:43:39 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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samov


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windows has nothing to do with revit's inferface.

just as a note ... i'm also a mac user myself... and everything is NOT antialiased in os x... and actually the text is "processed" a lot like windows's cleartype.

It is true however that the revit interface has not changed well... since revit 6-7 and 2008 is now version 10. It is kind of overdue for a make-up but as you will find out the interface is VERY efficient (althoughi might think of a couple of places where they could do better).

Microsoft and Autodesk are a lot similar to Apple and Adobe.... BUT in my opinion windows has a lot of advantages over os x... but mainly because is wide spread... just like DWG is. Nobody likes it but it does the thing it is supposed to do.

I wish the next step in Software Development would be OS independece. But that will not happen if apple does not open the OS to everyone ... not just adobe. In windows you CAN do everything you do on a mac (sure it not good looking... not white... and not virus free) but you can change that... not like apple which gives you NO CHOICE... but to use what they throw at you.

 

i hope leopard will be as good as they say it will... because right now Vista x64, revit, autocad x64, adobe cs3 on my single core athlon 64 is THE best setup i've ever used. (yes... compared to my imac G5 with 10.4.9) SP1 for vista will be a hit also... Mac os x IS better than xp... but vista is a whole other story.

the problem with apple is that to sell to everyone it will have to go cheap and upgradeable and user serviceable and ... and.... and since they swithed to intel they are nothing BUT... (see the imac intel which is a pain to open compared to g5) because when everyone is "white" nobody actually IS white anymore.

 

PS. i would have bought a macbook pro.... BUT IS HAS 3 USB PORTS.... so i went for the HP nx9420 and all i can say... SUPERB MACHINE 



Edited on: Sun, May 13, 2007 at 7:48:53 AM

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Sun, May 13, 2007 at 6:30:57 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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AudiA4


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samov - thanks for the reply.  While I'm sure there are exceptions to anti-aliasing system-wide in OSX, I can't think of any...virtually the whole interface is such.  But back to Windows/Revit and my question: are there no options in the software or system preferences for this in XP (or Vista)?

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Sun, May 13, 2007 at 11:08:14 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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Hi,

In revit you only have graphic controls to enable "open gl" or "overlay planes".  Overlay planes has some effect on text displayed in actual revit model, but thats about it.

Regarding the "coarse" interface of windows xp...  What resolution have you got your desktop set to?  For a 19" 4:3 monitor resolution should be on 1280x1024 step it up for larger monitor sizes.

Vista does have a much nicer interface, but i still wouldn't say either of them look coarse...  IE: in vista icons are much more detailed and crisper.  That said the revit icons and general tools will all look the same no matter what OS is being used.

HTH.


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Mon, May 14, 2007 at 2:03:18 AM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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AudiA4


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Mr Spot - what I'm saying by "coarse" has nothing to do with resolution (I'm running on a 23" monitor with 1900x1200 resolution).  It has to do with "anti-aliasing" of all graphics on the machine.  Example:  a diagonal line in Revit looks coarse b/c it is jagged along its length.  I'm very much use to an interface which corrects that problem.  I gather this feature isn't an option in Windows or Revit, so I'm sure you're use to it, but to me, it results in a poor user experience.I'll try and post example images later.

Edited on: Sun, May 13, 2007 at 9:05:17 PM

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Mon, May 14, 2007 at 8:05:10 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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oh my... there is no way to convince you... revit uses opengl... neither vista, xp or os x use opengl to display the interface... so there IS NO WAY to make it look "anti-aliased" 


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Mon, May 14, 2007 at 10:40:24 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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Vista Aero interface uses direct X 10 to display its interface.  My understanding of anti-aliasing is that is a process used by 3D applications used to reduce jagged edges.  Not by the OS.  If OSX looks "finer" then its because its icons and windows etc are of higher detail than windows xp.  Vista has much higher detailed icons and windows and use some 3D acceleration to display the desktop but of couse taxes the system in doing so...


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Tue, May 15, 2007 at 2:14:15 AM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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AudiA4


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I am obviously not a clear communicator.  Therefore, reference the following from http://kb.iu.edu/data/ajeb.html, which clearly explains the use of OpenGL and Adobe technology to provide on-the-fly anti-aliasing whenever and wherever in Mac OS X:
For Mac OS X, what are Quartz and Quartz Extreme?

Quartz, along with QuickTime and OpenGL, forms the graphics layer in Mac OS X. Key parts of this 2D graphics system are based on Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) and make possible "on-the-fly" anti-aliasing, rendering, and compositing of PostScript graphics. Other parts of Quartz are responsible for drawing windows and other elements to the screen. Through Quartz, Mac OS X makes extensive use of transparency practical in its new graphical user interface (GUI), called Aqua.

In Aqua, windows display with drop-shadows that give the feeling of depth. Menus and dialog boxes can be partially transparent, default buttons can pulsate to give the user clues, and all on-screen text is anti-aliased. The Dock, an important part of the Mac OS X interface that displays icons at the bottom of the screen, has a magnification option that takes advantage of Quartz's ability to scale bitmapped images through vector calculations.

Quartz Extreme, introduced in OS X 10.2, is an enhanced version of Quartz that takes advantage of modern video cards to accelerate certain display functions and animations. With Quartz Extreme, the calculations for on-screen displays are shifted from the main processor to the graphics card, making the whole system more responsive.

Since Quartz is an underlying part of Mac OS X, software developers can take full advantage of its functionality in their applications, including the ability to save files easily as PDF, or convert files to PostScript for printing.


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Tue, May 15, 2007 at 7:30:52 AM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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well... you still do not understand that what u see in revit is different than the OS itself. if you want you can try both archicad and vectorworks which run natively on mac os x and you will se that the line the program displays have nothing to do with antialiasing.

The main problem with antialiasing is that your video card can't cope with it along the way... sure a few windows are no problem ... and maybe a few objects too ... but when displaying thousands of objects in a 3d view it will crawl to a stop. I have a firegl v7350 the workstation equivalent of ati x1900 which is one of the best and it still can't cope sometimes.


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Wed, May 16, 2007 at 12:24:04 AM | AudiA4

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Quoting AudiA4 from 2007-05-14 21:14:15

"which clearly explains the use of OpenGL and Adobe technology to provide on-the-fly anti-aliasing whenever and wherever in Mac OS X:

For Mac OS X, what are Quartz and Quartz Extreme?

make possible "on-the-fly" anti-aliasing, rendering, and compositing of PostScript graphics. Other parts of Quartz are responsible for drawing windows and other elements to the screen. "

Hmm, from what you copied there, that's not what is says.  It doesn't say wherever/whenever.  It means if the application supports it.  Quartz to me, sounds like what DirectX is for Windows.  Nonetheless, the lines in Revit will not look any different in OSX (if it ran on OSX) than it would on Windows as its the application and the display driver generating the graphics and not the OS.  Yes, I'd imagine some of the higher end workstation cards enable you to control some of the graphic acceleration capabilities by program in the drivers setup, which may see some increase in quality of line display but i'm unsure whether Revit would use this even if it had been specified in the display driver...

 Would have to try.

Edited on: Tue, May 15, 2007 at 7:25:32 PM

Edited on: Tue, May 15, 2007 at 7:26:00 PM

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Wed, May 16, 2007 at 1:34:41 AM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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Guys - I did't mean by "whenever...whereever" that it was always on, I meant that its available whenever, whereever as a feature in the OS.  I understand that some applications do not enable this feature available in the system, but they can.  I can't think of many that don't (even Microsoft Office takes advantage of this feature). Specifically, the CAD system we've been using for 15 years is PowerCADD, and it DOES enable Quartz Extreme, resulting in a subtle work environment that looks exceptional and is easy on the eyes (imagine working within a pdf file all the time).Anyway, I wasn't here to argue the features of Mac OSX...I understand that clearly.  I was merely asking if Windows has a similar feature, and its clear it does not unfortunately.

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Wed, May 16, 2007 at 4:54:15 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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Revit uses a true 3d view even for its plan and elevation views. What you are referring to with quartz is for 2d line smoothing, which works for traditional CAD applications that use 2d views, the calculations for this are simple for todays processors, so it can be handled by the system processor without much problem. 3D line smoothing is much more calculation intensive as each line is processed and smoothed against the scene in 3-dimensions, so needs dedicated hardware if acceptable performance is to be maintained. Consumer level video cards are not up to scratch for this task so it is only available for professional cards (FireGL,Quadro, etc) and only when the driver interface is configured properly.

3D games and such use a feature called full-screen anti-aliasing which renders each raster frame larger than it will be viewed, then after a quick pass of a blurring filter the raster image is reduced to final output resolution where "everything" is a little smoother, you can probably realise why we don't use this for CAD...

I'm not sure what video card the macs run but unless it's high-level kit, you will not see smooth lines in a true 3d environment. 


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Thu, May 17, 2007 at 2:30:08 AM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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Wilson77 - excellent point.  It hadn't occured to me that the 3D/model aspect of the file would introduce a tremendous processing burden on the system.

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Tue, May 22, 2007 at 6:27:45 PM | Anti-aliased Revit/WIndows interface?

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samov


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this IS my last post in this thread...

you seem to be reluctant to understand that revit's "not so smooth lines" have nothing to do with the os and nothing to do with the graphic card either... it's the revit 3d engine that renders them that way...

 

for example: try to model a really complex model in revit... like a curtain system with lots of solar shades (i mean a big one) ... it will start to move really slow.

 

NOW... export this model to dwg and import it in 3ds max 9... you'll see that 3ds max moves A LOT faster and the lines are smoother AND you can enable line antialiasing if you have a good card... AND IT IS THE SAME SCENE.... the only thing different is the software that IS OPTIMIZED for ONLY 3D, for example you CAN NOT HAVE thin lines and heavy lines or ANY line weight for that matter in 3ds max... because to 3ds all lines are the same ( in fact you can represent line weight in 3ds max by enabling "EXTRUDE to represent line weight" when you import ).

 

Revit on the other hand has something different under the hood... have you wondered if the text or dimensions or annotations AND line weight are 3D? they are not... SO revit is in fact optimized to display both 3d and 2d at the same time (that where overlay planes come in)... revit in fact "samples" the 3d model at a lower resolution as you zoom out... so things do not get rendered at a very nice quality when in fact they are to small to spot. The fact of the matter is that you CAN NOT antialias a 1 wide mm line. because a line HAS NO WIDENESS to the computer... you can however render multiple lines near one another at a fixed resolution to give you the illusion that is wider that the others...

 

WHY DOES IT DO ALL THIS...?! A: So it doesn't have to do things like 3ds max and EXTRUDE every line you want to appear wider, thus not adding 3d model data just so that we can have a 0.9 line on paper.

 

believe me... when i say that there IS LITTLE you can do to improve the way things look... because of the way the sofware works... not the os, not the hardware...

Edited on: Tue, May 22, 2007 at 1:29:15 PMEdited on: Tue, May 22, 2007 at 1:30:37 PM

Edited on: Tue, May 22, 2007 at 1:31:22 PM

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