With StructionSite's Navisworks plugin, you can quickly generate side-by-side 360 comparison views between field-captured 360 images and your coordinated model. 360 views extracted from the coordinated model are, in essence, "future progress photos".
The following use-cases include:
- Comparing current progress against "what should be installed", according to the latest coordinated content
- Allow non-BIM/non-technical people to access and collaborate around the coordinated model, without having to learn how to fly around and manipulate a model
- Roughly verify installation based on placement relative to other known elements (like steel)
- Take the model to the field as an X-Ray vision overlay
Summary of workflow
From a high level, the beta version of the workflow involves the following:
- Make sure you have either project-team or company plan. If you have an individual plan or are on a trial, use the chat button on the bottom right to request an upgrade to a pilot project to fully try out the workflow.
- Capture 360 photos normally using the StructionSite mobile app
- Export alignment and photo location information from the web
- Import information captured from step 2 into the StructionSite Navisworks plugin
- Add alignment information from the model so that the drawing matches the model
- Run the automated 360 view creation
- Upload the resulting ZIP file back into the web app
Note: During this beta testing phase, we will be collecting feedback from users and refining/updating the app as needed. Only a few select number of people will have access to this beta feature. When this feature is released fully, steps 2-6 will likely be highly streamlined/automated.
Note: We highly recommend you try this on a drawing with just a few photos first to become familiar with the process and reduce the risk of major rework. For example, you can re-upload a drawing and add just 2 photos (that you've downloaded and re-uploaded).
Full Workflow Instructions
Verify that the Navisworks Plugin is installed and works correctly on your computer
Install the Navisworks Plugin (currently compatible with Navisworks 2016, 2017, 2018
1. Download it here (last updated: May 15, 2018)
2. Make sure that Navisworks is closed
3. Run the installer
4. Ensure the plugin works by opening Navisworks again and seeing if the StructionSite area appears as a toolbar option
5. Click on any button to bring up the license menu.
Enter the license given to you, as well as your email address, to activate
6. Test to make sure that a 360 photo can be exported by clicking "Export 360 View", and verify that you see a 360 image get created based on your current location in the model
Align and Extract Coordinates from Web
- Access the Web-workflow by going to the web application and go to a drawing you'd like to start slipping in 360 Navisworks photos into. Note: This works best on Chrome.
- Click on "+ Add" at the top right of the drawing, and choose "Coordinated BIM". If you do not see this option, please contact email@example.com to enroll into the Navisworks Beta program, or contact us via Live Chat.
3. In the next screen, we will be aligning the drawing to the model by specifying 2 known points on the drawing that will correlate to Navisworks coordinates (in X and Y).
- A good best-practice is to use known gridline intersections (if you are able to select or accurately navigate to those locations in Navisworks).
- You will want to pick spots on the drawing that are at opposite corners of the building footprint for the best accuracy in alignment to minimize errors.
4. Click the first "Capture" button, and pan and zoom until you find a good spot. In this example, we use gridline intersection A1, which we know the coordinates for already.
5. Repeat by using the 2nd Capture button. You'll notice that the X and Y points for each capture process will start to get populated with coordinates (ranging from 0 to 1)
6. Click on Export Drawing Alignment, and a CSV file called [Drawing_name_alignment.csv] will be downloaded
7. Click on Export Coordinates, which will export the locations of all 360 photos from the drawing that are currently visible. If there are some 360 pins you'd like to not have Navisworks photos slipped into, then filter them out using the Filter button beforehand.
Run Navisworks Plugin
1. In the StructionSite plugin area, click on Settings
Note: Set your export folder to one that you're 100% sure you won't have issues regarding administrative privilages.
2. Set what tag you want the model photos to inherit when they get uploaded. For example, you can give it a certain label based on coordination date, or a specific critical area where coordination has recently been completed.
3. Navigate in 3D to a good "height" that matches how the 360 photos were taken in the field. For example, if you took photos where the camera was approximately 6' from the ground, then navigate anywhere in the model about 6' above ground. Then, click "Current Height" to capture the current height from the model.
4. In the "Drawing Common Points" area, import the CSV file that you had exported earlier, called [Drawing Name]_alignment.csv
5. In Model Common Points, do one of the following
- Navigate yourself within the model and hover yourself directly over the same point that corresponds to a drawing point created earlier, and hit "Current Position" to copy over the XY coordinates of your location. You should zoom way in until the gridline intersection is right in the middle of the screen and you don't see anything else. Make sure you are NOT in orthographic mode, you must be in perspective mode for this to work accurately
- (Maximum precision) Alternatively, Manually type in the corresponding XY points for each point you picked in the drawing earlier. Make sure the units match what is shown in Navisworks. If you happen to have grid coordinates modeled and found in Navisworks, you can use the Navisworks measuring tool and click on the same point twice to find the XY coordinates precisely
6. Hit "Save" and close the window to save the settings
7. Click on CSV, and choose the [drawing name].csv you had exported earlier (this is the 2nd CSV file you downloaded, and will likely be larger in size than the alignment CSV file)
8. Wait until the generation of 360 photos is complete. You may cancel this process at any time. The generation of 360 photos may take on average of 15 seconds per photo, depending on your computer's speed.
9. When complete, a folder will open up on your computer that contains a large ZIP file (which contains images to be uploaded), with a filename given to it based on the tag you selected.
Upload Images to Web
1. Return to the web app, and access the Navisworks beta window again and click on "Import Photos"
2. Choose the zip file that was exported earlier, and let it upload
3. Wait for all images to successfully be slipped into the existing field-captured photos drawing. This may take up to 30 seconds per photo. Note: Currently there is no confirmation or progress indicator that the images are being processed. In a future release, we will send you an email notification to indicate the processing has been complete.
Alternative Workflow - Add one image at a time
If you want to quickly export your current view from Navisworks so that you can manually add/slip in a progress photo on the web, you can do so by using the "Export 360 view" button in the StructionSite Navisworks plugin. This will create a single 360 image from your current location in Navisworks.