SectionBox Animator | Guide
For any questions or problems, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, writing SectionBox Animator in the subject line.
What is Section Box Animator?
SectionBox Animator is a Revit plugin that allows users to create instant gif animations via Revit SectionBox with the ability of specifying direction, speed, loop count and frame delay time of the animation.
How to Install/Uninstall?
SectionBox Animator can be installed by following a simple installation wizard which is provided on the Website or App Store. When the plugin is installed, it can be used in any Revit versions installed.
For uninstalling the plugin, the same installation wizard can be used with the ‘Remove’ option. Also, Windows control panel's "Add/Remove Program" Menu can be used to uninstall. While uninstalling, please firstly deactivate the current license.
How to Use the Trial Version?
Plugin’s installation file is provided publicly. When the plugin is installed and is executed for the first time on Revit, an activation menu will pop up as shown in Figure 1.
The plugin can be activated by simply clicking ‘Activate Trial’. The activation may take some time depending on Internet Connection and server traffic. When completed, a notification will pop up saying that the 7-days trial period is activated.
Figure 1: Activation Menu
How to Activate/Deactivate?
Upon buying a license, an email is automatically sent, delivering the license key. As stated on the product info page, a license is for per seat which means a license can be used only on a single computer.
When the trial period expires, the plugin will automatically direct you to the activation form where you can type in the mail and activation code.
If you want to activate the plugin while you are using the trial version, you could simply go to the license info menu by clicking the ‘L’ button next to the cancel button. (See Figure 2)
When the update button is pressed, the plugin resets and tells you to run the plugin again.
When you run the plugin again, you will see the activation menu as shown in Figure 1. This time, instead of the ‘activate trial’ button, check ‘I have a license key’ and type in the mail and license key. Then, press the ‘activate license’ button.
Please make sure that the license key is the same with the key assigned to your mail.
To deactivate the license on the current computer so that you could activate it on another computer, you could simply press the ‘Deactivate License’ button as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 2: License Info Menu
Figure 3: Deactivate License
Introduction of Interface
The interface of the plugin is designed to make the production of animated gifs as easy as possible. The main parameters of the gifs are frame delay time and the gif size as could be seen on the Gif Values section. The output path in which the gif will be created could also be defined and seen on the interface.
Other values like slice count, reverse gifs, gif range and directions that need more clarification are explained in the following sections.
Figure 4: Interface
What is Slice Count?
SectionBox Animator uses the section cuts for the animation. To do this, the plugin divides the current section box into equal intervals. So, the slice count is the number of times the section box will cut the model, in other words, the count of the interval points. Please see the gallery for gif examples: Slice Counts
What is Reverse Gif?
The slices are normally cut in the input direction and the animation is created in this order. So, normally, the first frame of the animated gif is the current frame the user sees. But, by the reverse option, the gifs could be constructed backwards. That means, the first frame is the blank space and then the animation goes in additive manner. Please see the gallery for gif examples: Reverse Gifs
Gif Range Options
‘Visible Portion of Current Window’ option indicates that the canvas of the animated gif will be the visible drawing area of Revit.
‘Current Drawing Area’ option can be used when the crop view is active. Instead of the entire visible area, only the cropped drawing area will be the canvas of the animated gif.
As the interface suggests, the animation could be created in any direction. To understand the directions, the behaviour of the Revit section box should also be understood. By default (When section box is not rotated by the user), the section box's front face is aligned with the Revit view cube's front face as it can be seen in Figure 5. Also, when section box is turned off and then turned on again, the section box will be adjusted to its default position. So, whenever the section box is turned off and on, the user could know that the front face of the section box is aligned with the front face of the view cube. Consequently, the user could determine the desired animation direction.
Figure 5: Directions
However, what if the section box is rotated but it has already been adjusted to the desired position and the user wants to see where is the front face of the section box? For navigation, the user could simply open up the Directions menu by clicking 'See Directions'. As can be seen in Figure 6, the diagram shows where is the front face of section box. In this case, for example, the diagram shows that the front face of section box is on the left-hand side of the front face of the view cube. In other words, it's between left and front. As a result, the front face of the section box is facing towards the observer.
Figure 6: Directions Menu