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Autodesk post video of Revit running through Web browser on Mac OS X

Following the hot swell of intense interest from last week’s post on Autodesk’s somewhat quiet news that it was expanding on its remote technology to bring popular Autodesk apps to “a browser near you”, the company has just posted a video of Revit running on FireFox on the Mac.


[Edit’s note: scroll down to see the video.]

Over the past 14 + years–since really the late 90’s when Steve Jobs came back to Apple and announced the OS X road map–there has been, from time to time, very hot chatter about certain particular applications being brought to the native OS X platform.

Some of these were, of course, key and big applications that were originally System 7 through OS 9 apps. Adobe Photoshop and its Creative Suite sibs are all good examples. Others of course were significant “new market” or new industry applications that were birthed on different platforms–particularly Microsoft Windows.

Of these some landmark examples included the porting of what at the time was Alias’ Maya to OS X. This began in earnest around mid to late 2000 and the man behind that was Richard Kerris who spoke to Architosh at SIGGRAPH in 2003.

Another prime example was @Last Software’s now famous SketchUp, which started on Windows. Architosh of course brought readers the exclusive story behind their decision to support the Mac natively.

And perhaps the granddaddy of all ports is Autodesk’s own complete ground-up rewrite of Autodesk AutoCAD for OS X.

However, for the past few years as BIM (Building Information Modeling) has really begun to hit its stride, Autodesk’s Revit BIM application, a technology obtained in an acquisition over ten years ago, has slowly emerged as the top Autodesk non-Mac application that users want to see on OS X the most.

A Stop Gap or a New Model – Revit in a Browser

Now the company has recently announced a technology preview demonstrating what looks to be a possible new delivery model for not just Revit but other popular Autodesk applications that are only on Windows, including Autodesk 3ds Max.

Last week we wrote an article “Did Autodesk just put Revit on the Mac? Autodesk announces 3D Design Apps in Browser,” 6 Nov 2013. After writing that article and the numerous feedback it generated in the CAD blogosphere, there has been more communication with Autodesk and today the company sent us a link to a brand new YouTube video showing Autodesk Revit running inside FireFox (browser) on Mac OS X. (see it below)

This video was posted yesterday and has only had 730 views as of this writing. The roughly 2 minute video doesn’t appear to have sound narration but shows Revit in action through a web browser.

What’s All This Mean?

As we said in our previous story, Autodesk’s announcement extends and builds off of a note that Autodesk, along with some key partners in Amazon, OTOY, and Mozilla were innovating with some ground-breaking technologies. One of those key technologies is a Javascript video codec named Mozilla ORBX.js. We intend to learn more about all of this next week in a conference call.

In the meantime, the point of this post is not to rehash all the details from last week’s significant story (go here and read all about it) but to share the news about the brand new video of Revit in action…in a browser…on a Mac.

As usual, we’d love to hear your feedback below. And you can be sure those comments below are being read by folks at Autodesk as well.

Reader Comments

  1. Autodesk post video of Revit running through Web browser on Mac OS X | Architosh

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  8. Posted by:
    November 14, 2013 08:08 pm EST

    This looks very promising for those in need of using Revit but not wanting to give up their Macs, or in a BYOD type office.

    I don’t know if this is true else where, but here in Denver, many government agencies are now starting to require the use of Revit files (i.e. Denver International Airport). Architects that work with them may need to convert to Revit even if they don’t want to.

    Although, I am a long time Mac ArchiCAD user, I have to keep my options open. My former employer recently had to switch from ArchiCAD to Revit. They are running it on Macs using Parallels and seem to be pretty happy with it so far. They also happened to have a a turnover in staff and none of the ArchiCAD users were there anymore, making the transition less painful.

    In addition to the clients, the large contractors and many larger architectural consultants are also on Revit. This makes the process of clash detection much less onerous that it would be in ArchiCAD (assuming the others are using Revit). I suspect that for smaller practices, the transition won’t need to occur. But, for many large offices that work for government clients, there may be no way around it. Unless, of course, someone forces the government agencies to not sole source the CAD platform.

    On a critical side note from someone who has never used Revit, that user interface looks very clunky and awkward. The oversized ribbon across the top seems very wasteful of screen real-estate, and navigating the model appears to be quite painful with that translucent wheel that you have to click on. Also, repeatedly going to a zoom tool to get a zoom window seems silly. Can’t they just pan, zoom, and scroll using a mouse? I would hope that Revit would have a more intuitive user interface that that. I am used to ArchiCADs 3D navigation which is far and away the best 3D navigation of any program I have used. It’s like playing a computer game.

  9. @ spr8364 – thanks for that wonderful feedback concerning our post about Autodesk’s new Revit on Mac in browser video. I’ll post more response to your comments below.

  10. @ spr8364 – it is my strict view that no governments should be requiring use of a specific software platform or file format. Doing so artificially disrupts competition in markets and makes “captive” data that in many if not most cases belongs to others. Additionally, one of the promises of BIM is true “interoperability” within the BIM ethos. BIM software providers should uphold a larger principle in this regard and do what they can to protect this characteristic of BIM.

  11. Really happy for the news. Not for Revit (I am an happy Archicad user) but to run others programs like ecotect or vasari.

  12. […] […]

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