Autodesk has just announced their first official full cloud initiative, including two cloud computing features. They call it Autodesk Cloud. Included in this feature set are:
- Cloud Document Storage
- Cloud based and mobile DWF viewing
- Mobile AutoCAD WS
- Multi-user real time editing of dwg files
- Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- Green Building Studio
- Cloud Rendering
- Inventor Optimization
What I want to talk about is the cloud computing options, but first a few points on the rest of the collection
Industry Breakdown and Subscription
Unfortunately, these features are not completely available to everyone. Firstly, some features (the cool stuff) are a subscription only package, and only available to those who are on an existing Autodesk subscription license. Secondly, availability depends on which license you possess. If you are a Revit user, you can have just about anything you like, but the rest of us have some limitations.
AEC gets the lion’s share of this mid-cycle release. The products are broken down by software, and therefore which suite you subscribe to. Oddly enough, Infrastructure Design Suite did not get included. Here’s a summary.
- Autodesk Design Suite (Premium and Ultimate) – Cloud Rendering
- Autodesk Factory design Suite (all) – Green Building Studio
- Autodesk Product Design Suite (Premium or Ultimate) – Inventor Optimization
- Autodesk Building Design Suite (Premium and Ultimate) – Green Building Studio, Cloud Rendering, and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis, (Education) – Revit Energy Analysis, (Standard) – Green Building Studio
- AutoCAD Architecture – Green Building Studio
- Autodesk Revit Architecture & Suite – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- Autodesk Revit MEP & Suite – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- AutoCAD MEP – Green Building Studio
- Autodesk Ecotect Analysis – Green Building Studio
- T1 Enterprise Multi-Flex – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- Autodesk Design Academy – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- Autodesk Education Master Suite – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite FOR EDUCATION – Green Building Studio and Revit Conceptual Energy Analysis
- Autodesk Vault Collaboration AEC – Buzzsaw That’s it in a nutshell. If you are a Civil 3D user, well……at least you get Autodesk Cloud Documents.
Revit Conceptual Energy is built into Revit 2012, and is available through the “Analyze Mass Model” button. Users of previous versions can download Revit Conceptual Energy at the Autodesk Subscription Center:
- Cloud Documents for all Comers
You can view, share, and edit your files with the cloud DWF viewing/editing, PDF and AutoCAD WS capabilities. Autodesk is extending the cloud and 1 gig of storage as well, to all users with an Autodesk account. (That’s the thing you signed up for with AutoCAD WS and Publisher Mobile). Users on product subscriptions receive 3 Gigs of storage space to store their design files on. Another added benefit is the luxury of not having to install software, which was a past deterrent for may to adopt the DWF format. Now that it is all cloud based, anyone, including the non-design types, can view and edit DWF files with an internet connection.
More information will be forthcoming as well as the official website.
Inventor Cloud Optimization
- They’re back, but with a few more twists. First Inventor Suite subscribers will get a new Optimization button on their ribbon’s Environments Panel. This will kick off my beloved Optimization tool, allowing you to use Autodesk’s servers to perform your stress analysis calculations.
- There is however a catch: You will receive 100 ‘Cloud Units’ per year. Each time you post a new Optimization package to their server, you get an unknown quantity of these units deducted from your available allotment. These are calculated based on just how much processing you use, the algorithm for which is still not disclosed by Autodesk. When they are gone, who knows. Perhaps once the fan-fare is over, we can find out.
Cloud Rendering for Revit
Rendering, while limited to those Revit people, has some really slick features. I was kind of impressed, almost to the point of being jealous. (I said almost). The service stores you model on the server, and lets you view the results online. Furthermore, you can then select different settings such as increased quality of render, and have the server re-run the render from anywhere in the world.
The application can also render a full 360° panorama.
- All you Cloud Rendering people out there are still giggling about the Inventor Cloud Optimization ‘cloud units’. Yeah, well don’t laugh. You got the same cloud unit allotment. :-p
- Cloud rendering is not available to the hardcore rendering tools. What? That’s right, Revit and AutoCAD Architectural types only ! Showcase and 3DS Max peeps, maybe next time.
I have been waiting for quite some time for Optimization and Rendering to return to the pack. I guess that you could say I am a bit disappointed, as I was hoping the return of rendering would include Autodesk’s rendering platform, Showcase. Furthermore, 3DS Max has no home there either, which I had hoped the cloud rendering might help the Civil 3D users some with their visualization too. I hope these features come through soon.
I am sure this initiative will take off and encompass everything, and we’ll see enhancements by leaps and bounds. I guess I’m just happy to have my Optimization back, even if it’s rationed.