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Monday, 9 December 2019

Internal Origin Visible in All Views in Revit 2020.2

For anyone thinking of upgrading to Revit 2020.2, here is some advice to avoid a bit of pain in the upgrade process:

Autodesk have introduced a new feature in the point release Revit 2020 SP2 that should really require a database change (but does not do so):

Expose internal point of origin

This is a marker that indicates the true origin of the project (internal coordinates 0,0,0), which may be different to the 'Project Base Point' if that has been moved.

It is indicated by a 2 or 3 axis  X,Y,Z symbol in red, green and blue

  • The symbol cannot be selected;
  • It will cause you problems during 'Zoom to Fit' if it is outside your building;
  • It also shows up outside your view crop boundary - more Zoom issues and irritation;
  • It can be hidden/shown in Visibility Graphics, as a subcategory of Site.

This is a useful feature, as we sometimes need to find out where that point is - however, it will initially add confusion to anyone who does not already understand the coordinate system in Revit (as there will now be a third origin point to deal with).  

The real problem with it is 'Visibility' and in the upgrade process that you make to get to 2020.2:

Upgrade Process

  • If you upgrade from Revit 2018 (or 2019) directly to 2020.2, the internal origin will be OFF by default in all views (which is good).

  • If you upgrade the project to 2020 or 2020.1 then subsequently open it in v2020.2, the internal origin will be ON in all views - this is a total pain. Even though it won't plot, it is annoying. 
  • Even worse - it will be visible in all newly created views, including 3D Iso and perspectives.
The reasons for this:
  • The upgrade process from 2018/2019 to 2020 (or 2020.1) does not know about the new feature so it does nothing to prepare for it.  
  • There is no upgrade process from 2020.1 to 2020.2, so the software cannot do anything to the files and view settings. 
  • The upgrade process from 2018/2019 to 2020.2 does have a component built in that hides the new subcategory in all views.
Autodesk really should have put this new feature in a major annual release, and not in a point release, as it will create a lot of extra work for users.


So, my advice is to go straight from v2018 or v2019 to 2020.2 - then you won't have an issue.
i.e. make sure you have SP2 installed on all 2020 computers before upgrading any projects to any version of 2020.

Interestingly, I created a new project in 2020.2 from the Autodesk supplied 2020 (Aus) project template and the internal project base points are OFF in all views.  I was not expecting that to happen as the template was pre-2020.2.  There must be something in the software that deals with this issue when creating new projects?

Too Late

If it is too late, and you already have some projects in 2020 or 2020.1, then you need to turn off the subcategory in all those views . . . . .
  • It is not so bad in View Templates, but its annoying
  • Individual views is a total pain - see below for automation
  • Create view templates that will hide the subcategory in all NEW views (especially 3D);  edit the Type properties of any 3D view and set the view template to be applied as a one off to all new 3D views.


One option is to track down some code to hide the new subcategory in all views - either Dynamo or an API.

There is also an issue with the paper clip being removed from the Project Base Point symbol. 
For more information on this, refer to Revit OpEd Blog

Steve Stafford of Op Ed has also tracked down various Dynamo options for turning off the internal origin:

NB. I have not tested any of these Dynamo scripts, but others have (with comments):
OpEd Dynamo Graph
OpEd Dynamo Redux
Follow Up with a later Dynamo script

Autodesk really ought to fix this properly, but it seems that it is not possible for them to put anything into a point release, as that does not actually upgrade the project files.  And if it did, what would happen when you opened an upgraded file in 2020 or 2020.1?

[Edit.  John Pierson of Parallax Team has very generously given us a free tool for hiding all those pesky internal origin symbols in a project in 2020.2.  Its on the Autodesk App Store:
Internal Origin Hide-ifier

Thanks John for picking up after  Adsk's dog! ]

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