Making Revit forms from image files in 9 EZ steps

[Edit:  this is way easier now just using the installer found here: http://autodeskvasari.com/page/download-wips-1]
I've gotten a lot of questions about how to get up and running on the bitmap to panel plug-in that I posted about here
buildz: API Yi Yi: bitmap to panel plugin
and here
Bitmap Panel Video by Emanuel Favreau

This is a relatively simplified and updated description of how to get a relatively simple Revit file up and running on release 2011. More details on how to operate it can be found here, but the following information should get you going.
The following assumes that you have Revit 2011 installed and are curious about API plugins

1. Unzip this file to some place on your hard drive
2. Move ParameterValuesFromImage.addin to the following place on your computer:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\2011\



3. Open ParameterValuesFromImage.addin in a text editor (such as notepad) and change the path of this line

<Assembly>C:\Revit SDK 2011\ParameterValuesFromImage.dll</Assembly>

to where ever you unpacked the .dll file

For example, the new line might read:

4. Open PanelHosted.rfa
5. You should now have a new tab called "Add-Ins", with a button called "external tools".
6. Hit drop down in external tools, you should have "Set Parameter Values From Image data". Click this
7. Divided surface should become a blocky slope.
8. Edit PanelHosted.rfa_grayscale.bmp in an image editor
9. Repeat step 6.


  1. Zach,
    Do you know how to load this add-in for R2012? It complains about VenderId not registered if I try.

  2. Yep, I have the same problem.. Good thing the 2011 is still installed.. But would be nice to use it in 2012.

  3. Try this installer for the 2012 version (a Vasari and a Revit installer):
    Not well tested, so any feedback you have is welcome.

  4. Revit could not complete the external command.
    I am getting this error. Please help.

  5. Source code please ....

  6. Nishant: It sounds like you don't have the bitmap in the right place or a correctly configured parameter
    Anonymous: the source code is in the Revit SDK samples folder, under Massing.

  7. How do the .bmp files get generated ?
    Do we create them or they get created automatically ?

  8. You will need to author your own .bmps. I like the image editor "Gimp", it's an open source app with a really great library of gradient patterns. Very useful for this kind of work.

  9. Hello, wondering if anyone got the plugin to work in 2012? I keep getting a request for VenderId. Thanks! L

  10. Hi Zach, I'm trying to install this on 2012.My Assembly line looks like this.

    C:\Revit SDK 2011\Software Development Kit\Redbolt_package\commands\Massing\ParameterValuesFromImage.dll

    How should I change it? Thanks!

  11. Emma, try the 2012 installer I mentioned a little way up in the comments. Are you on Revit or Vasari?

  12. I'm on Revit. I've got it to work already, so thanks!

    My mistake earlier was copying the addin file from your zip. I didn't have to replace the addin file.

    Thanks again!

  13. Had it working great in 2010, need it in 2011, ran the .exe, but nothing shows up. Is there a way to manually install it? Thanks,

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. The exe is for 2012, the manual install is for 2011 and is described in the post, use this download: http://www.buildz.info/downloads/20100820_Ez_Buildz_Panelz.zip
    There seems to be a lot of interest in the last few days, is someone teaching a course?

  16. No idea about a course. I'm just in charette mode and like to use it to generate facades... I haven't needed it since switching to 2012.

  17. No course that I know of, but I believe there was an update roled out lately. Perhaps that could have broken something?

  18. I had IT un-install and re-install the .exe which didn't work at first, but after some trial and error I got it to work by making two changes:

    1. I found a stray .dll:


    which I copied here:


    then changed the
    file to append 2012 to the name of the .dll called

    That started to work but launched with an error message.

    2. So I edited the .addin file some more.
    I copying a line in from another .addin file.


    I put it right after the line starting with "FullClass" just like in the file I copied it from.

    2.5 At some point I put a copy of everything in this folder:

    also into this folder:

    Now it works. Wonderful!

  19. I have windows 7 and I don't know where to copy the the parametersvaluefromimage.addin file, therefore I don't get any addin menus when I open revit. Can anyone help me out with this? Do I need to create a addin folder within revit?

  20. Win7 with Revit 2011 should have a folder here:
    If you are using Vasari or Revit 2012, you can just use the installer that is indicated earlier in the comments.

  21. Hi, I wanna know what the exact scale of numbers will be provided to fill the grayscale parameter, in an old post, it's said to be from 0 to 12 but I believe it's not the case in that 2012version. I met with some problem when using this addon and I think it's caused by the wrong gray value scale, as I assumed grayscale/12 <=1 in that family.

  22. Hi Zach, have you tried in revit 2013 ?
    i have problem as the plugin doesn't work in revit 2013 my office is using revit 2013..
    or is there a new way to do it in revit 2013?

  23. Hi Revitomus,
    the addin needs to be upgraded to 2013. I have not had a chance to recompile it, but it is in the Software Development kit if you have someone in your office with the knowhow

  24. it is installed exe for revit architecture 2012 but it gives me like this

  25. I installed exe for revit 2012 but it give me message like this

  26. Arch.shehab,
    It looks like either your bitmap is not named correctly or your Grayscale parameter isn't right. Does it work using the sample files?

  27. yes it works only using panelHosted.rfa sample file but is that mean if i want to make mine i have to save the bmp inside revit addins ??
    or there is a way to refrence its path at any file location or the only way is to edit the downloaded file ?

  28. Nope, the bmp just needs to be next to the rfa file that you are using it on. Check out the more up to date instructions and installer here:

  29. i noticed that in the drop down menu it says to name the file with grey with an "e", instead of gray with an "a" as would be the case.

  30. Hi. My add-ins tab doesn't seem to appear in my Revit 2012. I downloaded the installer for 2012, installed the exe, then what do i do next? I tried opening the bitmap demo rfa, but the add ins tab doesnt appear. Help please

  31. I got the "Revit could not complete the external command." error... Someone help? I can´t seem to get it going. I've tried in 2012 and 2013 but get the same error. Any detailed instructions on getting this to work would be very well appreciated. Thnx guys!

  32. the add-in is looking for a .bmp file that has exactly the same name as your .rfa file plus “_grayscale.bmp”and is in the same folder as the .rfa file.

  33. Hello! how long times waiting for 2013?

  34. http://autodeskvasari.com/page/download-wips-1

  35. http://autodeskvasari.com/page/download-wips-1 does this work also for revit 2013 or only for revit??

  36. I have built the ParameterValuesFromImage.dll for Revit 2013 and it's working. Can someone suggest a place to put the DLL so that people can get and install it?

  37. Andy, can u send to me? Thanks.

  38. hi my email is ysun114@aucklanduni.ac.nz can you send me the dll too for revit 2013? thanks !

  39. Hi'
    I want to install this pluggin on revit 2014 can u provide me with the download link ??! thnx

  40. Did this ever become available for Revit 2013? If so, is it the same steps to use?

  41. Is the Revit 2014 plugin available yet?

  42. I don't think anyone has ported this application to 2014. I have been doing this kind of work now with Dynamo. If you download Dynamo, take a look at sample 20 Panel Manipulations for an example of how to get data from images to panels.