This isn’t a Revit trick but it’s so handy I just have to share it.
Say you need more information about a light fixture but all you have is a print-out with a photo – no links, names, model numbers, or any other identifying information. You can try to describe it to google, but with the zillions of products available, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack!
Next time you’re in this situation, try making a scan of the image (if you’re starting from an anonymous digital file rather than a print-out, you can skip this step). Crop out any extra white-space. The goal is to get an image file that looks as close to the original photo as possible, so in this case I painted white over the asterisk my boss added.
The resolution was really poor, so I wasn’t sure if it would work. Also I accidently painted a white line across the whole picture. If I’d noticed it in the moment, I would have corrected it but it didn’t end up making a difference.
Now comes the magic. Go to Google Images and click the camera icon in the search bar to search by image. Upload your cleaned-up version.
If the picture you have is available anywhere on the web, Google will find it for you!
This search gave me the name, model number, price, and also bigger versions of the lamp in the same style. Five minutes after my boss handed me the paper, I sent her an email with a link to the product info!
Once this method led me to a SketchUp model on the 3D warehouse, saving me hours of modeling time. Give it a try for yourself, and if you have any cool stories, please share them in the comments!