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Monday, May 19, 2008

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Download Revit MEP 2008

Autodesk Revit MEP v2008 | 1.2 GB

Use an intuitive design tool that works the way engineers think. Optimize mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) systems engineering through data-driven system sizing and design. Minimize coordination errors between MEP engineering design teams, as well as with architects and structural engineers within Revit-based workflows. Revit MEP software is the building information modeling design and documentation solution for MEP engineering.


Download Revit Architecture 2008

Revit Architecture software works the way you think, so you can create naturally, design freely, and deliver efficiently. And because it is purpose-built for building information modeling (BIM), any change you make—anytime, anywhere—is automatically coordinated throughout your project. Designs and documentation stay coordinated, consistent, and complete.

Download or copy and paste in your browser
Edit Del

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Type and Instance Parameters

A parametric element is something that can change size, material, and graphic look but is still the same fundamental element. Most elements in Revit are designed with parameters that allow for the creation of variations of a base type. Take a typical Revit door family as an example. Each family can have many types built into it. Each type typically represents a variation in size, material, color, or other defining characteristic. Although each type can vary in shape and size, the base geometry for each type is derived from the same family.

The Difference between Blocks and Families
In a typical CAD environment, you might create each door as a block; each of those blocks would be a separate element unrelated to any of the others. So, 20 door sizes would mean 20 floor-plan blocks,20 section blocks, 20 elevation blocks, and 20 3D blocks if you were going to use them as liberally as we use them in Revit. All of those in Revit are represented with one family that can display itself in 2D and 3D and whose size, material, and visibility can be changed at any time.

Depending on how the family is built, parameters can affect either the type
or the instance.Type parameters affect all families used in the model, whereas instance parameters affect only the family you’ve selected. This is an important distinction: You can change instance properties only when you have an element selected, but you can change type properties without selecting anything.Consider a round table. You might define its shape using a type parameter for the radius.

If you placed 20 types of tables with a 2´ radius and then changed that radius to 3´, all 20 tables would update automatically. Now, if the radius parameter was an instance parameter, changing the radius would affect only the type of table you currently had selected. The same logic can be applied to other dimensional constraints and materiality. Revit forces you to consider what an element is and what it means to change the element’s defining characteristics. For example, most content in Revit doesn’t let you arbitrarily change dimensions of every instance, on the fly, whenever you want—this would make tracking the notion of object type difficult and would make mass-updating more tedious. Think of a type as something you’ll eventually have to schedule, spec, and install as a real-world commodity.Bidirectional Relationships
Objects with parameters that can be edited are nothing new in the world of software. But what makes Revit unique is its ability to go beyond mere parameters and create relationships between objects.This ability has been referred to as the parametric change engine, and it’s a core technological advantage built into Revit.


Views are also considered parametric elements in Revit, and they have many properties to help you define how they should display information. A view doesn’t change the model in any way—it only acts as a filter through which you view the model. This also applies to schedules and material

take-offs. Although these are more abstract to think of as views, they’re still parametric windows into the model. Throughout the book, you’ll be asked to make views, and we’ll guide you through various methods for making views convey specific information about your design.

Imported Categories/Subcategories

When a CAD file is imported into Revit, all of its layers are represented as subcategories in the Imported Objects tab of the Object Styles dialog. Layers have a projection line weight, a color, and a pattern.

Imported File Limitations
There is no Cut line style for DWG, DXF, and DGN files. These files are just sets of lines, and lines canhave only one line weight thickness.

These can be overridden at any time to suit your requirements. Each import appears as a category in this dialog, as shown in Figure 2.7. There is no need to remap CAD layers into Revit taxonomy. If you’re used to the layer conventions set up in CAD, these will be mapped directly into the Object Styles dialog with same names, line weights, and colors.

Model Categories

Model Object categories, the first tab in the Object Styles dialog, includes all the real-world types of objects typically found in buildings. These object categories include the usual elements such as walls, floors, roofs, and furniture, along with other categories that makes sense in an architectural project. For 2D elements that represent real-world objects, the category Detail Element is provided. Examples of 2D detail elements are insulation and detail components that represent real objects but are represented only in detail views. In Revit, these objects are not modeled as 3D elements, but added as 2D representations, as shown in Figure 2.4.

For elements that don’t fit into any obvious category, there is the
Generic Models category. This can be used for objects such as fireplaces, theatre stages, and other specific design elements. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re making, you can always create it as a generic element. If you later decide that any element needs to be recategorized, that’s not a problem—you can reassign the element to a new category at any point. With the exception of the detail elements, model elements appear by default in all views.

In other words, if you draw a wall in plan, it will show up in any other applicable plans, elevations, sections, and 3D views. Remember, you’re working on a single building model—all views in Revit are just different ways to look at the model. Detail components, on the other hand, appear only in the view in which they were placed. As we’ll discuss in more detail shortly, you can turn on and off the visibility of any category or element, in any view.

For example, say you’ve placed furniture in your model. The furniture is 3D geometry and will be visible by default in many views. Revit lets you turn off the visibility of the furniture in one floor plan while leaving it visible in another floor plan. The furniture isn’t deleted; it’s made visible or not depending on the information you need to convey in particular drawings. Because model elements appear in all other views, two types of graphic representation are defined for each category: projection and cut, as shown in the Object Styles dialog in Figure 2.2.

The projection graphics define the graphics for the element in elevation, 3D views, or any other view where the element isn’t being cut by the view. The cut graphics define how the element will look when cut by sections and plan views. Typically, the section cut graphic is bolder than the projection lines, to emphasize that the element is being cut by the view plane. (Surface and cut patterns are always drawn with line weight 1 and can’t be made thicker.) Figure 2.5 shows how wall line weight differs between the cut and projection. Also notice that patterns are applied to the walls and floors. Patterns can be added to give additional graphic representation to a material and are always drawn with a thin line weight.

Categories also make it easy to interchange elements. You can swap out elements of the same category with a few clicks of the mouse. This streamlines the process of editing the model by limiting choices to those that make sense. For example, you can swap a lighting fixture with another lighting fixture by selecting the element and then seeing what other lighting fixtures are available in the Type Selector. Choosing another type swaps out the type instantly.Revit is smart about this interchange—it offers only different types of the same category of elements. For example, when you select a door, you don’t get a list of plumbing fixtures to swap it with; you get a list of other door families.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Working with Revit Parametric Elements

Every element in Revit is considered a family and each family belongs to a category
. Figure 2.1 shows the basic Revit object model. In this section, we’ll discuss how Revit organizes all these families into categories and why this makes sense from a workflow and consistency point of view.
Then, we’ll look at the different types of families, the principles of their behavior, and how to create them.

Revit uses a classification system to organize all the families (content) in the model. This system of organization is based specifically on the AEC industry and is set up to help manage relationships between classes of elements as well as the graphical representation for each class. To see all the categories available in a Revit Project, go to Settings Object Styles (see Figure 2.2).

At the core of this organization is a fixed list of categories to which all elements ultimately belong.Although this may seem stringent, it works well and will help you maintain a consistent graphical representation across your projects. As you can see, every element belongs to a category, and that category is either a model or an annotation object. In addition, each element is either 2D or 3D in nature. Whenever the mouse hovers over an element, a tool tip appears and tells you what kind of element it is and what category it belongs to (see Figure 2.3). If you aren’t working in a work sharing (multiuser) project, then the first bit of text in the tool tip tells you what category the element belongs to. If you’re in a work sharing project, the category is preceded by the name of the work set containing the element.The next part of a tool tip tells you the family name, and then comes the family type. So, the tool tip follows this logic:
Workset : Category : Family Name : Family Type

Revit Fundamentals

The power of a database is that information can be easily accessed, managed, and updated. By
using a fixed categorization structure in Revit, you’re able to quickly identify elements, control
their visibility and graphics, and generate reports based on this information. The data is highly
structured, but you have tremendous liberty when it comes to the representation of that data. This
flexibility lets you have as many views as you want and/or need to convey your design intent.
Every view is a filtered, graphical representation of an underlying database, and you’re free to
make as many views as you deem necessary.
The sooner you embrace this concept and start exploring the opportunities it presents, the better.
If you can’t get your drawing to look just right, chances are you just haven’t dug deep enough.
Throughout this book, we’ll give you more suggestions and techniques that we hope will inspire
you to go that extra mile and start thinking outside the box.
In this chapter, you’ll learn the fundamental principles of Revit parametric elements and how
data is organized in Revit. You’ll also get an overview of the graphical user interface and walk
through the basics of selection and object manipulation.
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to do the following:
Work with and understand Revit parametric elements
Use the Revit user interface
Use the Project Browser
Navigate views and view properties

Monday, May 05, 2008

Autodesk Mental Ray functions


mental ray offers an optimal powerful implementation of all the features traditionally expected of photorealistic rendering software, together with unique functionality not found in any other rendering software. The following sections describe rendering features, color handling and shading, and geometry processing capabilities in mental ray.


Ray Tracing

The software is based on a ray tracing architecture, which allows for the flexible implementation of any

imaginable phenomena and lighting effects, including reflections, refractions, global illumination, and subsurface scattering.

It uses an advanced BSP tree (more precisely a kd-tree) algorithm to speed up the ray intersection calculations. This structure is built on demand and cached. It can handle very large data sets and supports scalable multithreading.


Besides ray tracing, Autodesk Mental Ray also offers other rendering methods for situations where desired results can be produced much more efficiently.

A rasterizer is available for efficient first-hit rendering of directly visible objects and transparency. By separating visibility sampling and shading, high quality anti-aliasing can be provided while performing fewer of the expensive shading calculations (e.g. once per pixel). Motion blur can be computed with a relatively small performance impact, by shading once in the motion interval and carry this result along the motion path. This method is well suited e.g. for high quality cinematographic rendering.

A second scanline first-hit rendering method is also available, which is sometimes faster on smaller scenes with relatively simple shading.

Global Illumination

Global illumination is the simulation of all light inter-reflection effects in a scene. This includes indirect illumination caused by the scattering of light, and effects such as caustics and color bleeding: if a red table is next to a white wall, the white wall gets a reddish tint under typical lighting conditions. Without this reddish tint the image would look fake, even though it might be hard to point out precisely why. Global illumination effects are subtle but essential to true photorealism.

Simulation of global illumination has at least two distinct uses:

_ Physically accurate simulation of the illumination in an environment, for example the light

distribution inside an office building .

mental ray offers two fundamental approaches to compute global illumination which can be used together.They differ in the way lighting information is traced through the scene, either starting from the light (photon mapping) or starting from the eye (final gathering).
The photon mapping technique emits small energy particles (photons) from light sources in a preprocess, traces their trajectories through the scene including reflections, refractions, and interactions with participating media, and stores the final energy distribution in a specialized 3d data structure called photon map.

In the final rendering phase this global illumination contribution is added by collecting the color intensities of nearby photons.
Photon mapping supports caustics (e.g. sun light patterns on the ground of a swimming pool), participating media (e.g. shafts of light in a dusty room), color bleeding, arbitrarily many light bounces, as well as advanced material properties like glossy reflections.
Photon maps can be pre-computed and saved on disk for later reuse in subsequent renderings. Photon merging allows to reduce memory consumption for photon storage in scenes where a high number of photons must be shot to provide sufficient illumination.
The nal gathering technique computes global illumination by tracing rays as usual from a shading point into the scene to catch light.

In contrast to collecting the contribution from a distinct number of light sources it sends out many more rays into all possible directions of the hemisphere to capture illumination from other objects that interact with light (indirect lighting) like diffuse reflections (diffuse materials spread incoming light into many directions). This exact nal gathering mode is physically accurate but also expensive to compute.
mental ray provides an efficient technique to reduce the render time dramatically while retaining the final image quality as much as possible. The full final gather tracing is performed only on distinct and well selected surface points. All other surface points quickly interpolate the global illumination contribution from nearby final gather points. The final gather points are selected according to the local surface and illumination variation and their impact on final image quality. Several final gathering modes are provided which are optimized for ease of use, fly-through animations through static environments, and full user control, respectively.
The final gather data can also be saved on disk, and refined and re-used for subsequent renderings. Final gathering gives particularly good results for diffuse surfaces with a single light scattering bounce only.

Further variations of the base algorithms provide simplified and therefore more efficient applications for global illumination effects like contact shadows (ambient occlusion), and importance-driven photon mapping (importons).

Why Mental Ray in Revit 2009


Autodesk Mental Ray 􀀀c generates images of outstanding quality and unsurpassed realism. It achieves scalable performance through the exploitation of parallelism both on multiprocessor machines and across networks of machines. Its generality allows for a wide range of applications, including the creation of state of the art visual effects for movies, full length feature animations, visualization of automotive and other virtual models with accurate lighting, physically correct simulation of architectural design, as well as content creation for games.

Autodesk Mental Ray is designed for the efficient rendering of images on multi-processor machines and networks of machines, as well as for a tight but flexible integration as a software library in 3D content creation and CAD systems.

Autodesk Mental Ray comes with a number of standard shader packages, many of them in source code. They range rom shaders for basic illumination tasks and phenomenon construction to comprehensive and optimized packages for common applications, like shaders for typical materials used in architecture and design, subsurface scattering and car paint shaders, as well as physical sun and sky lighting.

Autodesk Mental Ray is used in a wide range of applications. This section lists a number of typical applications:

CAD Visualization

Autodesk Mental Ray provides photorealistic design visualization of product data in CAD and styling systems.
The comprehensive support for trimmed NURBS surfaces, surface connectivity, and hierarchical
subdivision surfaces offers the geometry handling capabilities required by CAD systems. Various
controllable approximation settings provide any desirable geometric accuracy. Large geometric quantities
can be handled efficiently, including support for heavy instancing of objects.

The ray tracing capabilities allow realistic views of the model in arbitrary surroundings, for example using
car paint shaders and HDR images to visualize the realistic appearance of a car body in a given environment.

Visual Effects

Autodesk Mental Ray is used for the creation of the most demanding visual effects in the movie industry. With its
visual quality, scalability, and complete ability to customize all aspects of shading and visual elements, it
offers all functionalities required for the creation of any imaginable visual effect.

Hundreds of thousands of realistic virtual characters can be included in a single final frame using mental
ray’s procedural, on demand, object creation features. 3D motion blur can be computed efficiently using

the rasterizer rendering mode for fast, high quality first-hit rendering. This can be combined with global
illumination and ray tracing simulations to achieve true virtual cinematography.

Full support for high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) and arbitrarily many named frame buffers provide

the basis for seamless combination of rendered elements with live action shots.

Feature Animation

Autodesk Mental Ray is equally well suited for the creation of full length feature animations. Any particular look can be achieved by using custom shader plug-in.

Special geometric primitives and rendering modes for hair and fur, as well as advanced rendering effects
like subsurface scattering for simulation of skin, allow to create and render visually compelling characters

Game Creation

Autodesk Mental Ray is a powerful tool to create realistic lighting and shading setups for games. Using the light
mapping features of mental ray, very complex and physically correct shading and lighting calculations can
be performed in mental ray, and the resulting information is output to texture maps or per-vertex color
data which are then used in the game engine ("texture baking").

Architectural Design

The global illumination features in Autodesk Mental Ray provide physically correct lighting simulations, and enable the measurement of the actual lighting intensities in a building in a given lighting environment. Visualizations
of architectural designs are effectively indistinguishable from photographs due to the correct simulation
of direct and indirect illumination.

Lighting Design

Light profiles, spectral rendering with more accurate color representations based on a larger number of
light frequency samples, and color spaces which are visually more precise than RGB, can be used to
correctly simulate the optical properties of virtual models.


Autodesk Mental Ray can equally well be exploited in other visualization applications. Support for volumetric effects and shading can be applied e.g. in fluid flow, seismic data, or medical visualization.


Dataflow Architecture

The architecture of Autodesk Mental Ray is founded on a network transparent scene and rendering database. Any data will be produced only when accessed whenever possible, resulting in scene data to be loaded or temporary data to be computed on demand only. This leads to most efficient memory usage, and together with builtin disk caching and garbage collection allows Autodesk Mental Ray to render scenes with great complexity even on machines with a small amount of memory.

A job system is operating on top of the database. It manages the dependencies between jobs and database
elements, and schedules creation, transport, and destruction of all data. Jobs can include rendered image
tiles as well as geometry tessellations, but also arbitrary other data like custom user data.

Scene data may be changed between rendering of multiple frames of an animation. Incremental changes
provide a way to perform updates just on the animated elements but re-using static components without

Introduction— Architecture

the need for re-computations. This accelerates animations as much as possible and can be used to render
successive images at interactive frame rates.


The efficient support for simultaneous rendering on multiple processors and multiple hosts in a network
is based on sophisticated, advanced parallel rendering algorithms in mental ray.

Multithreading takes full advantage of multiple processors, hyperthreaded, and multi-core processors
available in a system, without requiring any additional licenses. Due to the thread-safe database and the

job system distributing jobs to multiple threads, the performance of Autodesk Mental Ray scales with the number of processors available.

Network parallelism allows the use of additional machines as rendering slaves. Rendering jobs are
distributed to the machines, and scene and rendering database elements are transferred on demand, achieving
scalable performance over networks of machines as well.

Satellites are available as an alternative mode of network parallel rendering in many OEM applications that
contain mental ray. A number of rendering slaves (satellites) are made available to the machine running the

application without requiring additional licenses, which effectively increases the rendering performance of

the interactive application as well as the throughput in the batch rendering mode of the application.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

BUM vs BIM :-)

AutoCAD vs Revit (just a few comparisons from then and now)
I.e Bum vs BIM

rotary phone VS IPHONE
dial up VS Broadband
typewriter VS Microsoft Word
general ledger paper VS quickbooks
walking VS 767 jumbo jet
screwdriver VS powerdrill
fold up map VS Google Earth
morse code VS cell phones
DOS VS Vista
newspaper VS RSS Feeds
polaroids VS digital cameras
chisel & stone VS digital prototype printers
record player VS IPOD
paper & pen VS tablet PC
Sharpie Pen & Fax VS Autodesk Design Review
telegram VS email
faxing VS Scan/email
bartering VS credit cards
calculator VS Excel
cave VS High rise
stars VS GPS
fire VS microwave
Betamax VS TIVO
radio VS Satellite Radio
4" black & white TV VS 70" Plasma
reel to reel VS DVD
floppy disk VS 8GB thumb drive
BC VS AD (Before Computers VS After DOS)

....and the list goes on.....

Friday, May 02, 2008

It has begun Revitvolution

Open up Revit and let us begin. This tutorial has been written using Revit 5.0. If you are using a newer version for this tutorial I can only hope the programmers have remained consistant in the tools and user interface available.

I have used a few terms related to the mouse that the uninitiated should be aware of.
Firstly whenever the term 'select' or 'click' is used it is implied the left mouse button will be used to perform this action.
Secondly the term 'click and hold' implies making a left-click but not releasing until the action is complete. Dragging actions are performed in this way.

Your first steps

When Revit opens you should be presented with the blank default document as shown below (minus my notes).

Revit behaves like any Windows application. It is possible to arrange views on screen in any manner preferred.

If the view is maximized press the Restore Down button in the top-right corner of the window.

Using this feature your Revit workspace can be as complicated or as simple as you like. For the sake of this tutorial the active view will always be maximized on screen.

In the Project Browser open the North View by double-clicking North View in the Elevations menu.

The Modify tool is available in all the Sidebars and is used to select a single or group of objects.
When two objects near or on top of each other they are often difficult to select.
We can cycle through objects beneath the pointer by using the TAB key.

With the Modify tool selected left-click on the Level 2 object. Press the right mouse button and select Properties.

Set the following parameters:

Name: First Floor
Elevation: 3000

Press OK and agree to rename the corresponding views.

Left click twice on the Level 1 name tag. The pointer will change to a cursor. Rename Level 1 to Ground Floor and press (Enter). Agree to rename the corresponding views.

We will now place a second floor level. Levels are very important in Revit because they establish vertical relationships within and between objects. Be careful not to place too many Levels as relationships within and between objects can get difficult to manage.

From the Basics (or Drafting) Sidebar select the Level tool.
Move the pointer into the modeling window. You will notice the pointer is a pencil with a height line relative to the closest Level plane.

Move the pointer above the First Floor on the left hand side. Left click once to begin placing the Level object. Move the pointer to the far right and left click again as shown below.

Accuracy is not a problem when placing objects so don't worry exactly where your level is at the moment, we will fix that later.

With the Modify tool select this new level. Bring up the object's properties by either:

Right clicking and selecting Properties
Double clicking directly on the name/height text boxes
From the Menu select -> Edit -> Properties

Set the following properties for the object:

Name: Second Floor
Height: 6000

With the height lines in place we will create boundary lines for the site. In reality most buildings will have reasonably complex boundary lines and very accurate definitions of where they are. For this tutorial we are just going to have a square block of land.

Double click the Site view in the Project Browser to open it.

Open the Site Sidebar and select the Property Line tool.
Choose to create the Property Lines by sketching.
The Sidebar will change to the following subset of Property Line commands.

Select the Lines tool. A collection of Lines tool options will appear below the main toolbar.

Using these commands it is possible to form complex two-dimensional shapes. The Chain tick-box instructs the Lines tool to create a series of linked lines as you sketch. Without this enabled only one line at a time will be created.

Select the Rectangle option of the Lines tool.
Click at the bottom right corner of the screen. Move the pointer to the top left of the screen and click again to complete the box. Do not worry about accuracy, we will set the correct dimensions for this Property soon.

Zoom out a little to get a clearer picture. To zoom out either:

Use the scroll-wheel on the mouse.
From the menu select -> View -> Zoom Out
Right Click on the Model Window and select -> Zoom Out (2x)

Select the Modify tool and click on the rectangle.
Click on the left hand line. Click on the dimension value and type 60000 (Enter).
Click on the top line. In the dimension field type 60000 (Enter).
You should now have a box with dimensions of 60000mm by 60000mm.

With the Modify tool select the four lines that make up the Property box, either:
Click and drag a box around the four lines.
Whilst holding the CTRL key click on each of the four lines.

Move the pointer over one of the selected (red) lines. The pointer should change to a move cursor. Click and drag the property box so the four view indicators lie at its center as shown below.

Select Finish Sketch to create the Property.

From the File menu select Save. Select a location for your work and enter a relevant name for this file. Press Save to save the file to disk.

As a suggestion I would recommend saving each Revit document into its own directory.

This has two benefits. Firstly Revit saves multiple versions of your document to disk during routine operation to ensure data security. If your main file becomes corrupt you always have other automatically created backups. Whilst handy it can be confusing especially when mixed with other documents.
Secondly Revit projects usually consist of a series of interlinked files related to a single project. By saving all your files into a project directory you minimize the risk of accidentally loosing a vital file. As a CAD tutor for many years I know this happens to people (even smart ones) very regularly!

'Site-ing' our Architecture

All architecture requires a site and context. With this in mind we will construct a very simple site for our building to sit on.

From the Site Sidebar select the Toposurface tool.

The Toposurface object creates a ground plane by literally stitching a series of three-dimensional points together. This technique allows for the creation of very complicated site typology without the need to construct complex shapes.

Select the Point tool from the Toposurface sidebar. Click on all four corners of the property box to place four toposurface points. Doing so defines the profile for the site.

With the Modify tool select the north-west (top-left) point.

In the toolbar an elevation textbox will appear. In this box type 2000 (Enter).
This will move the point 2000mm above the ground plane.

Alternatively right click on the point and select Properties.
In the Properties dialog box set the Elevation parameter to 2000 and press OK.

Repeat this step for the north-east point.

In the Sidebar press the Finish Surface button to rebuild the surface.

This process will create a sloped site. We will have look at the 3D view to see what our site looks like from all angles. In the project browser click on the 3D view category then on {3D} to open the view.

By selecting the Dynamically Modify View button (shown below) the 3-dimensional view can zoomed, spun or scrolled through.

Alternatively by holding down SHIFT and pressing the right mouse button the view will be rotated.
If you have a scroll-wheel mouse the view can be zoomed in and out by rolling the scroll-wheel.
Panning can be achieved by pressing down on the scroll-wheel and moving the mouse.

After you've had some fun spinning and zooming around your site open the East Elevation. To open the East Elevation double-click the East view in the Elevations category of the Project Browser.

Notice how the elevation has section lines defined whilst thunt graphic system is used for 2-dimensional views. This allows complex 2-dimensional plan, elevation and sectional views whilst not burdening the generation of 3-dimensional models. If you have had any experience with solids based CAD systems this feature will come as welcome news.

With the basic section defined let's build a foundation slab for the building.

In the Project Browser open the Site plan.
In the Site sidebar select the Pad tool.

The Pad object is very similar to a Floor object. The primary difference is that it has a direct relationship with the Site. A Pad object will automatically modify the site typology to ensure it is open to the air above. A Floor object has no defined relationships with the Site and hence no automatic modifications to the site will occur. This might sound confusing at first but on working through this section you will understand what I mean.

Select the Reference Plane tool and place a Reference Plane from the south-west site boundary point to the south-east site boundary point.
Place another Reference Plane object from the south-east boundary point to the north-east boundary point.

You should now have Reference Planes along the bottom and right hand edges of the site. These two reference planes will enable us to take dimensions from the boundary.

Select the Reference Plane tool and move the pointer over the southern Reference Plane.

Click anywhere on the southern boundary. Move the pointer up to the northern boundary. Ensure the new Reference Line is vertical and click again to place it.
Repeat the process but make a horizontal line from the eastern perimeter to the west. You should have something similar to this once you have finished:

Now accurately position the reference planes. With the Modify tool select the new horizontal reference plane. Click on the dimension text box between it and the southern boundary line and type 19000 (Enter).

Repeat the above process for the vertical reference plane so that it is 20500mm from the eastern perimeter. The intersection of these two reference planes will be the origin of the foundation slab.

From the Sidebar select the Lines tool.
In the line options toolbar click the Chain toolbox to create a series of linked lines.

Begin the line by clicking on the intersection of the two reference planes. The Lines tool will automatically snap to this intersection as you move your pointer near it.

Extend the line vertically by moving the pointer upwards. When the length of the line reads 22000 left click once to place the end-point of the line.
Move the pointer directly to the left until the length of the new line reads 19200 and click once.
Move the cursor straight down to the reference line and click again.
Finally move the pointer back to the intersection of the reference lines and click once more.

The profile for the pad should be complete and look the same as the illustration below. To stop constructing lines press the ESC key or right-click and in the popup menu select -> Cancel.

Select Pad Properties from the Sidebar.
In the dialog set the Level parameter to Ground Floor.

The secret to successfully using Revit is the ability to create custom objects. To define the thickness and materiality of the slab we will create a new object definition to describe these properties. It may sound daunting at first but in Revit this is very easy.

In the dialog under the Type heading press the Edit/New button.
A new dialog will appear as shown below.

We do not want to edit the properties of the Default Slab object but rather create a new custom object just for this project. To do so press the Duplicate button.

In the name field type: Concrete Pad (Enter)

The object definition for the new Concrete Pad object will be displayed in the dialog box. Edit the materiality and thickness of the object by pressing the Edit button in the Structure field.

Set the Structure properties of your new object to the ones shown in the above screenshot. To do so use the Insert and Delete buttons. To modify the type and thickness of each material click in the field you wish to enter and type the value or select from a dropdown list.

With the Structure settings the same as shown above press the OK button.

Set the Coarse Fill parameter to Concrete and press OK to complete the object description.

Ensure the Type field is set to Concrete Pad and press OK to close the Pad Properties dialog.

Press the Finish Sketch button in the Sidebar to build the concrete pad.
Notice how the site has been modified to accommodate the construction the the concrete pad.

We will create a sectional view through the site to aid in the construction of the model.

Open the Site view from the Floor Plans category of the Project Browser.

In the Basics Sidebar select the Section tool.

Click on the top middle of the screen once. Move the pointer vertically down to the bottom of the screen and click again.
A new Section object will be created as shown below:

The dotted lines extended from the Section object controls what is visible in the sectional view. For those accustomed to AutoCAD think of this as the 'Clipping Plane'. By dragging dashed box out to cover the site the entire visible model will appear in the sectional view. Likewise by dragging the view box next to the Section object only a small slither of the model will appear in the sectional view.

The two horizontal dashed lines control what is visible in the sectional view along the Section object. Using these two lines all or only part of your model can be displayed in the sectional view. This can be helpful when designing construction details.

Click and drag the blue dot of the section clipping plane to the far right hand side of the model as shown below:

Open the sectioned view in the Sections category of the Project Browser. There should be only one sectional view in the Sections category at the moment.

The red box around the model defines what is visible in the view. As we want to see our entire model in this view click and drag the vertical line up to expose the first and second floors.

With our section defined I'll try to illustrate the potential of object modeling within Revit. The result will not be impressive but the underlying principle has tremendous potential!

Click the zoom tool at the top of the screen. Drag a zoom box over the left corner of the foundation so that you get a view like the following:

Revit can display the object model in a number of different ways, from simple diagrammatic views to complex structural layouts. Viewing options are controlled by the View Properties dialog box.
Open the View Properties box by either:

  • Right Clicking on the screen and selecting -> View Properties
  • From the menu select -> View -> View Properties
  • Or Right Click on the view you wish to setup in the Project Browser and select View Properties


Within this dialog it is possible to set the name, scale, and detail level of the view.
In the View Properties of the section view the following:

View Name: Section AA
Detail Level: Coarse

The Detail Level parameter controls the complexity of the displayed geometry. A detail level of Coarse displays only basic forms whilst Fine shows more detail.

Press OK

Nothing about your view should change apart from its name.
Bring up the View Properties dialog again and set the Detail Level to Fine.
Press OK to close the dialog box and take a look at your view..

So what? Nothing really changed I hear you say!
Take a closer look at the top and bottom of the slab. Remember setting up structure for the slab with a concrete topping, screed and DPC? The Fine detail shows you this information whist the Coarse detail shows only a single slab.

Whilst almost pointless in the above example, when applied to an entire building model the detail level enables us to generate diagrammatic plans and detailed construction drawings from exactly the same model. The same functionality in traditional CAD would require multiple layers and drawing operations wasting lots of time and money.

Laying Out to Print

Laying out and printing your model is often the part left to the last minute and sometimes the most difficult to do. Fortunately print layouts in Revit are relatively straightforward and can be done at any stage of the modeling process.
Using the model of the Villa Savoye we will setup and layout and sheet for printing.

Revit comes with a set of default page layouts. They are heavily branded and overly complex for what we want to achieve today. To start with we will make a new title block Sheet.

From the menu select -> File -> New -> Title block...
In the dialog select the A3 metric.rft file and press OK.

You should see something like the above.
The box represents an A3 page and the limited set of tools in the Sidebar are your drawing options. It is at this point where Revit acts very similar to any drawing programme you may have used in the past apart from the Label tool (which we will cover shortly).

With the Lines tool draw the following on the page using any dimensions you like.

Select the bottom line. In the Type dropdown next to the Properties button select Wide Lines. The line will become thicker.

From the menu select -> Tools -> Object Styles
Unroll the Title Blocks section by pressing the plus symbol next to the text.

In the dialog box select the Title Blocks section and press Create New.
For the New Subcategory enter the following:

Name: Wider Line
Subcategory of: Title Blocks

For the Wider Line subcategory set the Line Weight Projection to 14 and Color to grey. You should have the following.

Press OK to close the dialog.
Select the left hand, vertical line and bring up its Type to Wider Line.

Select the Filled Region tool from the Sidebar.
Using the Lines -> Circles tool create a new circular region above the existing circle.

Press the Region Properties button in the Sidebar.
In the dialog select Edit/New...

We will just edit the existing Filled Region 1 properties. Set the following:

Cut fill pattern: Solid
Color: Red

Press OK twice to accept the properties and press Finish Sketch.

Using the Trim command trim the two Lines to the perimeter of the circle.
This is achieved by doing the following:

Press the Trim command.
Select the circle perimeter.
Click on the piece of the straight line you wish to keep.

With the Text tool create a text box in the bottom right corner of the page below the horizontal line. Type: Revit Tutorial.

Labels are pieces of text that are defined in your Revit model rather than in the title block. A label is something that would change for each sheet (such as drawing number, date, project, ect.)

Select the Label tool from the Sidebar.
Click in the bottom-left corner below the horizontal line.

In the dialog in the Parameter list select: Drawn By
In the Value box enter: My name goes here
Press OK to place the label.

That is our basic title block complete. You could spend more time customising the text and layout of the graphics but for what we are doing this will be fine.

From the menu select -> File -> Save
In the dialog browse to your working directory and name the file something you will remember.

Once saved close the Title Block and go back to your model.

From the menu select -> File -> Load From Library -> Load Family...
Browse to the directory where you saved the Title Block and open it.

From the menu select -> View -> New -> Sheet
In the dialog select the name of your Title Block and press OK.
A new Sheet will be inserted into your model file using the template we just defined.

With the Modify tool select the new sheet.
Press the Properties button.
In the dialog under Drawn By type your name and press OK.

Your name will be entered into the Author section of the sheet.
This is really handy when you have lots of similar, but different information entered across a range of Sheets.

Now we will set up some views to place on this sheet.
It is possible to use the default views (eg. Site) on the sheet but we usually want to see more detailed modeling information onscreen than on our printed sheet.
As a compromise we will duplicate the Floor Plan: Site view and set it up ready for printing.

From the Project Browser right click on the Floor Plans: Site view and select Duplicate.

A new Floor Plan will be created named Copy of Site.
Right-click on this view and Rename it 'Site Plan' (so there is no confusion).

Double click on this view to ensure it is opened.
Right click in the modeling window and select View Properties. Enter the following:

View Scale: 1:500
Detail Level: Fine
In Visibility press the Edit button.
Turn off Annotation Categories: Grids, Elevations and Reference Planes.

Press OK to accept the new View Properties.

Open the Sheets -> (Sheet Name you just created)
From the Project Browser click and drag the view Floor Plans: Site Plan onto the sheet layout. A red box will appear delimiting the area the view will take up on your A3 sheet. Left-click once to place the view.

Select the newly created view. In the Type dropdown select Viewport: Section 3.
It is possible to create custom view tags for your sheets but this tutorial will not cover this.

Using the same techniques as outlined above bring in some more views into the sheet.
Below I have duplicated Section AA, set its scale to 1:200 and hidden a few Annotations that were distracting.

Finally lets bring in a rendered image into this sheet.
Rendered images must be rendered to the correct size when performing a raytrace.

Open the Postcard view from the Project Browser.
Select the view and press the Size: Modify button on the toolbar.
In the dialog set Change to Scale (locked proportions) and set the Width of the image to 190mm.
Press OK to resize the Postcard view.

Select the Rendering sidebar and select Image Size...
In the dialog set the resolution to 150dpi if it is not already and press OK.
Select the Raytrace tool and press Restart in the toolbar.

Once complete make any adjustments to the brightness and contrast and then Capture the Image.

Open the Sheet layout and drag the captured image onto the sheet.
Below is my completed sheet for this exercise.

There is plenty more that can be done to this sheet.
The View Titles can be modified and the Title Block worked up to show more information. Information on how to do this can be found in the Revit online help.

Printing and Exporting

Printing and exporting a sheet is relatively easy in Revit.

From the File -> Export menu you can export an active sheet to an image file (tiff, jpeg, ect) for editing in Photoshop or to PDF for publishing on the web.

To print an active sheet select File -> Print
In the dialog select the printer you wish to print to.
Press the Setup button in the Settings section.

In order to get colour and bitmap prints ensure in the Appearance section number of colours is set to Printer Setting.
If not enabled you will probably just print out your line work.

Press OK and Save the printer settings.

Press OK to print the Sheet or Preview to see what it will look like on paper.


Hopefully by now you have a reasonable understanding of Revit and how it can help you develop and document your designs. This tutorial only scratches the surface of Revit's potential and is by no means a definitive guide.

For more information on using Revit refer to its online documentation or visit the Autodesk website and browse to the Revit section.