Revit Tutorials ,Revit libraries, Revit rendering,Bim revit, Headline Animator

Revit Tutorials ,Revit libraries, Revit rendering,Bim revit,

Check this out


Autodesk Revit Tutorial Headlines

Monday, June 23, 2008

REVIT Fundamentals

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 Revit Views as you want and/or need to convey your design intent. Every Revit View is a filtered, graphical representation of an underlying database, and you’re free to make as many Revit 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 overRevit View 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 Revit Views and Revit View properties

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 fam- ilies into categories and why this makes sense from a workflow and consistency point of Revit View. Then, we’ll look at the different types of families, the principles of their behavior, and how to create them.


Figure 2.1

The essential

categorization of

REVIT elements

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 cat- egories available in a REVIT Project, go to Settings Object Styles (see Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2

The Object Styles dialog box

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 tooltip 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 worksharing





REVIT Element




Revit View




(multiuser) project, then the first bit of text in the tooltip tells you what category the element

belongs to. If you’re in a worksharing project, the category is preceded by the name of the workset

containing the element. (See Chapter 20 for more detail on worksharing.) The next part of a tooltip

tells you the family name, and then comes the family type. So, the tooltip follows this logic:

Workset : Category : Family Name : Family Type

Figure 2.3

Using tooltips to define elements. The element on the left is

part of an unshared project and omits the

workset name; the element on the right

is part of a workset named Shell and Core.

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 Revit Views. In REVIT, these objects are not modeled as 3D elements, but added as 2D representations, as shown in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4

Details such as this steel connection at the roof are composed of

2D elements.

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 Revit Views. In

other words, if you draw a wall in plan, it will show up in any other applicable plans, elevations,

sections, and 3D Revit Views. Remember, you’re working on a single building model—all Revit Views in REVIT

are just different ways to look at the model. Detail components, on the other hand, appear only in the Revit 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 Revit View. For example, say you’ve placed furniture in your model. The furniture is 3D geometry and will be visible by default in many Revit 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 Revit 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 Revit Views, or any other Revit View where the element isn’t being cut by the Revit View. The cut graphics define how the element will look when cut by sections and plan Revit Views. Typically, the section cut graphic is bolder than the projection lines, to emphasize that the element is being cut by the Revit 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.

Figure 2.5

Cut and projection graphics are defined

for each element.

cut lines

projection lines



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 lim-

iting 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 ele- ments. 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.

Annotation Categories

Annotation object categories include all the annotations, symbols, and descriptive data added to a Revit View to describe the building. These are listed in the second tab of the Object Styles dialog. Most annotations are Revit View-specific 2D elements and appear only in the Revit View in which they were created. Examples include dimensions, tags, callouts, and text notes. Annotations such as sections, levels,

and grids are 2D graphics, but they have 3D characteristics and appear in other Revit Views. These elements (levels, grids, sections) appear in many Revit Views thanks to BIM application functionality. Levels,

grids, and section marks extend throughout the model and can be edited from multiple Revit Views. You don’t need to draw these elements in each Revit View as separate, disconnected graphics. With REVIT,

they’re truly 3D annotations. The only caveat to this statement is that they don’t appear in 3D Revit Views.


Within each category can be many subcategories that let you control graphics with finer precision. This is what makes the concept of categories so much more powerful and natural to work with than layers. For example, looking at a door, you can see that the category Doors (Figure 2.6) has a set of subcategories that relate to sub-elements in the door assembly. For example, you see Elevation Swing, Frame/Mullion, Glass, Opening, Panel Swing, and any other user-defined elements that

can be made when creating a door family. Each subcategory can be assigned an independent line weight, color, and pattern.

Figure 2.6

Subcategories allow finer graphic control

over categories.

Dependent Revit Views

There is an exception to the rule that annotations appear in only one Revit View. With dependent Revit Views, anno- tations are shared between Revit Views, so that if you change the annotation in one Revit View, it affects other Revit Views as well. This feature was added in the 2008 release.



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.

These can be overridden at any time to suit your requirements. Each import appears as a cate- gory in this dialog, as shown in Figure 2.7. There is no need to remap CAD layers into REVIT taxon- omy. 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.

Figure 2.7

Imported CAD layers represented as


Imported File Limitations

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



take-offs. Although these are more abstract to think of as Revit Views, they’re still parametric windows

into the model. Throughout the book, you’ll be asked to make Revit Views, and we’ll guide you through

various methods for making Revit Views convey specific information about your design.


For example, walls can be attached to roofs, and if the roof changes to a new shape or size, all

walls attached to the roof automatically adapt to the roof shape. Figure 2.8 shows that changing a

roof pitch automatically adjusts other roofs and walls to keep them joined.

Figure 2.8

Changing the roof pitch updates walls


Another powerful manifestation of interrelated relationships occurs between walls, floors,

roofs, components, and levels. They all have explicit relationships to levels, so that if a level changes elevation, all elements associated with that level update automatically. Not only does the base of the walls attached to a level change, but the tops of the walls attached to this level also change. This is fundamentally different from many other BIM software applications, where elements under- stand where they’re placed in plan but not in section. Similarly, when you change the size of a room by moving walls, you’re changing not only the wall, but also everything that wall affects in the model: the size of the room (area and volume), color-fill diagrams, ceilings, and floors. The doors and windows within the wall move with the wall, and any dimensions to that wall automatically update.

Adjusting a Level and Roof Slope to Meet Design Requirements

In a real-world project, the height of a level is bound to change in the design process, which in turn will change floor-to-ceiling heights and roof locations and will influence the building’s overall height. Consider a sce-

nario in which keeping the top of the roof below a maximum height was a design requirement. Not to worry—with REVIT, changing the height of levels at any point in the process updates all dimensions and elements associated with that level.



REVIT tries to keep things joined and connected in order to eliminate huge amounts of tedious editing. You’ll begin take it for granted after a few days with REVIT, but remember: When you drag a wall that has other walls attached to it, those other walls will automatically stretch with your move. Not only that; but rooms, dimensions, floors, components, and tags will also move. Of

Changing the Top of Roof level pushed the roof peak too high. By editing the roof and changing its slope

parameter, we lowered the roof height, and all the walls attached to the roof updated to reflect the

change. There was no need to edit the walls independently in order to get the correct results.

With one edit, we changed the level height. The walls and roof updated immediately.

With an edit to the roof property for slope, the roof updated, as did the walls attached to it.



course, if you don’t want all this intelligent behavior, REVIT provides escape hatches. For example,

if you right-click a wall’s end control, you can disallow it from joining other walls (see Figure 2.9).

Or, you can select Disjoin from the Options bar once you’ve selected a wall and then select the move

command—doing so will detach the smart relationships between the wall and the rest of the model

and treat the wall as an independent entity.

Figure 2.9

By right-clicking the end of a wall join, you can

stop the wall from auto- joining to other walls.

This parametric behavior extends to annotations and sheet management, as well. Tags aren’t simple graphics and text: They’re interactive graphical parameters of the element being tagged. To edit a tag is to edit the element or tag family, and vice versa. This is also known as a bidirectional association: You can edit the elements and the tag and maintain consistent data. A great example is easily demonstrated with a Revit View and a sheet. When you place a section Revit View onto a sheet, the section key automatically references the sheet number and detail number on the sheet. Change the sheet number, and the section tag updates instantly. This is what a real parametric engine is and what ensures total coordination of documentation. You’ve probably heard this phrase before, but it’s worth repeating: The parametric engine guarantees that a “change anywhere is a change everywhere.”


During the design phase, you may want to apply some dimensional rules to the design and make sure they aren’t altered. These rules might be a minimum hallway width for code compliance, or a maximum office square footage for a particular user. Whatever the restriction, REVIT dimensions make it possible to lock it down and create a constraint. This constraint is independent, but it’s related to the dimension. If you delete the dimension, you can keep the constrained condition and know that the model will maintain those relationships. The point is that a dimension can be much more that a 2D annotation.

These design rules are used all the time, but not many software applications let you capture this design intent in the model. If you run a dimension string from level to level and lock the dimensions (as in Figure 2.10), you’re locking the relationship between these elements in the whole model. By locking down elements, you make it harder for other elements in the model to break this important design intent, and thus you keep the model more intact and predictable.

Here’s another example: You may want your door jamb always positioned 4? (25cm) from the wall corner; or you may want three windows in a room to be always positioned at equal distances. By locking this relationship, you embed design intent into the model. If one element moves,

the other element also moves. REVIT also provides a less explicit, automatic way to associate ele- ments to other elements. When an element is selected, there is an option to make the element move with nearby elements; REVIT will make its best guess as to which elements drive other elements to move.



Figure 2.10

Design intent can be

locked down by add-

ing constraints.

REVIT Families

REVIT families are used to create your model. There are three over-arching methods for creating families in REVIT:


System families


Standard families


In-place families

The difference between them lies in their creation method, in what context they’re created, and the types of parameters available. Let’s reRevit View each of these types of families.

System Families

Model system families are made up of a limited set of types: walls, roofs, ceilings, stairs, railings, ramps, mullions, curtain panels, and toposurfaces (topography). See Figure 2.11 for examples of system families. These families are created in the context of each project using some predefined types. These families also have various creation methods that are specific to the type of the family. For example, to make walls, you can just start drawing (placing a wall), whereas to make a floor or roof, you enter a sketch mode in which you define the outer shape with lines that then generate a 3D model of the floor. For stairs and railings, you enter a more detailed sketch mode that has addi- tional features not available in floors or roofs. When making toposurfaces, you use a sketch mode that lets you edit 3D points specific to toposurfaces.

You can create new types of system families by duplicating existing types and editing their parameters. If you’ve been using REVIT for any length of time, then this method of duplicating a type to create new types should be familiar territory for you.

(You can’t create new categories in REVIT. These categories are predefined within REVIT and lim- ited to the list available. This is primarily to maintain control over the graphics from project to project.)



Figure 2.11

System families

If you aren’t sure whether an element is a system family, open the Element Properties dialog and check the family name. Embedded in the family name, you can see whether the element is a system family. Figure 2.12 shows that a Basic Wall and a Section are both system families.

Figure 2.12

System families include model and

annotation elements.

System families are also used for many annotation categories such as sections, elevations, levels, grids, text, and dimensions—they aren’t limited to model elements.

Although you can’t save a system family outside of your project to a shared library as a stand- alone component, it’s possible to reuse system families in other projects. To transfer system families between projects, choose File Transfer Project Standards to display the Select Items To Copy win- dow (Figure 2.13). This dialog gives you a feel for the number of different types of system families used in a REVIT project.

System Families






Figure 2.13

The Select Items

To Copy dialog

Standard Families

Standard families (see Figure 2.14) are created outside of the project environment using the Family Editor. They’re stored in an external library and can be loaded into a project for use at any point. Every standard family belongs to a specific REVIT category so that when it’s loaded into a project,

it adopts the graphic rules defined for its category in the Object Styles dialog. This guarantees graphic consistency throughout your project without your having to constantly manage changes to new families. This also guarantees that when you schedule a category, you get all elements that belong to that category.

For example, if you find a lighting fixture family on the Web and load it into your project, it will use the Lighting Fixtures object style in your project to represent the family. It will be scheduled with other lighting fixtures. You aren’t forced to open the family and adjust line weights or colors, or add metadata to the element, because this is all controlled at the project level. This illustrates the value of having a fixed number of categories to manage—you can rest assured that the project

won’t inflate with endless, oddly named layers that are difficult, if not impossible, to decode.

Figure 2.14

Standard families






Standard families have their own file format extension (.rfa) and can be stored outside the

project environment for later use in other projects. REVIT ships with a predefined folder structure to

help manage the vast numbers of families available. Choose File Load Library Load Family to

see how REVIT organizes information (see Figure 2.15).

Figure 2.15

The Load from Library dialog box

Organizing Your Office Library

In your office, you’re free to organize your families in whatever way makes the most sense. You can use a read-only, shared office library, or per-project mini-libraries. Whatever route you go, be sure to add your library locations to your REVIT file load dialog.

To do this, choose Options File Locations, and add a new path to the Libraries table.



To create a new standard family, either duplicate an existing one in the project and modify its properties, or open it in the Family Editor if you need to make more radical geometric changes. (The first method only allows for slight dimensional and material modifications and not geometry mod- ifications.) The process of editing a family supports an iterative design workflow: By selecting any family, you have the option either to edit its properties, or to open it in the Family Editor and make changes to it and then load it right back into your project. Families can be complex, but at least you won’t need to learn any specialized scripting languages in order to create smart, parametric con- tent. This goes for all forms of standard families, from totally parametric windows and doors to one-off pieces of furniture or lighting fixtures.

REVIT provides a set of starting family templates you can use to make content from scratch. When you want to start creating a new library element (family), you first need to select the correct tem- plate. To open a template, choose File New Family. Choose the type of element you want to make, and the template will open. Embedded in each template are smart behavior characteristics

of the family you’re creating. Figure 2.16 illustrates a door family template, where geometry, parameters, and dimensions are already in place to help you get started.

Figure 2.16

The template for this door family includes

geometry, parame- ters, and dimensions to help get you started.

Once you do this, a new link appears in the Open dialog with the name of your library. Clicking the icon

takes you directly to your office library.



Doors, windows, balusters, casework, columns, curtain wall panels, entourage, furniture,

massing elements, generic objects, and plantings are all examples of standard REVIT families.

To move families between projects, you can use copy-paste or save your families to disk and

then load them into another project.

In-Place Families

In-place families are custom elements that are specific to a project and the specific conditions of

the project. An in-place family opens functionality available in the Family Editor in the context of a project environment. The model grays out and becomes unselectable when you make such families. A complex sweep as a railing fence on a site is an example of an in-place family.

You can copy-paste in-place families from project to project, but you can’t save them as RFA files as you can with standard families. Figure 2.17 shows an in-place family added to a facade in order to create some non-orthogonal mullions.

Figure 2.17

Example of an in-place family used to add skewed mul-

lions to the facade



Overriding the Representation of Elements

As we mentioned earlier in this book, there are no layers in REVIT. Instead of using layers, REVIT uses

object categories and subcategories to define the graphics for each element class as well as to control

visibility (which is the purpose of layers in other software). The Object Styles dialog establishes the

default graphics for every category; however, in any Revit View, you can override these graphics using the Revit View Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog shown in Figure 2.18. The two dialogs look very similar—the difference is that Object Styles shows the defaults preset for a project, whereas Visibility/ Graphic Overrides is the place to reRevit View and make changes to those default settings on a per-Revit View basis. The same familiar categories and subcategories displayed in the Object Styles dialog are dis- played in this dialog as well.

Figure 2.18

The Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog box

The same level of visual control for line weight, color, and pattern is provided here, but in a slightly different interface. In addition to line overrides, you can also override cut and surface patterns and choose to show a category as halftone, transparent, or at a different level of detail. Figure 2.19 shows the Roof category overridden to be transparent in the 3D Revit View, allowing you to see through the roof and look into the rooms beneath while keeping the shape of the roof visible. The changes made in the dialog are applied only to the current Revit View.



Figure 2.19

The Roof category has

been overridden to

be transparent in the

3D Revit View.

The same categories are used to control the visibility of elements in a Revit View. You can turn off entire categories, subcategories, or individual elements in any Revit View.

The REVIT User Interface

As you’ll notice, the REVIT interface isn’t overburdened by a lot of toolbars. It may seem as if there

are too few buttons to build an entire building. Don’t worry, all the tools are there—they’re just not

visible all the time. The UI is divided into five major components, shown in Figure 2.20: the Revit View

window, where all the Revit Views and drawing take place; the Design bar, where you access all the cre-

ation tools; the Project Browser, where all the Revit Views and families are stored and which is used to navigate the projects; the Options bar, where you choose types, access properties, and edit context-sensitive options; and the toolbars, where you invoke various editing tools. Next, we’ll take a quick look at each of

these components.

In addition to these major UI components, the Status bar is located along the bottom of the appli- cation frame. It contains information about active commands, what is selected, progress meters, and the Communications Center.

The Revit View Window

The Revit View window is where all the action takes place. Here, you add elements, modify them, and con- struct and document your model. The Revit View area can tile multiple Revit Views, allowing you to visualize the model from multiple vantage points concurrently. We don’t recommend tiling the Revit Views if you have more than six open Revit Views, because the Revit Views get too small, and it becomes difficult to work.



Figure 2.20

The REVIT user


To arrange Revit Views, go to the Window menu and try the Cascade or Tile option. You’ll also see the option to Close Hidden Windows.

This feature is a great way to clear your workspace when you have a unmanageable number of Revit Views open. Clicking the button closes all but one Revit View for each project or family you have open. This is especially advisable for better performance on a complex project.

To see an example, open two Revit Views of the model, and then tile the Revit Views. Select an element in one Revit View; you’ll see that it becomes selected in both Revit Views. This simple interaction shows that when you make a change to an element in one Revit View, the change is instantly reflected in other Revit Views. This is a great way to conceptually understand the reality of a true BIM modeler.

Each Revit View has properties, and some of these properties are exposed at the bottom of the Revit View window in what is called the Revit View Control bar.

These controls allow you to quickly change the display of the Revit View without having to dig into a properties dialog. The available controls include Revit View Scale, Detail Level, Display Type, Shad- ows, Crop Revit View, Show Crop, Temporary Hide/Isolate, and Reveal Hidden Elements.

Option bar

Design bar

Project browser

Revit View window



The Design Bar

The Design bar is a group of tabs located on the left side of the application that contains creation

tools organized based on common tasks, as shown in Figure 2.21.

Figure 2.21

The Design bar

The tools are grouped into tabs that suggest a certain task: Drafting, Modeling, Site, Massing, and so on. Some tools are repeated on multiple tabs because they’re used for various tasks. The Dimension tool is an example: Dimensions are used when modeling, drafting, and laying out struc- tures. Which tabs are visible is entirely up to you.

Turning Tabs On and Off

The Massing tab can be turned off if you don’t use massing. The same is true for the Structural and Site tabs. To see the full selection of tabs, right-click anywhere on the Design bar, and select only those you wish to Revit View.



Clicking a tab opens it and makes the tools available. You can hide/reveal design tabs using the

context menu when the mouse is hovering over the Design bar. On some smaller monitor resolu-

tions (less than 1280×1024), you may not see all the tools available in a design tab. To access these

tools, click the More Tools flyout at the bottom of the tab, as shown here.

All the tools located in the Design bar are also available from the menu at the top of the appli- cation. You may also notice that some tools aren’t enabled, depending on the type of Revit View you’re currently working in. If you open a perspective Revit View, almost all the tools in the Design bars appear grayed out. This is because REVIT doesn’t let you create new elements in perspective Revit Views (don’t be discouraged; you can place objects in any orthographic 3D Revit View).

The Options Bar

The Options bar contains several parts: the Type Selector, properties button, and dynamic option controls. The Type Selector becomes active when you’re making new elements or when an element is selected. The tool is used to swap types of family elements—and works on all types of REVIT objects—whether model or annotation. The Options bar looks like this when a wall is selected:

The Properties button takes you to the element properties of whatever you’ve selected. Every- thing to the right of the Properties button is dynamic and changes depending on what you’re cre- ating, what tool you’re using, or what element is selected. For example, when the Move tool is activated, you’ll notice some new options appear:

Look to the Options bar whenever you’re using a tool, placing elements, or selecting elements, because it will show you options specific to the current task. It’s easy to forget the Options bar exists, so train yourself to scan it, and get familiar with what it offers.

The Project Browser

The Project Browser allows you to navigate to all your Revit Views, create new Revit Views, access element properties, and place elements. All the Revit Views of your project are stored here, making it possible to organize and navigate a project from one location. This feature is the backbone of your project, so we’ll spend more time exploring its functionality in the next section.

Figure 2.22 shows a collapsed Revit View of a typical Project Browser. As you can see, the browser con- tains all your Revit Views, families, schedules, sheets, and linked files.

The Project Browser is such an important tool that we’ll devote the rest of this chapter to explor- ing its use.



Figure 2.22

The Project Browser

shows the range of


Using the Project Browser

There are a number of ways to navigate through a REVIT project. As you start working in real projects, the number of Revit Views and drawings that accumulate will become quite large. Being able to find your Revit Views and effectively move between them is critical to support an effective workflow. We’ll look at the various methods of moving between Revit Views, best practices, and how to customize the display of these Revit Views using the Project Browser.

Revit Views

A Revit View is a graphical way to look at the database of information you’re creating. Plan, section, schedule table, 3D Revit View—all of these are just different ways to look at and query the same under- lying database of information that describes your building. REVIT organizes all the Revit Views of your project in the Project Browser. Your plans, sections, elevations, 3D Revit Views, and schedules are all stored there. Double-clicking a Revit View name opens the Revit View in the Revit View window. When you close a window, you don’t need to save first—it’s always accessible from the Project Browser.

The default organization is based on the Revit View type, which is why the Revit Views are divided into sep- arate nodes in the tree. The default organization when all the nodes are collapsed looks like this:

With a node expanded, right-click a Revit View name to access additional options for any Revit View (see Figure 2.23). From this menu, you can open Revit Views, rename them, duplicate them, and apply Revit View templates.

Figure 2.23

Context menu options for a Revit View



Note that you can multiselect Revit Views in the Project Browser. When more than one Revit View is

selected, you can right-click to bring up the context menu:

For example, from the context menu, you can create and apply Revit View templates. This is a way to give Revit Views a consistent scale and graphical appearance, among other things. Let’s look at how to use the Project Browser as a way to drive properties from one Revit View to another:

1.Open Foundation.rvt from the Chapter 2 folder on this book’s companion website


2.Open Plan: Level 1.

3.Right-click the Revit View, and duplicate it.

4.Rename the Revit View Level 1 - Presentation.

5. Press VG to open the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog.

6.Go to the Annotations tab, and turn off visibility of all annotations by selecting the “Show

annotation categories in this Revit View” check box at the top of the table.

7.Go back to the Revit View in the Project Browser, and right-click the Revit View. Select Create Revit View Tem-

plate From Revit View (see Figure 2.24).

Figure 2.24

Creating a new Revit View template

8.Name the template Presentation Graphics.

9.Duplicate Level 2, and rename it Level 2 - Presentation.



10.Right-click the Revit View name, and choose Apply Revit View Template.

11.Choose Presentation Graphics.

12.The plan how has the same properties as Level 1 - Presentation.

Working in a data-driven model, you can use Revit View properties as a way to customize how the browser sorts and organizes all your Revit Views. This is a great way to manage the large number of Revit Views that will fill your project. Clicking the top of the Project Browser window (not a Revit View) makes it the active selection. You’ll notice the Type Selector in the Options bar activates, and some pre- defined options will be available to choose (see Figure 2.25). Selecting any of these will re-sort the Revit Views in your project based on criteria.

Figure 2.25

Browser organization options

Making a Custom Browser Organization

The following steps show how to customize the browser organization:

1.With the Foundation file still open, select the Revit Views icon in the Project Browser.

2.The Type Selector lists Browser - Revit Views : all.

Click the Properties button.

3.Change the type to “not on sheets”. You’ll see the browser reorganize the list and remove

Revit Views that are on sheets.

Now, let’s make a custom sort based on your name (or initials) by applying a new “Drawn by” parameter to all Revit Views and then using that parameter to sort the Revit Views in the browser:

1.Choose Settings Project Parameters.

2.In the resulting dialog, click the “Add a new parameter” button.

3.Choose the Revit Views category on the right side of the dialog, and give the parameter the

name Drawn by. In the Group Parameter Under drop-down list, select Identity Data (see Figure 2.26). Click OK.

4.Go back to the Project Browser.



Figure 2.26

Create a new project

parameter for Revit Views.

5.Go to Properties, and choose Duplicate “not on sheets”. Name the duplicate My


6.Click the Folders button.

7.Change the “Group by” setting to “Drawn by” (Figure 2.27), and click OK.

Figure 2.27

Group Revit Views by the new parameter,

“Drawn by”.

8.Go to any Revit View, and open its Revit View properties.

9.The project parameter you added appears in the Identity Data group as “Drawn by”. Type

your initials or name in the value field, and click OK (Figure 2.28).



Figure 2.28

Change the “Drawn

by” parameter for

any Revit View.


Sheets are special Revit Views that are your future documents—the actual sheets you’ll be sharing with your contractor, client, or team members. These sheets can contain many other Revit Views. This is where the collections of drawings that eventually get printed are stored. Under each sheet node, you see all the Revit Views placed on that sheet. Like any other Revit View in REVIT, if you double-click the node, the sheet Revit View opens in the Revit View window.

To make a new sheet, use the Revit View tab or the Revit View menu, and choose Sheet. This lets you select a title block family to use.


In the Project Browser, you can see all the loaded families in your project. From here, you can drag and drop elements into the drawing area, query element properties, create new types of elements, and even select all instances of a given element in the model in order to perform wholesale changes.

The context menu for families (Figure 2.29) is different from that for Revit Views. Note that if you choose the option to edit a family, you’ll open the family in the Family Editor, where you can make changes

to the component and then reload it. If you expand the family node to expose all the family types, you can right-click a type and choose Select All Instances from the context menu. All instances in

the model become selected, even if you can’t see them in your current Revit View. This lets you make

edits to the family type in one interaction. For example, you can select all instances of a door family and swap it with a different door type.


Starting with the 2008 release, REVIT links (other REVIT files that are linked into your project) are also listed in the Project Browser. Using the context menu, you can reload, unload, open, copy, and visu- ally identify the links in your project.



Figure 2.29

Options for families in the Project Browser


Groups are associated collections of elements that can be repeatedly placed throughout the model. Groups are used for repeating entities (from furniture composed of a table and six chairs, to a typical bath-

room type with fixtures and partitions, to a typical hotel room). When one group changes, all other instances of that group also change. Whenever a group is created, it appears in the Project Browser.

You can place a group from the Project Browser by dragging it into the Revit View window.

Working with Revit Views and Revit View Properties

As we’ve mentioned, all Revit Views have properties that determine characteristics such as scale, graph- ics display, and Revit View depth. Each Revit View type has special characteristics and options that are impor-

Activating a Revit View on a Sheet

Double-clicking a Revit View placed on a sheet is the same as opening the Revit View from the Revit View’s node. Double-

clicking the sheet name opens the sheet. From the sheet, you can directly edit Revit Views on the sheet by

right-clicking a Revit View and choosing Activate Revit View option. This opens the Revit View and grays out the sheet

context. You can then edit the Revit View from the context of your sheet. To get back to the sheet, use the con- text menu again, and choose Deactivate Revit View.



tant to understand when you’re using REVIT. We’ll look at the different Revit View types and explain their

defining features and how to use them. To access Revit View properties, use any of these access methods:


Right-click anywhere in the drawing surface of a Revit View, and select Revit View Properties.


Right-click a Revit View in the Project Browser, and select Properties.


Select Revit View Revit View Properties.


Use the keyboard shortcut VP to access the Revit View Properties dialog directly.

Floor Plans

Plan Revit Views are used to show horizontal slices through your 3D building. Each plan Revit View in REVIT is associated with a level. A level is a horizontal datum that establishes major floor-to-floor heights and other critical horizontal working planes. Figure 2.30 shows that each level generates a plan Revit View. By default, the plan is cut 4´ above the actual level height, but this value can be customized to suit your requirements. Note that if you delete a level in your project, you also delete all plan Revit Views associated with that level—so be careful when deleting levels!

Each plan Revit View can show a range of the model based on levels. This aspect of REVIT is often mis- understood, so let’s take a moment to demystify it.

Figure 2.30

Levels generate plan Revit Views.

Revit View Range

When creating your documents, you care about correct representation of your elements. Using the Object Styles dialog and graphic overrides, you can get your drawings to look exactly how you want them. However, you’ll often wish to add some abstraction to the drawing that involves ele- ments that aren’t typically visible in the Revit View. You may want to see roof lines overhead, or see down into an atrium a few levels below. This is where the Revit View Range options come in handy.

The options available in the Revit View Range dialog allow you to define how elements in a Revit View are represented, depending on their location in space. Revit View-range values are stored as a property of the Revit View and are included when you save a Revit View as a Revit View template.



Figure 2.31 shows three ways to represent the same space and elements by using different Revit View-

range settings. Think of the mess you might end up with if you had to do this using a layering system!

Figure 2.31

Three different repre-

sentations of the same model in plan Revit View

To access the Revit View Range dialog, go to Revit View properties of a plan or ceiling plan Revit View, and choose to edit the Revit View Range parameter. Doing so opens the dialog shown in Figure 2.32.

Figure 2.32

The Revit View Range dialog

The Revit View Range dialog is divided into two parameter groups: Primary Range and Revit View Depth. The Revit View range is defined by horizontal planes—three of them define the primary range (Top, Cut plane, and Bottom), and a fourth plane defines the depth of a Revit View (Revit View Depth):


Top—Defines the top limit of the Revit View range


Cut plane—Defines the height of the Cut plane


Bottom—Defines the bottom limit of the Revit View range

Note that the positioning of these is always relative to a level. The Cut plane always references the level of the Revit View in which you’re working, and the other two can reference any level of the project.

There is no graphical presentation of the Revit View-range settings, but it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine their position in space. Look at Figure 2.33, a representation of different positions of the horizontal planes of a Revit View range:



Figure 2.33

Various positions of

the Revit View range (top)

and the associated

plan Revit View (bottom)

Floor planIn a floor plan Revit View, the direction of the Revit View is from top to bottom—so, you’re looking from above.

Ceiling planIn a ceiling plan, the Revit View direction is exactly the opposite—you’re looking from below, upward (see Figure 2.34).

Figure 2.34

Position of the Revit View range for ceiling plans (top) and the associated

plan Revit View (bottom)

Depending on the positioning of the elements with respect to the Revit View range and its parameters, the graphical display of those elements can vary. The “Cut plane” parameter can radically change the appearance of your Revit View, because every element in REVIT has a physical location in space. Elements look different depending on whether they’re cut by the Cut plane, above the Cut plane, or below the Cut plane.



Cut Plane

Not all REVIT elements behave the same with respect to the Cut plane. Some REVIT categories don’t

support the notion of being cut (furniture families, for example); regardless at the height at which

a Cut plane intersects them, they’re always represented as if they’re Revit Viewed from above (not cut).

Figure 2.35 shows that a stool looks the same, no matter where the Cut plane happens to intersect it.

Figure 2.35

Elements are affected differently by the Cut


The Primary Range

Now that you have a general understanding of how the Cut plane affects elements in a Revit View, let’s dig deeper into the primary range concept. As we mentioned, this range consists of two other planes, Top and Bottom, which are placed respectively above and below the Cut plane. The exact positioning of these two planes is defined by an offset value relative to a level:

Does a Category Allow Cutting?

How do you determine whether a category allows its elements to be cut? A fast way is to look it up in the REVIT Help file under “Creating your own Components (Families)” Visibility and Detail Level

“Cuttable and non Cuttable Family categories.”

There is another method, as well, which may be more practical: In the Visibility Graphics dialog or the Object Styles dialog is a Cut column. For certain categories, this column is grayed out; this is the indi- cator that the category doesn’t allow cutting.



The Top plane can reference any levels above the current one. The Bottom plane can reference

any levels below the current one. Let’s look at some examples:


If an element is cut by a Cut plane, it’s visible in the Revit View as shown in Figure 2.36.

Figure 2.36

The cabinet is cut by the Cut plane and

is visible.


If an element is below the Cut plane but within the primary range (partially or completely), it’s visible in the plan Revit View as if it were looked at from above, as shown in Figure 2.37.

Figure 2.37

The lower bookcase isn’t cut but is visible.


If an element is above the Cut plane and completely within the Revit View range, it doesn’t appear unless it’s the category Windows, Casework, or Generic Model. It appears as if seen from above, as shown in Figure 2.38. Because the wall shelf is the category Casework, and it’s within the primary range, it appears in plan Revit View.

Figure 2.38

The wall shelf appears.

Revit View Depth

The Revit View Depth is defined by a horizontal plane that is below the Revit View range. The positioning of this plane uses the same principle as the planes in the Revit View range—it’s defined by an offset refer- encing a level:



This plane is often confused with the Bottom plane of the Revit View range: The Revit View Depth cannot be

above the Bottom plane. Revit View Depth allows you to see elements below. The default is set to show

nothing, because it’s associated with the active level and has no offset.

The Revit View Depth is easy to misunderstand; it sounds confusing to have a Bottom plane in the

Revit View range and also have this additional Revit View Depth parameter. The idea here is that you need the

ability to control the display of elements that are below the primary range but within the Revit View Depth. Consider a wall with a footing. The wall is placed on Level 0 and goes up to Level 1. In the plan Revit View of Level 0, using the default settings, you don’t see the footing (see Figure 2.39).

Figure 2.39

With the default Revit View Depth, the foot- ings aren’t visible in

plan Revit View.

Figure 2.40 shows the effect of the default Revit View range when it’s set to be coincident with the Revit View’s associated level, in this case Level 0. To make the footing visible in the Level 0 plan Revit View, you need to do the following:


Lower the height of the Bottom plane in the primary range, and define the Revit View Depth to be coincident with it.


Define the Revit View Depth so that it’s below the base of the footing.

In the second case, you don’t need to change anything about the Bottom plane. In addition, you can obtain a different graphic presentation for the footings (without modifying the Visibility/ Graphic Overrides settings). The Revit View Depth allows elements that are below the current level to appear in a unique line style named Beyond. To control that line style, choose Settings Line Styles.

Figure 2.40

Modifying the Revit View range for different vis- ibility. Lowering the

depth of the Revit View makes the footings

visible in plan Revit View. They’re represented

with the Beyond line style, which in this

example uses a dashed line.

To display the elements in Revit View in a specific way, you’ll need to play with various parameter set- tings in the Revit View range (see Figure 2.41).



Figure 2.41

Changing the Revit View-

range settings (top) and

the corresponding plan

Revit View (bottom)

To fully understand this example, it’s essential to understand the categories of the elements par- ticipating in this Revit View (from left to right in Figure 2.41):

The doorThe door belongs to the Door category. It’s cut by the Cut plane. Its graphic presen- tation is controlled by the Cut style in the Object Styles or Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog. The arc representing the door swing is a 2D symbolic element and thus can’t be cut by the Cut plane.

The low cabinetThe low cabinet belongs to the Furniture category Because it’s placed below the Cut plane but still within the Revit View Depth, it’s visible in plan Revit View. It uses the Beyond line style.

The wall mounted shelfThe wall shelf belongs to the Furniture System category. The shelf is above the Cut plane but within the Revit View range. Its category allows it to be represented in plan Revit View. Its graphics are controlled by the Projection column in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides or Object Styles dialog.

The desk-chair-drawer familyThe desk with a chair and a drawer (all one family) belongs to the Furniture category. This family is cut by the Cut plane. Its category doesn’t allow for it to be cut, and its graphics are thus controlled by the Projection style in the Visibility/Graphic Over- rides or Object Styles dialog.

The windowThe window belongs to the Window category. It’s cut by the Cut plane. Its graph- ics are controlled by the Cut style in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides or Object Styles dialog.

Creating a Plan Revit View Using Revit View Range and a Plan Region

Figure 2.42 is a model of a simple space that we’ll use to understand Revit View range. We have chosen a split-level example to show you the power of various settings and resulting displays of the



Revit View-range parameters. The goal is to create a plan Revit View of Level 0 that displays information from

a lower level. We want to display elements placed on Level 00B with a dashed line style. Follow

these steps:

Figure 2.42

Working with the Revit View range



1.Open the File Revit View_Range.rvt from the Chapter 2 folder on the book’s website.

In the elevation Revit View, you can see the various planes (Figure 2.43). The Revit View Depth is

defined to be the same as the Bottom plane.

Figure 2.43

Revit View-range settings

2.From the Level 00 plan Revit View, go to Revit View Properties, and open the Revit View Range dialog.

The default REVIT settings are currently being used. Notice in Figure 2.44 that elements placed on Level 00B are not visible in this Revit View. The low cabinet is visible in the Revit View, because it’s within the primary range. The wall shelf above the low cabinet belongs to the category Furniture Systems and is also visible, even though it’s above the Cut plane.

Figure 2.44

You can see the effect of moving the Bottom

and Revit View Depth to Level 00B.



3.Change the Bottom and Revit View Depth to Level Below (Level 00B), and click Apply.

Having defined the Bottom plane as well as the Revit View Depth to be coincident to Level 00B,

you’ve managed to show the elements of Level 00B in the Level 00 plan Revit View. The problem

is that it will be difficult to assign a dashed-line style to the elements placed on Level 00B, as

you initially desired. You could manually override all the elements, but you’d have to do so in each Revit View manually—let’s look at a smarter way to do this.

4.The furniture in this level is below the Cut plane. To change the graphic display of it, you

could use the Projection column in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides or Object Styles dialog; but in that case, the presentation of the furniture on Level 00 would be affected—and that isn’t what you want to happen.

5. Set the Bottom plane to Level 00, and give the Revit View Depth a –4´ (–1m) offset below Level 00.

Click Apply. In the elevation in Figure 2.45, you can see the various planes in dashed-line style. As you’ll notice, the chairs are now visible but not the table—this is because the chairs are partially within the Revit View but the tables aren’t (they’re below the Revit View Depth). The chairs belong to the Furniture category, which doesn’t support a cut representation; they’re shown as if they were seen from above, even though they’re intersected by the Revit View Depth.

Figure 2.45

Modifying the Revit View Depth settings



6.Set the Revit View Depth to Level Below (Level 00B) and give it a –4´ (–1m) offset. In the elevation

in Figure 2.46, you can see the various planes in dashed-line style.

By changing the Revit View Depth, you have achieved your goal of seeing the furniture from

below in a dashed-line style; however, the windows don’t look quite right. To fix that, REVIT

provides a tool that allows you to selectively alter the Revit View range for certain parts of the Revit View using a plan region. This tool lets you draw a rectangle and then define the Revit View range for that rectangle as a way to override the Revit View-range settings of the Revit View.

Figure 2.46

Lowering the Revit View Depth

7.In the Revit View Design tab of the Design bar, select the Plan Region tool, and sketch a rectangle

around the windows as shown in Figure 2.47. This region will make it possible to show the windows as if they were cut.



Figure 2.47

Making a plan region,

annotated here by

the rectangle in the

upper right

8.Click the Revit View Range Properties button on the Design bar, and change the Revit View range of the

plan region. In this example, to show the window, set the level the Cut plane is referencing to Level 00B (see Figure 2.48).

Figure 2.48

Revit View-rangeproperties of the plan region

If you need to adjust the properties of the plan region later, select it and use the Revit View Range but- ton on the Options bar as a quick way to get back to the settings.


Section Revit Views are placed using the Revit Views or Basics tab in the Design bar. Like a plan Revit View, a section is a live cut through the building model. You can place sections in plans, elevations, and other sec- tion Revit Views, and they will appear in other Revit Views. A section has two graphic symbols associated with it that appear at either end of the section line. Check the Options bar when placing a new section— you’ll notice that you can choose a section type (Building, Wall, Detail) and also preset the scale. These are the options available when placing a section:

You define the section line by making two clicks in the Revit View. Once a section has been created, you can move it by dragging it. The amazing thing is that when you move the section line, the Revit View it references is automatically regenerated. A section line always shows what it’s cutting when the Revit View is displayed. It’s impossible to have a section that is out of sync with the model.

Some special properties are available to sections, which help you create the drawings you want. We’ll focus on those next.



Broken Section Lines

The default section graphic is shown as solid line with a section head and section tail at the ends.

You can break a section cut line by clicking the little squiggle icon in the center of the line. Doing

this lets you create a graphic as shown in Figure 2.49.

Figure 2.49

Clicking the squiggle icon breaks the

section line.

Jogged Sections

As you draw a section line, you’ll notice that you can only draw a straight segment. Often, however, you’ll want the section line to pass through important parts of the building that don’t lie on the same line—you’ll need to break the section line and make it jog. You can jog the section line around elements in plan to change what is shown in the Revit View. To do this, click the Split Segment button on the Options bar when a section is selected. The cursor changes to a knife. Click to split the section, and begin dragging the segment. Figure 2.50 shows an example of a section split that jogs around an elevator core but cuts through classrooms.

Figure 2.50

Jogging a section line



Revit View Depth

When a section is selected, you can control the extents of the Revit View interactively using the crop

boundaries. The right and left sides directly affect the section-Revit View size on a sheet. The far clip lim-

its how much geometry is visible in depth. To improve performance and get the right representa-

tion, be aware of how deep your sections are. Show only what is needed. By default, a new section extends the entire depth of the model. To change that, pull the far clip closer to the cut plane (see Figure 2.51).

Figure 2.51

Controlling the section depth

Auto-Hiding Sections/Elevations

It’s possible for sections to disappear from time to time as you change the scale of a Revit View. If you check the visibility settings or try Reveal Hidden Elements mode, it won’t be clear why the sections aren’t visible. This behavior is a result of a little-known feature: “Hide at scales coarser than.” This parameter lets you set a scale beyond which the section will no longer be visible. In most circum- stances, the benefit of this feature will be nearly invisible—REVIT will do the right thing, and you’ll go about your business as usual.


Elevations are made by placing elevation tags in floor-plan Revit Views. Depending on where you place the elevation in the model, you’ll get different resulting Revit Views. REVIT assumes that if you place an elevation in the model (in a room, for example), you’re creating interior elevations. The Revit View shows only the walls visible in that room. If you place an elevation outside your model, a building eleva- tion is created that shows the entire façade.

Elevations are a lot like sections in terms of how they behave in REVIT: They have a clip plane, a crop boundary, and a symbol, and they can be opened directly by double-clicking the symbol. Ele- vation tags can have as many as four Revit Views related to one tag for the purpose of creating interior elevations of rooms. This is great for interior elevations but limits your ability to customize the graphics of these tags.



In many scenarios, the symbol used for an exterior building elevation is identical to the symbol used for section heads. Currently, in REVIT, this can’t be done with a standard elevation symbol. For this use case, we suggest a common workaround:

1.Create a building section, and open its properties. Click the Edit/New button, and then

duplicate the section. Name the new type Exterior Elevation, as shown in Figure 2.52.

2.When you go to place an exterior elevation, choose the Section tool instead. Draw the section

so that it creates an exterior Revit View of the model.

3.Drag the section head to the middle of the model. Notice that the section extents stay where

they are, so the Revit View isn’t affected by this graphical change.

4.Turn off the visibility of the section tail by clicking the cycle icon.

Hiding Sections at Coarser Revit View Scales

In a 1/4? floor-plan Revit View, you may have many wall sections, building sections, and interior elevation tags visible. However, with a 1/8? plan, you only want to see the building sections and exterior elevation tags. Using the “Hide at scales coarser than” option, you can do this. Select your interior elevation tags, and set their type property to hide at scales coarser than 1/4?. (Make sure you select the Revit View direction arrow, not the Revit View reference part.) Next time you open the 1/8? plan, they won’t be visible. Do the same for your wall sections. Because this is an instance property, you must first select the elements to which you want to apply this rule.



Figure 2.52

Making a new section

type for a building


5.Drag the section line so it disappears into the section head.

6.Check your Project Browser. A new node appears for your Exterior Elevations.

7.In Figure 2.53, the elevation still appears in the sections node, but it’s appended with the

Exterior Elevation type. You can rename the section if needed.

Figure 2.53

The elevation tag looks like the

section tag.

If you go this route, be aware that to adjust the cropping, you must select the section line you just

worked so hard to hide. You’ll need to zoom in close and use the Tab key to select that line again.

Once it’s selected, you’ll have full access to the other controls associated with the section.

3D Revit Views

One of the most obvious benefits of working with BIM is the 3D nature of the model. When using REVIT, you’ll find yourself constantly making 3D Revit Views, examining the space from various vantage points, and making presentations you would not be able to do using a 2D application. You can create two types of 3D Revit Views in REVIT—axonometric and perspective—and each has special characteristics that you need to be aware of.

Axonometric 3D Revit Views

An axon Revit View is a scaled drawing showing the model in three dimensions. These Revit Views allow you

to dimension lengths in all three dimensions with no perspective distortion. The easiest way to make an axon Revit View is to duplicate the default {3D} Revit View using the Project Browser. Right-click the {3D} Revit View name, and duplicate it. Once you do this, the next time you press the 3D icon, a new default {3D} Revit View will be created automatically. Once you have a 3D Revit View, use the mouse to spin around. Hold down Shift and the middle mouse button to orbit around the model. If you first select something and then orbit, you’ll orbit around your selection. To pan the Revit View, hold down the middle mouse button and pan. To zoom, scroll the mouse wheel back and forth.

Orienting to Other Revit Views

Perhaps the most compelling feature of the axon Revit View is its ability to orient to other Revit Views. When you do this, a 3D section box is enabled in the Revit View that cuts the model in all six directions of the box. You can go from a very dense, hard-to-read model to a focused representation. Figure 2.54 shows a 3D Revit View that was oriented to a section Revit View. You’re free to create new elements and edit the model from these types of Revit Views.

To create these types of Revit Views, open a 3D Revit View and choose Revit View Orient To Other Revit View. Then, choose which Revit View to orient to. The section box is turned on and matches the extents of the Revit View being oriented to. You can then spin the model to get a 3D representation. With REVIT, these types of Revit Views are easily generated; they suggest a new type of drawing to be included in standard con- struction and presentation document sets.

Perspective Revit Views (Cameras)

Perspectives in REVIT (bird-eye and frog-eye Revit Views) follow the metaphor of placing a camera in space. To make a new camera, start from a floor plan, and use the Camera tool from the Revit View Design tab. The first click establishes where the camera is placed in the model. Look at the Options bar: You can set the camera height prior to placement if you want. The default puts the camera 5´6? (1.8m) above the active level you’re on. You then give the camera a direction and set the center of rotation by clicking a second time. The Revit View automatically opens for you to reveal what your cam- era sees. The camera placement is shown in Figure 2.55.



Figure 2.54

3D Revit View oriented to a

section Revit View and then


Figure 2.55

Camera placement

Once in the camera Revit View, you can navigate around by using the mouse buttons to orbit and pan.

For even more options, enable the Dynamic Revit View dialog. Check the Walkthrough and Field of Revit View

tabs for some less-obvious options that are available (shown in Figure 2.56).

Figure 2.56

Dynamic Revit View options

In the Field of Revit View tab, you see a button labeled In/Out. This lets you change the focal length of the camera, which you can think of as zooming a lens in and out. The camera stays in same loca- tion when you use this feature.

Once a camera has been placed, you won’t see it in other Revit Views. Its default state is to be invisible. To make a camera visible, select the Revit View in the Project Browser, and choose Show Camera from the context menu. You’ll see a graphic of the camera and its available controls such as the camera, tar- get, and far clip plane (if it’s enabled). Select any controls, and drag them around to alter the loca- tion of the camera. Clicking empty space or another element deselects the camera; it will disappear.

Unlike axon Revit Views, perspective cameras don’t have a Revit View scale that determines how big the Revit View is. A perspective has no scale, so you use the crop region to define the size of the image. Select the crop region of a perspective Revit View, and click the Size button on the Options bar.

The width and height are controlled here—this is the size of the image if it was printed out on paper. If you start editing the values, you’ll see the crop boundary resize. The default option (“Field of Revit View”) adjusts the width and height independently, and the model becomes more or less cropped. Figure 2.57 shows the effect of changing Width from 16? to 12?.

If you choose the “Scale (locked proportions)” option and change either Width or Height, the image looks exactly the same but is scaled up or down. If you like the proportions of your shot, but you want a bigger version of it, choose this option.

The Bottom Line

The REVIT user interface is fairly straightforward. Once you know how to access settings, add elements to a Revit View, and navigate Revit Views, you’ll be off and running. Get use to the idea of editing prop- erties of elements to change their appearance and behavior. This applies to model elements, annotations, and Revit Views.

Work with and understand REVIT parametric elements Although you can find references to objects, families, instances, and components, in the end everything is an element.

Master It What are REVIT elements, and how are they managed graphically?

Use the REVIT user interface As in any software application, you need to know where all the major components are and what tasks they support.

Master It How do you change the graphics of a category for all Revit Views? What if you need to change the graphics for only one Revit View?



Figure 2.57

Changing the size of

perspective Revit Views

No comments: