The default character entourage in Revit are weird and ugly. Why would you want to see a cross shaped human in your views? In this tutorial, you will learn how to modify the default entourage to make it more interesting. Shout out to architect Steven C Shell, who inspired the idea.
Your first step should be to find interesting characters in the DWG families. This task should be pretty simple when using Google properly. Try typing something like “AutoCAD entourage”.
Make sure to clean the DWG file with purge and remove all useless lines. Each human should be in a separate file. Then, edit the default Revit entourage family.
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2- IMPORT DWG IN THE ENTOURAGE ELEVATION
Once you are inside the default entourage family, go to the Front Elevation view. You will see the weird cross 3D element. Import your DWG file containing the human silhouette. Make sure “Current View Only” is not checked. Set the feet of the DWG shape to match the bottom of the existing 3D silhouette.
3- MODEL EXTRUSION BASED ON HUMAN SILHOUETTE
Now, this is the boring part. You have to model an extrusion based on the edges of your DWG file. You can try using the Pick Lines tool to save some time. Depending on the AutoCAD file. It might work well, but with some DWG you might be forced to manually draw some of the purple boundary lines. Click the green check to complete and set the extrusion thickness at around 10mm.
4- SET A MATERIAL PARAMETER TO THE EXTRUSION
Select the extrusion you’ve just created and click on the small rectangle next to the Material parameter. Create a new parameter. This will allow you to select a specific material once the family is inserted in the project.
5- SET VISIBILITY PARAMETER TO BOTH 3D ELEMENTS
Here is the beauty of this family: when creating a rendering or a realistic view, you can activate the RPC cross shaped element, which will produce an image rendering. When you want to use a simple silhouette for shaded views, just turn on the extrusion you’ve just created. To achieve this goal, create visibility parameter for both elements.
6- MOVE EXTRUSION AND DWG FILE TO THE ORIGIN
You want all the elements to be located at the origin of the family. Select the extrusion and the DWG file and set them to match the RPC cross shaped 3D element. Then, go to plan view and set the extrusion and DWG file to match the central reference plane.
7- DUPLICATE DWG, SET VISIBILITY PARAMETER
Copy an instance of the DWG file to the other side of the extrusion. This way, the CAD lines can be visible from either side of the entourage person. Then, assign a new visibility parameter to both DWG instances. This way, you can decide if you want the 2D lines to be visible or not once inside the project.
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8- LOAD INTO PROJECT, TRY DIFFERENT STYLES
Time to load your family in your project and create an instance of it. Try playing with the materials and the visibility of parameters. Each view might require a different entourage style. Sometimes a black silhouette is enough. In other views, you might want to activate the DWG 2D lines to see more human details.
Style #3 is using a material with 20% transparency. Make sure to experiment with the family until you find a style you like.
As you can see below, the modified entourage families create an interesting, mysterious atmosphere in the 3D view.
9- ACTIVATE RPC VISIBILITY FOR RENDERING
To create renderings or realistic views, turn off the Silhouette and DWGs, then activate the RPC visibility. As you see, the cross-shaped elements will be transformed into an actual image. Let’s be honest: these characters are not very good looking... but they can be useful when combined with a plug-in like Enscape.
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Last year Revit 2019 was an amazing update that introduced great features such as the double pattern and tabbed views.
Does the new 2020 version live up to the hype? At first glance, it doesn’t seem to be as impressive as the last version, but there is certainly some great new features. This guide mostly covers Revit for architecture. For MEP and Structure, make sure to read the complete Autodesk blog post.
Here are the best new features of Revit 2020:
1- NEW PATH OF TRAVEL TOOL
In Revit 2019:
Calculating the path of travel for code requirement was really annoying. There was no way to automatically calculate the total length of chain lines. AutoCAD was actually better at this task because of the polyline feature. The Dynamo Player could be used with the “Calculate Total Length of Selected Lines” command… but the process was a little rough.
In Revit 2020:
The new Path of Travel feature allows you to select a “start point” and an “end point”. Revit will then automatically calculate the shortest path between the two points. That means it will avoid walls and try to find doors.
This “Path of Travel Lines” can be tagged. In the image below, we created a new custom tag to indicate the length of the path.
By default, the path of travel lines will use a unique, custom linestyle. You can use this default linestyle or select another one in the instance properties of the Travel Lines. You could use various line styles for different paths.
By default, the travel path will avoid any object. In the example below, we add a furniture element. Select the travel path and click the “update” button. It will adjust to this new object.
You can assign which model elements can be considered as “obstacles” to be avoided. Click on the small arrow just below the Path of Travel tool in the Analyze tab. Then, uncheck any categories you don’t want to be used by the automatic path calculation. Revit will also ignore all hidden and demolished elements.
At the bottom of the view, specify a height interval in which the elements will be used in the travel path calculations. That means elements above or below this range won’t affect the path.
Filters can also be used to color the path of distance lines. In the example below, we set a red filter to all travel path lines that exceed 12 meters.
Finally, Path of Travel lines can be scheduled. In the example below, we create a schedule for the plan above. I was surprised by how much information can be used here. You can set a speed to calculate how long it will take someone to get out using a specific travel path. There is also a “To Room” and a “From Room” feature but it doesn’t seem to work at the moment… unless I’m missing something.
This is a really fascinating feature… kudos to the Autodesk team.
2- IMPORT PDF TO REVIT
If you go to the Insert tab in the ribbon, you will find a brand new Import PDF tool. Yeah!
The PDF will be imported as a 2D object in the current view only. You have to specify which page you want to import each time you select a PDF file. You can also specify a DPI import value.
If the PDF contains vector lines, you can use the Enable Snap feature to interact with the lines using tools such as “pick lines”.
Once the snaps are activated, you can use the “pick walls” tool to use the PDF as a reference to create new walls and other model elements.
The PDFs can be managed from the Manage Images menu. This tool can be found in both the Insert tab and the Manage tab.
3- CREATE ELLIPTICAL WALLS
In Revit 2019:
There was no simple way to create walls following an elliptical shape. The only workaround was to create a mass and then a “wall by face”. A sloppy and inefficient process.
In Revit 2020:
The elliptical wall feature is now directly integrated in Revit.
4- EDIT SCOPE BOXES IN VIEW LIST
In Revit 2019:
To edit the scope boxes, you had to enter a view and modify the instance properties. If you have a lot of views, this can be a long process.
In Revit 2020:
You can now add the “Scope box” parameter in a “view list” schedule. That means you can quickly assign scope boxes without having to manually enter a view. Useful for projects with a lot of views.
Make sure to add the “Scope Box” parameter in the fields of the view list. As you see below, all scope boxes can be assigned from here.
Make sure to read our complete scope box guide:
5- MORE EFFICIENT IMPORTATION FOR SKETCHUP FILES
In Revit 2019:
Importing a sketchup file was inefficient. Imported materials names were changed to Render Material followed by a RGB code. Importation was limited to prehistoric versions of Sketchup.
In Revit 2020:
Sketchup 2018 files can now be imported. Colors and transparency will act in a more consistent way. Sadly, the colors in Realistic visual style won’t use the Sketchup colors and everything will be set to RGB code 80-80-80.
The material names from imported sketchup files are acting in a much more consistent way. Instead of creating a “Rendering Material” with a RGB code, Revit will keep the sketchup name or color name. Also, you can set the material filter to “SKP” to only see the imported sketchup materials.
6- COPY AND PASTE LEGENDS VIEWS TO SHEETS
In Revit 2019:
The only way to add a legend to a sheet was using the “Place View” tool or to drag the legend view from the project browser. Adding a legend to multiple view could be a long and annoying process.
In Revit 2020:
Legends can now be copied from a sheet to another. You can select the “Paste Aligned To Same Place” feature to make sure legends are in the exact same spot on all sheets.
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7- MANAGE IMAGES MENU IMPROVEMENTS
Images that are imported and linked into Revit can be managed more easily. The Manage Images menu will display the file format, the original image dimensions and DPI. You can also select the path type to be based on Absolute, Relative or Cloud.
8- IMPROVED “OR” IN VIEW FILTERS
In Revit 2019:
Let’s say you are creating a filter that include multiple categories. In this example, Walls and Windows. If you are using the OR rule, you can only use parameters that are common to both categories. That means you can’t select category specific parameter like “length” for wall.
In Revit 2020:
In the new version, you can assign each OR rule to a specific category, allowing you to choose specific parameters. As you can see in this example, we can set the category to Walls and use the Length parameter. You can also select “All Selected Categories”, which will act the same way as the default mode in Revit 2019.
Architects often criticize the ugly, boring and flat drawings produced by Revit. It is a legitimate criticism. The out-of-the-box line weights settings suck, and they are not easy to customize. The goal of this post is to teach you everything you need to know to adjust all the line weights options in your projects, giving you the power to create the best lines hierarchy in town.
1- ADJUST LINES THICKNESS ON THE “LINE WEIGHTS” MENU
Click on “Additional Settings” in the Manage tab. Select Line Weights. This is where you will assign a thickness value to each number. In the Model Line category, you can assign a different thickness for different scales. In some cases, it is better to remove this option and use the same thickness for all scale.
2- THICKNESS VALUES ARE FOR PRINTED DOCUMENTS
When viewing a Revit model on a computer screen, the thickness of elements is dynamic. That means elements will appear to be thicker when you are zoomed in and thiner when you are zoomed out. That is the opposite of a printed document, where the thickness never changes.
That is why changing the scale of a view from 1:100 to 1:200 will make all elements appear much thicker on your screen, while in reality, the elements are twice as small on a sheet of paper.
To reduce the confusion of this effect, consult views when placed on a sheet. The title block will help to contextualize the scale and thickness of elements. To properly test out your settings, you will need to print the drawings using the correct scale. That means avoiding print screen or the “Fit to page” print settings. Make sure to use Zoom 100% when printing.
3- SET LINE WEIGHTS TO ELEMENTS IN OBJECT STYLE
Once you set all the line weight thickness values you want to use, go to the Object Style menu located in the manage tab.
You will have to set both a Projection and a Cut thickness value. Projection lines are seen from a distance. Cut lines are usually thicker and are used when an element intersect the cut plane of the view.
Let’s start with the Wall category. As you see, there are subcategories such as Cornice where you can assign a different thickness value. You can also use this menu to specify a line color and pattern.
In the image below, you can see a wall using the settings we’ve just applied in the Object Style menu. The 1 and 3 thickness numbers refer to the thickness values assigned in the Line Weights menu. In the test #3, we’ve reduced the thickness value of line weight 3 in the 1:200 scale to 0.30mm instead of 0.35mm.
4- ADJUST LINES THICKNESS IN SPECIFIC VIEW BY USING VISIBILITY GRAPHICS MENU
Using the combo of Object Style and Line Weights will affect all elements in all views. If want to modify the thickness of a category of elements in a specific view, you will have to use the Visibility Graphics menu. Use shortcut VG. Scroll down to the walls category. Click on the Override button for Cut Lines. This will make all walls thicker in the view where this override is applied.
5- ADJUST PERSPECTIVE LINE WEIGHTS
Since perspective views don’t use a scale, customize the thickness in the Line Weights menu. Make sure to place perspectives on sheets to properly gauge the thickness. For full control of line thickness hierarchy in perspectives , consider using tool such as Silhouettes and Linework.
6- ADJUST ANNOTATION LINE WEIGHTS
To adjust the thickness of annotation elements like sections marks, dimensions, generic annotations and tags, you will have to use the Annotation Line Weights menu. As you see below, modifying these values doesn’t affect model elements or detail lines.
7- ADJUST ANNOTATION ELEMENTS THICKNESS VALUES IN OBJECT STYLES
You just learned how to adjust the line weight of all annotation elements. You must also set a numerical value to each annotation element category in the Object Styles menu. Click on the Annotation Objects category. In the example below, we adjust the line weight of the generic annotation category, which affects our note bubble family.
8- CREATE SUBCATEGORIES IN A FAMILY FOR CUSTOM LINE WEIGHTS
What if the effect of the Object Style menu is too broad for you? Below, we modify a note bubble generic annotation family. We create a custom “Bubble Thick Lines” in the object styles of the family and assign it to the masking region of the note bubble.
We also add a small tail to the bubble that uses the “Bubble Thin Line” subcategory. Then, we save and insert the family into the project.
Go back to the Object Style menu of the project. As you can see in the image below, the new custom “bubble” subcategories are added to the project. This way, you can adjust the line weight of the bubble generic annotation without affecting the line weight of the other generic annotation families.
Another quick tip: the leader line weight is controlled by the Generic Annotation category. Sadly, this cannot be reassigned.
9- MODIFY SYSTEM FAMILIES TYPE PROPERTIES TO ADJUST THICKNESS
You’ve just learned how to modify a loadable family and use the object style menu to properly control line weight. However, Revit also contains System Families which cannot be edited in the family editor. Such families include levels, grids, dimensions and many others. In the example below, we modify the type properties of a dimension. Both the Line Weight and the Tick Mark can be assigned to a specific line weight numerical value.
10- MATERIALS PATTERNS ARE ALWAYS LINE WEIGHT 1
When setting the pattern in a material properties, you don’t have the option to pick a line weight. That’s because all the weights are set to 1 and cannot be changed.
There is an exception to this rule: a line weight can be assigned to a pattern when used in a Fill Region.
11- CEILING PATTERN LINES ARE ALWAYS WEIGHT 2
The line weight of almost all elements can be customized. The ceiling pattern lines are an exception. The weight of ceilings is always 2. That’s why ceiling patterns tends to be quite thick. There is no way to modify that thickness except by using the Line Weights menu.
12- ADJUST CAD IMPORT LINE WEIGHT
Most CAD files use a color system to assign a thickness. In the image below, you can see the typical color hierarchy. The problem is that by default, Revit will ignore the AutoCAD color system and set everything to the basic line weight 1.
To fix the issue, go to the Insert tab and click on the small arrow below “Manage Images”.
Below, you can see that the Line Weight in the default settings are all set to 1. Adjust the values to fit the DWG color number. When you re-import the DWG file, the lines thickness will match the Revit Line Weight settings.
13- ADJUST CAD LINE WEIGHT IN OBJECT STYLE
In some cases, you will work with a CAD file where a thickness is directly assigned to a layer instead of using the color code. When Revit import such a file, it will match the thickness of the CAD line to the closest value inside your Revit Line Weight setting. For example, a CAD line with a 0.30mm thickness will be assigned to Line Weight 3, which is 0.35mm.
It is always possible to customize the line weight of all imported CAD layers. Go to the Object Styles menu, then to the Imported Objects tab. As you see below, you can reconfigure the weight, color and pattern of all CAD layers. This will affect all instances of the CAD file in the model.
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Wall joins is one of the most traumatic feature of Revit. You need a lot of patience not to get triggered by the bizarre, diagonal, odd-shaped default joins that Revit will propose to you by default. Don’t worry, we got you covered.
1- DISALLOW JOIN AND DRAG BOUNDARY POINT TO CREATE LINE BETWEEN 2 WALLS
A common issue among Revit beginners is the unability to properly control if a line will display between 2 walls. By default, all walls created in Revit are joined together. In some cases, you want to see a line between two walls, especially in a case where an interior wall is joined with an exterior wall.
There is 3 ways to fix this issue. The first one is to right-click the blue boundary point of the wall and click on “Disallow Join”. The next step is to drag the boundary point to the limit of the wall.
If you want to bring back the wall join, select the wall and click on the small icon like in the image below.
2- USE THE WALL JOIN TOOL TO REMOVE JOIN CLEANUP
Another technique to remove the join clean is to select the Wall Join tool in the modify tab. Put your cursor at the walls junction. A grey square will highlight the join. In the options bar, select the Don’t Clean Join option and a thick line will appear.
3- ADJUST WALL JOIN DISPLAY IN VIEW PROPERTIES
The third and final technique to control the wall joins is to use Wall Join Display in the instance properties of the view. You can only modify this setting if the Detail Level of the view is Coarse. This technique is useful if you have a lot of walls, removing the tedious process of manually adjusting the join and boundary of each individual wall.
When using this option, the joins of walls using the same type will still be cleaned.
4- CORE BOUNDARY EXTEND TO STRUCTURE  MATERIALS
When using a complex wall type with multiple layers, the materials inside the Core Boundary will extend to the material with the Structure  function. Make sure to set the view detail level to Fine to see all the layers. In the example below, we have an exterior wall and an interior wall.
The exterior wall structure  material is CMU, while the core boundary of the interior wall is the Metal Stud material. If the 2 walls are joined, these structural materials will automatically intersect.
In the example below, we modify the structure of the exterior brick wall. The Structure  function is now assigned to the gypsum material. As you can see, the metal stud layer from the interior wall will now go all the way to the gypsum material.
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5- SWITCH JOIN ORDER OF JOINED WALLS TO MODIFY PRIORITY
When 2 walls cross each other like in the image below, they won’t automatically join. Use the Join Geometry tool in the modify tab to join the walls together. The first wall you click using the tool has priority, meaning the material layers inside the Core Boundary will go through the other wall.
It is possible to change the join order. Go back to the modify tab. Click the Join dropdown menu and select Switch Join Order.
6- MATERIALS INSIDE CORE BOUNDARY EXTEND TO STRUCTURE  MATERIAL
In the image below, we move the Gypsum finish layers so they are inside the Core Boundary. Everything inside the core boundary of a wall structure will extend to meet the Structure  material of the intersecting wall. In the example below, the gypsum now go all the way to the CMU material.
7-MODIFY THE WALL JOIN TYPE
The Wall Join tool can also be used to modify how the walls will be joined together. Select the tool in the modify tab and select a walls junction.
Then, select among the 3 different join options available.
8- TRY MULTIPLE CONFIGURATION OF A JOIN TYPE
Click on the Previous and Next button to try out multiple configurations of a join type. For example, there is multiple possibilities of the Butt or Square off joins type. This toggles which wall has priority and how the walls get cut.
The example above is a quite simple join type… But sometimes, you can have a wall junction with dozens of possible configurations! When more than 2 walls meet at a junction, things start to get messy. The junction in the image below has 6 different options for the butt join type alone, including a few options that don’t make any sense. There is no real way to make these junctions simple, you just have to be patient.
In some cases, you might be forced to moved the boundary of wall away and putting it back again to fix some issues.
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Most architects think that Revit is a terrible presentation tool. They are wrong. And this guide is going to prove it. You don’t need sketchup or Photoshop to create interesting conceptual documents.
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In this post, we are going to use the project provided by a Revit Pure reader: Wolfgang Sirtl. The name of the project is: Beckerstraße. It is a 17 apartments building in Ingolstadt, south Germany. Check out this firm website over here: http://www.qsp-architekten.de/
Enough babbling! Let’s get started.
1- ADJUST LINE WEIGHT
A common criticism of Revit is the difficulty to adjust the line weight of elements, especially in elevations and 3D views. In the plan view below, you can see that the line thickness hierarchy is not great… the drawing appears flat. The cut walls line thickness is set to 4, meaning it will print at .35mm. That’s pretty thin.
Let’s go to the Line Weights menu. Go to the Additional Settings dropdown menu in the Manage tab. Select the Line Weights tool. Adjust the number 4 thickness for the correct scale. In the example below, we boost the thickness to 0.5mm. The drawing looks much better!
The Line Weights menu is not the only way to affect the thickness. The Linework tool (shortcut: LW) allows you to replace the style of a single line. In the example below, we override a 3D edge to a purple dashed line. Drag the blue dot to adjust the line override boundary.
2- UNDERSTAND WHICH VISUAL STYLE TO USE
Revit offers 6 different visual styles. Think carefully about which one to use. For conceptual views, Consistent Colors is often a great choice. Hidden Lines might also be interesting. When you are ready for images that are more realistic, the Realistic style and rendering.
A confusing feature of Revit is the difference between the Graphics and Appearance properties of a material. The settings in Graphics will be used in Wireframe, Hidden Lines, Shaded and Consistent Colors styles. The appearance settings, where you can set image textures, are used for Realistic, Raytrace and renderings.
In the image below, we adjust a brick material. In the Graphics tab, we set a line pattern and a color to be used in shaded/consistent colors visual style. In the appearance tab, we set an actual brick texture image.
As you can see below, Consistent Colors will display materials using line pattern, while Realistic will display the material using image textures.
3- CREATE A POCHE CUT STYLE
For presentation documents, you probably don’t want to see a bunch of wall and floors layers. For example, this is what a “default” section-perspective will look like.
To give more punch to this drawing, let’s create a poche for all walls, floors, roofs and columns elements. Go to the Visibility/Graphics menu by using shortcut VG. Set a dark solid color fill for the cut pattern of all elements, except topography.
As you can see below, the drawing is suddenly more much interesting.
This technique can also be used in regular sections and plan views.
4- MASTER THE SHADOWS
Time to use your dark wizardry skills to create shadows.
There is 2 types of shadows in Revit: Cast Shadows and Ambient Shadows.
You can click on the small sphere icon at the bottom of your screen to activate cast shadows. But the best way to do it is to go to the Graphic Display Options menu by clicking on the cube at the bottom of your screen.
Woah! That’s way too dark. Go back to Graphic Display Options menu and then to the Lighting submenu. Set the shadows intensity between 10 and 15.
Better. But we need Ambient Shadows. Go back to the shadows submenu and activate the option.
That’s it! Now that’s a good looking view. The only problem with Ambient Shadows is that you can’t control the intensity of the effect. In black and white views, it sometimes turn out to be too intense.
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5- ACTIVATE ANTI-ALIASING
Aliasing occurs in a drawing when angled lines appear pixelated. Go to the Graphic Display Options menu. Under “Model Display”, check the “Smooth lines with anti-aliasing” box.
6- USE CUSTOM ENTOURAGE
The default trees and entourage characters in Revit are not pretty. If you want to show people in your views without having to use Photoshop, your best bet is to create or download custom families.
In the example below, we populate the section-perspective with default Revit entourage RPC families. Yuck.
Let’s fix the image by using custom made entourage families. Better, isn’t it?
Our DESIGN package teaches you how to create custom entourage families. It also contains some of them to make your views better.
7- UNDERSTAND HOW TO USE GRAPHIC OVERRIDES
By default, the graphic styles of all model elements are controlled by the Object Style menu and the material assigned. For example, the wall below has a concrete material assigned, which will determine the patterns. The line thickness is controlled in the Object Style menu, located in the Manage tab
What if you want to modify the visual style of this wall, but only in a specific view? That’s when you have to use overrides. In the image below, we use multiple overrides to affect the graphic display of the wall.
To create presentation documents, you have to use overrides to affect an entire drawing. This way, you can have both a construction plan view and a presentation plan view with completely different graphic styles in the same model.
The chart below explains how Revit decides which tool to prioritize when drawing an element. That means an element with a Linework override will have priority over an element affected by a view filter or by a phasing setting. The low priority settings usually have a broad effect on the project at large, while the high priority are usually specific to single elements.
For presentation purpose, the Visibility/Graphics menu is useful to overrides all elements in the view. Then, you can make adjustments on specific elements by using tools like Override Graphics In View and Linework.
8- USE COLORED PUNCH IN BLACK AND WHITE VIEWS
Black and white views can be charming. In theory, the Hidden Lines style is always black and white. But it is actually possible to set a colored override to a specific element. In the image below, we modify the glass material and set a solid fill surface pattern in the background. The blue tint gives a sensual touch to the view.
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There are many ways to create interior finishes drawings in Revit. Most of them are terrible and inefficient. After years of experimentations and trying different systems, we found the best way to create finishes plan. The technique taught in this guide aims to provide a consistent strategy that can be used in plan views, elevations and even 3D views. Good luck.
1- MODEL ADDITIONAL THIN FLOORS AND WALLS
Create a new wall and floor type with a thickness of about 12mm (1/2”). Call these elements INT-Finish Floor and INT-Finish Wall. You can adapt the name to match your existing standards.
Model these elements where you want to indicate a specific finish in your documents. In the case of a floor, make sure to set an offset equivalent to the element thickness so it sits over the main floor element. Also, make sure the main model elements don’t include a finish layer.
2- JOIN THE MAIN WALL WITH THE FINISH WALL
By default, the additional finish wall will go over openings such as doors and windows. The trick to fix this issue is quite simple: use the Join feature in the Modify tab to join both walls together. The finish wall will then automatically embed all the openings.
3- ADD A FILTER TO HIDE FINISH ELEMENTS IN MOST VIEWS
A benefit of this strategy is that it allows you to hide the floors and walls finish pattern in most views. That way, the finishes can be seen in specific finishes view but remain invisible in other construction documents.
Go to the Visibility/Graphics menu by using shortcut VG. Go to the filter submenu. Click to add a new filter.
Create a filter called Interior Finishes. Include the Floors and Walls categories. Set the rules so the Type Comments equals FINISH.
Add this new filter to the view. Uncheck the visibility parameter.
The final step to make the filter works is to add the FINISH parameter value in the Type Comments of the finish wall and floor. You can adjust this value by selecting the thin finish wall/floor and by clicking on Edit Type. Scroll down to find the Type Comments parameter.
The views that include the Interior Finishes filter with visibility turned off won’t show the finishes. The finishes will be visible in all other views. Make sure to use view templates to quickly add this filter to multiple views at once.
4- USE THE PAINT TOOL TO ASSIGN MATERIAL FINISHES
Most projects have several interior finishes. Instead of creating multiple types of finish wall/floor, use the Paint tool to save time and avoid creating hundreds of wall types. You will find the paint tool in the modify tab.
In the example below, we assign a wood boards material. The original pattern is turned into a horizontal lines pattern that represents wood.
Make sure that the material you assign has been customized to display the appropriate surface pattern.
5- USE SPLIT FACE TO CREATE COMPLEX PATTERNS
If you need to assign multiple materials on a thin wall/floor, use the Split Face tool. In the example below, we use the tool to split the wall at 1000mm above the ground. This way, we can use two different kinds of finishes without having to model multiple walls.
To use Split Face, select the tool and click on the face of the element you want to split. Draw a line that doesn’t exceed the yellow boundary lines.
6- CREATE A CUSTOM MATERIAL TAG
Create a new family by using the Material Tags template. It is good idea to use a different tag shape than the exterior material tag. In this example, we use some kind of extended hexagonal shape. Add a label that displays the material Mark. Load the family in your project and create a Material Tag for each different material.
7- CREATE A MATERIAL TAKEOFF SCHEDULE TO USE AS A LEGEND
Time to create a material legend using the Material Takeoff tool. Go to the View tab and click on the Schedules drop-down menu. Select Material Takeoff. Use the fields described in the image below.
Then, add a filter for Material:Name containing FINISH, or any abbreviation you would like to use.
In the Sorting/Grouping submenu, sort by Keynote (and add a Header) then sort by Mark. Uncheck Itemize Every Instance.
Go to the Formatting submenu and activate the Hidden field box for the Material: Name parameter. This parameter is used for filtering but is not required in the schedule itself.
8- ADJUST MATERIAL NAME WITH “FINISH” PREFIX
Now, modify the names of the material you want to include in your schedule. You must add the FINISH prefix in their name so they appear in the schedule. In the example below, we add the prefix to the carpet, ceramic and hexagonal tiles materials. However, we keep the Gypsum material without the prefix because it is not used as a finish and doesn’t belong in the schedule.
9- ADJUST MATERIAL TAKEOFF HEADERS
The image below represent what you should see in your schedule. It is impossible to add new parameters to materials. Instead, use the existing parameters and use them for your own purpose. For example, Material:URL becomes NOTES and Material:Description becomes DIMENSIONS. Fill out the headers like in the image below.
10- FILL OUT INFORMATION FOR EACH MATERIAL
Now, time to fill out the schedule with all the required information about the materials. There is two ways to do such a thing. The first is to fill the information directly on the schedule.
The problem is that we have no idea what material is in the first row, especially because the Material:Name is hidden. The workaround is to add the info directly on the Material Tab. Go back to the Material menu and find the materials that are missing on your schedule.
11- PLACE SCHEDULE AND ALL INTERIOR DRAWINGS ON A SHEET
Time to put everything together on a sheet so you can put the final touch. Adjust the appearance of the schedule: add thick outline grids, adjust the fonts of the title, headers and body. Adjust the columns size. Center the text for each column. Another important point to know: changing the Type Mark on a material tag inside a view will also affect the value inside the schedule. Check out pamphlet #2 to learn more about schedules.
Want to download all the schedules, material tags and other elements discussed in this blog post? Check out our brand new DESIGN package.
There are more tips waiting for you! Download the brand new edition of our seasonal pamphlet. You will find how to use the double pattern feature and how to indicate finishes inside 3D views.
Our brief but efficient guide to the new features of Revit 2019 was very popular this year. The best new feature is by far the double pattern, which is incredibly helpful to properly do phasing graphics.
People are curious and excited about Dynamo. Who doesn't like automation? In this post, we got some help from Michael Kilkelly at archsmarter.com to explain in a very simple way what is Dynamo and how to create a few basic scripts.
The way you create plan notes in Revit is probably inefficient and terrible. Find out how to create great plan notes in this guide.
Other great things happened in 2018. We released a standalone version of the Revit Pure BASICS Template, which has been a huge success. We also released 3 new seasonal pamphlets: Plan Notes, Coordinates and Scope Boxes. Here are the links to download them:
2018 was a crazy year for Revit Pure. Here are some random 2018 statistics:
What is next in 2019? The year will start of big with the release of the DESIGN package on January 17th. Then, the BASICS package will be fully updated with the upcoming Revit 2020 release.
2018 was mostly focused on creating the DESIGN package, which was fun… but a very introverted experience. Next year, more time will be allocated to explore different topics on the blog and connect to the community. I also plan on attending more BIM conferences.
Thank you so much for your support. Happy new year!
After 2 years of intense work, the DESIGN package is ready to be revealed to the world. This course is the result of countless hours of research and experimentation. You will learn the best techniques to create beautiful, stunning views in Revit.
The package will be released on thursday January 17h 2019.
It will contain an eBook, video tutorials and Revit families.
This course was created to destroy the myth that drawings produced in Revit are ugly. You will learn how to create delightful site plans, floor plans, 3D views, elevations, renderings and even virtual reality experience. All by using Revit.
Want a preview of the package? Check out some of our most popular blog post on this topic:
The new DESIGN package revisit and expand all these topics, but mostly teach brand new ideas that have not been explored on the blog. You will learn hundred of tips, all in the goal of creating beauty with Revit. Here is an image of you exploding with joy after completing this package:
A sample chapter will soon be released. Meanwhile, make sure to download our free pamphlet PDF guide about 3D views in the link below.
In this post, we test most of the major Revit rendering tools. This is not an in-depth review but rather a quick glance at the available options.
In this test, we are mostly focused on the out-of-the-box capabilities. Most of the rendering tools can produce mind-blowing renderings if you are willing to spend countless hours. But here, we wanted to know what happened if you spent about 10 minutes with a rendering plugin while using mostly native Revit materials.
For the purpose of this test, we are using a project submitted by a user, Antonio Aramburu. It is an elderly residence located in Casar de Cáceres in the southwest of Spain. Check out the website of the firm right here: http://tabim.es/
Here is a blind test of all the rendering tools. Can you match the number with the plug-in?
RENDERING TOOL #1: AUTODESK CLOUD RENDERING
Decent looking colors.
Horrible sky that you will need to Photoshop out.
Some elements could be sharper, like the vertical elements on the right side.
Dealing with the cloud rendering service can be a hassle.
The Autodesk Cloud Rendering service lets you create renderings on Autodesk servers while you can keep working on your Revit file. The cloud rendering tool is usually a little better than the native renderings (as you can see in the next image).
Cost: free for low-quality, requires credits for high-quality
Included in Revit, no need for additional software.
Limited rendering options
Lighting could be better: global illumination would be nice
Renderings can take a long time to create
Horrible sky that you will need to Photoshop out.
Flat shadows, dull colors and reflections
Compared to the Cloud rendering, the Revit native rendering seems a little more dull. Creating a nice image with this tool usually requires a lot post-processing in Photoshop.
RENDERING TOOL #3: ENSCAPE
Absolutely gorgeous sky, without any need for Photoshop.
Great looking entourage automatically replaced from Revit families.
Great global illumination and exposure that gives the shaded side just enough light.
Intuitive user interface and settings control.
Limited choice of people/trees entourage
The rendering above took only a few minutes to create and adjust. The settings in Enscape are very easy to use and to test. The global illumination and auto-exposure tools help you create a decent looking view within very short period of time.
Precise rendering tool with a lot of advanced settings and customization.
Default textures are ugly. Creating custom textures can be long and complicated.
You need Photoshop to create a decent sky with clouds.
Default Revit entourage doesn’t look good.
Vray is an old-school raytracing plugin that is beloved by many. Let’s be honest: this rendering is not very impressive. The image above doesn’t represent what some people are able to achieve with Vray. If you are in a hurry, Vray is not a good choice. If you have a lot of time on your hand to create custom textures and post-process the image, it might be an interesting choice.
Good looking sky, grass and environment without Photoshop.
User interface can be a little confusing.
No 2-points perspective option (slanted vertical lines).
Default textures are not impressive.
I love Lumion. The huge library of objects, characters, cars is useful. It is the best tool to create animations. But this rendering is a little lacking. The default textures don’t translate very well. The entourage doesn’t feel as real as in Enscape. I had incredible results with Lumion, but they usually require a little more time to set up, adjust the textures and to create the perfect camera settings.
A full review of Lumion is coming in the next few months.
Twinmotion is the spiritual brother to Lumion. They have a similar slick, video-game like user interface. They both have a great library of objects, people and trees. They both require a similar amount of time to create a good rendering. Lumion might have a slight edge, but Twinmotion remains an interesting choice.
The default rendering test produce some interesting textures, but the shadows and reflections are a little lacking. Like with Lumion, you need to spend more time to adjust the camera settings and textures to get a realistic look.
Cost: 3040$ - perpetual license + 2 years of updates
The results of this test are quite conclusive: Enscape is the best tool to create a great rendering when time is limited. Some of the other tools discussed above are great, but they require more time to properly set up the textures and camera settings. Autodesk cloud rendering service is another decent option if you are time limited.
This blog post is the first in a big serie dedicated to renderings. We will create many more tests in the weeks and months to come.
We are also on the verge of releasing a brand new learning package called DESIGN, which will teach how to use Revit for presentation. The release date will be announced soon. To preview the package, download our pamphlet on 3D views in the link below.
Many users completely ignore the scope box tool. It's understandable, as these green boxes look a little silly and can be annoying. That said, the moment you start working on larger projects with multiple wings, scope boxes are a must. Controlling the crop region of multiple views becomes incredibly simple. Managing the extents of levels and grids is also much easier.
The tips below contain everything you need to understand and master scope boxes. Make sure to watch the video if you prefer.
Revit Tutorial: Scope Boxes - YouTube
1- SCOPE BOXES ARE CREATED IN PLAN VIEWS BUT ARE VISIBLE IN OTHER VIEW CATEGORIES
To create a Scope Box, you have to be in either a Plan View or in a Reflected Ceiling Plan. However, once a scope box is created, it is going to be visible in the other view categories: sections, callouts, elevations and 3D views. In elevations and sections, the scope box is only going to be visible if it intersects the cut line. You can adjust the extents of the scope box in all view categories.
2- SCOPE BOXES ARE USED TO QUICKLY CROP VIEWS
Consider this office building renovation project. The area affected is in the middle of the building. You want the views to be cropped to fit the red rectangle.
The thing is: you have a lot of views to create. Existing floor plan. Demolished floor plan. New floor plan. Ceilings. Finishes. Layout. All in all, you’ll have about 10 views that need the exact same crop region.
An archaic workflow would be to manually adjust the crop region of each view. That would probably work. But what if the project changes and the area affected gets bigger? You have to adjust all the crops again?
That’s when the power of scope boxes come into play. Go to the View tab and create a Scope Box. Match it to your intervention area. Give it a name.
Have a look at the Instance Properties of your plan view. Under Extents, you will find the Scope Box parameter. Assign the scope box you’ve just created to the plan view.
As you see, the Crop Region of the view now perfectly matches the scope box limits. The blue dots that can usually be used to modify the crop region are now invisible: that’s because you can’t modify it.
Now, apply the scope box to all the views that will be using this crop. To save time, select all the views in the project browser by holding the CTRL key.
Look at all these views, sharing the exact same perfect crop. Isn’t it beautiful? Adjusting the new Scope Box will affect all these views.
3- VIEWS WITH A SCOPE BOX CAN'T BE UNCROPPED
The moment a scope box is assigned to a view, the Crop Region is locked and can’t be modified. Also, you can’t use the Do Not Crop View tool. To see the whole project in a view, you’ll have to create a different plan or remove the scope box temporarily.
4- ROTATING SCOPE BOX ALSO ROTATE CROP REGION
In addition to controling the extents of a crop region, a scope box can also be used to control the angle of a view. In the project below, a scope box is created and rotated to fit the angled shape of the building. Then, the view is duplicated and the extents are assigned to the new scope box. The crop region is automatically adjusted to fit the angle. Removing the scope box from a view will revert the crop angle back to default.
5- ADJUST SCOPE BOX HEIGHT IN THE OPTIONS BAR
Have a look at the option bar when creating a scope box: you can give a specific name and enter a height value. This is your only chance to give a specific value number to the height.
Scope boxes can only be created in plan views, but they can be adjusted in elevation, sections and 3D views. If you didn’t set the correct height value when initially created, drag the blue arrows to adjust.
6- SCOPE BOXES ARE USED TO AVOID A MESS WITH LEVELS AND GRIDS
Managing the visibility and extends of levels and grids can be a nightmare. On projects with many levels, getting the grids to share the same extends is complicated.
That’s where scope boxes come into play. Scope boxes are used to control the extents of elements like grids, levels and reference planes. Each of these elements can be assigned to a specific scope box, limiting the 3D extents to the dashed green line limit.
In the example below we assign all the grids to a scope box. The 3D extents of all grids are now the exact same. That also includes the bottom and top elevation value of the grid.
7- SCOPE BOXES AFFECT 3D EXTENTS BUT NOT 2D
3D extents affect all views in the model and are represented by an open blue circle.
2D extents affect a single view and are represented by a blue dot.
When you assign a scope box to datum elements, the 3D extents will become locked to the limits of the scope box. Dragging the open blue circle won’t work. However, you can adjust the blue dots to modify the 2D extents of the grid.
8- AN AUTOMATIC GAP BETWEEN 2D AND 3D EXTENTS IS CREATED AFTER SECTION BOX IS ASSIGNED
You learned that 2D extents are not affected by scope boxes. However, when you assign a scope box to datum elements, Revit will automatically create a small gap between the 2D and 3D extents. This is to provide better default visibility to the levels and grids values.
In the example below, the grid default 2D extension seems overextended. At the same time, the levels are too close to the building for proper clarity. Drag the blue dots to resolve the issue.
9- USE "PROPAGATE EXTENTS" TO SHARE 2D EXTENTS
Using Scope Boxes resolves the issue of inconsistent 3D extents among multiple levels and grids. However, it doesn’t solve the issue of 2D extents disparity among multiple views. In the example below, the datum elements are adjusted in Elevation 1 but remain problematic in Elevation 2.
To solve the issue, select all datum elements in Elevation 1 and click on Propagate Extents. Check Elevation 2 in the list. The 2D extents will become identical among both views.
10- RESEST 2D EXTENTS TO GO BACK TO DEFAULT
Maybe you messed up the 2D extents and you want to go back to default. Select the Datum element and use the right-click menu. Click on Reset to 3D Extents. The grid 2D extents will go back to the initial position after you first assigned the Scope Box. That means you will revert to the automatic gap that was described in tip #8.
This behavior is specific to scope boxes: if you use the Reset to 3D Extents tool to an element without a Scope Box, the 2D extents will perfectly match the 3D extents.
Did you like these tips? We've got more for you! Learn about the use of scope boxes for 3D views, for datum visibility and how to integrate the tool in a template. Download our brand new, free seasonal publication in the link below.