I often see people struggling with getting a component in a project to render with the material they want it to render with.  Usually upon inspecting the family that they are using I find that the materials are setup improperly, making it hard for the user to change materials to begin with (this does not include imported components as in from Sketchup or 3DS, those are a different beast all together!).  So what I’d like to go over over the next few tips  are the different ways to apply materials to families and when to use those different methods.  Today is going to be the direct application approach where you apply the material directly to the object in the family.

Assigning Materials

The easiest and most straightforward way to apply materials to objects in a family is to just give that object a material.

  1. Select the object in the family to apply the material to.
  2. Open it’s properties.
  3. Apply the material.

Reasons to do it this way

  1. Straight forward, easy procedure.
  2. All instances need to render the with the exact same material.

Changing materials (in project)

  1. Under Manage Ribbon > Materials, find the material you assigned to the object in the family.  You can change that material’s properties here.

One thing to note by using this method is that if you have have 50 plant objects, that all use the “Plant Material” name for their materials, you are going to have 50 different “Plant Material” listings in your Material (NOT Render Appearance) library.  Then you get to find the correct plant material that you are wanting to change.  So here’s a little tidbit about creating families, be sure you use a material name that applies to the family (ie: “Shrub-CG_PlantMaterial”) so that the user doesn’t have to wade through a million materials to find the correct one!  Tomorrow we will go over the Subcategory method of applying materials, see you then for yet another Revit TotD!