Revit TotD – 7.3.2018 | Masking Regions in 3D Families

Sometimes… sometimes we just can’t help ourselves and we HAVE to draw 2D elements for reasons. Just reasons. When that happens you still want to care about graphical information and drawings looking correct. Having a Chair look like it’s in the same plane as a table just… well that ain’t right.


So this video is intended to give you a head start in the struggle against Masking Regions in 3D elements. More explanation after the video.



Here’s the thing about Masking Regions. They are still model elements. They use the real world dimension system that defines model elements as model elements in Revit (versus paper space dimensions of annotative elements in Revit). Their visibility graphics are driven from subcategories in the model tag in the Visibility Graphics and Object Styles dialog boxes. However, they are 2D elements. They are drawn on the Detail plane of the view which they are drawn on.


When you draw a detail line or masking region in a project, you draw it on a work plane that sits closer to your eye than the modeled elements being displayed in the view. Think of it as drawing on a piece of glass that you’re holding in front of the screen. So when you’re creating detail elements in a project view, they will always be on top of the modeled elements. However, if you go to a different view, they are all gone. That glass doesn’t exist in that view until you draw on it. Each view has its own glass.

This is a little bit different when you start drawing detail elements in a 3D family. For the sake of this discussion, let’s take everything in context to a height above floor level, a z-offset if you will. When we create detail elements in a 3D family, the default workplane is going to be the 3d point in the family furthest from the reference level plane.

POP QUIZ! If there's no 3D data in the family, which workplane will you be creating Masking Regions on in your family in a level view? Put your answer in the comments below!


Which means when we place Masking Regions in a blank 3D family, and then place the family in a project, you end up with overlapping Masking Regions. With no way to manage the draw order of detail elements nested in a family, we need to be able to help Revit figure out where we want the masking regions to appear to be. This is where workplanes come in.

By drawing some reference planes and assigning the masking regions to those reference planes, we can control the z-offset of each individual masking region and give Revit the much needed instructions it needs to show the graphics properly.


Finally, we need to tell Revit to NOT draw this on the detail plane. Remember that piece of glass you were drawing on before? We want to draw on the workplane instead! The final piece to this puzzle is to uncheck the “Draw in Foreground” parameter in the options for the Masking Regions. Be sure you do this for each Masking Region you want to be placed on the workplane you’ve referenced.


That’s it! You should now have properly behaving 2D Graphics in a 3D family. Hope this helps, and I look forward to coming up with another tip. If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see. Feel free to post in the comments below!

Till then,



Sample File can be downloaded from here. (Sorry, Revit 2019)

RevitTotD – 7.6.2015 | Delete all Revisions

“Hey, we decided we don’t need any revisions for the next issue.”


Sure no problem.


Except your project has 1,381 Revisions in it, across 140 sheets…


… and they’re all hidden…

… and as everyone knows, you can’t delete that last revision from Revit.




You can download the graph here (Dynamo 8.x). Uses the Grimshaw’s package from
(install through the Dynamo Package Manager.)


Hit run, bye bye revisions!


I’ve removed the link from the boolean to the python script and set it to False, just in case. This graph is, of course, nothing new. You can use it to delete every instance of any category in the project you wish so use responsibly.


Next challenge: Delete revisions from specified revision#/name/sequence#/etc!


Till next time!



[2015] Using Fence to Change Target

Here is a quick tip to help you stay in that command while being able to switch targets. See below the break for more specifics on what this tip covers.

While in a multi-part command like Join with the Multiple Join option checked, you can switch targets of the join by dragging a selection area (ie: using the fence option new in 2015). If you drag an area without selecting anything you can clear the join target and move on using the same command without leaving the command.

Multiple Join


Protip: Use shift more…

Protip: Tabbing through elements too fast and miss it? Hit shift+tab to go back one or two.

Shift Tab

Coordination: AutoCAD v Revit

This is how you handle coordination in AutoCAD:

“I see structural members in our RCP where I’m trying to put lights…”
“OK, just delete those lines”

This is how you handle coordination in Revit:

“I see structural members in our RCP where I’m trying to put lights…”
“If you see it in RCP, then it’s below our ceilings and we need to coordinate it with structural.”

BIM TotD – 2.6.2012 | EOH

If you don’t know by now, I’m a KS junky… that’s Keyboard Shortcut for you mouse clickers (try it, try typing KS in Revit to see what happens!). So it occurred to me that I should share another quick KS that I use quite a bit.


A personal preference of mine is to halftone objects that are being called out in an enlarged plan. This makes any dimensions or tags that are in that area pop out and become more readable against those objects. So as you can imagine I do a lot of half toning of individual objects. To prevent pulling my hair out in trying to get certain categories grouped or any fancy trick like that I usually simply halftone the individual objects using element overrides.

Believe it or not, there is actually a KS for this already provided in Revit: “EOH” If it’s not already in yours, maybe it should be. Simple to add. Search for halftone in your KS dialog and look for the highlighted command below.


That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing for the next BIMTotD



Revit Interface Class outline

So I’m teaching a quick class on the Revit Interface in my office and I thought I would post the class outline in case anyone wanted a reference guide or something to use as a start for a similar training class at their office. Enjoy and feel free to comment! If you use it, please do the nice thing and at least give me credit 🙂

LnL Series_Interface01_11.2.2011

RevitTotD – 4.7.2011 | 2012 – Ghosting and OTHER COOL SH__!

Last video for today. But this one covers a plethora of other cool features that are being unveiled in 2012 (hopefully you are downloading it as we speak!).



RevitTotD – 4.7.2011 | 2012 – Groups on Steroids

Yet another awesome new toy from the lab for 2012. Assemblies is kinda like groups… except it’s totally not groups. And much better. And useful. And thus far actually stable… well. just watch and see for yourself!

Sad but true; this feature should have been around a LONG time ago. Combine this with the view specific create parts and you have yourself an uber detail production machine. I can tell you this feature will be getting a LOT of use in our office.

RevitTotD – 4.7.2011 | REVIT 2012!!! Create Parts Demo

So it’s finally being downloaded by everyone on the face of planet BIM, which means I can officially, without legal issues, post these videos!  The following are some videos demonstrating the new shininess the folks in the labs have given us this time around!

This is a really cool tool called Create Parts! Yes, that’s right, you can FINALLY create cutaway sections without some goofy workaround in Revit! Have fun tinkering!

btw: direct download link for Revit 2012 (courtesy of Whatrevitwants):



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