Archive for November, 2010

Playing with Revit’s Head

I love making Revit think it’s capable of more than it’s capable of doing.

Messing around with some rendering techniques.  What ya think?  Now if I could only remember how I got it to do this… :/


That’s, “Yet Another Day Without a Tip of the Day” in case you’re interested.  I’m afraid you college kids and Reviteers in need of a Massing series may have to wait until we get into our new house.  We’ve opted out of hiring professional moving help which means I get to work four jobs for the next month and a half… and only get paid for one of them (yay!…?)

I am however still Reviting and will hopefully still be posting for you a couple times a week.  For instance… today I’m posting a revit model of the house we haven’t moved into yet… maybe I should explain.

I seem to have developed OCD about my interior spaces since beginning using Revit.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  Let’s say that Revit has nurtured an already existing OCD of my interior spaces.  Every space that I’ve owned, renter or leased since I’ve known how to use revit has been Revitized for one reason and one reason only… furniture layout.

So here we were, in our soon to be rented house (haven’t even signed the lease agreement) waiting on the new washer and dryer to be delivered (which never showed up) and a perfectly good as-built measuring assistant (hot to boot).  So we whip out a voided check and measure our new home.  Result: perfectly good paint color/furniture layout model!

And there you have it, a perfectly legitimate reason to not have a tip today!  I’ll keep you up to date as I put in some furniture and we make some arrangement and color decisions.  Till then, have a great week!


Revit TotD – 11.19.2010 | Oooo Shiny….

Yeah, between being sick.. again… packing and, well… being sick, I haven’t quite been able to put together a good string of TotDs this week so instead… HEY! What’s that over yonder?!!?! *points*

*click for enlarged goodness!*

100% Revit rendering awesomeness…. minus the RPC plants :/

More tips next week, till then, thanks for stopping by!


Revit TotD – 11.17.2010 | SPF100 Minimum

Hopefully you spent all weekend playing around with those surfaces and components and patterns cause today we’re going to dive into some of the features behind each of those, beginning with Divided Surfaces!

So as you saw from our last TotD, divided surfaces is the first step to take in turning your mass into something really fun in Revit.  However there are a few things that you should know about when it comes to the properties of that first step into awesomeness.

So this is the infamous UV (get it now?.. the title? *HUYUK*) grid? You can see it’s mouch more complicated than just an XY coordinate system, but to demonstrate the similarities you can turn individual (or both) grids off.

By selecting a surface you can access the Face Manager.

Using the face manager you can rotate the grid…

… partially rotate…

… in multiple directions separately even!

Using the crosshairs you can justify the start point of the grid.

You can also set a lot of this parametrically in the Divided Surface Properties:

Speaking of parameters, I just realized that there’s no way we can fit everything into this one TotD, so I guess we’ll see each other again next time!  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again for the next, Revit TotD


Get with it Microsoft…

How come my Apple only uses this much RAM to run Revit?… 😉

Yah.. I wish.  I’d like to thank all the Parallels people that make this fantasy more real than it needed to be… xD

Revit TotD – 11.12.2010 | Divide and Conquer

Wasn’t that a nice break?!  Now back to what we were talking about… what were we talking about?  Oh yea, CDE!  So we’ve had a quick run down of creating masses in CDE and also of cutting holes in them.  You know how to adjust the forms using reference lines and points.  You can join, cut, add and subtract… been practicing?  Good.  So now that we have some point, edges and surfaces, let’s focus on the surfaces.

So today i’m just going to go through some things you can do with surfaces, namely dividing a surface.

  1. Select a mass or a surface (tab through to select just a surface).
  2. Use the Divide Surface tool.

You should really not think of this as a curtain wall system, but more as converting this to a useful surface.  As we explore later in the series, there are a lot of things you can do with this surface, much more than just make it a curtain wall (besides you can do that in the project, why would you do that here?).  Now that we have a divided surface, let’s take a closer look.

If you select the divided surface, you’ll see we have a grid.

This is not to be confused with a curtain wall grid.  This is the surface’s U/V grid… if you don’t know look it up, cause the explanation is beyond this post, long story short, it’s X/Y grid for this surface, but unrelated tot he project’s X/Y.  You can turn this grid off and on…

… you can change the pattern with pre-defined patterns…

… and turn those on and off!

The last neat trick you will learn today is the ability to fill these grids with components.

There you go…. 🙂  Just enough to make you come back next time, right?!  Well, we’ll spend the next few posts going over each of these options and then launch into what we can do with these components!  Thanks again for stopping by and I hope to see you for the next Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 11.10.2010 | Mis-Right-Click

So a small break from the Massing series just for today.  I need a quick post so I can concentrate on some other errands and I ran across a fix for one of my greatest foes in Revit for quite some time: the dreaded MISSED RIGHT CLICK!!!

So if you’ve worked on complex wall projects and ever needed to disallow joins frequently in a project, there’s a good chance you’ve run across this.  Here’s the situation, we have intersecting walls.

We select a wall and get grips so that we can disjoin.

However, when we right-click the grip… wait what?

That’s not the context menu i was expecting to see”.  Autodesk, what’s up.  I know this was brought up in beat at some point… >_> While hiding the object and then trying again is a good workaround, sometimes you end up having to hide several walls, a couple links, some generic models a floor.. I don’t want to have to do that.  So here’s the trick: Zoom way in with the grip still visible, then right click.

If it still doesn’t work, zoom in more and try, try again.  In this image I actually had to click a little to the right of the grip right when it activated for this dialog to happen correctly… sheesh! Simple quick, just like a TotD was meant to be.  Next time, back to massing series!  Till then,


I didn’t want to leave anything out…

In solving the ultimate riddle of residential architecture, I’m being very thorough in my thought process…

Revit TotD – 11.8.2010 | Piecing it all Together

Today’s tip is going to borderline a Revit tip and a general modeling tip. I wanted to round off the form and void massing portion of this series by making sure we know how to actually use these tools! So today I’m going to go over a process that is used by… well probably every 3d modeler at some point in their career, as well as how to adapt that process to the CDE in Revit.

Most 3D artists are taught a process to create their forms through use of the Elevation and Plan concepts that they have to work from. Seeing as how this is a series for Architecture Students, I’m going to assume that you actually do have Elevations and Plans to work from. What you’ll really need to get a good start on a 3D form are at least 3 images: Plan, Front/Rear Elevation and a Side Elevation.

I find it easiest to label the views in Revit according to the images so that I know which image belongs in which view.

Once you have the views labeled we can start bringing in images and scaling them. It helps to already have your images drawn and scanned to scale, but we’ll cover scaling them here just in case. To bring an image into a view:

  1. Activate the view you want to insert the image into.  Note that images can not be placed in 3D views in the CDE.
  2. Use the Image tool under the Insert Tab.
  3. Browse to the image you want to insert into the view.
  4. Place the image.

Now that we have the images placed let’s look at our workspace set up.  Typically in a modeling environment, an artist would have 4 views up: Plan, Front, Side and 3D.

Leaving all of these up in Revit would really kind of clutter the workspace, so here are a few ways to navigate quickly back and forth between views while you mass up your forms.  You will really want to become familiar with the keyboard shortcuts “WT” and “ZA”.

“WT” Tiles all windows.  So you can quickly go from a maximized single view, to seeing all windows that are open.  This means it is important to manage the windows you have open.

There is an order to the tiling sequence: the window most currently active will be int he upper left corner, second will be  below that, third below that, etc. and it read like a book; so if window “2” is at the bottom left with no more room for window “3” then the next window will wrap to the next column.  So just like an english newspaper; Top to bottom, left to right.

“ZA” tells revit to zoom all of the visible windows to the extents of each view.  So if you have all 4 of the previously mentioned windows open, you will see 2 elevation, a plan and a 3d view of your mass.

Finally there’s the double clicking the Title bar of the view.  This will quickly maximize the view you want to work in.  Coupled with the shortcuts I just gave you, this is a very efficient way to model up your conceptual masses!

Well there you have it, another [hopefully] great tip for you reviteers out there!  Thanks again for stopping by and I’ll see you nex ttime for another Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 11.5.2010 | MOAR VOIDS!!!

I can’t believe that last video took the entire 5 minutes to show you how to cut a solid!  It’s so much easier with a gas powered chainsaw… >_>  Anyhow, let’s continue our study of voids.  This is a new little tool available in 2011 that allows you to cut holes in solids using *gasp* other solids!  So now that we’ve seen method one of subtractive addition, we’ll take a look at the new solid-solid cutting method.

This is a fairly straight forward tool.

  1. Select Cut
  2. Select the Solid that will be cut
  3. Select the Solid that will do the cutting

The intersection of the solids results in a “void” created int he solid that is being cut in the shade of the solid that is doing the cutting.  The biggest difference is that you keep both of the forms.  Nothing disappears or is eaten!  Yay!

So now you know masses and voids.  Time to play around with them.  You have all weekend to think about it before the next TotD!  Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again for the next Revit TotD!


Go to Top