Posts tagged family

Revit TotD – 2.7.2012 | Somewhere to Start Families 2.2

Yes! I’m really going to start this back up. A post here, A post there. Maybe one in between. Either way, I’ll be trudging through this series as well as posting the occasional impromptu tutorial post. In the meantime, I’m going to just leave the text that I wrote over 9 months ago and just let it go from there. It’s actually quite short and is just another large step on the way to understanding families. Enjoy, comment and see you for the next one.

Well, I thought all this preliminary explanation that is leading up to family creation would bore everyone, but I’ve never had so many hits on my site! This is awesome! I thought I was going to make the next one a preemptive strike on modeling and get down and dirty with some geometry creation but seeing these stats kinda makes me think I should just chug along; those who are looking for geometry creation will be back in good time.


New Product(s)! – Family Request and Jelly Jar Light!

A goody for you today, although I feel like I’m going to busy in the near future because of this one. I have 2 great new products for you to look at.

The first is a fun little light component. The Jelly Jar Light is a fun ceiling hosted light.

The second has me only slightly concerned. A Family Request product which allows you to submit your family requests.

I also want to take a second to invite anyone who has purchased a product in the past to please send me an email. I was just informed today that some purchases have not been going through as I had hoped. If you had an issue downloading a product after purchase, please send me a copy of your receipt and we can get it straightened out. Sorry for the inconvenience and I hope to get it straightened out soon!


Revit TotD – 1.25.10 | Profile Origins and Wall Openings

So yeah, it’s been really busy around here, what with finally getting a new job, moving my family halfway across the country, settling in, making sure the new mom is doing good… well, I could go on with the excuses but the truth is I just missed you guys and gals!  So here I am, finally back with a new TotD.  I’m going to try to keep updating it at least a few times a week.  By the by, thanks to everyone that kept requesting more TotDs; it really is what got me inspired to start doing these again!  Without any further delay, here is yet another, Revit TotD!

So this is one from my past.  I had a particular project where a wall sweep would not allow me to line up with the absolute bottom of a window family I had made.  Every time the sweep touched the window family, it would split!  That wouldn’t do.  So after a little exploration, I arrived to the following little tip for you peeps.

The Wall Sweep is system family that uses a profile family to create a sweep along a wall surface.  Note that this applies to sweeps that are built-in to wall assemblies as well. However, you will not be able to see the origin of a built-in sweep by selecting it as demonstrated here.


Probably the most important thing you can take from the properties of the profile that is used for these sweeps is where the origin of the profile is.  If you select a wall sweep, you can see that the profile origin is shown just like the location line of a wall.  The two circle grips show the line that the profile lies on.


Why is this important?  Let’s look at what happens when this “origin line” crosses an opening in our host wall.


Origin Line not intersecting opening.


Origin Line intersecting opening

So let’s take a quick look at how this applies to our custom profiles.  Where do we actually define this origin?!??


As you can see here, the two reference planes that are selected have a property “Defines Origin.”  You can define origins as you wish in your profile families, but I would suggest just leaving them as they are and work around them.  A quick demonstration of how this custom profile behaves on a wall opening:



So there we have it.  I’ll leave it to you to do what you want with the information!  So thanks again for stopping by, I hope you have learned something new that you can use to impress your boss(es), and as always I hope to see you again for another Revit TotD!

-Carl Gibson


Revit TotD – 7.23.09: Family Materials, Parameter Application

So to wrap up this series on Family Material application, today I am going to show how to apply materials through a parameter in the family.

Creating the Parameter:

  1. Types button on the Ribbon (it’s static, so you should be able to access it from any Ribbon)
  2. New under the Parameters section.
  3. Name the parameter, group it under whatever category you would like.  BE SURE IT IS A MATERIAL PARAMETER!

Applying the Parameter:

  1. Select the object to have the material parameter applied to it.
  2. Go to the element properties.
  3. Associate the Material parameter of the object with the material parameter we just made.


  4. Notice that the Value is now inactive (grayed out) and the ‘=’ appears to indicate the association is made.
  5. Now when ever we change the material parameter in the Types dialog, you will change the material of that object.

When to use this method:

  1. When you need different materials applied to objects in the same family file, based on different types or based on the instance.

Changing the material (In Project):

  1. This one depends on how you created the parameter.
  2. Instance Parameter: select the object, change the material parameter in the Element Properties.
  3. Type Parameter: change the type from the type selection combobox to reflect which material you assigned in the family creator.

Whether it is instance or type parameter depends on how you want the family to act.  The difference between the two is beyond the scope of this tip, but a quick for instance would be do you want the material to be controlled by the type (ie: Porch Lamp – Bronze, Porch Lamp – Black types available from the drop down menu or do you want each individual instance to be changeable (for highly custom applications)).  A few things you should know about this method:  It can be combined with the Subcategory method to create a very rich family in terms of flexibility.

That wraps up our Family Material APplication series.  I hope that you have learned something but most importatnly I hope you enjoyed these little tips, and I hope to see you back for more Revit TotDs!



Revit TotD – 7.22.09: Family Materials, Subcategories

Yesterday I showed you how to directly apply materials to objects in your families and the reasons to do such a thing.  Today I’m going to do the same thing, except we’ll be talking about the Subcategory approach.

Create the Subcategory:

  1. (In the family creator) Manage Ribbon > Settings > Object Styles
  2. New in the Modify Subcategories section
  3. Name the subcategory and be sure it is being created in the correct Category (some family types have multiple Category Controls).
  4. You can start to see in this dialog why subcategories may be more beneficial than direct application of materials.

Apply the Subcategory:

  1. Select the object(s) to be added to the subcategory.
  2. Element Properties.
  3. Select the subcategory that the object belongs to in the combobox.

When to use this method:

  1. When all instances of this object need to appear the same in rendering.
  2. When you need to control line weights and visibilities of different objects in the family from the project side

Changing the material (In project):

  1. Under Manage Ribbon > Settings > Object Styles
  2. Look for the category that the family is in and expand that branch.
  3. Change the material of the Subcategory that you need to modify for that family.

In my opinion, you should ALWAYS use this method over direct application of the material since it allows you to control so many more aspects of the objects in your family (like line weights, visibility, etc).  Note that we no longer have the duplicate issue with Subcategories that we had with the multiple Materials.  If you have two families that are in the same category with similar Subcategories, they will all be controlled under one Subcategory control in the project.  This allows you to have an entire set of furniture (for instance) that can have matching materials by use of a single Subcategory, so be aware of what you are naming your subcategories.  There is still one more method to look at and that is the Instance Method of applying materials to families.  So join us tomorrow for another Revit TotD as we wrap up this series on family materials!



Revit TotD – 7.21.09: Assigning Family Materials, the Direct Approach

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!



Revit TotD – 6.30.09: Room Tag Types “I don’t have that option!”

As usual, this tip is the result of coming across another odd “I don’t have that option” when trying to help another fellow member.  When he asked about how to show the Volume and are information in his room tags, I simply remarked that he should choose the correct Room Tag type from the Type selector.  When he said he did not have that option, I went through painstaking detail to explain to him where the type selector was and how to change the types, only to find out that the metric room tag family does not have those options.  Surprised, not really.  So here are the steps I gave him to modify his room tag to display this information.  This can be used for any annotation family that you wish to modify to show information you wish to show.

Modifying your Room Tag labels and types:

  1. Select the room tag and click “Edit Family.”  Alternatively you can open the family directly if you know where it is located.
  2. In the family you will see what labels are already in place.TotD-063009-06
  3. Place the new Labels.
    1. Choose the Label tool.
    2. Click to position the new label.
    3. Select an available category parameter to be included in the label and move it to the right.
    4. Click OK
    5. Repeat for all new labels.
  4. Click “Types” to access which types are available.
  5. Create the parameters for the visibility controls that we will associate to the new Labels.  In this case we are crating tag types that will individually show Room Name; Name and Number; Name, number and Volume and finally Name, Number and Area.  So we need 4 yes/no parameters in this case.
    1. Create New parameter,
    2. Name it according to which label it will be controlling.
    3. Choose “Yes/No” from type.
    4. Choose the appropriate group for your parameter.  In this case it will be Graphics.
    5. Leave it as a Type parameter since the family type will be controlling the parameter.  Click OK to create the parameter
    6. Repeat for the remaining parameters.
  6. Create the 4 types.
    1. Change the parameters to show the correct setting for the new type we are about to create.  In this case, Name, Number and Area.
    2. Click New under types.  Name the Type accordingly.  Click OK.
    3. Repeat these steps for all types.
  7. Associate the parameters to the object’s visibility parameter.
    1. Select the Label and open it’s properties.
    2. Choose the “=” button to the right of the “Visible” parameter.
    3. Choose the appropriate parameter to control that label’s visibility, in this case, the Volume parameter we created.
    4. Click OK
    5. Repeat for all labels that need visibility associations.
  8. Load the new tag into the project.
  9. Notice that you now have the 4 types we just created available in the type selector.
  10. Test the new family to ensure all types work appropriately.

While I wasn’t surprised to learn that the Metric install of Revit omitted these types from the family library, I was sure disappointed.  Either way, I hope this has been helpful to you.  Remember you can apply this to most annotation families that you wish to alter the information shown for your projects.  Remember that you also will want to save the new family in a different location than the default family location so that you don’t overwrite the default tag.  Thanks again for stopping by, have a great day and I’ll see you again for the next Revit TotD!



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