Posts tagged Revit TotD

Revit TotD – 8.23.2010 | The Views the Kewl Kids Make!

Welcome back.. where you been? What do you mean where have I been? I’ve been here… being… lazy.. oh alright, you caught me. I really am trying to bring this thing back to life, I promise! I’ve got it on my calendar and everything to start making more of these; and thanks to my great friends at chat, I’ve been nudged into starting this week! YAY!

Now, down to business. To kick things back off… again… I’m going to give you guys something you may already know, but a majority of new users may not! Section perspective. No, not just a normal orthographic section, section perspective. You know, those awesome shots that make you go “WHAAAAT?!? HOW CAN I DO THAT!!!???” Something like this:

So here’s how you get that. Like most things in Revit, it’s simple to set up (albeit a lot of steps) but takes a lot of practice to master the right view.

Here’s the step by step break down:

  1. In a plan view create a new 3D Perspective Camera.  This is NOT the normal 3D House tool.  Best placement is outside of the building looking in the direction you want the section to be looking.  Yes.. outside the building.

  2. Go to the 3D View (it should take you there automagically, but just in case…).
  3. Turn on Section Boxes in the View Properties.

  4. If you can’t see the close edge of the section box, use the zoom tool from the steering wheel (shift+w) to zoom out till you can see it.

  5. Since it’s a perspective view, you’ll need to have a good sense of space for this step.  Select the Section Box and drag the handles to adjust the section box to cut the view the way you want the section to look.  If you placed the camera according to step 1, this will be the grip “closest” to you in perspective.
  6. Once you have the section cutting the way you want it to, we can tweek it out a bit.  Some good tips are:
    Decrease Focal Length: This is basically like putting a wide angle lens on your camera.  I believe the default for a camera view in Revit is around 55.  The human eye sees with the equivalent of about 17.

    Zoom In: Once you have decreased your focal length, Zooming in will stretch the perspective, making the space look much deeper than it normally would.

    Single Point Perspective: One name, Julius Shulman.

    Detail Level: You can use the detail level to show the materials in your section cut, OR you can assign a coarse fill color through the 3D View’s Type Properties

  7. Hide the section box either by selecting it and hiding through the right click menu, or through View Graphics > Annotation > Section Boxes.
  8. And just like that.. you’re a kewl kid!

Well, that wraps up another TotD.  Thanks for stopping by again.  I know I’ve been bad about making this daily, but life really is getting int he way as of late… I know, no excuses.  I’m going to follow this TotD up with a similar one for those of you looking for a Plan Perspective!  Thanks again, hope you learned something and be sure to stop by again for yet another, Revit TotD!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 4.5.2010 | More Shortcuts!

So a while back I gave you a list of shortcuts that I find useful on a daily basis.  Well, now that this project I’m working on is going in to CD phase and a lot of people are starting to detail, I thought it would be good to share a list of detailing shortcuts that make my life MUCH easier when I’m detailing.  Enjoy!

You can download this image here. Be sure you right click and “Save-As” otherwise it will display it as a gallery image.

All of the custom entries are already in your keyboard shortcuts file.  You just need to uncomment them and place the key sequence you would like to activate that command!  Have fun and good luck!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 3.17.2010 | Sweeping Up

Adding sweeps to a wall definition or even hosting it to a wall already in place make sweeps a very efficient way to add a lot of pizzaz to your projects.  If you like add those small touches to your projects, then this little tip should be a favorite with you.  There are a few more small little steps you can perform to finish up those little devils that make your project what you want it to be.

There are very few steps necessary here, but the end results are numerous.  We will begin with our hosted sweep.

In our Modify Sweeps Ribbon, there is the all important Modify Returns tool.

Selecting this will highlight the ends of your Selected sweep as shown in the first image.  Before we go all clickity -clack like we normally do when we find something fun and new, let’s look in the options bar.

Here we can set the angle of our return.  If you are creating a return you want to have Return selected.  Your cursor should turn in to a knife looking icon and selecting one of the highlighted ends of your sweep will return the sweep.

This will also work with openings in your sweep.

Once you create the return, you now have 2 grips to control your sweep.  You may only see one, this can be remedied by either zooming waaaaaaay in or simply dragging the one you can see away from where it is.

This is a great way to turn sweeps in to openings or wrap into door niches.

This same method works on sweeps and reveals that are built in to wall assemblies, with only a small exception of how to get there.  Instead of selecting the sweep, you select the wall.

Now in the Modify Wall Ribbon, you have an additional option since you have sweeps built in… that’s right, Modify Returns!

If you want to return a Sweep Return to a straight cut, you simply use the same tool.  Just select the Straight Cut option instead of Return.

Feeling Special?  Try experimenting with your cut angle.

Well, thanks again for stopping by for another Revit TotD!  Hope you learned something or remembered how to do something you forgot how to do.  Feel free to browse around and leave comments!


Revit TotD – 3.12.10 | MMB

So, I wasn’t really kidding about the Friday Fluff tips.  As silly as you may find this tip,  however, remember that I don’t post these unless multiple people have asked these questions!  As usual though, I will try to give you more than just a fluff answer!  So here we go…

Before I continue, I forgot to mention in the video that this model was provided by my friend Gerry Hogsed; an architecture student NOW at University of Tennessee (GRATS GERRY!).  Thanks for the model, glad you did well on your review!

Believe it or not, I’ve had several people complain about their frustration with the pan and zoom tools and or the steering wheel to navigate the project canvas.  After little investigation, the solution is one simple abbreviation: MMB

What the frick is MMB and what’s it got to do with this?  Middle Mouse Button.  On a generic mouse the middle mouse button, when pressed, will put the navigation controls of your project at your MMB finger.

Pressing the Middle Mouse Button (MMB) will allow you to pan the canvas.

Ctrl + MMB will zoom in any view

Shift + MMB will orbit in a 3d and perspective view

Scroll Up with the MMB and you will zoom in on your canvas

Scroll Down with the MMB and you will zoom out of your canvas.

Yeah, some of you are laughing “WOW!! REALLY!? SOMEONE DIDN’T KNOW THAT!?”  Neither did you at one point… <srs face>

So there’s another week of TotDs.  I hope you learned something helpful.  Please comment or leave feedback and I hope to see you again for yet another, Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 3.11.10 | Workset Woozy

So, you made a woozy on your central (and local) workset file.  You were OK, until you found that there are no magic backup number files in the folder with your .rvt file like there were with your non workset files.  Now your heart has sunk, and well, lets face it: you probably aren’t here for my intros.  So let’s get right to it.

So there’s a few steps to be had here, but all in all it’s a relatively simple task to recover your central file work.  With no projects open (personal preference), head to the Collaborate tab on your Ribbon and find the Restore Backup tool below Show History.

This will launch a dialogue that can be a little confusing.  You’re not looking for a file, but instead the backup folder.  It should be located in the same location as your central file, and be titled something like youProjectFileName_backup.

Select that folder and click open… almost there!

Now you have something similar to the Show History Dialogue, except here you can select which step of your project you want to restore!.. COMPLETE WITH DATE AND TIMESTAMPS!!!  This screen in itself should be good enough reason for you to A) Save every hour and B)Leave comments when you save to central ;).

Before we get all excited let’s take a look at a what these options give us.

USE THIS OPTION.  This will save your central file out to a completely detached workset file that no longer has any attachments to any local files linked to the existing central file.  I can not even fathom a single scenario where you would not use this option

This saves the recovery file over the existing central file.  I can not fathom a single reason why you would rather use this over Save As… please tell me if you think of one.

Hopefully this one is self explanatory…

Hopefully you used this one before looking for help on google…

Choose the one that best suits you and follow the remainder of the dialogues.  You’ll be back up in no time!

Personally I’ve only had to visit this dialogue once since I started using Revit.  If you’ve found yourself in need of this, I hope it has helped you recover your project and that you too never have to visit this dialogue again.  As always, thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to comment and I hope to see you again for another Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 3.10.2010 | Ctrl+Z * 100

haHA!  So this is what it feels like to not be sick.  Well, that’s not my excuse for last week, but I can’t really show you why we had no TotDs last week… or rather can’t show you.  Yet.  Needless to say, I had a good reason.  Hopefully I’ll be able to make up for it the next week or so.  I have to admit, we have some good TotDs and some that you advanced people may find a little silly.  Just keep in mind, TotDs are for Revit users of all levels and come from actual questions asked, usually more than once 🙂

With that out of the way, let’s begin the race to catch up!  I’m going to finish today up with something that has saved me gobs of time while detailing.  If you’re familiar with tools such as the lineworks and Pick-a-Line detailing lines, you’ll know that if you make a mistake, Ctrl+Z isn’t really an option.  Let’s look at this time saving tip!

So it’s really simple.  If you look at the Undo button in your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) you’ll notice there is a drop down arrow.

Click that to access a list of up to 100 of your latest commands performed in the project.

You can  use this list to back track and sometimes easily spot that obvious mistake (think “accidentally” moved that wall around.. oops!).  Select the command you want to rewind to, and click it.  BAM!  You’re back where you meant to start!

!BONUS TIP! Note that your redo button does the same thing!

Well, thanks again for stopping by.  It’s been my pleasure and hopefully you’ve come away with something new!  I look forward to seeing you here again for yet another, Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 2.24.10 | Render Texture Alignment

If had a nickel for every time someone asked me why Revit can’t render lights in the proper place on a tiles ceiling, I’d… well I’d be sitting back and writing these instead of writing these between work hours.

Now, if I had a nickel for every time the person that asked me that told me they have never cracked open the Revit manual, I’d be writing these tips from my private island!

Let’s not lie, we’ve all rendered something and seen this before.  I’m looking at my 3D Preview, everything looks great.

You hit render… and wait… and wait.. wait….. what the?!?…

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CEILING TILES!?  Yeah, you know it.  Did you know there’s a way to align the render materials?  What if I told you it’s less than painful to do this in 2010 (sorry, 2008 is a bit more extensive process if I remember correctly)?  I’ll even show you!

This is all done from the materials setting dialogue.

Find the Material containing the texture you wish to align.

Go to the Render Appearance Tab

In order for this to work, it’s important that the texture map is set up to be really close to the same size as the surface pattern.  So if you have a 2’x2′ surface pattern set to the material to represent the tiles in a Reflected Ceiling Plan (RCP), then you should have the image map set to appear close to 2’x2′

Click “Align Texture”

Here you can align the texture map on top of the surface pattern (see why the sizes need to be set up correctly now!?).

Click OK a few times, and try that render now!

Assuming you set your lights up corectly in your RCP you should now see your lights rendered in the correct place!

Thanks again for stopping by!  I sincerely hope you learned something from this tip.  Feel free to comment and give feedback.  Stop by again, for the next Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 2.22.10 | Save the trees, use DWF Markups!

With the environmentalists on the rise again, it’s more important than ever for us architects to try to save as many resources as possible.  We all know how much of a paper hog an average size architecture firm is, much less the large ones!  Here is a process that I push in all offices that I work in to help do their part in environmental responsibility, PLUS a few efficiency benefits to boot!

Using DWF Markups is ridiculously easy considering how powerful of a tool it is.  Let’s take a look at the process.

The first thing you need to know about the process is that markups only work on DWFs that are exported from Sheet views in Revit.  While this tip does not go through the export and markup process, I can assure you it is very simple.  Once you have a DWF marked up and ready to be used in your project.  Go ahead an import it back in to your sheet view.

Note that you do not have to be in your sheet view to import the markups, as the linking dialogue tells Revit which sheet in the DWF belongs to which sheet in Revit.

Once you have the DWF sheets linked up to their respective Revit sheets, click OK to load the Markups.

You can now see any markups that someone has placed in the DWF and how they correspond to the sheet.  Each markup is an individual object with its own properties.

You can see in the properties that you can change the status of these markups to either Question, Needs Review or Done.

You can add notes to the markup for the reviewer or future users…

..and you can see who has worked on this markup in the past as well as who created it to begin with.

Once you are complete with the markups, you can save the changes back out to the DWF for the project manager to review

There you have it.  A very easy to use tool, with very powerful implications.  A great way to save on paper, keep track of your revision process and efficiently review your projects!

Thanks again for stopping by.  Please feel free to comment and I hope you come back for another tip of the day!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 2.19.10 | Dimension Formulas

Gonna finish up the week with a very easy tip, yet very powerful for those complicated designs that use all those mathematical formulas and what not…

Hopefully, by this point, you know that you can simply enter a length to determine a wall or line length, or really anywhere you can input a dimension.  Simply type 100′ and hit enter et voila! 100′ of whatever you were placing.  Did you know, however, that you can do the same thing but with formulas!?

It’s very simple.  Instead of typing the normal dimension in like this:

You instead begin it with an ‘=’ like this:

You can use any formula context that revit allows.  I would suggest searching in help for “formula” to find out the terms and syntax that you can use.

Like I said, simple and quick, just like we like it here at!  Hope you learned something, and thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 2.15.10 | Through the Linking Glass, part1

I’m slowly but surely trying to recover from moving and settling into a new job.  I’m having to force myself to sit down and make time for RevitTotD, but I’m glad I do it every time that I do!  This week, I’m going to have 3 tips… that’s all there is to it!  Baby steps, baby steps!

Linking models is fairly straightforward.  It’s when you need to start customizing how the model needs to look in different views for consistency with the main model that you start to get deep in to those infamous nested Autodesk dialogues!  So how do we start customizing?  Like so…

There are three types of visibility graphics control for linked models: By Host, By Linked View and Custom.

You access these settings through the Visibility Graphics (‘VG’) dialogue > Revit Links tab

In this tip, I’m going to cover By Host View and Custom.  Part 2 of this tip will cover the By Linked View option.

By host view is by far the easiest way to control your graphics.  It’s as simple as turning categories in your main model on and off as you normally would in the VG dialogue.  If you want the walls in your model AND linked view to be hidden, simply turn them off the in VG dialogue.

What if you need the walls and floors in your link to be off, but you want to leave them on in your main model?  Ah, this starts to get slightly trickier, but is still accomplished with only a few clicks.  First, you need to set your link to Custom mode in the VG dialogue. NOTE: These settings are BY VIEW!  Setting this up in one WILL NOT affect other views, this is where view templates come in to play 🙂

Depending on the category you want to control, go to that respective tab (walls and floor = model categories, levels = annotation categories) and set those categories to Custom as well.

Click OK a couple of times and see the results.  Notice our main model walls are visible while our linked model walls are not.

Same concept applies to the Annotation Categories.  Let’s say you have redundant levels in your linked model and don’t want them showing up in your main model.  Same as above, but simply go to annotation categories and turn off levels.

Well, that was quite a mouthful for one tip!  So, mull around on that for a day or two, and then come back for part2 of this tip when we talk about the By Linked View options which REALLY let’s us customize every bit of the linked model.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again for yet another Revit TotD!

-Carl GIbson

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