Posts tagged Revit

Revit TotD – 7.29.09: Don’t Skip the SKP Mats

Another simple, quick yet useful tip today!  A while back we mentioned Sketchup in our Topo tip, today I’m going to show you how to assign a material to that topo (or any object really) that you bring in to Revit from Sketchup.

Assigning Materials to Sketchup Imports:

  1. In the Material library (Manage > Materials) look for a list of “Render Material ###-###-###
  2. Select the different materials until you find one that matches the Shaded color appearance.
  3. Change the shaded color to verify you have the correct material.
  4. Once you know it is the correct material, rename the material and change any property you wish!

Overriding Line Edge Properties:

  1. Select the SKP object in the model (you may need a view other than Floor Plan to see what you want to see).
  2. Select Query in the Ribbon Options
  3. Select the object in the model to get a property dialog showing you the following information:
  4. Open the Visibility Graphics dialog (type ‘VG‘) and find the Layer/Subcategory that the object you queried resides on.  It will be under the Imported Objects tab.
  5. Change the line settings!


Well, hope that didn’t hurt too bad!  Note that while there are better methods to use on imports from 3DS and DWG, this method will still work for almost all imported 3D objects with materials!  Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope to see you again, for another Revit TotD!



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!



TotD – 7.20.09: Tracing DWGs

Trust me, you won’t find anyone more against importing DWGs into a Revit project than me… well you might if you point over to and browse around, but I’m pretty close to the top dawg in that category.  However, I understand that sometimes it’s just the best way to get the job done.  In cases like these there is a very simple way to trace your project in from the DWG.

Tracing DWGs

  1. Import the DWG you wish to transfer into Revit.  Use the settings that fit your project.
  2. Select the wall you want type to place.
  3. Choose the wall location line that best fits the way you need the wall to be placed.  Note that the dashed guidelines that indicate the other side of the wall will only appear if you are not on a Center option (ie: Wall Center, Core Center, etc).
  4. Select the “Pick Lines” tool.
  5. Pick the lines from the DWG (since that’s what they are.. just lines…) to place your wall.  Be careful if you have grids or other lines in the same place as the wall because you will need to make sure you tab through to the wall line and not the grid line.  Revit doesn’t know which is a wall line and which is a grid line so it doesn’t care which one you select.  It will place that wall where ever you tell it to!
  6. Notice that Revit gives you a guide as to which side to the line the other side of the wall will appear.  Pay attention to these and you will speed through the wall placement process.
  7. I can not emphasize enough how important this step is… DELETE THE DWG FILE WHEN DONE!  Don’t just hide it.  You will kill many many kitty cats, puppy dogs and bunny rabbits if you leave you DWG file in the project for someone else to stumble across later on.  Trust me…

Note that this method works for things like details as well, just import the detail into a detail component or drafting view and trace away to your heart’s content!  Another short little tip.  I hope this helps you at some point along the way and that I will see you again for yet another Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 7.17.09: Multi Line Text Fields

Don’t ask me how I stumbled across this one. It was so long ago that I can’t remember what I was doing to try this. I can remember it being somewhat serendipitous in the fact that it happened naturally, like, this key combo should produce this result. I needed an extra line in my parameter, so I did it. Isn’t it amazing how some of the biggest tips have the smallest amount of explanation?

To create multi-line text fields out of your parameters that are of the normal “Text” type, simply type Shift + Enter.  This will create a carriage return to another line.  There’s really no good way o show this in pictures, so you’re going to have to just try it (or watch the video!).

Now, you can’t just get all crazy with the Shift+Enter and do it anywhere you please, no.  You will need a schedule to do this properly.  So your parameter has to be something that is schedulable (this means shared parameters for those of you doing this with families, ie: Titleblocks).

You’ll run into some  frustration when you are dealing with parameters that you have done this to, as pressing the down arrow will  make it appear as though you are scrolling through parameter values when you may actually be scrolling through lines of text in a single parameter value.  Also, you will notice that you may et an error about having certain symbols in your parameter values.

This usually only happens on certain labels that are hard coded into the families (ie: titleblocks).  It doesn’t like the “\r” that is returned because ‘\’ is a non allowable symbol.  You can’t see the ‘\r’ but it’s there, I promise!

Give it a shot!  Hope you enjoyed, and I will see you next time for another, Revit TotD!

EDIT:  I just noticed while watching the video that there is a new behavior in 2010 that was not present before.  In the past you were able to select between different Multi-Line parameters after you had placed them (from the combobox), but now if you try selecting a multi-line it will only give you the line you selected instead of the entire multi-line value.  While this makes this tip a little less valuable in parametrics, it is still just as useful in most of its uses!



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!



Revit TotD – 6.26.09: Same View, new Callout

Here’s a quick tip to round off the week, most of you may know this already, but I think ALL of you should know, therefore I’m posting this little tip!  Ever had a View such as a cad detail or a drafting view that you want to reference by a new callout in your project?  There’s a quick little button you can check in the options bar before you place the callout that will allow you to do this.

Placing a callout for an existing view:

  1. Select the callout tool.
  2. Check the “Reference other view:” option in the options bar.
  3. Select which view you want to reference.
  4. Place the callout.  Note: the callout you place does not affect the area shwon for the existing view so take care as to how you place the callout.

Like I said, short and sweet, just the way we like it here!  Hope everyone has a great weekend and I hope you stop by next week for more, Revit TotD!  As always, enjoy, comment, share!



Revit TotD – 6.25.09: Wall Profiles and Constraints

The last project I worked on in a real office was a real piece of work.  With about 12 people in total working on the model at any given time, the model no doubt had some issues between everyone having their way with the model.  One of the issues that occurred DAILY was with wall profiles.  What I began noticing was that people were using profile lines instead of the Height and Length constraints to change the length and height of the walls.  Here is a quick tip on what to look for if you are having strange wall issues in your project.

Checking your Wall Profile Constraints:

  1. Select your wall and click “Edit Profile”
  2. Check that the outer profile lines are constrained to the wall reference planes.
  3. You can use align and lock to constrain any profile lines that are not constrained.
  4. Click “Finish Profile”
  5. Check that your wall edges flex with the wall grips.

Easy as that!  Hope that helps, as usual please comment and tell our friends and coworkers and fellow students!  Have a great day and I will see you next time for another Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 6.24.09: Project Elevation vs. Actual Elevation

Yeah, I know you’ve been there.  Your boss asked you to make the elevations on a certain sheet show the actual elevation above sea level.  You tried to move all the levels up 600′ and EVERYTHING B0RKED!!!  If you haven’t been there you will eventually, well maybe not if you read this because you’ll know the correct way to handle this situation.  Today’s tip is geared to show you how to use the shared coordinates options to set the actual elevation and modify the level tags to handle the difference between Project Elevation and Shared (or actual) elevation, as shown in this handy video demonstration!

Setting the shared coordinates for your project:

  1. In your project go to the Manage ribbon (or settings > Coordinates in 2009)
  2. Choose “Specify Coordinates at point”
  3. Select the base of your project or a point int he project that you know the elevation of and click
  4. Change the elevation to reflect the actual elevation and click OK.
  5. The Shared (Actual in this case) elevation has been changed.  Now let’s setup the Level markers to reflect this.

Setting up the Level markers to reflect Actual and Project Elevations:

  1. Select any level in the project and go to the element properties (PR is the keyboard shortcut)
  2. Click “Edit Type” to access the type parameters dialogue
  3. Click “Duplicate” to make a new Level type so you don’t mess up anything you already have in the project.
  4. Call it something like “Actual Elevation”
  5. Under Elevation Base, you’ll notice that it is set to Project, change this to Shared
  6. Make another type called “Project Elevation” and have the Elevation Base set to Project
  7. Hit “OK” out of the dialogues and select your Level Marker, change the type to the Actual Elevation level marker we jsut made.
  8. Notice that the elevation changes.

Well that was fun, wouldn’t you say so?  I hope you learned something from this.  As always, please comment on the session; that let’s me know I’m helping someone out there! 🙂  Hope to see you again next time for another, Revit TotD!



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