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Creating a new family from a template

From: Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

Video: Creating a new family from a template

Ok. So let's get started creating our first piece of Revit family content. It all starts with the choice of template, so that will be the first thing we are going to look at here in this movie. I don't have any files open onscreen; I'm just looking at the Revit Recent Files screen. And we have two ways we can create our new family: we can do it down here in the Families area of the Recent Files screen, or you can use the big R, the Application menu, highlight New, and choose Family. So you either choose it there or you click this New link right here; either one will get you to the same place.

Creating a new family from a template

Ok. So let's get started creating our first piece of Revit family content. It all starts with the choice of template, so that will be the first thing we are going to look at here in this movie. I don't have any files open onscreen; I'm just looking at the Revit Recent Files screen. And we have two ways we can create our new family: we can do it down here in the Families area of the Recent Files screen, or you can use the big R, the Application menu, highlight New, and choose Family. So you either choose it there or you click this New link right here; either one will get you to the same place.

In both cases you will be in the New Family - Select Template File dialog, and the easiest way to understand what we've got here is to select the first item and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to kind of quickly page through several of these items. And you'll notice over on the Preview there on the right, there is a lot of difference between each one of these family templates, so there's several things going on here. Let me tell you what some of the basic differences are. The most obvious difference is the category that's being assigned to the family.

So you can see that in the name. So this is an Electrical Equipment family, and this is an Entourage family, and this is a Generic model family. So that's obviously one of the most important things that you're doing when you choose your template is assigning that category. Now another thing that's happening is, as you could see when we page through the different items here, is there might be some different starting geometry, or there might be some different starting reference planes or other behaviors that are less obvious. There's often some subtle behaviors built into the family, and often those behaviors are tied to the categories, so really, it's kind of tied back to the decision about category.

So the final item I want to discuss here is the hosting behavior. Now we've seen a few different kinds of families so far throughout the course. In some cases, when we bring in a family it would come in and just ask us for a point of placement. In other cases, we got the little circle with a line through it, and Revit was telling us before we could place the object we had to highlight a certain object, usually a wall or a ceiling or something like that. Here I have a template called Electrical Fixture. You'll notice that Electrical Fixture here just has the name of the category, but then right above it there's two other versions of Electrical Fixture, one that says wall based and another one that says ceiling based.

If it says wall or ceiling or really the word "based" at the end, that's telling you that that particular template requires a host. So that's a hosted family. The one that does not have the word "based" at the end does not require a host. So as a general rule of thumb, you can look for that little clue there in the name and that's going to tell you whether or not this family requires a host. Now this is important because you can't change your mind about the hosting behavior later, so it's not like you'll be able to go in and say, oh I no longer want this object to be wall hosted.

You'd really have to start the family over again. So when in doubt, you should choose a freestanding family if you're not sure, because it's a little more flexible and you can always take that freestanding family and move it next to a wall, but you can't take one that's attached to a wall and pull it off. Now in our example, we're going to kind of avoid the issue because we're going to work with the Furniture template, and the Furniture template only has one choice anyway. There are no hosted furniture templates, so the choice is a little bit easier. So I'm going to go ahead and select that, and I'm going to click Open. And we're going to be building a pool table, and so that's why I categorized it as Furniture.

Now when we first open up, it looks familiar, but if you scan the interface, you'll see that it's a little bit different. There are some variations. We don't have an Architecture tab anymore; we have a Create tab. We don't have walls, doors, and windows; we have extrusion, blends, and revolves. The Project Browser looks similar, but there are some different view names. So there's definitely some subtle variations between the interface. Now, it turns out we actually have four views open when we load this template. Family templates often load up multiple views, and so what I want to do is use my shortcut for Tile Windows, W+T, and that will tile the four windows.

And then I'm going to Z+A for Zoom All, and it's going to zoom all of the windows to fit. So you don't have to work this way in the Family Editor, but it's a pretty good idea, because we'll be able to make changes, say, in this floor plan view and we'll simultaneously be able to see what's going on in two elevations and even in a 3D View. So the last thing I'm going to do in here is go to the big R, choose Save, and I'm going to give this family a name. So I'm just going to put this on the desktop, so I'll click that link right over here. And I'm going to give this a name, and I'm going to call this Pool Table V1.

Now, I often put a V1 or V2 at the end of my file names while I'm working on my families-- that stands for version 1--because as I'm working, I might change my design a little bit. I might change my mind about something that I intended to do, and this way I can keep different versions and then when I'm all done, I can compare and decide which one I want to keep. Sometimes I keep all them; sometimes I'll throw away old versions, but getting in the habit of doing something like this is a pretty good idea because you're kind of playing it safe so that you don't accidentally throw away a version that you liked and then you have to start over.

So I've got V1 and then if we click over here on Options, you can actually decide how many backups you want here. So usually with families, I drop that down to 1. And you can even decide where the source of the thumbnail preview will be, and so sometimes it's a good idea to change that to the 3D view so that when you save your file, even if you're in the floor plan, the little icon preview that gets generated for the open dialogs is actually generated from the 3D view. So it's not required, but just a few little options.

I'll go ahead and click Save here, and that takes care of that. So remember that choosing your template for your family is one of the more important decisions you'll make when you're building custom family content. You're actually deciding several things in that choice. You're deciding what the category of the family is, you are deciding what the hosting behavior is, and by choosing those two things, you are actually inheriting, potentially, several other behind- the-scenes behaviors that may not be obvious at first. So there's a lot that you inherit from that family template, so make sure you choose carefully.

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This video is part of

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Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

96 video lessons · 12635 viewers

Paul F. Aubin
Author

 
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  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      55s
  2. 14m 43s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      6m 55s
  3. 54m 44s
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      1m 19s
    2. Exploring the Recent Files window and the application menu
      5m 20s
    3. Using the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      7m 12s
    4. Understanding context ribbons
      4m 43s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      8m 31s
    6. Using the Project Browser
      5m 34s
    7. Navigating views: Zooming, panning, and rotating
      5m 57s
    8. The basics of selecting and modifying
      9m 49s
    9. Accessing Revit options
      6m 19s
  4. 47m 6s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multi-user project with worksharing
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 33s
    4. Adding levels
      7m 40s
    5. Adding grids
      6m 23s
    6. Refining a layout with temporary dimensions
      6m 58s
    7. Adding columns
      7m 34s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Adding walls
      8m 48s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 24s
    3. Exploring wall properties and types
      7m 37s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 27s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Using wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 59s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 49s
    5. Creating a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 16s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      6m 0s
    11. Understanding file formats
      59s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    4. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    5. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    6. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    7. Adding openings
      8m 33s
    8. Working with stairs
      8m 4s
    9. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    10. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    11. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 20s
  8. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 18s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      8m 12s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      8m 17s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      10m 59s
    5. Creating wall sweeps and reveals
      6m 26s
    6. Exploring model lines
      4m 22s
  9. 47m 40s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      6m 13s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 7s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      5m 21s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
  10. 21m 28s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 0s
  11. 33m 13s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 55s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      8m 8s
  12. 58m 40s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 6s
    3. Adding symbols
      4m 42s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      8m 31s
    6. Adding detail components
      8m 52s
    7. Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically
      7m 43s
    8. Adding filled and masking regions
      7m 26s
  13. 41m 29s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      7m 52s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      4m 40s
  14. 38m 48s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      5m 24s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 39s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  15. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

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