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Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course also covers navigating the Revit interface; modeling basic building features such as walls, doors, and windows; working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs; annotating designs with dimensions and callouts; and plotting and exporting your drawings.
In this movie we'll explore some high- level concepts common to the Revit platform. All elements in Revit fit into a built-in hierarchy. The purpose of this movie is simply to expose you to some of these high-level concepts and give you a better understanding of how the elements in this system fit into the larger framework. So I am going to start with the broadest grouping, all of the elements in the software could be grouped broadly into some major groupings, I'd like to call them buckets. So if you thought of model element's one big bucket and then we also have a view elements, datum elements, and annotation elements.
What I am going to focus on mainly in this movie is model elements and annotation elements. The model elements are anything that represent an actual thing; something that's real in the building when the building is built. So if you can walk up to something and put your hand on and touch it, it's a model element. And the annotation elements are things that aren't real, things that describe objects in a set of drawings but aren't necessarily built in the actual building. So let me show you some examples.
I am here in Revit in a file called Hierarchy, and it's included with the exercise files if you'd like to follow along, or you can open any Revit file that has both model and annotation objects in it. Now I'd like to illustrate a few other points that I was just discussing. For example, over here I have a wall, here I have a door, here I have a stair and a railing. Those would be considered model elements. They are actual parts of the building, if the building was built you could go and walk up to those objects and you could touch them, they are real elements. Contrast that to things like this wall tag or this door tag or these dimensions or this bar scale, those items are not real in the sense that nobody is going to paint them on the floor of the finished building or they are not going to build the bar scale out in front of the facility.
They are representational objects that are meaningful for an architectural drawing, but they're not actually physical objects. Now those objects behave fundamentally different in Revit. A model element, as we saw in the previous movie, is a live object that if you change it in one view, such as taking this door and moving it over here, it will be reflected in any other view. If I switch to another floor plan you can see that that door has already moved.
Now in this floor plan you can see that the annotation is actually quite different. There are no dimensions over here, there is no bar scale, some of the room tags are outside of the rooms rather than inside, the door tags are not even included in the door. So there is clearly a difference between the way the annotation appears in this level 1 furniture plan versus the way that it appeared here in the level 1 floor plan. So let me show you an example of that. If I take this room tag, here in the furniture plan, and I move it, say over to this location, if I return to my original level 1 floor plan notice that the corridor room tag is still in the original location and that's because each of these floor plans maintains its own version of its annotation.
So the annotation is what we call view -specific, it belongs to the view in question; level 1 in this case or level 1 furniture in the alternate case. If we change the model as we saw it changes everywhere. So that's a main distinction between the model versus the annotation. Now there is another stage of the hierarchy that we also want to understand. If I highlight one of the objects you'll see a tooltip appear on screen. You'll see that same tip appear down in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
Now that information you can see there's actually three bits of information there, currently the status line says walls, then basic wall, then interior 4 7/8' partition. If I switch over this door, you'll see it says Doors, then Single-Flush, then 36'x84'. Now what that is, is a three-step object hierarchy that all elements, both model and annotation share in common. We have a category, we have a family and we have a type.
Categories are a built-in list of object types that are available in the software. You and I cannot change this list. Examples might be doors, or walls, or stairs or door tags. Those are all categories. The behavior of each of those categories is well-defined, built into the software, and we just simply use objects of those categories. The next tier in the hierarchy is the family. Certain families are built-in, we call those system families and we'll discuss that in more detail in a future movie, and we also have what we call component families which are families that you and I actually can modify, and again we'll talk about that in a future movie.
But conceptually what a family is, is really just a much more specific version of some object in a particular category. So if you think about doors in general all a door does is cuts a hole in a wall and allows people to walk through, but doors come in many shapes and sizes. We have single-flush swinging doors, we have double doors, we have sliding doors and revolving doors; each of those kinds of door would be a family. What it means to be a revolving door is a little different than what it means to be a swinging door or bifold door.
So we have family to distinguish those differences. Now even within the family you might have variations, the most common would be different sizes. So in the Revit hierarchy we call those types. So if that single-flush door comes in a 36-inch wide type and a 30-inch type we would have a type for each of those conditions. If that revolving door comes in one size, or another size, or one type of construction, or another type of construction, we would make types for that.
So every object in the hierarchy belongs to category, family, and type. And another way to look at that would be to say that each element in your model like this door that I can select here onscreen belongs to a type, that type is part of a family, and that family is part of a category. And again, it doesn't matter if we are talking about a model element or an annotation element for this point here. If I look at this room tag it's got the same three-step hierarchy; category, then family, then type.
Or this bar scale down here which is Category Generic Annotation Graphic Scale1-8 is the family and the type name is similar. So every object falls into this multistep family type category hierarchy and all of the objects fit into those larger buckets.
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