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Orthographic views in Revit are generated from the 3D model using a variety of rules derived from conventional architectural drafting. When it comes to plan views, architectural drafting convention treats a plan as basically a horizontal section, cutting the building at a predetermined height above the floor and looking down into the model. Naturally, there are many other rules and abstractions applied to the graphics to achieve an acceptable floor plan; however, the concept of the cut plan is used quite literally in Revit. In this movie we're going to look at the View Range feature, which incorporates the cut plane and a few other settings. And I'm in a file here called View Range in order for us to do that.
So I'm looking at the Level 1 Floor Plan view, and it has all of the default View Range settings applied to it. Now let's start with where we can find the View Range settings. So if you look at your Properties palette and make sure it says Floor Plan over here and scroll down, and under the Extents grouping, you will find the View Range with an Edit button. Click that, and what you'll see is a series of four settings here. Now at the top of the dialog it says the primary range and then below that it says you've got the view depth, and we're going to focus on the primary range for right now.
You can see that the cut plane is established at four feet above the floor. Now, all of these are set to the current level, so these are all associated to level one, which seems pretty standard, pretty acceptable. The bottom of the view range is at 0, so we're only seeing down to the floor itself, Level 1 floor itself, and we can potentially see up as high as 7'6" foot above the floor. Now let me show you this another way. I'm going to cancel out of there, and I'm going to open up the east elevation. And I'm going to zoom in over here.
I've drawn some lines here, just to kind of illustrate. And these lines are actually drawn relative to the second floor, because we're going to look at an example up there. So here's the situation where we have a tall wall. This is the second-floor level, and there is that line right there. That big heavy line represents that four feet above that we just saw in the dialog. So that represents where the cut plane is. So that's going to capture these two windows right here. Revit kind of says this is the primary range, in this area. This reddish color line, there is the 7'6", which means we wouldn't see anything above that point, which means these three windows here are not being seen at all.
They are outside of the view range. Now I've draw another line here at 12 feet. So what I want to illustrate is, if we start modifying the settings in the view range, we can actually tell Revit that rather than cutting through these windows, I'd rather have it cut through these. So let's open up the floor plan that shows this. That's actually Level 2. And we're in this general area over here, and you can see that we're cutting through those two slider windows right now that we just saw in the elevation, because we're cutting at 4 feet.
So let's scroll down over here, locate the View Range. Let's move this out of the way a little bit. And I'm going to change this to 12, like we just saw in the illustration. Now I should point out one other thing. If I try and click OK here, I'll get an error message that says I've got an error that the top of the clip plane is below the cut plane. These numbers have to be in order. So let me close that. This is your highest number; this is your lowest number. Now notice they can be the same, but they just can't get out of order. So that means that my top of view range has to be at lease 12 feet, or it could be taller than that.
So in this case I'll just go ahead and make it 14. I'm just making up a number. And let's click Apply and you'll see what happens. Notice that we're now cutting through those smaller windows that are up above. Now I can't zoom while this box is open, so let me OK out of there and kind of move around here. And notice that that may have taken care of the windows, but it kind of caused some trouble elsewhere in the plan, where we're not seeing the doors anymore, we're not seeing any of these other windows, because at a 12-foot cut height we're just much too tall now to see any of these objects.
There is stuff in the way. These walls are in the way and other things. So I'm to undo that change, like so, to get back to a more suitable floor plan. If I actually wanted to see those windows up above and still maintain the rest of the floor plan, then I have a feature here called a plan region that I can use instead. So I'm going to come over here to the Modify tab, click on the dropdown, and create a plan region. Now when I create this, you've got some different shapes, and I'm just going to do a simple rectangle.
And I'm going to do it, just trying remember exactly where those windows are. I think they are right about there, just about like that. And I'm going to finish that. So I got an error. Revit is telling me that I have boundaries overlapping, and you might notice here in orange the offending boundary. So I actually already had a plan region in this file, and the two can't overlap is what this message saying. So I can either delete the element or what I'm going to do is cancel, because delete doesn't seem like a very good thing to do. And I'll just modify this slightly so that they're not overlapping anymore, and click Finish.
Now what this does right here is it gives me a View Range button that applies just within that rectangle. So I'm going to click that. And it's the same exact settings. so let's go with 14 feet, let's go with 12 feet, let's click OK, and now you'll see that we get the smaller windows, but it's only in that small, little area right there. Now it looks I've got some fine-tuning to do, because it's kind of cutting this wall in a funny way, but notice I get some grips here, so I can just go. Oh, let's just do that, and that looks a little bit better.
Then with respect to these overlapping ones, if you really needed to see it here, you just have to be a little bit more careful about how you draw your sketches. Now, why do I have this one over here? Well, if we zoom out over here, this one surrounds the lower roof. Here is the lower roof and if I didn't have this here--let me just delete it--you'll notice the way the roof looks. It's actually being cut through, because the four-foot cut plane hits partway through the roof. So I'm going to undo that, select this, look at its view range, and you could see that by raising the view range just around the roof area, I can get it to display up above the ridge.
If we look at the east elevation, that might be a little bit more clear. So let's zoom out a little bit. Here's the 4 feet. So if we left it alone, you can see how it cuts through the roof, and that's why the roof didn't display so well. But when we move it up above, then we're looking down on the roof when we see it more correctly. So that's the primary reason you would go into either View Range or Plan Region, is because you want to manipulate this Cut Plane feature. So most of the time you'll be using the View Range dialog to manipulate the cut plane in some way.
There are, however, a few other settings in there, so we'll save those for the next movie. You use the Cut Plan feature in the View Range dialog to determine where your floor plans are being cut from. If you can't find a setting that works for the entire floor plan, then we have our Plan Region feature, which allows us to create a small, little specialized area of the floor plan that has a different cut plane than the rest of the floor plan.
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