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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It 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 adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
Your Revit project is a complete virtual building model that can be viewed, edited and explored three- dimensionally, two-dimensionally and in various reports and tabular lists. Each such representation of your project is referred to in Revit simply as a view. Views are listed and accessed from the Project browser palette, which functions much like a table of contents for the project. In this lesson, we will explore this tool and learn to navigate the various kinds of views kinds of views common to a Revit project. So to help us do that, I've got this condominium building open here onscreen. It's called Condo, in the chapter 2 of the Exercise Files. And we are looking, currently, at just an overall three-dimensional view of the building.
Now over here onscreen is something called the Project browser, and this is typically docked over here on the left -hand side of your screen, and that's probably where you ought to leave it, in most cases. Now in some cases it might get moved around, or it might go away. You can see it's got a little closed box right here, and what happens if I - oops! - accidentally close it? Well I want you to know how to get it back, just in case you find yourself without it one day wondering, well do I get it? So let's go over here to the View tab, Way over on the right-hand side, under the User Interface dropdown button, you will see there is an item here called Project browser.
Currently, there is no check box because we just turned it off, and all you have to do is simply click on it, and it will return. So pretty simply to get it back, just in case you ever find it gone missing. Now at the very top of the Project browser, we have an item called Views, and then and underneath that we have several pretty standard architectural categories that you should be familiar with: Floor Plans, Ceiling Plans, 3D Views, Elevations, and so on. Beneath each of those is a variety of different views for the project that we are working in.
So, for example, if I want to take a look at the second floor of my building, all I have to do is double-click the Level 2 Floor Plan view, and that view will appear onscreen. So this is a pretty typical floor plan that I am looking at, and notice over here on the Project browser, that Level 2 is now bold to indicate that that is the actual active view onscreen. Maybe I want to look at the Level 2 Ceiling Plan. I could double-click it the same way, and now I am looking at the second Floor Ceiling Plan. Maybe I want to look at the South Elevation. I can double-click it, and now I am looking at the South Elevation.
Now we're not limited to just Graphical views in a Revit project, there are actually lots of different kinds of views including Schedule views. So to open a Schedule view, it's exactly the same procedure as to open a Graphical view. You just simply double-click it on the Project browser, and now instead of seeing a Graphical view of the project, I am going to see a nice tabular list that in this case is listing all of the rooms that are part of my project. You can see it's a fairly long list with a scrollbar over here on the right-hand side, and this particular one is grouped by level. I have also got Section views.
Here, I have opened up a view called Section 2. We are not limited to just opening views from the Project browser. We can actually open views from the graphical indications onscreen as well. So in this case, you could see that there is a section head shown here onscreen and if I will simply double-click on it, you are going to see that it's actually going to open the view that's associated with that section head. Now take a look over here at the Project browser, after I double-clicked on that section head. Section 1 is now indicated in bold to confirm for me that I'm in fact looking at Section 1.
Now notice that this is in a dark blue color, as are these level heads over here; these are also in a dark blue color. Generally speaking, that color indicates for you that this item is interactive in some way. So if I double-click on Level 2 head, notice that takes me back to the Level 2 Floor Plan, and I can confirm that over here on the Project browser by noticing that Level 2 is now listed in bold. Now simply opening views is probably not good enough. We also need to be able to get a better look at what we are seeing on the views, and in this case, we are kind of far away from this floor plan right now, so you might want to zoom in and get a better look.
We have lots of tools available for us to do that. Typically assigned to each view over here in the right-hand corner is a little palette. It's a little toolbar, and it's called the Navigation bar. If you click on that bar, you will see that there is actually a little dropdown indicator here with lots of different ways that we can zoom, some of which should be fairly self-explanatory. Clicking Zoom Out two times is going to reduce the magnification by two. Zoom to Fit is going to go back to where we were.
It's going to fit to the screen. This one here, Zoom In Region, is very handy. Maybe I want to get a better look at just this unit of the condo. So I can just drag a box around the area that I would like to enlarge, and it will fit the screen to that area. Now these are all handy little tools, but frankly, the fastest and easiest way, and probably the way that I used 99% of the time myself when working in Revit, is to just simply use the wheel on your mouse. So if you have a wheel mouse, all you have to do is roll the wheel, and it's going to zoom in. If you roll it the other way, it's going to zoom out.
So just simply rolling it one way zooms in; rolling it the other way zooms out. If you hold it in and drag, that pans the view, or scrolls, if you want to think of it that way. So you can get a look at another area, zoom in, drag it around, zoom out, drag it around, and so on. This works in any kind of view, so I could be in an Elevation view, and I would roll the wheel, and it would zoom and pan. I could be in a 3D view and drag the wheel to pan, roll the wheel to zoom.
Then we have one more trick when we are here in a 3D view. We can actually hold down the Shift key and drag the wheel, and we will be able to orbit the model three-dimensionally. So we can actually spin it around in three dimensions and get a better look at it. Now, one other tool that we have available to us in 3D views is this item right over here, which is called the View Cube. Now this is a very common interface element across all of the Autodesk products. So if you have used any of the other Autodesk software, you have probably seen this View Cube in those packages as well, and it works the same way in all of them.
Generally, what you do is each of these little spots on the cube are hotspots, and you can see, by pausing over them, that they highlight and just simply click that, and it will reorient the 3D view to match that direction. So you could see, if I clicked the various hotspots, it's taking me to that vantage point. Now another alternative to the Shift and dragging the wheel is to just simply click and drag the View Cube, and that does essentially the same thing.
It allows me to orbit this around. We have one additional way we can do that. Notice that if I highlight the round circle that surrounds the View Cube, this is thought of as the turntable here, and I drag that, that will also spin it around, but it won't change the height. So it keeps the angle that you are viewing the model consistent while you just sort of spin it around. If you drag from the cube itself, you can change both the height and spin it. You are sure to have free form movement in all directions.
So in this lesson, I've shown you various ways that you can load different views in the Revit Project browser. I have introduced you to the Project browser, so that you can see the various kinds of views. Again, think of it as a table of contents for your project. I have shown you some different ways that you can navigate around the view and nearly everything that you do in Revit is going to take place in the Context of a view, and it's going to require some of the skills discussed in this lesson. So it really is worth your while to take the time to get comfortable with the Project browser, to get comfortable with views and to get comfortable with view navigation.
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