Using profile families
Video: Using profile familiesSo far all of the families we've created in the course have used generic model templates. We either had our free standing generic model or our face based generic model. In this movie, I'd like to talk about profiles. Now a profile is actually not a 3D template. A profile is a two dimensional family. And the purpose of a profile is it allows you to define a 2D shape that you want to use to create 3D form. Now, I'm in a file here called Forms, and it's included with the exercise files, and it has one each of the five forms we can create in the Family Editor.
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Have you ever tried to control the shape of a curved form in the Family Editor? If so, you know that flexing them sometimes throws you a curve ball. In this course, Paul F. Aubin explores several techniques to tame your unruly parametric curves. This includes examples of circles, arcs, arches, splines, and even complex curves like cyma moldings. The real power comes in with formulas, profile families, and proportions, which allow you to mathematically control your curves. At the end of this course, we can't guarantee you'll never have misbehaving curves, but we'll give you several useful tools to help tame them.
- Creating seed families
- Creating circles, ellipses, and arcs
- Controlling rotation
- Working with segmental and elliptical arches
- Using profile families
- Working with cyma curves
- Using fixed proportion and scaling
Using profile families
So far all of the families we've created in the course have used generic model templates. We either had our free standing generic model or our face based generic model. In this movie, I'd like to talk about profiles. Now a profile is actually not a 3D template. A profile is a two dimensional family. And the purpose of a profile is it allows you to define a 2D shape that you want to use to create 3D form. Now, I'm in a file here called Forms, and it's included with the exercise files, and it has one each of the five forms we can create in the Family Editor.
So if we look at the Create tab, we can create Extrusions, Blends, Revolves, Sweeps, and Swept Blends. And so right here I have an extrusion, a blend, a revolve, a sweep, and a swept blend. Now on purpose, I made this sweep look exactly like this extrusion, and I made this swept blend look exactly like this blend. And the reason I did that is to kind of make the point that even though we have the five shapes, it's possible that these two can really become replacements for these two.
And if you're even a little more clever, you can do a sweep that actually emulates a revolve as well. So in reality, even though we have the five forms, depending on the way you strategize your family that you're creating, you could actually get away with using nothing but sweeps and swept blends. Now the real question is, why would you want to do that? Well, if I select the extrusion and I edit it, the shape of my extrusion has to be sketched, it has to be sketched, that's the only option.
Let me cancel that. But if I select the sweep that looks like that extrusion instead and edit it, well of course, the path is, if I did sketch path is that vertical line right there, I'm going to cancel that. But notice that when I click Select Profile, I created this profile as a sketch, so if I did Edit Profile, it would give me the shape. It's just like the extrusion. However, if I cancel that, there is another option here to use a profile. And there's another option here to load a profile.
So if you don't already have a profile loaded into this project, then you can load one from the library. If I click Load Profile, the Load Family dialog appears and I get all the folders from the standard library that's loaded from Auto Desk. And, depending on your version, you may or may not have the same profiles that I have, so it's not really that important which one you choose for this example. But if I go into the Profiles folder, you can see there's lots of other sub folders, but there are many profiles that have been provided with the software. That's really the only point that I want you to see here.
So we're going to go ahead and choose one here. And again, it doesn't really matter which one. Now I'm going to go into Finish Carpentry, and I'll just start at the top. And look at the preview here and then just use the arrow key on my keyboard and kind of page through them and when you find one that looks interesting to you, you can go ahead and load that one in. And again your version of Revit might have different choices than mine does but you can choose which ever ones you like. So I'm going to bring in this brick mould as an example. So when I click open here, it will load that profile and now it will show up on this list.
And then I can chose it from the list here and, of course, the brick mould was a bit smaller than the rectangle that I had drawn but if I zoom in you can see what a profile family is. It's nothing more than a 2D shape that helps you define 3D form. So when I finish this, and zoom out a little, I now have a sweep that's essentially an extrusion because it's just going along a single segment path here, but it is using that pre-defined shape.
Now, if I zoom out, over here to the side, I've created this multi segment sweep here, and so if I click on that, and I edit the sweep, you can see that it's got a path right here, and if I sketch that path, you know there's the shape of that path. I'm not going to change that, but what I am going to do is click the Select Profile button. And then from this drop down here, there's my brick mould again, and I'll load that in. And you'll see it shifts from where I had it sketched before, but you can see the brick mould appears on this path and when I finish it, I now have a sweep that follows along that multi segment path.
So the point is, that by using a profile family you can create a shape that you want to reuse in multiple families and then you just simply load that profile into other families and use it to help you create sweeps or swept blends. Now unfortunately, it only works with those two objects, so if you were to go back to these original forms here, if I edit the swept blend, it's got two profile options, both of which would allow me to choose that brick mould.
So I can mold my swept blend with profiles. I can mold my sweep with profiles. But unfortunately, extrusions, blends, and revolves can not use profiles. You have to sketch those shapes directly. So now it just becomes a matter of strategy. If I can strategize in such a way that the form I'm creating can be built with the sweep instead of an extrusion or swept blend instead of a blend, then that starts to give me some more flexibility, in terms of being able or reuse these standard profile shapes.
So, in the next few movies, we're going to learn how to create some custom profile shapes for some standard moulding shapes that you might want to use. And we're basically going to be leveraging this concept, this idea that a profile family is a really easy and convenient way for us to create 3D form.
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