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Up and Running with Revit
Illustration by Richard Downs

Visibility


From:

Up and Running with Revit

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Visibility

This movie I'd like to talk about visibility graphic overrides. We use visibilty graphic overrides to customize the way that a particular displays. All of the model elements that you see in a view represent real life objects, and as we've seen in previous movies, if you modify them in one view they modify in all views. But with visibility graphics overrides, we can actually customize the way those model objects display in a particular view. A really simple example is that you could have your walls be purple in one view and leave them black in another view, or you could turn off your furniture in one view and leave it turned on in another view.

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Up and Running with Revit
3h 58m Beginner Jun 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Autodesk Revit is one of the most popular building information modeling (BIM), solutions today. This course covers the differences between the various editions of Revit and shows architects and engineers who are new to the software how to use them. Learn how to choose a template; set up the basic levels, grids, and dimensions; and start adding walls, doors, and windows to your model. Author Paul F. Aubin also shows how to create views and documentation that clearly communicate your plans, import files from other CAD programs, and produce construction documents.

Note: The techniques shown in this course will work with any version of Revit, but due to backwards compatibility issues, the exercise files for this course will only work with Revit 2014. Unfortunately, we cannot downsave the files. Please see a Revit 2013 course for usable files.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the different editions of Revit
  • Setting up levels and grids
  • Adding doors and windows
  • Loading families
  • Working with 3D views
  • Dimensioning a plan
  • Adding a schedule view
  • Importing CAD files
  • Linking to another Revit file
  • Creating sheets
  • Plotting a set of documents
  • Generating a cloud rendering
Subjects:
Architecture BIM CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit LT Revit MEP
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Visibility

This movie I'd like to talk about visibility graphic overrides. We use visibilty graphic overrides to customize the way that a particular displays. All of the model elements that you see in a view represent real life objects, and as we've seen in previous movies, if you modify them in one view they modify in all views. But with visibility graphics overrides, we can actually customize the way those model objects display in a particular view. A really simple example is that you could have your walls be purple in one view and leave them black in another view, or you could turn off your furniture in one view and leave it turned on in another view.

And the list of possibilities is virtually endless. I've got a file here on screen called Viibility and it's got a color fill assigned to it right now for the rooms. And what I'd like to do is customize this plan a little bit further. I want to make it into a more complete presentation plan. So I've got some ideas about how I might want to do that. Now the first thing is, is best practice dictates that we really ought to do this work in a copy of this floor plan. If you notice over here on my project browser, I'm currently in level 1 floor plan. If I right click that, I've got some ways that I can duplicate this view. Now, let me kind of contrast these two to you here, Duplicate and Duplicate with detailing.

I'm going to choose Duplicate, and notice what I get. I get a copy of the graphics. I get a copy of the view with all the model elements. But none of the annotation gets duplicated, so I lost the dimensions, I lost the room tags, that kind of information is view specific. Now, if I go back to the original level one, it's still here. So, it's not that it deleted it every where. It's just that it didn't get copied actually, is the correct way to say it, to the new copy of the view. Now let's contrast that to duplicate with detailing.

Detailing is just the word that Revit uses to collectively refer to all of that view specific stuff. The notes, the texts, the dimensions, the legends, the tags. Those are all collectively referred to as detailing. And you can see that this time I got a copy of the view complete with all of its detailing, so you can do it either way. I'm going to right-click this new view, and I'm going to rename it as presentation plan. I'm going to take the original copy of level 1 and I'll just press my delete key to get rid of that. I don't need that one anymore. Now there's a few ways we can start to customize the way that this view displays. So the first thing that we are going to look at is the walls. Now let's go over here to View tab, and on the Graphics panel here, there's a button called Visibility Graphics, and this is the Visibility Graphic overrides for floor plan presentation.

So it's important to realize that any changes we make in this dialogue are only going to affect the current view that we have open. They do not apply across the entire project. So I'm only going to focus on the model tab right now, and then only on specific categories. So we've got model categories here, and then in this column, you can see all of the various categories listed. Now let's scroll down and locate the walls category. And I'll select that. If you look across at all the columns on the right here, we've got projection and surface, we've got cut, we've got this half tone and detail level. Under projection and surface, we have lines patterns transparency, and then the cut, we have lines and patterns.

All of our walls are being cut through in a floor plan. It's just like you learned in architecture school. Basically, imagine you're cutting through the building at a few feet above the floor, and all those walls are actually being cut through. If I want to make a modification to the way that the walls display in this plan, it's the cut that I want to consider. Now, we could customize the line work, which is the outline that we're cutting through, or we could customize the pattern, that's what I'm going to do here. The pattern is the fill that we're seeing between the two lines. Now currently, there's no pattern being assigned, but if I come down here, I can click this Override button.

That will give me some options for the fill pattern, and I'm going to choose a pattern with this browse button here. And you can see that I have a whole bunch of patterns to choose from. I can choose cross hatches, and I can choose diagonal lines, and so on. I'm going to come down here and pick a solid fill, click Okay. Now it's currently solid black. That may be a little bit overpowering, so let me click right above that on the color, and let's choose a color that's maybe a little bit less intense. So I'm going to pick this greenish right here.

Click Okay, and you could see that that updates the solid fill to that color. Let's click Okay again, and one more time to see the effect. Notice that all of the walls now in this plan are now shaded in with that greenish color, in their, cut pattern. And that happened across the entire plan. Now it's really important to understand that that change only affects this view, Presentation Plan. If I go back to Level 1 floor plan, notice that these walls, are unaffected by the change. So let's go back to presentation. So what else can we do? Well, I'm going to pan this drawing over a little bit and zoom in so that we can see the furniture a little bit more clearly, and let's do another example with the furniture. So I'm going to go back to visibility graphics here on the view tab, and I've got the dialogue over here on the left, and I've got my furniture showing there on the right.

Let's select the furniture category. And look at some of the other things we can do. So if you wanted to, you could override the line pattern. Now this is in projection this time, because we're not cutting through the furniture. We're actually looking down on the furniture, so it's the projection line, and you could change the line weight and choose a different line weight. You could change its color or assign a line pattern, a dashed line so you could make them dashed or dotted lines or what have you. I'm not going to do any of those changes here. So I'll cancel that. But I am going to look at the pattern.

Maybe I want to put a surface pattern on the surface of those furniture items. So I'm going to click on this overwrite button here and open up the list of patterns. And maybe choose this diagonal crosshatch. When I click okay and then apply that, you can see that this hatch pattern now fills in all the furniture in the same way that we just did with the walls. So that's one option. You could also decide, you don't want to see the furniture at all. You could turn it off altogether. I could uncheck this box, click Apply, and the furniture would disappear.

So regardless of whatever customization you've done to it, it's simply not displaying. I want to stress that we've only hidden it in this view. The furniture still exists in the model. Okay, let's turn it back on. Let's click Apply. Next to it is a transparency slider, so if you click the override there, you get the slider. 0% transparent means 100% opaque, so it's a little confusing. Let's drag this slider and make it about 45% transparent. Click Okay, and apply that. Notice that that greenish color for the fill pattern underneath is now showing through the furniture. So that's another effect that you could start to do there. Let me take that, let's turn off the transparency, going back to 0%. And what about half-tone? See what that looks like. Click Apply.

Now it goes back to being fully opaque, but notice that instead of solid black lines for the outlines, all the outlines are now in this half tone gray color. As you can see, there's a variety of different things that you can start to do. And I'm only addressing one category. Every category in this list could be customized accordingly, and again it would apply to this view. So if you start to combine the potential that's available in that Visibility Graphics dialog, and combine that with creating multiple views to serve different purposes. It becomes very easy for you to create highly focused views that is specialized on delivering a certain kind of information. So the visibility graphics command is this very powerful tool that allows you to acheive multiple views, each focused towards a very specific purpose in your document set.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Revit.


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Q: Will Revit 2014 files work in a previous version of Revit? Will the exercise files for this course work in Revit 2013?
A: Revit file formats are not backwards compatible. A new file format is introduced with each new release. Newer versions of Revit can open older version files without issue. However, files will be upgraded to the latest file format during the initial open. Once saved in the current version, there is no way to save them back to a previous version. Therefore, it is important to consider this issue carefully and discuss it with all project team members before beginning a project. For example, it is not possible for the architect to use a newer version of the software than the consulting engineers and vice-versa. All members of the team must collaborate using the same version/file format. This course was authored using Revit 2014. Therefore, its exercise files can be used with any flavor of Revit (Architecture, MEP, Structure, or LT) 2014 and later. Files cannot be opened with versions 2013 and prior.
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