Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Building an in-place mass, part of Advanced Modeling in Revit Architecture.
If you watched the last movie, you now have a pretty good idea of how the Conceptual Massing Environment workflow is intended to function. But it turns out that the Conceptual Massing Environment can actually be accessed in two ways. You can create a new Conceptual Massing family, which is what we looked at in the previous movie, where you're working in a Family Editor Environment, you get the Gradient Fill background, the Levels, the Work Planes, and so on, or you can create your massing in-place in the project environment. Now the advantage of creating it In- Place in the Project Environment is you're in more of a sketch mode.
So you actually get your building model grayed out in the background and you can snap to its geometry to help you build your mass with respect to that surrounding context. The disadvantage is that when working in the Massing Environment, you don't have full access to all of the tools that you would see in the Massing Environment family. So there's a little bit of a trade-off. But in the interest of completeness, in this movie, I wanted to do a quick In-Place Massing example.
We will actually have another example of In-Place Massing later in the course, but for the most part, most of the work that we're going to do in the Massing Environment, we're going to actually do in the Conceptual Massing Environment Family Editor. So just to be clear on that. So I'm in a really simple file here called Inplace Mass and this is a Revit project file, so it does have an RVT extension and it's a very simple project. It just has two walls in it. The first thing is, again, if you watched the previous movie, you remember at the end of the movie when we loaded the mass into the project, we had to actually enable Show Mass mode.
Now Revit offered to do that for us when we loaded the massing in automatically. Here if we want to create a massing family, we need to come over to the Massing & Site tab and we need to tell Revit that we want to see the masses. We need to show mass ourselves. We're going to use this button here to do that. And when I click that, it turns on that mode. Now nothing actually happens on screen because we haven't built any masses yet, but when we do, they will actually appear.
If you try to create masses without Show Mass on, you'll get that message again where Revit will say, hey, you might want to turn on the Show Mass mode because it's not displayed right now. Right next to that button, we have the In-Place Mass button and this is what we use to actually create a new massing family on the fly directly in our project environment. And I'm going to call this Test Mass and click OK. The name in this case is not important, but normally you'd want to choose a good descriptive name so that you can remember what you intended later.
Here's one of the downsides that you see right away to the In-Place Massing Environment. Unlike the Massing Family Editor, we do not see the Level, we do not see the Reference Planes showing on screen in 3D. If you wanted to see levels, because you're in the Project Environment, you'd have to go to an Elevation View and then your levels would appear, or if you want to see reference planes or any other kind of work plane, you'd have to go to a Floor Plan View and then you'll see that the Ribbon tab is similar to the Massing Environment, and therefore, the Reference Plane button is actually kind of stashed away right here, not where you'd normally find it in the Project Environment.
So you do have to realize that some parts of the In-Place Environment do match the Massing mode and some match the Project mode. So here's a reference plane, for example, but if I go back to 3D View, notice it does not display. So there are some trade-offs when you go into the In-Place mode versus the actual Massing Environment mode. Now I do have the Set Work Plane buttons, I do have all the same Sketch tools, I do create form the same way.
So I want to make sure that my active workplane is the level and you can see that I can turn on the Show Mode, zoom out a little bit, and my Floor Plan level is actually my current workplane, and I'll zoom back in. And then let's say that I wanted to build some sort of mass form and use these walls here in the background to help me do that. So I can use this Pick Lines option, and this is really the biggest advantage of doing In-Place, is that I could say, well, give me a line here, and give me another line here, and maybe I want to back that one up, like so, and take this one and back that one up, like so.
So I want to draw an arc next, and I want to make sure that the Placement Plane is on Level 1 and I'll just kind of draw out a shape here, cancel out of there, and then I'll use my Trim and Extend to a Corner tool to clean this up like so. Now I can select this, and you'll notice that because we're in the Massing Environment, it actually does select Chain by default, so that is a little different here.
Click on it, use my Create Form, it will create the form, I get the same little control handles here where I could just the X, Y, or Z and I've got that form. And in addition to creating solid forms, we can also create Void Forms, and we can also create directly on the surfaces of this existing geometry. So I can go to my Set Work Plane and I can use the wall surface as a Work Plane like so, and then once I have that, I can draw out a form, like maybe this circle right here.
And this time when I select this, instead of going to Create Form, I'm going to click the dropdown and you can actually create a Void Form. Now we can do this in the regular Family Environment as well, but here this is how you do it in the Massing Environment. It will suggest either a--little difficult to see from these glyphs here--but it will suggest either a cylindrical form or a circular form. And I was going to go with the cylinder but I actually kind of like the Swiss cheese effect right here.
So I'm going to go ahead and choose that and it sort of looks like I have a big old piece of Swiss cheese right here, so I'm kind of liking this form, and I'm going to go ahead and finish it up there. Now when you're done, you click the Finish Mass button and that completes your work in that In-Place Massing mode and then you can see that you've got this final mass form. While you will get similar behavior and features from both massing families and In-Place Masses, the majority of the lessons we will explore in this course will focus on massing families in the Conceptual Massing Environment.
In general, In-Place Families whether massing or standard families, should be reserved for very unique situations where they will not be reused and where the context of the existing building forms is critical to determining the form of the In-Place. If you can build your form in the Family Editor instead of doing it In-Place, it's typically more flexible in the long run and it's typically what's recommended.
- Understanding some different approaches to modeling
- Building an in-place mass
- Creating and manipulating massing forms
- Using X-Ray and Dissolve
- Performing an energy analysis
- Applying geometry to surfaces
- Configuring divided surfaces
- Nesting massing families
- Stitching borders with adaptive components
- Working with lofting techniques
- Adding dormers and soffits
- Choosing a wall modeling strategy
- Working with curtain walls
- Building custom stairs
- Creating a custom material