Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring modeling approaches, part of Advanced Modeling in Revit Architecture.
There are many approaches to creating 3D geometry and designing building forms, and in Revit we have several environments in which to do this. So in this movie, I want to showcase to you each of the working environments that we have available to us. And don't try to follow along, I have a few files open on screen, one showing each of the working environments, and just kind of watch what I'm doing and let's kind of get familiar with the ways that we can identify each of the working environments, and then in the movies that follow, we'll get into the hands on.
So the first environment is the Project Environment. So this is probably the environment that's most familiar to you if you've been using Revit for awhile. This is the Project Environment. Your standard Project Environment, it has Walls, Doors, Windows, Components, Columns and so forth. These are all on the Home tab. Over here on the Project Browser, I have different kinds of Views, my Floor Plans, my Ceiling Plans, my Elevations, and the easiest thing about this environment is I just simply pick up a tool and I start working. If a tool is grayed out, like over here on the Home tab, the Level and the Grid tools, then that simply means I can't add those items in this view.
So here in the 3D View, I'm not able to add Levels and Grids, but if I was in the Floor Plan, I could add Grids and if I was in an Elevation, I could add Levels. So Revit kind of keeps track of the view that I'm in and lets me know with little clues, by the way things gray-out on the Ribbon tab, what's available in each view. On screen here I just have this really simple desk. It's one of the out-of-the-box families, and I'm going to use that to talk about the next environment, which is the Family Editor Environment.
And so, I have it open here and we're looking at four different views of the desk, and the environment in the Family Editor is very similar to the Project Environment but there are some distinct differences. So, we have multiple views possible. If you look at the Project Browser, we do see Floor Plans, we do see Elevations, 3D Views; similar to what we had in the Project Environment. If you look at the Ribbon, however, you could see that all the tools have been swapped out with Family Editor tools. So probably the easiest way to tell that you're in the Family Editor is to look up at your Home tab of your Ribbon and see what tools are available.
So here I have things like Extrusion and Blends and Revolves, as opposed to Walls, Doors and Windows that I had in the Project Environment. Now the other thing that's a little different here is we don't have Levels and Grids. In the Family Editor Environment, we work with Reference Planes, and Reference Planes, if you know anything about the Family Editor, are sort of part of the core structure of any good family. If you want to learn more about that we have an entire course on the Family Editor here at lynda.com. But you use Reference Planes and use those to determine where the geometry gets built from.
Now that's a little different than our Project Environment where just simply going to the View is usually enough to set the working plane. Here in the Family Editor, we could tell that I want to draw on this plane or I want to draw on this plane, and set that plane as a working plane and then add my geometry there. The Conceptual Massing Environment is our next environment. In a way, it's actually a special case of the Family Editor but as you can see right away on screen, it looks quite different than both the Project or the Family Editor Environments did.
We've got this gradient-fill background, which is sort of our biggest telltale sign that we're somewhere else. The other thing that we see is, unlike the other two, this environment actually shows us Levels and Reference Planes directly on screen and you can see them highlight there when I put my mouse over them. Those are the working planes in this environment and you can simply select them to make them work planes, and by selecting them, I could actually draw directly on that plane. So it's a little bit more direct manipulation that we're able to do.
If you look at the Ribbon here, you can see a totally different complement of tools. You don't see 3D forms directly. So the difference here is if I want to create form in this environment, I actually start off by drawing a shape, and then when I select that shape, I can turn it into form. So as opposed to what I do in the Family Editor or in the Project Environment where I pick an explicit object and I say I want to draw this object, here in the Massing Environment, I actually start with the shape of the object and then turn it into form. We're going to get into that in a lot more detail in the next several movies, but that is our Conceptual Massing Environment.
There really is a fourth option and this fourth option is sort of a hybrid between the Project and the Massing Environment, and we call this the In-Place Massing Environment. The In-Place Environment is perhaps the most confusing of the bunch, because I'm in a project initially, so here you can see I'm in this project here, the Site project and we're going to use this later in the course. But on screen, I've got this Mass object here, which represents all of these buildings together, and up on the Ribbon, there is an Edit In-Place that appears, and if I click on that, that actually takes me into a special case version of the Conceptual Massing Environment.
So if you look at my Ribbon, you can see that I've got all the same tools that I just showed you in the Conceptual Massing Environment. The difference is I'm now viewing them from within a project. So it definitely is of the bunch, the most confusing and perhaps the least desirable of the bunch to be in. So I'll talk about when to use In- Place Massing in a little bit more detail in later movies, but just in terms of giving you a complete inventory, those are four different possible environments.
The Project Environment, which is you're most familiar, your Family Editor Environment, your Conceptual Massing, and then your In-Place Conceptual Massing. We've explored the four different environments from a very high-level. Any of these can and often are employed in typical building design projects. In fact, you'll often see several of these approaches used at the same time. In the lessons that follow, we will begin exploring detailed techniques involving several of the approaches noted here, and we'll begin those explorations with the Revit Conceptual Massing Environment.
- 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