When considering the documentation needs of your signage elements, consider hiding 3D graphics in floor plans and showing simplified 2D graphics instead. The orienation of face-based families should be considered when customizing the display as the fmaily editor orientation often varies from its final orientation in the project
- [Voiceover] In this video, I wanna start getting things ready for creating signage documentation. So, ultimately I want to be able to create a signage plan and schedule, and be able to report where all the signs are located throughout the floor plan in a project, and then have schedules that report key information about all the signs within the package. So, to get ourselves set up for that, there's a few changes that we need to make to some of the signage families. I'm working in a file here called Sandbox. Now I often create a Sandbox file when I wanna work separately from the live projects.
So, this is just a convenient way to kinda work in a temporary project, get everything right the way you want it to be, and then you can just copy and paste the family or the other content out and back into your live project when you're ready. Now, this file I'm in actually has two windows open. So, if you come over here on the upper right-hand corner, and use this little restore down icon, you'll see that I actually have a floor plan on the left, and an elevation there on the right. You can see a single piece of signage there by the door in the elevation view. If you look really carefully over here, in the floor plan, and I'll zoom in, you can see that that item is actually showing up here in the floor plan as well, but not very well.
So what we're actually seeing there is really the top edge of that piece of signage. And, you can even kinda see the little dashed line effect there. That's actually the top edge of the model text that we're seeing there. So, what we probably want in plan, is rather than showing the literal 3D model like we're seeing here, we probably want something a little bit more symbolic and representational. So, to do that, I'm going to edit this family. Let me select that family, I'll choose edit family. And, let me first explain to you what's in this family already.
Now, everything that I've already built into this family we've covered in previous videos. So, if we go to the ref level floor plan as a starting point, I've got this extrusion back here for the back plate. It's controlled by a width and height parameter, and there's also a thickness parameter that controls the thickness of that material. There's a material parameter assigned to it so that you can change the material if you wish. These two model text elements are hosted to the reference lines that sit beneath them.
Those reference lines are positioned with these dimensions, which are locked in place. There's another one right here that's also locked, controlling this reference plane, which controls the left edge of those text elements. If we go to family types, I have a single type in here called Guest Room. And here's all the parameters controlling the size of the text. Here's the material parameters, here's that height and width that I pointed out. And there's even a text offset which we can move the text away from the back plane.
This R parameter here controls the radius of these rounded corners. Now, I've got an additional parameter here that I haven't used yet, 2D Symbol Plan Offset. We're gonna use that one here in just a few moments. And then finally, the Proper Assembly Code, Family Category of Specialty Equipment, and OmniClass Number, have all been assigned to this family. So, what I ultimately want to do, is take these 3D elements, and hide them. And, in their place, I wanna create a 2D element that shows only when we're in plan views.
So, when we see the sign head-on, like you see it right here, I'm perfectly fine showing the 3D geometry. But when we look at it from top view, I don't wanna see that. So, in order to know where to do that work, it's important that we understand how orientation works in a face based family. So, if I go back to the 3D view for a moment here, this is a face based family, and the top orientation of the face based family is what we were looking at as the floor plan. So, that seems perfectly logical.
The trouble is, when you insert this in a project, it'll no longer have that orientation. So, let me show you a diagram to kinda illustrate the issue. So here's an illustration of the signage brought into a project and placed on the face of a wall. Which means that instead of having that horizontal orientation that we saw in the family editor, it now has more of a vertical orientation. That means, that when you wanna think about where the plan orientation in the project is, you have to actually be thinking about that top edge of the signage family.
So, relative to the signage family, that's actually the back elevation. But when we were in the signage family itself, if you recall, that plan orientation is looking at it face down, right? So, the back orientation is what we really wanna see so that we get that top edge. So, keep that in mind as we go to the next step. It's going to be fairly important that you get that right. Otherwise, you'll go in, you'll create your 2D geometry and it won't show up correctly like you're expecting. So, let's go to the back elevation, then. Now it's as if we're looking at the top edge of the piece of signage.
And, I'm gonna create a reference plane, and I'll place it right here, and I'll name it, I'll just call that 2D symbol. I'll add a dimension, I'm gonna dimension from the level, which I know is again a little counter intuitive. But the level is really at the face of the surface. So, that's really like the face of the wall, and then to that reference plane that I just created, and then I'll select that dimension, and label it with that 2D Plan Symbol Offset parameter that was already here in the file. Now, the distance of that parameter is somewhat arbitrary.
You just simply need to choose a distance that will move the symbol far enough away from the wall that it is legible. We can set that number to anything we want. Now, let me zoom in slightly, go to the Annotate Tab, and click on the Symbolic Line Tool. Symbolic lines are 2D line work that appear in views parallel to the view that they were drawn in. So, once again, this is why it's so important to get the proper orientation relative to your face based family. Any view that's in the project that's parallel to the back view of the family will display this line work.
I'm just gonna draw a simple line, right there. Cancel the command, this line spans from this reference plane to this one. Let me align and lock it to the offset reference plane, and also, the end points here and here as well, so that if you change the width of the sign, it will also change the width of this 2D representation. Now, that's all I really wanted, was just a simple line there. However, I'd like that line to be a little bit bolder, so that it stands out.
So, you may recall that in a previous movie, we selected the 3D geometry in our signage family, and we moved them to a subcategory called Signage. Well, what we're gonna do is use the same basic approach, but now we're gonna create a subcategory for the 2D signage elements. So, I'll go to Manage, click on Object Styles, select Specialty Equipment, and create a new subcategory. I'll just name that Signage 2D. For the Projection Line work, I'll change that to a pen six, okay, so that's a nice, bold line.
And then, you can leave it black if you want, but I actually want to change that to a different color. So I'm gonna choose this reddish color right here, and click okay. And now, if you select that line that you just drew, and move it from the Specialty Equipment subcategory, to the Signage 2D subcategory, it'll get nice and bold, and it'll stand out in red. Now, the last thing to do is actually take the 3D elements, so I'm gonna use my control key and select both of the model text elements, come over here to the properties palette, and edit their visibility graphics.
And once again, you have to think about the proper orientation here in order to get this right. Instinctively you'd wanna un-check Plan RCP. Because you're saying we don't want to see those elements when we're in plan view, we wanna see 2D line work instead. But again, Plan RCP is gonna be relative to the current family, so that would really turn it off in elevation. Exactly the opposite of what we want. So, we have to think about it relative to the project. If you think back to that diagram, that actually means that we need to hide it in front and back.
So I'll un-check that. If you don't wanna see it in elevation as well, you can un-check it here, it's up to you. And then the two pieces of text, I'm also gonna hide those when the display is set to coarse. So when we look at an elevation view in a small scale and we have it set to coarse, we'll only see the back plane and no text. But, with the back plane, I'll go to it's visibility settings, also turn it off in the elevations, but I'm gonna leave it turned on in coarse so that it shows all the time.
So, in the family editor, it shows invisible things by graying them out, and we now have the completed 2D graphics and 3D modifications that we needed to have here in order for this to display properly. So, now all I need to do, is load this back into my project to test it out. So, let me click Load Into Project, when it comes back into the project, it'll ask me to overwrite the existing, so I will go ahead and do that. You'll see the 3D geometry disappear, and you'll see that new red line work appear offset some distance away from the wall.
So, in order to get a better graphical display in our floor plans, it's as simple as going into the various families, hiding any 3D geometry you don't wanna see in that view, and replacing it with a 2D symbolic representation instead. And in the case of a face based family, pay very close attention to the actual orientation that it's likely to be inserted at, because that will have a great impact on whether or not you get a successful result when you load it back into the project.
- Creating model text
- Lighting 3D signs
- Making 3D signs scalable
- Modeling text along a curve
- Using Dynamo to process signage text
- Using decals
- Creating logos, smooth text, and outlines
- Configuring signage families
- Creating a signage package