Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Manipulating forms, part of Revit Architecture: Advanced Modeling.
A big part of the design process is making changes. Design ideas evolve over time. Once you have your basic forms, there are many ways you can modify them in the Conceptual Massing Environment. In this movie, we'll explore some of the basics of form manipulation in Revit massing. So I'm in a file here called Manipulate Forms and it's largely similar to the one that we completed in the end of the last movie. I have several different forms on screen here. The ones here in the middle were created with basic extrusions, this one was more of a blend, this was our loft, this was our sweep, and so on.
So I'm going to start off by talking about some of the really basics and review a few of the things that we've covered in previous movies in case you need a review of those, for example, selection. So as you move your mouse around, remember that if the form already exists, Revit will initially default to selecting individual parts and pieces of the form. So I can select the surface of that form, or the edge of that form, or even the point associated with the corner there. I'm going to zoom in a little bit and get into that in a little more detail here.
So there is the surface and we talked in a previous movie about this little gizmo which allows us to push and pull the edges, I'm going to undo that. Same thing here. I could change the height by pushing and pulling in the Z direction. I'm going to undo that. I can do the same thing with the surface or with the edge. Now what you'll notice is a little different on this one that's at an angle than this one. Here I get the blue, red, and green axis indicators for Z is the blue, X is the red, and Y is the green.
Well, when I click this one, I still have the blue Z axis, but then these other two turn orange. Think of those as local coordinates to that surface, so when your surface is not parallel and perpendicular to the X, Y, and Z, it gives you these local axes. Now if I pull this, this will just simply pull that surface perpendicular to its own face. Another way to say that is it stays parallel to its previous position. If I grab this one and pull it, it stays in plane but just moves side to side and then ends up shearing the edges that are attached to it.
I'm going to undo a couple times there. So that's what's different about the axes when they turn to this orange color. If I tap the Spacebar, it will actually toggle the axes indicator to go back to the standard X, Y, and Z. And then if I pull this, you're going to see that that plane still moves parallel to its previous position but it travels along the X axis. So the impact that it has on this face is to just simply lengthen it, but the angle of this face actually changed. I'll undo that.
So that's the difference between the red, green, and blue indicators versus the orange indicator. So really it depends on the surface you select which one you'll get, and if you want the other, you just tap the Spacebar and it will toggle between the two. Now the next thing I want to discuss is just basic modification commands. Now I'm not going to go through each one of these because they are really the same here in the massing environment as they are in standard Revit, but that's your typical Move, Copy, Rotate, these kind of commands.
The only thing you need to pay attention to here is what you have selected before you run the command. So if I go to the Move command for example and I had only this surface selected, then it's actually going to have the same effect as if I pulled up on the control handle. It's moving that surface and in that case it moved it parallel to itself and basically increased the height of the box. If I tab first and select the entire box and then use the Move command, you'll see that the result is the entire box moves.
So the main thing here is before you use any of these tools, Move, Copy, Rotate, you want to pay attention to what's selected. Here's Rotate and that will actually twist the box versus this, where I tab and I go to Rotate, and it will rotate the entire box. So those are the basic modification tools. In addition to the standards that we have, the little gizmos that appear when you select the faces and the edges and the standard Move, Copy, Rotate commands, we also have many tools over here that are unique to form elements.
So the two that I want to look at here in this movie are Add Edge and Add Profile. Now I've got this box over here selected and you can select an individual face or it might be a little safer to actually tab first and select the entire box. And I can either add an edge which will run vertically, or I can add a profile which will be parallel to the plane it was created in. So let me start with the Add Profile, and as I move my mouse around, you'll see that it's creating another profile parallel to the original plane of this extrusion.
And I click to set the location of that profile. Once I have that profile, you can see now that if I deselect and then move my mouse over there, I can actually click that individual edge and start to manipulate it and I can take what was a simple extruded box and start bowing out the edges of the form, for example, like I've done here. Now if I select it again and I use this other feature Add Edge, now you could see that I'm running perpendicular to the creation plane or vertical if you want to think of it that way, and I can create an edge here, create an edge there.
And again, if I cancel out of there, I can now select that edge and start to pull it and transform the shape, start to pull it and transform the shape. So you can start with a very simple form and just by adding some edges and some profiles, turn it into something that's much more complex. What you have to remember is, start off by selecting the object that you want to add these forms to. Now this one is a compound object. So it's got the voids cutting away, the sides of the pyramid, so you can see that those two tools are not available.
So Revit will tell you whether or not those tools are available. If I pick this one instead, the one that has the little flattened top, that one does have these features available. So I could add an edge; only thing is it's got to be right inside there, let me zoom in a little. You see how if I go past that little tiny line at the top, it won't work. So the edge has to connect all the way from top to bottom. The profile on the other hand, that can go anywhere.
But I can't use either of those features here because this is a compound shape. If you recall from the previous movie, if I move in and start tabbing, there is an extrusion here cut by these void forms here. Interestingly enough, the void form could have edges and profiles, the wedge form could have edges and profiles. So the way that you would modify this form isn't by modifying the overall compound shape, rather what you would do is add edges and profiles to the underlying forms that make up the form, and then when it's done, it would reapply and you would see the result.
So, for example, if I came in here and added an edge maybe like right there and then tab into that, pull that edge out a little bit, and then when I deselect the whole thing, you'll see the result that it had. I want to orbit this thing around. Remember, to orbit it, you first select the object and then you use your Shift and your wheel and you'll be spinning around the object you have selected. If you don't remember to do that, it'll spin the whole drawing around the center.
But you can see that the result of that modification was that the overall joined form is modifying as well. So being able to quickly edit the form as the design needs change is critical in a fast-paced design environment. The Conceptual Modeling Environment offers many tools and techniques to modify forms and to modify them efficiently. So take some time to practice some of these techniques. Here we looked at Add Edge and Edit Profile and basic Move and Rotate. In the next movie, we'll look a little further at some of the other form-specific modifications that we can perform.
- 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