Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using X-Ray and Dissolve, part of Advanced Modeling in Revit Architecture.
There are many ways you can manipulate an existing form. Sometimes it is easier to return to the original primitives that were used to create the form in the first place in order to edit it. The Conceptual Massing Environment offers a few different ways to do this. A simple approach is you can edit one of the profiles directly. You can do this with the Edit Profile and/or the X-Ray tool. The Dissolve tool can also be used if you wish to completely dissolve the form and return to the original curves that were used to create it. So in this movie we'll look at each of these tools and specifically how we can get back to the original forms used to create the objects from.
I'm in a file called Xray Dissolve and this file is just another copy of the same file that we've been looking at in the last few movies and I have several different examples here on screen. So we'll look at a few of them and feel free to experiment further on your own. So let's start with the Edit Profile option. So I'm going to start off with this simple box here in the middle and I will zoom in just a little bit, use my Tab key, and select the box. So over here on the Ribbon on the Mode panel is an Edit Profile button. Now this is a lot like the same kind of button that you would see in the Project Environment when you have a sketch- based object like a floor or a roof slab or something like that.
So when you choose Edit Profile and then you move your mouse around on the screen, you can actually select and you can sometimes highlight different parts. I can select the bottom edge or I could select the top edge, but you can actually select the surface that you want to modify and that will take you to a Sketch Mode complete with your individual edges here and you can simply select these edges and manipulate them in any way that's appropriate. So, for example, maybe I want to reduce the size of that rectangle on the top.
What this will give me when I click Finish here is it will convert my extruded rectangle, my box, into basically a blend. So when I click Finish here, hold my Shift key down and orbit around with the wheel and you can see that I now have a chamfered box because I simply edited that profile at the top. Now I could do this again using my Tab key, select that edge at the bottom, select this, maybe kick it out a little bit, make it a little larger. When I click Finish, I'll now have a double chamfer on both sides.
So if the change you want to make is as simple as just modifying the shape of the profiles used to create the shape, then Edit Profile can be a very effective way to do that. Now an alternative approach is to use the X-Ray Mode, so I'm going to come over here and select this object. And over here on the Form Element panel, we've got an X-Ray button, and when I click on that, it will kind of make the object semitransparent. It will highlight all of the shapes that were used to create it in this dark purple color with points at each of the corners.
And then in the center there will either be a solid black line or a dashed black line. Now this one is dashed indicating that the path along the center of this form was determined by Revit, and I'm going to zoom back out and pan over here. If you use the X-Ray Mode on an object that has a path built into it, like our sweeps over here on the side, now watch what happens to this one when I click X-Ray. Notice that the X-Ray turns off over here and it turns on over here.
So X-Ray Mode is limited to one object at a time and when you click it for a new object, it just simply turns it off for the previous one. But if I zoom in over here, notice that the path on the inside, that black line, has now turned black solid. It's no longer dashed. That's indicating that I drew the path. So the dashed is a path that Revit determines for you; the solid is a path that you drew yourself. But otherwise, we get the same basic idea, is that here is this purple shape moving around and this black shape indicating the path of travel.
Now I could select the individual points, manipulate them with the standard modification, select the individual edges, manipulate those, and you could see in real time, in the background, my sweep shape changing in the ghosted-out form there. So when you're working in X-Ray Mode, it allows you to directly manipulate those original shapes that you used to create it and see the changes in real time. Take a look at one more example right here with this guy. Go to X-Ray, here're all of our forms, and again, as I start to manipulate this, you could see the effect that it has on the shape in real time.
If you just click X-Ray again, it turns the mode off and you're back to looking at your final forms. The final way that we can manipulate these forms is to use Dissolve. Now Dissolve is what you use if you don't want to edit it directly, you'd actually rather get back to the original shapes that were used to create it and remove the form. So I'll just show you really quickly here with this cylinder, if I click on the Dissolve button over here on the Form Element, it will remove the cylinder, and in its place, it will leave behind two circles in this case.
If I did Dissolve on this guy, it will remove the object, create these forms here, and then in this case, it says Highlighted lines overlap and it's highlighting this orange line here. That's because what Revit has actually done-- See how there's actually two lines, there is one long line, and the short line right here, because it drew one line sort of a half-moon shape and then a second line for the axis line to revolve it around. Usually when I want to do a revolve, I'll make my axis line longer than the original form, or actually here's a little trick that I always like to do.
I like to put my axis line outside of the form over here. Now let's say that I wanted to take this shape, tab into the circle, maybe make the radius a little bit larger, take this axis line, move it again a little further, that one stayed connected. Now when I select this and this, because I'm picking that extra line there, that should indicate to Revit pretty cleanly that what I intended was a revolve. But by putting the axis line outside of the shape, I avoid that error message that we got a moment ago.
If I were to later dissolve this, it's not going to complain and give me an error because this axis line is outside the object. The error was just simply saying you have an axis line on top of a line that matched your shape, and that's all that was and so I can avoid that easily enough. Edit Profile, X-Ray, and Dissolve offers varying degrees of essentially the same idea. We take our 3D form and we return to the original 2D shapes that were used to create it. With X-Ray and Edit Profile, we're doing this directly while preserving the 3D form.
With Dissolve, we're removing the 3D form, returning it to the original 2D shapes that we can manipulate, make changes to, and then recreate the 3D form from.
- 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