Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Building the leaf form, part of Project Soane: Recover a Lost Monument with BIM.
- So in this movie let's finish up the leaf family. We have still a little bit of work to do. We have to assign some parameters to the reference points and then create the 3D form. Now I'm in a file called shortleaf 02, and I'm going to focus on these three ribs at the bottom, but the process is exactly the same for the other ribs, so if you want to build the whole thing from scratch you are welcome to do that and follow those steps. Now I think it'll be a little easier to see this in the 3D view, so let me switch over there and zoom in slightly here. Let me just orbit this around. I'm holding the Shift key down and dragging the wheel just to get a better look.
This is that first rib that we drew here. So remember we had our reference point here. Now what I have done is, I've moved these reference points to the location where I want them, so this one is at .05, and this one is at .18, and this one here is at .23. Now I just kind of eyeballed those until I was satisfied with them. Notice I did not set those as paramaters, I just typed in the values, so you just go in there and type in whatever value you like.
I could do the same with these points. Okay, so you could come down here and I could adjust these offsets numerically. All of the inside points I want the same, so I'm going to actually select with my Control key all three of these. And because I want them all the same, instead of typing them in numerically, it's actually going to make a little more sense to do that with a parameter. So instead of typing here, I'll just click here, and I've already created that parameter. I called it Profile v1, for vertical 1.
and when I assign that, nothing changes because those points are already in the correct location. Now the one down here at the bottom, I want slightly differently for the second point compared to these two. So I'm going to select this point all by itself, and it's currently at one, but I'll just click the offset here, and that is Profile v3. Now when you click OK, that will adjust the point. It moves in a little bit closer.
And then I'll take these two, and I think I can just do a little window here, make sure it just says Ponts (2), scroll down, there's my offset, and that's going to be v2. And you see how that pulls them out further, so the result is that this inner space gets thicker here, where down here it remains a little bit thinner. Now to work on the next series of points, the ones at the ends, I think it'll be easier to do in the Front view. So you can see that these are much narrower than all the other profiles, so this point needs to come out here somewhere, this one about out here, this one about out here, just to get a nice curve out there.
So I'll just start at the one at the bottom here, and actually, let's start on the right. The offsets on the right are positive, the ones on the left are negative, so I think it makes more sense to start with a positive offset. Now I've got these parameters in here already, but I want to show you how they were actually created. So I'm going to select this point, and I don't actually have a parameter created for that point yet. So when I click the Associated Family Parameter button, you'll see all of the existing ones, and you could see I've named them Profile U then a number, either positive or negative.
And I've got U1 and I've got U3, but I don't have U2. Okay, so I'm going to click Add Parameter down here, and I'm going to name them the same way that I named those, so this is going to be Profile, uppercase U2, POS for positive. I've put all of those under Constraints. It doesn't really matter, you can group them anywhere you like, but I like them under Constraints, and all of these parameters in this file are set to Instance, so to be consistent I'm going to make this one an Instance parameter as well.
When I click OK, and OK again, nothing will change here. Now I'm going to do the same thing with this one, Create a Parameter, but this time it will be U2 Negative, and I'll just do the abbreviation NEG, put it under Constraints, make it Instance, click OK, OK again. Now while I'm here, let's go ahead and assign these other parameters, right, so those exist already, just to save you some time. So that's U3 Positive, and this one is U4 Positive, and then this is U4 Negative.
There is a decent amount of parameters in this file so if you want, you can use the Search feature at the top there to locate the parameter you're looking for, but they're all sorted alphabetically, so it's just as easy to find them here. I chose Positive by accident there. What I really wanted was Negative, so let me choose that again. That's why I got an error. Okay, so you can see now that whatever I do on the one side affects the other, but what about these? They're still really narrow. Well let's go to Family Types. Here, let me move this over so we can see it.
Let's go to Family Types, and there's actually a couple things that we need to do here. Notice that most of the parameters are grayed out, meaning they're controlled with a formula. But several of the ones that we've just used are not. Well let's just start with U2 Postive. That's going to be based on our Part Length. So we want to write in Part Length, and make sure that you use the proper case, so lower case length is not the same as upper case length. That's going to be times whatever number of parts you want this to be.
I want to try a value of eight, so I'll just put in 8 right there. Now, that will set that one directly. Now you could go to the negative version and say do Part Length times negative eight, but then the trouble is, later if you change your mind and you want to try 8.5, you'd have to type in two different parameters. So instead, what you do is this. You grab the name of the other parameter. U2 Positive, do Control C, click over here, type in - Control V, and it will be the negative version of the positive parameter.
And you see how that sets it to -8. So that's exactly what I need to do for these others that are missing their formulas. Control C, - Control V, and then same for U4, Control C, and - Control V. And do you see how that sets all of those values now formulaically. Now if I click Apply, those points will come out there. Now this one is really close to that one, so what I want to do is maybe think about, ah, I think I might want to adjust it just a little bit more.
And now you get to see the way that this is going to work. What if I try 9 here. And I click Apply. Do you see how both points adjust out to 9? So now 9 puts it past this reference plane, now see that's a little too far. I want it closer to this, maybe, so let's try about 8 1/2, right. So 8.5, click Apply, and you see that's a little nicer. So that's the advantage of doing one parameter based on the negative of the other parameters. You only have to change one of those values and the others will adjust.
So once you're satisfied with kind of the approximate curve that you're going to get here, let's go back to 3D so that we can see what we have. And now it's just a matter of creating the 3D form. Now this is just a little tricky in terms of the selection, but otherwise it's pretty straightforward, So you want to make sure that you're only selecting the reference lines, not any of the points or any of the other geometry in here. Well, they select both pieces, both arcs when you just highlight them so I can just click, and then Control-click the next one, and the next one, and the next one, the next one, and so on, and let's zoom in a little here.
That guy and that guy, and see if I missed any. Hold my Shift key down, drag my wheel. Looks pretty good. And you could go right to Create Form, and it will try and guess the path, but let's try and use our path as well, so I'm going to Control key and select the 2D spline, and now I'll click Create Form. And just like that, it will create a 3D form that is this very organic leaf form.
And now at this point, this is where you could fine tune it further, and I'll just move this over here, and maybe I want to widen it just a little bit over here. The sewn capital, you know, the leaves are kind of very broad at the top. So I can go to Family Types, and that point right there is like 7 or 8, okay, so I'll scroll down and U7 Positive is currently set to 5. 5. So let me try about 5.8 and click Apply. And you'll see that that stretched it out.
Now the result that it had is it kind of narrowed out this other point here. So maybe I want to adjust that point too, so if that one was 7, that previous one was 6, so here's U6 Positive, and let me try about 6.9 for that. I'm trying to keep it really subtle, and do you see how it stretched? But now it feels a little too wide to me, so what about 6.8? And do you see how you can kind of go in there and start to fine tune this? And then when you're satisfied, you've got your end result. Now that we have the short leaf, to create the tall leaf is just a simple matter of doing a Save As and then varying the parameters.
So I've already got the tall leaf open here, so I'll just go ahead and switch over to it, and as you can see it is much narrower down the bottom because it has to sit behind the short leafs, but it comes up much taller, so that initial spline path is stretched out, and anyway, if we look at the Family Types here's all the parameters. They're all the same parameters, but basically what you do is you just go in and you start varying these numbers until you shape that second leaf the way that you want.
So the nice thing about building it this way, even though it's a lot of effort, is that you can do several Save Ases and make several variations of the leafs and just by changing a few numbers, you can get totally different variations. And your two leafs will look something like this when you kind of compare them to one another. So it's a pretty nice approach. So that completes the leafs for our fine detail version.
NOTE: Registration for the rendering phase of Project Soane opens in January 2016. Render the Revit or RBX models in your favorite Autodesk software for the chance to win great prizes from HP and NVIDIA.
- Researching source materials and source drawings
- Sketching and modeling architecture
- Setting up the project in Revit
- Modeling overall forms
- Using system families
- Adding details such as columns and moldings
- Creating an interior model
- Rendering the project