Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing level appearance, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- So one of the first things that you do when you start a new project is lay out the levels. You probably have some idea of how many stories there are in the building and that will be one of the first things you will do. And creating the levels often gives you the basic floorplans and basic overall structure of the building. Now, you may also add your grids pretty early on as well and both grids and levels are Datum elements that have properties and we're able to edit those properties and make custom types even, that have variations or customization's that might suit our graphical needs or our office standards or whatever the project needs might be.
Now, there are definitely some similarities between levels and grids, if I zoom in here on my levels for example and select this one, we have got the gap in segments, we have got the ability to hide and show the bubble at each end. Okay, and those are things that grids can do as well. Now I'll just zoom back out here. We can also select our level and we can go to Edit Type on the Properties pallet. And many elements in Revit have this feature, you can go to Edit Type and you can either modify directly or click duplicate and create a new type.
For example if I click duplicate and add a suffix on the name there, you could see that there's a symbol at end one and a symbol at end two and so if you want your level heads to show on both sides of the level, the simplest thing to do is to enable that feature and then this way you can select all of the levels and apply that in one step instead of having to manually go in and check all of those little boxes.
Now, another option would be to leave it set to the original ones where there's no bubble displayed at this end and I've had clients ask me in the past, "you know I don't want the level line "to go all the way through" they say, "I'd like it to look more like this" and so there's this temptation, to adjust the level heads the way that I've just done, but what I've just modified is actually the 3D extents of the level. Now, technically speaking the levels are infinite so that Datum still exists across the entire building, but the trouble is it will only display in views that intersect it.
So for example, if someone comes back and adds a view now, say right here, looking in this direction and then opens that view, you will see that none of those levels are going to display here, so I really don't think that that is the best approach. Furthermore, if you go to the North Elevation, you are going to actually see that all the levels are on the opposite side now with the level heads on the opposite side and so chances are that's probably not what was intended.
What was intended is to have those levels stay always on the right hand side with their level heads on the right hand side. So let me close this North Elevation, let me take any one of these levels here and stretch the level back to the full extents of the building and let's talk about an alternative. Next to each side of the level, you have got this small little icon here that says the word 3D. So I can actually toggle those 3D icons to make them into 2D icons.
And you can do that at either end, so I'm still displaying the 3D extents at this end, but at this end I'm switching to 2D extents. Now unfortunately, there's no faster way to do this, you have to click on each level, but once I've done that, now like the 3D extents, the 2D extents will all be locked together and I can stretch just one of them and they'll all stretch over together. Now, if you select any level, notice the 3D extents is still over here, which means that if I opened that section again, it is now properly displaying those levels.
Furthermore, if I go to the North Elevation, you are going to see that the full 3D extents is still displaying here. Now this is where you might say "well I don't really want that, so does that mean "that I have to actually sit here and click "all of these 2D extents icons again?" Well, if we were looking at the East or West Elevation, yes, unfortunately you would have to do it in each direction, but, fortunately we can select all of the levels in the South Elevation and using the Propagate Extents button here on the ribbon, we can push those 2D modifications to any parallel elevation or section.
So in this case the only parallel elevation I have is the North Elevation, but when I choose that, you will now see that that 2D extents got propagated over to the North Elevation. So I would have to repeat on either either East or West, toggle them all to 2D, but then I could propagate to the other one. So it's not quite as bad as having to do them all manually, but it does save a little bit of time in doing that. Now, if you decide you don't want that behavior any more, it's actually much easier to reverse it. You can right click and choose reset to 3D extents and when you do that, it will remove all the 2D overrides.
We also have a right click and maximize 3D extents, now what this will do is it will see the extents of any building geometry that you have and it will make the levels match that building geometry. So in this case I had this grid floating out here and when I maximize 3D extents it snapped to that grid. So if there was additional geometry further away, it would continue to snap to that grid, so as the building is adjusting if you want, it's a real easy way to modify the 3D extents of your levels.
Now, there's one last thing that I want to talk about here, with respect to levels. By default level one is at zero and you count up from there. Now, there's two different base points that we can reference with our levels. We can reference the Survey Point or the Project Base Point. Now, in order to understand what those are we really need to see them. So let me go to the View Tab here, click the Visibility Graphics button or you could just type VG which is the keyboard shortcut. I'll scroll down and underneath the Sight Object I'm going to expand that and I'm going to turn on the Project Base and Survey Points and click okay, and they will appear right here as two small icons.
Now, the Project Base Point is a circle with an X through it, and if I press tab the Survey Point is the triangular shape and they are both currently in the same location and if I click to select the Survey Point, you can see that it's currently at 000. So it's at the origin for this project. Now, you can move this thing in any direction X, Y, or Z and I've got a little control handle right here and I'm going to demonstrate this by just sort of dragging it down.
So let's say that the height of our project, you know, the Survey Point was actually lower than where my building sits. Well, I would get that information from my Civil Engineer or you know whoever has that information, maybe it comes from the site plan, and you could see when I moved that down that actually changed where 00 was. Which means that when I click this point, notice that the height of the elevation is now 12 and some change because it's measuring off of this point, so this is sort of like the absolute reference here.
Now, notice that the levels are unchanged. Well, what you can do is you can select one of the levels, edit its type and the reason it's unchanged is they are currently measuring relative to the project base point which is still right there at zero, but I can change that and tell it to measure from the Survey Point and when I click okay, notice that all of the levels will now update to show how high they are relative to this location instead. Alright, I'm going to undo that and undo again to get the Survey Point to go back where it was.
Let's look at an alternative way that we could maybe approach that. This time I'm going to select the Project Base Point. Now be very careful about moving the Project Base Point, because at the moment it is clipped and when you move it in the clip state you are literally going to move the project okay, relocate the project, so we don't want to do that. So click the little paperclip icon and that will unclip it. Now, if you were to move this thing, notice that the levels are adjusting in real time, because they are measuring relative to this point because when I did undo, Edit Type, there's back to looking at the Project Base Point.
Now, why might you do this? Well you know, in a lot of architectural firms they like the first level to actually be at 100 instead of at zero. So if your firm does it that way and you would like it to be at 100, what you can actually do here is just simply take the Project Base Point, click right on the Elevation Field right here and it becomes an editable temporary dimension, put in negative 100 to move it down 100 and notice the effect that it has on the levels.
So now level one is at 100, this one is at 114, and you know, if I zoom back out, that's because my Project Base Point is down here at negative 100, and I haven't changed where the Survey Point is. So there's definitely a couple of different ways that you can manipulate this, but keep in mind that your levels can reference either of those two points, Survey or Project Base Point and in fact you could even duplicate and make one, that references one and another that references the other, so that as your project needs change, you will always be able to measure relative to an appropriate Z elevation.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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