Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Fine detail large volute, part of Project Soane: Recover a Lost Monument with BIM.
- In this video, we're going to create the big volutes that occur at the corners of the Corinthian capital. Now, the ones that occur on Son's Bank of England based on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli are a little more stylized than the ones you traditionally see on a typical Corinthian column, if there is such a thing. So on the lefthand side here, I have an illustration of the one that I created for Renaissance Revit. And it does a good job of representing what you would typically see in a Corinthian column. But it doesn't quite have all the flair and the stylized details that you see over on the righthand side from the Bank of England.
In particular, this kind of spirals out and then gets a little thicker over here, and it's sort of more pronounced. So those are some of the details that I wanted to try and incorporate when building the version that we're doing for our Corinthian capital. so here's the completed version of the big volute that we'll be using at the corners. And there's a couple different forms in here, and there's a lot going on. So the most important thing, though, that I want you to see here is that I have kind of sculpted the fillet mold around here a little bit more.
If you look carefully at the generic model that's being used for the profile, in Renaissance Revit, it's just a thin rectangle. But here, I've actually tapered it a little bit to kind of give it a little bit more of that stylized feel to it. Furthermore, I've adjusted the offsets so that you could see that it sort of spirals out a little bit more, and kind of gives that effect where it was kind of spiraling out towards us. And then the eye here, you could see I've also tapered that a little bit to make it a little bit more flared, and to try and match that effect that we're getting at the Bank of England.
Now, one of the things I was not ever really satisfied with with Renaissance Revit was that behind the volute, it was kind of hollow back there. And that always felt a little bit incorrect to me. So what I've done here is I've added some 3D mass behind the volutes just to kind of fill in that area there, so it feels a little more solid, like it's actually carved out of stone. So you can see there's definitely a few variations to this particular version of the volute. And then where I'm carving it here, I'm carving it more along a curve using this set of reference lines, where in Renaissance Revit, I just did the straight curve.
Now, that doesn't matter too much because the leaves are gonna cover that. But what I was trying to do is get it to go more rapidly to something very thin. So that's why I decided to use the curve there. Now, I have a starting file, and in the starting file, I've removed a lot of that geometry so that we can recreate it. The basic steps, though, are very similar to what we've already seen in previous movies. So for example, the path of this volute is just a reference line that is a spline.
And that spline is drawn in a single plane, just like all of the other splines we've looked at. And I just drew the spiral shape, and then very carefully adjusted the control handles until I was happy with the curvature. Then I placed points along that path, and here's one of those points right here. And those points are all set at a particular normalized curve parameter. And I just fiddled with those until I was happy with them. And then I hosted these two shapes, these two generic models, on those points.
Now, those two families are down here on the families branch, and I could right click and choose edit, and we could take a look at each one. They're both face-based, as you would expect. And this particular one also uses a spline to create that curved edge at the top. Now this is actually the same family that I used in Renaissance Revit. I haven't made any changes to it. The only thing I did do was adjust some of the offsets and the parameter values, but the family itself is still the same geometry. Three simple sides on the back here that are all straight sides, and then this little curve on the front, which is more freeform.
But it's got an offset parameter in both the vertical direction and in the horizontal direction. And that allows a great deal of flexibility to move this profile around when it's loaded in, and help you sculpt the form. So I'm going to close this one. No need to save it because we didn't make any changes. And then let's look at the fillet one. When I edit that, this one is a little different than the one I used in Renaissance Revit. In Renaissance Revit, it was just a simple rectangle. So this line would've gone flat to here, and this line would've gone flat to here.
But what I've done instead is I've added a small reference plane here and here, with a vertical taper and a horizontal taper parameter. And that allows me to just add those tapers to give a little bit more interest to this fillet as it spirals around. I kind of like that effect a little bit better than the straight rectangle. So I'll close that one and not save it as well. Now there's still some geometry that I left in here. I left the eye in here, and for the moment, I'm going to select it and hide that, just to get it out of the way. Because you can see that there's several of those nested generic models buried inside there, and I want to be able to get to those.
And then this is part of that 3D geometry that is filling in that void in the back. Now that is actually created from this chain of reference lines and this arc right here. And if you were to select both of those and do "Create form," it would create that overall form like that. But you'll notice that I cut it off right at this line here. I'm doing that with this rectangle here. If I tab in here, there's actually a void box right there that matches that rectangle that cuts off that shape.
So I'm gonna undo to remove that second copy there, and then I'm gonna take this one and tab in, select it, and I'll hide that as well, just to kind of get it out of the way. And that'll make it a little easier for us to build the geometry that we want to build. So I'm going to start with the fillet, because there's more of these profiles, so it's a little bit more challenging to select them. So I'm gonna use my control key, and select each of the fillet profiles, and then come out here and select the path.
Make sure you're getting the spline path, there's some other references lines in there, here. That's for that 3D solid geometry behind that's gonna fill in the void behind. That's not what we want. We want this one here that's the overall spline. And you can tell the spline because it has those control handles, the straight edges, around it. So I'll Ctrl key and select that. And then I'll just click create form, and that will create the spiraling fillet form.
And you can see it kind of spirals out there in kind of a nice way. Now, notice that it only went to here. Now, I made that "mistake" on purpose just to show you that you don't have to undo and start over again if you do that. It's actually kind of neat here that you can actually select this form and go select the profile that you forgot with the Ctrl key, and when you click "Create form," it'll just recreate it and add in that extra profile. So that's really kind of a neat feature of creating these 3D forms, is it's real easy to kind of add in any missing profiles.
Now, the inner piece is just this profile here, this one here, here, and here. And then of course, the same path. So you should see five elements there when you "Create form." Now, honestly, I had to fiddle with these quite a bit to get them to overlap. "Join geometry" is not going to work here, unfortunately. So it will complain. So I just have to press Esc there and undo that.
I just have to be content with the geometry just overlapping itself. It's not going to comply when we try and do "Join geometry." But that gives us the overall form, and it's quite effective. And by increasing the size of these profiles, I was able to fill in all the little gaps. Now, I wanted to chop off the piece back here to allow it to fit behind the leaves. So all you need to do is take this and do a void form, and it will project out this way, and then what I'll do is I'll just come over here and tab in to select the back surface of that, and use the little grip here to kind of pull it back enough that it cuts through that, okay? So now you can see it's cutting through.
And then you'll just do "Cut geometry," select this form and this one, and that'll carve that away, okay? So that kind of takes care of that piece. Then all we need to do now is fill in this missing piece in the back here. So that's where this second set of reference lines comes in, here, right? So that is just a series of acs that I just traced right on that surface there. And you can click "Create form," and it will create a solid form.
And once again, it's gonna extrude the wrong way. Well, this time, instead of using the grips here, I'm just going to use the numbers over here. So I'm going to set the positive offset to zero, and the negative offset to about eight. And that's gonna project it back. Now eight might be a bit too much, and actually, zero is not quite enough. So let's do maybe .5. And there, that fills in right there, okay? You don't want it to come through this other geometry, so I just needed it enough to touch it.
And then this one here with eight maybe is a bit too much. Let's try six. That seems a little bit better. Now, if you want to be sure, you can kind of spin down, because it's this triangle here that needs to cut it. So actually, six is still a bit too much. So let's try four. And now you can see that that triangle will cut through it, okay? So what we're trying to do there is, we don't want it to be solid like that. It would crash into the next one. But these two volutes are gonna meet each other at the corner at an angle.
And this angle right here matches that angle where they will touch. So this, I just need to select "Create a void form." It'll be a little too short, but I can just raise the height up like so. Now it passes through that form, and you could see that it completely engages it. And then I'll do "Cut geometry," select this, and select this. But now it turns out that part of those other forms are still passing through as well.
So you can use that same void to cut multiple solids. So I'll just go to the next solid and click the same void, and the next solid, and click the same void. And the end result is, everything is chamfered at that angle. So when you put this next to another one, when they mirror on that plane, they'll fit together really nice and tight there, and it will look really nice. So at this point, if I just do reset, temporary hide isolate, we've got the volute matching our completed version.
So we're using a lot of the same techniques here. We've got paths, we've got hosted points, we've got hosted generic models, and then that creates the 3D forms. And then by using a series of voids as well, we can kind of carve in and fine-tune the shape.
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