Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of the medium detail version, part of Project Soane: Recover a Lost Monument with BIM.
- Let's continue building our Tivoli Corinthian column. I am in the medium detail version now, and I've got the medium column on screen, this is sort of the final version of this family, and much like our coarse detail version before it, this one is made up of three nested families. Now if we go to Family Category in Parameters, it is assigned to columns, just like the core scale version was, and just like the core scale version I have a base family here which is a generic model. Sitting on top of that, I have a shaft family, also a generic model, and the final generic model is the capital family up at the top.
Now, if I open up my 3D view and then do WT to tile my windows, what you'll actually see is that my 3D view has this gradient grey background behind the column. So that's usually a clue that you're working in the conceptual massing environment. Now, it doesn't have to be, you can turn and off the gradient fill any time you want in any kind of family, but it's on by default in the conceptual families. But the real clue that we're in the conceptual massing environment is the presence of levels and reference planes in the 3D view.
Those datum elements do not display in projects or in the traditional family editor. So whenever you see those in 3D, you kind of know that you're in the conceptual massing environment. Now, the conceptual massing environment is different in a number of subtle and some not-so-subtle ways. Some of the subtle ways that it's different is, I had to structure the way that the shaft is inserted a little bit differently than how I had to do it in the core scale version. In the core scale version, you may recall that we selected the shaft and we came down, and we looked for the offset parameter and just assigned a associated family parameter to it.
But when I scroll through the list of properties here, you won't find the offset parameter, it's not available. So what you do instead is you bring the family in and you insert it on a reference plane. So when you bring elements in, they can be associated with a work plane, so I set the work plane first and then I associated that family with that work plane. Then I've created a new parameter here called shaft elevation that drives the location of this reference plane. And so that gets me into the same place and it keeps the shaft always on top of the base.
Now, let's take a look at family types. So that's, again, right here. And when we look at family types, much of what we have here is set up in a similar way to the other families that we've explored so far. In the other grouping, we have the same four unit parameters that I established in the original family seed. I had to create a separate family seed for adaptive components. Adaptive components are massing families. So those two words are kind of interchangeable in a way. And that's what this family was created from.
It's also got its column height parameter, its base diameter parameter, those are configured the same way as the other families. It's got three material parameters for each of the three nested components. And then there's that shaft elevation parameter I just pointed out to you. And finally, there's this top spacer. The reason for the top spacer is back in our original plate, if you look at the very top of the column capital, there's a tiny little gap up there and it's actually one part thick, and I want it to be faithful to this drawing. So instead of trying to absorb that one part somewhere else, I decided to just go ahead and add it in as a spacer.
So you can see that indicated right there. So let me cancel out of family types. So now let's take a look at each of the nested families. Now I should mention another difference between the massing environment and the traditional environment. You can nest traditional families into the massing families, but you cannot nest massing families into traditional families. So the base family right here, for example, is a traditional family. So when I edit that, it's going to put me back in the traditional family editor.
Now, before I open this family, I'd like you to look at the ribbon. And notice that on the ribbon, we have a draw panel and then work plane and the clipboard and so on, and all of the draw tools are over there, on the left hand side, this right here. And whether or not you're on the Modify tab or the Create tab, you're going to see that same collection of draw tools. Now, with this family selected, I'm going to go back to the Modify tab here and click Edit Family. And you'll notice that that draw panel has been replaced now with the forms panel on the Create tab.
And if I went to the Modify tab, it looks completely different as well. So when you're in a traditional family editor, you can usually tell by looking at the tools that are available as well as the other clues that I've already given you. Now, if you want to learn more about the differences between the traditional family editor and the massing family editor, you can check out the advanced modeling course that we have here in the library. We go into a lot of exercises in both family editor environments in that course. Meanwhile, let's take a look at how this particular family is structured.
Now, I'm going to take you back to the scanned plate from Mauch again. Now, if we look at the base here, you can kind of see that there's two Taurus bands and then a series of fill it bands, or cylindrical bands that are stacked between them, and one at the very bottom that kind of provides another little spacer. So all of the proportions came from there and you can kind of see those little Taurus bands. Well, we'll ultimately make those into Taurii in the fine detail version, but if I look at the front view here, of course, what I've decided to do in the medium detail version is to just square those off.
Now, what I'm doing though, is I'm creating parameters for each one of those areas ahead of time and setting the values according to the dimensions back in the plate. And I'm doing that on purpose because when I do Save As here and turn this into the fine detail version, All I'll need to do is change these rectangular forms to rounded forms and re-save the family. Now, when I highlight one of these you'll notice that it's actually a sweep and not an extrusion. And again, the reason for that is so that I can simply do a Save As and change the shape.
If it was an extrusion, I'd have to erase the extrusion and build it all over again. But building it as a sweep, and I'll do Edit Sweep here, and then select the profile and click Edit Profile, you'll notice that I've got this rectangular shape. Well, if I just change this rectangular shape and round off the corner there, then that's all I need to do to create the fine detail version. Now, if we cancel out of here and we look at it in 3D, you can see that in order to make this thing sweep, it's got to sweep around a circle. Now, notice that that circle is kind of inside of the rest of the 3D form.
So here's how I actually did that, let me cancel out of there. And I'm going to go to the Join tool here, click the drop-down next to it, and do Unjoin Geometry. And I'll unjoin these cylinders from here. So what I actually did was I built a cylinder first, which is nothing more than a simple extrusion. I gave it a radius parameter that I just calculated how big that needed to be, and in Family Types you can see that I've defined that based on the part length, like all of the other parameters, cancel out of there.
And then when you look at the sweeps, you can go to Edit Sweep and I've actually used the Pick Path option, and this circle around there, I didn't draw it manually, I actually picked the bottom edge of the cylinder. And that way, when the cylinder flexes, it will automatically flex the shape of the sweep. So it was just an easier way to make sure that all the pieces flexed together instead of having to constrain each one individually. Now, you certainly could have constrained each one individually, that's definitely an alternative.
But the way I chose to do it was to use the Pick Edge. Wherever I can get away with the Pick Edge, I usually prefer that option. So that is the medium detail version of the base. And again, it's just a traditional family because there was nothing that I was doing here that requires the extra tool set that's available in the massing environment. But when we move forward and look at some of the other parts of this medium detail version, we're going to see where the additional modeling tools that are available in the massing environment start to come into play and why I chose to use a massing family instead of a traditional family for that overall medium 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