Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using filters, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Voiceover] In this movie, I'd like to show you some examples of using filters to customize the way that the graphics are displayed in a particular view. A filter is a really powerful tool that allows you to query your model for a certain criteria, and then based on that query, it can actually change the way the graphics display. So, I like to think of it as just your asking a question from your model. And then, once you get the answer to that question, you can change the way the graphics appear. You can turn things on and off, you can color code them, whatever it is to make the answers to those questions stand out.
So, a big part of building information modeling, is having good information. So if you put good information in, filters is one of the ways you can get the information back out again, and ask questions of your model, and thereby make good decisions. So let's look at a few examples of what we might be able to do here. The first example I want to do is a really simple one. I want to basically ask the question, do I have any owner supplied furniture in this third floor plan? Now, at the moment I'm not seeing any furniture in the third floor plan at all. Well, it turns out that that category is just hidden, so, if I go to reveal hidden elements, you can see that all of the furniture is currently hidden in this view.
Now, I want to do this in its own plan, so I'm going to right click third floor, duplicate it with the detailing, so that I get copies of all the room labels. And I will rename that to a third floor furniture plan. Once I've done that, I'll go back to reveal hidden elements, and I will select any piece of furniture and un-hide the category, and then toggle off that mode. Now, at this point again, I want to ask the question is any of this furniture owner supplied? Okay, so it might be important to convey that to my contractor in a certain way so that they know which elements they're supplying versus which ones they're simply installing.
So I'm going to go to the view tab, and click the filters button. So the right way to think about filters is think of a question you want to ask. So I'm going to click the new filter button here, give it a name, owner supplied furniture, and click okay. Now that's the name of the question, so think about what I need to ask. Well, the first question is, what category? So I'm going to scroll down here and select the furniture category. Once you've chosen at least one category, and you're filter can apply to more than one category if you need it to.
But in this case, I'm just going to do furniture. The next question is, what question, what specific question do I want to ask? And I want to ask from the comments, because that's where I put in the owner supplied information in this case. Do the comments equal owner supplied? And that's all I have to do. Now that's the question, but at the moment, I haven't really given any way to designate how to answer that question. So all I've done is ask the question, but I haven't really provided a way to give the answer. You provide a way to give the answer in visibility graphics, so you can type VG or you go to the button there and and click visibility graphics.
Now you're probably very familiar with the model categories tab, you can turn things on and off, you can override the graphics here, well the filters tab is way over on the right. And at the moment, for me, it's empty because I just created this view. I'm' going to click add here, and my list of existing filters will appear, and I'll choose my owner supplied furniture item. And then what do I want to do with it? So, essentially what I'm saying is, if the furniture is owner supplied, then what? Well, you could hide it. So if I just un-check visibility, click apply, notice that a desk disappeared over here, and some chairs back here disappeared.
Bring it back again, click apply, those chairs will come back. Well, maybe hiding isn't the right solution because then my contractor won't even know it's there, so instead, I'd rather just maybe hatch it in. So I'm going to select this item, and under patterns, I'm going to click the override button, and then I will choose a crosshatch pattern here, and then assign a color to that. So, maybe I'll just do a solid black there, click okay. Okay again, and now, I'm crosshatching the furniture there, and over here, where it's owner supplied.
Now the nice thing about a filter is, once it's applied to a view, it's a live setting, which means that if I select another piece of furniture, and I say, oh this one actually needs to be owner supplied as well, it will instantly hatch it in, in this particular view. So that's a really simple example that we can do to start identifying objects that are different from one another. So now I've got two different criteria going on here, furniture that's owner supplied, furniture that's not owner supplied, right. So let's try another example, it's a really common thing to use filters for, to designate fire ratings.
So if you look over here, I've got a wall here that's a one hour rating, another one here it's one hour rating, and then several others that are not rated. So, how can the filters help me identify where my rated walls are, and then thereby make sure I have all of my barriers established correctly. Well, I can just define another filter that looks for or asks that question. So I'm going to say, walls one hour, for the name, scroll down, select the walls category, over here, I'll choose the fire rating property, and then again, I could do equals, but notice the options under here, some of my users put in one space HR, some of them put in one HR, somebody else could come along and put one HOUR and maybe there's other variations as well.
So, this is probably the only limitations of filters, is you have to try and anticipate what your users are going to input here, and then make sure that you put in the most logical options. So, equals isn't the only multiplier here, if you want you can actually say contains or begins with. So in this case, I'm going to make the assumption that they're always going to begin with a number, so even if it's one HR, one space HR, on HOUR, it's still going to start with one, and I'll capture it by saying beings with. Now that doesn't mean that it's guaranteed foolproof, but I think it's more likely to capture all the variations by creating it that way.
I'll click okay, okay again, and then do duplicate this view, I'm actually going to duplicate the original view, with detailing, rename it, give it a name, the furniture is turned off here, that's why I wanted to duplicate this view, Now let's go to visibility graphics, filter tab, add a filter, there's my walls one hour, and then what do I want to do with it? So I'm going to override the cut pattern, make it a solid fill, and I'll choose this orange color right here, click okay, okay again, and now it found any wall whose fire rating began with one, and it's overriding the fill pattern to this orange color.
And so the nice thing about that is, it's a real easy way for me to identify if I have any walls that aren't the correct fire rating. So if this wall right here was also supposed to be a one hour rating, now all I have to do is open up the list and choose the wall and it will immediately color it. So it's a really good way for me to error check whether or not everything is configured properly. Now it didn't highlight the doors, because we only applied that to the walls. You could go to the filter, and you could select one hour walls, and you could edit it, add the doors checkbox, and they both do have a fire rating property, but the question is, will the door fire ratings begin with one, probably not, okay, because they're going to be designated in a slightly different way.
So it's probably better to make a different filter for your doors, give it a name, scroll down and find doors, check the box, also choose fire rating, and then this time you can either do equals, begins with, or what have you, but I've designated C Label there, so I'm just going to tell my users, look we want to make sure do A Label, B Label C Label, otherwise the filter is going to fail. But when we click okay, okay again, visibility graphics, notice that you can add more than one filter to the same view.
You can add as many filters as you want to the same view. And so now what you can do is start to override the objects here and I'm going to override a couple things on this one, I want to make sure that I capture it, so I'll do the fill patterns, I'll do the line work itself, and then the cut pattern, I just want to make sure. Okay, so I'm going to override a bunch of stuff here, just to make sure that I'm capturing it. And then one more right there, just don't want to miss anything. Click okay, okay again, and now what you're going to see is that actually colors all of the doors in orange, that are a C Label door, and once again, it becomes real easy now to identify the ones that I missed.
You can say, oh great, each of these is supposed to be a C Label door, there we go, and that fixes the problem. So the filtering is as much about graphics and displaying things a certain way, as it is about error checking. I mean making sure that the integrity of my model is intact. If I set up good filters that ask good questions, it becomes real easy for me to identify where the problems in model are, and then I'm able to quickly fix them. Now, one last example that I want to show you is more of a design use of filters, okay.
Down here under my elevations, I have an interior elevation here called wall pattern individual tiles, and it looks like this, let me zoom in a little bit here. Now what I've got here is a family, which is nothing more than a little thin extrusion and then a name. And if we edit the type, I created six names, T1 through T6, and they each have a type mark, T1 through T6. And then you just place these in a random pattern on the wall here, I also have these little tags here, which helped me to identify which ones were which.
But then, when you go to visibility graphics, and you look at the filters here, there is just a filter which is looking for, if I go to edit new, click here, type mark equals T1 and then the next one is type mark equals T2 and so on, you put in a fill pattern, and then result looks like this. Now I've got all the little tags on here just to identify them, but you could just as easily duplicate this view without the detailing, lose the tags, and now you'd only be getting the colors. And so this is more of a design use of it, because you can use it as a way of doing this sort of random tile pattern here, and the filters are just a convenient way for you to quickly be able to convey the look of that pattern the way you want it to look, and then you present something with all the tags on it to your contractor to make sure everything gets installed properly.
So you can see where there's a lot of different uses for filters, and honestly, I would say that the only limit to filters is your imagination. So anything you can think of, that you can start to query your model for, you can build filter for it and start to get useful information. So I always like to think of it as you're asking a question from your model, your interrogating your model, and then based on the answers you can make better design and documentation decisions. And that's really what filters are all about.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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