Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using graphical display options, part of Revit 2018: Essential Training for Architecture (Imperial).
- In this video I want to talk about graphical display options Now we've already briefly looked at some of them, but I want to kind of do a quick tour through the dialogue and the many, many options that you have available to customize the way that views display. So to help us with with, I've got this 3D level one cutaway view, and it's just using a section box to crop out part of the model. The graphical display options is accessible from the View control bar, from the Visual Styles pop up, right here or an alternative place that you can get to it, is on the View tab on the Graphics panel you can click this small little icon right here, which is dialogue launcher and that will display the graphical display options, or GD is the shortcut, so plenty of ways to get in there.
So let's just kind of work our way down the settings in this list, and look at as many of them as we can as we go along. So let's start with the Visual Styles. So Wireframe, pretty obvious, makes everything transparent you see through everything, not very nice way to display the model, so I'm not going to do that. Hidden Line of course was the default, that's what we were just looking at. You've got Shaded, which applies some shading and a little bit of shadow. You've got Consistent Colors which removes any of the shadow, it's all just flat colors. And then you also have Realistic Shading which actually displays the materials.
So if you look at the bricks for example, here, let's click OK, and I'll zoom in a little bit. It shows the actual brick texture, it shows the concrete texture and so forth. So if you have any materials actually applied to the object then it uses those materials. So I'm going to go back to Graphical Display Options, and I'm going to set this back to Shaded and then click Apply. Show Edges, you can turn that on or off and it's just whether or not it's going to outline the edges in black. I think it looks a little better with the edges turned on so I'm going to leave that.
If your video card supports it, Smooth lines with anti-aliasing can get rid of some of the jaggies on the diagonal lines there. So it just sort of smooths them out and makes 'em look a little bit nicer, so I think that's pretty nice. Transparency is an interesting setting, I'm going to kick the transparency up to maybe about 50% here and click Apply. That makes the entire view transparent, so it's maybe a little bit overwhelming it might work on certain views, but I think it might also be a little bit overkill. So what I'm going to do is actually turn that off, and show you an alternative.
So if I click OK here, an alternative would be to select one or more elements, so I'm going to select just these two front walls here and then up on the ribbon you've got this little paintbrush icon, and I'm going to click that and I'm going to override by element. So what that'll do is, it will give me similar options here in this view specific element graphics dialogue, including things like surface transparency and now I could crank that up to about 50% and click Apply and it only applies to those two walls.
So if you want to introduce the transparency then I think you probably want to be a little bit more selective about it using that selection and that override command. Alright, let's go back to Graphical Display Options, Silhouettes, I love the concept I just wish we had more control, because I don't really care for the implementation of this, but let me just show you what this means. So what this does is it looks for the edges of objects that are kind of out in the foreground and it outlines them with whatever line style that you choose here.
So I'm going to choose Wide Lines, and click Apply. Now if you look at this column right here it looks great on this edge, and great on that edge, but not so much down at the bottom. That column is touching that slab, and so you really shouldn't have a profile line right there. It looks really nice on the sides of this round column but again, it's outlining a little too much down at the base This piece of furniture is outlining everything, so it's just making the whole thing a little bit muddy. Here we're getting a bold edge when it's up against a wall. So if we had a little bit more control over it I would like this a little bit better, but I tend not to like the way that it's been implemented.
So it's entirely up to you whether you want to use that feature or not. I'm going to set it back to None though, because I don't think it's working for me in this case. Let's move on to the next area, Shadows. So two kinds of shadows, we can do Ambient and Cast. I love ambient shadows, this is one of my favorite features. When you turn that on, it kind just dirties everything up a little bit, it kind of pools the light in the corners there, looks really good here in most views. I actually really love it when you couple it with Hidden Line. So I'm going to turn on Hidden Line, Ambient Shadows, click Apply, and sometimes that's all I'll do.
And it kind of looks like you hand sketched this with charcoal Really one of my favorite graphical techniques is to use Hidden Line combined with Ambient Shadow. Now Cast Shadows actually uses the direction of the light to cast the shadows. So if we click Apply, now you're going to see all of these shadows being cast into the space. And notice that you're able to use both of these together. So if I turn off the ambient shadows, then it's only the cast shadows that we're seeing, but a lot of times I actually like the effect when you have them both turned on, it just makes the whole thing feel a little bit more warm.
Now the light that the cast shadows is using comes from this section right here, under Lighting. Now currently we're using the in session lighting scheme. So if I click that button, this takes me to the Sun Settings dialogue. The lighting option, which is what it's defaulting to is like over the shoulder lighting. So you can just literally change these numbers here and dial in different angles until the shadows kind of look the way you want. It's not real shadows, they're based on again just these sort of general angles.
So if I said sunlight from the top right here, and I click Apply, that'll essentially match what we just had there in the in session. If I change it to the top left and click Apply it shifts the shadows the other way. So you can definitely play around with this, and kind of adjust the shadows to your liking. Now notice that you're getting this odd shadow kind of down at the bottom there, that's because the ground plane is at one of your levels. If you uncheck that and you click Apply then it will only cast shadows on other geometry.
So that's another setting that you can do. Now, these three options here, I'm not going to go into them in detail, but I'll just click on the Still rendering. This actually takes your location into account, and you may recall that when we first set up the project we actually chose a location for it on the map. And it'll consider that location, it'll consider the direction of north and the time of day and it'll cast the shadows accordingly. So rather than just sort of making it up based on angles, this is more accurate to real life. So I would encourage you to play around with both sets of settings, but that will allow you to manipulate your shadows.
For this example I'm going to leave it set with sunlight from top right and click OK. Now beneath the Sun Settings button, you have a few other little sliders here. So you can control the sun intensity, the ambient light intensity, and the shadow intensity. So if I dial up the shadows and click Apply they're going to get much darker. If I drag it back and click Apply they're going to get lighter. So depending on how intense you want the shadow effect you can play around with those sliders to make those adjustments. We also have Sketchy Lines here.
Now Sketchy Lines is kind of making this 3D view look like it was hand drawn. So I'm going to enable the Sketchy Lines, crank up the jitter a little, crank up the extensions a little bit, and let's crank 'em up, kind of maybe to four and four and then let me collapse some of these so I can get back to the OK button here, lets apply that. And notice that it just kind of wiggles all the lines and it makes it look a little bit more hand drawn. Now if I click OK here and kind of zoom in right there, you can see what the extension is doing versus what the jitter is doing.
So you see the straight lines are all a little bit wavy, and then the extension kind of makes the lines cross one another. Now the more you crank up those settings, the more intense that effect gets. So if you get a little too carried away it's going to look really wild. So I tend to think that two or three is enough in most cases just to kind of, you know, roughen it up a little bit, make it a little bit less overpowering. Let me okay that and zoom back out here. And then let's go back in one more time.
So we've looked at most of the settings here. Now we talked about depth cueing in a previous video, that's grayed out here, because you can't use depth cueing in a 3D view, that's only available in elevations and sections. But you may recall that that was the feature that allowed you to make it look like there was some depth and kind of let it start to gray out as it receded further back from the cut plane. So I encourage you to check out the previous video on that. Finally, we've got Photographic Exposure which is only available when you're in rendered views, and we've got Background.
So for Background, you can actually use a sky, where it will kind of do a ground plane down here, but if you orbit like so, eventually you're going to see the horizon and the sky there, there it is right there. So it's a little bit extreme. You can also use a gradient, which I like a little bit better. So the gradient kind of has a little bit more variation here it's gray down at the bottom, and then it kind of uses a blueish color up towards the sky there.
So that tends to look a little bit nicer I think. And you can also just use a solid color if you want to. So those are the background options, or you can even put an image in there. So there's lots of graphical display options that will let you customize the way that your views display. I'm demonstrating them in a 3D view here, but actually these will work in any view. You can do it in plans, sections, elevations, 3D views and it gives you the ability to kind of create views that go from being very whimsical and hand drawn looking, to very precise and calculated and really everything in between.
So it gives you a great deal of latitude and flexibility when creating presentation views for your projects.
First, get comfortable with the Revit environment, and learn to set up a project and add the grids, levels, and dimensions that will anchor your design. Then author Paul F. Aubin helps you dive into modeling: adding walls, doors, and windows; using joins and constraints; creating and mirroring groups; linking to external assets and DWG files; and modeling floors, roofs, and ceilings.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs and complex walls, adding rooms, and creating schedules. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawings so all the components are clearly understood, and learn how to output sheets to DWF, PDF, or AutoCAD.
- Understanding BIM and the Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views and tags
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF