Friday, July 31, 2009

Phases & Worksets

This blog started out as a blog for beginners. These days I mostly tend to cover advanced topics so here's a little tip for the beginners out there.

Always Be Phase Aware
In every project file your modeled components have a phase created and a phase demolished parameter whether you like it or not. And most views have phase and phase filter parameters. If you place a model component in a view that is set to the New Construction phase (under View Properties), that component automatically gets placed in the New Construction phase. So if you are doing as-builts, make sure you set all of your views phases to Existing. That way when you start placing your components they end up on the correct phase. This can easily be corrected in a 3D view if you skipped this step. As you start to model your proposed design distinguishing between existing and proposed content becomes ever more critical.

Always Be Workset Aware
On workset enabled projects every model component is place on a user defined workset (usually Workset 1). Make sure you check the workset toolbar and select the correct active workset. You don't want to place a whole lot of content on the Shared Levels & Grids workset. This can easily be corrected in a 3D view if you skipped this step.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Instance Parameters: The Double Agent

This is going to be particularly helpful to those of you working on large projects. Some of you may already be aware of it, but I haven't seen it documented anywhere so here goes...

I call this technique the Double Agent because the Instance Parameters discussed here will temporarily act like Type Parameters under the right conditions. Why would I want an Instance Parameter to act like a Type Parameter? you ask. Well, quite often, but not always we want to apply the same Instance Parameter value (like a comment that is repeated for MOST instances of a Family Type) to many of the same Doors, Windows, Sheets, or other families. Comments are typically Instance Parameters that you have to change one at a time. But I don't want to change comments one at a time when there are so many of the same comment value. I want them to update once and simultaniously like a Type Parameter would, without having to use a Type Parameter (because I may still want one or two comment values to remain unique. Well, how do you do it? The Answer: With Schedules

Here is the procedure. Go to your door schedule for example.

You'll notice that I have four door types (71,66,17,64). I need to add the Remark 1hr rated to types 66 & 64. Rather than enter the value one field at a time for the Instance Parameter called Remark, lets add the value to all 8 fields once and simultaniously. Here's how.

Go to View Properties... Sorting Grouping... Now make a mental note (or write it down if you wish) of the current Sorting/Grouping settings because, like a good double agent, you're going to have to restore the schedule to its original identity when we're all done. Now change the setting to what you see below.

You can isolate the From Room: Name (or Type Mark parameter). It is very important to uncheck the Itemize every instance option. This is what you'll see.

Now Type in the Remark 1HR Rated for all doors without a room name... then change the Sorting/Grouping setting back to their original state and You'll have added the Value 1HR Rated to the Instance Parameter Remarks for all doors without a room name.

These are the rules of the game: You have to sort the schedule by some Type Parameter or by some Instance Parameter with equal values already present.

Now that I have the value 1HR RATED for all of the 1HR doors, lets say I want to change the value to 1.5HR RATED. Just isolate the REMARKS parameter from the Sorting/Grouping settings and exchange the old value for the new value.

So once again, why not just make your Instance Parameter a Type Parameter? Because the Instance Parameter value you choose may not always apply to every instance of a Family Type. This is just a custom way to update multiple fields once and simultaniously.

I hope you'll enjoy exploring the many applications of The Double Agent technique.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Imported Images and Sheets

We often import hand renderings into Revit projects for plotting presentation sets.

I've noticed that when I import an image directly onto a sheet that if the image is even slightly outside of the scope of the titleblock then plots can come out centered incorrectly. The only solution is to place images in a drafting view (or legend view) first... then place the view on your sheet. If the view itself is outside of the scope of the titleblock Revit will plot the sheet fine.

Rescaling the image can also be easier from a drafting view once scale is established. Just change the scale of the view. Rescaling the image by eye on a sheet is less accurate.

Legend views can be placed on multiple sheets but placing these images in a legend view can crowd your project browser so I would stick to drafting views unless you absolutely need the added function of placing the image on multiple sheets like for key plans as an example.

If your image comes in solid black it's most likely a memory issue. You can change the resolution and image size to reduce file size if necessary. Rotating images can also cause them to turn solid black.

Images can be imported. Linking an image for easier updating is on the wishlist but is not yet an option.

Feel free to comment on the subject of importing images if you have anything you want to add.