Sunday, December 14, 2014

Color plan by Floor types

A couple of months ago I began to talk about color plans in Revit. One of the ways I didn't mention was using different floor types to create your colored floor plans.

Many times you use different floor types to create color plans when you are creating a finish floor plan, where you are trying to depict different floor materials, or you are trying to show what you want the tile pattern of a room to be, or you are trying to get an accurate square footage of the floor finish material. Whatever the reason for the color plan you are creating a finish floor type that is separate from the structural floor. Yes you can add the finish layers to the structural floor, but when the structural engineer has control of the structural floor in their model and you as an Architect just want to add your finish materials you can't. So instead of creating a floor that sits in the exact same place as the structural model which creates conflicts when you perform a clash detection on the model, you create a floor that just has the finish layers that is sitting on the structural floor.

To use finish floor types you need to create a floor type that just has the layers of the finish floor. For example you have a tile floor in an area. The finish floor will have a layer of the thickness of the tile then it will have a layer that is the thickness of the mortar.

After you have the floor types created you create a new floor in each of the rooms. (Note you will need to offset the new floor type the thickness of the floor type so that it will be modeled correctly. Typically floors are defined from the top of the floor down.)

With in the Revolution Design Workflow app, Steve has a Revit add-in that creates the finish floors based on the floor materials in the room finish schedule. This app has the ability to update the finish floors based on the material that was changed in the Room finish schedule.

At Au this year I was in a class by Marcello Sgambelluri (Practically Dynamo: Practical Uses for Dynamo Within Revit) where is was showing off the capabilities of Dynamo. Dynamo is a visual programming language. One of the examples in Marcello's class showed how to use Dynamo to create finish floors by using the finish floor parameter of the room and have them update when the material of the room changes or if the boundary of the room change(walls get moved).

Friday, December 5, 2014

AU 2014 day 3

AU day three is over.
It started with a great presentation on Dynamo, by Marcello Sgamelluri. Marcello's presentation has made me want to explore the use of Dynamo. At first I was thinking that Dynamo was going to be beyond me, but like many of Marcello's presentations he has made what I thought was a very complex thing a lot simpler than I thought it was, and gives me the confidence that I could do it.

After lunch I took a class about Autodesk Sketchbook. Though I don't like that I have to download a totally different app on my iPad I like that I can now transfer Sketchbook object that I do on my iPad to the desktop version. It is just a shame that the desktop version no longer comes with my Building suite, but the cost of the desktop version is only $65.

My last class of the day was a class about the future of Autodesk Subscription. The class didn't mention anything about what Carl Bass talked about on Tuesday, but rather it was focus on how starting sometime in March how we manage our subscriptions will change. In some ways it's going to be better, and in someways it will be worse. Well worse for a little bit, but "always getting better".

The day ended with the AU Party.
I'm starting to think that best AU parties happen when AU is at Mandalay Bay. Much like the 2012 party the 2014 party was a great party. It was a comic book themed party, It had men and women on stilts dressed as comic book characters as well as actual comic books scattered about,

Thursday, December 4, 2014

AU 2014 day 2

Well day two is over.
I was in a class by David Butts about Managing BIM projects without going crazy. He was an excellent speaker. The presentation was suppose to have been broadcast live. Even though it was MEP focused I gotta lot out out of it. One thing for example the B in BIM does not mean a building object but rather the act of building.

Meet with some Autodesk folks and they elevated my fear about the possible new subscription model. We will have to see how this all shakes out in the coming year or so. I have another class on day 3 about the future of subscription.

I was talking with Scott Davis from Revit group at Autodesk and here at AU they unvailed a new Revit collaboration tool that works with A360. Imagine working in one model across multiple firms. I know this is the BIM dream' well it looks like with A360 collaboration it's closer to being a reality. With A360 collaboration the central file is stored in the cloud. I know there are always security concerns when we say the word cloud but this is promising. I can't wait to see how this works out in the coming year. I think pricing on this new functionality will need some tweaking.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

AU 2014 day 1

Well the first day of AU 2014 is over.
The keynote address was exciting and frightening at the same time. The idea of robots reacting and doing things on their own, hmmm. I know we tend to watch movies and the some times the imagined technology comes to pass. Star Trek communicators = cell phones, Star Trek data pads = IPads. But do we need technology that brings the events of the Matrix, Wall-E or the Terminator to come to pass??

Carl Bass even scared me by telling us that in the  coming year we will be seeing a subscription that will include all Autodesk software, mush like what Adobe has done. I defiantly need more information on this. He did announce that students and educators will now be able to get Autodesk software for free. You know he did show kids using the software I wonder if my nine year old can get the software. He has been using the Autodesk sketching tools on my iPad.

In the afternoon I was in a class that gave me some thoughts to add some information to my BIM Execution plan.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Room/Area Color Schemes - Part 2

After I posted the Room/Area Color Scheme post I realized I only got through about half of the Room/Area Color Scheme information. I never got into how you define the colors, so that is what I'm going to talk about today.

Before I get into how to define the colors I want to take a step back and talk about space types. I don't think I explained it very well in the last post, or rather not at all.

Space types
Space types is one of those things that I think Autodesk needs to work out better terminology. There are space types specifically for MEP usages, and there are space types for color plans. For color plans, space types is where the information that defines the color plan comes from. There are four space types that defines a color plan; Areas, Spaces, HVAC zones, and Rooms. For Architects like myself all I care about will be the Rooms, or Areas when I am defining my color plans. Spaces and HVAC zones are for the Mechanical engineer.

Spaces, HVAC zones, and Rooms can be defined from floor plans while Areas can only be defined from area plans.One thing to note though when defining a color plan from an Area plan you have the same dialog as you get when you are defining a color plan from a floor plan, but space type will only be the current area scheme you are working with.

Define the colors for the color plan
To define the colors for the color plan you need to get into the Edit Color Scheme dialog box. There are about three ways to get into the Edit Color Scheme dialog box.

  1. Go to the Architecture tab and select the Color scheme which is under the Room & Area pull down menu
  2. Select a color legend in your view then click on the edit color scheme button that now appears in the menu ribbon.
  3. Double click on the Color scheme property from the view property menu.

Now that we are in the Edit Color Scheme dialog box we can define what property is being used to define the colors

On the top left side of the dialog box there is the pull down menu the allows you to define which space type the color scheme is being defined from.

Directly below the space type pull down is a list of saved color schemes for the selected space type. It is this list that appears in properties of the views.

In the top middle of the dialog box is a pull down menu under the word Color. From this pull down menu you select which property of the space type selected to define the color scheme. As you can see from the example above the Room property of Name was selected. With this color scheme any room with the same name will have the same color fill.

When you first define the color scheme or when you add another room name in this case Revit will automatically select the color to use, which generally isn't very pleasing. To change the color simply double click the color and the color wheel dialog box will pop up. All of the different vales can have the same color. When working with a black and white drawing you will want to use a fill pattern instead of a color to distinguish the difference between different values.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


There are about four types of filters in Revit, Information filters, Selection filters, View filters and Phase filters.

Information Filters 
Information filters are filters used by schedules to filter information out or your schedules. An example of filtering information from your schedule is with a toilet accessory schedule. A toilet accessory schedule will be built form the specialty equipment category. The special equipment category like the generic components category is kind of like a catch all category so if you want a schedule that just shows toilet accessories you need to apply a filter. In this case I would have a spec division property built into my specialty equipment which I would use to filter to show only objects with a division ten property.  

Selection Filters 
Selection filters are filters that allow you to filter objects out of your selection set. Lets say you go to the 3d view and select all of the objects in the model, but you only want to do anything with the ceilings in the model. to do this all you have to do is use the selection filter icon which appears only once you've selected multiple objects. From there you just unclick the categories you don't want to work with.

View Filters
View filters are filters that allow you to control the graphic display of different objects within the same category. An example is you need to review the rated walls of a project. Base on the rated property of walls you create a filter that filters out all of the 1 hour walls, and another that filters out the 2 hour rated walls. Now that you have these two filters you change the cut pattern of the wall so show a solid red fill pattern for the 1 hour wall and a solid clue fill pattern for the two hour wall. Now when you look at the plan you can quickly see the rated wall enclosures. Lets add another view filter this time instead of a wall we do it for doors. Using the rated property of the door you filter out all of the 20 minute doors and give them a red color. Now you can verify that all doors that are in a rated wall have the correct rating visually.

I think when it comes to controlling the graphics in a view, View Filters can be a model managers best friend. I just showed how using view filters you can check the rating walls. You can use filters to show only certain elevation or detail call outs. Back in 2011 I wrote a blog that had a video demonstrating the use of View Filters with curtain walls.

Phase Filters
Like View filters Phase filters are about graphic control of what you see and don't see in your view. Phase filters are dependent on what phase the view is in. From the phase you are in can see every thing that has ever been modeled in your view. You can see objects that are new in the view and what was demolished. This is one filter I have know idea why you would use it, because it doesn't show existing objects and without existing objects context is missing, whats the use of seeing a door that is being demolished if you can't see the wall that it is in.  With all of the Phase filters except for "Show Complete" there is graphic control to be able to see the existing phase different the the new phase.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Room/Area Color Schemes

So you want to create a color plan in Revit, meaning you want to fill an area of the plan with a fill pattern. In an earlier blog post about Color Plans I began to talk about some of the ways to create these fill patterns on the plans. One of the methods I had briefly described was to use the information from the rooms or areas to define the fill patterns. Today I am going to discuss this method in a little more depth.

First off almost all plans no matter if it is a floor plan or an area plan have a Color Scheme property, the only plan type that does not have the Color Scheme properties are ceiling plans. This Color Scheme property allows the information about of the room/area to determine what fill pattern is used to fill the room/area.

To use the Color Scheme property you need to define an area, a room, a space, or a HVAC zone. To define a room, a space or an area you need to use bounding elements. The bounding elements for rooms are walls or room separator lines, and the bounding elements for areas are area boundary lines.

The bounding elements for spaces are walls and Space Separators.

Once the boundaries of the rooms/areas have been created you need to place the rooms/areas. From the Architecture tab click the Room button to place a room or click the Area button from the area pull down menu to place an area. For spaces you need to insert a space from the Analyze tab. Once you have a space you can define your HVAC zones

Now that you have placed some rooms/areas into your plan you can now assign a color scheme to the view. There are two ways you can do this.

The first way is to place a color legend in the view.
  • From the Annotation tab click on the Color Fill Legend button and place legend in the view.
  • A dialog box then pops up to ask you two thins, what color scheme you want to assign to the view, and what type of space you are pulling the color scheme from. 

The second way is to assign the color scheme from the properties menu.
  • From the properties of the view click where it say none in the Color scheme Property
  • The Edit color scheme dialog menu then pops up. 
  • From this dialog box you select what type of space you are defining under the Category pull down,
  • Once the space type is defined you can select what color scheme you are using,

What is really nice about creating color plans from the rooms or areas is when the bounding elements change the color fill pattern changes with them.