Saturday, May 05, 2007

Better & Easier Detailing thanks to Object Override

As some may know Rvit 2008 allows you to override and object's graphic style at the object level now, and not just the category and subcategory level. If you actually think about this concept for a moment, it actually breaks all the rules of databasing and Revit, because an object isn't dependent upon the group it belong to to drive its appearance. This means that you could end up with many objects all over your model, that should theoretically look alike, but don't actually, because their properties have been overridden at the object level. (think of what happens in 2D CAD when each person decides to make their own layer for walls, now a project with a 6 person team, has 6 different layers for walls, ahhhhh!).

All that said, the tool is helpful when used in moderation. If you find that you're needing to use it often I would say you need to revisit how the family is built, or how you're manging your family types, categories and subcategories.

Where I see this tool being particulary helpful is in detailing. It always drove me crazy in Revit that you either had to build detail components with all sorts of additional subcateogories (which made it hard to manage) or you had to use the linework tool to get detail components to look just right, and then, depending on view scale it might be even more difficult to manage since in one scale the component might look right, but in another not so much.

Now with this tool the problem is solved. You can quickly drop a component into your view (that you're detailing) and quickly adjust how the component looks in that particular view. Since we're dealing with detail components, I'm actually completely OK with having their graphic appearance be completly unmanaged. Since they are 2D elements they're not real model elements, so we're not depending on them from a database stand point, we only want them to look good in the detail view we've used them in.

Yes Virginia, there are match lines in the Revit world...

So, it seems my last post inspired a comment! (you all still care! :) ). To answer the question, yes in Revit 2008 there is support for a new family (not sure of the exact name) for creating inteligent match lines, which complements the new feature called "Dependent Views".

More on dependent views: Dependent Views allows you to establish a single view (per what we normally would do in Revit). The view can then have as many (there doesn't appear to be a limit, except for file performance) child or "dependent views" as you like. These child views can be cropped however you like, and for better or worse you can turn objects on or off. The one catch of course is that all views, parent & children, must remain at the same scale. To create a dependent view right click on the view in the project browser and goto "duplicate view" there is a new choice to duplicate as dependent.

The new family type "view reference" which is an annotation family, can inteligently report what sheet another child view is on when cropping your dependent views differently because your building is too big for a single sheet. All of this functionality is documented in the new help (I've used it.... :) ).


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Construction Administration & '08 Dependent Views

As you may know Revit '08 has a new feature called dependent views (See Steve's most recent blog post). I'd been planning to make this post for a couple of weeks, but Steve (as usual) has spurred me to action (though he probably doesn't realize he has that affect on me). The most obvious, and apparently intended use of dependent views is for us poor saps that design and build projects that don't fit on standard sheet sizes (where are those 80" plasma screens in the construction trailers....?) where we need to split plans across multiple sheets. Needless to say you can actually split any type of view accross sheets.
However, quite conviently dependent views gives us the ability to do something we couldn't do before, place a single view on multiple sheets. Where I see this as being particularly helpful is in Construction Administration. Often times we need to issue a revised drawing on a smaller page size, for instance a modified detail. There's no need to re-issue a whole sheet, we just need to issue the detail as a sketch on 11x17 or 8.5x11. With dependent views you can create a child view of the detail and place the child on a sketch sheet, leaving your original detail on its original sheet. This preserves your original callouts for the detail, and means that you don't have to duplicate the detail to have it in two places.
The reason I've focused on details though is that there is one slight catch with dependent & parent views, you can't change the scale of one from the other. All primary and dependent views must share the same scale (which follows with expect Revit behavior). You could not then re-issue a scaled version of a plan or section, unless you placed it on a larger sheet, and scaled the print out of the sheet (you'd have to create a custom viewport title family where you could manually set "Scale"). However, if there were a smaller portion of a revised plan that you wished to issue you could create a dependent view, crop it and place it on a sketch sheet.

I hope this gives you some ideas of things you can do with dependent views, besides boring old matchline. :)


Ugh... so long...

Its May 1st! I didn't even manage to post monthly! The E-Specs demo in April went great! We had about 25 people of all types, Project Managers, Spec writers and techies/staff architects like me! Our next meeting will be May 10th at KlingStubbins.

I submitted yesterday to teach a course at AU, hopefully they'll decide to like my idea(s). I'm also working with another popular Revit Power user, so hopefully they'll take us. :)