Revit – View Layering for Softer Proposal Images

Revit – View Layering for Softer Proposal Images

I was asked to generate some color images from a recent Revit project created by one of our talented designers today.  The recipient didn’t like the look of the shaded plan view, so the image was bound for photoshop to add some softer shadows and text.  Seems the original designer was having difficulty getting the look just right.  This is the original image:

“Not good enough, too harsh”, was the response I heard.  “I want more texture and a softer look.”  Oh yeah, and it had to match the slight axo images already provided. Like this:

and like this:

…seemed easy enough, just generate a plan view 3D view.  The effect is close, but the graphics are all wrong!  Notice the door swings are not visible, and the frame looks odd.  The soft shadows are courtesy of ambient occlusion being toggled on.  Setting the in session lighting to Azimuth: 185.00 and Altitude: 5.00 degrees respectively relative to view accomplished what you see below.

To further tweak the look by introducing plan view swing graphics, I did the following:

  1. Turn off Doors Category
  2. Activate the Section box and drop the top just below the top edge of the door frame.
  3. Drag this new doorless view onto a blank sheet.
  4. Duplicate a plan oriented, hidden line mode, 2D view and then turn off everything but the door graphics.
  5. Drag this new view on top of the 3D view on my sheet watching to ensure that Revit Aligns the views. Ensure that both views are set for the same scale and look for the light blue alignments horizontally and vertically (I embellished the alignments in the image below).

I also created a second plan view with solid filled walls and overlaid it in the same manner to achieve the look below.  You could turn on the room tags and add any notes as desired.  I left the annotation up to the person working in photoshop.

Hope you find this useful!

Revit Build Checker Version 5 for Revit 2011 products – Update

I posted an update to this tool in April that was intended to work with Revit 2011 products.  This new build has been updated and verified to work with Revit 2011 products and correctly reports on the build number for Revit applications installed on the machine from 2008 through 2011.

Download version 5 here.

I hope you find it useful.

Revit Material Tags got you down?

Are you tagging elements with Material tags and think that the tag is not reflecting the correct value? – Just face it… you’re wrong and Revit is right! Bwa ha ha ha ha.

Actually, you’re probably getting a different element than you think when you go to place the tag. If, like my frantic designer, you are tagging very thin floor slabs (as finishes like carpet or tile), then just ensure that you temporarily hide from view the underlying floor slab (probably concrete) before you attempt to tag by material.

In our practice, we add thin floor slabs as finish materials on top of the structural slab and tag them, so the designer thought they were tagging a carpet, but Revit was secretly choosing the structural floor slab below. Using the temporary hide element from view tool available under the “cool shades” icon on your view control bar, will allow Revit to select your thin floor finishes rather than the main floor slab.

And Viola! Revit is once again playing nice! … now back to work with you!

…Note: make sure your thin materials are indeed above the top of the structural slab to avoid this problem in the first place – My designer figured this out on their own and just reported back!

Revit 2011 Build Checker Application #4 Released

I’ve updated the Revit Build checker for the 2011 products. Looks like I get to wait until April 8th to try it out, so if anyone would like to test and report back, I would welcome it. Here is a new build updated for Revit 2011 products.

Download a copy here:

Note: I’ll probably revisit this app in the near future, with the following improvements in mind.

Network Version: – Check across all pc’s or select pc’s on a domain.
Logging Feature: – Write to a csv file for review.

Revit 2009 UI revisited – for those with tough firewalls

I was working with a client today who was struggling with the move from Revit Architecture 2009 to 2010. With the imminent release of Revit 2011, I recommended that they download the zip file Gregory Arkin had made available at This way they could happily avoid the 2010 Ribbon and learn the Ribbon when they moved to the improved 2011 version.

Since I knew them to have a restrictive firewall, I renamed the zip file to a text file and emailed it on over. In response, I received a warning email regarding viruses based on a zero tolerance email sniffer attached to their firewall. Since I knew all the file renameing was going to be a problem, I came up with the following solution.


This text file can be downloaded, renamed as a zip file and then extracted to the correct location (“c:Program FilesAutodesk Revit Architecture 2010Program”). Once the files have been extracted to this folder do the following:

1. Rename the file “_Rename_and_Run_Me.txt” to Rename.bat
2. Double click on Rename.bat to automatically rename all the files to their original names.
3. Now follow the original instructions regarding copying the shortcuts to your desktop.

Thanks Gregory for the files, hopes this helps someone else.

Revit Blogger Day – Revit 2011 PDF Download

Too much in-for-ma-tion…run-ning through my brain….too much in-for-ma-tion. Feel free to learn more about the new features in the 2011 products.