Revit Architecture Design Visualization
Article
Tips & Tricks to Make Your Revit Architecture Drawings and Presentations Look Great

Rendering

This article will show you how to get the most out of Revit’s powerful graphic features incorporating all of the exciting few features in Revit 2013 and 2014. You will attain valuable tips, tricks, and time-proven visualization techniques to make your drawings look great!

You will learn to enhance nonrendered and rendered views with ‘out-of-the-box’ advanced graphic techniques as well as visually improve trees, plants, and people used in Revit for nonrendered views. You will learn more about adding photo backgrounds to renderings using a unique overlay approach, adding fully controllable gradient color (or photo) background behind multiple views, as well as tips for improving interior and exterior rendered views.

Finally, you will learn how to use ‘old world hand drafting’ techniques to add visual clarity to make your construction documents communicate seamlessly. Using poche, surface shading patterns, profiling, transparency, and toning techniques you will learn to create one-of-a-kind 3D graphical drawings.

AU Las Vegas 2019

Section I: Basic Graphic Communication Techniques

Project Wide Default Settings to Individual Overrides

 

Steven Shell explains object styles.

Steven Shell explains object styles.

Object Styles: Project Wide Category Settings
Revit controls graphics based on a hierarchy, which starts from a program wide dialog box known as Object Styles, by category and then focuses all of the way down to individual line weights in a specific view. The Object Style dialog box below applies to all objects and elements in all views. This is where you first set all of your project wide visibility graphic preferences for Model Objects, then Annotation Objects, and then Imported Objects, which you then save to your Template.

Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Object Styles.
Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Object Styles.

Object Styles: View Override

Once you have set your global default settings, any individual view can be modified by using the View Overrides dialog box below, which controls the visibility graphics for an entire category, but only affects that specific view. These preferences should then be saved to your Template.

View Specific Overrides: View Tab > Graphics > Visibility/Graphics (or shortcut keys V G and V V).
View Specific Overrides: View Tab > Graphics > Visibility/Graphics (or shortcut keys V G and V V).

Object Styles: Individual Element Override

The individual element’s override dialog box below controls the visibility graphics for a specific element in a specific view.

Individual Element Overrides: Right-Click > Override Graphics in View > By Element
Individual Element Overrides: Right-Click > Override Graphics in View > By Element.

Materials: Project Wide Default Settings

Revit controls the way materials look in all views, and types of views, from a program wide dialog box known as Materials, and can be overridden, duplicated or modified for additional materials as needed. In addition, one can copy all material settings from one project to another by using the Transfer Project Standards tool. All material settings should be saved to your Template.

Note: Starting in 2013, you can add Thermal and Physical Assets to any material.

Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Materials
Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Materials.

Materials: Graphic Overrides for Specific Uses

In addition to defining a material’s settings for use in Renderings, you can modify a material for other non-traditional uses, such as to better communicate materials in your Construction Documents or early Presentations when using the standard Hidden Line view type.

For this example, when preparing cabinetry and millwork drawings, it is helpful to add a graphic Surface Pattern and a Cut Pattern to the wood (or laminate) material to better show the difference between materials. (This technique was originally known as ‘poche’ work and was added to the back side of a drawing sheet using a pink color pencil and blending it to highlight certain materials.) All additional or new materials should be saved to your Template.

Example of graphic overrides for surface patterns to create a visual difference between wood, steel, and GWB
Example of graphic overrides for surface patterns to create a visual difference between wood, steel, and GWB.

For this example, when preparing a very preliminary design presentation, you may not want to show materials yet; however, it can be helpful to add a few select graphic Surface Patterns (Solid Color) to help indicate some materials and help the image communicate better than just a plan Hidden Line, or black and white view.

Standard Hidden View (B and W) with no graphic overrides for surface patterns
Standard Hidden View (B and W) with no graphic overrides for surface patterns.
Example of graphic overrides for surface patterns to create a visual difference between Glass and Stucco
Example of graphic overrides for surface patterns to create a visual difference between Glass and Stucco.

Other Types of Graphic Overrides for Specific Uses

In addition to defining a material’s settings for use in your drawings, you can modify an element so that it shows depth, or layering of object. This technique is used to layer a drawing in order to help communicate when an object is behind another object, set further back.

Individual Element Override: Right Click > Override Graphics in View > By Element
Individual Element Override: Right Click > Override Graphics in View > By Element.

 

Example of individual graphic overrides for surface patterns
Example of individual graphic overrides for surface patterns ("half tone") to create visual depth to help show that the wood panel wall is behind the Teller Line.

Lines: Project Wide Default Settings

Revit controls the way lines look in all views and types of views, from a program wide dialog box known as Line Styles, and can be added to, overridden, duplicated or modified for additional lines as needed. In addition, one can copy all line settings from one project to another by using the Transfer Project Standards tool. All line settings should be saved to your Template.

Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Additional Settings > Line Styles
Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Additional Settings > Line Styles.

Lines: Modifying or Adding New Line Styles

From the program ‘Line Styles’ dialog box shown above, you can add or modify any line in order to create additional lines as needed. All line settings should be saved to your Template.

Adding new lines or modifying existing lines in the Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Additional Settings > Line Patterns
Adding new lines or modifying existing lines in the Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Settings > Additional Settings > Line Patterns.

Lines: Modifying Individual Line Work in a Specific View

Using the Graphic Display Options Silhouette feature and the Line Tool overrides to provide individual Profiling as well as general line work improvements on an individual drawing.

Linework and silhouette overrides.

Line work

Sketchy Lines: Modifying Individual Line Work in a Specific View

Use the Graphic Display Options Sketchy Lines feature, a hand-drawn look to an individual drawing including crossing lines at corners.

Sketchy lines

Sun Settings and Project Location: Project Wide Default Settings

Revit controls the project or site location in all views and types of views, from a program wide dialog box known as Location Weather and Site, and can be copied from one project to another by using the Transfer Project Standards tool. All project location and sun settings should be saved to your Template.

By setting the project’s location, the sun angles and settings can be used to accurately show the sun and shadow patterns for all views throughout the project, based on the physical orientation of a specific view. (This also requires that the project has been oriented to True North vs Project North.)

Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Project Location > Location. Can also be set through Graphic Display Options > Sun Settings > Single Day > Location
Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Project Location > Location. Can also be set through Graphic Display Options > Sun Settings > Single Day > Location.

Phase Settings and Graphic Overrides

Revit controls the overall graphics for any view based on the Phase Filter Settings and Graphic Overrides for Phases which also can be copied from one project to another by using the Transfer Project Standards tool. These settings should be saved to your Template.

Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Phasing > Phases > Phase Filters
Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Phasing > Phases > Phase Filters.

In order to improve visual clarity, it is necessary to create additional view filters as well as graphic overrides to the Phase Filter Settings. This is done by creating additional line types and styles to show specific phases better.

In the example above and below, a new phase filter (3) was created called Show Complete + Demo in order to create a coordination plan, which starts with the existing construction, then shows both the new and the demolition work simultaneously. This is helpful in showing how the new and demo work are related to the existing construction, especially during the design process. However, the out of the box demolition work graphics are very thin and need to be modified in order to communicate better. In the example below, the linework and pattern fills for New and Demo have been modified.

Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Phasing > Phases > Graphic Overrides
Default Global Settings: Manage Tab > Phasing > Phases > Graphic Overrides.

Section 2: Advanced Graphic Tools and Capabilities

Explore and Take Advantage of the Possibilities

Now that you have completely modelled and scheduled everything, the fun begins. It’s time to create your images and sheets.

Steven C. Shell graduated from the University of Arizona in 1982, and has had his own architectural firm in Tucson, Arizona for over 30 years. He has been using Revit Architecture exclusively for over 15 years and is the co-founder and co-chair of the Southern Arizona Revit Users Group. Mr. Shell is certified by Autodesk in Revit Architecture. He is a top-rated speaker at Autodesk University and lectures at the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture. He is an adjunct professor at Pima Community College. He has presented at all of the BIM workshops and has been the top-rated speaker at most of them. He has presented at eight Revit Technology Conferences (U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe), where his classes are always voted in the top five and he was the top-rated speaker in Europe.

Want more? Download the full class handout to read on.
 

Companion Class
This class will you show how to get the most out of Revit software’s powerful graphic features incorporating all of the newest features in Revit software. You will gain valuable tips, tricks, and time-proven techniques to make your drawings look great. You’ll learn to enhance nonrendered and rendered views with “out of the box” advanced graphic techniques, as well as how to visually improve trees, plants, and people used in Revit software for nonrendered views. You will learn more about adding...

Share Article

close-24

Comments

close-24