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Monday, January 22, 2018

Revit Tutorial - Line Weights and Silhouettes




There area  few things to keep in mind when creating "illustrated" graphics with Revit.  What do I mean by "illustrated" graphics?  I mean anything exported out of Revit as an image file for use in presentations or other mediums.  For example, diagrammatic images (like the one below) or maybe images like the exploded axons in this post...

Example Diagrammatic Image...

I thought I would put together a simple post that helps shed some light onto how you can control line weights and "vector" looking graphics in Revit.  Believe it or not, one of the best ways to control your graphics is using the view scale...  

Continue reading to find out what the heck I am talking about...




When you create a 3-Dimensional view in Revit with the intention of exporting it as an image you will typically ignore the "View Scale".  Why?  Because you are not putting it on sheet.  So, in reality, the scale does not matter... 

Or does it?

Check out the images below:

Image 1A

Image 2A

Both image sizes are 3000 x 2253 pixels.  In Revit, both images have the exact same crop region.  The only difference?  Their view scale. 

Image 1A has a view scale set to 1/8"=1'-0".

Image 2A has a view scale set to 1" = 50'.

See the difference now?

Let's take it one step further.  Revit has the ability to add "Silhouette Edges" to 3D Views like the images above.  Those Silhouette Edges are controlled by your Line Types.  Therefore, they are also controlled by your view scale. 

To turn on Silhouette Edges simply open your Graphic Display Options (type "GD" on your keyboard) and choose your line style from the Silhouette drop down:


So, let's look at the same two images above with Silhouette edges set to "Wide Lines":

Image 1B : 1/8" = 1'-0" with "Wide" Silhouettes

Image 2B : 1" = 50'-0" with "Wide" Silhouettes

Pretty cool, huh?  Now, think about the possibilities with simple tweaking line types and view scales.  They are endless!

What's the moral of the story?  Well, whether you are making some sexy exploded axons, or developing a Bjarke Ingels style diagram, make sure you pay attention to the view scale as well as the line types.  

Speaking of Bjarke Ingels style diagrams... 

Using this technique on a simple Generic Model massed our diagram can have some cool results:


The image above was exported directly from Revit (no Illustrator or Phosothop).  Notice how clean the silhouette edges are?  Just like a BIG diagram ;)

Here you can see the view scale and custom wide line type I made:



A final tip... Sometimes I will sometimes make a specific line type for Axons that is the exact line weight I want for a particular scale...

Have some cool examples of diagrams and 3D images made directly within Revit?  Share them in the comments below or shoot me an email!  I would love to see them and hear other techniques!