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Conceptual Mass Environment - Hierachy Please

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    Conceptual Mass Environment - Hierachy Please

    Revit Faithful,

    Revit Arch - 2011

    I have been thrown in the conceptual mass pool and I have greatly been able to swim...adn this forum has been a great life jacket. And regardless of any answers here I can make due so I guess this isn't a super high priority, more a mussing and a question.

    The issue stems from a rather complex whole building mass to drive slanted walls, curtain walls and other unorthodox construction. The issue I would like solved (most likely bit eh factory) is a way to organize within the conceptual mass environment. At current there are masses and there are voids and tools to create them (ref lines, lines points and such), but this lacks the sort of hierarchy that is required (IMHO) when dealing with a full building skin and managing it through the design process. Here is what I want:

    1. I want to be able to create classes of masses and voids
    2. I want to be able to name voids and masses.
    3. I want to cut/join or associate by name or class as defualt
    4. I want to be able to assign what to cut, not have it default to cut everything.
    5. I want explicit control of voids and cutting in regard to what parts are participating and which are excluded…by name, class or picking at least.
    6. I want better graphics when selecting a void.
    a. If we can calm down the ‘I’m cutting everything’ concept this may be moot.

    Most of the above comes from the modifications I need to make to my mass. More often than not I cannot simple delete something and not have the world come apart because everything is related by default. It feels like a Revit file where everything is constrained to everything. Revit makes you set up specific constraints because too many of them can ruin a file. Unfortunately the mass environment is essentially set to ‘constrain everything’ it seems.

    What it comes down to is I need more control to manage the mass process so it is clear what does what and so that it is easy to make changes later when your building does change. In a certain sense I also need it to stop assuming things for me (especially on the what-cuts-what topic). When I first banged out the mass I was very happy with myself...until I went back and tried to alter it when the building changed. I had to scrap it and try a number of methods to build something that could be undated reliably...which I now have implemented...but the suggestions above would make a world of difference. I feel that my solution, while working is a bit of a hack and we need more control…especially if this is the only way (the one and only way) to get sloped walls.

    While I'm at I need more control of walls in Revit that are associated to an angled mass.

    1. Control of tops and bottom trimming (right now it is horizontal only).
    2. Better control of the joining of angled wall corners (right now if all the walls are created in one 'placement exercise' they will join up correctly. If you need to replace just one of them however you cannot get the join back...you have to do the whole 'exercise' again)
    3. If the wall is related to a mass don't let me move it about, please. (this drives me completely nuts with co-workers)
    4. ‘Update to Face’ needs get some heart and soul…it runs for the hills at the drop of the hat.

    OK, this is more than enough. I have reached rant level perhaps…ugh. Thanks for listening Revit Forum...you're a good friend :thumbsup:

    Drew
    The Dropper
    Member
    Last edited by The Dropper; October 25, 2011, 07:48 PM.

    #2
    Right, so I'm just going to take the bait... (who figured, right? )

    1. I want to be able to create classes of masses and voids [/quote]

    You can... You can go into Manage > Object Styles. Select Masses and Add a Subcategory. You can create as many as you want and check them off and on as you desire. See attached image_1. But I understand your grief, there's no way to bring any hierarchy in them.

    2. I want to be able to name voids and masses.

    Would be nice yes. But also doable when you create subcategories.

    3. I want to cut/join or associate by name or class as defualt

    I'm not quite following this one. I also don't recognise your complaints about forms being by default all constrained together. Could you elaborate some more? Do you have any examples?

    4. I want to be able to assign what to cut, not have it default to cut everything.

    Totally doable: only create solids NOT voids. Create another custom Subcategory for Mass, name it Void_form or whatever. Make it look like you want through the Materials editor, use this to create "voids". You have now complete control over what this will cut or not. It will leave the rest alone. See image_2

    5. I want explicit control of voids and cutting in regard to what parts are participating and which are excluded…by name, class or picking at least.

    See the above

    6. I want better graphics when selecting a void.

    See the above


    1. Control of tops and bottom trimming (right now it is horizontal only).
    Yup, that's why I use Roofs a lot. They still have the same options available (Plumb, Square, Twocut). I haven't tried but do Reveals work?

    2. Better control of the joining of angled wall corners (right now if all the walls are created in one 'placement exercise' they will join up correctly. If you need to replace just one of them however you cannot get the join back...you have to do the whole 'exercise' again)
    Agreed, it's nasty.

    3. If the wall is related to a mass don't let me move it about, please. (this drives me completely nuts with co-workers)
    Just pin it?

    4. ‘Update to Face’ needs get some heart and soul…it runs for the hills at the drop of the hat.
    Agreed
    Attached Files
    Martijn de Riet
    Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
    MdR Advies
    Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

    Comment


      #3
      Martijin,

      Thank you. I will definitely look into your suggestions. I really did not think I could cut masses with masses, but this appears to be a wonderful solution to the 'what is cut/not cut' issue. I just did a quick test and, well, it's great. The fact that I have to hack a mass to make voids that work is kind of a bummer, but I will take it

      In regards to number 3: I create all my voids in-situ...either sitting on the face of wanted to cut or already intersecting the mass I wanted to cut. This automatically cut the mass, and somehow, the voids wound up cutting (or at least being somehow linked) to other masses that the voids were not intersecting. I do not know how this happened, but the result was that I could not simply delete (or modify) many voids because it appeared either the void was associated to every mass, or the mass was cut (or tied somehow) to every void.

      In regards to the naming, I wanted to make it be relational to curtail the void cutting everything by default. I wanted named voids with prefix 'A' to only cut named masses with prefix 'A'. The sense that everything is constrained to everything is born of the fact that I have a ton of voids, and I have various joins, and when you are working with real voids the sequence of operations ('void-join-void' or 'void-void-join') becomes paramount. And if you need to get back in there and do anything, you can't modify the voids without taking the right steps backward or undoing the right join to get to the void you want. It is a compete pain in the rear...but Mass as Void is here to save the day, potentially

      So...in regards to 1...2...3 in the Revit environment.

      1. I have not tried a roof as a wall yet, but this is exactly the sort of functionality I want...I may try it. As for Reveals...I don't use them in the angled walls...too much to rework when I have to delete the wall because Update to Face is so finicky. I just draw my reveals with model lines.

      2. I would be interested to see if this works in any way with roof objects. Otherwise...you are right: NASTY

      3. I could lock stuff down more for sure.

      4. Update to Face needs a kick in the face...it is just this side of useless, barely.

      Anyway, thank you for the ‘mass as void’ and the subcategory tips. I expect they will help me greatly.

      Thanks,
      Drew
      The Dropper
      Member
      Last edited by The Dropper; March 22, 2012, 09:38 PM. Reason: ‘In regards to number 3:…’ was modified to be true to my experience while not being inaccurate about how voids behave nativel

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Drew,

        You are right, it's a hack.. But it's way better then those psycho Voids cutting up everything they see.
        As for the "classes": That would be a nice feature. Not only in hierarchy but also when turning the Mass into Model.

        As for the Roof for Walls trick, there is a major pitfall you should be aware off:
        Roofs are by default placed with a Plumb Cut. Try to do this with a very steep slanted face and Revit will give you an error (and on the project I had to figure this out on, crash&burn). This is because the Plumb Cut will go on (almost) indefinately. See the attached image: the Roof ends at about 89.5 degrees, having a Plumb Cut (inside following Roof Slope, outside vertical) gives a endless Rafter Cut.
        You need to select Roof by Face > Set to Two Cut and THEN select faces and apply...
        Attached Files
        Martijn de Riet
        Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
        MdR Advies
        Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

        Comment


          #5
          Martijin,

          Thanks for the tips. I will check it out. And thank you for taking my bait, as it were…sometimes you just need to shout into the void. It is nice though to have a well-reasoned and competent echo

          I will say it again: This forum is invaluable.

          Thank you,
          Drew

          Comment


            #6
            Martijin,

            The 'Mass as Void' is just the best tip I have ever received. It has changed the way I work. To be real, if voids just acted like this (purposefully click-to-cut) and if they were available as a category in the Object Styles (and hence sub-category-able) the world would a better place.

            So I re-did my mass today, and with most of the legwork done in regards to reference lines I was able get it back up and running on the 'Mass as Void' solution in about half a day. It is so much easier to work with…I am a very happy camper.

            I have it attached the mass family so everyone can see how I approached the ‘Mass as Void’ procedure and how I set up the mass so that I can update it as needed. First a few things about the model overall:

            1. Everything is reference lines (which stay put when you make a mass from them) regular lines are pretty useless in mass creation, at least for something that is not a 'one and done' object

            2. The masses outside the building volume are reference masses to aid in the drawing of the reference outlines for the void masses. If you select any of the reference outlines near the building mass face and click 'Show Host' you will see they are actually hosted on the reference object, not the mass itself. This allows the main mass to flex, if need be, without losing the line work or the line work loosing its absolute position. This then allows me to update the reference object to match the altered mass and then re-host the reference outline to the new reference face.

            This isn’t as simple as selecting the reference outline and picking a new host surface…this does not work accurately with sloped surfaces. What I do is make the new reference face, select it as the active face, then place lines on the new face by picking the old reference lines until the full outline is recreated on the new reference surface. It is all pretty methodical, but it is only way I know to keep things reliably in their place and not recreate the wheel every time. It has turned out to be a very valuable tool. The notching on the reference objects are used to get various parts of the referee line work at the right elevation on the sloped mass surface.

            3. The whole main mass is one object (with one exception). It started as a big mass and the voids trimmed it down, there are no joins at all (anymore ). The only solo object is the one roof piece, and I need it separate so that works out.

            4. The ‘blank section’ near the NW corner is for a design option scenario.

            5. the real world North is where East is.

            So onto the 'Mass as Void' process.

            1. As Martijin suggested I made multiple sub-categories of masses that would ultimately be used as voids or cutting pieces
            2. I wound up with two sets of them, one for the overall 'carve down' of the main volume, one for the finer work. There are a total of nine sub categories.
            3. I gave each of the sub categories a different color, though the 'carve down' set (0A-0D) all have the same color. This isn’t truly necessary but I dig it.
            4. I then just used 'VG' to toggle what set of Mass-Voids I am showing at any given time.

            So that is it. Feel free to poke about the file and see what is what. I don't claim to be an expert but I have learned a ton and sharing rarely hurts

            So, thanks again, Martijin...you are a good man.

            Thanks,
            Drew
            Attached Files

            Comment


              #7
              great thread guys, have nominated it for POTM, thanks for sharing Drew :thumbsup:
              There are no stupid questions, only stupid people

              Comment


                #8
                Looking great Drew! I'm definately going to spend an hour trying to see what you did exactly.
                Glad to have been able to give you a nudge in the right direction...
                Martijn de Riet
                Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
                MdR Advies
                Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

                Comment


                  #9
                  Interesting to see what your experieneces will be with the "fake void solid"....not sure what else to call it! A new tool in 2012 is a "solid-solid" cut, which allows one to take 2 solids, intersect them, and then create in effect, 2 new resulting solids. The solution you guys are using is to take a solid, give it a subcategeory, and make it *appear* to be a void by giving it a translucent material, when in Revit terms, its still a solid.

                  What concerns me with this is that when (if?) you use these Fake Solid Voids for energy analysis, that Revit will treat these solids as building objects and attempt to use them as part of the analysis, including the placement of openings/glazing and overhangs.

                  What this solid-solid cut s intended to be used for is to create geometry such as a "core" inside of another Mass. Draw a shape, and another solid on top of it to defien the "core" of a building, and use the solid-solid cu tool. The result is 2 soilds, one representing Core, the other the rest of the building. This is just one example.
                  Scott D Davis
                  Sr. AEC Technical Specialist
                  Autodesk, Inc.
                  http://bit.ly/aboutsdd

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Scott, nice to have the Factory joining in...
                    I know it has it's disadvantages. But the majority indeed only surfaces when you want to use the CM for energy analysis...

                    I have a question though:
                    I first wanted to post another solution. Something that used to work in the Family Editor (and as far as I know, still does):
                    model the geometry as a solid, then turn into a void to prevent it from cutting everything it intersects. You then have the possibility to decide which solids get cut by the void.
                    To my great surprise (and terror) this doesn't work with the Conceptual Mass. A solid turned into a Void there insta-cuts every solid it intersects and then disappears... Why is that? Is it a bug? Intented use? I would think that if the Factory provided a workaround in the Family Editor to be able to not insta-cut, it should definately also be the same in the CM-environment. Since multiple solids and voids is even more common there...

                    Could you elaborate on this?
                    Martijn de Riet
                    Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
                    MdR Advies
                    Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

                    Comment

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