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    Control 'Normal Direction' of Mass Face

    All,

    When I assign a Curtain System to a mass face, the orientation of the system to the face is sometimes correct, but other times it is 'inside-out'. I suspect that this has something to do with the 'normal' or face direction of the mass face itself, but I see no way to control it's direction in the massing environment.

    As a consequence I wind up having duplicate Curtain Systems, Mullion Profiles and Panels to work with the 'opposite normal' faces. Is there a way to control the mass surfaces themselves so that they stay consistently 'normalled'?

    Thanks,
    Drew

    #2
    I don't know for sure but I think this might be caused by the way you apply them. If it's any similar to the orientation of, for instance, a wall sweep, you should also apply the CS from the outside. When you are on wireframe mode, you'll be tempted to look "through" the building and select the opposite surface to also apply a CS. This will flip the orientation of the system. Could this perhaps be the problem?
    Martijn de Riet
    Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
    MdR Advies
    Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

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      #3
      Martijn,

      Thanks for the suggestion but that was not the problem. I did a little digging and I solved it though...a bit of eureka moment in the shower this morning. Well I suppose eureka isn’t quite right. More like, “Could Revit possibly be thinking about it that way…it wouldn’t surprise me.”

      The surfaces I made in the Massing Environment are made by drawing a Reference Line that will be the path, placing a Reference Point at the midpoint of that line, then drawing a profile of Reference Lines on the reference point, then selecting the profile and the path and clicking Create Form.

      The key to the problem of where the CS is place when hosted on the face (and the only ‘control’ you have in this instance) is in what direction the path Reference Line is drawing in.

      My paths are just straight lines, though I have tested it and I can control which side the CS shows up on with 100% accuracy. In what order or direction you draw the profile Reference Lines has no effect on the outcome. I also tried doing the profiles as closed shapes, this had no effect either. The attached image illustrates the condition.

      Edit: the reason the closed profile did not work was becasue I was still just creating a surface, in that case a tube. See new info below.

      I have not tested this with multi-segment paths yet and I do not have the time at the moment. My gut is telling me though that if I go clockwise or counterclockwise with the path I will be able to control where the CS is placed in those instances too. Kind of like of how walls are placed, one side of the drawn line or the other depending on which direction you drawn in. This is just a hunch at the moment.

      I would argue that something like this needs finer grained control and needs to be modifiable after making the mass.

      Thanks,
      Drew

      PS...there doesn't appear to be such a problem with Roofs and Walls by face being that I have more apparent control of Wall or Roof in how it is related to the mass face.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by The Dropper; May 18, 2011, 01:17 PM. Reason: New Content!!!

      Comment


        #4
        Now that you mention this it sounds real logical! It's actually the same behaviour as the "normal" behaviour when dealing with linebased components. Never thought about this applying to Masses too.
        Martijn de Riet
        Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
        MdR Advies
        Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

        Comment


          #5
          Agreed, never thought about it till I was stuck Either way...this should be be augmented so we can change the face orientation after the fact or...something. To have it hardwired and not explained in the least is pretty unsatisfactory. Ha that could be the new Revit Moto:

          We but the Factory in Unsatisfactory.

          Ha!

          Thanks,
          Drew

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by The Dropper View Post
            Agreed, never thought about it till I was stuck Either way...this should be be augmented so we can change the face orientation after the fact or...something. To have it hardwired and not explained in the least is pretty unsatisfactory. Ha that could be the new Revit Moto:

            We but the Factory in Unsatisfactory.

            Ha!

            Thanks,
            Drew
            Well, at least they are consistent...
            Martijn de Riet
            Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
            MdR Advies
            Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

            Comment


              #7
              Hi,

              This is very useful to know.
              I have the similar situation but with imported mass from Rhino.
              How can we control normal in this case?

              I have a mass coming from Rhino (.sat) into In-place mass family. I then "Divide surface" and apply AC. On north side AC is correct but on south side AC comes upside down so I have to rotate it by 180 degree and flip AC.

              Is there anyway to control this?

              Regards
              Pfaulder | London, UK

              Comment


                #8
                pfaulder,

                I am not sure how revit handles the .sat import. I woudl think that the normal of the faces in Rhino is controlabe and I would suspect that Revit retains that info on import, though I am not sure. Talk to the folks who put together the Rhino model...a quick test should shed some light.

                Thanks, and good luck,
                Drew

                Comment


                  #9
                  I agree with Drew, this is probably only fixable in Rhino.
                  Sorry, and good luck. Let us know how it plays out though...
                  Martijn de Riet
                  Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
                  MdR Advies
                  Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

                  Comment


                    #10
                    All,

                    I have some new findings to report and thought it would be helpful to update this post/solution

                    I saw a killer tutorial/discussion over at the Buildz blog: http://buildz.blogspot.com/2011/03/t...ing-point.html. It goes though how Revit handles normals and how it 'thinks about them'...or at least the logic at work.

                    The key to know is that if you are making a surface, as I was, Revit has no idea what side is 'out', even if it’s a tube (essentially a closed surface, but opened at both ends). Thus it controls or places the normal based on some pretty arbitrary stuff, as detailed in my original solution above.

                    If, however, you are making solids...which inherently have very clear inner and outer faces, the normal always point 'out'.

                    I could have solved my problem above if I have made true forms instead of surfaces or tubes. Indeed, considering that I had to remake all my skylights recently I made them with solids and all is well.

                    I really suggest taking a gander at the videos found in the link above...very good work. If nothing else it allows you to see under the hood a bit and at least understand the logic of Revit. As Zach says in the videos, 'When Revit does something you do not expect, it most likely doing something very rigidly logical.' Knowing that logic could have saved me (and will hopefully save anyone else looking for answers) a mountain of time.

                    Thanks,
                    Drew

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