Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dept. of Unfair - Filters in RAC/RME and RST

First off this post does not only apply to 2010, it also applies to 2009.

In RAC & RME filters can be applied to elements according to parameters associated with that element or elements. When you select the Filter tool you are presented with this dialog.

You choose a parameter, a condition, which element(s) to affect and name it. In Visibility/Graphics you can add the Filter to the view. Once added you can alter the appearance of the affected elements or even turn them off.

In RST filters do that AND you can build selection sets and use those as a filter too! When you start the Filter tool in RST you get the dialog hiding behind the foreground dialog. You get this foreground dialog when you click NEW.

So are you getting annoyed yet? With RME we use filters extensively to manage the appearance of duct and pipe according to the system they belong to. With RAC we use them to alter the appearance of plans for "FFE" (Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment) requirments and fire/life safety documentation to name just a couple.

Imagine you could build a filter by just selecting a number of elements instead? Select this, that and the other thing over there...okay now you are part of a filter and you can do all the same override stuff!! Very nice!! When you enter into the "Select" mode you get a new contextual Ribbon tab that looks like this.

Similar to Groups you can add/remove elements from the Selection Set. I did notice that the Filter tool isn't available while in this mode. This makes the Multiple check box on the Options Bar a bit anemic since you can't use Filter to remove a category of elements after using a crossing selection window. But then maybe getting to use the Filter tool while using the Filter feature would be "redundant"?? If so I'd have to post this in my Dept. of Redundancy Dept.?

I have to ask the obvious question...does someone think that Revit Architecture & MEP couldn't use this feature too? That said, I believe that this is the "Selection Sets" extension that was released for RST in past years getting incorporated into the native code of RST. It's a shame that it isn't in the others. Perhaps next release!?!


Malleristic-Revitation said...


I would LOVE to have selection sets in RAC, but it seems that the current version of Filter behaves more like a "Search Set," which i like a little more. Dont get me wrong, id like the ADDITION of Selection sets, but what happens when you use a selection set for "Office furniture by owner," and then someone adds a piece after the fact?

Having said that, i which we had Search Sets and Selection sets in the regular modeling environment too.

Its so easy in Max, to select a bunch of stuff and call it "Bunch of Junk 1" and then i can reselect BOJ1 any time i need to. That, for filters AND day to day work, would be awesome. In fact, i wouldnt mind the entire selection menu from Max making its way over...

Erik said...

So now I need to tap my RST users for making selection sets that are useful to the rest of the Office... Geesh, why didn't I see this before.

Great Post

djnelson75 said...

Weird. We use RST exclusively I didn't realize that we were the only one that had that ability. We use it quite a bit for creating filters of elements that can't create criteria for like grids.

Anonymous said...

While the feature would have its benifits I wouldn't recommend using this option in its current state.
There has been a known bug with these type of filters when you are utilizing worksets (working with central files)
Throughout the course of a project "selection" filters can drop out of the filter list within the filter dialog box. They will remain applied to individual views and will be visible there but you will not be able to modify them through the filter dialog box or apply them to other views (unless using view templates). With this particular "selection filter" if you can not see it in the filter dialog box you can not add or remove elements from it ;(.

My assumption would be that Autodesk has not resolved this as of yet and that is why it has not been incorporated into the other disciplines...