Friday, October 15, 2010

Managing Visibility of Linked Files

Aaron Maller of Malleristic Revitation and Beck Group shared a technique (in a comment to my previous post) that he and his current firm like to use to manage the visibility of specific categories in linked files. He/they rely on View Templates extensively to manage the user project experience.

The trouble, for most people, with View Templates when it comes to linked files is that they may not know when the linked files they'll need to use will become available. This means that they usually wait for them and then spend some time dealing with cleanup.

The technique that Aaron describes involves linking blank/empty placeholder files into their project templates. This way their View Templates can be configured to affect the placeholder in advance. Once a real project file is available they can use Reload From to replace the placeholder. Their View Templates and its views are already configured to hide certain categories so no real effort is required of the project team at large.

Different/special coordination views and View Templates can be used to show Levels and Grids for example so that it is easy to use Coordination Review or Copy/Monitor.

We can manage visibility of linked files with:

  • Visibility/Graphics - RVT Link overrides
  • Workset manipulation - as described in my previous post
  • View Templates - as described in this post
  • Some combination of the above

Which is easiest depends on your perspective. A small firm with a few users working on their own projects might choose one route while Aaron's firm will many users to support have chosen this one. Either way his/their approach might just be something you haven't considered?


Anonymous said...

I am doing an AUv class on this topic: AB316-1C "The best Revit template is not a template".
Dan Stine

Aaron Maller said...

There are a few things we like it for. Does it cover every base? Not exactly, but heres what we surmise:

Lets ASSUME there is:


Now, every architect and engineer users revit differently, so you never know HOW youll have to react to their models, but there are a few things i DO know, regardless of who the consultant is.

MY Documentation plans: Dont want their Grids. Dont want their reference planes, dont want their Generic Annotation (really any annotations, for that matter).

My RCP's: I want to show the framing in Open areas (heck, even not opened areas, in case my box outs are in the wrong spot), but Revit Structural framing (if its bar joists) are hyper-real. Coarse LOD (single line) doesnt look real enough to satisfy, and OOTB (or lightly modified, which most use) show upwards of 4 or 6 lines. They turn the drawing to mud. But i can turn all of Structural framing gray, just in the linked model, in the view template.

Sections- Structural Walls... Well, the way we model, the structural CMU in a complex wall assembly is actually a different wall type. That means full-on Lineweight-7 (or whatever) lines, between CMU and sheathing. Unless a view template overrides the walls in the structural file.

Sure, we can do all of this AFTER we receive the files from all the parties. But it doesnt take any more time to do it once in the template, than it does to do it once on a billable job. :)

Worksets work. Im not saying they dont. But they are an "on or off, all or nothing, as long as (and only when) everyone got the worksets assigned right. I know im a bit too "passionate" about the issue, but... lets just say some of those giant "Concrete Boxes" didnt get built without their... frustrations. :)