Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Use So-Called Working Views

When I get to work with people that have recently joined a firm that has been using Revit for quite some time the notion of working and sheet (or production) views is often confusing to them at first. When I first started to use Revit it was just me working on models alone. I didn't compete with anyone for other views.

Enter worksharing (worksets) and now we are sharing all the views of the project with any number of other people. The first view we fight over is the Default 3D view. I want it to show shadows in hidden line with ghost surfaces and Tony wants it in wireframe with all the walls off. The first one of us to make these changes will become the borrower of the view. The other will lose out, sort of. They'll get to see their changes (some kinds of changes, not all) too but Revit won't let them save the changes. They'll see a message declaring this too.

Revit was changed to deal with this conflict better by giving us our own 3D view, adding our Revit username to the default 3D when we create one, by clicking on the Default 3D button. They saw that users were creating and specifically naming their own 3D views that way so they figured, "Hey we can code that in!".

Over time we've learned that having some specific views for modeling activities versus those that we want to rely on for putting on sheets worked to our advantage. It also led me to write about the notion of Revit Roles that I've discussed here before (Modeler, "Documenter", Detailer, and Content Maker)

If I want to change the way a specific floor plan looks I really don't want to have to remember everything that was done to make it correct for the sheet it belongs to. It is easier to just work in a separate floor plan view instead, after all a floor plan is nothing more than a specialized report of the model. Of course View Templates make it much easier to restore a view's settings.

With 2013 View Templates get more aggressive too because they can be assigned to a view and take over many of the things we can alter, forcing users to edit a template instead of just using Visibility/Graphics overrides directly. The change actually enhances or increases the likelihood that working (modeling or personal) views will be useful. Working views don't need to be assigned to a view template because they aren't intended for sharing with others, putting on sheets.

Do you have to use working views and sheet views? No. Can it help improve your project experience, sharing it with others? Probably. It is more complicated, more views to deal with (check out the post by Phil Pleiss about managing views in the project browser), but it does provide the freedom to do certain tasks without the fear of messing up things that people often feel.

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