September 15, 2015

Hiding Color Fill Wall Boundaries in a Foreground Mode

I was recently presented a Revit tech support case in which a customer was interested in showing the color of their Color Fill Diagrams through the furniture in their space. Most Revit families contain masking regions so they can hide patterns and elements below them. For example, you may want your furniture to mask out the floor pattern below, so a masking region within a family will usually accomplish this task.

When Color Fill Locations are set to background, the colors from the diagram are masked out by the model components themselves, making the components pop out with a white color. For some offices, this is quite acceptable, but for others, this is not. Toggling the Color Fill Location (in the Properties Palette) to Foreground will place the color on top of the masking regions and wall patterns, revealing the true extent of the Color Fills. Unfortunately, the calculation point for the Color Fills are NOT governed by the Room Calculation Point, instead, they appear to be hard-coded and at the Wall Centerline, which may look funny to those that may be presenting color diagrams to their client.

So the question is this: How can we show Color Fill Diagrams in a Foreground mode (color over furniture, casework, etc.), yet ensure that the color stops at the face of walls, instead at the centerline of walls? The answer may be by using Filters!

In this example, we are looking at a Color Fill diagram with a Color Scheme Location set to Background. When set in this mode, the masking regions from the furniture (red arrows) and the wall patterns (blue arrows) mask out the edges (green arrow) of the color fills. While this look may be appropriate, some people may opt to have the color on top of the furniture, hiding the white masking regions.

In this next example, we are looking at a Color Fill diagram with a Color Scheme Location set to Foreground. When set in this mode, the masking regions from the furniture (red arrows) and the wall patterns (blue arrows) are underneath the Color Fill, allowing the color to be the dominant feature. While this look may be appropriate, many people want the Wall patterns to be in the Foreground, covering up the centerline of the Color Fill. Presently, there are no options to define where the Color Fill boundaries calculate, thus they appear at the wall centerlines.

One of the ways in which we can keep the Color Fill Diagram in the Foreground (removing the masking regions at the furniture, casework, etc.) AND remove the look of the Color Fill boundaries at the wall centerlines is with the use of Filters. Luckily for us, Filters will trump some of the Color Fill Settings, allowing the wall patterns to be the dominant force. Since we wanted all walls to have the same pattern, we decided to not use any filter criteria. You may need to define several filters if you want to have a combination of wall overrides.

Once the filter has been defined, go to the Color Fill view, bring up the Visibility/Graphics Dialogue box and bring up the wall filter. Set the Wall Pattern Overrides to the color and pattern of your desire and then verify the results. In this example, we set the color to White and the Pattern to Solid. If you are going to create several color fill diagrams, you may want to consider adding the filter settings to a View Template for consistency.

With the newly applied Wall Filter in place and the Color Scheme Location set to Foreground,  you can see the Wall pattern overrides dominate the Color Fill Centerlines (no longer showing, as indicated by the green arrows), while the furniture (red arrows) is covered up with the color from the Color Fill Diagrams. The Color Fill Diagram appears to be calculating at the wall faces (blue arrows), which looks more appropriate than the Figure 2 image above.

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Sash Kazeminejad

Ideate AEC Senior Application Specialist

Sash brings proficiency in Autodesk solutions including AutoCAD and Revit Architecture to Ideate customers. His industry experience includes project management, BIM Management, and design for Architectural firms in California, Montana and Oregon. He is LEED accredited professional and is on track to achieve California licensure with Oregon to follow. In his academic life, Sash was awarded a variety of college scholarships, earned a BA in Environmental Design, a MA in Architecture from Montana State University (MSU) and taught Building Information Modeling courses at MSU Gallatin College. As a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms.@sashpdx.

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