Monday, June 30, 2008

Display Model parameter

A view property that is often overlooked is Display Model, under the Graphics section. This is useful when you want to quickly turn off the visibility of model elements or set them as halftone/grey scale. This leaves view-specific elements such as detail lines and text visible or easily distinguishable from model elements.

To turn off model visibility in a view, go to the view properties and under Graphics, set the "Display Model" parameter to Do not display. This will turn off visibility of model elements. Keep in mind that tags will disappear since the model elements they belong to are no longer visible. If you use the option As Underlay, model elements will display similar to half toned elements and tags will also stay visible.

I have run into multiple occasions where not all model elements turn off. I filed a Support Request about this a year ago, and it was confirmed to be a bug. If you come across a case like this, please report it and quote SR# 1-2045600292 as a reference. Visibility of elements with overridden line work seems to be respected, but if you hover over their location, they can still be selected, which I don't think is right either.

What I like about this view property is that you can isolate detail lines. If you turn off the visibility of the lines category in V/G, detail lines turn off also, as the line category contains both model and detail lines. So if you have both model or detail lines in a view, you can use this parameter in combination with some other tools to isolate and convert those lines to your liking. See Steve Stafford's post for how to do the conversion.

Some teams like to "draft" their wall sections from scratch rather than using Revit's live wall sections and then embellish them as necessary. There are cases where this might indeed be faster, but I think it all boils down to technique. I don't advocate the former approach, but if you absolutely have to, use a live section view and set the "Display Model" parameter to As Underlay. This way you can at least have some visual reference to see if you're matching up with the model or not. Due to schedule, sometimes this approach might get your drawings done faster as you don't have to wait for all model components to be accurately placed (such as structure, etc.), but please understand that by doing so, you're giving up the true benefits of the BIM approach and will require manual coordination of systems. To make sure it's closer to a BIM work flow as possible, leaving the model as an underlay ensures that the big skeleton and skin of your building conforms with your detailed wall sections.



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