Monday, February 2, 2009

Detailing issues after Rotating Project North

A couple of very useful tools were officially introduced in the 2009 versions of Revit that users had been begging for for quite some time. One was the Mirror Project tool and the other was the Rotate Project North tool.

How many times have you started drawing/modeling a building only to find out it doesn't fit nicely on sheets? As a "standard", we always try to orient Project North as close as possible to True North. But at times we find out too late that it would have been better to orient Project North differently.

With this new tool, we can rotate our project, associated views, tags, etc. at the same time. This is a huge time saver but comes at a price. It's a tool that has problems, so don't expect to come out unscathed. You might have to do some touch-up work to correct some things that don't rotate properly. As we shall see, some issues are currently not correctable, but it helps to know what can happen and be aware of potential workarounds. Note also that the Mirror Project tool has similar issues, but once again, it can save a lot of time when designs change and we want to flip the building when we're already far into documentation!

I came across a problem recently and thought that some elevation views had gotten corrupted. When the user tried to draw a view-specific element, such as a detail line or a filled/masking region, Revit returned an error because "the Work Plane is at a very sharp angle". Now we know that these elements are not drawn on a typical work plane like other elements, such as model lines, so this error is a little bit out of place.

Project North Issue

I sent the file to Support (pays to be a subscriber!) and it was pointed out that the Project North might have been changed on this project and could be causing the problem. We confirmed that the team did use the tool, and unfortunately there is currently no solution to correct this, except to re-create the elevations in this case. It was interesting to see that elevation callouts created from these "defective" views worked just fine.

Once I became aware of the repercussions, I took it a bit further and tested Section views. Turns out that these are affected in the same way as Elevation views. So make sure to rotate Project North early in the process and don't wait too long!


Short of deleting existing vertical views and re-creating them, there is something you could do. If you create a callout view in your "defective" elevations/sections, you can add the view-specific detail elements in the new callouts. Then copy them and paste-aligned to the original view. These will appear as expected but they cannot be edited easily (no grips). You can also create detail groups of these view specific elements, which will allow you to edit them in other views, even Drafting views. If you don't need the callouts, you can delete them and re-create as necessary when needing to edit your detail items perhaps.

As you can see, it can get a bit convoluted! If you're early in the process, I'd suggest re-creating the views. But if you're further along and have invested a lot of hours in those views already, you might consider these techniques until this known issue is resolved.



Tony Isenhoff said...

Nice tip. We've used this tool a couple times now and also try to use as early as possible. Issues we had (that I can remember) were some components didn't rotate, i.e. Parking stalls. Dimensions also needed to be fixed. And regarding dimensions, if you rotate project north 180 degrees, the dims get messed up, but if you rotate 90, then another 90, they don't... Weird.

Tony Isenhoff
Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA)

Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks Tony, it's good to know that a 2 step rotation works better than the one step process. I personally try to urge teams to get it done right the first time when it comes to how the project will lay out on sheets. I don't think this is an unreasonable goal with some good planning. Now when it comes to MIRRORING because of design changes, that's a whole other subject ;)

Anonymous said...

I recently had to rotate our model 180. Architectural was linked in - rotated and moved (more fun). My sections would not work - And rotation wouldn't work with them still on the drawing (not even the drafting view callout bubbles). Thinking ahead I saved a copy of my drawing (opened as 'detach from central' and renamed it). After rotating the centrally connected file I opened my unconnected drawing and used all the detail information from it (copy/paste) to my new sections. Thought sharing that might help someone else in the future.

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