October 18, 2014

Renaissance Revit - A Partial Review

Some time ago, I purchased Renaissance Revit® - Creating Classical Architecture with Modern Software, by Paul F. Aubin. Since then, I have been struggling with finding time to work my way through the tutorials in the book. Having finally made it into Chapter 6 (of 14), and completed the Tuscan column, it occurred to me that I should write something about it now, rather than waiting until I had gotten through the entire book (whenever that may be).

The intent of the book is to provide intermediate and advanced lessons in the use of the Revit Family Editor. The vehicle in which these lessons is delivered is classical architecture, but whether or not your design work involves use of the classical orders, all but the most highly experienced Family Editor users will find numerous techniques and tips that will be quite useful in the families that you create for your work. The book assumes a basic understanding of Revit. Chapter 2 provides an overview of basic family editor skills for anyone new to the Family Editor.

The book starts out by laying a foundation of skills needed throughout the rest of the book. A brief discussion of the classical orders and the strategies that will be used is followed by a review of core Family Editor skills. Since the classical orders are all based on scale and proportion, and because the SCALE command in Revit does not work on many elements, including 3D geometry, Chapter 3 introduces methods for enabling scaling and maintaining proportions through parameters. Anyone who has ever struggled with parametrically controlling curves and/or angles in a family (which includes me) will find Chapter 4, which covers constraining curves, well worth the cost of the book.

Chapters 5 and 6 apply the lessons learned to the creation of content for the Tuscan Order. All of the content is tied back to the diameter at the base of the column by formulas, and, for the columns, the base diameter is determined by the column height. One family, with just two types (Without Pedstal and With Pedestal), produces columns of any size, scaled up or down based on the column height.

The Screencast below shows the Tuscan column in action.

I have no hesitation in highly recommending this book to anyone seeking to improve their knowledge of the Revit Family Editor, particularly those who have made some basic families and are looking to learn more advanced techniques. If you can afford the higher cost, the color edition enhances the learning experience. But if cost is an issue, the content in the black and white version is the same. Instructions for downloading a dataset from the author's website are provided. You can download either just the files needed to start each lesson, or a larger package that also includes catch-up and completed files. The catch-up files let you jump in at intermediate points in a lesson, if desired (or can be used to compare against your file, to see if you executed the tutorial up to that point correctly).

FULL DISCLOSURE: I know the author and have worked with him in a paid capacity on other books (the 2010 and 2011 editions of his book for AutoCAD® Architecture). I did not have anything to do with the production of this book (other than responding to a survey that Mr. Aubin conducted) and paid the full retail price for my copy of the book.


Paul F. Aubin said...

Hey David:

Thanks very much for the review! So glad you are enjoying the book!

Ashutosh Kumar said...

I think this is my first comment on this post and i must say this one is good.