Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Quality Representation

I'm reminded of a Jerry Laserin article titled "Much Vexation about Representation" which, in its simplest sense, remarked on the necessity of maintaining 2D or paper graphic quality while we venture into 3D, 4D, 5D and beyond. The reason for my reminisence is the amount of time I spent recently updating an Excel macro to format our extracted door schedule in a visual manner that exactly matched our legacy standard. Three difficult days were expended (found a neat tip on custom sorting a future post) on this effort because formatting code is far more verbose than data manipulation. The code for the data extraction and sorting is about 100 lines of code, whereas the module for formatting consists of about 1,000 lines! At what cost do we sacrifice our building information modeling?

Believe me, we've had our share of go/no-go discussions on Revit projects when we had difficulty producing a certain graphic quality of plans or sections. No one wanted to hear about schedules, quantities or 3D cutaway views. How many of you have heard..."Let's make sure it does what Autocad can do before we implement Revit"? It's painful, but a necessity to address until we are contracted to deliver the actual BIM data.


  1. Your last paragraph summarizes very nicely what every firm that is in the beginning stages of Revit implementation goes through.

    Unfortunately, representation gets more criticism than it deserves in my opinion. Few realize that the data is much more correct than with traditional 2D drafting. We get hung up on lineweights and how things clean up and how symbols and annotations don't mathc our "standards". Plans, Elevations and schedules are quite easy to make them work and give you the representation you expect. Sections are probably the most difficult, but it takes a few projects until you nail the representation aspect, as you tweak your object properties, materials and view templates. It also helps to inject new life in your office standard and perhaps change it to better suit what Revit can do, instead of trying to match your office standard (which has its roots going back to the drafting pen days).

    So anyone reading this, please take a deep breath in knowing that finally, your interior elevations match your plans and sections :) Now, let's get to work on tweaking those line weights....

  2. Hi David,
    you are absolutely right. One can never compare the power of Revit with Line Weights & Line Cleanups.

    Sivate Hussain