Building Information Modeling

Advanced Revit Family Tutorial (with Brenton)

On this episode of BIM After Dark Live Brenton Wiberg returns to the show to share some of his most useful (and impressive) advanced Revit family techniques, tips, and tutorial.

Brenton will be demonstrating some of the following real-world advanced Revit family creation techniques:

– Nesting multiple windows or doors that are fully parametric but also able to be tagged and scheduled on their own…
– Dealing with parametric drawer and cabinet fronts…
– A custom door tag you WON’T want to miss…
– and more…

So sit back, relax, and let’s geek out!!

Links Mentioned:
Try Twinmotion for Free Today –
My Review of Twinomotion 2022 –
FREE Revit to Twinmotion Course –
Revit Family Tips with Brenton –
Revit Family Formulas with Brenton –
pyRevit with Ehsan –
Link for the Hatch Pattern
Link for the Door Tag

00:00 Introduction
01:50 Thanks to Our Sponsor Twinmotion
03:40 Welcome to Brenton
08:13 Grouped and Nested Window Family Demonstration
17:14 How to Make a Nested Family with Type Selectors
27:19 How to Make a Nested Family Tag and Schedule Correctly
42:45 Brenton’s Awesome Window and Door Tag Family
01:00:00 Outro

Here are some links to all of the hardware and software I use:

My Main Revit Computer (BIMBOX) –
How I Record My Tutorials (Camtasia Studio) –
My Microphone (Blue Yeti USB) –
My Studio Headphones (Sennheiser HD 600) –
My Camera for Videos and Images (Canon EOS 80D) –
The Lens I use for these videos (50mm) –
My Webcam for Webinars (Logitech C922X) –
My Favorite Sketchbook (“Blank” by 30×40) –
My Favorite Sketching Pens (Sharpie “Fine”) –
Greatest Sketching Marker of All Time (Sign Pen) –

** Some of the above links are affiliate links, meaning you don’t pay anything more but I may get a small commission for a sale… Cheers! **

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Thanks for watching ” Advanced Revit Family Tutorial (with Brenton) ”

All right all right all right welcome hello hello sorry about that big delay guys uh for some reason there’s a huge delay in the in the live stream here welcome welcome to another episode of bim after dark live this is episode 77 my name is jeff also known as the revit kid thank

You for joining us today uh we’re going to be talking about revit families parametric revit families and some really advanced techniques i got brenton wyberg coming back he was on the show twice at the end of last year and by popular demand he’s back so uh we’re gonna introduce him soon

Again this is a live show so i want you guys to feel free to chat ask questions along the way uh i will be checking them out and uh and interjecting uh as as uh where i feel fit and then of course please subscribe to the channel here on youtube if you

Have missed a live stream but wanted to hang out live make sure you subscribe because you’ll know uh it also supports this show and continues to support my efforts here on the channel speaking of support uh definitely support those who support me and when it comes to this episode that is twin motion All right so twin motion for those of you not familiar with it definitely check out the channel i’ll put links below of all kinds of in-depth reviews i do of it but it is a real-time rendering engine built on the unreal engine um you can link your rev models directly to it

Has some phenomenal new features in 2022 what i’ve been doing uh this uh this season is highlighting a few of those features every single week for those of you interested and you want to support uh this show head on over to bim after dark what i wanted to highlight this week is

Actually something that is was pre-beta now it’s beta but it is in the 2022 release and that is a cloud viewer they’ve done a lot of work to make it so that you can share these scenes and so what i’m showing you right here is actually a twin motion scene

This is a revit model actually that is my my office and my addition so i’m kind of sitting right there on the bottom bottom floor but what you’ll see here is i’m actually in google chrome so this is a twin motion scene with all the information all the people plants

Trees cars models and so on and i’m viewing it in the cloud and you can share this via a link and most people can click and open it and they’ve they’ve done a lot to really improve it and there’s a lot of great features like you could change the time

Of day you could flip to different rendering modes you can change the quality a few different things you can build in a whole bunch of great stuff within it so awesome new feature definitely check it out you can try it out for free today if you head on over to bim

After dark the cloud feature has come a long way and if you want to just check that out alone it’s definitely worth it so thank you twin motion for sponsoring this episode and thank you guys for supporting them for supporting myself in this show all right so i’m just checking out the

Chat before i introduce our guest here um looks like we got some returning we’re turning uh visitors here junior’s back randall’s back uh how’s it going guys great to see you all thanks for joining us cheers to everyone here and uh last but not least uh tom

Flaherty is here hey tom great to see you again okay so let’s jump into it guys um again feel free to ask questions as we go along i’m going to introduce my my guest brenton weiberg brenton what is up man hey jeff thanks for having me again

Thanks for coming back on dude i’m super excited about this um your your part one of your of your last live stream um was one of the most watched i think last season uh right now it’s at like 25 000 views which is awesome if you guys did not see that video i’ll

Post it down below uh brenton came on and walk through really more of the basics of family creation and the principles and then we talked about formulas and we dove in a little more and today we’re going to talk about some just really unique and advanced techniques um i you

Know i call them advanced but really they’re not too advanced they’re more unique and valuable techniques uh for folks trying to build families before we dive into that uh for those who who didn’t uh check into part one and part two uh from the last go-around

Um and maybe who don’t know who you are uh maybe brenton give everyone just a quick little bio on yourself and and what you’re doing here on the show okay i’m always bad at bios but uh i knew it was coming you knew it was

Coming though yeah i did i know we do it every time um anyways i uh my background is in architecture and construction and um i’ve been working in revit for probably 15 years now and i own a company that sells revit families online

That’s my night job my day job is i do architectural design work my company consults for usually other architects we use we’ll usually project manage bigger projects for uh larger architectural firms and we kind of leverage overseas labor to do that so that’s kind of a different side of things but

I get to use revit every day i use my my families that i make all the time trying to think what else might be relevant here i’ve been making families for it’s probably one of the first things i learned after the basics of revit just because it intrigues me so

Much i freaking love making families um it’s like a good balance between like problem solving mathematics geometry visual like you know like just like spatial reasoning it’s just it’s my jam so awesome great man yeah so i appreciate that bio and uh and again i am going to link the

Previous two episodes so for those of you that want to dive in more if you enjoy what we’re talking about today then definitely check out those too um so today uh we’re gonna we’re gonna actually use some some real world families that you’ve created um and and

I think break down um some unique techniques and and how people can possibly use them in in in their own families um i will also say that um i have used uh brenton’s cabinet families pretty extensively um and uh for those of you interested um there will be a new

Series coming up here on the channel brent and i teamed up a little bit um uh hopefully soon i’m in the process of editing it that i think you guys will thoroughly enjoy um but uh i’ve definitely thoroughly enjoyed using the cabinet families and so i appreciate that thank you

And for for that i think what we’re gonna do is just maybe jump right into the first example and so um i think this is this is windows and doors and nesting and i’ll just let you uh take it away man yeah i’m kind of i’m wondering if maybe

If you want me to maybe do some show and tell with like a handful of families and then maybe everyone can kind of let us know where to kind of focus in because i could talk about one family for three hours the techniques to use i used to

Make some of these so why don’t we do this why don’t we uh uh we’ll start here we’ll talk about um this this these families that you have here on screen which are our window families and then maybe just um show how they function here in the project and

Then maybe we open up the family editor and just just uh explain to people how and why they what’s going on and they get there and then we’ll see we’ll see where the conversation goes from there i’m sure there’s going to be a dozen questions just from this alone

Okay yeah so um the window families are something i created um to help because i get frustrated with out of the box families or the free ones you find on revit study deck because they’re not consistent with each other like one will have this kind of trim another will have

A different so i created these to kind of solve that problem and over the years people have so many great suggestions like all of my families are a result of everyone’s feedback and so my original line started with like the basic families that you would think of but someone asked me

If i could have grouped windows and these are what what i’m calling a grouped window so you can see like sometimes you want to place a family that has a transom above like maybe a window with the transom or maybe you get crazy and you want like five lower

Windows and then five transoms above so in order to do that in a project you would normally have to place all 10 of the windows then you would then have to figure out how to trim them out right you’d have to go get a family because most likely the windows you find

You’re not gonna find one without trim you’re gonna have to like strip the trim off and then like build your own trim around it so i created this family so that you can with one family just click and place all 10 windows so that’s what this is so i’m going to

I’m going to start with like a lower example here let’s just start with the basic like three windows and the cool thing is you can crack it open i’ve got my zoom window in front of all my parameters here of course right um so if we just take a look at this for

Example um not only can you place all three windows but then everything’s parametric so if you click here and i go into the parameters you can see the first thing that pops up is all the windows so there’s three windows in this family so i did like a gray heading

And you can change stuff like let’s just change the type of window like right now they’re they’re just a fixed window i hate dude i hate the parameter box dialogue okay so let’s just change the first one from a fixed window um something you typically want is maybe

Like a let’s do a slider and then the second window will keep fixed and then the third window let’s do it as like a sure a double hung seems right and we’re just we’ll click out of it right now we can come back for the other parameters but just um

It’ll think a second this is probably these are probably my most intensive family intensive families because i’ve nested so many thing types yeah yeah yeah so it takes a a second depending on how fast your machine is but uh it’s worth it it’s easier than placing all of the other families

That it would require so let’s let it refresh i’m also on my laptop my desktop flies through this stuff okay so now you can see it’s adjusted the window so we’ve got a slider we’ve got a double hung and then we’ve still got that fixed in the middle so now

The other thing you can do is you can change how the interior and exterior trim is happening so like for example we’ll pop back in and let’s just go to the general graphics area so there’s an overall graphics portion and right now i’ve got it as a real you can see exterior trim

I can change that something uh let’s just do let’s just do a little stepped trim and then we can change the interior to something more fun um let’s just change it to a simple wedge and let’s see what else can we do here let’s let’s do a bunch of changes all at once

Um if we don’t want the mullions on some windows we can turn those off so showing the mullions is a parameter i’m going to turn it off the two end ones i don’t know why you would do just that but in case that’s what you never know yeah

The other thing you can do is let’s do this on the middle uh well yeah let’s just let’s do this for now and then we can also change the window dimensions like that’s almost given i forget to mention that i feel like that’s a basic thing you can do but

Each window if you come down here you can change its width you can change the space between the windows you can change the height of the whole system and we can change the width and depth of all the interior and exterior trim separately so let’s just click that so what’s happening though in

The background is a lot of stuff to make this work like the fact that you can change out the windows is not just nesting a family inside of another family but then it’s making that instance of the family parametric and passing that out to the user which is kind of a technique

Um i don’t know once you start doing it it’s uh you get addicted to using that technique but not many people know you can do that you can change out the family and that’s unique the unique piece of that as well is um you can you can tag these are individual

They can be individual instances in the in the project is that correct am i am i correct yeah saying that yeah so that was a big deal i think my first version of this um people started using them and they they loved how they were going into the

Model but i had neglected to think about how it reports you know to in the model so another thing uh so here’s our here’s our changes you can see the new frame on the outside and on the inside we’ve got a new trim and then we’ve got the mullions removed

From the side windows yeah so uh let’s look at that real quick yeah i was gonna say but before we jump into the family itself yeah let’s see i’m curious how and i’m sure everyone else is you know how this schedules and how it tags and and that piece of it

Okay let me i’m gonna give away another family that i was saving too so um i’m going to jump into a project that i’m actually working on now because i was just doing this yesterday i just finished the schedules this morning so let’s jump to the main floor plan so uh right here

This is one of those grouped windows you can see all three get selected at once and you can see that each window is tagged so i can if i do the tag command and let me turn off the leader and i hover over it you can see

Uh right above it it’s trying to tag the whole system so i could i could do that and tag the whole system sorry the tag looks a little funny okay so that tags the whole system if you wanted to do it that way or if you go back to your tag command all

You have to do is tab and it’ll it’ll hit each one individually so maybe let me just clear these out of the way so you can see what’s happening so if i tab there’s that window tab there’s that window and tab there’s that window so it’s great and that’s another principle

That we can talk about when you crack open the family but there is a little setting that you have to set in in the family in order for it to do this otherwise it would only see it as one family then if we pop over to the schedule like here’s my window schedule

And you can see each one of these are all individuals it reports the width and height of the window just fine the only thing and i have been racking my brain for two months and i have been on all the revit forums is i cannot get a nested family

Seal height to report correctly into a into the the project so the only thing it doesn’t have is the sill height um and everyone’s just told me it’s a limitation of revit it’s just that’s a system parameter right that in the project environment the cell height right yeah yeah the default one

Yeah so what’s frustrating is all my other windows like the single windows they report correctly and even this grouped window will report the sill height correctly um like it shows one foot six which is correct but for some reason when you tag the windows they always report a zero or some other weird

I don’t know i can’t get it to work so still still that’s pretty neat and so um so those that so they have their own unique tag which means they have the unique schedule but they’re built within the group which is which is pretty awesome that’s that’s pretty powerful

Sweet all right so let’s let’s jump into it let’s jump into the window itself uh and i’m curious to see maybe just some of the guiding principles behind how how this is set up so people can can at least uh get a sense of of if they wanted to group

A family or two uh and then you know pass through like you’re saying doors windows whatever ends up being um so they can get a sense of the process okay yeah let’s crack this open yeah everyone’s agreeing that still hate is broken i was actually doing something the other

Day and it was uh uh i don’t remember what kind of family of a generic model family but um and it was the height offset from level or one of those system parameters you know that that report and it’s like the only thing i could do with it was

Like pass it through using dynamo to somewhere else to do what i needed you know just because yeah those system those built-in system parameters can be can definitely be a pain dude building families for a living is like a mixed bag i can spend two hours and create this awesome parametric

Family that’ll do 90 of what i want but that last 10 could take me three more days to figure out right right because sometimes there’s just some weird stuff oh but it’s so satisfying when you figure it out though right yes that’s true you’re like i win exactly

Awesome so here we go we’re in the family suite okay so um let’s maybe think what’s the best view to do this in okay so i’m just gonna break it down we’ve got nesting is my favorite technique ever if you want something to repeat over and

Over again you got to make a nested family if you want to make you know if you want to switch out like i was doing with the windows or even the trim types you’ve got to get into nested families it’s like the most satisfying thing so what this is is there isn’t much

Actually in this actual family that isn’t another nested family so there’s maybe the opening that is actually some model stuff that’s in this actual the host family but everything else the trim on the interior the trim on the exterior all of the windows if you if you uh click on them

You can see over here that it’s a family right and i’ve just constrained the family around this opening and i’ve constrained maybe we should go into like an exterior view so you can see like i said in my last couple or my other videos or our you know our lives

I everything i make with a frame of reference planes so everything i build the family out of reference planes first before i add geometry and i make sure that all of those reference planes are moving like i would expect and so yeah basically this window all of these windows are hosted or constrained

To the center mark the tr the trim around the windows are constrained you know to reference planes and then um even this is a nested family just this infill of trim um just because especially because i make like you saw how many window families i have it doesn’t make sense for me to

Keep modeling the same thing over and over again and keep constraining it so i just bring them in as nested families and i will say this nested families do not really slow down um your model functionality until you nest twice so if you if you think of it as like

Nesting dolls like russian nesting dolls if you go back more than one nest it it really does make it turn pretty hard that’s interesting so in a family family like this um with in the middle where you have the the millions for example um are those mullions nested into that

Family or you built them in that family because to try and avoid you know because typically that you know if you open that family the the having the mullions nested would probably be easier for some of the you know functionality of it but what you’re saying for the sake of what you’ve

Noticed as performance um is that something you would build into that family or you would still nest that just because it’s so specific yeah so okay um i would say if you can avoid double nesting i would do it at all costs in this specific instance the mullions are nested inside the nested

Family which i’m breaking my own rule but i tried to get around it and it was causing all sorts of issues so i just left it and there’s this is my only family these group windows they’re the only ones i double nest the rest of them my cabinet line i completely overhauled

My cabinet line and started from scratch just to avoid double nesting because it probably made those function three to four times faster than they were before and now when the function i mean you’re noticing that speed difference when you’re modifying the family not necessarily overall revit yeah project function but when you

When you do make a modification to parameters and click apply for example how long it takes to do all that is that what you’re saying for the yeah that’s exactly yeah that’s exactly what i’m saying yeah otherwise it doesn’t really affect the model it’s only when making

Modifications awesome so why don’t we um i’m assuming folks out there know what nesting means if not check out the last and i’ll link it i don’t think we need to dig into that too far but i think maybe showing um uh opening one of these nested families

And loading it in or maybe just showing folks how how you can take a nested family and and give folks in the project environment the ability to um flip between the types for example um as well as maybe that little that little secret checkbox you were talking about that lets you

Tag it separately instead of uh individually and so on so let’s maybe maybe run through that i’m gonna read some of the chat i see a few a few questions potentially in there so as you’re going along i’ll read in there too okay so like like he said if you’ve

Never nested a family it’s easy just pretend that just pretend that you’re in a project right you’re just going to load you’re going to hit the load family command just like you would any other time and you’re just going to navigate and find the family you want to bring in

So in this case those windows that are in this family are actual windows so i just navigate to my windows and bring it in so uh that’s cool if you want to make a static family right if you’re not trying to like have the end user do anything with it

That’s cool but if you want it to function for the end user this is only the beginning so you get your family in there and like i said the first thing i do is constrain it so like this window’s been constrained and then the next thing you have to do

In order for the user in the project environment in order for them to flex or move the family you’ve got to hook up the nested family you’ve got to connect the parameters for the nested family to parameters in the host family because only the parameters in the host

Family are going to be accessible to the end user in the project environment i hope i said that clearly it can be complicated when you first start this your brain kind of explodes so let me just show you what i mean so right now if i wanted someone to be

Able to change the width of this window in the center or the side ones they wouldn’t be able to do that when it when they loaded into a project so in order for them to be able to touch this and change the width of the nested family i’m going

To go to this nested family and its parameters show up over here in the properties palette just like any other family and you’re going to hit edit depending on if the parameters you’re looking for are type or or instance but in this case they are

What are they uh okay so these are all instance parameters and the reason i am having trouble is it’s cutting off part of my screen here there is this little itty bitty box by the parameters that probably people don’t notice but over here you can see the nested

Family has like all these parameters and the one we’re looking for is like width and height right those are the basics and then maybe materials so i could manually enter the width and height if i wanted to but then like i said the end user can’t get to that what is

Better is to connect it to the width and height of the host family so if you look right here there’s this little itty bitty thin button right next to the parameter the worst literally one of the worst buttons a ui based in revit i i don’t understand it i

I guess maybe they initially were trying to hide it but man it makes it extremely challenging to teach yeah it really does so you you click this button and it’ll bring up all of the length parameters that you have in the host and then you can associate

You can tie the width of this window to a parameter that you create in the host family so right now i have width one two and three already created for windows one two and three so you can see it’s i associated it with width width two because it’s the center window

And so you click ok so now when you go up here into the family types dialog you can see down in the dimensions width 2. so this controls that window so if i change it to two feet wide it’ll now flex that middle window and make it two feet wide and that is

Something that the end user can get to so if you want those controlled you’ve got to do that manual linking people always forget to link the nested family to actual host family parameters okay so that’s one thing the second thing is now if you want them to be able to

Change the window family like if i look over here in my project browser and if i go down and look at the families you can see i have you know a handful of nested window families loaded in so i just loaded in a bunch of window families you know an

Awning a casement double casement double hung fixed all of the windows i want the end user to be able to flip through so once you have those loaded all you have to do is pick the instance of the window and there is this little bar up here at the top

That says label and again i don’t know why they don’t put this in the place where you normally put parameters but it’s up here in this little bar and you can add a label so you can add a parameter to the window and what it’s doing so this is window two

So i’m i’m call i created a parameter you can create it on the fly let me just let’s do it on the fly so we’ll hit add parameter we’ll call it center Window and you can choose if it’s instance or type just like anything else we’ll categorize it somewhere easy for me to find let’s just put it under data right now and click ok so now what it’s doing let me just demonstrate because it’s hard to explain what just happened here

So if we go to the data section you can see the parameter we just made center window and you can see under here what will happen is this will give you a drop down of all the families you have loaded into this host family and so now i can change between all

These windows that you see in the browser over here so the end user is going to be able to pick which window replaces this one so let’s just let’s just do a double hung and you click okay and now it’ll flip out it’ll it’ll switch the fixed window that was there for this

Double hung and so now you can see there’s a double hung window and again that’s how we accomplish that functionality that i was showing you earlier in the project environment yeah that’s awesome that that that i have to imagine that that’s hugely valuable to folks out there so uh

When you think about um as a whether you’re a family creator or you’re just creating families for what you’re doing um being able to flip between i mean i i you know when i when i first learned how to do that i mean you know door door knobs drawer handles uh windows

Door panels i mean you know like if you go down the list of all of the things even on lights i’ve used it a couple times with different things right all the things that you can use that specific aspect of it which is just single nesting hopefully right you can

Now now you can just single nest in um and then you can just flip between them um instead of you know maybe even trying the double nest with with flexing inside or whatever it is so that’s huge unfortunately just like the associate family parameters button uh

They kept it on the options bar so again as a teacher it’s it’s frustrating as hell that they moved all the parameters up top but they kept that one on the options bar yeah it’s that that an array right those are the two that they kept in the

Options bar for some reason i i don’t know why um but so so what i want to um before we before we jump into the the being able to tag and report which was kind of the next piece i wanted to go there were a couple questions that i wanted to hit um

That were actually some pretty good questions um the first one was from sean sean page and he asked um if if you’ve noticed um the whole double double nesting um does that does that rule still apply for nested profiles have you have you noticed at all as far as

If you double nest i guess maybe that would be a profile into into maybe one family and then that family gets nested into um your host family is that does that count as a double nest as far as the performance are you not sure i’m thinking uh

I think it depends on if the the profile is parametric if it’s just a static family profile and you just load it double nest it i don’t think it’s going to be a problem it’s when you want to be able to change like that profile i think that will cause

Because then it’s trying to change through two to two files to two nested uh families okay yeah that’s that makes sense in my in my head what i think when i change a family that’s double nested inside the project environment i think to myself oh revit now has to go change the geometry

Oh and then it hits us it hits a snag it has to open another family change geometry oh then it hits a snag then it has to open another family change the geometry and then it cascades back down to the project it’s like yeah the less of that you can do the

Better for sure that makes sense uh sebastian had a question about the nested families um are they hosted by wall or by face or how are you hosting the nested windows in this particular instance i guess um in this particular instance because i know it’s a window and a window just

Really almost always goes in a wall i did do a wall but i generally never host anything because it’s just real hard to undo if you don’t want to nest it but yes in these it is hosted to the the wall does that include the nested families those

Are those that are not hosted the uh even the nested windows are but like things like the trim are not those are face-based families that’s another good reason to learn nesting is there are some things that will not cooperate in the family environment but if you just make it its own family

And just host it to a face all of a sudden it’ll work like if you’re talking door swings or door symbols that you want to swing around a curve if you try to do that in the family it just almost never works so if you just make it its

Own family and nest it in for some reason a family will follow a door swing but like the geometry itself more right awesome no tino had a question about the glass symbol that you got going on there and how you’ve made it i don’t know i don’t know i must i mean

I guess i guess you can answer that yeah i guess they really like the glass symbol that you got going there yeah don’t don’t get me started on hatch patterns and why revit does not have a built-in hatch pattern for 15 years i’ve wanted this and no one listens like at

Autodesk um so that i wish i could tell you that i’m an awesome coder and i wrote it but i literally just stole it from one of my friends who is into revit i was like whoa that glass pattern i’m taking it so if you guys really want it i’ll make

It available i know it’s frustrating to find good hatches yeah i will say that um if you do want to make it yourself but i appreciate that if you want to if you want to share it feel free and i’ll make sure to share it for anyone

Watching this and in the future but um but if you watch um an episode which i’ll link again uh on pi revit um there is in there’s a couple other add-ins out there now that create hatch patterns you could probably make it but i guess long story short it

Is a it is a hatch pattern um and it is just a a nice nice hatch pattern that uh that repeats and looks decent so uh bruh if if you’re willing to share it then we’ll share it if not i will say um totino tino timo tino um to check out

The episode on pie revit and learn yourself a little pi revit and you can make custom hatch patterns literally by just drawing so you can make whatever kind of glass hatch pattern you uh you want so i think i need to go i need to go watch

That yeah yeah it is awesome i i use i use their hatch their pattern creator uh pretty often which is pretty sweet oh that’s awesome yeah i spent an hour the other day finding board and batten was driving me crazy oh that you just got a model now

Awesome there was one more question i saw there which i think would be kind of interesting um which is um how does how does this work with phasing i think i kind of know the answer but i guess i’m assuming the question and who was that sorry uh

Uh finland philanthuk i’m not really sure uh i’m assuming the question there is if if you wanted to phase different aspects of the group window i guess maybe demo like a middle window or something yeah maybe in that case i i don’t think you can you would have to demo the whole

Window so i would just if that was the case use the use case i would not use the grouped window for that yeah all right awesome i just want to make sure i hit everyone’s questions while it’s in time there’s some pretty good ones in there the last one

Sebastian asked how big are the families not i guess i guess i would add to that i would add to that um how big are the families i guess size-wise and then um is that and i think we talked about this um i talked about this with steve stafford on the uh

About seven episodes ago um about the size of families and how much does that really actually matter uh per se so first first i guess since they did ask maybe you know how how what size-wise how big is one of these families with all these kids

Let’s do a group let’s do my biggest group that’s a five five window five transoms so it’s uh it’s not small 13 000 kilobytes or 1300 kilobytes yes yeah so it’s uh yeah 13 13 megabytes yeah okay but you got to think there are there are 10 windows in there

And then there’s two sets of trim yeah there’s a lot in there there’s a lot in there yeah but i guess then you know then the question becomes you know does that really matter and and you know i you know over time i’m i’m i’m of the

Nature of the thought that it doesn’t really matter as much unless it’s more about what’s in those 14 megs to me than uh than the actual size those 14 makes but awesome so uh like just for example if you compare it to just the plain window is 2 000

Kilobytes on its own so if there’s 10 of those in there that’s still smaller than 10 of the windows right exactly yep yep and again does it really matter that much it does yeah that jury’s still out a little bit awesome so so great questions guys thanks and keep asking along i’m going

To try and fill them in as they make sense um i wanted to i wanted to jump in because i’m sure there’s some people who really do want to see and understand so so now you know you built this family uh you know like you said it’s basically

Just a wall with a hole in it and you’re nesting in you know all these pieces and and and showing exactly what you just did there with the type parameter which is awesome um obviously reference planes flexing all that good stuff so now um if

You were to bring this in as it is um you wouldn’t be able to tag those types right oh right initially right and so so i wanna you know if someone goes to do it i wanna i’m really curious or i wanna make sure that they understand where you know the next step

Okay how do i tag these specific you know nested families within my group family or or schedule them because i think if you can tag them it reports you know it’s the same with the schedule right okay so i always have to remember where it is i can’t remember if it’s in the

Host or the nested family so we’re just gonna we’re gonna click through you’ll find it you’ll find it yeah so in the host family let’s just you would go up here to the family category and parameters and there is one that says shared so that’s

Not it so i think it’s in the nested family so if i’m i’m just going to double click one of these nested families so before you nest well i guess it doesn’t have to be before you nest them once they’re nested you can just open them up and change them so you’re

Going to go up here so here’s the family i’m about to nest you’re going to go up here into your family category and parameters and you’ll scroll down and there’s just this little setting called shared and if you just make sure that box is checked click ok and then reload re-nest it back

Into the family just update so we’ll load it and close we’ll load it back into the oh no i’ve got too many things open okay so now once it loads back in this this middle window or anytime there’s this double hung window in in this model

You’ll be able to tag it separately when you put it into the project and schedule it separately right so that that by default that that gives you the ability to do either one right yeah and what it does it’s uh it’s an interesting concept let me see if i can

Dude i’m doing everything in 2017 right now because all my families i have to do in 2017 so that everyone can use them and it is just painful so i’m like there’s no like tabs let me find the project again okay so what it does is it actually brings in if

It’s a shared nested family you can actually see if we go under windows um you can see here nested window nested window so it actually brings the nested family into the project as like an additional family inside the project that’s awesome whereas it doesn’t normally do that if you don’t share it

So so because i i’ve i’ve never and maybe maybe there’s an answer to this but you know when you click that shared um you know is it doing anything more than just you know you know being able to to access that as a as its unique a unique uh element

Within that group um is it do is does that do anything with parameters data any that back end or or you think is it just giving you access to that in the in the project environment i think as far as i’ve tested it it just kind of gives you access it’ll um

It also treats it um like if you were if i was to open that nested family make a change and put it back directly into the project rather than nesting it back into the host and then back if you do that it will still allow you to update

Okay the family in the nested inside the the families that it’s nested in it’s interesting what it is and i i brought up that question just because i think for folks who are trying to understand let’s say shared parameters and then you see this thing called shared in the

Category to me it’s it’s confusing right and and you know that’s kind of that’s kind of where i was going with it was um you know to understand that this it’s not sharing all the parameters from this family it’s sharing i guess the category i’m not you know it’s it’s a weird

Concept when you think about it but that’s kind of why i wanted to sort of clarify that is is this is separate from you know shared parameters within that family itself right i mean that’s two different things awesome so i’m just checking now to see if there’s any more questions on this

Could you explain can you also load family um oh i think sean just mentioned exactly what you were mentioning how you can load into the project and it jumps back in the family pretty cool awesome all right so i think um what i’d like to do if you don’t mind um is

I’d like to talk about that that window and door tag family i i know because um um you know uh there’s a lot a lot of residential uh architects uh within my private community as well as out here on youtube and and you know especially with residential this this tag this you know

The 2636 it’s pretty popular in that area um in residential especially because you know you’re kind of putting that information on the sheets but it’s a challenge to make it and so i’m i’m curious to see how you’ve how you’ve approached this pandora’s box of of revit which is showing your your width

And height in a tag the way that you’re showing it yeah dude this is one of those things that i avoided for years i do both commercial and residential and on my residential jobs i just gave up and used the commercial way of doing it because getting this annotation to look like we

Traditionally would have hand drafted it does not is it’s not easy so this was a project i did probably a year ago i put it off for 14 years but then i’m like dude i can do this i’m smart enough i can i can make this work

But will rev it let me right there yeah but that’s it well let me yeah so i was like well we’ll give it a shot it took me like it’s embarrassing how long this probably took me um well thanks for sharing with us in like five minutes i appreciate it yeah

Because you can get it to like you can maybe there’s a couple layers going on here there’s first getting it to report instead of like the normal formatting of one one foot or in this case it’s a 12 12 foot door by eight feet high right so normally

What it wants to do is put the 12 you know everyone knows how that looks right and so just to get it to um report looking you know like dissecting it down to the inches or the feet and then the inches separately was like a nightmare so let’s let’s open it and

I’ll show you and they’re still i’m not completely happy with this family there’s some clunkiness to it that i had to do just to um okay so what i forgot oh man i’m not i’m trying to decide where to begin so what you what we’re trying to do is

You need a label so if anyone’s used a label a label is simply something you can put in the family and you can tie it to a parameter of the item that it’s meant to label right so in this case we’re talking about a door so if i so all this

Is is a label so you go up to um the create is it create yeah right here there’s a label so you click label and you would you would place it and then it brings up this dialog box and here because you’ve told it that you’re

Creating a door tag here are all the parameters that a door has right so you’re basically picking what item do you want to display like what parameter do you want to display so in this case we would want like the width because that’s the width comes first right so

If i if i look at this label which is in a group right now and i’ll i can maybe explain that later but so here’s a label if i come up i edit the label you can see it’s displaying the width um but what you have to do

In order to get it to display the feet big and then the inches small those have to be two separate labels because it won’t let you format to just show one or the other or you know to get it how i’m wanting to get it

So you have to go in this label and you’ve got to do a couple like odd things that aren’t you know you’re not used to doing if you just click a label and stick it in that’s when you get the one foot or the 12 feet hyphen however many inches with

You know double quote like a quote so the first thing you want to do is like choose how it’s going to format the information that it brings in so there’s this little button here that says edit parameters unit format so i came in here and i said

I just i don’t want the normal feet and inches like normally it’s feet and fractional inches so i set it to feet so that’s only going to report in feet and then i don’t want to see decimal places i want a whole foot right so i set the decimal places to zero

Uh and then i took off the symbol right like normally you’d get the apostrophe so you you strip it so i stripped it down the best i could so now it’s only going to report feet and then to make sure because now it will work half the time right if

The inches is below half a foot it’s going to round down and display the right number but if it’s like six six or above it’s going to round up which i don’t want happening so then i made an equation and this is what this is the simplest equation but it

Took me so long to figure out what’s happening and turn it into math so it’s this equation is basically taking the width parameter from the door and it’s stripping it down so that it’s only feet right and you can see the round down function i don’t know we probably

Don’t want to go into the deep dive in equations but the point is this equation strips off the inches without ever having it round up so the feet will always report correctly now so those are the two principles you’d have to know that aren’t obvious when you if if someone’s done labels before

They’re used to this but they probably have not messed with the unit formatting and they probably haven’t tried to to make an equation and so that’s pretty much all i did for That’s what i did for each one of these things so the next label again we’re reporting the width of the door but now we’re stripping off we’re doing the opposite we’re stripping out the feet and looking at the remainder and turning the remainder into whole inches if that makes sense and then

The cool thing is normally if you didn’t want it smaller you can actually put two parameters in one label so i could have easily made the feet and inches report with one label right but one wouldn’t be smaller than the other they’d both be the same height which looks confusing

When you see a string of four numbers that that height difference is the key to this annotation right so um so then i had to make it its own label and labels are not like they’re not like other revit items like say an extrusion or whatever where

It’s got geometry that you can constrain to the label really doesn’t have anything that you can constrain so what was happening is depending on what the value is here the labels didn’t know they needed to get bigger or smaller based on you know the value

Like you know if it’s 20 feet it’s now two digits instead of one right and now it was running on top of each other so it’s like if you think you’re clever you found this way to get it to report and look right but then

When you go to use it you find a new thing and so it became a jumbled mess so then i was like okay you’ve got to be able to control the spacing of the labels because they’re not smart enough to do it themselves but there’s nothing to freaking constrain

On a label there’s literally nothing right so i spent hours trying to figure out how i could constrain a label the only thing i came up with is if you put in so if i click i created an invisible line and then i grouped it with the label

And when you group it with the label the label will then move so so then i constrained the little lines that are grouped inside with the label nice and so then i created some more like back end equations to control you know the spacing that must have been

A lot of fun with the uh with the size of text right yeah i could see already 23 what are you got 23 uh 56 of an inch yeah i’m moving it like 156 at a time and then the best part is if you change the font you’ve got to redo the

Equations because they have a different width right so okay then the next thing is um i tried to make it automatically change the spacing um and i’m trying to remember what i hit but essentially um label families won’t let you do instance parameters and type parameters

They let you have those two two types of parameters but they function differently so everything to control the spacing ends up having to be a tight parameter anyways uh i don’t i people probably are not interested in all this but those are some of the key no i can tell you right

Now that um based on my reaction and thoughts and then i think michelle just mentioned in the chat just just putting the invisible line in the in a group in an in a late in a label like that in order to control the location of a label is cool and that’s

Huge that’s that’s that’s a a unique idea that that probably helps a lot of people in some challenges they may have had with specific tag families if i had to guess myself i am interested before we go a little further um in the inches um in

Uh the format of that within the label um i’m trying to compute it in my head um what what you did uh to to to show to have that show the inches and not without without the feet right right okay [Laughter] so the first thing i did was edit the

Formatting again right so if i click on the formatting it’s only reporting inches now so nothing’s in feet to begin with so we start with inches and no symbols whatever so all that so then when we go to the equation let’s see if we can dissect it so

It’s the width divided by one i think i had to do that to clear an error times one dude do you know it took me so long to figure this equation out so i i’m kind of embarrassed i don’t fully know i think so i sub i take the width the

The raw width and i basically in on one side before the minus there’s the raw width and then on this side what i tried what i was basically doing is i took the inches and subtracted uh what am i doing so you’re trying to just get the remainder inches left over

Right because that so that the the equation on the right is the one that you use for rounding uh for the rounding on the on the on the feet and then and you’re subtracting that out of the width so that in theory that that gives you the inches left so yeah it

Leaves you the change yeah yeah okay i got it i got it because i was in my mind i’m like well wait a minute if you’re showing feet and you’re showing inches here then that’s gonna if it’s one foot six that’s just going to show 18 inches

Over there but right so what you’re doing is you’re doing 18 inches minus the 12 and then you’re getting your six so that’s that’s perfect yeah awesome uh somebody had a uh sean had a had a question um when it came to the spacing here he

Mentioned could you play with or did you play with um different alignments right left to try and make that spacing happen easier um as far as the label you know how the label is uh aligned yeah oh dude i there’s probably not something i did not try i’m literally speaking like talking

Days it took me to get this to work spacing wise it’s embarrassing how long it took me it doesn’t matter it’s awesome i appreciate you sharing it even even though it’s clearly you know it’s fresh in your mind but when you showed me this uh when we were chatting before

Um i knew i had to bring it up because i do think that it’s just i was first of all i was curious to see how you approached it and then i do think that it’s something that people have asked a lot of and then it’s it clearly um

Techniques from this can be used for other things and that’s what i’m always excited about when i see new stuff is you know the idea of grouping the label you know the idea of using the roundup around down to strip out certain things i mean that that that is that is super neat

Yeah dude i uh i just thought of some so see this little type marker at the end i hated that it was just adding it to the end i think i even made it so that when you show the comment oh uh i don’t know if it oh it doesn’t know it

Yeah it re-centers it i can’t remember which one it is yeah there you go so when you when you when you set this to be visible it will re-center the whole thing so that it still looks nice in the plan i love it that’s awesome man so cool so cool

No that was great i i i’m just checking to make sure there’s no no chats i honestly think uh i think that’s a great spot to start uh to stop i mean that was fantastic uh i i appreciate you coming on uh brenton i appreciate all the questions in the

Chat you guys were awesome today um and uh if we if we um if i see any other questions come in or if you guys have any other questions uh later on feel free to reach out to myself and i can forward them out to brent um or brenton uh where can

People uh uh get a hold of you probably on my website you can use the contact page you’ll find me there awesome i’ll put i’ll put links to that below any final thoughts before we wrap up here no i think the trick usually with families is once you learn the basics

Everything else is just a rearrangement of the basics and it’s really just thinking outside the box to get it to cooperate is the most valuable skill awesome man awesome uh there was one question bradley had and he just he just messaged it again so i will i will bring

It up um was about uh materials and how those interact with with the nested family and so um i don’t know maybe it’s 10 o’clock but let’s let’s quickly run through it maybe just to show bradley how would you um pull materials through in an asset family yeah that’s a good question

Um so you’d pull a material through the same way you’re pulling like the width so this is a nested family again and if we crack it open where did i put the material yeah right here so i made it in this case it’s an instance parameter and

Again my border’s cut off so let me just redo my window here so you can see um this nested family you can control you know the interior trim the width the window and the glass pane and again you can see those itty bitty little buttons and if i just click that button let’s

Say the glass i can then pass through the host the host parameter material parameter i can pass it over into the nested family so it’s just the way you it’s exactly the same as the other ones yep and i think the question it was a while up so i don’t know

Exactly but i think the question was about when you have all these multiple types and um you know i think the answer is what you just showed you’d have to you link each of those types to the host but the great thing about it is now you could have 30

Types of families in there but that the one material that you have in the host is actually once it’s all linked together it’s changing all 30 uh families which is pretty sweet can i tell you another yeah go ahead one another one another tip that saved me a ton of

Time yep of course okay so uh regarding the parameters and passing them through so if it is important how you make your the family that you’re about to nest when i know i’m going to nest a family i make almost all of the parameters instance parameters because

Right now because that material is an instance parameter i only have to link that material once to this instance of the window and if i flip it for a new one it’ll it’ll acquire the instance parameters of the one that was there before it before i was making everything type parameters

And every time you load a family in so say you had four families that each had 10 parameters you had to associate it 40 times and uh that once i learned this i was like wow that’s a great tip that’s a great tip so as much as possible of course that means

They have to be instance parameters in your host family as well right or no no yeah no i don’t you’re right but another thing uh to keep in mind when you’re doing this is all of your windows if you’re gonna nest windows and have them switch out you do

Need to make sure they all have the same parameters with the same name if if one of them doesn’t is missing a parameter and you flip to that one it’ll lose the parameter and then when you flip it back that parameter is no longer associated with the window even though it was

Working before it won’t work after you these are all dumb little bugs i find when i’ve done this so there’s some caveats when doing this yep well no i appreciate you sharing them and hopefully they’re valuable to folks out there awesome man well thank you so much i

Appreciate it brenton great to see you again um again i’ll put the links down below as well as the previous episodes i’m sure i’ll have you back on uh you guys check out for uh for some of uh brenton’s cabinet families to feature in some videos

Coming up soon um and yeah awesome man i appreciate it thanks a lot and thank you to everyone that’s here uh thanks again for joining us um every week uh since uh for the last uh seven or eight weeks now um also 77 weeks before that um we won’t be live

Next week i’ll be on on up in the mountains uh trying to enjoy some fishing and not being on a computer uh but the following week i’ve got another guest back so stay tuned be sure to subscribe you guys are amazing thanks again for joining us and i’ll see you soon have a

Great weekend You


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