Renaissance Revit – Creating Classical Architecture with Modern Software

14 November 2013All, Architecture and Engineeringrevit



Full disclosure here before I begin. Paul Aubin is a very good friend of mine. He and I have collaborated on several projects over the years and we’ve also co-authored a book together.

That said, I have to report that he has outdone himself with his latest effort – of the same title as this post.

What’s even better is that he’s done it while addressing a need that has been festering in the Revit world for a long, long time. Do you want to REALLY learn how to create custom families the right way? Read on…

Here’s the backstory:

Paul is really, REALLY into classical architecture. If you want to get him to talk for a long time, just start a conversation about classical architecture, then sit back and enjoy the show. I remember years ago – before Revit was the flagship product in Autodesk’s BIM arsenal (in fact, before the term “BIM” was even being thrown around), Paul spent a lot of time modeling a Corinthian column in AutoCAD Architecture (known in those days as “Architectural Desktop”). Years later when the focus had shifted to Revit, he still had images of parametric columns floating around in his head. I remember having a conversation with him at least a year and a half ago where he was expressing frustration at Revit’s inability to scale 3D model components proportionally. He embarked on what I thought at the time was a bit of a compulsive journey to create a classical column family that would do just that – scale proportionally.

I know from our conversations since that he has spent a TON of time on this obsession of his. To the point where quite honestly, I wondered if maybe he was becoming a bit too obsessed. (But of course, I wouldn’t DARE say that to his face…).

Until he started making some REAL progress, and in the process he was also picking apart the family editor, the massing environment and those nasty adaptive components. Several months ago he decided that he would write a book about it and oh… by the way, maybe teach a little bit of family editing in the process.

The result? After reviewing his latest work, I am convinced that he has not only written the most complete, concise (and easiest to understand) treatise on working in the family editing environment that I have ever seen, but he’s also couched it in a narrative of his personal journey into exploring the details of classical architecture. He even writes it in the first-person, to make it more personal.

I won’t go into a play by play here – you’ll need to read the book yourself to get that, but if you want to learn how to use the family editor, apply complex formulas to control geometry, work with adaptive components and the massing environment, along with a whole host of other stuff that you may never have even thought of when attempting to figure out Revit families, then this is the book for you.

And, bonus, you will also get a very good education in all of the rules and intracacies of four of the five classical orders – Tuscan, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. For me it was almost like going back to my college architectural history class… only through the lens of modern technology.

In short… Three Thumbs Up (anybody got a thumb I can borrow?) I highly recommend this book, whether you are a complete novice in creating custom families or someone who has mastered the basics but wants to take it to a much higher level.

Get more info and order your copy here:

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