Sunday, January 21, 2018

Making of Holiday Card - Part 1 (Christmas Light)

Happy New Year 2018! I have waited long enough to start this post to share the making of my holiday greeting card in Revit. I will choose a few components from the scene and I am going to break it down to a few posts. The first one is about the Christmas string light. When I first posted this close-up image, I have a few people asked how I managed to place so many lights. Did I place them one by one? How do I get them on the roof?

Of course I didn't place them one at a time. In fact, I talked about this trick when I presented at RTC North America 2016 (now re-brand to BILT). My class title named Railing, Railing, Railing was about the railing improvement in Revit 2017. (i.e. One could host railing to the top of the wall, floor and roof, etc.)

In the class, I showed some possible use of railing (other than the actual function of railing) in a Revit project.  I talked about how to "hack" the railing support family

The idea is pretty simple. You start a new support family, insert the light fixture as nested family.
Make sure the nested light is set to "Shared".

From the nested light, I have different types family set as different colors. This is to allow me to change the colors of lights in the scene. I wrote this post in 2014 explaining how to use this conditional statement to drive different material which allows me to change to variety of colors. 

Next, I create a new railing type that has no railing profile, baluster; only a Handrail Type. This handrail type has a profile family (Profile Round String: Radius:1/8") that mimic the light's cable; A support family assigned with fixed distance 4" spacing. 

Once this is done, I can place it like any railing. It looks something like this:

Using Pick New Host, I can easily place the light (railing) on the roof. 

Select the light, use array to copy a dozen of times. 

Here's the problem. All the light bulbs are the same color. Since I made the nested light family "shared", I can select each light one at a time to change the color. But who has time for that?

It's time I turn to Dynamo for help. I pulled up an old script I used to randomize material in this post and modified it a bit. Good thing is the Family Types node includes railing support.

Ran the script and I am good to go.

This is what it looks like with night setting in Enscape.

Stay tuned for the next post! Thanks. 

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