Thursday, March 19, 2009

Topography: Changing the Section Cut Material

A common question for those new to Revit is “how do I change the way that the ground is shown beneath my toposurface?”

Modifying (what Revit terms’) the Section Cut Material is very easy- it’s just a case of knowing where to find the setting in the first place!

Let’s demonstrate the topic through example:

First of all I’ll create a very basic toposurface. I’ll just use 4 points and keep them all at an Elevation of 0.


If we look at this surface in a 3D View, we see it like so…..


Obviously this isn’t very realistic, as the surface is shown as an infinitely thin plane. In reality, there would be material below the surface- normally earth (if you’re lucky!)

If we create a Section View through the surface, Revit will make the ground condition appear more realistic by showing a Cut Material below the toposurface….

Drawing a section line through the surface….


….results in a view like so:-


So as you can see, we have some earth shown below the cut surface plane. But the real focus of this article is to explain how to modify this representation.

Well the first thing to clarify is that this is a standard Revit Material. And as such, you have access to any material that is currently defined in the Materials Library. You can also of course, create your own custom material (including colour, cut pattern, AccuRender texture, etc)

So where exactly do we access the setting for this Section Cut Material? The answer lies in Site Settings, found under the Settings pull down menu.


Selecting Site Settings brings up a control panel as shown below….


Halfway down the control panel, you will see an area called Section Graphics. The button on the right hand side is labelled Section Cut Material. Hitting the Selector button (the little square box with the three dots) takes you directly to Revit’s standard Material Library / Editor.


You will see that “Site-Earth” is highlighted as the current material. If you’d prefer a black, solid base to you topographical section, just select Solid Fill from the Cut Pattern selector.


After confirming this with Apply / OK, your section through the toposurface should look like this….


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