How to link in and setup backgrounds to Revit?
So here in this step I'm going to set up backgrounds within my Revit model.
Now this tutorial is specific to Revit.
If you're working in CAD, you're going to want to follow your CAD standards for your company.
There's probably a specific way to do that process today in this tutorial.
I'm just going to show how I do it.
This is all in Revit.
I'm doing shop drawings or bid drawings.
Either way, I always use Revit.
It's my go to.
And most of the time in fact, probably over 95% of the time I don't have Revit backgrounds.
I don't actually work from a Revit model.
I work from PDF or CAD.
The best way to do it, even though I'm working in Revit, is to have the backgrounds converted to CAD if they're not CAD and then to link those CAD backgrounds into the project.
So for this step I've already created the project.
I've already saved it to the cloud, so that's good what I'm going to do here is take a PDF document, convert it to CAD, save that to the cloud in BIM360.
Because I'm using BIM360. You could also save it to your drive and reference it from your drive, but I'm going to show it as BIM360 and then I'm going to link it into the project and make sure that.
The scale and the position is in the right spot.
So to do that, the first thing to do is actually open AutoCAD.
I'm going to start a new sheet.
And this is because I have PDF backgrounds.
I'm going to go to the Insert tab > PDF import.
And I believe the command is PDF Import.
But either way, if you click the button, I'm going to navigate to where I have my PDF background.
This might be bid drawings or construction set or something like that, and then you can select either a multi-page or you could select just the.
The actual PDF sheet you want to use, so in this case I'm going to go with the reflected ceiling plan.
I hit open.
There's some settings in here.
This is my default settings.
I'm going to say use PDF layers if they have them.
We want that.
We don't want raster images and then.
You can play with these.
This has been the most successful setup that I've had to date.
This might take a few minutes 'cause there's a lot of lines and things that it's converting from PDF to CAD.
There's also some online vendors that have PDF to CAD.
I'm not sure if they operate better than AutoCAD since I already have AutoCAD and this is free.
This is, this is what I prefer.
So from this point what I would do is I can select blocks, let's see if there's a good way that I could find to select one of these.
OK, so now I've selected just this shaded area.
I'm going to select all or sorry, select similar kids a little rough 'cause I've spent so much time in Revit.
Delete those and then.
Typically when I'm cleaning up backgrounds, there's things that I want to get rid of, or I want to change a layer.
So if I later on know that I'm going to hide room names, well, then I'll create a layer, call it room names, and color it something like orange or whatever.
Just so it sticks out.
Slide that back off and I'm going to take.
This and put it on that layer.
Separating the layers is nice because then later on when I'm in Revit.
I can show it when I want to show it and not show it when I don't want to show it now.
The other thing to think about is one of the things I like to do is text.
I do the same thing for text, so I'm going to create a layer Text so I can turn all the text off later.
I'll put this just I don't know later and again this is just so I have controls later on hit this select similar, selecting all the text and then I'm going to move that over to a text layer.
You could see everything that moved.
Things that I want to hide so whether it's room names or whatever I can, you know I can put other things in the text.
Or two, I don't want these leader callouts 'cause I'm not going to need them, so this is just changing the layer so that they're not going to show up later on.
You can go piece by piece on this.
Some conversions are nice and clean and useful, others are not.
Others can be kind of a bear.
Obviously if you can get a CAD drawing your request a CAD drawing and get a CAD drawing, that's the preferred path on the shop drawing side.
A lot of times we're working on really tight timeframes.
If it's a small renovation or something like that.
It's not always easy to get CAD backgrounds or when you do request them then it takes two weeks and it just doesn't work with your timeline.
So sometimes I'm working on PDFs by choice because I want things done quickly or otherwise.
An architect may not give us CAD backgrounds if we can get CAD, we'll take it.
Well, better layer control.
It's seamless because there's not a conversion, and that's how we would prefer to operate.
But if not, this is a path I would go through.
Clean up all of this.
Put things on different layers that I don't want to show up.
For example, dimensions I don't need that showing up on my drawing, and then I'm going to delete off everything that I don't need so I can take these details which I'm not going to use the title block, which I'm not going to use if I don't want any of these details, I'll just delete those off to basically get rid of everything.
That I don't want there and I'll go through the rest of the conversion and save this down as a.
As a cleaned CAD background, so I've done that here and I've done that for several different spots are sorry, several different sheets and have saved them to individual files, so I've got a floor plan or reflected ceiling plan.
A section in this case electrical mechanical so that I can use that.
So I've done that and I've saved that just in my project folder.
The next thing I want to do is put these on the cloud.
These are just in my project folder right now.
These are not in the cloud.
So what I want to do is go to my BIM360 drive and you don't have to have this on the cloud.
You can all have this on your local server or your computer and link it from there.
In my case I pretty much operate everything off the cloud and I like to have that on the cloud, if I need help or somebody else is hopping in on this project, or maybe I've got an office that's got remote workers everywhere they've been.
360 works really nice. Everybody can get access to it fairly seamlessly, so I'm going to go to the project folder. This is what I created earlier within my folder I've got a BIM folder.
I've got backgrounds and whoops, I'm going to take all of these and put them in the background when I make updates.
This is really nice if say I get an updated reflected ceiling plan or something like that, as long as it's titled the same, I can copy my new one, paste it in here, say yes, I'm going to override this.
And then in my model all I got to do is update the link and I'm then working with the updated backgrounds.
So this is again this is this is a folder structure. This is actually saved on my computer, but when I've got it in this BIM360 drive, it's also syncing that to the cloud.
So right now, even though I pasted it into this Windows Explorer, it's also syncing that onto the cloud this link.
Here becomes important because this is my BIM360 drive. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy that.
And I could actually stand up to update this here real quick.
And I'm going to go to my floor plan.
I'll drag this in.
Here let's see.
Just so it's viewable.
So I'm going to go to my floor plan.
And I'm going to go to link CAD.
For me that command is else 'cause that's the shortcut that I've made it.
But you can also get to this by insert and link CAD.
So quick disclaimer.
Here it is better to link a background file than to insert it.
If you insert it, it's taking all of that information and adding that information to the model.
It makes it a little bit more difficult if you get an update or need to change it.
It's all of that's in your model.
You got to delete it out and then insert a new CAD.
We really don't want that.
We want this to work, just like XREFs would or external references would work in CAD and linking it give us gives us the ability to do that also.
Not just for updating but linking doesn't import all of that data and add it to our model.
Instead, it's keeping all of the heavy lifting outside of Revit, and we're just referencing that.
So whether we've got a Revit model from the architect or we've got a CAD from somebody else, linking is the way to go, and so this link CAD for me is the way that I go about that.
So now I still have the link copied from BIM360, so I paste it in here and these are my options.
And this again, even though I'm linking to this file in BIM360 it's connecting those pieces on the cloud, so I'm going to go with my floor plan just to start.
Backgrounds how you name it convention that's you know that's really on on your company and what you want to see.
I like to put these as black and white, import all the layers if you wanted to nix some of your layers you could do it, put it, specify and it'll ask for it.
I'm just going to import all.
Auto detect I want I want this CAD.
In terms of the height of the building, I wanted to show up right at level one.
If you wanted to put at level one ceiling or something like that, you could.
And then here I'm going to move this anyway, so this is less critical if you want to make life easier, you could do manual center.
And that all looks good if I'm importing a section or something vertically, or maybe a site plan, I would use this current view only.
That means that any anything that you're importing is only going to show up in the view that you're in.
That can be nice if you have something specific that you don't want showing up everywhere else, like.
But for floor plans, reflected ceiling plan.
Something like that.
I just leave that unchecked.
So I'm going to hit open and then basically it's going to have the reference with my cursor, it's just going to be centered on the cursor.
And as long as I click a point somewhere within reason, then I can actually find and scale.
See, let's go so you see the scale is really small because it's an imported drawing.
So if I click that in the first thing it's going to do is pin that.
So I'm not actually able to move this, so actually I'm wrong. It did not pin it. Sometimes you have to hit unpin. For me, that's UP so that I unpin and then I scale it.
I think one of the scale buttons is up here. For me the shortcut is RE and again shortcuts if you hover over any button you can see in parentheses here what the shortcut is, it's a two key command. I always recommend using two key commands.
So even if I know the scale.
Then I can put that in here.
Sometimes you could put it in and then check.
Now I see here I didn't.
I don't have ceiling tiles so I like to look at ceiling tiles and reference that to make sure if I'm pulling in the original project.
And I'm looking at those plans as I'm going through that I can look at the scale of the drawing.
Let's see right here. The scale of the drawing and reference that I can also take a dimension and make sure that matches. So if that windows at 10-8 and that's that quarter. So this might be too too large.
Let's tone that back down.
That windows at 10-8. Let's see what we get and my dimensions are rounded to the nearest inch. But yeah, that's showing up on there.
I'm going to stick this up to the side just for a second temporarily, and I'm going to link in the reflected ceiling plan.
It's going to give me a little bit more comfort level.
On those ceiling tiles, the two by two foot ceiling tiles for US units is a really nice gut check to make sure that what I've got is accurate. So I unpin this.
If it's a core scale, that's 48.
Is the dimension and then I've got preloaded gridlines in here.
So I I like to move the way that I've got my sheet set up.
It's I've got a scope box that goes around.
This is my sheet, so when I move this to the right spot it shows up on my sheets, right?
I'm going to check here to make sure that I'm getting something reasonable, 14 feet and how accurate is that?
Yep, it's spot on.
So any of these tiles these are going to be 2-foot tiles.
I've got a good feel for that.
I've got some confidence here that my scale is correct.
When we're doing shop drawing fabrication, the scale is critical. If we're off by 2%, then all of our pipes are going to be 2% long or 2% short, and that's a really, really scary thought, so it's worth spending a minute. Make sure you get your scale correct. Normally it's noncontroversial, not an issue.
Two, but if you get that wrong here, that's I've never had that happen before, or I've gotten scale wrong.
I'm sure there's horror stories of that existing.
But I would definitely stress the importance of making sure you have your scale correct on the front end.
So here once I know I got in the right spot, I'm going to pin that pen.
And then I'm going to move this to match, so I'm going to find the same point and again, I didn't, I didn't scale these weird.
So I just I scaled them numerically.
And by a scale factor and so the floor plan reflected ceiling plan line up just right.
So I've got these backgrounds in here now.
What I also want to do is look at OK, well, where is this section I've got?
I've got a section view that I brought in where does that section actually go? It's on sheet A301, so I'm going to open that up real quick and see.
Well, actually it should be referenced.
A301 is a cut right through the kitchen, and that's where I've got my section, so I'm going to cut a section in the same way I'm going to go DS.
And start left to right.
So that it runs up.
Right click, hit go to view.
DS is for draw section.
You'll see it imported that black line.
Those are my floor plans right where I set them.
I'm going to do the same thing here, else for link CAD.
And this is again from the cloud.
In this section, I'd probably want to select current view only.
That also is going to allow me to post something up vertically.
I want a black and white and manual center.
I'm going to have to scale this one too.
And it looks like this section may actually only show the kitchen, so I might might dial that back.
Hit here on pin. If these lines are bothering you, you can go TL for thick lines. That just translates from what's going to plot versus what you're seeing. And then for here, let's check the scale on that. That's sheet A301.
So the scale on that is half inch.
That's going to have on pin. That's going to have a scale factor of 24.
So that should get me ballpark in the right spot.
If I go align for me, that's a is what I've set that to align it to the first floor.
Now that's all good in dandy, except left to right.
We're not sure that that's in the right spot.
So let's look at a few things here.
This is the back wall of the kitchen.
If I go and copy my grids to where they need to be the back wall, the kitchen is right here.
Now if I set this grid line.
On the actual edge of the frame.
So you'll see here this is, it looks like maybe the finished.
So maybe on my floor plan, maybe I stick that on the other end.
VV to move.
I'm going to move that grid line so it's unplanned view.
I'm on the backside of that kitchen wall.
And that's where this one that I just popped in is.
So I'm going to go AA to align.
I'm going to align it with that so it sticks it just in the right spot.
Now between these two I've got this as level one.
This is the back of that wall of the stud on that wall.
And then I scale as long as this scale is correct, then we know this isn't exactly the right spot, hit PN.
If I check my reflected ceiling plans, the ceiling probably should be a 10-foot ceiling.
Just outside the kitchen.
If everything is scaled and drawn right now, there's not really a guarantee that.
The architect has matched this section with their floor plan.
It should be right, but it's not always reality with construction documents.
And yep, if we look, we've got the hood here.
We've got a 9-foot ceiling in that work area of the kitchen and then just outside here we've got a 10-foot ceiling, so let's check that we've got.
This gutcheck is that about right, right?
Uh, 9-foot ceiling here and here.
Yeah, right 10-foot.
So that's about right.
I've pinned that so it doesn't move on me.
And then this really isn't Level 2.
This is a ceiling.
And I'm going to call this 10-0 ceiling.
If I want this as a reference level, I just copy it down a foot.
Now you see.
And I want to pop that down to look nice.
There you go.
Now these other levels are just pre-made in my template I can delete those off 'cause I'm not going to use them.
This building does not have a basement, so I can delete those off.
And I can scale all that down so when I use this as a section view.
I know when I'm cutting my own system, I'm going to be able to see this in the right spot.
So last uh, real step on setting up backgrounds, I'll do each of this for mechanical for electrical pull everything in the right spot you notice this is a black background.
Depending on what your company standard is, how they want to see things.
Personally, I have backgrounds as halftone so that they show.
Uh, as a gray color and then the pieces that I put on the front are either solid black with some line thicknesses to differentiate it from the background, or I do a halftone background and color with different thickness is on the front end.
That's what most of my submittals are now.
Most of my clients that are printing drawings have the ability to print color.
It's a really nice feature and.
That tends to make things pop really, really well, so that's what I prefer.
I see that being a little bit more common in the industry today.
If you're black and white, you're designing drawings for black and white smells totally fine, but when you import or sorry, we did not import CAD.
We link CAD.
The way to adjust that if you go to your view template or visibility graphics and you go to this overrides import.
As long as this template is controlling.
Your imports, so if I go to edit here, I'm going to get everything that I've imported.
And there's the section that I've imported what I want to do here is I want to check halftone and then this is a good time to say hey I don't want any text.
This is for the section.
This is everything in the section view and another good thing here is OK.
Well in my sections I don't want any.
Floor plans to show up so those are floor plans.
Reflected ceiling plans.
Looks like some of these are pre-loaded in my template.
I probably could stand to clean up.
So now the section goes to halftone.
Seems like we're still getting a floorplan here.
What is this?
I hit tab to select it.
That's an RCP one I really don't want that showing up in my section, so I'm going to go to a.
RCP one out there it is.
I'm going to turn that off.
And yep, now that floor plan is not showing up horizontally here.
So this section looks good.
Let's go back to our floor plan on our floor plan template.
I'm going to do that same process except in the floor plans.
I don't want any sections that are CAD to be showing up.
We don't have any structural drawings.
We turn all that off.
I only want floor plans.
Reflected ceiling plans to show up.
And I need to turn those to halftone.
So let's check all of them halftone.
There we go.
It looks like I turned something off that I shouldn't have.
Where is that reflected ceiling plan adds that same one.
Just 'cause I've titled it odd.
So what am I overriding while I'm overriding?
To a halftone for the background, I'm turning text off or controlling what I want to on that text.
If I want to actually control you, see, it's still pulling in thick lines on its edges.
I'm OK with that because it's a background and I've got it as gray.
But if you want it all to be thin lines, that's possible.
Also the way to do that is if you go down to the drawing.
And select all of the layers.
That are in there and you turn the line weight to your smallest line weight.
So it's going to overwrite it with one.
Boom, now that's cut down.
You see my floor plan, which is also overlaid here.
Still has that thickness.
I think that's OK.
But if you need to play with thickness is sometimes you could tell it's a rabbit job because line thicknesses are not as well detailed as they usually are.
That's kind of a tell all that you're using Revit.
This it's a nice doing that step is a nice way to clean that up.
On this section, what's interesting is when I click this section, you know we're only actually in the section view showing this area, and so I like to try and match that up as best as possible.
I'm going to move this and clip it.
So that it's in the right spot.
I could also probably stand up in that here now in my views I've got it set up in the floor plan.
That I think I've got a filter that says.
If it doesn't, let's see.
If I've got, yeah, I've got a filter set up so it's filtering any section.
That has a blank sheet number.
It's selecting all the sections that are not on a sheet because it has a blank sheet number and it's halftoning it.
That's so that it doesn't.
If I've got a bunch of working sections, they're halftoned, whereas the real sections are bold and black.
If I take my section and I throw that section.
If I take that section, which is that one right there, and I drag it onto one of my sheets.
And I go back to my floorplan.
Now it's bold and it's giving it a reference, so that's why that's there.
So I want to repeat that process for the electrical mechanical plans, link them in and that is our step to get clean updated backgrounds in BIM360 and referenced into our project.
If there are any other.
Backgrounds that we need to reload or manage.
I go to manage links, I think.
Again, I don't know the button process because I don't recommend using them, but I think it's under - let's see manage links there it is.
So if I got ML for managed links and then I go to this CAD.
This is where everything showing up.
Looks like I had some of these preloaded in then.
I'm not using these elevations.
I'm going to remove those.
I don't need them.
Don't have sections loaded or I'm sorry, structural, load it in here and then these are ones that again we're pre-loaded and I'm not using.
So if I unload those, you'll see that in the view template this is going to be way cleaned up too.
Yep, that's all we've got in here now.
That's actually a lot easier to work with if we've gotta reload new updated backgrounds, I just go back to that managed link, go to Mike, add, it's like, hey, I want to reload this or if you copy and paste it into that same location I've BIM360 all you gotta do is hit reload.
It's going to give you your latest background and then you're good to go.
So at this point I want to sync up and save and that's how we do backgrounds.
I'm Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
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