New Book on Revit and Classical Architecture

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a personal interest (some might say obsession) with classical architecture. Nearly one year ago I published my first post on the subject where I disclosed my intention to publish a book on building classical architectural forms in Revit.

Well, I am happy to report that writing is well under way! I now have five full chapters complete. I just finished the chapter on the Tuscan column. There are five Roman orders. Tuscan is like a simplified and formalized Doric. The progression goes Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and then Composite.

Tuscan Column Capital

I am also very excited because this week I fly out speak at the second annual  Central States Revit Workshop in Omaha. I will be teaching several classes there, but the folks taking my lab called “Throw your Family a Curve” will get a sneak peak at some of the material from the book. In fact the handout for the class has become the major portion of Chapter 4. I posted a preview and some images last week here. Its not too late to sign up if you can make it Omaha this Thursday and Friday (August 15 & 16).

So far I have the following chapters written:

Ch01 – Introduction – describes the project, talks about source materials and goals, etc.

Ch02 – Quick introduction to the family editor. You really don’t need to have any family editor experience to use the book, but it will certainly help. This book is not going to be a comprehensive look at the family editor. (I hope to write that book later) It will however cover all of the basic skills required so that someone with no experience can still use the book.

Ch03 – Scaling and Proportion – There has been a lot of discussion on this topic around the blogisphere lately. This is my take. I explore all the issues with scaling and discuss the techniques we will use to create fully parametric and scalable Revit classical architecture families.

Schematic Column

Ch04 – Constraining Curves – this chapter covers how to make circles, ellipses, arcs and splines flex in the family editor without “blowing up.” If you have ever built a family with curved edges, you know that it can sometimes act erratically. This chapter is all about taming the curves so that the flex properly every time! I’ll cover quarter round, half round, roman arches, segmental arches, gothic arches, cyma, cyma reversa, ovolo, cavetto, corona and scotia moldings. We’ll make 3D forms from all of these. As noted above, folks at CSRW will get a sneak peek this week!

Ch05 – The Tuscan Order – Just finished this chapter. It got a little larger than I expected, so it covers the base, capital and pedestal. The shaft is similar across all of the orders, so I decided that I will devote a dedicated chapter to building the shaft and making it flexible for use in any of the orders.

Tuscan Pedestal

That’s what I have so far. Plenty more to do.

Tuscan Base

I will be writing at least one chapter on each of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders. I don’t plan to do Composite at this time. (My apologies in advance to the Composite fans out there). I also expect to have a coverage or dedicated chapters on level of detail, purging and managing file size, entablatures, intercolumniation, and maybe a few other bonus items.

Here is a round-up on previous posts on this subject:


Finally, you may be wondering, when the book will be ready? I still have plenty of work to do, but I plan to publish in advance of Autodesk University. So if you go to AU this year, ask me how you can get a copy! See you there.

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