Modeling Naturalistic Water with Topo

While it can be fairly simple to model architectural water features with hard edges and geometric shapes (such as pools and fountains), natural or naturalistic water features can be much trickier to model. Typical techniques used to create In-Place families or Masses as water do not work nearly so well when applied to undulating, free-form shapes.

Topography, on the other hand, is one of the only native Revit elements that will easily create a “naturalistic” shape. In the past, I have worked with water on Topo mainly only as a Subregion, but how well would it work to create a separate Topo for the water itself?

The results were better than I expected: Continue reading

Merge Surface

Last week I looked into Split Surface, and how exactly that tool works. Merge Surface is the opposite tool and can merge two surfaces together. It is interesting to note that there is very limited information available about how both of these tools work. I would guess that this is because both of these tools are quite old, and existed before Autodesk bought Revit (in fact, I would guess that all of the Site tools can be dated to pre-Autodesk days). Continue reading

Split Surface: How Does it Work?

In response to last week’s post on Cleaning Up Topo Edges, several people pointed out that this could also be done with Split Surface. Using Split Surface hadn’t even occurred to me, since I so infrequently use it. There is usually no reason to split a Toposurface, but this seems like an obvious and practical use of the Split Surface tool.

After testing it out, it does indeed work for cleaning up an edge and it keeps the contours and triangulation the same. But if you know how Topo works, then Split surface must be adding some points along the edge of both surfaces (otherwise the contours and triangulation would not be maintained). Continue reading