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Create New Material Types, Fill Patterns + Rendering Appearances in Revit

Out of the box Revit has limited material types, fill patterns and rendering appearances, and many projects use material types that aren’t in the standard Revit library. These can be custom created for a project’s surface patterns and rendering appearances. For this demonstration, the ACME BRICK website will be used to show how to create a custom brick pattern type for a king size brick.  

From the ACME BRICK website, brick sizes, and image files for material colors are found.

New King Brick Hatch Pattern

The first step to change the surface pattern is accomplished by creating a new hatch pattern to load into the Revit project.

Revit hatch patterns are found here: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2020\Data

Navigate to the Revit hatch pattern file. Once opened, the coded hatch patterns for each surface pattern are found and a new surface pattern can be created.

In the image above, you can see how to navigate to Pipe Settings for the angle readings you need. Select Systems > diagonal arrow in the Plumbing & Piping > Angles in the Pipe Settings drop down.

Hatch patterns are coded information that define the pattern style. Note that the brick surface pattern begins with ;%TYPE=MODEL. This defines the difference between drafting patterns and model patterns. For the king size brick, the model type fill pattern is necessary to correctly adjust the pattern to the scale of the view. Below is the code for the standard brick running bond that will be used to modify for the king brick.

To create the king brick hatch pattern, the code is modified as below from the king brick size per the ACME BRICK website:

Create a Fill Pattern and Wall Type

Next, create a new fill pattern in Revit:

Create the new pattern:

  1. Select the Model Pattern Type
  2. Select Create New Pattern Type
  3. Select Custom Type
  4. Name the Pattern
  5. Browse to the new Revit pattern file location
  6. Select Brick King

The next step is to create the new wall type with the new surface pattern:

  1. Create a new wall type
  2. Create a new material type
  3. Rename the new material type
  4. Assign the new material type a new surface pattern
  5. Select the model type fill pattern
  6. Select the new pattern created for the king size brick

Below is the new wall that now has the new surface pattern for a king size brick. The dimensions are checked for accuracy.

Modifying Rendering Appearance

Next, modify the rendering appearance for the king size brick with a custom image from file downloaded from the ACME BRICK website. Change the view to Visual Style: Realistic with Edges to view the rendering appearance. By default, the appearance first shows as solid gray.

Below is the appearance for the common brick standard running bond from “out of the box” Revit. How to modify the appearance of the king size brick for renderings will be demonstrated in the following steps.

To find the appearance tab for any material, navigate to the Appearance tab, select the image file, and it will navigate to the material library for all rendering images.

By default, the rendering appearance for the new material is gray. To modify this, the new image file downloaded from the ACME BRICK website saved to the project file material library will need to be added to the new material type Brick King.

The material libraries for all rendering images are found here:

Below are the steps to modify the appearance for the new material type, king brick using the image file from the ACME BRICK website that has been downloaded and saved to your project file material library.

Adjust the appearance for renderings:

  • Select the Appearance tab
  • Select (no image selected) to add the image
  • Navigate to the new image file location and select the new material
  • Modify the scale of the image to match the king size brick by selecting the image.

New image file location:

Modify the image scale to the correct size for the king brick by selecting the loaded image in the Appearance box above.

Once the image file is selected, the Texture Editor box opens that allows the image to be adjusted for the project’s rendering appearance.

By default, under Scale, the sample size is 2’ x 2’. This needs to be adjusted to the correct size for the king brick. In this editor box, the brightness, position and repetition are also adjustable for the rendering appearance needed for the project.

Conclusion

Below is the result for the rendering appearance of the king size brick. Dimensions are checked for accuracy in an elevation view.

Final rendering image:

Angela Norris, AIA

Sr. AEC Technical Specialist

Licenses & Certifications

Licensed Architect

NCARB

About Angela

Angela is an experienced Architect with a demonstrated history of work in the architecture and planning industry. As a dedicated professional, Angela is skilled in Revit, AutoCAD, construction drawings, strategic planning and submittals.

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