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How to Edit Halftone and Underlay in Revit

How to Edit Halftone and Underlay in Revit 2022 : The Best Guide

1. What is Underlay in Revit and Revit Halftone?

Revit underlay is a feature in the Revit software that allows users to reference external files, such as raster images, DWG files, and point clouds, in their Revit projects. These files can be displayed as a transparent layer on top of the Revit model, providing additional context or information to the project.

Revit Halftone is a visualization tool in Revit that allows users to apply a halftone pattern to their 3D models. Halftone patterns are made up of small dots that vary in size and spacing, creating the illusion of different shades and tones. Revit Halftone can be used to create a stylized, artistic representation of a project, or to communicate information about the model through the use of different dot patterns and colors.

2. Where can we find and Modify Halftone and Underlay in Revit?

2.1. Visibility Settings / Graphic Settings:

In the “Visibility/Graphics” dialog in Revit, the “Links” tab includes several columns for managing the display of linked models in your project. These columns include:

  • “Visibility”: This checkbox controls whether the linked model is visible in the current view. Check the box to show the model, or uncheck it to hide it.
  • “Halftone”: If this checkbox is selected, the linked model will be displayed in halftone in the current view.
  • “Underlay”: If this checkbox is selected, the linked model will be displayed as an underlay in the project. The geometry of the model will be drawn in halftone, and it will not obscure new lines and edges that you draw in the project. Note that elements in a model set as an underlay are not eligible for tagging. If you want to display the model in halftone and allow tagging of its elements, you can specify the model as “Halftone” in the “Visibility/Graphic Overrides” dialog instead of “Underlay”.
  • “Display Settings”: This option allows you to override additional display settings for each linked model in the current host view. You can use this button to access the current display setting state, which can be “By Host View”, “By Linked View”, or “Custom”.
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Underlay in Revit and Revit Halftone

Tips: You can use view templates in Revit to save the visibility settings of a particular view and apply them to other views. This is useful for maintaining consistent display settings across different views of your project.

Tips: You can Hide Revit Link using Link Visibility Manager in all views or all viewtemplates using this Revit plugin

2.2 Manage Tab : Modify Halftone and Underlay in Revit

In General, the term “Revit halftone” refers to a gray-scale representation of an element. By default, Revit sets the halftone value to 50%, but users have the option to adjust this setting as needed. To change the halftone value, users can go to the Manage tab, click on Additional Settings, and select the Halftone/Underlay button.

This opens a window with a slider that can be used to adjust the halftone value, which is typically set in the range of 60-65%. In addition to adjusting the halftone value, this window also allows users to control the display of underlays in the project. By checking the “Apply Halftone” box, users can apply a halftone pattern to underlays in their Revit projects. It is common for users to save their desired halftone and underlay settings in their project templates for future use.

underlay in revit and revit halftone
Underlay in Revit

3. Difference between Halftone and Underlay in Revit

Revit underlay and Revit Halftone are similar in that they both allow users to add external information to their Revit projects. However, they differ in that underlay references external files and displays them as a transparent layer, while Halftone applies a stylized pattern directly to the 3D model.

Here is a table summarizing the differences between Revit underlay and Revit Halftone:

FeatureRevit UnderlayRevit Halftone
PurposeTo reference external files in a Revit projectTo apply a stylized pattern to a 3D model in Revit
Types of external filesRaster images, DWG files, point clouds, Revit Links, Revit ViewsRevit Links , CAD Links ..
How external information is displayedTransparent layer on top of the Revit modelDirectly applied to the 3D model as a halftone pattern
Use casesProviding additional context or information to the projectCreating a stylized, artistic representation of the project or communicating information through the use of different dot patterns and colors

4. Select Elements as Underlay in Revit

To select elements within an underlay in Revit, you can follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the “Selection Toggles” bar.
  2. Click the “Select Underlay Elements” button.
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This will allow you to select and manipulate elements within the underlay as if they were part of your current model. You can then use the standard selection tools and commands in Revit to select and modify the underlay elements as needed.

Select Elements as Underlay in Revit

5. Make View/Level as Underlay in the View Properties

You can also make an existing view or level as an underlay in Revit, and this works for both floor plans and Ceiling plan where you have the ability to adjust your views according to your needs and your achirectural requirments

5.1. Underlay Orientation : Look down

And this is used when you are working on a floor plan and you want to show the lower level in your plan as an underlay, for example you want to show beams and slabs in architectural plan

underlay view

5.2. Underlay Orientation : Look up

And this is used when you are working on a ceiling plan and you want to show the upper level in your plan as an underlay, for example you want to show MEP elemnts like ducts and pipings in architectural plan.

underlay view look down

5.3. Changing Line Styles for a View Underlay

It is possible to change the line style for a view underlay in Revit. When you use a level as an underlay in the current view and use the “Linework” tool on the edges of elements from that level, the elements become part of the current view and can be modified. For example, if you have a Level 1 floor plan view and specify Level 2 as an underlay, you can select the roof in the plan view and modify it. You can even use the same level as the view as an underlay to select elements such as ceilings, beams, or other elements that are not shown in the view. You can use the “Overhead” line style for tracing underlays, or define your own line style. To modify the line style for an underlay, you can use the “Line Styles” and “Halftone/Underlay” tools in Revit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, underlays and halftone can be useful tools in Revit for referencing other drawings or models in your project. By using underlays, you can easily incorporate external information into your views and use it as a background for your own work. Halftone can be used to improve the legibility of underlays, making it easier to see and work with the reference information. However, it’s important to use underlays wisely, as they are not part of your actual model and any changes you make to them will not be saved in your project. By following best practices and avoiding common pitfalls, you can effectively use underlays and halftone to enhance your Revit projects.

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