Annotating 3D Views in Revit

As an Architect, I am an advocate for ways to help the contractor and other design professionals better understand my vision for the building design.  One way to do that is to incorporate 3D views into more of the process, including the construction documents.  I have previously blogged about the AEC industry moving more toward incorporating 3D views into construction documents (read the article), and Autodesk aided that process with a new feature in Revit 2012.  3D Views can be locked, and once they’ve been locked, you can tag elements and annotate information in these 3D views.

Create an orthographic 3D view in Revit, as annotation cannot be placed in a perspective view.  Selecting the Default 3D View command will provide an orthographic view, as will creating a 3D Section view (see article on the process).  If you use the Camera command to create a 3D view, you will need to remove the checkmark for the Perspective option in the Options Bar at the top of the screen while you are placing the camera.  (Once you create the 3D view, it is important that you give the view a descriptive name.)

After you adjust the view to your desired orientation, go to the View Control Bar at the bottom of the screen and select the new button that was added in 2012 and looks like a little house.

When you select the new button, you will get 3 options:

Save Orientation and Lock View
This option is the one to pick to lock the 3D view in its current orientation and allow you to add annotation and element tags to the view.  Without selecting this option, you will not be allowed to annotate the view.

Unlock View
This option will unlock the 3D view and allow you to adjust the view with rotation or zooming.  When the view is unlocked, any annotation placed in the view will not be visible.  It will not be deleted, but just won’t be displayed.

Restore Orientation and Lock View
This option is to be selected after you unlock and adjust the 3D view.  It will return the view back to the way it was when the “Save Orientation and Lock View” option was selected.  Any annotation that had previously been placed in the view will now be visible again.

Unfortunately, many of the annotation functions still cannot be used in a 3D view.  Hopefully, a future release will open up more annotation capability, but this is a great start.

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