So, I am big on creating materials for Revit that can really speak to the essence of that material. My theory is that if we can have accurate, well-created, well-documented materials within Revit, we can eliminate the need for a secondary tool (ie. SketchUp) where you need to export your model. The problem is, I just can’t seem to find an agreement on a proper naming convention for my materials! So, I’ve developed my own:
I’m not going to lie, the idea of naming materials in Revit has been a huge issue of mine, for a while. In fact, I think properly naming materials from the standpoint of the image you are bringing in to Revit, and the actual Material Library name, are two different topics, so I will really only focus on the image itself and write a post on the later in a later post.
So, what happens if I want to use this tile product from Daltile, in my model?
Let’s start with what I’ve tested to understand how I got to my standard image naming convention:
Start with the Mark (ie. Tag)
|Loved how clean this one was and made filenames nice and short||Not as much fun to deal with if a material ever changes and the tag is different – |
T01_(additional product info)
*Side note, I’m in the crowd of always using double digits and no hyphen in my tags.
In some cases, single digits can actually throw a list of tags out of wack where the order is: 1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2, 20, 3, etc.
I had realized because the con was too much of a burden, I needed to have a different approach.
Start a material with the tag abbreviation (ie. PL for a plastic laminate)
I used this one for a long time and really liked how easy it was to locate clusters of material types in my own personal database of images.
It started to make my names really long – I began to question if this information was really necessary.
T_(additional product info)
Start material with “INT_”
|Anything interior finish related was clumped together.||This method was used with the one above to make for a very long material name|
INT_T_(additional product info)
Now, you may be thinking at this point, this seems to be going in the right direction, especially if you just copy/paste the image file name as the Material Browser name, all of my interior-specific finishes can start to cluster together. But really, there were so many other things I was realizing I needed, like developing different options for the same material; you would be surprised how many times I needed to change the image because the install pattern was changing. So, I took a step back and thought about what I really needed to get the most information about what I needed to know:
- Manufacture name
- Product name
- Product color
- Product size
- Size of
imagebeing used (because I can’t tell you how many times I would not do the math to my Photoshopedimage and had to fuss with it when brought in to Revit. Plus, if I ever used that same image on a later project, I would know exactly the image size to use)
- Type of installation (Brick – with offset, Ashlar, Monolithic/Grid, Herringbone, etc.)
What I didn’t need in the name:
- Material category (because I could determine that in the Revit Materials Browser settings)
- The tag “INT” (because it really didn’t matter, and just added space in my file name)
So, the end result:
Whoa! That crazy, right?! There is so much information in that one line! So what am I really saying?
I like to break up my product information, with the information needed for installation and the Material Browser size. Everything before the brackets is that product’s specific information. In fact, sometimes, I will have a file of just a single tile that doesn’t include any brackets. It’s once we need to create the installation pattern (most of the time using Photoshop) that add the brackets to indicate something special, or unique, about that product.
Think of it this way:
Pre-brackets are stand-alone.
Within brackets are modifications of the single product, to create the final installed material
I also find it important to include my final image size of the installed material, which just makes it easier when updating
You’ll also notice I include “in” (for
So, let me know what you think. Is this a system that can be beneficial for you and your team?