Autodesk Revit: Understanding the View Range settings

In this Autodesk Revit tutorial I am going to explain the purpose and use of the View Range settings. If you would like to watch the video version of this tutorial first, simply click in the box below….



In Revit, many view types are generated automatically from the model you build. This is the case with both Floor Plan and Ceiling Plan views. Let’s take  the Floor Plan view type: You can think of the view as being generated by a camera at a certain height in your model. The camera looks down, vertically into the model and presents (in your Floor Plan) what it sees. This is a fairly straightforward concept. But it’s not “quite” that simple. Take the Floor Plan view below….




We are looking at the first floor (i.e. upper floor) of a 2 storey building. We can see the door is cut through (1). We can also see some planting on the ground, just outside the external wall of the stair tower (2). The planting is obviously a lot lower than the upper floor- yet we can still see it. So what is determining exactly what we CAN and CANNOT see in this view?

The answer is the “View Range” settings. A suite of parameters and properties that determine how far down into our Floor Plan the camera can see, at what height objects are cut through, etc. The View Range is a property of the view itself. So make sure you have no elements selected in the view- this will ensure you see the properties of the view itself in the Properties Palette. About half way down you will find “View Range”….





Hit the “Edit‘ button and the “View Range” settings panel opens…




The panel is split into 2 main areas: The Primary Range and the View Depth. Let’s go through the properties in turn, with reference to the image above….

  1. Top: This determines the maximum height ABOVE the camera that “certain” objects will be displayed- eg Skylights, etc
  2. Cut Plane: The height at which the model will be cut through. The height is the Associated Level PLUS and Offset value- that you can change.
  3. Bottom: The height BELOW the camera that objects will be displayed in a normal “Projection” style
  4. View Depth: The absolute height in the model above which objects will be displayed. Objects that sit between the is Level and the “Bottom” Level will be displayed in a lighter line style- giving a sense of depth to your plans.

Let’s take a closer look at the “Cut Plane” property. Let’s go ahead and increase the value of it’s “Offset” value to 2200mm. This is now above the height of the door head. Go ahead and “Apply” that value to the View Range settings. Notice (in the image below) that the model is now being cut ABOVE the top of the door object- but we can still see it in projection below the cut plane….






Let’s now lift the “View Depth” height. At present it is set to “Level 0”- that is, the height of the ground level around our building. That is why we can see the planting. Let’s set the Level to “New Block_2nd Floor”. When we do this, you’ll see that we can no longer see the planting….




Key Points

  • View Range settings control what the “camera” can see in Floor Plan and Ceiling Plan views
  • Objects of a small number of certain categories can be seen ABOVE the camera in a Floor Plan view can be seen- if they lie below the “Top” property.
  • The View Depth property controls the absolute limit of what can be seen in your model when looking down.
This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
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Posted in Autodesk Revit.