Materials and shared appearance assets

Finally Revit 2014 merged the easy reading interface of the Materials dialog box from 2012 with the intelligence of the assets of 2013. But, some users are a bit confused on how it really works now. Certainly when using Render Appearance assets in the material definition. Below some small explanation on the duplication of materials. It’s never been that easy 🙂

  1. Suppose a wall with a certain material, called “Material 1”.
    Materials 1
  2. When you duplicate the material (using contextual menu) to “Material 2”, it copies all material settings. You will see a sharing symbol (the hand) with the number of materials that also use the same render appearance as this selected one.
    Materials 2Materials 3
  3. This means that when you change the appearance properties of “Material 2”, it will also affect the definition of “Material 1”, which is not desired in this case.
    Materials 4
  4. When you want to avoid that color change, but you still want to keep some other appearance settings, you first have to duplicate the appearance, so it is unique and not used by other materials (look at the hand).
    Materials 5

  5. Of course, this can also be avoided by creating a new default material by using the “Create New Material” function at the bottom of the dialog. But in that case you need to set your material from scratch.
    Materials 6

Hope this clears out a little bit the current use of materials in Revit 2014.

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