Focusing On Your Project Details with Revit’s Section Box

 In Phil Read - Read|Thomas

Telling a great story with Enscape ( isn’t just about being able to create beautiful renderings or side-by-side, real-time visualization. It’s about being able to focus on what’s really important. Enscape photorealistically shows you exactly what’s going on in your Revit file – flaws and all. And when you really need to zoom in on the details and turn off all the other noise in the project, there’s nothing better than the Section Box (full size here).


To section off what’s visible in your project in Enscape, simply turn on the Section Box in your Revit project. In the image above, the Section Box has been activated in Revit’s default 3D View. The image on the right is the result in Enscape. Pretty stunning, eh?

Another advantage of using the Section Box? Enscape only has to compute what’s inside it, which can dramatically improve performance on large projects. Especially if you have limited graphic resources.

But here’s a problem: once you turn on your section box in the 3D View, you’ve lost the rest of your project’s context. Wouldn’t it be great if you could still see your Section Box in context with the rest of the project and even move it around from room to room with Enscape only showing you what’s inside the Section Box? Well it turns out you can!

There are two options for this workflow. The first option uses the Select Previous command and the second option uses Filters (along with the ability to load a previously saved selection).


While you can’t directly show a Section Box in a 2D view, you can show it indirectly. To do this select the Section Box in the 3D View and then CTRL+Tab back to 2D View. The Section Box will display in the 2D View as shown in the image above (full size here).

Using the Move command (not press and drag), you’ll be able to move the Section Box in the 2D View and have the results display in 3D in Enscape. This technique makes it possible to see your Section Box in the overall project plan view, which provides great context for reviewing the design in Enscape.

Now you can quickly move around your Revit project without having to manually navigate through the building. As shown in the image below, when the Section Box is moved, the 3D View in Enscape updates accordingly (full size here).


You can even modify the size of the Section Box in the 2D View by pressing and dragging the grips on each face of the Section Box as shown below (1). Again, the view in Enscape updates (full size here)!


So what happens if you accidentally deselect the Section Box? Simply Right+Click and Select Previous to recall your last selection, and the Section Box will once again highlight in your plan view.

But what if you want to move the Enscape camera and Revit’s Section Box together? Moving the Section Box and Enscape camera together will keep you from having to manually navigate to the new location when the Section Box moves. As it turns out moving the Section Box and Enscape camera at the same time is possible as well.

First, you’ll need to display the Enscape camera in Revit by setting the Camera Synchronization Behavior to Live in the Enscape Settings Menu as shown above (2). Also, make sure the Generic Model Category is visible.

While the Section Box is selected, hold down the Shift key and select the Enscape camera. You can also do this from the 3D View while the Section Box is active – just make sure the camera is inside the Section Box so you can see it.

While both the Section Box and Camera are selected, activate the Filter tool to make sure you’ve only selected the Section Box and Camera. Then select OK.


Now select Save Selection from the Filter menu and name your selection as shown in the image below. Press OK.


Once the selection has been saved, use the Load Selection from the Filter menu to quickly select both Enscape camera and Section Box (or better yet, map the Load Selection command with a Keyboard Shortcut). This easily recalls the Section Box and Enscape Camera together as shown below.

Even though the Section Box will not appear to highlight as before, when you select the Move tool the selection fence will indicate the extents of the selection contains both the Section Box and Enscape Camera as shown below.


Vola! Now you can move the Section Box and the Enscape camera together! This can really help move things along during design reviews (full size here)!


If you need to resize your Section Box, just select it in the 3D View and then CRTL+Tab back to the 2D View for quick adjustment as shown below (full size here).


I hope this helps improve your Enscape experience for fast and easy navigation during project review. Please share your Enscape Tips and Tricks in the comments below!




Phil Read – Read|Thomas – Author

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