Author: Ron Palma Revit

In my post last week, My Model is Finished, Now to Add The Decals, I showed you how to use the Decal tool in Autodesk Revit software to apply a raster image into 3D views and Renderings for use as television screens, building signage, photographs, and paintings. I want to take that one step further now and show you another use for decals, lettering on glass.



With standard decals, a Source image is added to a Decal Type with the decal in turn being added to a surface. When creating the appearance of lettering on glass, two image files need to be used:

1. One that is considered the Source image and will represent the lettering or symbol “painted” on the glass
2. One that will be used as a mask, or in decal terms, a Cutout.

The Source image will generally include any lettering or symbols against a transparent background. Most photo editing programs will allow you to create an image that includes the transparent color. In the image below, the checkered pattern indicates the transparent background.

Note: Just using a Source image with a transparency is not enough to create the lettering effect.



The Cutout image is used as the mask for the Source image, and it is black and white. The black portion of the image is the transparent area from the Source image and will not display when applied to a surface in Revit. The White area is the “Cutout” of the mask where the text and symbols of the Source image will be placed.



To create the decal, use the Decal Types tool found in the Insert tab>>Link panel>>Decal flyout>> Decal Types tool.



In the Decal Types dialog, select the Create New Decal icon (see image below) to create a new decal. For the Source image, which will be the actual decal/image applied to the glass, pick the […] beside the Source to select the Source image to be used.

At the bottom of the dialog, choose the Cutouts drop-down menu and select “Image file” from the list. This will display a Source box similar to the Source box at the top of the dialog box. Pick the […] to select the image that will be used as the Cutout.



After the Decal Type is created, use the Place Decal tool to add the type to a glazing surface. Once rendered, you should have what appears to be lettering on glazing.

Cutouts can also be used to mask any image for portions of the image you do not want to show up in your Rendering. In the following example, an Image and a Cutout was used to place Graffiti on a building.



To see this workflow in action, watch my video, Creating Lettering on Glass.

Have fun working with decals and making your renderings dynamic.

Get more Revit tips and tricks here.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.

          Ron Palma
Ron Palma
AEC Application Specialist

Ron has 25+ years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for residential design firms. His instructional accomplishments include: Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor. Ron holds a BA in Instructional Design suma cum laude, is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, where he is a First Sergeant of an Infantry Company, specializing in training and mentoring soldiers in their careers, and has been deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Resolute Support. Ron is a published author and continues to write professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional, Ron continues to provide Revit Architecture and AutoCAD training and support for various AEC firms. Find Ron on Twitter.