Author: Ron Palma Revit

In my post From Napkin Sketches to Revit, I showed you how to use the image command to apply a raster image of a napkin sketch, add it into your Revit model, scale it, and use it as a background to trace over to create a BIM model. In that post, I mentioned images could only be added to 2D views, but by using the Decal tool in Autodesk Revit software, an image can be used within 3D views and perspectives.

The Decal tool can be a helpful tool when the desired effect is to use an image to enhance your model. Decals can be used to display a client’s signage on a building, a painting in an office or living room, a football game on TV, or even your business name lettered on a glass door, and it is typically used when rendering a model.



The Decal tool can be found in the Insert tab. This tool is a dual functioning tool; pick the bottom portion of the tool to flyout the two tools related to decals.



The Decal Types tool is used to create and configure a decal for use in the model.

In the Decal Types dialog box, new decals can be created, duplicated, renamed, and deleted. The list on the left contains any decals configured in the project.

The settings on the right side of the dialog box control various settings for the selected decal from the list on the left. Settings such as Selecting an image to use a decal, the Brightness, Reflectivity, Transparency, and Finish of the decal can all be controlled here.



After a decal has been created and configured, use the Place Decal tool to place the decal on a flat or curved surface. Note that the decal image will be visible when using a Realistic visual style and when rendering. If you are using a visual style other than Realistic, the decal will not show at the time you add the decal.



At the time, you add the decal to a surface, the decal boundary appears, and it will adjust to either a curved or a flat surface. Keep in mind, the decal is designed for use in a rendering. Although it will display when using the Realistic visual style, the boundary of the decal will appear.



Images and the Image tool are used to display the image in a 2D view such as a plan and elevation view. Decals can be used in 3D views and are typically effective when the 3D view is rendered, otherwise the Realistic visual style will display the decal boundary.

So there you have it, use Decals to enhance your renderings by helping them be a bit more realistic, incorporate logos or images that would not be able to be used by using the Image command.

To get a closer look at this workflow, watch my accompanying video, My Model is Finished, Now to Add the Decals.

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.