1.7 - Paint with Materials

As we saw in an earlier exercise, you can create your own materials, and then paint faces with those materials in FormIt. In this exercise, you will create and edit more materials as well as import materials from the Autodesk Material Library.

If you did not complete the last section, download and open the 1.7 - Paint with Materials.axm file from the FormIt Primer Part 1 Datasets.

Create the Glass Walls

1 - To view the plan containing the dimensions we are going to reference, go to the Layer Palette and turn on the Plan Image layer.

2 - Select the Rectangle Tool (R). We are going to create a rectangle directly on top of the existing floor group. Make sure you are not editing the Floor Group but drawing on top of the existing grouped object.

3 - To start the rectangle for the glass area:

  1. Click at the back corner of the existing floor and move the mouse along its shorter edge.

  2. Type 28’-8” to define the first edge length, and click OK. This should be the same length as the existing short edge of the floor.

  3. To define the second edge, start moving the mouse along the existing floor’s longer edge. Type 55'-5 ½" to set the length of the second edge, then click OK.

  4. Click Esc to exit the rectangle tool. Single-click inside the new rectangle to select the face and start dragging it up.

4 - To define the height, move the mouse upwards along the Z Axis, press the Tab key, and enter 11'-2".

Note: Anytime you are using a tool for which you can enter a dimension, you can either press Tab or just start typing numbers!

5 - Double-click and Group (G) the new geometry.

6 - Double-click the group to edit it. In the Properties Palette name the group Glass Walls.

7 - To define the glass wall’s thickness:

  1. Right-click on the top face and choose the Offset Face Tool (OF).

  2. Move your mouse cursor inward, and type in 4".

  3. Click Esc twice to clear the tool, and the selection.

​_Note:_ The default unit for imperial projects are feet, similar to Revit. If you enter a single number without a specified unit, like 4, you will get 4 feet (4’) and not 4 inches (4”).

8 - To carve out the interior area, single-click the interior top face to select it, then click again to start the drag face operation. Push the face all the way down, until it disappears, and click in the space to finish the process.

Note: In FormIt, unlike other software, you cannot accidentally push the face you are trying to delete ‘too far’ such that a new negative extrusion is formed.

9 - End Edit Group mode by double-clicking off in space or pressing Esc.

10 - Select the Glass Walls group with a single-click and put it on the Main Building Floor layer.

Import a Material from the Autodesk Material Library

1 - Edit the Glass Walls group again by double-clicking into it.

2 - To import a new material to the model:

  1. Go to the Materials Palette.

  2. Choose Material Sample in the drop-down menu at the top of the palette to navigate through the Autodesk Material Library.

  3. Click on the Glass+Glazing folder to open it.

  4. Find the Glass – Blue Tint material and single-click on it to add that material to your In Sketch material library.

  5. Note that you should be back in the In Sketch library, which now includes the newly selected material.

4 - Click Esc to exit the Paintbrush tool. Click Esc again, or double-click off in space to exit the group.

Quick Copy the Floor to Create the Roof

1 - To quickly create the roof based on the floor geometry:

  1. Select the Floor group with a single-click.

  2. Click one of the lower corners to start the Move tool.

  3. Start moving the floor up along the blue axis (Z Axis). Create a quick copy by tapping the Ctrl key. A "ghost" preview of the copy should appear. ​

  4. While moving along the blue axis (Z Axis), start typing 12' 2" and a Dimension Dialog will appear. Click OK or press Enter to finalize the position.

Edit the Roof

1 - While the copied group is still selected, use the Make Unique (MU) command to disassociate this group from the floor group.

2 - Double-click the group to edit it. Re-name the group to Roof in the Properties Palette. Exit the group by double-clicking off in space.

3 - In the Layers Palette, make a new Layer called Roof and add the Roof group to it. You can toggle the layer on and off to verify the correct elements are on the roof. Refer to Chapter 6 for more information on how to work with Layers.

4 - Navigate back to the Materials Palette and import the Concrete - Broom Finish - Colorized 1 material from the Concrete+Asphalt folder in the Material Samples (Production) library. Note that by clicking on the material, the selected geometry will be automatically painted, and the new material will be added to the In Sketch material library.

Note: Painting a group outside of Group Edit Mode is a helpful technique that allows you to paint different instances of the same group with different materials.

Create the Lower Terrace

1 - Based on the Plan Image, create the lower terrace as a Rectangle (R) that is 55' 3" long and 22'-7 3/4" wide, and extrude it by 1’. Position the new rectangle so that it is 8 5/8” away from the main building South edge (the depth of the columns we will create later).


  • Refer to previous chapters to learn how to draw and extrude rectangles.

  • You may need to toggle Snap to Grid (SG) on or off to click at the terrace's corner.

2 - To finalize the lower terrace:

  1. Group (G) the geometry and name it Lower Terrace Floor.

  2. Move the group up 2'-2" off the ground plane.

  3. Create a new Layer called Lower Terrace and add the group to it.

  4. Add the Terrace Level Floor to the group.

Note: This image doesn’t represent the step-by-step process to create and assign the geometry to groups, levels, and layers. For more information on these processes, refer to previous chapters in this Primer.

3 - Import the material Stone > Stone - Travertine.

4 - In the Materials Palette, find the imported Travertine material and modify it:

  1. Double-click the preview tile to open the Material Editor pop-up.

  2. Click the Color preview tile to open the Color Editor pop-up.

  3. Change the Val field to 190 to darken the tint of the material.

5 - Paint the Floor and Lower Terrace Floor groups with the modified Travertine material.

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