Understanding Autodesk Revit Materials18 Sep, 2013 By: Daniel Stine
Learn how to manipulate materials skillfully, and you'll be able to get the results you want from Revit.
Materials are only transparent in 3D views! The following images will explain this further and present you with a couple of options.
In any elevation view, materials are not transparent, as you can see in the left-hand image below (regardless of what Visual Style is set to). Even turning off the glass material in a view’s Visibility Graphics Overrides (VG) will not allow you to see through the "opening," as seen in the second image. The trick here is to edit the opening in the family so it is transparent in elevation, as shown in the third image.
To achieve that, simply select the opening and check Elevation on the Options toolbar.
Once the opening is set to be transparent in elevation and the glass sub-category is turned off, you can see though the windows, as shown in the image below.
Another option is to adjust a 3D view to "front." This is a flat view, just like an elevation, but is still technically still a 3D view. You can lock the view and add dimensions, tags, and notes. But you will not get grids and levels. Turn on the Section Box and you will even get the toposurface in section.
An image file can also be used to define a transparency in a render appearance asset, as shown in the image below. The lighter areas of the image are more transparent than the darker areas.