Thursday, 14 February 2013

Visualisation for Landowner Query Pt2

This post follows on from something I was working on at the end of last year and I decided to create a video showing the workflow and final results.

The first five and half minutes of the video explain a bit about what was required for the visualisation and demonstrate the workflow to get from Civil 3D to Autodesk Infrastructure Modeller (AIM). The final results from the AIM model start at 5min 40 sec for those who want to skip...

If you would like more info on how to export from C3D to AIM then read the following posts:

Monday, 11 February 2013

Civil 3D to AIM part 2 - It's all in the (Code Set) Style

In the last post we looked at taking the topo survey and areas of interest from C3D into Autodesk Infratsructure Modeller (AIM). In this post we will look at taking the proposed design (C3D corridors) out to AIM.

While you can export surfaces to LandXML from C3D and import into AIM this does not work well for corridor (proposed) surfaces. The reason is that AIM treats LandXML surfaces as Terrain and will drape your aerial imagery onto them - in effect you will end up with a surface that takes on the shape of your proposed design but has the existing aerial imagery draped onto it as below:
The most efficient method of exporting your proposed design from C3D to AIM is to use the IMX file format. As usual there is a couple of things to look out for. The main thing I have learned is that setting a render material to elements of the corridor in C3D first through the corridor code set style will make life a lot easier when you import in AIM.

First we need to identify what elements of the corridor to attach materials to. Hover over the links in your corridor (these are the corridor lines running perpendicular to the baseline) and you will see in the tooltip what the link code is:
Do this for each of the links in your corridor and note the link code being used by each. There will be a different link between each of the corridor featurelines, see below:
Next select your corridor, go to Corridor Properties on the ribbon and on the Codes tab edit the code set style being used (or create a new one).
We need to make sure that the codes set style contains all of the codes being used in the corridor. In the code set style dialog box click on Import Codes...
...navigate to your assembly in the drawing and drag a selection box around it. This will bring in all the codes used in the assembly to your code set style for editing.
Back in the code set style dialog under the links section assign a render material to each of the link codes used in your corridor. Be careful here as the top code will be used by all links so assigning a material to that will be used for all links. It is better to assign separate materials to the codes such as Daylight_Cut, Daylight_Fill, Ditch etc.
Once you have done this select the corridor in your drawing and choose object viewer on the ribbon, set the view style to Realistic. How the corridor looks in realistic view will give a good indication of how it will look in AIM. If there appears to be any part of the corridor that does not have a material assigned then check your link codes and assigned materials before exporting to AIM.
Now in C3D you are ready to export. On the Output tab of the Ribbon click Export IMX:
You can connect direct to this file in AIM. It will bring in Roads and Surface as two separate connections under data sources. As in the previous post right click on each connection separately and select configure and make sure that the coordinates are set correct. Do not drape these connections as we want to use the design level information. The corridor should now appear in AIM using the materials assigned in C3D:
Looking South from T1
 T2 and Compound with T1 in background

Civil 3D to AIM

The following couple of workflows demonstrate taking your design from Civil 3D to Autodesk Infrastructure Modeller (AIM) for visualisation. Next post will cover taking proposed design (corridors) from C3D out to Autodesk Infrastructure Modeller (AIM) for visualisation.

The first thing to be aware of is what format you export your data out of Civil 3D for use in AIM.

Existing Topo:
The best way to get your existing ground surface out of Civil 3D is to export it as a LandXML file and then connect to this in AIM. You can do this a number of ways - right click on your surface in the Toolspace and select Export to LandXML or access the command from thee Output tab of the ribbon - see below:
When you connect to this in AIM it will automatically treat it as terrain. Once connected to in AIM right click on the connection and select Configure to make sure the coordinates are set or you may not see anything in your model. Any aerial imagery will automatically be draped onto this surface.

Areas of Interest:
For any areas of interest on your site that you want to highlight in the AIM model the best format to export them out of Civil 3D is the SDF format. For example in the project (Windfarm site) I am working on there is a CAD drawing which contains all of the site constraints in AutoCAD format. you can isolate CAD objects for each type of constraint and export them as separate SDF files. You can then connect to and control the display of each of these constraints separately in your AIM model. This allows you greater flexibility in controlling the display of the constraints in your AIM model rather than importing them as a CAD drawing underlay or all at once.

One of the constraints in my CAD drawing highlights areas along the proposed internal roads where there is a high risk of peat instability. I want to be able to highlight these in my visualisation.

These are represented by closed polylines in the drawing. In Civil 3D select one of closed polylines, right click and select similar then right click again and Isolate Objects. Once isolated type MAPEXPORT, choose SDF as files of type and give the file a name. In the dialog box that appears choose 'Select Manually' and select the isolated objects from the drawing.
In AIM connect to this file as below:
After connecting to the file, right click on the connection in AIM and select configure. On the Common tab set the 'Type' as Coverage Areas, Set the style.
On the Geo Location tab set the coordinate zone. On the Source tab set the draping options to Drape (since they were just 2D polylines originally they have no level information) tick the box to convert to closed polygons also. Click close and refresh and you should see your areas draped on the 3D model as below:
In my model the red highlights areas along proposed routes where there is high risk of peat instability, blue represents areas of peat greater than 3m in depth and magenta are areas of blanket bog.