Thursday, December 18, 2014

How to create a Civil 3D 2015 surface from an ESRI shape (shp) file.

In this tutorial, I’ll demonstrate how to create a Civil 3D 2015 surface from an ESRI shape (.shp) file. I believe this feature was introduced in Civil 3D 2014.

1. Create a new drawing containing Civil 3D surface styles.
2. Zoom to the project location.
3. Set the project coordinate system. For this example, my project is located in Virginia so I’m using VA83-SF for a coordinate system code.
4. Click the Surfaces pull down on the Create Ground Data panel of the ribbon.
5. Click Create Surface from GIS Data to launch the wizzard.



6. Create Surface from GIS Data – Object Options.
     a. Type a name for the surface.
     b. The description is optional.
     c. Set the surface style.
     d. Set the layer to your standards.
     e. The render material is optional.
     f. Click Next.



7. Create Surface from GIS Data – Connect to Data.
     a. Click the SHP radio button.
     b. Click the box with the three dots and locate the shape file.
     c. Click the Login button.



8. Create Surface from GIS Data – Schema and Coordinates.
     a. Check the box next to the shape file name.
     b. Set the coordinate system for the data if needed and the drawing if you have not done so.
     c. Click Next.



9. Create Surface from GIS Data – Geospatial Query.
     a. Click the Window radio button.
     b. Click the selection button to the right.

     c. Select an area around the project limits. I usually select an area larger than the project.
     d. Click the Crossing radio button.
     e. Click Next.



10. Create Surface from GIS Data – Data Mapping.
     a. Not all GIS data is created equal. Look for Elevation or Elev. in the GIS Filed column.
     b. Click the Civil3D Property field to the right and select the data. My data is called Elevation.
     c. Click Finish



11. The finished object is a usable Civil 3D surface with elevations




Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 3 of Autodesk University 2014

Day 3 was a blast. I'm sad AU is in the books but I was ready to head home. It was awesome meeting everyone and I'm already looking forward to AU2015.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Day 2 of Autodesk University 2014

Day 2 is in the books. Today was also a great day. The 3D Studio Max classes were great. I finished out the day at the Blogger/Social Media event. Great times with good friends and meeting new friends.

Day 1 of Autodesk University 2014

Day one is in the books. The classes were great. There are exciting new things coming down the pipeline. Day two should be just as fun.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Autodesk University 2014

Autodesk University 2014 is in full swing! The first class is over and now on to the Keynote Session.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to Import GIS Soils Data and Soil Type Labels into Civil 3D 2015

For this exercise, I have downloaded soils data from the United States Department of Agriculture web site. http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov

Importing the Soils Data
1.       Start a new drawing.
2.       Create a new Soils layer and Soils Label layer. I’m using  layer names for this exercise. C-SOIL-E and C-SOIL-IDEN-E.
3.       Change the drawing Coordinate System to the project location.
4.       Importing the Shape file (*.shp) data.
           a.       Type MAPIMPORT at the command line.
           b.      Change the file type to ESRI Shape file (*.shp).
           c.       Select the soilmu_a_aoi.shp file.
 
 
 5.       Change the following settings in the Import Dialog box.
           a.       Set the Drawing Layer..
           b.      Check “Import polygons as closed polylines”.
           c.       Add a data field by clicking in the data cell and the box on the right.
  

          d.      In the Attribute Data dialog box, click the “Create object data” radio button.
 
 
          e.      Click Ok to get back to the Import Dialog box.
          f.        Click Ok again to import the data.
          g.       Zoom extent to view the imported line work.
          h.      Save the file. I’m saving the file to C:\temp for easy access of the labeling steps. I named the file USDA Soils.dwg.
          i.         Close the file.
 
Add the Soils Labels
1.       Start a new drawing.
2.       Create a new Soils layer and Soils Label layer. I’m using NCS layer names for this exercise. C-SOIL-E and C-SOIL-IDEN-E.
3.       Change the drawing Coordinate System to the project location.
4.       Change the Civil 3D workspace to “Planning and Analysis”.
5.       Open the “Map Task Pane” from the View tab on the Ribbon.
6.       Click the “Map Explorer” tab on the Map Task Pane.
 
 
7.       Attach the USDA Soils.dwg drawing saved from the Importing the Soils Data steps by right clicking on the “Drawings” folder on the Map Task Pane.
8.       Click Attach.
 
 
9.       The file is located in C:\temp.
10.   Click USDA Soils.dwg and then click Add.
11.   Click OK.
 
 
Now the file is attached to the current drawing. We have to execute a query to import the soils and labels.

Importing the Soil Polylines
1.       Right click “Current Query” on the Map Task Pane.
2.       Click Define.
 
 
3.       Click the Location button.
 
 
4.       Click the “All” radio button then click Ok.


5.       Click the “Draw” radio button under Query Mode.
6.       Check the box under Options and click the Alter Properties button.


7.       Click the Layer radio button.
8.       Click the “Values…” button and select the C-SOIL-E layer.
9.       Click Ok.
10.   Click the “Add” button.

 
 
11.   Do not close the Alter Properties dialog box.

Importing the Soil Labels
1.       Click the “Text” button.


2.       In the Define Text Dialog box, click the “Expression” button.


3.       Expand the Object Data folder then click MUSYM data field.
4.       Click Ok.


5.       Set the text style, text height and layer.
6.       Click Ok.


7.       Click Ok to close the Set Property Alterations.


8.       Click the Execute Query button.


9.       Zoom extent to view the imported line work and labels.


10.   In Map Explorer, right click on the attached c:\Temp\USDA Soils.dwg.
11.   Click Detach.


12.   Save drawing.
13.   The labels may have to be moved for better presentation.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, October 31, 2014

One Month Until Autodesk University 2014!

Get signed up! There a lot of cool classes and free Autodesk certification.

http://au.autodesk.com/



Monday, September 29, 2014

Cool stuff happening at Autodesk University.


Monday, August 4, 2014

This is not CAD or Autodesk related.

Please join my son's 5k team or donate to help fund the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond. My son Ryan was born with down syndrome. He is three years old and we are raising money to support the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond.

http://www.firstgiving.com/team/270582

Thanks,
Vince

Friday, July 11, 2014

AutoCAD Hatch Tip


Have you noticed when placing a hatch pattern to an area and it's broken into pieces? Here’s a quick fix for this issue.

·         Click the hatch pattern.

·         Click the Origin pull down on the ribbon.

·         Select the origin that will best suite your needs. In this example, I selected the Center Origin.


 
 
This tip also applies to older versions of AutoCAD.



That is it.

I had to revisit this post. To set the hatch center origin as default, change the "HPORIGINMODE" variable to "5".

 
 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Civil 3D Reference Pipe Network Issue


So I’ve been trying to resolve the Civil 3D Reference Pipe Network issue. If you are not aware of the issue, when you synchronize the reference pipe network, the layers and styles are reset back to default. I think I have a fix for it. As I was poking around in the data shortcut XML file for the pipe network, I decided to change the a few settings. I know there is a notice in the XML file to “<!--PLEASE DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE!-->” but this was on a test file. I changed the Layer and useLayer settings within DisplayProperties. The only thing is I'm not sure where the settings are in Civil 3D to have it change this are of the XML file.

Here are the steps for the test.

·         I created two different pipe networks in a source file called Existing Network – 1 and Existing Network – 2.

·         Created the data shortcuts.

·          I modified the XML for Existing Network – 1 as shown below.

·         Created the reference networks into a new file.

·         Changed the layer and style of the pipes and structures to meet my needs.

·         Flipped over to the source file and clicked save.

·         Flipped back to the reference file to synchronize the pipe networks.

·         Existing Network – 1 retained the layers and styles and Existing Network – 2 was set back to default.

 

 Below is the modified pipe network XML and the default XML. The modifications are in bold and red.

Modified XML:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<!--PLEASE DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE!-->

<ProjectInfo><ProjectDesc></ProjectDesc><Shortcuts><Shortcut name="S:\303\35601-TARGET_T1018\DWG\35601C-PFSTRM.dwg:Existing Network - 1"><DwgRelPath path=".\35601-TARGET_T1018\DWG\35601C-PFSTRM.dwg"/><Criteria><File name="S:\303\35601-TARGET_T1018\DWG\35601C-PFSTRM.dwg"/><Object type="AeccDbNetwork" useType="-1" name="Existing Network - 1" useName="-1" version="0" useVersion="0" handleLow="96155" handleHigh="0" useHandle="-1" parentHandleHigh="0" parentHandleLow="0" parentAlignmentShortcutName=""/><DisplayProperties layer="C-STRM-PIPE-E" useLayer="1" color="1" useColor="0" lineType="ByLayer" useLineType="0" lineWeight="-1" useLineWeight="0"/></Criteria></Shortcut></Shortcuts></ProjectInfo>

 

Default XML:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<!--PLEASE DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE!-->

<ProjectInfo><ProjectDesc></ProjectDesc><Shortcuts><Shortcut name="S:\303\35601-TARGET_T1018\DWG\35601C-PFSTRM.dwg:Existing Network - 2"><DwgRelPath path=".\35601-TARGET_T1018\DWG\35601C-PFSTRM.dwg"/><Criteria><File name="S:\303\35601-TARGET_T1018\DWG\35601C-PFSTRM.dwg"/><Object type="AeccDbNetwork" useType="-1" name="Existing Network - 2" useName="-1" version="0" useVersion="0" handleLow="96374" handleHigh="0" useHandle="-1" parentHandleHigh="0" parentHandleLow="0" parentAlignmentShortcutName=""/><DisplayProperties layer="0" useLayer="0" color="1" useColor="0" lineType="ByLayer" useLineType="0" lineWeight="-1" useLineWeight="0"/></Criteria></Shortcut></Shortcuts></ProjectInfo>
 
If you have any questions or comments on this, please email me and I'll be happy to talk about it a little more.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Plotting GEOMAP Aerial Imagery in Civil 3D 2015

Autodesk has made it easier to import and print aerial imagery in Civil 3D 2015. The GEOMAP tool was introduced in Civil 3D 2014 with aerial imagery provided by Bing. GEOMAP allows the user to display the aerial imagery but the user was unable to plot it. Civil 3D 2015 is available for download and the GEOMAP tool has been improved. The user is allowed the plot the aerial imagery. Below are the steps to import the aerial imagery into a drawing using the new GEOMAP tools. In order to use the aerial imagery, you are required to sign in to an Autodesk 360 account.
 

To sign up for an Autodesk 360 account, go to www.360.autodesk.com.

I’m using local GIS parcel data for a reference location of this exercise.

1.   Sign in to Autodesk 360.


2.   Click Yes to use Online Map Data.


3.   Make sure the project is in the correct location.


4.   Set the correct Coordinate System for the project. I usually set the Coordinate System in the Toolspace Settings Tab.
     a.   Click the Toolspace button on the Home tab of the ribbon.
     b.   Click the Settings tab on the Toolspace.
     c.   Right click the drawing name on the top of the view.
     d.   Click Edit Drawing Settings….
     e.   In the Units and Zone tab, select the Zone Categories.
     f.   Select the Available Coordinate System. (This project is located in central Virginia, USA so the coordinate system is NAD83
Virginia State Planes, South Zone, US Foot, VA83-SF)
 
 

5.   Once the coordinate system is set, a Geolocation tab will appear on the Ribbon.
 

6.   In the Geolocation tab, you can change the coordinate location, add position markers, turn the aerial map on and off and capture
aerial imagery for plotting.


7.   Click the down arrow under the Map Off button on the Online Map panel of the ribbon.
     a.   Map Aerial - This will turn on the aerial imagery.
     b.   Map Road – This will turn on the road map without the aerial imagery.
     c.   Map Hybrid – This will turn on the aerial imagery along with the road map.
     d.   Map Off – This will turn off the map imagery.

8.   Click Map Aerial to turn on the aerial imagery.
 

9.   The Capture Area button will activate after the aerial imagery is turned on.

10.  Pan and zoom to the project area.

11.  Click the down arrow under the Capture Area on the Online Map panel of the ribbon.
     a.   Capture Area – This will allow the user to specify the captured area.
     b.   Capture Viewport – This will capture an area of the current model space extents.

12.  Click the Capture Area button and select an area around the project limits.
 

13.  Click Map Off to turn off the aerial imagery.
     a.   You will now see the captured area. This image is now printable.
     b.   The captured area is reading Bing data and does not save a local copy of the image.
 

14.  The captured aerial imagery can be adjusted within the properties palette.
     a.   Select the captured aerial image.
     b.   Open the properties palette.
     c.   The Map Type can be adjusted to Aerial, Road and Hybrid.
     d.   The Resolution can be adjusted to Coarse, Optimal, Fine and Very Fine.
 


15.  If additional aerial imagery is need for the project, delete the captured area and repeat the steps selecting a larger area.
16.  Enjoy plotting the aerial imagery.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard for AutoCAD, Civil 3D and 3DS Max


I needed a new keyboard so I purchased a Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard. Since I use AutoCAD, Civil 3D, and 3DS Max, I felt I could benefit from the macro keys on a gaming keyboard. I'm not sure how well it's going to work with the Autodesk software but I'll gave it a shot. Once I get all the macros keys setup, I’ll post a full review.



 
I have a few macro keys setup for AutoCAD Civil 3D.
 
 
 

 
After using the Logitech G510s gaming keyboard for a week, it has been a great help so far. The software profiles are nice and clear on the display. The media buttons and volume roller works well. Creating commands for the G-keys was easy using the Multi Key option under the Command Editor. I have not had time to test the G-keys on 3D Studio Max and other software but will try to do so in the coming days. It took a few days to get use to but the G-keys are a big help with AutoCAD/Civil 3D. The only issue I’m running into is the space bar will double space every so often when I type. Other than that, the overall keyboard and G-keys are working great for AutoCAD/Civil 3D.

 
More to come.
 
Here's an update of using the keyboard for a while. I did take the keyboard back to exchange it for another one. The double space was driving me nuts. The new keyboard is working much better. I feel the G-keys are a big time saver in AutoCAD and Civil 3D.