Creating Colorful Presentations for a Client

Hi folks! I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, but I’ve been busy. Hotel after hotel, mile after mile on the road, and it’s hard to blog from a rental car. I’ll try to be better in the future…

I’m often asked the question “Is it possible to quickly create a drawing displaying cut and fill areas for a project?” This is a very good question – back in the Land Desktop days I was working for a German client who had a severe aversion to building his factory on top of fill. Anything else on the site could be filled, but not the part under the (very large) building pad. Using polyline tracing and hatching, I was able to show him those areas even back then, but it took some time. I’m going to show you how to QUICKLY display that information.

This exercise works with a roadway surface. It also assumes that you’ve already gotten your existing ground surface and your roadway surface defined. Here’s mine, and the profile that accompanies it:

Here, I’ve got two surfaces defined, EG and Road. The first step that I need to take is to define a volume surface between these two surfaces. I do that by creating a new surface and selecting the type as TIN Volume Surface. I assign it a base surface of EG and a comparison surface of Road. I also assign it a style that I created called Elevations, which displays (of all things) the elevations that I’m about to run.

Next, I select my new Volume Surface (Road Volume Surface in this drawing) and go to the properties of that surface. I’ll need to click on the Analysis tab to run the Elevation analysis. In the Analysis Type box, I’ll select Elevations, then set my range to 2. Next, I’ll click the blue arrow down button to run the analysis – something that many people don’t know or forget to do. Once this runs the analysis, I’ll edit my two ranges. I’ll set range 1 to a maximum elevation of -0.01 (this is my fill range). I’ll then set range 2 to a minimum elevation of 0.01 (this is my cut range). The last thing I’ll do is set the color of range 2 to red.

Now, once I cliek OK, my surface changes display – the following is what you should see now:

As you can see, the areas of fill are in blue, the areas of cut are in red.

Have fun!

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