A Little More About Dog and Pony

This one is REALLY going to be short and sweet….

A week or so ago, James posted about new functionality with Civil 3D 2008 and Google Earth, mainly that you can pull in both an image and a surface now from Google Earth. We’ll hold off on any comments about the true worth of that surface that we’re bringing in and focus on something else for now.

Click more to find out – images are required to illustrate this, but it’s cool, I promise.

As you can see in the image below, I have imported a Google Earth Image and surface – this is into a blank drawing:

I found out the next part by accident…I turned off the image to speed up the drawing a bit. Then, I was playing around with my surface. I decided that I wanted to look at it in the Object Viewer (contrary to one opinion that the object viewer should never be used…where did I hear that?) So I rotate it in the Object Viewer:

Meh, that tells me nothing – so I decided to play with my Visual Style a bit, and switched it over to realistic (I rarely do this, it was an accident, I promise) – and to my surprise, here are the results:

What’s this? My original image, draped over the surface? Able to be exaggerated at will? And with the ability to project 3D blocks onto a surface?   It seems as if Civil 3D assigns the image as a render style to the surface when you import from GE – I can see some very real, and more importantly, very easy presentation techniques available now.

Have fun!


  1. What’s interesting about this is that it appears you are NOT using a surface style that displays triangles. From what I understand about the image draping feature, the surface triangles must be visible before draping.

    So this is cool (and a bit weird) on several levels.
    1. The image is automatically draped.
    2. Its draped onto a surface that is not displaying triangles.

    Anyone from Autodesk want to comment more on this?


  2. Just to clarify on my last comment…

    Jason informed me that the triangles are indeed on in the 3D view, just not 2D.

    So now I’m wondering, do triangles need only to be visible in 3D display for regular imaging draping to work? Hmmm…time to experiment and learn. 🙂

  3. Nick Zeeben says:

    When you use the import google earth image and surface the image is automatically set to be drapped. If you do them as separate operations you would need to run drape after the fact.

    In order to see the drape in 3D you need the triangles visible. In 2D it isnt going to matter as you will have the image in a flat plane to show. So yes they only need to be on in 3D.

  4. i was running into some weirdness where it would only show up draped in object viewer and not in isometric view despite the same style and visual style. perhaps it has been resolved.