Civil 3D Interactive Terrain Shaping – Very Cool!

I have blogged previously about checking out the Autodesk Labs website, but this time around I am going to blog about a specific technology preview on their website; the Civil 3D Terrain Shaping Technology. For those not familiar with the Autodesk Labs website, go to the following link:

All content can be downloaded for free, but you need to get a username and password, but even that is free! There is some pretty cool stuff. The Interactive Terrain Shaping technology basically turns a surface model into “putty in your hands”. With a whole palette worth of interactive modelling commands, this technology preview is awesome! Below is a screen shot of the tools as shown on the Civil 3D ribbon.

Terrain Shaper Tools

Terrain Shaper Tools

The things that can be done with this tools are great. You can see that there are pre-defined shapes that can be placed on a surface, then specify parameters and BANG! There it is! An example of one of the tools can be seen below. In this example, I used the pond shape tool to easily grade out a pond object on the terrain model. I basically picked a feature line, selected the shape type, verified parameters and there it is! Very easy to use.


Another example is adding a swale. This can be done just as easily as creating the pond was done. In the example below, I picked a feature line to create the swale terrain type, specify parameters, and a swale has been created as seen below.


I could spend alot of time going through all the things these routines can do but instead, I am posting the link to this technology preview at the Autodesk Labs website:

Check it out! There are several videos to get an idea of what this can really do. I, for one, hope that this technology finds its way into a future release of Civil 3D. Oh, and by the way, it is also available for use in Map 3D as well.

Civil Infrastructure software is my main professional interest. Civil 3D, Infraworks, and Recap are what I work with mostly. I have been with CADsoft Consulting for over 10 years now. I got my start using Softdesk and AutoCAD R12 in DOS. My wife and I have four children and I am a die hard Red Sox fan.