Have you ever wished your DWG projects could be visualized on a realistic terrain in AutoCAD or BricsCAD?
Plex-Earth can make your wish come true by importing real-life terrain into its workspace with only a few clicks.
Plex-Earth has been really well known for its endless capabilities. One of them is the ability to convert 2D imagery into realistic 3D models.
This feature can instantly provide information regarding terrain's quality, characteristics, altitude variations, etc.
It can be a useful tool, for every designer and engineer, in order to draw the conclusions they need and help them accomplish their projects, studies, and assessments, from the comfort of their desk.
To learn more about it follow the detailed tutorial, and unwrap Plex-Earth's magic.
NOTE: The Draping feature can be applied to any image imported in AutoCAD and BricsCAD as a raster image. Therefore, you are not limited only to Plex-Earth's imagery, but you can also use, for example, drone images.
Step 3: Drape Image to Terrain
Step 1: Import Imagery
Before we begin, we must make sure that the drawing is georeferenced. In case you don't know the coordinate system, or you start with a blank DWG, you can quickly georeference a blank drawing simply by copy-pasting your area's Google Earth placemark, in Plex-Earth's workspace.
Then, in order for the draping to take place, the imported imagery must be placed inside AutoCAD in the form of a raster image / external reference.
There are three alternatives on how to do that:
1) If we have a World file, like the ones created by Plex-Earth, we can just import it into our AutoCAD.
2) If we have a GeoTIFF, we can go to the "Insert" tab of AutoCAD or BricsCAD and select "Attach" from the "Reference Panel section".
3) For a general image file, like a .jpg, we go again to the Insert tab, select Attach from the References panel, open our image and specify the insertion point, scale and rotation.
Now we have our 2D image in our AutoCAD.
Step 2: Import Terrain
Click here to check the detailed steps on how to import terrain into your drawing.
We now have in our AutoCAD both our 2D image and our mesh terrain.
Step 3: Drape Image to Terrain
Finally, we can continue our process and overlay the image to our terrain's surface.
To achieve that, we can select from the Plex-Earth's ribbon, in the Terrain panel, the Drape Image to Surface command.
Next, we will be prompted to select the raster image. Then, we select our dynamic terrain model. Notice that Plex-Earth generates a TIN surface model so the draping can be completed.
Plex-Earth will then complete the draping so that we can enjoy following the privilege of real-life terrain.
NOTE: At this stage, remember to change your View from "2D Wireframe" to "Realistic", in order to be able to view the final result.
As you also must have witnessed, Plex-Earth can truly make your life easier. Now you can have a 3D view of your project's area, without leaving AutoCAD's or BricsCAD's environment. The most pleasant part is that you don't even have to leave your office's environment to experience all this.
We hope that you have found this tutorial on how to drape imagery onto a terrain surface and create 3D imagery, helpful. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may still have.
Don't have Plex-Earth yet? Explore all the features and potential benefits of this software; install a fully functional 7-day free trial of Plex-Earth now!
AutoCAD Version: 2023, 2022 , 2021 , 2020 , 2019 , 2018 , 2017 , 2016
Civil 3D® Version: 2023, 2022 , 2021 , 2020 , 2019 , 2018 , 2017 , 2016
AutoCAD Architecture Version: 2023, 2022 , 2021 , 2020 , 2019 , 2018 , 2017 , 2016
BricsCAD Pro: V22 , V21