Want to create a real-life Civil 3D surface? This tutorial will show you how to use Plex-Earth's Imagery and elevation data.
Plex-Earth offers worldwide elevation data, from providers like Cesium, AWS, and Google Elevations, as well as high-quality satellite and aerial Images from a great range of providers like Google Maps and Nearmap, which can be helpful for your Civil 3D models.
This can be achieved in a few simple steps:
Step 1. Georeference your drawing
Firstly, you will need to georeference your drawing. You can do so, by using one of the two available options provided by Plex-Earth (apply a coordinate system or apply a custom georeference). In case you have an already georeferenced drawing via Civil 3D, Plex-Earth automatically recognizes the coordinate system applied, so you can instantly move further and proceed with creating a mosaic image.
Step 2: Import a Satellite Mosaic Image
To Import an Imagery Mosaic, go to the respective button located in the Imagery panel of the Plex-Earth's ribbon, specify the preferred Imagery Provider & Image Quality, specify the Imagery cover area, and capture the images. Click this link for more info on how to Import Imagery.
Step 3. Insert Raster Image
The next step will be to create a local copy of the Imagery so that this can be used from Civil 3D. To do so, just use the Insert command of the Mosaic Editor, and your Raster Image will automatically be saved on your computer. Visit this link on how to insert a raster image.
Step 4. Import Model in Civil 3D
Now, you can proceed to Terrain import. To do this, go to Plex-Earth's Terrain panel and select Import Terrain. Click this link for detailed information, regarding the procedure of importing a terrain model.
Step 5: Insert Civil 3D Surface
After importing the terrain model, we need to insert the data in a form recognized from Civil 3D. To do so, we select to insert a Civil 3D surface from the available options. This surface is automatically recognized and shown on Civil 3D Prospector. Check the link here on how to convert Plex-Earth Surface to Civil 3D Surface.
Step 6: Drape Image onto Civil 3D Surface
Select the Civil 3D Surface in your drawing as the Civil 3D Surface ribbon tools to appear. Then select the Drape Image command. On the pop-up window, select the raster mosaic created in Step 3 and the Civil 3D Surface inserted in Step 5.
To make visible your 3D model, first, switch your Visual Style to Realistic. Optionally, you can delete or hide your raster image to get a clearer visualization. Another adjustment could be to disable specific surface components, like points, to optimize your 3D model appearance further (keep in mind that the Triangles of your surface should be enabled as a component in the Surface Style Properties, for the drape to be visible). Lastly, in cases of large surface models, you may need to enable the level of detail view to enhancing Civil 3D performance.
Plex-Earth is the go-to tool for obtaining really quick accurate imagery and elevation data to use in your Civil 3D models.
We hope that you have found this tutorial on how to create a real-life Civil 3D Surface using Plex-Earth Image and Elevation data helpful. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may still have.
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