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2D Polys to 3D Contours

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As you are converting a diabolically complex contour map from 2D polygons to 3D contours...

Why doesn't VW put the 3D contours on another layer or in another class as they are made?? That would make sense, I think.

And why remove the color and line weights from the graphic you are converting? There are a lot of keys to the geometry you are converting in the colors and line weights which make it simple to orient yourself. Then VW takes them away and asks you where you are...

There are work-arounds, but geez, they didn't make this easy.

If you are interrupted in the process, supposedly you can resume by starting over on the red contour ha ha ha ha ha

Very hard to find the red contour! And your original 2D contours are now all the same color and line thickness, they are overlaid by the new 3D geometry.

So if you goof when you resume, and you don't have a couple virgin backups, you are cooked ? all your original geometry is doubled up, and you can't see where this has occurred.

And if on completion you don't tell VW to delete your orignal 2D polys (because maybe you need them), they are left on the *same layer* as the new 3D contours ? very hard to separate well!

-- If the newly generated 3D geometry could be put into a separate class, a redline class for instance (an option to do this?), or on a new layer, that would help.

Edited by mmyoung

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Hi Michael, I agree that this process could be a bit more user friendly, but I also remember just a very few years ago doing all my site calculations by hand, by drawing a line and then measuring the distance from contour to contour, etc, etc. to create a multitude of 2d site sections. Arg!

So yes there are workarounds, the easiest (and safest) of which is very simple: create a new design layer and copy and paste in place all of the 2d polys before running the command. Then choose NOT to retain the original objects. Now you have 1) a "back up" copy of the original polys and 2) certain knowledge that the ONLY objects on the new layer are the new 3d contours. This actually only takes a few seconds to do and has saved my butt more times than I wish to admit.

This might also be of help. Did you know that you can actually skip the 2d polys to 3d contours step entirely? All it does is make 3d polys that have a specific Z value (elevation). You can do this manually too, in at least a couple ways. Either just draw (or trace) the contours with the 3d poly tool then set the Z value, or use the convert command to convert any number of 2d polys to 3d polys then go change their Z values. That said, you can use the same or similar logic and methods to check the results of the 2d polys to 3d contours conversion process and correct any that are wrong (before running the Create Site Model command).

No one ever said that it wouldn't still feel like work ;-) However ultimately I agree that an option to create uniquely classed contours would be quite helpful.

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Hi Peter,

Actually, I *am* kind of embarrassed by what I wrote. It ticked me off that there were these booby traps, and I had to take a few swings at it, but it's not as bad as I made it seem. It could be documented better I suppose.

I duplicated the 2D poly layer and really heavied up my important index contours, and I was all right, so thanks for that.

But truly, yeah, the TIN generator is one heck of a powerful tool. Especially if you have to shoot the site radially ? adding the smoothing points really helps a lot. My "adventures" notwithstanding, I'm saving days of work.

Thanks for the understanding reply and the help ? very appreciated.

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