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How to generate non-planer, texture-able, landscape areas?

Luke Gilmer

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I want to texture non-planer surfaces for landscape areas like sloping garden beds, undulating gravel pathways, grassed pathways, grass berms, etc.

I've used a drape surface (3D power pack) over my site model to get a nice NURBS surface. Then I used the Project Tool to trim the drape into various landscape areas. They look good ... but the Project Tool seems to be only 'hiding' the full NURBS drape, not truly trimming the NURBS surface. As a result, I end up with a lot of copies of my full drape surface, using a lot of memory and slowing my performance.

Does anybody have a solution to quickly generate texture-able NURBS surfaces for these non-planer landscape areas, without a memory and performance hit? Should I use the loft surface tool, and then edit the NURBS surface? It would be great if I could extract small sections of the site model surface or a drape surface, or if there where a command like 'convert to generic NURBS' after using the Project Tool to trim a surface.


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I would use a Texture Bed. That's exactly what they do. And even though they are for "soft" surfaces, I sometimes use them for walks and drives for that very reason, they conform to the irregular surface. If you're looking for a quick and easy representation. From a distance they look fine.

I usually draw the path as a polyline and right click and choose "object from polyline" then "site modifier" then "Texture Bed". You may have to update your site model after applying. And make sure "show 3d" is checked. And you may have to tweak your "z" elevation to get it to show fully. Just nudge it up a tiny bit. The "elevation" setting should stay at 0 to display correctly on your dim.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Monadnoc, thanks for your suggestion. I just tired a texture bed site modifier. Unfortunately, it's basically a 3D polygon, and all the interior curvature of my planting beds and lawn areas are lost. With VW2015, specifically with the new ability to set mesh smoothing in Doc Pref, existing site models look almost realistic. But site modifiers don't mesh smooth because they are not NURBS surfaces.

I'll go back and judiciously use the fewest number of drape surfaces with trimmed NURBS surfaces that I can texture for landscaping.

Best, L

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J, thank you for your response.

I've never liked Hardscape objects because they have to be flat and parallel to the layer plane, and they don't handle edge texturing well. Most of my work is not with flat installations. I've defaulted to simply using extruded surfaces that I can slope correctly and I can easily build out solder course edging with miters or other joints that texture beautifully. And Landscape objects are like Texture beds: They are essentially 3D polygons that loose all their internal curvature, i.e. they look triangulated and/or flat.

I guess I'm stuck with my trimmed draped (NURBS) surfaces that will follow the existing site model contours.


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