Griffin

Terrain Guru needed

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After spending more hours with terrain today  I remain unable to find any method that produces consistent and expected results.  Take a large flat parcel, add a few elevation points, areas or contours, and Chief starts making up all sorts of elevations as if it ware automatically trying to manage cut and fill for the entire terrain perimeter.  

 

Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere (like Turn Insanity Mode OFF)

 

Does anyone here have a method that works?

Capture.JPG

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Add an area or two that are set to be a little lower than your patio slabs that run under them and possibly a little larger than they are and that will give you the most control so the grass does not overtake your design as pictured.

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who doesn't need a chief terrain guru...?   

 

Chief terrain is "spooky action at a distance"....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_at_a_distance

 

Quote

In physics, action at a distance is the concept that an object can be moved, changed, or otherwise affected without being physically touched (as in mechanical contact) by another object. That is, it is the nonlocal interaction of objects that are separated in space. Pioneering physicist Albert Einstein described the phenomenon as "spooky action at a distance"

 

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Many Chief users, and CA employees, suggest using elevation lines and elevation regions more so than elevation points.  Mastering terrain takes lots of experimentation and practice.  I have never come close to mastering it but enjoy trying different approaches when time allows.  In some ways, mastering terrain building is a lot like mastering ray tracing.  It doesn't come overnight, but many Chief users have produced some remarkable results in both areas, so it can be done.  Good luck.

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Terain break is the tool. Here is a a pictorial comparison showing how to lock the specific area you want terain calculation to happen without affecting undesired area at a distant. I think this tool allows us to control the smokey interaction of terrains in chief.

terain Smoky Versus Non smoky controll.jpg

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2 hours ago, johnny said:

who doesn't need a chief terrain guru...?   

 

Chief terrain is "spooky action at a distance"....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_at_a_distance

 

 

That is the perfect description.  It doesn't take an Einstein to  to know that when you set a data point in one location, having the terrain change 100 yards away is NOT A FEATURE.  

 

Just imagine a world where you dig a hole in the back yard to plant a tree, only to discover that the driveway in the front of your house has changed elevation.  Welcome to the spooky world of Chief Architect Terrain.

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2 hours ago, CJSpud said:

Many Chief users, and CA employees, suggest using elevation lines and elevation regions more so than elevation points.  Mastering terrain takes lots of experimentation and practice.  I have never come close to mastering it but enjoy trying different approaches when time allows.  In some ways, mastering terrain building is a lot like mastering ray tracing.  It doesn't come overnight, but many Chief users have produced some remarkable results in both areas, so it can be done.  Good luck.

Yes, they do.  That's because the terrain offset algorithms in Chief have shamefully NEVER BEEN DEBUGGED.  

 

Every topo demo that I've seen is just a cartoon.  Perhaps there are some good examples out there, but how many hours (days) did it take to get that?  

 

I hope that Brian "if it compiles; ship it" Beck occasionally reads this stuff.  

 

Having wasted most of my Saturday, I'm currently redoing all the terrain in SU and importing it as a symbol.  

 

"So Sad"

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1 hour ago, yusuf-333 said:

Terain break is the tool. Here is a a pictorial comparison showing how to lock the specific area you want terain calculation to happen without affecting undesired area at a distant. I think this tool allows us to control the smokey interaction of terrains in chief.

 

Very nice demo pictorial Yusuf.  I will give this another try on my next job. I like how you intersected the terrain breaks.  Last time I found the break to be too abrupt but you did a good job.

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30 minutes ago, Chopsaw said:

 

Very nice demo pictorial Yusuf.  I will give this another try on my next job. I like how you intersected the terrain breaks.  Last time I found the break to be too abrupt but you did a good job.

Yes, Thank you all for the responses.  

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Without a plan being posted, it is hard to say what the solution is as we don't know what you have already done.

My best guess is that you can achieve what you want very easily by using Elevation Regions (with or without Terrain Breaks) in combination with the other terrain tools - DO NOT use Elevation Points..

 

2 hours ago, Griffin said:

That's because the terrain offset algorithms in Chief have shamefully NEVER BEEN DEBUGGED.  

 Is this so?

Where did this information come from?

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12 hours ago, glennw said:

Without a plan being posted, it is hard to say what the solution is as we don't know what you have already done.

My best guess is that you can achieve what you want very easily by using Elevation Regions (with or without Terrain Breaks) in combination with the other terrain tools - DO NOT use Elevation Points..

 

 Is this so?

Where did this information come from?

 

Glenn, thanks for your comments.  I have not been successful (or skilled) with getting terrain to map to this outside patio area.  I have posted the plan in case you want to try some of your suggestions. I have tried Elevation Regions, Raised and Lowered Areas, Terrain retaining walls, the dreaded Elevation Points, etc..  The longer I work on it the more untamed it becomes.  

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

New_Compressed_(zipped)_Folder.zip

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The key to controlling terrain is to make ONE CHANGE at a time with elevation objects immediately checking in a camera view or views to observe the change that new or edited elevation object effected. Then make another change and then check the results with camera views. This method is methodical and allows you to remain in control while you are arriving, step by step at your goal or goals. I also NEVER use points because they do not emulate real world values and outcome, they are also quite small and if only one is wrongly set it is hard to then find that single point among points to make a correction. I use elevation lines, splines, areas and breaks. Take it a step at a time and you will then be able to develop judgement and prediction of results. In order to model your specific terrain one would have to know or have seen the terrain at your intended site. The best way is to make site measurements or to have a terrain map to start with. Only on simple terrain have I been successful in importing-converting GPS or other preconceived terrain data directly to a terrain plane in Chief. What I have found successful is to import a graphic terrain map as an image or PDF, scale it, orientate it to the structure model in Chief and then trace over its graphic lines with Elevation object, checking as I go with each change or edit. Placing a number of points first before checking often creates a bizarro world environment which is difficult to straighten out after the fact (too many variables).

 

DJP

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Thanks David,

 

I have attached a detailed and scaled PDF site survey with the ZIP file in case you wanted to take a look.  I tried several times to import the DWG contour data from the surveyor, but in the end it was unhelpful due to the unpredictability of the terrain modeler itself.  

 

My underlying frustration is that Chief appears to spend lots of time perfecting features that demo well at trade shows (like slide-out garbage bins in kitchens, I guess), but then leaves important (income producing) core capabilities to lag behind.  I'm frustrated because in so many respects Chief is an excellent program, and in other areas it just falls short.

 

I would happily pay a little more for CA every year if it meant that I wasted fewer weekends.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Griffin said:

Thanks David,

 

I have attached a detailed and scaled PDF site survey with the ZIP file in case you wanted to take a look.  I tried several times to import the DWG contour data from the surveyor, but in the end it was unhelpful due to the unpredictability of the terrain modeler itself.  

 

My underlying frustration is that Chief appears to spend lots of time perfecting features that demo well at trade shows (like slide-out garbage bins in kitchens, I guess), but then leaves important (income producing) core capabilities to lag behind.  I'm frustrated because in so many respects Chief is an excellent program, and in other areas it just falls short.

 

I would happily pay a little more for CA every year if it meant that I wasted fewer weekends.

 

 

Griffin

I think the reason you failed to import a contour lines in DWG form is that the lines in AutoCAD are not preset to have a z value that indicates the lines are actual terrain data. I advise you to check the autocad lines have associated Z values. Once you confirm this, then import it in to chief. Chief will recognize the lines as a terrain data during import process. You must assign those contours as a terrain data while you import it, and simply you can see those data auto generate your terrain as it is. You can see the alignment of chief generated contour lines are exactly in line with those you imported. I prefer importing the cad lines rather than tracing them as PDF and again assign one by one. Why? Too much work. Even if they haven't z data, it is easy to select the line in AutoCAD and fill that data manually in side autocad. You also have to make sure your surveyor provides you an actual contours rather than simply a contour line that is lacking the Z values. I usually import data processed in eagle point and chief builds accurate model based on that info. If you you import wrong data, chief will build a wrong terrain. I can assure you, nothing is wrong with chief's algorithm in calculating terrain. I have also used points in grid format directly taken from survey instrument and they work great. 

 

After building the original terrain is when you start modifications to fit your needs. You have a lot of techniques to perform this inside chief, and they are good once you learn how they work.

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On 4/29/2017 at 0:46 PM, Griffin said:

After spending more hours with terrain today  I remain unable to find any method that produces consistent and expected results.  Take a large flat parcel, add a few elevation points, areas or contours, and Chief starts making up all sorts of elevations as if it ware automatically trying to manage cut and fill for the entire terrain perimeter.  

 

Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere (like Turn Insanity Mode OFF)

 

Does anyone here have a method that works?

Capture.JPG

 

Griffin,  I have been doing terrains for a long time.  I can do them.  With some effort I can get what I want........

 

HOWEVER,  I just opened a relatively complex terrain and it was not the way I left it.  At one time it work relatively well.....  after a few days I go back to the model and the terrain is not behaving as it did.  It is a walk out basement........  for some reason there was something I did to the BUILDING MODEL  (not the terrain),  that messed up the terrain.  This kind of stuff is very frustrating...  I will not even try to fix it now.....  not worth the effort.....  I am as frustrated as you.

 

I agree with you,  it should not be this difficult to set a terrain and have it STICK.  I do not know what the problem is.  I think CA can do a "simple terrain" easily...  but if it does not fit within their "model",  you are on your own.

 

I have terrain "bleeding" into my basement.  

 

See attached pic,  Note the dirt "bleeding" into the garage.  It was not like that a few days ago.  I would post the plan,  but I do not think anybody can fix it WITHOUT A LOT OF TIME.  

 

I do not think it should be necessary to stand on one leg doing 3 hail Mary's to get the terrain to work.......  and then hope that if I sneeze the terrain will not screw up.  Very very frustrating.  

 

As I said,  at one time the terrain was great..... you can compare the two pics,  note the dirt "bleeding into the garage" in each picture......  it is different in each picture,  I did not change the terrain......  very very frustrating...

 

 

 590742925caac_ScreenShot2017-05-01at7_13_18AM.thumb.png.63e8f15207a270574ed6d2e197713a11.png

 

5907409f0e06f_ScreenShot2017-05-01at7_03_05AM.thumb.png.84589d5b28e6a29c7d19ed2c7c058b1e.png

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Another example,   the top pic is good,  the bottom pic is bad.....  what happened?  I do not know.  

 

I can't imagine what I did to the model that effected the terrain adversely.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 7.44.12 AM.png

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I've never had a problem with doing terrain

 

I send it to my friend and pay him to do it :)

 

Lew

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Scott,  That is a pretty crazy trip hazard on the stairs in the first example.  Check your flatten pad setting and see if that is not saving consistently or maybe you could pay Lew's friend.

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It took a very long time to be what I would consider "decent" at terrain...one thing I believe to be true as someone kind've hinted at, is that you have to look at the terrain model as an art piece. Lines need to flow, elevation markers have no place in the model, you must shift elevation splines to make contours that make sense in terms of molding a piece of clay. ACCURACY COMES AFTER YOU HAVE MOLDED EVERYTHING. Make sure your intervals are set for larger spacing and your terrain details set to low or medium while you are working the model. Also copy and past your splines instead of drawing new splines and this will help keep the model uniform while you set things in place. Often times you can set more splines then necessary and after you have your basic contours in place you can delete them and the model will hold together. Manipulate the terrain with a 3D view in a second window to track the changes...I've attached a couple of examples of some more difficult terrain models as well as one I am currently working on, each of which had their aggravating moments

backyard.jpg

backyard2.jpg

Daoust MAD Promo.png

Untitled 1.jpg

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10 hours ago, dshall said:

Another example,   the top pic is good,  the bottom pic is bad.....  what happened?  I do not know.  

 

I can't imagine what I did to the model that effected the terrain adversely.

Scott,

 

Post the plan

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Griffin,

 

I opened your plan and there was no terrain information let alone a terrain.

I also didn't see a .pdf of the levels.

I am happy to help if I can, but it would be good if you could at least make a start on the terrain and give us something to work off.

Once you get something more, I could do a Skype session and try and help you.

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Your works are quite difficult to achieve. Very impressive.

You might be the TERRAIN GURU that has been looked for, so long.

 

21 hours ago, Renerabbitt said:

It took a very long time to be what I would consider "decent" at terrain...one thing I believe to be true as someone kind've hinted at, is that you have to look at the terrain model as an art piece. Lines need to flow, elevation markers have no place in the model, you must shift elevation splines to make contours that make sense in terms of molding a piece of clay. ACCURACY COMES AFTER YOU HAVE MOLDED EVERYTHING. Make sure your intervals are set for larger spacing and your terrain details set to low or medium while you are working the model. Also copy and past your splines instead of drawing new splines and this will help keep the model uniform while you set things in place. Often times you can set more splines then necessary and after you have your basic contours in place you can delete them and the model will hold together. Manipulate the terrain with a 3D view in a second window to track the changes...I've attached a couple of examples of some more difficult terrain models as well as one I am currently working on, each of which had their aggravating moments

backyard.jpg

backyard2.jpg

Daoust MAD Promo.png

Untitled 1.jpg

 

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Those who know how - can't understand why others don't

 

Lew

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On 5/1/2017 at 7:47 AM, dshall said:

Another example,   the top pic is good,  the bottom pic is bad.....  what happened?  I do not know.  

 

I can't imagine what I did to the model that effected the terrain adversely.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 7.44.12 AM.png

 

Thanks to Glenn,  he helped me with the problem.  Somewhere down the line I had changed the TERRAIN SMOOTHING TO LINEAR,  once I changed it back to MEDIUM,  all was well.  I do not know why I would of changed it......  I never get into the terrain DBX.....  another of life's mysteries.

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Scott, on a recent thread (elevation data point problem) glenn advised that a change of terrain surface smoothing to linear would remove peaks & troughs. Is it possible that you played with this setting in terrain defaults after viewing that post, that then affected your plans when you opened them?

I'm still perplexed by the terrain mysteries of when to use linear terrain smoothing, could glenn (the zeus of ca) please find some time to enlighten this mere mortal with a video on terrains

many thanks

 

Edited by mwarch
wrong title
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