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This thread is dedicated to the use of elevation points as one of several methods that can be used to control the behavior of Chief's terrain generation.  Late yesterday afternoon D. Scott Hall hosted a GoToMeeting on terrain and the use of elevation points was one of the things that was discussed in the back half of the meeting which was all that I attended.  Chopsaw made a point that he does some of his own site surveys and that these surveys result in many survey "elevation points" that he inputs into his Chief Architect terrain models to generate the terrain for each project.  Scott was of the opinion that a better terrain might result by using very small terrain regions in the locations where survey points were taken/are known.  That is quick and dirty background for this post. 


I often use elevation points when I create terrains around projects I do.  I usually am not working from a survey done by a surveyor - I just create a  terrain that is more or less representative for a projects "estimated" terrain to wow the customer.  Around my area building departments for residential construction haven't required site surveys for new plans.  I am only required to show arrows designating the direction of drainage (i.e., the slope of the land).  Since I haven't put in enough time to really get good at doing terrains (become a terrain guru), using elevation points, just like using elevation lines or regions, is hit and miss.  I often end up moving these elevation inputs many times to get a terrain I am happy with.  I think we've all experienced those terrain areas that seem to go berserk and it can get frustrating at times in trying to get rid of those "spikes" in the terrain when they occur.  I am not criticizing Chief's terrain program ... like everything in Chief, it reacts to the data inputs we give it.


Back to using elevation points ... Rich Windsor posted an interesting test he performed on a small terrain using elevation points and small elevation regions in the thread "Terrain Guru Needed".  Very interesting, thanks Rich ... that is certainly one way to get better acquainted with Chief's terrain tools ... by experimentation.  That is what Scott and Glenn were doing when I got into the terrain meeting yesterday.


Many years ago, Roger Rhines, who used to be a regular participant on ChiefTalk ... and a very experienced and knowledgeable user I will add, posted a plan on a thread that was about how to create the terrain for a driveway to a basement garage where the driveway had retaining walls on each side.  I saved that plan and ... hopefully with Roger's blessing ... am posting it here for others to look at to see how Roger created what I thought was a very nice terrain for the subject at hand.  In his plan you'll note that he used quite a few elevation points to generate the terrain.  I occasionally will look at Roger's plan when I am stuck trying to accomplish something in a terrain I am working on.


Check it out.  See how Roger used Chief's terrain tools to create a very nice terrain.  Below is a terrain for a house project I am just about done with ... mostly done with elevation lines and regions.



Sunken Driveway &


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Is the logic of this method that by using points for the main, underlying terrain data, you can better use terrain modifier tools which won't interfere as much.  That actually makes a lot of sense.

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26 minutes ago, johnny said:

Did anyone video capture the go-to-meeting Scott hosted?


I tried to record but had audio issues at the beginning and end so did not bother posting but I think we will likely have another workshop after people all play with this idea a bit more.  My take would be to use points in a grid pattern for the existing terrain and then delete them (after making a cad detail from view of the original) as modifications are made in reconstruction areas.

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I have never successfully used elevation points nor have I ever found that I needed to to get proper terrain. I do use lines, splines, breaks and regions. Points, especially if you have many of these are time consuming, hard to see on screen and  sometimes hard to find just the point that has the improper value. You are welcome to disagree with me, I do what works for me only and have found points to be an unnecessary pain.



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