Gearheadloco

Importing DWG Contours - am I "under" the property?

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Hi,

 

I'm having no luck visualizing in 3D a file import in DWG (or DXF) format created by a surveyor using AutoCAD with input from a Colorado GIS website.   I "think" I have the two layers figured out that map to Chief's  "Terrain Perimeter" and "Terrain, Elevation Data" layers correctly.   When the import is complete sure enough there is the lot (in 2D) with a perimeter and a series of contour lines that range from about 7,985 ft to 8,100 ft in altitude.   When I attempt to visualize the lot in 3D:  Camera View Tools -> Perspective Full Overview, all I see is white screen.  3D is working fine with structures, etc, but nothing at this altitude.   Is it possible that I am "below" the lot at sea level and the lot is flying 8,000 feet above me?   I believe that anything viewed from below would be transparent anyway.  How would I set the lowest point of the lot (contour line) at zero altitude to compensate?   There doesn't seem to be an option for this during import if that is the issue.

 

Thanks

Phil in San Diego

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Phil,

 

There are several ways to relate the Chief building model to terrain elevation.

It sounds like you want to start off with the lowest terrain level at zero and have Chief's level 1 at some height above that.

If so, you need to change all your terrain elevation data by deducting a value from all the data - in your case, it would be 7,985 ft.

You would then set the Subfloor Height Above Terrain to a value you want the Level 1 to be.

If you want Level 1 to be mid height, that value would be 57.5 ft (8,100 - 7985 = 115 / 2 = 57.5 ft.

 

I would not do it that way as the numbers bear no direct relationship to real world numbers.

You already have the real world terrain heights - so why change them?

I would leave the real world terrain data heights as is.

I would then set the Subfloor Height Above Terrain to 8,042.5 ft (for mid terrain height)

This means that all the terrain data is real world and the Chief Model still has it's heights related to Level 1 as zero height.

 

What I have been doing more and more is displaying everything (both terrain heights and the Chief model heights) as real world heights.

This is done by leaving the real world terrain data and then setting the Subfloor Height Above Terrain to zero and then using real world heights

in the Chief model.

ie, the Absolute floor level for Level 1 would be 8,042.5 (for the floor to be at mid terrain height).

 

This then means that all your levels for things like floors, ceilings, roof ridges, baseline heights, fascia heights are reported as real world values which quite often makes more sense that relating them to Chiefs Level 1 at zero height.

 

It's great that we have the choice to display and relate all these heights pretty well anyway we want to.

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Make sure you have created a terrain perimeter...  I spent several hours trying to figure that out once.

 

Interesting, today I actually used the data from a survey in a DWG and imported to CA for the first time.  I spent 2 hours trying to figure out why the client had a sink hole in their front yard.  I had forgot to delete my temporary elevation markers I had used before I got the survey.  Besides that little snafu, a great success.

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Thanks for the responses!   Actually I didn't want to risk messing up the building design by importing the terrain into my actual work file.  I just opened a new sheet to do the import to see what would happen.

 

So when there is no structure at all in the design, is it possible for my terrain (at 8,000 feet or so) to be flying high above?   I actually called Chief Architect tech support this morning and sent them a copy of the file I'm trying to import.   It was actually THEIR idea that my property may be "up in the sky" in 3D view.   The tech checked around to see if there was some sort of way to set the altitude of the lowest point of the import topography to zero as you suggest, but there isn't anything.   There is a checkbox to set the origin to 0,0, but not 0,0,0 if you see what I mean. 

 

So if that is the issue, do I need to go into the AutoCAD file and manually subtract the lowest elevation from all of the topo lines before I can see it in 3D?   Remember everything shows up in 2D (Terrain Perimeter and contour lines) just fine as a top-down view of the lot.  It's only when I switch to 3D that things go awry.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!
Phil

 

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Here you go!   Let me know if you get the same results - everything looks good in 2D, but crazy in 3D.

 

To the best of my knowledge the Terrain Perimeter is in layer "BDY-E" and the Terrain Elevation Data is in layer "Contour5ft_Clip"

 

Thanks for your help I really appreciate it.  I'm able to continue work on the house, but I wanted to show it planted on our land in 3D.

 

Phil

 

H03001.SITEPLAN PHIL.DWG

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Looks like its all there to me.  I'm guessing you just didn't import properly...

Terrain.thumb.jpg.e975e69488a6283173269e18482f982d.jpg

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Keep it as simple as possible. 

Create fresh plan 

Import only elevation data as such and property boundary as terrain perimeter.

Make sure terrain is closed polyline  

Finish

Create camera view and verify terrain is on.

 

Done deal as far as I know....but that is a short trip:P

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Btw.

Doesn't really matter what the assumed elevation is..

In central Oregon we are at 3600 ft but surveyor generally assumes 100.00 as basis and we go from there.

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18 hours ago, Gearheadloco said:

 

Here you go!   Let me know if you get the same results - everything looks good in 2D, but crazy in 3D.

 

To the best of my knowledge the Terrain Perimeter is in layer "BDY-E" and the Terrain Elevation Data is in layer "Contour5ft_Clip"

 

Thanks for your help I really appreciate it.  I'm able to continue work on the house, but I wanted to show it planted on our land in 3D.

 

Phil

 

H03001.SITEPLAN PHIL.DWG

 

With your Info it works for me BUT the Full Camera Perspective OverView is WAY Off Base :) so I guess you did whatever I did ...blank white screen as described , so I Opened the Overview Camera DBX and noted it was almost (minus) -16400" below the Floor (0'") .................( or 1366' below the Floor :) )

21.thumb.PNG.b728a7ff1a592b099e3844235a2b5321.PNG

 

So I took a Full Camera View and there the Terrain was in all it's Glory..... 3312" ABOVE the Floor , so I copied the Full Camera DBX info, into the Overview Camera DBX and all was well....

22.thumb.PNG.69868476230e8e0556ab8b3cda71ed55.PNG

 

Thanks for the Practice , knowing the Terrain Perimeter and Elevation Data Layers made it pretty easy , was the DWG in Feet or Decimal Feet though?

Here is my attempt in X10 Beta anyway : DWG Terrain Import Plan.plan

 

Also, it's good to have your Forum Signature filled in, especially with the Software Version,
and of course a Name is nice too for future posts :) ..............see mine below in Blue for how to do that

 

M.

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Thank you Kbird1 and everyone!  I took the 3312 inches from the Full Camera View, converted it into feet, and jammed it into the "Perspective Full Camera Overview" dialog and I see it too.

 

As anything but a Chief Architect expert, I need to ask a couple more questions if you guys have a few more minutes to help -

 

At this point I'd like to import the terrain into my home design drawing, and locate the house at a certain X,Y,Z coordinate on the land.  I'm not quite sure why 3312" / 12 or 276' is a magical number to see the terrain, but would I need to "raise" my house design 276' along the Z axis so that it and the land are visible in 3D?

 

Is there a Chief video or help topic that talks about marrying an existing design to new terrain that is at a different "altitude"  ?   Sorry, not exactly sure how to describe this.

 

Thanks again,

Phil

 

11 hours ago, Kbird1 said:

 

With your Info it works for me BUT the Full Camera Perspective OverView is WAY Off Base :) so I guess you did whatever I did ...blank white screen as described , so I Open the Camera DBX and noted it was almost (minus) -16400" below the Floor (0'") .................( or 1366' below the Floor :) )

21.thumb.PNG.b728a7ff1a592b099e3844235a2b5321.PNG

 

So I took a Full Camera View and there the Terrain was in all it's Glory..... 3312" ABOVE the Floor , so I copied the Full Camera DBX info, into the Overview Camera DBX and all was well....

22.thumb.PNG.69868476230e8e0556ab8b3cda71ed55.PNG

 

Thanks for the Practice , knowing the Terrain Perimeter and Elevation Data Layers made it pretty easy , was the DWG in Feet or Decimal Feet though?

Here is my attempt in X10 Beta anyway : DWG Terrain Import Plan.plan

 

Also, it's good to have your Forum Signature filled in, especially with the Software Version,
and of course a Name is nice too for future posts :) ..............see mine below in Blue for how to do that

 

M.

 

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It really shouldn't be that complicated.  Just import it directly into your plan.  Have you even tried it at all yet?

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Yes, I have a couple of times - it's interesting.   When you bring the terrain into the existing design, I don't need to tell the camera to shift 262' up to see the top of the land in 3D.   It puts the house in the dead center of the property (37 acres)  and about 20 feet underground.  I guess adding terrain that is at the "wrong" altitude gets "fixed" when there is an existing design done at sea level?

 

I'm using Chief to do my own electrical, plumbing, solar and septic design....I used it in the past with the architect who is in Sweden to go over space planning.  Having a 3D render of the house would be great in visualizing the septic tank and pipes, the leach field etc., which is the current task.

 

Anyway what I'm trying to figure out now is how to give a corner of the house a certain setback from the lot edges per the site plan being done in AutoCAD by my structural engineer.  And along with the X,Y of that, I'd like to dial in a Z for the house so that I can experiment where retaining walls need to be.

 

So yes it imports, but I haven't figured out how to dial in X, Y and Z of the house to the land so that I can dig the house out of the terrain.

 

Thanks,

Phil

 

 

 

 

 

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In short...

 

When you import the terrain and elevation data, make sure its all on a unique layer or layers.  This will make it easier for you to group select by locking/unlocking layers as necessary.  To move the house on the terrain, you could use Edit Area to move the house, but I would personally probably group select all the imported stuff and move that instead via Point to Point Move.  That should get your house where you want it on the lot.  For the Z location, open the terrain and use the Subfloor Height Above Terrain setting.

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Thanks Alaskan_Son,

 

OK, I will leave the house where it is, and try to move the land around beneath it.  The imported .DWG file is only about 12 layers and they are at the moment on individual layers in Chief.   Would you suggest re-importing them and have Chief put them all on one layer?   They aren't too much value to me as individual layers.

 

But how is the Point-to-Point move done with the layer or layers that the terrain is on?  That sounds like the ticket - will I be able to give a value relative to the terrain boundary like in a traditional setback?

 

Appreciate the pointers,

Phil

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Chief always places the House in the Middle of the Terrain Perimeter at 1st , Edit Area All Floors should work okay to get in to the General Location with a Point to Point Move and then rotate as needed.  ( you can pre-place a CAD Point at the House Location if you know it to help.)

 

One thing to note is the Terrain won't usually fix itself after the move , in relation to the house ie Level 1 Subfloor 18" AGL , and a Rebuild may not work either, so Force the Height rebuild by opening the Terrain's DBX and turning Automatic back on , (usually off I find)  which will reset the Terrain height to the default distance  (18" AGL) and let it rebuild , you can then open it again and uncheck automatic if needed and raise or lower the Terrain as needed to suit a sloping terrain etc.

 

Mick.

 

 

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