Feature Line Editing


SNAG-0019

Today is just a short reminder, again, to not use layers to control visibility with Civil 3D objects. I’m doing a project where I was given a file that had contours (same at elevation but most were not), text next to 2 lines in an X arrangement, spot elevations that were pointing to random spots along a curb line, etc. I would have hoped this came from an exploded version of the Civil 3D model, but with other factors like layer naming, I was not hopeful. So I set off to build the surface from scratch.

Initially, I looked at the contours. So I isolated those layers and split my view so I could understand which “lines” were at the correct elevation. In one view I used a TOP orientation and the other view used a LEFT/RIGHT/FRONT/BACK view. In this “side” view, it was easy to see the bad elevations. So I changed the color of those objects to something in contrast to the layer color. As I made the appropriate elevation change, I set the object color back to BYLAYER.
SNAG-0018

Next up were spot elevations. I had a single Mtext with 2 lines forming an ‘X’ indicating the location of the elevation noted in the text label. What to do here… My first thought was to create a dynamo script, but it was only about 100 or so points. So I set the point creation settings (automatic description, manual elevation) and set the OSNAP to intersection. It went rather quickly even though it was quite monotonous.
SNAG-0015

Wait, I thought you said this was a quick reminder about layer management of civil objects. It is… Wait for it……

Last objects I needed to create were feature lines representing curb and other hard edges. I simply joined all contiguous lines as much as possible with zero elevation. I intended to use Quick Elevation Edit to run down each feature line as quick as possible to add the elevation data. By this time, I had used Layer Isolate to have the feature line layers ON and the 2D CAD layers ON as well. When I went to edit the elevations, the tooltip would show the elevation or grade of the feature line as expected. However, the green glyph indicating which vertex or slope I was editing was NOT visible. Did I mention I was given this file? Initial reactions were that it was a setting in the file. Then, for some reason, I used layer Unisolate and tried again. Voila! Green glyphs were now visible? Great… It’s a layer thing. See, I told you…
SNAG-0016

But there was way too much going on, I needed the isolation to read the labels and pick the right spots. So I returned to my previous layer state and tried turning certain layers I thought might be used to show those glyphs. No luck at all. So I started to go through and turn individual layers ON one at a time to find the needle in the haystack, starting with layer zero. To my surprise, this was the layer! How random. After all that pain, I thought I should capture this little bit of knowledge and share with others that may have had similar troubles.
SNAG-0017

The moral of the story? Don’t use layer states to control civil 3D objects, chaos will likely find you!
chaos-019

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About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

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