This 42 minute lesson goes further into site development, focusing on various methods of working with roads, paths and paved areas.
One quick method provides a contrasting color or material appearance using a Slab to delineate the area and Solid Element Operations to make the Slab surface match the original Mesh. This may be used for color-coding the 3D image to indicate various things, including roads, paths, paved areas, but also landscaping and phasing.
The basic process is simple:
1) Draw a slab to define the boundary of the road, path, or paved area. Make sure its top elevation extends far enough to go above the terrain mesh; it’s bottom may go below the terrain mesh as a whole, or to any desired depth. The slab boundary may be entered manually, or magic-wanded from pre-drawn lines or splines.
2) Open up the Solid Element Operations palette (Design menu > Solid Element Operations in ArchiCAD 10 – 14; Design Menu > Connect > Solid Element Operations in ArchiCAD 15).
3) Select the slab, designate it as the Target; select the mesh, make it the Operator, execute an SEO Intersection.
4) Select the mesh and make it the Target; select the slab and make it the Operator, execute an SEO Subtraction.
The main limitation of this approach is that the colored area will always follow the primary mesh geometry, since it is based on solid element operations related to that mesh. In addition, in a section, it will be clear that the contrasting section extends uniformly down to the base of the slab element, rather than being stepped or having a uniform thickness.
To make a sloped path have a series of stepped bases, one can break up the slab that defines the path boundary into multiple pieces, each with their own base height.
To make the sloped path have a uniform thickness (ideal for laying brick pavers with sand and gravel underlay), one can create a second copy of the main terrain mesh, lower it to the appropriate depth, and use it for an SEO subtraction from the path slab. The SEO operations need to be done in a specific order for this to work properly: subtract this lowered mesh from the slab first, then do the standard intersection and subtraction as above. Place this extra lowered mesh on a separate layer that is normally hidden except when working on the terrain model.
A second option is to create an additional Mesh that gives each area an independent geometry. This can be more realistic and flexible, and allows you to model more accurately the actual construction or ensure proper drainage. Separate meshes can be time-consuming to create and manage, however I show two versions of a technique that you can use to quickly take a single mesh and divide it into multiple independent pieces.
A rather different approach is to use a Complex Profile to represent the road along with the boundary pavement. This is primarily useful in simpler models and is appropriate for contexts in which the road maintains a constant cross-section.
As an alternative to these methods, Cigraph creates an add-on called ArchiTerra that is now part of it’s ArchiSuite set of products. This tool is not demonstrated but may be considered for somewhat more complex road modeling and other site modeling tasks.
Please post your comments and questions below.
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