Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Today, I had an interesting comment made to me while demonstrating Autodesk Civil 3D 2006. The gentleman began by saying..

"Angel, if there is one complaint that I have about you..."

which of course would peak anyone's interest. I was wondering where this was going? When he followed up by saying...

"...it is that you make it look too easy."

He finished by stating that he knew his users would not be there very quickly. I acknowledged that this of course was not the result of overnight learning. I have put effort into learning and using.

But, neither was it impossible. The software can do what we were seeing it do, and generally more easily than one would first believe.

The questions all boil down to, when does a group of users make the decision to do many things in a more efficient manner. Then when do we act upon that.

We are on the precipice of a new era for many engineering companies. The decisions made today, will change how we have traditionally done things. There are methods and mechanisms that need to be re-evaluated and redefined. We know that for many the future (the near future for some) involves a change. We need to be open minded, and those that are tasked with deciding when, need to be well informed.

Lastly, of course, those that are asked to provide the instuction, (like us here at KETIV Technologies) need to understand the responsibility to the entire engineering community. If we do are job well, there will be many happy users and companies, and the word will spread. If we do not, the entire industry can be held back because users will get a bad impression of the tools.

To instuctors I say, you are not just representing yourself, your company, or even Autodesk. Your success helps the entire industry. An industry that lays down the infrastructure that makes the rest of our lives more livable and comfortable. I wish you all well.

Now, back to hopefully, making it look easy.


Anonymous said...


I really can't comment on you making Civil 3D look easy. I suspect you have "paid your dues" and learned how to use it well.

Almost everytime I see a demo of something in Civil 3D the demo is a simple 400' long road with one typical cross section that does not tie to any other streets, nor has a cul de sac. Thats not the kind of street I have to model at work. Then the demonstrator goes on to to show how you can grip edit the alignment and change the profile. Thats not something I typically need to do either.

The demonstrator always has a nice, groomed existing surface, it all looks good, and all the PMs think, "all they have to do is hit a few buttons and click and drag" so I am left with less time to "design".

Angel Espinoza said...


I have seen my fair share of canned demonstrations. To be fair, most often the demonstrations do focus on the technology due to the limited time frame involved. But, as I indicated yesterday, it is the responsibility of the presenter to do this RIGHT. The software should not be blamed for poor or non-applicable demos.

I taught a Knuckle and Cul-de-Sacs class at Autodesk University last November and know that it can be taught in a relatively short period of time.

Yesterday's demonstration was different than most because we focused on the client's need to do variable roadway widening and depicting that in section views.

I agree with you that many demos do not adequately relate to the reality of the recipients. This should be corrected.

Anonymous said...


Can you provide a link to some info or to a class on Cul-de-Sacs? We have a method we are using, but I am interested in other ways of doing it.

Thank you.

Angel Espinoza said...

The designing of Knuckle and Cul-de-Sacs was most directly addressed at Autodesk University 2005 last November.

For those that attended AU 2005, but did not attend these specific class they can access the handouts via AU Online. I do not recall any Knuckles and Cul-de-Sacs classes for Civil 3D at AU 2004. If there were any, these handouts would be available via the AUGI website.

(A good reason to join AUGI by the way. AU handouts from several years past.)

The design of Knuckles and Cul-de-Sacs is usually not addressed by books, which focus on learning the tool as opposed to a particular application of the tool. I have had some posts and will have more that deal with these design items.