Friday, April 22, 2005

Autodesk Official Training Courseware

I am definately looking forward to the Autodesk Official Training Courseware (AOTC) for Civil 3D 2006. I believe it will be an update version, which means it focuses on the differences between 2006 and 2005.

I was impressed with the Civil 3D 2005 AOTC. There were a few things left out but as far as showing how things are done with real world examples that I could relate to, I liked it.

I had previously read on Shaan Hurley's Blog that the new versions of AOTC will contain product trial CDs of the software, they will be standard 8-1/2 x 11 inches in size, and they will be spiral bound (they can lie flat). All welcome changes.

Blog Site Stats

We have now had over 10,000 visits to the site this year from 98 countries.

Thank you!

P.S. Please remember input is ALWAYS welcome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Civil 3D Demonstration

We held a seminar today focusing on the 2006 family of products, with a distinct focus on Civil 3D 2006. One of the moments that I felt was most impactful for the typical Land Desktop user was when we showed how very easy it was to transfer their Land Desktop project data into Civil 3D 2006 and then after working with that data getting that information back into Land Desktop. The ease with which this is accomplished was surprising to many.

I have in the past made reference to the Land XML capability to do this, and the fact that both Civil 3D and LDt can read data directly from the other. Certainly, Civil 3D offers many quicker easier ways of doing things. But, this groups saw that their existing data can be used instantly. Also they saw that they can learn portions of Civil 3D and use this to supplement their existing capabilities.

Most saw that it is not necessary to learn the ENTIRE package (Civil 3D) in order to improve efficiency and profitability.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Entire World in 3D

The link above gets us to a NASA website that allows us to download software which when installed gives us a 3D view of the entire planet.

This is the best viewer I have ever seen. You can change the base images between true color, black and white, false color, quad maps, and the images for urban areas are awesome.

Many of you have seen the urban area maps on Goggle Maps, TerraServer or other locations. But, when I saw them in 3D I was blown away!!!

We have the choice of many image formats to save the views to.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Day 4

Today was the final day with Autodesk. We covered the improvements to assemblies, corridors, and sections, among other things. Here are a couple of QUICK points:

We can now toggle different regions ON and OFF within a corridor (this should speed things along).

In sections we can now edit individual sections or ranges of sections. This was excellent!

We can now create labels that apply to sections automatically. This is a BIG time saver.

Imagine placing Corridor Feature lines in profiles. It is now possible.

With these things and many more we will have tons to learn and take advantage of in the coming months.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Pipes - Second Glimpse

Today in Orlando we focused on the NEW Pipes capabilities. I came away with the feeling that it is simpler to use than most would think. The default styles, parts, and rules cover many user scenaries. Yet, there is still enough flexibilty and depth to allow for more intricate designing and drafting requirements.

I apologize for the bevity of this weeks posts. But, this is Orlando after all.

I hope to cover all of these subjects and more in detail in upcoming posts. I have one more day here and I must admit I am looking forward to it.

By the way, I had the opportunity to meet many of the folks that provide quality responses in discussion groups and other locations. It is great to have finally met them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Map 3D 2006 & Raster Design 2006

Today in Orlando my time was spent looking at Map 3D 2006 and Raster Design 2006. Both of these products have some pretty good improvements. My favorite for each was:

Map 3D 2006: The ability to to automatically create links between objects with object data and database table records. This was VERY easy to use!

Raster Design 2006: The TOUCHUP command which is similar to paintbrush. This allows the user to freehand add of remove pixels from a bitonal raster image.

Tommorrow a closer look at Civil 3D 2006.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

AutoCAD 2006

Today in Orlando, with Autodesk, the Infrastructure Solution Division's (ISD's) focus was AutoCAD 2006. The main focus of this release, without question, is making drafting faster and easier. This is accomplished by the five following capabilities:

1. Much Improved Heads-up Design
2. Anntotation Improvements
3. Productivity Enhancements
4. Improved Blocks
5. Migration/Transition

Perhaps the most impactful for users with more experience is the "Dynamic Imput." This is the ability to see most of the user's interactions at the input location instead of the command line which is where we are used to seeing them. This NEW ability allows us to work without the command line visible. Thereby gaining extra drawing real estate. To be honest I do not miss the command line.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Out of Town

I will be away from the office from April 11-15. I will be attending an Autodesk event. I am not certain if I will be able to provide updates during this time. We shall see.

When I return, I expect to be much more informed about Autodesk Civil 3D 2006, and it's core products Map 3D 2006, and AutoCAD 2006.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pipes - First Glimpses

I have had the opportunity to work with the new Pipes capabilities in Autodesk Civil 3D 2006, and I have been both pleased with what it can do, and surprised by it's ease of use.

The interface for creating pipes is very similar to how we create alignments and profiles already. This makes adopting the new capability very easy.

The concepts already learned for managing and using styles easily apply to pipes and structures.

More glipses to come.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Put It In Reverse

Someone had recently asked in the discussion groups if it was possible to reverse the direction of an alignment in Civil 3D. Dave Simeone, the Autodesk Civil 3D Product Manager, replied that in Civil 3D 2006 it will be possible.

From the Alignment menu, we choose "Reverse Alignment Direction." We are then prompted to...

Select an alignment {or press enter key to select from list}:

Once we select the alignment we will receive a warning message that states:

Warning! Reversing the alignment will remove all station equations, design speeds, superelevation data, and may adversely affect objects and data already created from the alignment.

After we press the OK button on the warning the alignment will be reversed.

Clearly, this works best very early in the design process. If we have profiles, sections, sample lines, corridors and superelevation data already generated from the alignment this can be problematic.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Data Shortcuts Revisted

During the Autodesk Civil 3D webcast today, Rob Todd explained the use of Data Shortcuts in detail. There are three components:

The Data Definition - This is the Object (Alignment, Surface, Profile) that will be made available for referencing into other drawings (convenient in the Civil 3D 2006 project environment).

The Data Shortcut - A link to the original object data definition. We can create a shortcut from the Prospector or by selecting an object and right-clicking. If we are working in the Civil 3D 2006 Project environment this link is "managed" automatically for the user.

The Data Reference - By selecting "Create Reference" from a shortcut we introduce a lightweight, non-editable (read-only) reference to the original object. We can still control the appearance with styles. We can also use the object to create related object such as create a profile from a referenced alignment and a referenced surface.

Rob also detailed the directory structure he uses to store a project.

Securing project data can be handled by locking layers on which important data reside and/or by limiting edit permissions to directories where original data is stored.

The important thing to note is that now many users can have access to this important data without the possibility of modifying the data inadvertently.