Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Holidays!

I wish to take a moment to wish you all a very joyous and special holiday season. I am taking a few days off. I hope to be re-energized for the start of the new year.

New Autodesk Home Use Policy Mentioned By Dave

A very important new policy was mentioned by Dave Simeone, Autodesk Civil 3D Senior Product Manager, regarding the use of Autodesk products at home. This is a NEW exclusive benefit for subscription customers only.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A.C.E.S. Fly again in January

The Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions (A.C.E.S.) User Group of Southern California will be holding it's next gathering on Thursday, January 11th, 2007.

Click here for more information and to register.

Land Desktop Service Pack 2A Released

Back on December 11th, Autodesk released Service Pack 2A for the Land Desktop products. Yes, I said products. Depending on which product you use you will need either...

Autodesk Land Desktop 2007 Service Pack 2A


Autodesk Civil 3D—Land Desktop Companion 2007 Service Pack 2A

Note: These pages contain information on how to verify the correct version if you are not absolutely certain.

Autodesk University 2007 Save The Dates

In case you wanted to know...

15th Annual Autodesk University
November 27-30, 2007
The Venetian Resort Hotel
Las Vegas, NV. U.S.A.

2005 ~5,500 attendees
2006 ~7,500 attendees
2007 ??????

Personally, AU2006 was the most useful, fulfilling, and memorable event of the year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Where On Earth Is This Data?

One of the simplest things that we can do for our drawings that will make them significantly more useful is to assign a Geodetic Zone - Category & Coordinate System for the drawing. If we then use the state plane coordinate data as opposed to an assumed coordinate we will be able to...

1. Intermingle/Gathering data from various other Coordinate Systems seamlessly.
2. Transfer Civil Data from Civil 3D to Google Earth more accurately (vs. UTM or Lat/Long data)

The steps as outline in HELP are as follows:

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, right-click the drawing and click Edit Drawing Settings.
2. In the Drawing Settings dialog box, click the Units and Zone tab.
3. Under Drawing Units, select either Feet or Meters.
4. Under Angular Units, select an angle format.
5. Under Scale, select a scale.
6. From the Categories list, select a zone category.
7. Categories include Lat/Longs, US states, and so on.

When you select a category, the Available Coordinate Systems list displays all the defined zones in that category.

Tip: If you know the coordinate system (CS) code for a zone, you can enter it in the CS Code text box and click OK to select the zone.

8. Select the zone.
9. Click OK.

I did not know what the ground coordinates were for the location of the KETIV Technologies offices here in Fullerton, CA. I did know that we were in NAD83 California State Planes, Zone VI, US Foot (AKA. CA83-VIF). By assigning this to a drawing and some trial and error with the "Publish to Google Earth..." command I now know that the center of our offices are at...

X = 6064787.1131 Y = 2265863.0846 or
Northing = 2,265,863 Easting = 6,064,787

By assigning the Category and Coordinate System my drawing now knows where in the world it is.

Note: Obviously, if all we know is an assumed coordinate location this is NOT possible.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Vault Questions and Answers

I have been out of town in lovely San Luis Obispo, CA, on business. Prior to going there, and while I was there, I received some inquiries about Vault and Civil 3D. I normally carry a series of documents and white papers about this subject. This trip I left that binder behind.

Today, I found that most of these documents are from this webpage at the Autodesk Website. The documents from this page are:

1. Autodesk Vault and Data Management Questions and Answers 6 Pages
2. Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 - Project Management Workflow Using Autodesk Vault 18 Pages
3. Project Management in Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 94 Pages
4. Remote Vault Access: WAN Versus LAN Performance 2 Pages
5. Managing Your Data for Autodesk Civil 3D 38 Pages
6. Implementation Guide for Autodesk Civil 3D 80 Pages

One Additional Document is from the White Papers Page:

7. Autodesk Civil 3D CAD Manager’s Guide 33 Pages

Clearly, there are many other sources of information about Civil 3D and Vault. These documents are a must have for the reference library of data about Vault seeing as they are from the Mothership (Autodesk) herself.

Note: Some of these documents I had very resently posted about.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Want To Double Pick or Right-Click Edit?

One of my favorite classes at Autodesk University 2006 (last week) was given by my friend David Garrigues. During the class he described how he had created a CUI with custom Right-Click menus (many commands per object type) and the ability to Double-Pick on an AECC object (Alignment, Surface etc.) and bring up the object's Properties Dialog Box, instead of the AutoCAD Properties Palette. This gives users of this CUI a quicker way to create, edit, interact with, and control their Civil 3D objects. The images to the left show what you see if you bring up the right-click menu while selecting a Surface and Feature Line respectively.

During the class, David mentioned that he would make this CUI available. The simplest way to do so was for him to post it in the "Content Sharing" section of the "Civil Engineering Community" website. It is located in the "Utilities" area of "Content Sharing". It is titled:

"Double and Right Click CUI"

You must be registered and login to the site in order to download this CUI.

Download it and follow the instruction from the readme file to get it installed properly. I have already done so and it makes life a bunch easier.

Thanks Dave!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

NEW! Project Management Document

Newly added to the bottom of the Civil 3D Service Pack 3 page is a document (over 80 pages) titled:

"Project Management in Autodesk Civil 3D 2007".

This is a very comprehensive document prepared specifically for Service Pack 3. The introduction states:

"The content will appear in an updated form in the online User’s Guide for Autodesk Civil 3D 2008."

Sections include:
Transition from Land Desktop
Using External References
Managing Data Using Data Shortcuts
Managing Data Using Vault
Vault Best Practices
Migrating Old Autodesk Civil 3D Projects
Detaching a Drawing from a Project

This is a large and VERY helpful document.

Friday, December 01, 2006

AU2006 What Myths and Legends are made of

I am about to go down to attend my final class. Once the three classes that I gave earlier in the week were over I started attending everything that I could. I mean everything.

There is so much to see, do, learn, listen, touch, play with, try, eat, and drink at Autodesk University it can literally make your head spin.

I intend to post a more formal recap at a later point. Preferably, not from a hotel room. I will have lots of thoughts to share in the coming days and weeks.

Some of the stories of this year's activities, I am sure, will go in to annuls of Autodesk lore. Some occured at the ISD Industry Reception on Wednesday evening at TOA in the Venetian (What a place by the way!). Some may remember. Sadly, others I am sure, will not.

Either way it has been an incredible time!

100,000th Page View

It seems that at some point today the 100,000th page view to this blog will occur. I am now including the page view counter at the bottom of this blog.

If you should be that 100,000th Page view'er make a screen capture and email it to me. I would like to provide an "Angel's Civil 3D Thoughts" blog t-shirt.

Thank you all who introduced yourselves to me this week, and were kind enough to mention that you read this blog. It is good to know that it helps in some small way.

I also wish to thank everyone from whom I have learned from, shared with, and helped with this process. After all, we all have the same goal...


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Blog Stats

About 800 more page views in order for this blog to reach a total of 100,000 page views.

It seems that it will happen on Friday.


AU2006 Day 1

If this is Tuesday we must be talking pipes.

I gave the first of my three class today:

Autodesk Civil 3D Pipe Networks Made Easy.

It is a bit unusual seeing 300-400 faces in a training session. The main session with over 7,000 attendees was a sight to see. Yes, 7,000 people in one room.

I will be giving two Civil Powertrack classes tomorrow.

Autodesk Civil 3D Corridors: Cul-de-Sacs Are Not a Dead End.
Autodesk Civil 3D Grading Made Easy.

Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Reconfigured!

As of yesterday NEW (or Crossgrade) seats of Civil 3D 2007 will include Autodesk Civil Design and Autodesk Survey in the box. So that means when anyone buys Autodesk Civil 3D 2007, they will get...

Autodesk Civil 3D 2007
Autodesk Land Desktop 2007
Autodesk Civil Design 2007
Autodesk Survey 2007

Additionally, subscriptions (new and renewal), for Autodesk Civil Design and Autodesk Survey are being discontinued.

What this does to owners of existing multi-year subscription contracts for Civil Design and Survey, is still to be determined.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Civil 3D 2007 Whitepapers

Autodesk has posted new whitepapers regarding Civil 3D 2007.

Autodesk Civil 3D CAD Manager’s Guide - 33 pages.

Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 – Project Management Workflow Using Autodesk Vault - 18 Pages.

I am sure many will find these useful.


Well, I am now in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Venetian is an excellent place for Autodesk University 2006. With 7500 attendees expected I am awe struck by the logistics of this event. At this hotel AU attendees had a separate hotel registration area with 27 hotel clerks admitting attendees.

I teach one class tomorrow and two on Wednesday. Wish me luck.

I'll try to post as often as possible.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Autodesk Labs Technology Preview Available

In the Autodesk Labs website there is a new technology preview available.

Autodesk Impression allows the creation of presentation-ready graphics made directly from our drawings.

The interface is supposed to be simple, and easy to learn and use. I wish I had some time to look into this, but with AU coming up next week I unfortunately can not.

If you wouldn't mind let me know what you think about this preview.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Civil 3D 101 - The First Decision

Things seem to be turning a corner. Many organizations are making their first forays into using Civil 3D. They are perhaps hearing of others having success with their efforts, however small, with Civil 3D.

So how does one begin? With Training.

No, how does one begin to use the product? Oh, well once we launch Civil 3D 2007 we have to begin a new drawing preferably from a template. Our chooses are:

_Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Base.dwt - Contains one, and typically only one, style named BASIC for every style-able object. (221 KB)

_Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Classic.dwt - Contains many styles per style-able object. Contains certain styles that mimic Land Desktop as much as possible. (433 KB)

_Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Extended.dwt - Contains many styles per style-able object. (430 KB)

All styles use layers based on the National CAD Standards.

If no custom styles are available I tend to start with the third template.

Oh, I did not mention that there are three equivalent templates for METRIC drawing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

AU Class Schedule Changes Deadline

Tomorrow Tuesday November 14, 2006 at 5;00 pm Pacific Time is the deadline for making changing to your Autodesk University 2006 class schedule.

After tomorrow the only way on attend a class or lab, that you are not enrolled in, is based on seating availability on-site.

Friday, November 10, 2006

New Civil 3D Whitepaper

Autodesk has just posted on the website a new Civil 3D Whitepaper. This one is titled:

Autodesk Civil 3D vs. Bentley MX Software

I am sure that many will find this 13-page whitepaper very informative.

Land Desktop Service Pack 2 News

During today's Civil 3D webcast, Dave Simeone, Autodesk Civil 3D Product Manager, mentioned that a problem(s) had been found with Service Pack 2 for Land Desktop (He was not specific about the issue(s)). So, Autodesk has removed the download from the website.

He stated that if anyone has downloaded the Service Pack but has not yet installed it, do not install it. They will be posting a new Service Pack as quickly as possible.

There was no mention of what those of us that have already installed it should do. If you have, and are having issues, I am guessing that an Uninstall/Reinstall may be the best course of action.


To reiterate this only has to do with Land Desktop 2007 and Service Pack 2.

KETIV Technologies at Autodesk Collision Tour

We here at KETIV Technologies will be at Autodesk's Collision Tour stop in Anaheim, California on Tuesday, November 14th.

After the General Sessions we will be hosting a Lunch and a Test Drive Lab where attendees can have some hands-on time with Civil 3D 2007. This would be a great opportunity to ask questions and gather information. We will have several Civil 3D experts present to address your inquiries.

If you will be attending the Anaheim session, please drop by our gathering. If you can not stay, maybe you can stop by quickly and say hello.

Autodesk University 2006 Update

Today, Friday November 10th, is the last day to pre-register for Autodesk University 2006. This year's edition is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 27 through December 1. Anyone wishing to register after today can still do so on-site via late registration.

The demand for Civil 3D instruction has exceeded all expectations. This is evidenced by that fact that ALL three of my AU classes now have over 300 registrants. One of my two PowerTrack courses was closed at 440 registrants.

Joseph Wurcher mentioned in his AU Blog that overall registration is up 41% over last year's event. Remarkable!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cul-De-Sacs Fix in SP3

Dan Philbrick, Autodesk Civil 3D Software Development Manager, mentioned in his blog, in the Civil Engineering Community, that Service Pack 3 fixes an issue that has existed when trying to design cul-de-sac corridors with arcs in the centerline alignment.

If our baseline was run around the cul-de-sac bulb entirely as one alignment and had as its target an centerline alighnment with an arc, the assemblies would not solve correctly and leave a flat teardrop shaped gap in the middle of the corridor. This did not happen if the centerline alignment was a tangent (straight).

The necessary workaround was to create two alignments around the bulb of the cul-de-sac each targeting the centerline alignment with the arc.

With the fix provide by Service Pack 3 we no longer need to create the two alignments and can accomplish this goal with one alignment if we so choose.

I went back through the ...README.htm file to see if this was mentioned. I could not find any mention of it. Either way this is a very good thing.

Too bad my Autodesk University "Cul-de-Sacs Are Not a Dead End" class handouts were already submitted. Oh well, I will just have to mention that that was fixed.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

I have been building and editing corridors this afternoon. I LOVE the 2X faster corridor builds. Whereas in the past I would store up some edits and rebuild in order to be efficient. I have been rebuilding (applying) edits one at a time. Because of the fact that Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 3 corridor rebuilds are at least twice as fast (sometimes more) I have been seeing my edits quicker.

This particular corridor is about 1,300 feet of rehab work (sawcutting and widening in a very irregular way).

Autodesk, a BIG thumbs up for this.

Civil 3D and Vizualization Blog

I see that Natan Elsberg of RDV Systems has started a blog. He will be posting about Civil 3D and visualization tools. It should be informative.

Good Luck Natan.

2007 Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions (ACES) Service Packs

I have been receiving inquiries for the following, so here is a more complete list of Service Packs that were recently made available, and the order in which they would typically be installed:

Autodesk Data Management Server 5 Service Pack 1 - Sep. 18, 2006

Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 3 - Nov. 4, 2006

Google Earth™ Extension for Civil 3D® 2007 Service Pack 3 - Nov. 4, 2006

Land Desktop Companion 2007 Service Pack 2 - Nov. 4, 2006
Land Desktop 2007 Service Pack 2 - Nov. 4, 2006

Civil Design Companion 2007 Service Pack 2 - Nov. 4, 2006

Survey 2007 Service Pack 1 - Nov. 4, 2006

Raster Design 2007 Service Pack 1 - Nov. 2, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 3 Now Available

Serivice Pack 3 for Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 is now available for download. You will absolutely want to install it. With 100's of combined fixes (it also includes Civil 3D SP1A & SP2, Map SP1, SP2, & SP3, Acad SP1), and some excellent performance enhancements. This Service Pack is a must have.

If you are using Vault, the Autodesk Data Management Server 5 Service Pack 1 must be installed prior to installing C3D Service Pack 3.

Which reminds me to mention, read the download page and the readme. Many people ignore these items and then complain when a documented situation occurs to them. These items are not lengthy and can save a lot of time and heartache if someone has a documented special condition. Trust me it is well worth your time to go through these items.

OK, mine is updated.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Civil 3D 2007 SP3 Due Today

Dave Simeone, Autodesk Civil 3D Product Manager, stated during today's Civil 3D webcast that it is their intention to make Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 3 available for downloading today.

With over 100 defect fixes and MANY performance improvements this SP is much anticipated.

I'll post when it is officially available.

PS. The links found in this post allow you to get to the Service Packs Page.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What Comes First AU or 100,000 Page Views

Lately, this blog has averaged over 6,000 page views a month. With 28 days left until Autodesk University 2006, there have been approximately 93,000 page views to date. With a little math it seems that it is possible the the 100,000th page view may occur while I am at AU.

Seems apropos.

Blackberry Fumblefingers

It is not easy to admit certain things, but this item is not so hard. This past weekend I received a link from someone (I did not even catch the sender's name) to what I would believe to be a helpful webpage or site. Unfortunately, while trying to save the email via my Blackberry I seem to have deleted it. I am not yet incredibly proficient with the Blackberry, but I am not a novice either. I can not understand how this could have happened because the delete procedure requires a confirmation, (two button presses) and I thought I only pressed one button. Poof, it was gone.

Hey, now would be a good time to make the claim that I hear very often from CADD users.

"The software has a bug!"

Yeah, that's it, it was not me. Whew, do I feel better now. It was not my fault.

Anyway, if someone did send me a link to something worthwhile last weekend could I trouble you to send it again. You see, my Blackberry ate it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

3 Line Profiles

One of the most important items in the creation of "Plan and Profile Construction Documents" in Southern California, and other locations, is what we refer to as a three line profile. Although, these are likely different than what others consider three line profiles. Why? Because the right and left profiles are vertically offset from the main profile (typically centerline profile) by some vertical clearance (see image below).

I recently demonstrated to some individuals (including Autodeskers) how I create this type of three line profiles using Autodesk Civil 3D.

The ability is summed up by placing three profile views directly on top of one another (they have the same insertion point and occupy the same exact space). The key is that these three profile views have different datum which will create the required vertical offset that I mentioned.

This technique in conjuction with my last post about design profile views vs. construction document profile views allows me to create a three line profile (So. Cal. style) that very exactly matches the construction document standard requirements.

In the above example the three profile views use datums of 95 (which will generate the lower of the three profiles), 85 (to generate the middle profile placement), and 75 (which will specify the upper profile location).

I have also been known to get slightly creative with the profile view styles so that I can select one profile view quickly out of the three that lie on top of one another. In the above example this was done by placing labels above, left and/or right, and below on the approriate/corresponding profile view. Look closely each profile view only has one set of labels. This can also be done by turning off the axis or the horizontal and vertical grid lines (whatever makes most sense to the group of users).

This is another example of how with a little creativity we can take advantage of the tremendous flexibility of Civil 3D to accomplish what we need.

p.s. I would like to hear from any regions (cities, counties, states, countries) that have similar requirements.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Multiple Contour Labels

We here at KETIV Technologies recently received an inquiry as to whether or not it was possible to label contours lines with many labels at once, similar to how Land Desktop does it. The following information was prepared and contributed by Daniel Granillo, a co-worker here at KETIV.

Create Multiple Contour Labels like in Land Desktop using Civil 3D
1. Click Surfaces menu > Labels > Add Contour Labels
2. On the "Create Contour Labels" toolbar, select "Label Multiple Group Interior"

Note: This will enable the Multiple Group Interior edit box where you enter the desired spacing interval.

3. Enter a desired distance for the spacing interval in the field provided

4. Select a start point and endpoint for the contour label line.
5. Repeat Step 4 as needed
6. Press Enter to end the label creation process.

Tip: After creating your contour labels, you may want to turn-off the label line layer and/or make it non-plot-able (By default the contour label lines are placed on the DEFPOINTS layer).

Thanks Daniel I am sure this will help.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Design Profile View vs Construction Document Profile View

Ghosts of the Past
Somethings that some Autodesk Civil 3D users can not easily get away from are their Land Desktop habits, procedures, and knowledge. When it comes to profiles most former LDt users limit themselves to one profile view for one profile because that is what they were limited to by Land Desktop (it would ask to erase the older info). If they had more than one representation of a profile and one was edited the other would immediately be out of date. So why do it?

The Present
Now with Civil 3D and dynamic updates, I often find it useful to have at least two profile views showing the same geometry (profile) but each view is very different in appearance, and the annotation within them is different.

In the above example I have a view that allows me to see the data that I find useful for designing and the other view is what will be used in the construction document. If either is edited the other will always update, thus remaining current.

The Future?
A similar concept can apply to master design profiles that one person is responsible for and either Vault reference profiles or shortcut reference profiles that are read-only. These second profiles can be the responsibility of drafters to pretty-up (make construction document ready). These second profiles (some are referring to these as DRef's) will update entirely (annotation and all) whenever the master is modified. The first would be the sole reponsibility of the designer or engineer.

These new concepts take full advantage of the software. There are many other examples where we will want to change our old habits or processes to create a more efficient or productive workflow. I often see workflows entrenched in organizations because thats how it was done in Softdesk, or Land Desktop, or (your favorite older application here). Because we need to be more efficient... being open to such changes can be very profitable.

Be Seen at Autodesk University

Dave Simeone, Autodesk Civil 3D Product Manager, posted in his blog that he is looking for some interesting completed project examples that he can show during Autodesk University, (My guess is during the Infrastructure Solution Industry Main Stage, probably several thousand industry attendees).

So, if you would like to get some exposure for your company, or for yourself, you may want to look into this more closely.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Autodesk University 2006 Update - Students Galore

Well as of a few moments ago my three classes at Autodesk University now have over 1000 registered attendees combined.

Here are the three classes I am teaching (The second two are a part of the Powertrack and are being recorded):

CV11-2 Civil 3D® Pipe Networks Made Easy 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Nov. 28
CV23-4 Civil 3D® Corridors: Cul-de-Sacs Are Not a Dead End 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Nov. 29
CV25-3 Civil 3D® Grading Made Easy 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Nov. 29

These classes have 275, 287 and 439 in enrollment respectively. That is 1001 students. Amazing.

New Webcasts CD

I happen to hold in my hand a brand new CD which contains webcasts recorded between August 1, 2005 and July 31, 2006. This CD contains 42 recorded webcast sorted in the following groups:

Civil 3D General (19 webcasts)
Compatible Products (3 webcasts)
Customer Success (3 Webcasts)
Pipe Design (1 webcast)
Production Drafting (4 webcasts)
Road and Transportaion Design (8 webcasts)
Site and Subdivision Development (4 webcasts)

Additionally there are...
15 Customer Success Stories
6 White Papers
and information about the "Civil Engineering Community"

This CD replaces a CD that had webcasts from August 1, 2005 and January 31, 2006 (18 webcasts). So that means that this new CD contains an additional six months worth of webcasts(24 additional webcasts).

I have always been a BIG fan of the webcast CDs and DVD because I can view them at any time without internet connection. Click above to request yours.

Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE.

Civil 3D - SP3 Update

Just a reminder that there will be a Service Pack 3 for Civil 3D 2007. It is expected in the next two weeks. We have been told that it will...

Restore non-projects shortcuts (with this some will choose to not implement Vault)
Performance improvements (such as 2X faster corridor processing, 5X faster contour label regen and more).
Includes most recent Service Packs for AutoCAD® 2007, Autodesk Map® 3D 2007, and Autodesk® Vault 5.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We Wish, Jeff Shares

Jeff Mishler, of Santa Rosa, CA, has created some lisp & VBA routines that he has made available for all to benefit from. The most recent one that I have seen addresses a request that someone had in the Civil 3D discussion group. They asked for a routine, similar to a Land Desktop command, that would "list all available point numbers". Jeff's routine named FreeNums does just that.

Jeff has also created a routine that is currently being shared in the Civil Engineering Community. The lisp routine named "Alignment Tooltips tools.lsp" turns tooltips on/off for all or selected alignments. (You have to be registered with the community in order to download this file.)

Rotate_Markers allows users to to rotate the marker and labels of selected points. (For this one you will have scroll down and find the code in order to copy and paste it and save to a .lsp file)

Lastly, the Rebuild_All_Corridors (copy and paste required here as well) routine rebuilds all selected corridors or if none are selected it rebuilds ALL corridors.

I would personally like that thank Jeff for being generous enough to share these tools, and his talents, with our entire community.

He shared with me the fact that he usually monitors the Civil 3D Wishes Discusion Group, and the fact that he looks for code/solutions/workarounds for just about every wish. So, if you have a wish for a command or capability in Civil 3D do not hesitate to ask for it in the Wishes Discussion Group. Best case someone (ie. Autodesk, Jeff, or someone him) will answer your wish. No need for a genie.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A.C.E.S. Landed

Last Thursday evening (October 5, 2006) the Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions (A.C.E.S.) User Group of Southern California held their inaugural meeting at the University Marriott in Fullerton, California. There were employees present from over a dozen engineering firms and several municipalities. By all accounts it was a great success. The intended goals of Share, Network, Learn seemed to be well addressed during this first meeting.

The evening began with dinner. Then Pete Kelsey, Autodesk Technical Evangelist, presented an "Industry Overview" (where have we been, where are we, and where are we headed?).

I did a "Technical Presentation" which was titled "Civil 3D on a Dime". Intended for organizations that have not yet cracked open the Civil 3D box. This section covered Civil 3D capabilities that we can use with very little or no training/investment, and take advantage of Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 to support whichever application we may use currently. These capabilities included taking data from Land Desktop into Civil 3D in order to do...

--Earthwork Volume Calculations (2 commands, 10 steps, 45 seconds)
--Translate and Rotate a Surface (4 Commands, 10 steps)
--Parcel(s) Lot Line Adjustment (3 commands, 11 steps)
--Create Geometry for an Alignment (2 commands, 8 steps)
--Renumber Parcels (2 commands 12 steps)

KETIV Technologies gave everyone in attendance a CD with custom styles and expressions to jumpstart the use of these items in Civil 3D. The evening ended with an open forum segment and announcements.

If the first meeting is any indication, there will be lots of benefits to members of this user group. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 11 (location to be determined). Mark the date on your calendar, and invite your co-workers. This is a free and easy way to get information about our industry and the applications that we use.

Civil 3D 2007 SP3 Info

During the webcast on Friday Oct 06, 2006 Dave Simeone, Autodesk Civil 3D Product Manager, gave some glimpses of what may likely be in Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 3. These items include:

Civil 3D 2007 (SP1a, SP2 and NEW FIXES)
AutoCAD 2007 SP1
Map 3D 2007 SP3
Components of Vault SP1 (he made it clear, DO NOT INSTALL VAULT SP1 YET!)

He mentioned that users will likely see the following improvements:

2X Faster Corridor Processing Speed
50X Performance Jump in Project/Reference Interaction
Improved Surface Memory Usage (surface memory leaks have been an issue for some)
Stability Improvements
and (drum roll, please)
Restoration of Non-Projects Shortcuts

This last item translates to shortcuts that WILL ABSOLUTELY be remembered from session to session. No longer will we have to reload the .xml file from which we load data references. Remember data reference synchronization notifications. He also demonstrated a NEW ability to change the source file of a data reference (see image below).

So when is all this supposed to be available? They are aiming for the end of this month (October).

Friday, October 06, 2006

Autodesk University 2006 Update

I had previously mentioned that I will be teaching three classes at Autodesk University next month. Last year the one Civil 3D® class that I taught had 194 actual attendees out of the over 200 that signed up. I thought that that was a large group. Well as evidence for the increased demand for Civil 3D instruction, my three classes this year, as of this moment, have 249, 255, and 409 people enrolled in them. These numbers are very eye-opening, and there are still 53 days to register. (By the way, today is the last day to register at the reduced rate of $1495).

Here are the three classes I am teaching (The second two are a part of the Powertrack and are being recorded):

CV11-2 Civil 3D® Pipe Networks Made Easy 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Nov. 28
CV23-4 Civil 3D® Corridors: Cul-de-Sacs Are Not a Dead End 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Nov. 29
CV25-3 Civil 3D® Grading Made Easy 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Nov. 29

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A.C.E.S. Landing Tomorrow

The Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions (ACES) User Group of Southern California will be meeting tomorrow evening. Dinner, Tips, Tricks, Networking, Learning, Sharing will occur. Click title to see more info.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vault and Shortcuts Future (Interesting Read)

If you have not already read the most recent post in the blog by Dave Simeone, Civil 3D Product Manager, and Dan Philbrick, Civil 3D Development Manager, about Civil 3D 2007, Vault and Data Shortcuts, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to do so. Simply click on the title of this post to see what Dan says about these subjects.

He also mentions that anyone that wished to be a part of the beta program for their plans, they can make it so.

Lastly, Dan states that they will provide more details this Friday during the weekly webcast. Do not forget, to view the weekly webcasts it is necessary to register.

New Service Pack Heads-Up

Anthony Governanti, Autodesk Technical Marketing Manager, recently posted a comment to this blog about holding off installing Vault 5 Service Pack 1 until a new Service Pack is available for Civil 3D. Previously it was also mentioned in the Discussion Groups (and the SP2 Readme) that AutoCAD 2007 Service Pack 1 is not included in any Civil 3D 2007 Service Packs. So what does this all mean? It means that there should be a third service pack for Civil 3D 2007 available in the future.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Vault 5 Service Pack 1 Guidance

I am just returning from an event where someone approached me well after to ask a question. This person had heard that Service Pack 1 was available for Vault 5. The question was "Should I install this service pack because the Readme file does not mention Civil 3D at all?"

My answer was based on the following comment by Anthony Governanti, Autodesk Technical Marketing Manager, in the discussion groups on September 5th, 2006.

"Just a quick update on this; we are still working through the testing on the Vault sp on Civil 3D. For now, please do not install the patch until we make an announcement and give the go ahead."

At the moment, this is the last information that I have heard or read about this matter, and until told otherwise I suggest that it be the current coarse of action.

If anyone else has any sort of update many would benefit from this sharing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

No New Templates Needed!

If you read the Service Pack 2 Readme file, you may have noticed the following section.

Important: The following standard template files (*.dwt) have been recreated due to issues found with Pipe Network Parts Lists. Some Network parts lists may be corrupt if you use .dwt files from the Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 release. The new template files will be posted at

Well, it turns out that the templates were fine all along and Autodesk will not be posting new templates. Dan Philbrick, Autodesk Civil 3D Development Manager, stated in the Civil 3D discussion group the following:

"We thought we had an issue with the templates and decided to put a note in the readme. However, we did not want to release new templates unless we really thought it was necessary. Upon further research we found that the existing templates are fine - no need for new templates."

I hope this clarifies some confusion.

ICE 2007 - Check

It is official. I am now a Civil 3D 2007 Implementation Certified Expert. I participated as a part of the first group for the current version.

I wish to thank everyone that was involved with this first class (the instructors and my classmates).

I met great people and strengthened previous acquaintances. I enjoyed every minute.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ice Update

Two days down. Tomorrow is the exam. I'll be back in touch.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The ISD Technical Evangelist Speaks

Yesterday, I mentioned that Pete Kelsey is Autodesk's Infrastructure Solutions Division Technical Evangelist. The Civil 3D Community has a link to his blog "The Dirt".

Monday, September 18, 2006

The ISD Technical Evangelist

Let the fanfare begin, the white smoke is rising, Autodesk has recently appointed PETE KELSEY as the Technical Evangelist for their Infrastructure Solutions Division (ISD). Here is some info from the KETIV Technologies website about Pete:

Pete Kelsey, a long-time customer of the Autodesk product line, has worn many hats during his career, including those of civil designer, land surveyor and CAD manager in civil engineering firms. He served as a systems integrator and also handled gigs as an instructor at an Autodesk reseller and as a consultant to firms of many sizes around the world.

In 2001, Pete started K-TEK Solutions. In just five years, it grew to employ 74 people in seven countries.

Pete’s extensive civil engineering experience gives him a true field-to-finish perspective. That expertise, along with his engaging delivery style, has gained him a worldwide audience.

In the summer of 2006 Pete came full circle and joined the Autodesk team as the Infrastructure Solutions Division’s Technical Evangelist. In this role Pete will carry on as trusted advisor to customers worldwide.

Certifications/ Industry Experience

AutoCAD Certified Level II
Softdesk Certified Level I & II
Softdesk Registered Consultant
Autodesk AEC Consultant
Speaker, Autodesk University
Autodesk Technical Specialist
Certified Level II for MX Road
Autodesk Certified Instructor
Autodesk Authorized Consultant
K-Tek Certified Professional
Autodesk Developer Network
Oracle Partner Network

Pete is a part of Autodesk's Collision tour which will be in the following cities...

Philadelphia - September 19
New York City - September 20
Chicago - September 21
San Francisco - November 13
Anaheim, CA - November 14 (I'll be at this one)
Houston - November 17

I am sure he is looking forward to meeting and conversing with us.

Is there ICE in the Forcast?

I will be heading up to San Rafael, CA tonight to attend Autodesk's Civil ICE 2007 training. I have already completed all of the Pre-work required and I am looking forward to this class.

In December of '05 I received my 2006 certification.

What is ICE? ICE stand for Implementation Certified Expert. This training is focused on the ability to provide full range implementaion assistance and services.

I'll let you know how it goes.

p.s. Anyone else going?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Feature Lines Wishes Requested!!

Glen Albert, of Autodesk, is taking requests for additional commands for the Civil 3D Feature Lines toolbar in the Civil 3D Wishes Discussion Group.

This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to be heard, make suggestions, and hopefully contribute to the future capabilities of this feature.

Click on the links to get to the browser version of the Discussion Group (you can of course use other methods also).

Autodesk is asking. Let's give them feedback!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Tips Are Coming In

There are now 20 tips for Civil 3D in the Civil Engineering Community. I have found these are helpful for learning or recalling tips and tricks. As with just about everthing in the community pages, we can rate the usefulness of an item with a 5 star rating system.

Here are a few tip titles (along with their current ratings):

Increase performance when working with surfaces 5 STARS
Improve Drawing performance 4 STARS
Logging into Vault automatically 3 STARS
Importing LandXML data 4-1/2 STARS
Quick Profile 5 STARS

Note: In it's first week over 700 members have joined the community.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Civil 3D - Upcoming Webcasts Modification

For all who are considering attending any of the upcoming Civil 3D webcasts (Fridays at 9:00am Pacific time) be aware that it is now necessary to register in order to view them.

The process is quick and painless. We do have to register in order to get the webcast's confirmation email with details on each webcast and instructions for accessing it.

So if you plan to attend register in advance so that you do not have to go through the process at the last minute.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

SP2 and Google Earth Extension Conflict

Not everyone reads the Readme file for every application that they install. It is not realistic to expect everyone to read them all. But, here is a heads up about a note in the Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 2 readme file. It reads...

Important: Version 1 of the Google Earth Extension is only compatible with Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 and Service Pack 1 or 1A and will be disabled after you install Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 2. In order to use the Google Earth Extension, after installing Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 2, you must download and install Release 2 of Google Earth Extension.

This has caused some users problems. Uninstalling the extension has usually fixed the issue. By the way, according to the Autodesk website, Release 2 of Google Earth Extension will be posted soon.

Curve Solver Utility

Several Civil 3D users had requested a curve solver tool similar to what is available in Land Desktop. Well Peter Funk, of Autodesk, provided a .dvb tool that can be loaded to the "Toolbox", which is a tab of the "Toolspace".

In order to use this tools we need to...

1. Download "Curve Solver" utility from the Civil 3D Community Utilities Page.
2. Unzip and store .dvb file.
3. Select "Toolbox" from the "General" Menu pulldown.
4. Select "Edit Toolbox content" icon (See image - second red icon).

5. In the "Toolbox Editor" vista of the "Panorama" create desired Categories.
6. In the "Toolbox Editor" vista of the "Panorama" Rt-click and choose "New Tool".
7. Configure new tool similar to image below.

8. Press Green Checkmark to save and close "Panorama".
9. Double-click tool in "Toolbox" to use.

Thanks Peter, this will help.

Civil 3D Community Now Live!

This portal was created to be a central hub for ALL Civil 3D resources. Members will have access to lots of useful content.

There are already some templates, a Caltrans Roadway Design Standards XML and a Curve Solver Utility similar to what many people have requested in the Civil 3D Wishes Discussion Group.

Click on any of the links to get to the site. Then register and you will have access to it all.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


The title translates to...

The Autodesk University 2006 Civil 3D PowerTrack

Joseph Wurcher of Autodesk started a blog about Autodesk University 2006 early this month. He is offering some behind-the-scenes info and more importantly TIPS on how to make the most of this event.

This includes his mention of the Civil 3D PowerTrack. Check his post for the detailed explanation and how to make sure you get these classes!

In brief, the PowerTrack is a series of 13 classes that build upon the ones before. Similar to following a project from start to finish. I believe I will be spending a lot of time in these particular classes. I hope to see you there.

Note: Two of the three classes that I am teaching this year at AU are a part of the Civil 3D PowerTrack.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A.C.E.S. Flying into Southern California

The control tower has given final clearance for A.C.E.S. to land here in Southern Califonia. What is A.C.E.S. you may ask? A.C.E.S. is...

Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions User Group of Southern California

You can join this squadron of novice, intermediate, and elite users of:

Civil 3D
Land Desktop
Civil Design
Raster Design

We can all see this group get off the ground together (Thursday, Oct. 5 @ 5:30pm) and attendees can help pilot its formation. I am also looking forward to meeting Pete Kelsey at the first meeting. Who is Pete Kelsey? You don't know. You will.

Click on any of the links to register.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Two Civil 3D Resources Blogs

Here are two new blogs that gather information obout Civil 3D.

Civil 3D Resourses by J.E. Anderson

C3D investigation by Stephanie

Vault Quickie

I had someone ask a quick question regarding Vault. How many roles/permissions are available in Vault?

In Civil 3D there are three roles available:

Administrator - Full privileges to all folders all the time and administrative privileges on the server (this means manage roles also).

Vault Editor - Full privileges within the vault, but no administrative privileges on the server (can create and edit data).

Vault Consumer - Read-only access to files and folders only.

SP2 Update - No Update

All's quiet on the Eastern Coast (Civil 3D product design is done in New Hampshire). No news since Friday when the only mentions were during the webcast in the "Q & A Pane" as follows:

Question: SP2?
Answer: Brent...keep an eye out on the newsgroups for an announcement


Question: will SP2 include all of the fixes in AutoCAD SP1?
Answer: No, we will be putting out another sp with those included

So we have been keeping an eye on the newsgroups... nada.
Some had hoped that the delay was so Autodesk could include AutoCAD SP1, apparently that is not the case.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Turning a Corner

It could be just me, but it seems that Civil 3D as a product is entering a new phase. Many things that I have seen occur lately, and many things that are on the near horizon all point to a new era for this product. I believe many others are arriving at the same conclusion.

Coming Soon - Civil 3D Community

Autodesk is about to open a new section of their website. It is intended specifically for the Civil Engineering Community, which also happens to be the title. There visitors will find sections titled...

Tips & Training - tips, tricks, tutorials, training, how-tos, and workarounds
Content Sharing - area for sharing templates, styles, reports and utilities
Blogs - Two NEW Autodesk blogs** and links to many existing blogs
Discussions - links to existing peer-to-peer groups
Online Resourses - links to C.E. sites: jobs, 3rd party apps, directories
My Network - Establish industry contacts, meet users
Events - links to user groups, reseller events, seminars, and workshop

A similar site has existed for the Manufacturing Community and has been quite successful. I have interacted with this new site and know that it will become a very important resource for us (the Civil 3D user community). I look forward to it going live soon (hopefully within two weeks).

** The two NEW Autodesk Blogs are "The Dave and Dan Show" Dave Simeone, Civil 3D Product Manager, and Dan Philbrick, Civil 3D Development Manager, will have their own forum, and "Wicked Cool Stuff" by Anthony Governanti, Civil 3D Technical Marketing Manager. This site may cause hysteria among Anthony's fan club members.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Leader has a Tail

One of the items I clearly recall requesting as a wishlist item involved dragged state leaders for labels that are oriented at 90 degrees (see the 1st and 3rd labels in the image). These two labels have horizontal components at the end of the leader (I will call it a tail). I want that tail to either be oriented the same direction as the label or to not be present at all (like the middle label in the image).

The middle label does not contain this tail. Why?

This was all re-awakened by a discussion in the Newsgroups recently and they came up with the exact same explanation we have been offering. Here it is...

The following discussion is only possible when we do not want an arrowhead as a part of the dragged state leader like the left two labels.

There are two ways to make the arrowhead of the dragged state leader disappear.

1. The first is to set the Leader Arrow Head Style in the dragged state leader to "None". This produces the left most example. Not what I want to see.

2. the second method is to set the Leader Arrow Head Size to zero. This will not only make the arrowhead invisible it has the added effect of removing the tail to the leader (middle label).

It turns out the Leader Arrow Head Size is directly related to the size to the tail (some have called this a jog or a kink). The bigger the value the bigger the tail.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Chronicles of Civil 3D - Episode 2

Just a quick reminder that if you plan to watch the second installment this Friday of...

The Chronicles of Civil 3D

you have to register for it. To do so simply click any of the links from this post.

Roundabout Workflow Guide

Jack Strongitharm, Autodesk Civll 3D Technical Sales Manager (UK and Ireland), has just posted a new workflow guide titled:

Design of Roundabouts using Corridor Models (Part 1 of 2)

This is a 42 page paper that gives a very thorough understanding of the major considerations for roundabout (traffic circle) design with a corridor object in Civil 3D 2007. The second part of the document will address "mini roundabouts".

Thanks Jack and all involved in the preparation of this document. I look forward to Part 2.

Note: This is officially the 300th post to this blog over the last two years. If you wish to find a post about a particular subject, doing an internet search will likely turn up past posts about the subject matter. Unfortunately, the Blogger "Search this blog" option does not search the full two years.

Friday, August 18, 2006

SP2 Update

It was mentioned during today's webcast that Service Pack 2 is now targeted to be available next Friday, August 25th.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

I was in a meeting today when someone asked me about this blog. I mentioned that I began it approximately two years ago. Well, after looking into it, it turns out that today is EXACTLY the second anniversary of this blog (and to think I almost missed it). You can check the archives for yourself (very first post).

In that time there have been over 77,000 page views of almost 300 posts. It has been a pleasure providing something. I am excited about the number of Civil 3D bloggers that there are now and I look forward to our collective future as users of this product.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Number 331

By our count 331 is how many styles are in the...

_Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Extended.dwt

How many styles are in your custom template?

Note: Our current KETIV Technologies drawing template contains approximately 540 styles.

Having custom styles that exactly represent Civil 3D objects and/or their annotation as they need to appear for final construction documents is likely the single most important factor that contributes to the positive satisfaction of users with Civil 3D.

Allow me the clarify what that means...

if appropriate, specific styles are available, they can generally be easily applied; and because of the dynamic nature of Civil 3D, user input can end with the modification of objects (such as an alignment). The annotation will update automatically and because of a custom style it will look correct.

So I ask the question again. How many styles are in your custom template?

SP2 Due When?

Although I missed the webcast last Friday I hear that it was mentioned that Service Pack 2 should be out this coming Friday.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My AU Classes

Now that people are starting to sign up for Autodesk University here are the classes that I am teaching this year:

CV11-2: Autodesk® Civil 3D® Pipes Networks Made Easy
CV23-4: Autodesk® Civil 3D® Corridors: Cul-de-Sacs Are Not a Dead End
CV25-3: Autodesk® Civil 3D® Grading Made Easy

I hope to see you there.

What Does The Number 331 Represent?

And why is it important?

I will provide the answer tomorrow. Think about it.

Civil 3D en Español

I know by the number of visitors from Latin America that Civil 3D information in spanish is greatly needed.

Ricky Rivera of Irving, Texas has answered the call and is the author of Tierra a Civil 3D blog in spanish.

Suerte Ricky.

I'm Back

Rested and ready. Lets just say I was doing some reconnaissance of the Autodesk University site for this year.

By the way, the Venetian will be a fantastic site for this year's event. Oh, and I hear Blue Man Group is the entertainment one evening.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Vacation. No Really, I'm not Kidding.

I will be away for one week. I do not know if I will be able to post. We shall see.

If not, I'll be back in touch soon.

Autodesk University 2006 & AUGI

Just a quick note to say that all AUGI members will have the opportunity to take advantage of Early Priority Registration for AU 2006.

So if you wish to take advantage of this option, make sure you are an AUGI member (which is free).

Early Priority Registration begins any day now!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where Are You Part II

As of today there have been visitors from...

5,321 Cities (between Aachen (Germany) and Zytowice Małe (Poland)),


145 Countries (between Afghanistan and Zambia)

For a total of...

74,582 page views.

The 75,000th page view should likely happen on Monday.

Civil 3D - SP2 Coming Soon

Service Pack 2 for Civil 3D 2007 will likely be available sometime next week. It should include Civil 3D 2K7 SP1A, and Map 2K7 SP1 & SP2.

Issues Resolved in Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Service Pack 2


When closing the program, you no longer receive an error message after using the Object Property Manager.

Using the UNDO command after deleting or inserting an elevation point no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.


Version 2006 drawings that contain a Spiral Curve Spiral with the curve radius set to zero can now be migrated to version 2007 and the Spiral Curve Spiral is correctly displayed.

An issue with alignment station equations has been resolved and the station equation labels now display expected results.


When pasting surfaces, dynamic corridor surfaces are filtered out of the selection set to avoid a situation dependency. You can create non-dynamically linked corridor surfaces to paste into an existing surface.

Using the DaylightStandard subassembly, you can create a corridor model with a horizontal slope limit and the material thickness will be applied to the horizontal links. Previously the material thickness was not applied to the horizontal links.

Changing a style of an exported corridor surface no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

When you specify corridor sections at Superelevation Critical Stations (from the Frequency To Apply Assemblies dialog box) the sections are now added.


Points and Elevations are now displayed accurately in the Elevation Editor.

There is improved performance using the Weed command on a feature line that was created from a polyline.

Using the Fillet command on feature lines no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

There is improved performance when using the Fit Curve command.

An issue with using Feature Line commands in multiple drawings has been resolved.

Using the Weed command now removes the expected points when using a weeding factor of 3D Distance. Previously not all the points that met the weeding factor were removed and all other points were removed.

Using the UNDO command after moving a grading object to a site no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

The maximum range for slope patterns is now displayed correctly. Previously, the slope pattern was displayed even though it was outside of the maximum range.

Elevation point z values are recognized when you add a PI to a feature line.

Entering the elevation difference on a new feature line no longer causes the Draw Feature Line command to end.

Creating a grading transition between mixed surface and elevation or distance targets no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly, however this will not result in creating a grading object because Civil 3D cannot find a valid solution for these conditions.


Using the Parcel Create by Slide Bearing command no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly when the parcel label styles contain custom expressions.

Duplicate entries are no longer created in parcel tables when you insert a new line.

Issues with parcel labels not erasing correctly have been resolved. The program no longer closes unexpectedly when using the erase command on multiple parcel labels. Labels are not redisplayed after using the erase command and then saving the drawing.

The direction arrow component type has been added to the general line label styles.


Error messages are no longer displayed when you close a drawing after using the Export LandXML command.

When exporting multiple corridor models using the Export LandXML command the program no longer closes unexpectedly.


The UNDO command produces expected results after using grip edits on parcels and no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

The UNDO command produces expected results after moving a parcel to another site and no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

An issue with converting a closed polyline to a parcel has been resolved.

Using grip edits on parcel lines displays expected results.

An issue with saving user defined properties in a .dwt file has been resolved.

There is improved performance when using the REGEN command for parcels.


A set sump depth rule has been added. This rule is not added by default, but can be added to the structure rule set for use during junction structure creation (layout) or by changing all junction structure sump depths at once using the Apply Rules command.

In the Part Builder command, you can use Cyrillic and Asian characters in Catalog chapter names and part names.

When using the Change Flow Direction command, flow arrows are now displayed correctly.

Deleting structures no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

There is improved performance when opening version 2006 drawings that contain structure styles. The program no longer forces version 2006 drawings that contain structure styles to display the boundaries as solid.

There is improved performance when using pipe network references.


An issue with editing Point Label Styles from the Point Panorama view has been resolved.

Points can no longer be selected in a viewport when they are on a layer that is frozen for that viewport.


The correct information is now displayed in horizontal geometry bands for radius and curvature.

The pipe network band node in the profile view is now displayed in the first drawing you open. Previously, the first drawing you opened in a new session would be missing the node and you had to close and re-open the drawing.

Using the UNDO and REDO commands after deleting a sub-entity from the profile view no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

Performing station editing in multiple layout profiles no longer produces an error message.

Project Management

The Migrate Pre-Civil 3D Project command now creates the correct folder structure in the project.


The program no longer closes unexpectedly when you close a drawing while the item previews are displayed in Prospector.

The Zoom To command zooms to the correct location after setting the UCS.


Contour smoothing no longer creates segments of zero length on closed contours. Previously the program would close unexpectedly when opening a drawing in which this occurred.

The Smooth Contours command no longer causes gaps in the contour display.

Issues with surface styles have been resolved. The program no longer closes unexpectedly when a surface is created that does not have an assigned style.

Surface labels display the correct values for Surface Slope Horizontal Distance.

The program no longer closes unexpectedly when using the Paste Surface command.

Creating Quick Profiles from a surface no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.

An issue with the display of render masks has been resolved.


There is improved performance when importing field book files.

Using the Browse for Folder dialog box when specifying an equipment database path now returns the expected result and no longer causes the program to close.

The MCS survey figure command now starts the multipoint curve at the first point number following the command and ends correctly when other curve commands are processed.

An error message is now displayed stating that the file cannot be opened if you attempt to export a field book file to a network address where you do not have write access. The program no longer closes unexpectedly.

The Show Properties command for control points, non-control points, and directions now displays the properties in the item list view.

After inserting survey points into the drawing, using the Zoom To command from the Prospector shortcut menu for Points or Point Groups now returns correct results.

The program no longer closes unexpectedly when you attempt to close the Traverse Editor.

When using the Traverse Analysis command the Angle error now displays correctly for direction start and end traverse.

The Zoom To and Pan To commands on the Survey collection shortcut menus now return expected results.

The Browse To Observation command now returns expected results.

Changing values for the Interactive Graphics in the User Settings no longer closes the panorama view.

The Equipment Database item view list no longer closes when you right click on an Equipment item, in the list and select Make Current.

Editing Latitude and Longitude values for control points now returns the expected results for the Easting and Northing.

This Service Pack also includes resolution for the following AutoCAD issue:
An issue with slow performance has been improved when you open drawings that contain large numbers of blocks.

Map 3D. No, Civil 3D Skill Builders

I have had down the left column the link to the Civil 3D Skill Builders page. I have now included the Map 3D Skill Builders page.

Why? because these capabilities are in Civil 3D.

Civil 3D Vault Page

This is the link to the Civil 3D specific Vault page on the Autodesk website. It contains an FAQ, two recorded webcasts and three white papers.

Civil 3D - Vault FAQ

Autodesk has just released a 6 page FAQ about Vault in Civil 3D. It's title is:

Autodesk Vault and Data Management Questions and Answers

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Map 3D. No, Civil 3D Tips and Tricks

Unfortunately, many Civil 3D users think of Civil 3D and Map 3D as two distinct products. But, because Civil 3D is built on-top-of Map 3D we have all of the Map 3D capabilities in Civil 3D. Sadly, they are often overlooked or ignored.

In conversations with Civil 3D users I have often mentioned Map tools or capabilities to address civil engineering challenges. Becuase of this fact, it is often in an organization's best interest to have Map capable users on staff.

I have long had links down the left column to Map "mini demos" and "recorded webcasts". Here are links to Map 3D Tips and Tricks from the Autodesk US website and the Autodesk UK website. Both sets are useful to Civil 3D users.

Tips & Tricks from the UK

Jack Strongitharm, Autodesk Civil 3D Technical Sales Manager (UK and Ireland), reminded me to look at the Tips and Tricks page on the Autodesk UK site.

There are several worthwhile entries on this page such as:

Using Dynamic Labels when designing an Alignment
Plain Text to Surface
Combine two terrain models
Analyzing terrian using styles
image draping on Autodesk Civil 3D Surface Onjects
General tips
Assembly Offsets
Work faster with models and files in Autodesk Civil 3D

Theses tips were created by Autodesk's Northern European team, which in addition to Jack, includes Ove Cervin and Chris Berends. Thanks for passing this along Jack.

Note: Flash player and/or Shockwave player may be needed to view certain tips.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Civil 3D Tutorials PDF

This past Friday night, at around 10:00pm EDT, Anthony Govenanti, Autodesk ISD Technical Marketing Manager, posted in the Civil 3D discussion group the fact that the Civil 3D Tutorials are available in a PDF file.

From the "Help" menu > "Tutorials" we will find the link to the 244 page Civil 3D Tutorials PDF.

This got me thinking about two things. Firstly, how many other PDFs are available in the box? A quick search turned up the following 16 PDFs:

Civil_3D_GSG.pdf -- Getting Started Guide (150 Pages)

acad_nag.pdf -- Network Administrator's Guide (126 Pages)

acad_sig.pdf -- Stand-Alone Installation Guide (52 Pages)

acmaparxdev.pdf -- ObjectARX Developer's Guide (title page only)

ADMS_Implementaion_Guide_5.pdf -- Vault Implementation Guide (80 Pages)

adsk_nlg.pdf -- Network Licensing Guide (56 Pages)

adsk_slg.pdf -- Stand-Alone Licensing Guide (18 Pages)

best_practices.pdf -- Best Practices for Managing Geospatial Data (120 Pages)

3C3DStockSubassemblyHelp.pdf -- Subassembly Referece Guide (414 Pages)

civil_tut.pdf -- Civil 3D Tutorials (244 Pages)

civil_ug.pdf -- Civil 3D User's Guide (2716 Pages) This is no typo

FDG_FDODevGuide.pdf -- FDO Devloper's Guide (324 Pages)

FET_TheEssentialFDO.pdf -- The Essential FDO (56 Pages)

Managing_Your_Data_5.pdf -- Managing Your Data for Auodesk Civil 3D (38 Pages)

map2007_tutorials.pdf -- Map 3D Tutorials (76 Pages)

map_ug.pdf -- Map 3D User's Guide (1466 Pages) Yep, that's right

My second thought was... why is one of the Civil 3D world's biggest rockstars -someone with his own fan club- posting at that hour on a Friday night. Surely he could be hanging with his groupies or something.

We may never know. But something good came of it, and for that I thank him.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Point Label Size Workaround

In Land Desktop whenever we encountered a scenario like the following image...

where points markers and/or point labels overlapped we could insert the points in such a ways so as they resize themselves to a percentage of the screen size.

Gregory Newland recently asked in the Civil 3D Discussion Group if he could get the same type of reaction from Civil 3D. He was pointed to a style setting...

that would allow him to get similar behavior from the point markers, but not the points labels (see image).

Well, Gregory came up with a workaround. He found that if he maximizes a viewport while in a layout he would get very similar behavior as to what he was accustomed to from Land Desktop. He could zoom around, do the REGEN command and the point labels would also resize themselves per the current zoom magnification (see image).

This gave him the behavior he sought.

At this point some of you will be asking "How do you maximize a viewport?" Like most things there are many ways. These may include double-clicking or the right mouse button, but, the simplest to remember is to use the "Maximize Viewport" button on the status bar (see image).

Once maximized press this button again to unmaximize.

By the way, it may be a good idea to create a new layout so that you will not accidentally disrupt any existing viewports.

This process is an example of how a little out of the box thinking can provide users with tools, steps, or prcedures that they find useful. Additionally this demonstrates the value of the Discussion Groups. The insight of one (usually gained through blood, sweat, tears and determination) can benefit many.

Thanks Gregory for sharing!

Friday, July 28, 2006

2 Civil 3D Blogs from Hong Kong

Last night I ran across two Civil 3D blogs from Hong Kong. They are:

CADBeyond by Eric TSN. This blog has several subtopics. This link is only to the "Land" topic.
Spatial Technology by Andy Chan

I was very happy to find these blogs and look forward to seeing Civil 3D information from other parts of the world.

Good luck gentlemen.

The Chronicles of Civil 3D - Online Journal

As Sitelines, a small town engineering company in Maine, attempts to complete a pilot project on time and on schedule, we can keep up to date with their project at their online Journal...

The Chronicles of Civil 3D

If you are contemplating implementing Civil 3D consider this project a good way to benefit from the shared detailed experience of others.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Two Worthwhile Downloads From The UK

Anthony Governanti, Autodesk ISD Technical Marketing Manager, recently pointed someone to one the following documents. I found them both worthwhile. They are:

How to Design a Junction in Civil 3D this one has a separate file called Junction Design.dwg

Corridor Surface Interactive Boundaries

The second document applies more to 2006.

Absolutely worthwhile imports!

I was a bit surprised that I had not seen them before.

Autodesk Labs

I am not certain why I had not mentioned this before, but Autodesk has a new section at their website where they are making available new stuff under development. Non-disclosure agreements are not required. This makes the technology previews available "public betas" (with all of the disclaimers that go along with that). The new section is called Autodesk Labs.

There are currently three previews available

Autodesk DGNV8 Translator Beta - Added June 19th, 2006
Installs on all language versions of:

AutoCAD 2007
Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007
Autodesk Building Systems 2007
AutoCAD Electrical 2007
AutoCAD Mechanical 2007

Google Earth Extension Beta - Added June 28th, 2006
Installs on all language versions of:

AutoCAD 2007
Architectural Desktop 2007
AutoCAD Civil 3D 2007
AutoCAD Map 3D 2007

Project Freewheel Technology Preview - Added July 4th, 2006
Freewheel is both a web site where you can type in an DWF URL for interactive viewing, and a web service that allows you to embed an interactive DWF viewer in your own HTML page.

The main reason I thought to mention this now was that someone asked in a discussion group how to get basic AutoCAD entities into Google Earth. The "Google Earth Extension Beta" would likely work best for him.

Webcast Reminder (Registration Required) - Civil 3D Implementaion

A quick reminder that the Civil 3D webcast schedule for tomorrow at 12:00pm EDT, 9:00am PDT will be the 1st of 4 that will focus on an engineering company's implementation process.

This can be a very good learning tool for those that are considering migrating to Civil 3D in the near future.

By the way, registration is required for this session. Register now so you will be ready. I have just received my confirmation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Where Are You?

Looking at yesterday as a typical day there were...
45 unique blog posts viewed for a total of...
252 page views among...
142 unique visitors living in...
64 states or regions from (see image)...
27 countries spanning...
16 timezones.
The image indicates that most visitors are from the states of California, Georgia, and Texas (little wonder why).

The worldwide demand for Civil 3D knowledge continues to climb. I would encourage all who are in a position to contribute to the collective learning needed by our chosen industry to do so.

Additionally, I for one, wish to thank all of those who are already making significant contributions.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Civil 3D - On Demand Webcasts

Autodesk had recently restructured (due to user feedback) how webcasts were shown on the website. They used to be listed in chronological order. The newer format was to catagorize them by subject/topic.

Yesterday, someone requested in the Civil 3D discussion group that it be possible to somehow see the entire list of available webcasts in chronological order also. This way, if we missed a recent webcast it would be easy to find versus having to devine which category it was saved in.

After much input in the discussion group in agreement, Autodesk has made it possible to see the webcasts listed both ways.

Considering that this was just brought up yesterday and today the website has both options available, I think that this is a good example of making requests of Autodesk and them responding quickly. Lets keep this up.

Monday, July 24, 2006

How Do You Learn?

Mark Kiker the editor of (and a former KETIV Technologies co-worker) published the results of a June survey that asked the question...

What is the PRIMARY way you receive training?

Not surprisingly, the majority of respondees (43%) said self teaching was the primary method of learning.

Although self teaching/learning is a critical option (and for some the only option available), when it comes to learning Civil 3D self learning is not very efficient.

If you are considering implementing Civil 3D ask someone who has gone through the process to see if they would have been able to have done it without training. Most would probably say, no.

There are plenty of comments in the discussion groups that attest to this point of view, but I am a strong believer of independent confirmation and recommend seeking unbiased opinions.

Click on the title of this post to see Mark's survey results.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Autodesk University Reminder

Just a quick reminder that registrations for Autodesk University will begin sometime in August.

Do not let it catch you by surprise.

1 day 5 posts

Clearly, I must have been backed up. I had not posted in over one week and suddenly four post and this.

Either that or I am trying to give Dana a run for her blogging money. Nope, she wins every time. Good job with posting so much info Dana.

It comes down to the training schedule has been going like gangbusters and I found a spare moment.

The Chronicles of... Civil 3D

Coming soon to a theater near you. No, The next Civil 3D webcast scheduled for Friday July 28 at 12:00pm EDT, 9:00am PDT will be the first in a series of webcasts that will be reality TV on your computer screen (only not so cheesey). The series will be co-hosted by Darlene Estabrook, Civil Designer, Sitelines, and Anthony Governanti, Civil Technical Marketing Manager.

Here is Autodesks description...

Can a small-town engineering firm generate design plans for a commercial subdivision using Autodesk® Civil 3D®? That's the question we'll answer in this exciting new series of webcasts, which chronicle - in real time – the experiences of a Maine-based civil engineering firm attempting to complete a project on time and within budget. Thinking about migrating to Autodesk Civil 3D? Don't miss this insider's look at what it takes!

This series will provide a once a month look at the implementation process.

Sounds like... Must See PC!

Sorry I could not help myself.

Dave & Dan Show co-Starring Anthony a Big Hit!

Today's Civil 3D webcast titled "Dave and Dan Show" was worthwhile. Dave Simeone, Civil 3D Product Manager, and Dan Philbrick, Civil 3D Development Manager along with Anthony Governanti ISD Technical Marketing Manager provided an excellent fast and furious (on-the-fly) Q & A session.

They attempted to answer and demonstate as many posted questions from viewers at home, I mean at work, that they could fit into one hour.

They covered subjects like...

Showing a crossing pipe in a profile
Labeling a crossing Pipe in profile
Creating ROW parcels
Renumbering parcels
Parcel display order
Using surface styles
Editing surface styles
Using the TOOLBOX (new in 2007)
They previewed a utility that should be free and available shortly
Rotating point labels
Transparent commands
Design curb return profiles (using Transparent commands)
Using the Inquiry Tool
Listing Points

Clearly a lot was covered. If you missed it, or if you blinked, Look for this webcast to be available soon among the recorded sessions.

When do you visit blogs?

The image above represents the avarage time (Pacific Time) visitors have checked this blog over the course of 24 hours, for the past two years.

8:00am Central and 8:00am Pacific times seems to be most common.

I found it interesting that all hours of the day are well represented. Because this average includes weekends and holidays.

Thanks for dropping by! What time is it?

Statistics curtesy of

New Civil 3D Blog

My apologies to whomever may have a link to this new blog (I do not remember where I first saw it).

A fellow named Kevin (I have a suspicion of the last name but will wait for confirmation) has a new blog named "Land Development Engineering - Thoughts on Civil 3D from an Engineers's Perpective". He appears to be an engineer that has joined the reseller ranks.

Good Luck Kevin. I look forward to reading your comments.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Civil 3D 2007 - New White Papers

Autodesk has just published TWO new white papers. These white papers are titled...

Using Civil 3D for large subdivision design which is 21 pages in length. (Note: This paper is particularly interesting for those who have questions about how to organize project data for large projects)

Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Styles: An Updated Guide to the Fundamentals which is 23 pages long.

Click on the title to get to the white papers download page or click the individual titles to open either white paper.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Land Desktop 2007 & Civil Design Companion 2007 Service Pack 1 Available

We have a new co-worker here at KETIV Technologies. While explaining to him some of the checks that we run on computers prior to classroom training, I found, much to my surprise, that Service Pack 1 was available for Land Desktop 2007 and Service Pack 1 was available for Civil Design Companion 2007. I had not noticed them when I checked early Friday.

Some may question why mention a LDt service pack on this blog? This would be a good time to reiterate that we do not recommend immediately getting rid of Land Desktop for Civil 3D. There is a reason that both Civil 3D and Land Desktop are in the Civil 3D box. Users now have two tool boxes available to them in order to handle their design tasks. We do not throw away the first tool box (Land Desktop) when we get the newer, shinier toolbox (Civil 3D). We use whichever tool within whichever toolbox accomplishes our needs better and faster. Most often that will be Civil 3D. But, there are occasions that the better/faster tool may be Land Desktop.

"When?" you may ask. One example may be when needing to build a VERY LARGE surface from a LandXML file. Civil 3D may not be able to handle it and Land Desktop may.

Back to the matter of the Service Packs. In the Readme file for Land Desktop Service Pack 1, it mentions that in order for correct side-by-side use of products the following service packs should be installed:

Service Pack 1 for Land Desktop 2007
Service Pack 1 for Civil Design Companion 2007
Service Pack 1A for Civil 3D 2007.

That is probably enough for now.