Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Force North Bearing

Many Civil 3D users have requested the ability to "Force North" bearings on line labels in the product for quite a awhile. As it turns out, althought there is no setting to do this exactly we can accomplish this with the use of an expression. I discussed this with a few Autodesk personel and Peter Funk, Autodesk Product Manager, put me on the right track by saying "...this should be do-able with an expression". Well, he was right the following expression, when applied in a Parcel Line Label style will accomplish just that. I created a Parcel Line Label Expression called "North Only" and defined it as...

IF(({Segment Direction} > pi/2) * ({Segment Direction} < (3*pi/2)),{Segment Direction} - pi, {Segment Direction})

Basically, this will subtract 180 degrees from lines in the second and third quadrants.

For some reason, my image capture will not upload at the moment, but this does work. Give it a try.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Live From Orlando

I have been in Orlando since Sunday evening. Autodesk is hosting all reseller technical personnel in what is called a "Tech Camp". Today I got my first guided instruction for Autodesk Civil 3D 2008. Among the items covered in my sessions today, my favorite had to do with working with large amounts of data. I was pleasantly surprised by how fast certain things were happening even with LOTS of data. Plus they gave us tips to make things work faster. I will share these as soon as I can organize my many notes.

The best part of Tech Camp is getting together with friends and aquantances from around the country and sharing thoughts, stories, experiences, and what we've learned.

The sessions I am looking most forward to will occur tomorrow and Thursday. I'll be back then.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Today's (OOPS Last Weeks) Webcast (3-30-07)

I thought that I had posted this. Apparently not. Sorry. ACE

One thing became apparent to me during today's Civil 3D webcast titled "Introduction to AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008", and that was that Autodesk has been listening to the suggestions, complaints, and wishes from users. There were many usability enhancements shown during the one hour webcast by Dave Simeone (Civil 3D Senior Product Manager) and Dan Philbrick (Civil 3D Development Manager).

As I have been learning about Civil 3D 2008 I have been surprised by how many little improvements were added, where I found myself thinking "Yeah, this is better. Yes, I would prefer to do that this way instead of the old way".

I am looking forward to doing more with, and learning more about, 2008. Training demands do limit my learning time, but when I do get to learn I am very pleased with the results.

"Like what?" you may ask. Well, here are a few small things that caught my attention:
  1. Extract object from surface (i.e. Contour, Boundary)
  2. Modify objects via Properties (that is the AutoCAD Properties window)
  3. "Assign Elevations" during feature line creation (from Surface or Grading).
  4. Collapse and Expand baselines and regions in Corridor Properties dialog box.
  5. "Set All Frequencies" in Corridor Properties dialog box.
  6. Boundary creation for corridor surfaces now use a jig line (like parcels automatic mode).
  7. Create Profile View now uses a wizard.
  8. Section View Group Properties (change all sections views at once).
  9. New Workspace.
  10. Move blocks to surface elevation.
Clearly, there were the more marquee improvement such as...
  1. Automatic Plan Production
  2. Vault enhancements
  3. 2-10 faster corridor creation
  4. New "Lines and Curves" menu pulldown.
  5. DWF files will include object data
  6. Google Earth import/export

Now, back to training.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

ScriptPro is Back!!

Some of you may be asking "What is ScriptPro?" Let me tell you. This utility allows users to load a group of file names into it and a script file. It will then open every listed file and run the script.

This script can be useful for changing settings, changing views, setting up drawings, or simply purging and auditing many files at once.

I ready on Shaan Hurley's Blog today that a NEW standalone (it used to be part of the Customizations Conversion Tools) version that functions with AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD 2008 is now available.

What I do not know at the moment is if it works with Civil 3D 2007.

On Tuesday of this week, I had been thinking about how much I missed this tool. Wish granted.