[Transcript] Discussing New Features in Civil 3D 2018 with KaDe King and Heidi Boutwell

The following is a transcript of the video, Discussing New Features in Civil 3D 2018. We encourage you to watch the video, which includes closed captions. However, feel free to read the transcript below to find key words or topics you may be interested in.

Have questions about the video or transcript? Or having technical difficulties accessing the video or transcript? Contact our team at marketing@uscad.com.

Video Transcript

KaDe King:
Hi this is KaDe King with US CAD, I am a Senior Technical Specialist. I also do network licensing and kind of a little bit of everything. I’ve been using AutoCAD since 1987, and Civil 3D before it was Civil 3D, I want to say Land Desktop 2.0. I’m here with Heidi Boutwell. Heidi.

Heidi Boutwell:
Hi, I’m Heidi Boutwell, and I work for CADLearning. I’m your infrastructure content manager. I’m the voice that you hear on all the Civil 3D Vehicle Tracking Infraworks, Navisworks, Map 3D, Storm and Sanitary Sewer Analysis, Hydro Flow, and all the other lessons that are out there for our world. Like KaDe, I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been in the industry since 1994. I have been doing civil design since 1994, I started with the AutoCAD 13 Soft S 7, LANDESK was my very first one and of course Civil 3D when it came out in 2005 beta. Today, as KaDe well knows, we are going to talk to you about all the new features in 2018’s Civil 3D. Civil 3D put out a lot of stuff this year, you know?

KaDe King:
They did, they did. It’s actually quite a bit more than usual for Civil 3D’s. Usually we’re seeing lists like this from AutoCAD, and this year it’s Civil 3D.

Heidi Boutwell:
It’s amazing how much they’ve done. This next release for 2018, they’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. They’ve gone through two different betas. That’s kind of rare. They usually only do one. We’ve had a lot of trial of the stuff that’s in 2018 through the version one enhancements from 2017 as well. I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed with what they’ve put out. One of the first things that they put out that they talked about us with back in 2017 was enhancing the feature lines and the elevation editor in the feature lines, and they’ve gone through this year and they’ve actually given us an option in the feature line elevation editor dialog.

They’ve given us an option to take a feature line and make it relative to a service or make it relative to something that is absolute. It only elevates when you’re in the elevation editor. When it’s a newer feature line, you can take it and attach it to an existing surface or a future surface, so this can come in handy if you’re trying to do a median that’s raised on top of a parking lot surface or even retaining wall top. Those two features usually it’s more like the curb return in your medians that you need this for, and to be honest, I really like it. It works really well.

You can go ahead and create a whole surface based on these other feature lines and then put a new one on top of it and say, “Make this relative to that finished ground surface that I just made and lift it six inches above it.” You can give it a straight, absolute difference above it. Very handy. They can take that feature line then and manipulate it in many more ways than we used to be able to do, which has been great. I don’t know. KaDe, have you messed around with features lines much?

KaDe King:
Oh, I have used them and I think that’s a pretty exciting new feature. I think a lot of people will be able to take advantage of it.

Heidi Boutwell:
I think so. I played with it a lot on some of my dummy projects in some of my other stuff and I’ve been pretty impressed with what it does. I was like, “Okay, would this be useful? Yes.” In certain instances, it is useful. Very. Keep an eye out for that when you’re in 2018 and you select a feature line and you look at the elevation editor, keep an eye out on the box. The dialog for the elevation editor has actually changed. It looks similar, but it isn’t. There are two new buttons in the upper corner, plus a drop down for relative to surface. You’ll notice that normally we get a column for stationing above the stationing of the feature line, and then you would get in grade in, grade out and elevations. Well, now you have a couple more additional columns appear, most likely filled in with a set elevation, and you can change them. It’s a little different. The box is morphed, so keep your eye out for it. Don’t be scared of it. Give it a try. I really like the add that they did. I really do.

KaDe King:
Awesome. Well, the next new feature we wanted to talk about was the new connected alignments feature. This is a capability that allows you to create a new dynamically linked alignment and profile that can transition between two intersecting alignments and their profiles. You could use this feature to create a curb return, and exit ramp, a merging or a diverging road, or you can connect an existing road with a proposed road. The connected alignment is created between two intersected alignments at a specific radius, and the geometry of the connected profile is automatically generated from the parent profiles that you select, including the start and end elevations and slope are taken from the parent profiles, and the middle section of the connected profile is calculated depending on whether extensions of the parent profiles intersect. It’s a pretty powerful new tool. Any comments on that, Heidi?

Heidi Boutwell:
Well, I’m hoping this will help us out because you know, I like to do intersections by hand, and in the past we’ve had the create intersection routine where it goes in and makes those alignments for you, and what I have discovered is that the finished ground elevation profile that it would generally make between the two alignments that it connects didn’t always, it wasn’t right. It was flat half the time. You’d have an end and an end and it’d be flat instead of a nice curve to it, parabolic curve. I’m hoping that they have resolved this. I haven’t tried out honestly this feature yet in 2018 to see if they have, but I’m hoping that they have resolved the in and out and not making it flat, that it needs to curve. I look forward to giving the connected alignments a try, that’s for darn sure. One of the other new features that I noticed beside the connected alignments is the offset profiles. You ever use those? They are-

KaDe King:
Yeah, yeah.

Heidi Boutwell:
Well, it’s not for the superimposed stuff.

KaDe King:
Right.

Heidi Boutwell:
You get a profile going, right? On the main alignment, and then you want to offset it, and usually you would copy up the profile, right? Now what we’re going to do instead of copy up, we’re actually going to do create offset profile, and it will keep it linked to the alignment below so if the alignment moves, it moves no matter what design you did, which is nice. You can actually use it for a superimposed profile. You can put it in its own profile view or you can keep it with the main parent profile. It is taken from, again, the center lying profile that you started from, and then you offset that. It has the same exact editing tools as a normal profile. You could also shorten it up. Doesn’t have to be the whole thing. You have this huge, long profile. You can shorten the offset, right? If that’s all you need is that little spot in this huge long profile, you’ll be fine. Something we’ve asked for because of superimposing.

KaDe King:
I think it’ll be a much more dynamic option for people.

Heidi Boutwell:
I hope so.

KaDe King:
Yeah.

Heidi Boutwell:
That’s one of the things one of the MicroStation users out there, a lot of MicroStation users out there would complain is that Civil 3D never had these abilities that they have, so this is one of those we’re going to address that issue.

KaDe King:
I’ve provided some training to some prior MicroStation users who have mentioned that, so I think it’ll be a good thing. Maybe that’s where it came from, right?

Heidi Boutwell:
Yeah, I think it may have come from there. Least the idea did.

KaDe King:
The idea. Well, I’m going to talk about my favorite new feature next. My favorite new feature in Civil 3D 2018 is the section view drafting buffer. This one is kind of a big one because it does so much and it is kind of a cool feature. The idea is that in your section view, you now have a buffer line, literally. The line is part of your section view style. You can control it completely in this style. You can control what layer it goes on. The line type, the color, everything. It is a physical by default a dashed line around your section view. That buffer, if you create any annotation, whether it’s a revision cloud or a leader or a piece of text, as long as the annotation or the elements that you’ve created fall within the buffer zone, and it can cross over the buffer, it just can’t be completely outside of the buffer, so if you have a revision cloud that crosses over your buffer, it’ll still work.

READ NEXT:  Infrastructure Universe Vol. 33: News and Updates

Anything in that buffer zone will go with the section views if they’re moved or updated or anything. If the new section view was added into the list, all you have to do is when it refreshes, it just moves everything. You really don’t have to do anything, actually. If you’re manually moving them, even if you just move the section or use the grips on the section to move the section, it still moves all the elements. You don’t have to make a window around the whole thing to make sure it goes. If you’re using more of an automated method, you don’t have to worry pieces view to view trying to figure out where they’re supposed to go. That’s a really big deal.

It’s a non-plottable item, so you won’t actually see the buffer if you print. You can also control the buffer size itself. There is a setting in your tool space on the settings tab under the create section view and edit command settings. There’s a drafting buffer setting in there, so you can set that so that the initial buffer comes in a certain size, but you can also just grab the grips on the edge of the buffer and just stretch it. I can’t even imagine, I don’t know how many people are going to go in and bother with the setting just because it’ll be so easy to update. You’ll be able to just use grips to change it.

Another thing that was added to our section view controls is the ability to move sections from one view frame group to another and then update the group, so that’s a really big deal. Heidi, do you have any impressions on the new section view drafting buffer?

Heidi Boutwell:
I really like sections views to be honest with you. The section view buffer is an awesome addition to Civil 3D. It’s not just the revision clouds and the MTEXT. It’s the things like when I try to put, oh, I don’t know, a splash pad for a pipe onto a section view and it’s turned backwards, yet it’s correct in the plan view and it’s correct everywhere else but the section view. I usually have to go in there and trace, you know, hand draw, the whole end culvert treatment is what they like to call it out here. I usually have to hand draw that in, and then when I have to move my section view, guess what? I lose that were that goes.

Now that I’ve hand drawn in all this line work, when I move my section, I don’t have to actually go and select all the line work and the MTEXT and all that stuff. With having that buffer, when I move the section by grabbing it by the buffer or by the grid, all that line work will move with it. I won’t have to go and select everything all mass and say, “Move it all,” just grab it in one spot. Very, very handy feature, and I’ll tell you, it’s worth it. In the end, having something that will take everything and keep it in the right elevation, in the right location on a section really does help out.

It’s been much needed, and we’ve asked for it a lot, so not only in section re treatments, but when they have to project something into a section from behind or before the sections that didn’t get it so you’re having to trace it in there because the DOT or your boss wants it in there, now when you do that and you move that section to a new location, everything moves with it. That’s what it’s for, and it’s great. I love the feature.

KaDe King:
That’s absolutely why it’s actually my number one favorite feature in Civil 3D. All right, what else do we have, Heidi?

Heidi Boutwell:
Corridors. Oh, I love corridors. It’s not my favorite, but it’s right up there. They’ve added the ability to do dynamic baselines, multiple dynamic baselines in a corridor. You know, this last version, 2017, we could extract feature lines from a corridor and they could remain dynamically attached to the corridor and not be able to apply grading to them, right? You literally had to turn off that dynamic ability in order to apply grading to the feature line that came out of the corridor.

Now they’ve fixed it so that you can leave the dynamic ability turned on, so when you extract that feature line, you could now grade from a feature line while it is dynamically linked to the corridor. You can actually apply a grading group to it for say. Another thing that once the feature line is out, whether it is dynamically linked or not to that corridor, you can put it right back in the same corridor as a baseline. It picks up all the elevations and it treats those elevations as a finished ground and you can apply to them and everything. Is this handy? Yeah.

When you’re doing intersections where you got to cut out a T intersection, you can use it there. It’s great for if you got to do a retaining wall and do a different type of assembly in one area versus another. There’s many different applications for this. Parking lots, it’s excellent for parking lots, so I can get a feature line started or I can actually just draw my own feature line for a parking lot and make its own corridor from that. We had that ability in 17, but this is, because it’s so flexible now, you can put those same feature lines into a corridor and keep going. You can pull them out of a corridor and reapply them to a corridor which is great, something that we’ve never had the ability to do. Besides that, I mean, is there anything else you can think of that would make a corridor any better?

KaDe King:
No, I actually can’t think of anything else that would make a corridor more amazing. Corridors are a pretty amazing tool anyways. Another amazing feature that we have in Civil 3D is our create plan/plan or profile/profile. What they’ve done is they’ve added some new drawing templates in Civil 3D to accommodate the ability to create plan over plan and profile over profile sheets. In addition to the plan production tools in Civil 3D 2018, they’ve updated the wizard for the construction documents. It has the options to do the plan only profile only, but with double. It’s all built into that now. Of course, like any other plan production tool, you’ve got some prerequisites for using those. If you’re doing a plan only sheet with two plans, you’ve got to have that template.

You either have to use the one that they provided that’s the plan over plan or the plan only or you have to make your own template that has those special view ports in them where they’ve been labeled as plan view. You also, of course, have to have an alignment in your drawing, and then for the profile, the same rule, but of course a profile. If you’re going to use those new plan over plan or profile over profile sheets, watch for those new templates and then make sure you kind of follow the rules and have everything that you need to have in there.

Heidi Boutwell:
I love that. The sheets set manager is one of my favorite things. I have to use it in all of my construction document sets, so the fact that I can now do plan over plan or profile over profile in a road or a sewer line or whatever, very handy. Just totally awesome. The next thing that they’ve done, like I said, it’s a lot, guys. There’s a lot of add ons here. They’ve improved the inner operability between Infraworks and Civil 3D and might I add I said Infraworks. Did I put the word 360 after it? No.

They have removed 360 from the name of Infraworks, people. Let’s talk interoperability. Before, in Civil 3D and even now in Civil 3D on the insert tab of the ribbon, you will find the Infraworks panel where you could import an Infraworks SQLite or IMX file and the configuration file. On top of that, they have added a whole new ribbon tab which includes that as well. It’ll let you launch Infraworks 360. You can exchange and export and important IMX files. You can open a model. It takes you to the Infraworks product page, and that’s where they’re going to start putting all the 260 stuff basically or the interoperability stuff is on its own tab in the ribbon, which is really handy.

READ NEXT:  Infrastructure Universe Vol. 32: The Expanding Universe of Infrastructure

One of the other things is in Infraworks, we would send stuff to Civil 3D, and from Civil 3D we would send stuff to 3DS Max, and then they would open it up in Civil view. That’s some of the interoperability that they’ve given us, which is great. They’ve actually really improved it pretty well. Please remember that when you’re bring an SQLite file over from Infraworks over into Civil 3D, number one, Infraworks cannot be open. Number two, that SQLite file cannot be connected to the cloud. Okay?

You’ll find that it’s under some odd randomly numberized named folder in your documents folder under Autodesk Infraworks and you’ll have some random five generated number, and under there is the SQLite file from the cloud. If you leave it connected, it actually will not transfer over, so you do have to do a duplicate and put it somewhere locally on your hard drive before it will let you open it up. Just FYI. Other than that, that’s the big things to remember and the interoperability going backwards from Civil 3D into Infraworks is simply drag and drop, tell it what you’re importing, and it will grab parcels, it will grab pipe networks, it will grab surfaces and corridors and alignments. It grabs them all and puts them in there. You literally have to go through it and tell it what to not bring in. The more you bring in, the longer it takes, and sometimes there are issues, so just be cautious when doing it. KaDe, you ever had any problems talking with Civil 3D and Infraworks and all this good stuff we’re talking about?

KaDe King:
No, never.

Heidi Boutwell:
Got to love it. One of the last things I’ll talk about is Civil 3D 2017 and the version one enhancements and how they’ve been integrated into 2018. There were a lot of enhancements in Civil 3D 2017 V1. If you did not put on V1, you don’t have these enhancements. If all you did was just put on Civil 3D and installed it and just ran it, you never saw these additions that came out, what? Summer, June, late summer last year. They’ve very, very handy. Number one, we were given property data sets in 2016. Late, and then they integrated fully into 2017, but the problem that people talked about a lot was, “Well, it’s great to have property data sets, but I’d like to reference that information that I put on an object from Civil 3D in a label.”

They gave us the ability to actually do that with labels in the V1 enhancements in Civil 3D 2017. In 2018, it’s fully integrated, so now all the labels access any type of property data label that you move or property data set that you may have created. Number one, so that’s awesome. If you got to do, you know, for property sets, why would I use a property set? I want to know the totally lineal foot of curb line in my corridor without actually looking at my station, and maybe I cut my curb line short in certain areas, but the road’s a full length. If I put a property data set on a shape file that I’ve created from the corridor for the curb line, it will add it all up for me. It’ll do the mass sum.

After that, I can take that information because it’s a property data set and put it into a label, and that way I can display that on my construction drawings. Next thing that they added was analyzed gravity networks. Hack22 is what they had back in the 2016 version. I think it was two. It popped up for a little bit. It disappeared in 2017, came back in version one here, and now it’s fully integrated in 2018 on the analyze tab. You’ll find a whole new button there called analyze gravity networks. It’s a wizard. It is for storm drainage, and it will analyze a storm, and it won’t activate unless you actually have a gravity pipe. Whether it’s sewer, storm doesn’t matter. It just has to be from the gravity pipes.

When you select the pipe, it activates the wizard and the wizard starts. The wizard has to have things like it needs to know tributary areas. You need to have an IDF or CSV file for rainfalls for whatever you are analyzing. It will spit out a CSV file, and it will actually put an HGL and an EGL information into the pipe network that you’re working on, so it will get you those HGL and EGL elevations, which can then be displayed in the profile. Pretty handy. Then of course you can label them, which is even awesomer, so out here in Texas, we do that all the time with storm lines. That’s now on the ribbon analyze tab.

I’m going to save my favorite for last, but before that, we had COGO editor in 2016 on the survey tab and on the home tab of the ribbon. COGO editor allowed us to bring in a plan document PDF wise and hand type everything in, right? I had a sheet that told me, “Here’s my legal deed and I need to get this into Civil 3D.” Yeah, I can’t. The only way i could do it was through COGO editor. I could enter in the bearings and the distances and the cords, and it would recreate everything and then it would disappear off your screen unless you told it to export. You could save it out as a TRE file and all that. It’s a little thing. You could adjust it and compass balance it.

On version one, they turned that into Traverse Editor and Traverse Adjustment. What they did is they combined what was in COGO Editor into one box, and then they took from Traverse Editor the balancing box, and they gave us two separate commands. Now those commands are on the home tab, create design panel, and in the survey panel, I think. Those two commands are there. There’s a whole new button, so it’s a whole new word. COGO Editor is completely gone. It’s been pre placed by Traverse Editor. Same set up, same routine. No real change in how it works other than it’s just a little different configuration and a little different look.

Finally, my favorite. Version 1’s 2017 came out with swapping pressure piped parts. We have asked for that since 2000 and what, 14 when it first came out. We were like we could do everything that we could with gravity, but we couldn’t swap a part. We had to delete a part and reinsert the part and then go connect everything back up. We now have the ability with the quick little wizard to swap pressure pipe parts, and we can do it in an entire run or for a whole network as long as, and here’s the kicker, there are no Ts. No Ts in this thing. It won’t do a T. I wanted to kill it when it wouldn’t do a T. I understand why because you could have a six and a six and an eight, and it doesn’t know which one’s supposed to be the eight, and it gets confused and lost and just won’t work.

Okay, fine. No Ts. At least I can do from the edge of the pipe connecting to the T all the way to the other. I can do that. It does the vowels, it does the elbows. It does everything else that may be on that line. Just no Ts, okay? You can swap pressure network parts. It is so cool. All right. That’s my favorite.

KaDe King:
Well, it sounds like we both have a favorite, and I think mine is definitely the section view buffers and Heidi’s is definitely the swap pressure parts, so that’s pretty cool. Well, we want to thank you all for joining us here today, and for more information on all of these new features, you can search what’s new in Civil 3D 2018 on the Autodesk channel on YouTube. There are lots of great videos by the Autodesk guys there, and we thank you for joining us and have a great day today.

Related Posts

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.