Civil 3D – She Be a Super Model

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Lately I’ve been given the privilege of training a bunch of folks in AutoCAD Civil 3D who never used any Autodesk CAD product before. Some employed other CAD software and/or CAD like software. Some never even used CAD in any form before. They still got their civil and survey work done. They did without. Now they’re excited about the new possibilities before them.

They have an unexpected challenge.

She’s an Unexpected Vision of Beauty

In AutoCAD Civil 3D…

You Are Responsible for What You See

Huh? What happened to the oft promised CAD productivity of, “What you see is what you get?”

WYSIWYG morphed on the road forward and became,
“You see what you want when you want it.”
This is better and more powerful.
With more power and flexibility comes more accountability for your actions.
If you’re new to it all, that can be overwhelming.
Obviously, it’s all a bit confusing.

“But I didn’t DO anything?”

Ah…but you did. You just don’t know that changing that one little thing here changes it’s relationship to a whole lot of other things.

“Welcome my friends to the show that never ends.
Come inside. Come inside. Come inside.
Come see the Show…ba…ba…ba.
It’s rock and roll!…da…da…da.
Come see the show!”

                        - ELP (Emerson Lake and Palmer).

Welcome to the “Dynamic Model”

She delays to make your life easier in the end even if you don’t think want that now. She has lots of explicit and implicit needs – and the differences matter.
How you address her always matters. “Call me anything you like, baby.”

She’s a Super Model After All

Her responses are defined in a subtle, nuanced language that may operate in either the specific or the general context to enable her to therefore answer your every whim on demand.  You always have to tell her. Where and How you tell her somehow always seems to matter as well.

Tell Her What?

For Point Groups she requires UPDATES. For Surfaces and Corridors she requires REBUILDS. Maybe these are the same thing or not? For DREFs (data shortcuts) she requires SYNCHS or Promotions, for XREFs (now in many forms) she’s Attached or not. She may be LOADed or not. She may require RELOADS. She’ll plead, cajole, and interrupt you to do so - Or not.

A Creature of Style

She’ll dress in Style for her performances in clothes as invisible as the infamous Emperor’s or as obnoxiously wrong as his Fool in drag. She’ll do things behind your back and in plain sight (site) as unseen as a man in a gorilla suit who scurries unnoticed across your field of view. You may not notice she’s changed parts of her wardrobe while your eyes and attention are focused elsewhere.

Where did That Come From?

She’ll steal your memory to be Realistic. She’ll hide from you her Plans. She’s an exceptional acrobatic. She can tumble in her entirety or in part and/or in pieces. These performances cost.
You can get back to that hot camera shot. You must pay attention to the details you name and save or don’t. She happily appears differently depending on these changing points of view. She has layer and layers of specific detail…or not.

But Why?

So you may see what you want when you want it. To repeat that now sounds soooo circular.

She’s so linear and sequential her in behavior she can drive you wacky.
She’s always asking that unspoken question,

Where are your Priorities, baby?

Those Priorities she tucks away in her many closets to try and save you more time and effort.
She expects you’ll want to do that current “whatever” act time and time again. You can escape or enter out of the endless repeated questions, but these aren't the same exactly as her reponses to your transparent commands reveals.

She’ll respond to your motion and lack of it totally differently. If you freeze or flinch or pick too quick or too slow your world may change in a flash. She’s sensitive to speed or she’ll wait forever for the answer posed in an unexpected place.
She can be Shifty, Controlling or go Alturnative on you but mostly not at the same time.

She has lots of places to get a Grip. Getting that grip may be exactly what you really don’t want to do right now. She’s got both squares and dots. Some are hot and some are not.
Speaking of connect the dots, she’s can cut quite a Figure.
Speaking of guessing she has lots of ways to get a better fit for some of her forms.

Yes. She is extremely graphic in an occasionally cryptic sort of way.
She responds and performs to Icons like an orthodox monk. It’s about the ritual if you must know.
At times she wants to Network so she can talk back in Glyphs.
Does this mean she walks like an Egyptian?

Can AutoCAD Civil 3D be the object of your desire?