Rule the Points - Set. Group. Action!

Tags point, Description Key Set, Description Key, point display, point group, survey point

Points are not the Simple Stupid things they were in Land Desktop or other old AutoCAD based CAD apps. They have evolved and morphed to much More capable Features inside AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012.

Unnerving My Point Is

Points About Points

Unquestionably Civil 3D Point display takes some getting used to and some practical experience to understand. Civil 3D works so differently it makes us all Dummies at first. One trouble is that Civil 3D's examples and much of the training content out there is grossly simplified and often stuck in a CAD Past. There is a basic human tendency at work here to make things safe and reassuring for everyone.

Is Safe Smarter?

Sometimes. In my experience, skilled people get very smart when they understand and SEE the day to day practical benefit of a new way to do things. 

"No one will work harder to accomplish less for long." 

An InstantOn Basic 4 2012 is probably worth owning and using to really Get the Jump on this. It's the affordable form of Civil 3D managed magic.

I'll often use a moviemaker metaphor to make clear to people how Civil 3D performs it's magic tricks. Some of you know it's really not a metaphor at all.

Set. Group. Action!

Remember You are the Director of this movie. Points are actors speaking and performing on a Set. Good directors know The Set is every bit as important as the order of  the lines that the actors say and what the actors wear. You must have the constructed set(s), the right wardrobe, a script, and trained actors to stay on budget and produce blockbuster results.

You Manage All the Scenes

I want symbols now with labels that look like and say this.

Symbol and Label Me

Thanks - just checking. Looks like I've got some cleanup and some More organization to do.
Please make that go away.

Simple X Points

In Civil 3D, you don't even have to reimport point data to do that. Really.
It is like having Instant wardrobe and/or set changes without having to pay for your immediate needs or petty creative indulgence. But the actors do have to be cajoled, massaged, and managed or they will not perform at all like you expect.

They Work for a Union

You have TWO complex sets of priorities to manage and each set of Orders has even it's own set of changing properties too. We have on the right...The Order of Description Key Sets and on the left...The Order of Point Groups.

The Order of Key Sets

The Order of Description Key Sets

The Order of Point Groups

The Order of Point Groups

Lucky for us we also have a Producer.  Our Producer (Civil 3D) always resolves ALL the disputes the may exist between the Orders by its Rules. This is true even down to the specific wardrobe preferences you may have for an individual actor in a single scene.

Description Key Set Order

The Description Key Set Priority Search Order is one of the coolest things about Civil 3D and Points. By tweaking the Key Set Search Order you can change lots about Point Features are displayed (representations) in your drawing with little or no effort and get consistent results that do wonderful time saving things.

I want no symbols now with labels that look like and say this.

This may take only a simple set of changes and you might have to address both Orders and some properties.

Fast Changes with Results

Key Sets and their Order allow you to say how you want the Point actors dressed and even what their current lines are with different levels of specifics.

Reordering the Key Set collection allows you to construct a new scene completely or in part. 

In the Jump Platform's standard naming convention we make sure you can immediately tell if Point Styles are applied by a Description Key Set. - They have a "PS" in their name. It's not rocket science.

The specific Point Style Key assignments say you want that actor dressed that way and the Key's Format assignment says you want them to say this line if they are ever called upon.

Key Format is a pretty simple translator. That wonder alone makes it able to perform the useful work of teleprompter.

Perform the Action

The Apply Description Keys command allows you to refresh the read to the current state of the Desc Key Set Priority Stack and the applied Keys.

Apply Description Keys

The Update Point Groups command allows you deal with adding or subtracting point data and/or tweak the Point Group definitions and update for the adjustments that you current demands make necessary. Point Groups reports can even tell you what changed and how you changed your mind.

Update Point Groups

Think...Scene Details

I want auto scaled X cross pictures of some of the "important" points (maybe survey control points) to figure something out that looks off.

Manage to Think Big

I want to utility Symbols now, but not all the roadway stuff. I want these descriptions not those descriptions now. etc.

Between Point Groups and Description Key Sets you have amazing levels of detailed control over the Civil 3D Point Feature domain.

Learn the New Producer's Rules