Last time we explored some basic iPOD (Intelligent Publish on Demand) workflow mechanics to help us deal with the annotation of Corridor models. We previewed that in a video to show the Civil 3D mechanics of how we can create Corridor Station Labels with example data from the Framework for Civil 3D dataset.
You could actually work through that same process with the Example Corridors drawing supplied with the Templates Only trial or any corridor model of your own. OK. You might have to create some Label Styles to make it work. You can fix that.
Corridor Station Labels
The Corridor Station Labels term is arguably a misnomer in the context of the Civil 3D object model. In the workflow, we employ independent Civil 3D Survey Points and their Label Styles and not Labels integrated with the Corridor model collector. Corridor Station Labels does roll off the tongue. It makes sense and the workflow does what it says.
If you do lots of site grading and subdivision work maybe you might prefer the term - Feature Line Station Labels. If the Survey Points thing offends you, recognize we could employ specific Alignment-based Labels instead with a bit more external magic performed in Excel. More on that later.
People have commented that Autodesk could and should automate this workflow into a tool. Don’t hold your breath and be careful what you wish for. A set of Ribbon tools might be nice, but the code maintenance and a commitment to real continuous improvement isn’t always an Autodesk forte.
The Corridor Station Labels workflow gets you what you know you need today, not what a programmer thinks you might need someday.
We Must Plan for Success
The Corridor Toolbox Report Tools do provide us consistent access to the Civil 3D Corridor model data behind. The Civil 3D Toolbox reporting tools are not an automatic or magic button that solves all our Label and annotative problems without some effort, management, and the need to improve our Civil 3D Skills with Thrills. However, we do get a consistent basis to construct a replicable process to get to the published deliverable in the form we need.
Employ the Better ToolBox Report
The Toolbox>>Miscellaneous Utilities>>Corridor>>Corridor Points Report tool is perhaps the most useful of the current Toolbox Tools supplied in Civil 3D. The Corridor Points Report allows us to skip the mess and hassle of creating Corridor model-generated COGO points from the model.
The fact that we can now produce the results from Data Shortcut Corridor models improves our project data management capability and can reduce the confusion of where the published results come from. We can build the file and folder Placeholders to do this sort of work into our Civil 3D Project Templates. Huh? See this Civil 3D Placeholders and The Others post.
The Corridor Points Report tool gets us to the data that matters specifically and effectively. We still need to massage the data outside of Civil 3D into more flexible, adaptive, and usable forms. In principal, this workflow pretty much what we did with the Station Offset to Points outlined in the Deliverables course.
Remember Someone – aka You - Must Follow You
In a project your Corridor model can and will update and change. What you name reports and where you store the results in your project is probably important to maintain for an audit trail. At least be careful to separate the Civil 3D Toolbox report output results from your tweaks to the data.
Here is a peek at the nuts and bolts in Excel. Forgive me for employing an older version of Excel, but I didn’t want to leave the impression you need to have the latest and greatest version to make the process work. The Civil 3D reports are output in an ancient format after all. The spreadsheet work is pretty simple.
Civil 3D Corridor Label Details
The video includes: some helpful pointers that will help you execute a repeatable annotative and publish process; the details of the Excel data manipulations; and the crazy logic of Point Groups when we reference other Point Groups inside our Point Group definitions.
This video doesn’t cover the critical issue of the Point Group stack’s Priority Property which can confuse you and the resultant point Label display resolutions.
Corridor Points Report
Let me repeat some previous comments from an earlier Publish Better Civil 3D Corridor Designs post. Here are some key features delivered by the Corridor Points Report tool with comments to consider.
The Corridor Points Report tool:
- Produces no point numbers
Therefore you can assign any point numbers any order you require and specify.
That allows you to effectively stack the deck and better manage the results.
I think a separate SurveyDb is called for.
- Allows you to select Point Codes from on different Baselines in complex corridors
Often we only must document only key or construction critical locations in plan.
- Allows you to select among the reported Point Codes
If we don’t need the Subbase or Base of a road pavement subassembly, we can ignore the data.
If we must document those substructures we can get to the data and do that.
- Employs the current applied Frequencies in the Corridor Baseline and includes (most?) selected critical geometry points.
The report may not always deliver locations based on newer corridor Frequency capabilities supplied in a Civil 3D Upgrade or Release. In the Corridor model these are stations where Assemblies are applied so you might expect they are reported. Keep checking.
- Allows you to pick the offset reference Alignment of the Point Code data to an alignment other than the selected Baseline
This allows you more potential flexibility in the sorted Label results.
Subdividing the left and right corridor structure labels based on Offset Alignments comes to mind.
The Publish Better Civil 3D Corridor Designs post also names another useful Toolbox Tool report for Corridors that you may find useful to employ in a similar fashion.
Accelerate Production with the Data Behind
Get the Framework for Civil 3D
Corridor Station Labels Post Series
- The relationship between Civil 3D Project Template Placeholders and ToolBox Report based annotation
- How to create Corridor Station Labels on Feature Lines in Civil 3D
- The nuanced details of How to create and maintain Corridor Station Labels on Feature Lines
- Corridor Station Labels with PKT-based subassemblies, QAQC, and the Section Points Report