Bent Reference Templates in Civil 3D

Tags Update, Civil 3D 2019, Civil 3D 2020, TREF, Reference Template, Drawing Settings, layers, CAD Standards, Object Settings, Style Management, interop

New Civil 3D Updates are a good thing. The Civil 3D code gets more stable and things work better for most Civil 3D users who do the do in Civil 3D Land. Hoorah. We all know by now the newer tools and new features in new tools can sometimes be more problematic. Both the recent Civil 3D 2019.3+ Updates and the CiviI 2020.1+ Updates play par for the course. Lots of good with a few new wonky wonks. Everyone gets a mulligan now and then.

Like Maxell Smart says, “Missed by that much.”

Single File Reference Templates Work Fine

I want to say that first thing. But you might want to check for the specific problems that can come up.

Most people know by now that I am a big advocate for Reference Templates (TREFs) to help us all manage all those many pesky resources in Civil 3D. Unquestionably, TREFs make the management of multiple Civil 3D Template and Civil 3D Style collection variations simpler.

See the Civil 3D Reference Templates Made Easy post, video, and included links to the other related posts and videos.

Needless to say, TREFs make Civil 3D Standards both easier to implement and make our Standards in Civil 3D potentially much more consistent. TREFs also don’t preclude the occasional and needed user additions that come with the territory in our projects.

One of the best things about TREFs up until the latest round of Civil 3D Updates was the fact a TREF would/could overwrite the Drawing Object Layer Settings.

Bent not Broken?

This Drawing Object Layer Settings overwrite functionality got busted in both the recent public builds of Civil 3D 2019.3+ Updates and the CiviI 2020.1+ Updates. Arrrgh. I can testify that Autodesk is hard at work trying to fix the problem.

Why Drawing Object Layer Settings Matter

If you work on multiple types of Pipe systems (and who doesn’t), the ability to overwrite the current Drawing Object Layer Settings from a resource file that includes all these settings as a known good was/is a little piece of heaven. Maybe the Civil 3D Diva is buying a stairway to heaven?

There are a lot of other Civil 3D task-based scenarios I could list here. Change my task and with a different TREF resource I can get all my Settings tuned to the right key. Music to my ears.

For the most part Drawing Object Layer Settings are a manual nasty, problematic, and a user maintenance problem in Civil 3D. Why the focus? For the most part, these settings tell Civil 3D where to store the vital data behind. Freeze all these layers and watch how Civil 3D behaves. Ouch.

After many releases of Civil 3D, we still cannot overwrite the Layer names in the Drawing Object Layer Settings with new ones with the AutoCAD RENAME command for reasons unknown and to date - unexplained.

There are Work Arounds

There is an undocumented feature in Civil 3D that allows us to overwrite the Drawing Object Layer Settings from one drawing to another. Whew! Technically, this capability is probably a bug, since it can create inadvertent overwrites and resultant problems if you have multiple drawings open and you do this unintentionally.

This undocumented method still works in the recent Updates.

See the Civil 3D Object Layer Drawing Settings post and video for the details. Thanks to Ron Couillard, of USCAD for the video that I do not have to make.

Bottom Line for the Moment

You can still maintain the Drawing Object Layer Settings in your root template.

This is the root container dwt that already must include a number of key Civil 3D settings and the code-built object model (Standard Styles to keep it simple) that are required for any type of Reference Template (TREF) to practically work at all.

Make sure you turn OFF in TREF Settings the Import of Drawing Object Layer Settings in all but one TREF.
There Can Be Only One.

See the Civil 3D Reference Template Target Method post and the Civil 3D Style Management Handbook that gets really grizzly.

In project drawings, you can still use the undocumented trick discussed above to change Drawing Object Layer Settings things when you change tasks. This is what folks already learned to do, or not.

How fast do I need to run to get away from an angry grizzly bear?
Only faster the you.
Sadly, this is not always true. It depends on the bear.
Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes he eats you.
I advocate for bear steak on the barbie.

Work Smarter Not Harder
Get the Framework for Civil 3D 2020 Release 8

 

Civil Updates and Interoperability Posts

Most posts include videos.

How To Be Ready When Civil 3D Changes

  • Proactive and practical steps to take to make Civil 3D Upgrades and Updates easier

Bent Reference Templates in Civil 3D

  • Take care about new Civil 3D 2020.1 Reference Template behaviors - TREF Settings now matter more

Civil 3D Update Features That Work

  • Civil 3D 2020.1+ and Civil 3D 2029.3+ improvements you can employ today

Civil 3D and ArcInfo Online Interoperability

  • The new Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS Online and the interoperability benefits it practically means for projects

Civil 3D and Infraworks Interoperability

  • The potential of the shared data integrity that the Connector for ArcGIS Online provides in both Infraworks and Civil 3D

Civil 3D and Adaptive Standards Interoperability

  • The What, How and Why of Adaptive Standards Interoperability in Civil 3D

Civil 3D and the BIM 360 Interoperability

  • BIM 360 tools improvements and how to learn to use them for both Infraworks and Civil 3D