Civil 3D Segment Elevation Label Details

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Our new Civil 3D Segment Label Expression Set that’s now available for multiple releases of Autodesk Civil 3D generated some uncommon interest and some questions for good reasons. Why not? Our Civil 3D projects that include Corridors for roadways and site grading design should not be a problematic hassle to Label and annotate.

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Our Jump Kit customers understand the need for Civil 3D Templates, Civil 3D Styles, and other Civil 3D resources that work. These mission critical Civil 3D tools should be affordable, adaptive, and robust. The resources must be easy to maintain. These vital Civil 3D resources should be continuously updated and improved.


Segment Elevation Labels from a Corridor

The method and practice construction of multiple, Frequency-based, and Data Referenced (DREF) Corridor Data Models enables a faster, robust, and more consistent annotative process of Corridor Feature Line segments in Civil 3D.
See the recent Civil 3D Corridor Frequency Data Models post and video.

Civil 3D Segment Elevation Label Details

The Civil 3D Segment Label AddOns post and video preview some of the many new Segment Label Style Expression Set features and benefits. That post and video fostered a few questions.

This video covers most of the questions answered below…


Civil 3D Segment Elevation Label Details QA

The most frequent question is about applying Dragged State to Segment Start and End node elevation Labels.

“How do we get these Segment Labels to drag properly?”

By default, the supplied Label Styles all employ a Stacked Dragged State with Leader with no Arrow Heads.
In the Styles the elevation Labels are displayed at the Start or End node locations.

Dragged State changes things.
By rule in a Dragged State, the Feature Label Location and not the Start or End node location is employed.

To drag a Segment Label requires a two-step process:

  • Move the Label attach point (the diamond glyph) to the proper segment Start or End node location with an Endpoint OSNAP.
    Be careful – It is possible to move a Segment Label from one segment to another segment.
  • Drag the label

The Dragged State leader will now point to the proper node location and display the node elevation.

We need to pay careful attention whether the Label Style addresses the Start or End node elevation of the segment.

General Segment Label Questions

“Do we have to employ Corridors in our design to benefit from Segment Labels? I prefer to employ Features Lines and other grading and surface construction methods in Civil 3D.”

Of course not.
Civil 3D Segment Labels can be employed on all forms of Feature Lines and even AutoCAD 3D Line or 3D polyline primitives converted to Feature Lines.
The current version of the Segment Label AddOns and Style collections do not yet include support for General Curve segment Start and End elevation Labels. In most geometry scenarios, Curve segment Start and End node elevations Labels would be duplicates. Curve Segment Labels are a work in progress.

Based on the feedback from our Framework customers, the initial focus the Segment Label Style Expression Set is on production Labels for extracted Corridor Feature Lines.
In this common label scenario, the extracted segment Start and End node elevations at a frequency produce more than acceptable labeled results. We do not publish the extracted Feature Lines only the labels.

Reference Templates Questions

“Do we have to employ Reference Templates (TREF) like you show in the video(s)?

Nope. A disciplined approach to the use of Reference Templates only makes the Civil 3D Styles in all our project drawings easier to maintain.

What did you do to set up the Reference Templates?”

For all the tabs in the Reference Template dialog box everything is turned off except the selected Styles we want to include. There is an exception. Styles that employ the Property Set must have that reference property turned on.

Truncation Preferences

We tried your Reference Template approach, but these always change the Truncation back to the default Settings in all the drawings that reference the TREF. Is that what is intended?”

In a word, yes. If you want a particular set of Truncation Settings to be consistent, edit the Reference Template drawing’s Truncation Settings themselves.

The design concept of a Variable Truncation Expression Set is to allow users to work in design time at any level of truncation that works for them. A Reference Template with project-based default Truncation Settings reduces confusion for others and improves the annotative consistency and project standards for truncation.

Classic Template Questions

“Can the Segment Label Expression Set Style collections be added and employed in classic Civil 3D templates?

The Label Style Expression Set Style collections work great in classic Civil 3D templates.

If you want to employ the Property Sets: add the Property Set definition; the List definition(s); and the Format definitions to the template first.
Import the +ALWAYS IMPORT Styles required next and before importing the Styles from the collection.

Check the proper resolution of Styles with Property Set references. Some Civil 3D versions may or may resolve the Property Sets correctly without edits. Edit the Parent Styles to rectify the correct Property Set resolution. Usually this means reestablishing the correct Property Set reference in the component(s) in the Text Component Editor (TCE).

Label Style Property Set Questions

Can we employ the Property Set method you demoed in the video to put selectable or manually assigned codes into other types of Civil 3D Label Styles?”

You betcha! We could assign the Property Set as shown to many other Civil 3D Labels by editing where the Property Set applies.

Remember - There is more to a fully functional Civil 3D Property Set than the Property Set definition itself. The General Label Property Set as shown includes both a defined List and a Property Format definition. All three of these are each defined separately in the AEC Style Manager.

Be careful about assigning Property Sets to any unnecessary objects in the interface.

“Can this Property Set approach be employed to create manually editable Segment Note Labels?

A separate Segment Note Property Set should contain at least one manual field for the note contents. Optionally, an assigned keynote code can be employed and/or generated from a List definition.

Slope Arrow Representations

“All the supplied Styles include invisible Arrow components.
Can these be turned on in the Label Styles to detail segment slope direction(s)?

Yes. Recognize that you will need to add a Grade Check Expression (available in the Autodesk supplied templates) to adjust the Rotation property of the Arrow component in the suppled Style collections to display the slopes properly in the downhill direction.

Civil 3D is currently a bit picky about displaying the Arrows and Arrow Heads properly on all the General Segment Labels.
If the Labeled segment is too short, the automated Arrows do not show in any case.

Style Properties that work to get the Arrows with Arrow Heads to render properly in current versions of Civil 3D:

  • The Minimum length property of the Arrow must be at least
    twice the Arrow Head Size property
  • Employ a small X Offset (0.01) to force the Arrow Head display
  • Employ any of the Autodesk supplied Arrow heads

The planned Segment Label Expression Set Update will include these Arrow improvements and additional new Style collections that support them.

The Framework for Civil 3D’s new Civil 3D Segment Label Expression Set provides powerful new capabilities to produce better, more robust, and consistent annotation and deliverables in Civil 3D. The Framework resources can be easily customized to meet your preferences and needs.

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Segment Elevation Label Posts