Tip #121: The 3D Drive View

By Erin Johnson posted 08-28-2020 09:59


Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to simulate a drive across a road surface to visualize and check for accurate topography? Well today I will be demonstrating TBC’s 3D Drive View command. The 3D Drive View simulates a drive across an alignment that has a horizontal component (HAL) and a vertical component (VAL), or across a surface. Where the 3D View is an orthographic view, the 3D Drive View is a perspective view. 


The View Filter Manager allows you to control the visibility of surfaces and objects displayed, and you can edit objects to see the results while driving through your model. When driving, you can also “look” in any direction; the direction of the vehicle is controlled independently. 


To drive along a road surface in a 3D Drive View, follow these steps:


1. Select the surface in the Project Explorer or 3D View, and do one of the following:

         A. Right click and select New 3D Drive View from the context menu:

         B. Select 3D Drive View from the Corridor Ribbon:


A 3D Drive View opens with the viewpoint set at an arbitrary location on the surface . In the Plan View, your 3D Drive View location and direction is represented by a blue vehicle or yellow bulldozer icon. When you change your view from facing straight ahead, the direction of the viewpoint is indicated by the red line emanating from the center of the vehicle icon:


2. Specify a starting location on the surface by:

         A. Clicking in the Location box and picking a new location in the graphic view

         B. Typing a new coordinate in the Location box and pressing [Enter]:


3. Move across the surface by:

         A. Clicking and dragging the Speed slider:

         B. Typing a speed (in kilometers or MPH) in the box next to the Start button and clicking Start:

         C.Pressing the [Up Arrow] and[Down Arrow] keys on your keyboard to change the speed by smaller increments

         D. Pressing the [Page Up] and[Page Down] keys to change the speed by larger increments


4. Change the direction of travel across the surface by:

         A. Clicking the left and right arrow buttons to turn in ten degree increments:

         B. Pressing the [Back] and [Forward] to turn in five degree increments


The drive stops when it reaches the end of the surface. For the 3D Drive View across a surface, the location (coordinate), surface elevation, and surface slope (of the current triangle) are shown in the upper left corner of the 3D Drive View:


The 3D Drive View can be floated and moved to a second monitor by right clicking in the 3D Drive View and selecting Float View from the context menu: 


To hide or show context values, click the Project Settings icon:


I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with road surfaces in TBC!

1 comment


12-12-2022 08:38

Is there a way to scale the size of the vehicle that appears in Plan View?