Tip of the Week #106: Flatten Surface Command

By Erin Johnson posted 05-01-2020 11:05


Good afternoon TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to flatten vegetation in a surface that you created to generate a clearer view of the ground surface? Well, the new flatten surface command in TBC version 5.30 removes outlying vertices from a surface. To navigate to the new flatten surface command, navigate to the surfaces ribbon in TBC, and select “flatten surface” under edit: 

In the flatten surface command pane, select the surface you want to flatten from the surface drop-down list. Enter a number in the tolerance field to specify the distance beyond which vertices will be considered outliers and removed when compared to neighboring vertices. Next, select a remove direction option to specify whether to remove outlier vertices extending upwards or downwards. If necessary, you can limit the removal of outlying vertices to a specific area of your surface by checking the “use boundary” box. A boundary can be created with the create rectangle or polygon tool. Check the “create new surface” box to keep your original surface unchanged, and to produce a new surface with the flatten surface command applied. Lastly, hit apply when you are satisfied with your input settings:


Since we checked the “create new surface” box, we can open the view filter manager to look at our results. The new surface has the same name as the original surface, but with a “_flatten” tagged onto the end:

Since the command is looking for outliers, large areas of spikes, such as trees, might be too large to completely flatten your surface the first time around. Running the command iteratively will eventually all outliers from the surface as seen below:


Hope this tip comes in handy next time you open a TBC project!