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Do you projects require facade or vertical wall reconstruction or modeling or vertical surface (e.g. facades)? If so, then you might find this tip being useful to you.

In some projects, it’s impossible to find THE one setup where you can see the whole object without masks (between the instrument and the object you might collect in your photo: people, cars, trees, lightpoles etc…)or because the object is very long (building in a narrow street etc…)so you need to make multiple setups in order to always be in front of it with a good angle.

One way, could be to create several “rectified images” but you might create several planes and so the assembly of these several created rectified images will not be optimal.

In the example below we can see that station 6 provide a good view at the object but some of the areas on the right and left are obscured by trees.

On the other hand, station 4 present a clean bottom left area but a light pole on the right area (which is not good for our purpose).

Images from Station 3 also presents a nice perspective but contains a light pole in the middle.


What we suggest now is to use Station 6 as the base of the rectified image (perfectly in front of the building) to create the “Plane” and then use the 2 other stations to fill the missing parts by simply  picking in the Plane the areas that couldn’t be selected previously. We will then obtain 3 rectified images in the same plane that we can then export to a 3rd party Software (AutoCAD, Sketchup  etc…) or in order to generate drawings or directly in TBC.


Note: if you know your goal is to create accurate orthorectified images, it’s very important that you do a very good traverse (use correct prisms etc…): this will minimize the overlapping difference between stations. As well, use the same image resolution and try to have your stations as equidistant as possible to the object

In Point Clouds tab > Imagery: Open the “Create Orthorectified Image” ” tool and define a “New Plane Definition”


We would like to suggest that you use the “Vertical Plane” method in a similar projects as shown in the image (also make sure that you have points displayed in order to pick the position of the plane). Note also that it could be a good idea to name your plane (useful if you do an area that requires multiple planes creation as well as the Image).


Now Pick the 2 corners for the creation of the image (do not select area with masks….) and Define the resolution and select Create.


Note: you can check the results in 3D View by hiding everything except the Georeferenced Image (as shown in the view of the newly created Rectified Image below.

Now Back in Station View, select the next station you want to use to complete the building façade.
CAUTION: Be careful that despite you changed the Station view from Station 6  to Station 4, the active station in the “Created Orthorectified Image tool” is still Station 6 (as we didn’t close the tool) so please make sure to change the Station there to Station 4 to avoid issues.

Very important that you use the same Plane Definition than before and simply pick 2 new points to define a new area (select area that wasn’t covered in the previous step) and select Create.

Repeat the Steps for the next Station that will help you to fill the blanks. Check the result of your 3 rectified Images together as shown in the image below. Note that it could be good to equalize the photo in TBC or in the field.

We hope this tip will be useful and make you successful when creating orthophotos within TBC.

Credit this week goes to our Application Engineer, Arnaud Lezennec. Thanks Arnaud!


Happy Surveying,

TBC Team

TBC 3.90 Overview and New Feature Videos Available on YouTube!

Check out TBC Survey's TBC 3.90 YouTube Playlist for two overviews and eight new feature videos that highlight new point cloud processing and extraction tools, the Legal Description Writer, new CAD commands, and more!

TBC 3.90 - YouTube 

Surface creation in TBC is definitely one of the software gems. TBC offers a lot of flexibility with appearance and creation of your surfaces. This week’s tip helps understand some of the controls you have over how your breaklines are triangulated. Here is how you might resolve the number of nodes/chords along the surface breaklines.

In Project Settings > Computations > Surface > Breakline Approximation Parameters there is a setting for Hz and Vt tolerance.

Here is a surface created using our Processing Feature Code Tutorial.


Now, let’s change the project settings and put e.g. 10m for the Hz tolerance.

And the result is a less sampled breakline with fewer nodes/triangles along the breakline.

Internally, what is happening is that there is a concept of mid-ordinate point to compute the distance of the node between the chord and the arc along the curve as illustrated by the graphics below.


We hope you find this tip useful regardless if you are going to be exporting surface or breaklines to other products doing contouring for your base map creation within TBC.


Joe Blecha

TBC 3.90 Overview Videos

Posted by Joe Blecha May 22, 2017

New to TBC?  Want to learn more about what's new in TBC 3.90?  The TBC 3.90 short (5 minutes) and full (36 minutes) overview videos are here to help!


TBC 3.90 Short Overview:



TBC 3.90 Full Overview:


Wayne Boatright

Area Takeoff

Posted by Wayne Boatright May 20, 2017

In takeoff mode of HCE and using pdf files only(no cad files are available), is there a method for tracing an area, having curb islands, continuously and include curb islands and at the close of the area, the calculated area excludes the curb islands?  I have use procontractor and the calculated area of curb islands is eliminated if you keep the trace line continuous and back-trace  entry line to island.  I can't duplicate that with HCE. I have attached a screen shot for clarification.

This week’s topic is a very specific workflow but often required for many topographic and as-built surveys near power infrastructure.  Whether it is to design future utilities and structures near power lines or checking clearance for traffic beneath and above, the everyday surveyor needs efficient tools to measure and extract this information.


There are several ways of doing this.  To simply measure distances and angles for clearances, you can use the Measure Distance command.  Pick two points and view information such as the slope/vertical/horizontal distance values as well as coordinates of the measured location.  This command works with point cloud data as well making for a useful QA/QC tool.  These measurements can be stored using the Save button.




You can also perform similar measurements in the Station View using a combination of imagery and point clouds from the Trimble SX10 with the Virtual DR tool.



The next method is using the point to surface command.  This requires the user to have field or office measured points on the power line as well as a surface generated for the ground surface.


First, select the data you would like to use to create a surface.  Use the Create Surface command to generate a TIN model.


Next, Select Reports -> Report Options and double click Point to Surface Results.  Select your created surface and any points on the structure you would like to check the clearance on.  In this case there are four points (6 - 9) that are located on four different power line wires.



Press Apply in the Point to Surface command to view the results in the command.  You can also generate a report of the point to surface comparison and utilize as a project deliverable.



That's all for now folks.  Have fun using the many tools TBC has to offer.


Happy Surveying,



TBC Team

Joe Blecha

TBC 3.90 Released!

Posted by Joe Blecha May 12, 2017

In time for a nice spring or fall weekend of survey data reduction, CAD drafting, point cloud feature extraction, or UAV data processing, we are happy to announce TBC 3.90 is available for download here.


Highlights include:

  • Create, edit, and transform linestrings, polygons, dynaviews, and best fit lines in the Cutting Plane View
  • Orthophoto creation from point cloud data and Ortho-Rectified Image creation from Trimble VISION or SX10 panorama images
  • SmartPick tool for semi-automatic extraction of face of curb and gutter geometry from point clouds
  • Legal Description Writer for cadastral survey projects for parcels, polygons, or closed linework
  • Ortho drafting, tracking, and snaps for CAD drafting and editing
  • Select similar, match properties, three-point circle, and three-point rectangle CAD drafting features
  • Mobile Mapping MX7 Support and Feature Extraction
  • UASMaster 8.1 with improved Batch Processing (one-click) processing solution

Did you know you can use TBC as calculator? Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to use your calculator if you are doing some simple math like  adding or subtracting values before you key them in TBC or computing units.

First, open any command in TBC that expect some input e.g. Create Points, or Create Polyline and click in the coordinate field. You can see in the image below where we used “12.32+20” as an example and after hitting “Tab” got “32.320”.


You can do mathematical expression of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication (+, -, *, /). You can have multiple numbers e.g. “12+4+6” to get “22” or you can use “12+4*2” to get “20” (yes, we know the priority of operations :)).Note that you cannot use spaces “ “ between the number and mathematical operators. The numbers provided will be in project units.

If you have a units on paper in metric and your project is in survey feet or vice versa, you can do that as well. Let’s take an example of a project where you have setup of survey feet and you are keying in a value of 150m (meters).

Open a command e.g. Create Point and in the elevation field type in “150m” and hit “Tab”. You can use standard abbreviations for distance units like “mm, cm, m, km, ft”.

We hope this tip saves you few minutes on your daily work by not having to open a calculator to do some quick calculations.


Happy Surveying,

TBC Team