TBC v5.00 is live! Check out an overview of the new features, like terrestrial laser scanning support, point-based feature extraction, and digital cross-sections and cutting plane view enhancements, and more!
Hello fellow TBC’ers and happy November, we’ve made it past the spookiest time of the year, Trimble Dimensions is coming up, and now we’re approaching the end of… What year is it? 2018? How did that happen!
Consistency between deliverables —at least to perfectionists like myself— is of the utmost importance, and always a high priority. Without perfection, what are we, animals?
When creating drafting templates, some folks include a rectangle to match the dynaview to, others do whatever looks best. But here’s an idea from the ever teaching and extremely knowledgeable Alan Sharp: Include a bit of text outside the template to ensure the size and insertion point for the dynaview is always within reach and accessible! Brilliant, right?
No color, no problem, with point cloud ambient shading!
From time to time, you get a point cloud file from a third party that has no color and no greyscale. 3D points are good but not necessarily easy to make sense of when there is no color or intensity depths to it. It may just come as a big flat monotone blob that you can’t comprehend. Luckily, TBC has the right tool for the job!
Monochrome point cloud without ambient shading
No more, thanks to the [Ambient Shading] rendering option in TBC. This will bring shades of depth to your point cloud, whether or not it is colorized.
Go to the [Point Clouds] ribbon tab, and click the little sphere icon dropdown in the [Rendering] group. The [Ambient Shading] will give your point cloud a whole new dimension, turning it from a flat meaningless blob to an actual comprehensible 3D scene. (Check out the teaser of the new look and organization in TBC v5.0!)
Ambient shading option in the ribbon
Same monochrome point cloud with ambient shading turned on
'Tis the season for TBC and Autodesk (specifically Civil 3D) interoperability. Join our October TBC Power Hour to learn how the two software packages work together for you. Feature coding, attributes, and drafting will be covered. Sign up here for the live October 31st session. If you can't make it, still sign up, you'll get recording notifications and you'll be able to watch on-demand for free!
Come one, come all! Tip of the Week time is upon us. This weeks Tip is on a little known selection method that is shared with Trimble Realworks, the Freehand (or Lasso) Select!
We all know of the Rectangle Select, perhaps also the Polygon Select, they have their own icons in the quick access toolbar and keyboard shortcuts after all. This week’s tip sheds some light on a selection method users have a love/hate relationship with, the Freehand Select!
To use the Freehand Select, begin by choosing Polygon Select from the Quick Access Toolbar.
Once in Polygon Select mode, the Freehand Select can be started in 3 easy steps:
Click and hold the left mouse button then press and hold the Alt key.
Move the cursor slightly.
Release the left mouse button then release the Alt key.
Again, those steps are:
Left click and hold, Press Alt and hold.
Move the cursor slightly, release the left mouse button, release the alt key.
And voila! Freehand selection.
Now you can move your mouse and draw a line with which to select objects in Plan View or 3D View. When you are done drawing a selection area, double click to make the selection, just like with Polygon Select.
Again just like Polygon Select, drawing the selection clockwise will select only objects completely contained in the selection, and drawing counter-clockwise will select all objects which are partially contained in the selection area.
By doing this I have easily cropped this tree from the point cloud! I have the point cloud colored by elevation here.
Hello folks and welcome here to yet another TBC Tip of the Week! Happy Friday, Happy Monday, or Happy whichever day you happen to stumble upon this tip!
Today we will be taking a look at two similar but different commands under the CAD Ribbon, Average Points and Merge Points. Each has distinct functionality that is useful in situations with different intended outcomes.
The Average Points command computes the simple mean of all points selected — the average horizontal and vertical positions — and creates a new point with lines drawn from each of the points involved in the average. Below, we have three total station observations to the same point, and we want to take the average of these points to use as our observed point.
In the drop down for each point under Status, points can be enabled or disabled to easily filter outliers.
When it is computed:
The resulting point 100 is an arithmetic 3D mean of points 16, 17, and 18.
Now onto the Merge Points command! This one has a little more to it and is more flexible than the Average Points command so long as the points are all sideshots (not station setups). In the image below, under Filter Points by ID, are two options. Given the points are the same coordinate quality, identical will merge all points with identical ID’s. For example, if there are 4 points with ID ‘A’, and 3 points with ID ‘B’, these will be merged into two separate points A and B. Ignored will merge all points regardless of ID.
Filter Points by Distance will, you guessed it, filter points based on the distance of each selected point to the position of the specified final point.
When points being merged have different qualities ie. Control vs Survey vs Mapping vs Unknown, points can be merged with points of different qualities, however only a point of the highest quality in the selection will be used for the final point. Below, I have added a point of unknown quality using the Create Point command. TBC will merge lower quality points with higher quality, but will not merge higher quality points with lower quality. Under Selected Points, you may select which point will be the final position, and which points will be merged by checking the Included boxes. The distance each point will be moved to be merged is dynamically updated under Distance. To change the point ID of the merged point, you can enter it under Point ID.
This will merge all 4 points with point 16, and will name the resulting point 16.
There you have it! Depending on the desired outcome of your survey and your knowledge of how it was conducted, you can merge or average points to best suit your needs.
Hello fellow TBC’ers and here we go with another Tip of the Week! I hope you’re sitting down for this one, that’s the most comfortable way to read after all :)
Minimizing the number of clicks to perform common tasks is always a high priority here at Trimble, and we have efficiency in mind. The context menu is a great example of this. The size of the context menu can be adjusted to contain the right amount of commands to suit your common workflows, whether that’s 5, 7, or 20!
This can be adjusted in the Options, accessed either under File or in the Quick Access Toolbar.
Select Context Menu, and here we can adjust the number of the most recent commands which will be included in your right-click context menu.
I have opted to use 8 commands.
And here is what it looks like with 8 commands included!
And there you have it! Another TBC Tip of the Week, let me know in the comments if you found this helpful and share something you’ve found in TBC that should be a tip!
Howdy folks! Happy Friday, and welcome to another TBC Tip of the Week!
Did you know a large portion of the work in TBC drafting routines can be done once and repeated in every project using templates and styles? Additionally, project specific text elements can be auto-filled with smart text. I love it when I only have to do something once!
In TBC, the first thing we do while setting up a project is ensure our company and user information is correct. All this information needs to be contained on our plans as well.
It would be pretty nifty if all these details could be automatically inserted and updated on our plan sets, wouldn’t it? Well fear not! This feature is called Smart Text. Below is a demonstration of the text inserted into my block.
And here is the text used to insert this from the project setting information.
An explanation of Smart Text controls is documented very well in the TBC help section. Which is accessed by pressing F1 and searching for ‘smart text’. Smart Text can be used to relay a wide variety of information, such as: your company name and contact information, the slope of a line, area of cut/fill, volume of cut/fill, easting, northing, elevation, and height just to scratch the surface.
Smart Text can greatly reduce the amount of manual data entry required on drafting projects, and can bring significant gains in productivity and significant reductions in frustration.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s TBC Tip of the Week, if you have suggestions for future tips, or inquiries about ways to streamline your workflow, let me know in the comments!
Good day folks! Happy Friday, we made it through another week of productivity in TBC!
Have you ever found yourself plugging away on a big project, and realize it’s been a few hours since you last saved? A power failure could have been disastrous! Sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder that saving is important.
In options, which can be accessed in two ways:
In the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of TBC.
And under File > Options.
Under General > Project Management, there is a setting for ‘Save Project’ Reminder.
This will prompt the user to save at a variety of time intervals. The prompt will look like this:
Utilizing this feature in your day to day workflows can help by giving you the gentle reminder that saving is important, and can help prevent the ever frustrating redoing of work! Have a great weekend!
Happy September TBC’ers! This week we discuss a project setting which can greatly reduce the processing time required for volume calculations between large surfaces. Often the need for a fast rough volume arises. This is how you do that!
Here I have two (small) surfaces between which I wish to generate an Earthwork Report and calculate a volume. The green (Plan View & 3D View) surface is the Original Ground, and the purple (Plan View2 & 3D View2) surface is a gravel pile.
Go to Project Settings.
Computations > Surface. UnderGeneral,Volume computation:The default setting isTrack All Triangles.
UsingTrack All Triangleswill provide the most accurate volume for your surfaces, but is quite computationally intensive. For doing rough work, or rough volumes where time is of the essence, change this setting toDo Not Track Breaklines.
UsingDo Not Track Breaklineswill reduce the computation time by up to 95% in our tests. This large time savings was when two dense surfaces created from point clouds were being used for the volume computation, such as UAS or laser scanning data. For a detailed explanation of what these settings do differently, take a look at TBC Help (accessed by pressing F1 in TBC) and search for “do not track breaklines”, or “track all triangles”.
To perform a volume calculation, generate an Earthwork Report under the reports command in the Surfaces Ribbon.
Hello folks and welcome to the reading of another TBC Tip of the Week. Thank you to the very knowledgeable Alan Sharp for this tip, he sure knows TBC!
When modelling and creating a corridor in TBC, it is common for many templates to be used. Would you believe me if I told you most corridors can be modelled with just one? There is a trick to this! (Hint, it’s using the ‘undefined’ (?) character in template instructions)
Here I have created a corridor using an imported alignment.
I will now create a template using Corridor > Corridor > Insert Template with Begin station: 0+00.00.
In the Edit Corridor Template command pane, Under Offset/slope from: select 1 > HAL (HAL is my alignment name). This selects the start point for the instruction to be referenced from. Under Offset: select Table.
Select the three ellipses to open the table.
I filled the table out as below. For the pavement of my corridor, I want a gradual change from 0’ from the alignment to 12ft from station 1+80 to 2+20. I want a 12ft width until station 3+00 where I have an intersection and want to have a gap in this template. I want the template to resume at station 3+80.
I set the Slope % to -2.00% and named the instruction EOPR (Edge of Pavement Right). Click Add.
The instruction is shown on the plan (and 3D View). Notice the use of the ‘undefined’ (?) character has created a gap in the instruction in the template. This allows the input of repeating sections of a corridor quickly and easily.
In many situations it is useful to create a point between two 3D points, with an interpolated elevation and a desired horizontal offset from one of the lines; here's how that can be done easily and efficiently!
I have two points separated by 141m horizontal, 10m vertical. In the plan view I have the point elevation displayed.
Create Linestring between the two points. (direction matters)
On the Edit ribbon, use the break line command.
Create a point at End of line. (In Create Point drop-down)
First is to Create Linestring between the two points, starting from the point you want to set the offset distance.
I have drawn the line from point 1 to 2. After opening the Create Linestring command, you can press "Enter" to skip the first menu, and go directly to selecting the start and end points of your line. After clicking the two points, pressing "Esc" twice will exit the command.
Next, go to Edit > Lines > Break
Select the line (if it's not already), and enter the distance along the line you would like to create the new point. (This is why the direction the line was created matters) I would like my new point to be 50m from the start point.
Hit Break or press "Enter" on the keyboard.
Next, CAD > Points > Create Point (select the drop down) > End
Select the end of the broken line, and click Add or press "Enter". A point will be created here.
If the linestrings are not desired, they can be deleted.
Short and sweet one this week for you folks, I learned this myself recently and hopefully it soon becomes common knowledge!
When navigating the plan or 3D views in TBC, often it is useful to use the Zoom Extents command on the View ribbon, but moving the mouse to the top left corner of TBC takes just as long as zooming out using the scroll wheel. Fear not! There is a shortcut to Zoom Extents which will always be in reach.
Simply double click on the scroll wheel of your mouse, and TBC will Zoom Extents. The 3D view will maintain the angle with which you are viewing your data when you double click the scroll wheel.
Happy to partner with Delair and announce the TBC August Power Hour on August 29th...
Processing Delair UX11 Aerial Data in TBC
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have rapidly worked their way into the geospatial industry as useful and economical technology for data collection. With the increase of solutions on the market today, selecting the right hardware, processing software, and workflow for your needs is not always easy, but critical to your success. This month’s TBC Power Hour session will show how pairing Delair’s UX11 UAS hardware with the processing and deliverable capability from TBC is a viable, streamlined, and familiar solution for your UAS surveying needs.