Display Contours

Display Contours tool draws contour lines for a surface model. You can generate quick contours which are suitable for verifying the surface model or higher-quality contours to be plotted on paper.

The tool can also be used to save a contour settings file that is required for producing contour lines automatically in a batch process. The settings file stores all information related to contour lines, labels, and ticks, except the name of the surface model. See Utility / Produce contours for more information.

Contours can be drawn as:

  • Curves – smooth elements for which MicroStation computes the curvature. This results in fairly compact elements but can cause contours to intersect each other.
  • Line strings – sharp elements suitable for mathematical design surfaces or for surface verification.
  • Soft line strings – smooth elements for which TerraModeler computes the smoothing by inserting additional vertices. This results in larger elements. [Recommended]

TerraModeler supports three different types of contours. Minor, basic, and major contours can be distinguished from each other by line color, weight, or style. You can select which of the contour types is displayed and at what intervals. If more than three contour types have to be distinguished, you may use the Modify Contour Symbology tool in order to assign a different level and symbology to contours that are already drawn into the design file.

In addition to the contour lines, the software can create labels and ticks for the contours. Further, depressions can be displayed using different symbology settings than for hills. Labels, ticks, and depression line symbology are available in display modes Write to file and Display only, but not in Preview mode.

To display contours:

  1. Select the Display Contours tool.

The Display contours dialog opens:

  1. Define settings for contour generation.
  2. Define settings for the symbology of contour lines, labels, and ticks. This can be done using commands Contour options, Contour label options, and Contour tick options from the Options pulldown menu in the Display contours dialog.

OR

  1. Load a previously saved settings file into the dialog using the Load settings command from the File pulldown menu.
  2. (Optional) Save the settings into a file on a hard disk by using the Save settings As command from the File pulldown menu.

Click Cancel to the Display contours dialog if you just want to save a contour settings file for automatic contour line production.

  1. Click OK to the Display contours dialog.

The contours for the selected surface model are displayed.

Setting: Effect:
Surface Name of the effected surface model.
Mode Display mode for contour lines:

•     Display only – elements are stored in RAM and redrawn whenever a view is updated.

•     Write to file – elements are written and stored in the design file.

•     Preview – elements are recalculated and redrawn whenever the view is updated.

Draw as Element type of the contour lines:

•     Curves – smooth elements for which MicroStation computes the curvature, may overlap each other, compact elements.

•     Line strings – sharp elements, suitable for preview.

•     Soft line strings – smooth elements for which TerraModeler computes smoothening, best quality, large elements. [Recommended]

Minor contours If on, minor contours are drawn at Every distance.
Basic contours If on, basic contours are drawn at Every distance.
Major contours If on, major contours are drawn at Every distance.
Ticks If on, ticks are drawn along contour lines. Not available if Mode is set to Preview.
Automatic labels If on, labels are drawn along contour lines. Not available if Mode is set to Preview.
Inside fence only If on, contours are displayed only inside a MicroStation fence. This requires a MicroStation fence drawn in the design file. Not available if Mode is set to Preview.
Write attributes If on, the software writes the contour elements in a way that enables the update of the contours using the Update Displays tool and the removal of contours using the Erase Display tool.

This is only active if Inside fence only is switched on.

Place legend If on, a legend for contour line symbology is placed. This is only active if Color by is set to Elevation in the Contour options dialog.
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