Create Slope Indicators
Command Licensing and Default Menu Location
- The Create Slope Indicators command is part of the RPS Modeling Toolbox
- The command is located on the Modeling Toolbox menu ribbon
- The command is located in the Drafting menu group
Creates slope indicators (hachures) between two breaklines used in a surface model that represent the top and toe of slope
Command Interface Description
The Create Slope Indicators command dialog looks as follows
The Settings area of the command dialog looks like this and can be expanded / collapsed using the small orange arrow control. The Settings area will soon be removed and placed in the RPS Settings command, so that you can create your preferred settings and store them so that they can be used between projects. Once you have defined your preferred style of working, the settings will only be accessed occasionally.
Reference line (optional):
When you are placing slope indicators on design surfaces vs surveyed surfaces, you may wish to utilize a reference line (alignment, polyline, CAD line or linestring) as the baseline for placing and orienting the slope indicators (perpendicular to and at even stations along the reference line) rather than using the selected primary and secondary lines to determine the orientation and placement for the slope indicators.
You can also select the same reference line as the primary or secondary line if required. The reference line when selected defines the orientation and spacing of the slope indicators.
When no reference line is selected, the orientation for the slope indicators is derived from a central line computed between the primary and secondary lines
Select the layer on which you wish to place the slope indicators. You can create a new layer and layer group if required by clicking the [New …] button.
Adding a New Layer
Adding a New Layer Group
Select the first of two lines that will represent the top or toe of the slope that you want to place the slope indicators on. The slope indicators work out which line (Primary or Secondary) is the Top and Bottom of slope and orientate themselves automatically.
In the absence of a reference line the primary and secondary lines will be used to compute a “mid line” which will be used for the spacing and orientation of the slope indicator computations
Note that the primary line, secondary line, start and end location selectors have Auto Advance “sticky” buttons at the right hand end of the selectors. The command will automatically loop the following selection sequence unless these buttons are clicked / enabled (orange) (vs blue disabled).
- Primary Line
- Secondary Line
- Start Location
- End Location
These sticky buttons allow you to control the loop sequence. You can enable any combination of the auto advance buttons to suit the selections that you need to make.
For example if the primary line is the edge of pavement string for a long highway project and it goes on for several kilometers, if you want to do all that side of the road first, then you can enable the auto advance on the primary line so that you can then just select Secondary line, Start and End locations.
If you want to just use the lengths of the secondary lines to control the start and end locations, then set the start and end to the limits of the reference line and then enable the auto advance on both start and end so that you just have to select the secondary line and apply for each loop process.
Select the second of two lines that will represent the top or toe of the slope that you want to place the slope indicators on. The slope indicators work out which line (Primary or Secondary) is the Top and Bottom of slope and orientate themselves automatically.
Single / Multiple Selectors:
The Single and Multiple selectors allow you to switch between single slope indicator placement and multiple slope indicator placement.
The single placement method allows you to drop single slope indicators (block method only) where you want to add additional indicators, or where you have a short length of slope that does not work well with the multiple method of placement.
The multiple method of placement will place a series of slope indicator lines or blocks between the selected lines at intervals along the selected lines to “flood the area” with slope indicators.
Start / End:
When you first use the command, and before you select a Primary or Secondary line, the Start and End values for the slope indicators are defined by the min and max stations of the first line that you select e.g. the Reference Line. When you then select a primary line, the start and end values are automatically adjusted to the Min and Max stations of the primary line (assuming that the primary line is wholly contained within the station range of the reference line). When you select the Secondary line, the start and end values are again adjusted to the smallest common station range between the primary and secondary lines.
If you only require the slope indicators along a portion of the selected lines, you can further limit the range for the slope indicators by selecting a user defined start and end location along the primary line or reference line.
While snapping to the ends of the primary or secondary line is “the most obvious thing to do”, sometimes using near snap to snap inside the start and end locations for the line can sometimes produce better results.
Once you have selected the Start location, you will see a dynamic cursor that updates as you move the cursor, this provides a live preview of the end result. The preview uses a generic internal symbol to show you the pattern that you are creating (block or line). Your selected block or line pattern will be placed when you click the apply button. Where the primary and secondary line range is extremely long, the command optimizes the display to reduce lag by drawing fewer indicators in the mid section of the selected range.
The settings part of the command dialog for the slope line / indicator definition can be expanded or collapsed using the orange arrow in the dialog
The settings control the sizing, placement patterns and symbols to use in the slope indicators. You can place lines only or blocks to indicate the slopes on a surface.
The slope indicators are either
- A combination of major indicator lines and optional minor indicator lines
- A series of block indicators
that are spaced equally along the selected lines and oriented parallel to the slope direction between the selected lines as shown in the pictures above.
Input the spacing in project units that you require between the major indicators (the long lines or block objects).
Adjust spacing to fit checkbox:
When checked, the spacing between the major and minor ticks will be adjusted to create an equal spacing between the indicators to accommodate the fact that the length of line being annotated is not an equal multiple of the spacings selected. This will result in a major slope indicator being placed at the selected start / end location or where the first indicators should be drawn based on the settings defined (min, max lengths etc.)
You can draw the major indicators for the full distance between the two lines at each slope indicator location, or you can specify a % of the distance between the two lines, which will reduce the length at the “tail” of the indicator (near the toe of slope). The length % is computed on the residual length after the gaps at head and tail have been accounted for.
Gap at head:
If you set this setting at 0 then the slope indicator lines will start at the top of the slope line exactly. If you wish to have a gap between the line and the start of the slope indicator, you can control that using this setting by entering a value other than 0 (in project units). A value of 0.0 will be treated as “no value” and will be ignored.
Gap at tail:
If you set this setting at 0 then the slope indicator lines will end at the toe of the slope line exactly. If you wish to have a gap between the line and the end of the slope indicator, you can control that using this setting by entering a value other than 0 (in project units). A value of 0.0 will be treated as “no value” and will be ignored.
When the top and toe of slope lines taper out, there is a point at which you typically do not want to draw the slope indicators between the two lines. You can control this using the minimum length setting, below which the indicators will no longer be created. Minimum length is measured horizontally between the two lines. A value of 0.0 will be treated as “no value” and will be ignored.
When the top and toe of slope get further and further apart, there is typically a point at which you want to limit the length of the indicator lines (especially if using block indicators that scale proportionately to the distance between the two lines), so that they no longer extend for the full length of the slope between the two selected lines. You can control this using the maximum length setting, above which the major indicator lines will be truncated to the maximum length. Maximum length is measured horizontally between the two lines. A value of 0.0 will be treated as “no value” and will be ignored.
Lines or Blocks Selection:
Select whether you want to place the line type or block type slope indicators. If you select Blocks the line settings are disabled and you can select the Block settings only. If you select Lines then the Block settings are disabled and you can enter the line settings only. The line method by default will always create 3D lines. The Block method will create either 2D or 3D block placements, depending on the block definition selected. The method to define 3D blocks is provided below along with some sample 3D blocks that you can use in the absence of your own definitions.
How many small ticks:
Between the major indicators you can optionally place minor (shorter) indicators as shown in the above picture. You can define the number of minor indicators per major spacing to create the pattern that you require. The above image shows 2 minor indicators per major indicator spacing. A value of 0.0 will be treated as “no value” and will be treated as “no ticks”.
Small tick length (%):
Enter the % of the slope length that you want the minor indicators to be e.g. 25% of the distance between the primary and secondary lines
You can use the slope line method as displayed in the image above, or you can replace the slope lines with slope indicator blocks or what are more commonly known as “tadpoles” or “hachures” that have a head and a tail that indicate the slope between the two lines. You can select the block that you wish to use as the indicator here. The block should be defined using a length of 1 unit (meter or foot), and should have its insertion point at the tip of the head and should use the two point definition where point 2 is defined at the tip of the tail. If you wish the blocks to be drawn in 3D (so that they fall on the slope) vs 2D (horizontal at the elevation of the Top of the slope) you need to define the blocks for 3D use (see the Example Files section below).
The command automatically provides a preview of the result that will be achieved on clicking Apply (only when you define the Start and End location). The preview will interactively update in line with settings changes that you make. When you like the result that you have defined, click Apply to commit the slope indicators to the project.
When you tap Apply, the blocks / Slope indicator lines will be placed and the command will loop so that it is ready for another selection set and repeat process execution. If you do not want to make a second selection and repeat the process tap Close to finish the process.
Closes the command without further execution.
Here is an example file that you can use for 3D Blocks for Slope Indicators. This will create 5 Blocks called Tadpole 0 (3D) through Tadpole 4 (3D) that you can use for the Block Method of placement. The 5 Tadpoles look as follows from Left to Right. The lowermost one is Tadpole 0 (3D) and is the one used on the dynamic cursor if you want to replicate that.
Slope Indicators (3D).dwg (40.0 KB)
Import the DWG into your TBC project, the blocks will create instances of themselves at around 0,0. You can delete the instances and the Blocks will still be available for use in the project. Save them in your Project Template master so that you have them when you need them.
The block linework was drawn initially at Elevation 0 but then we use the Change Elevation command to drape them on a surface that is an inclined plane where the tip / center of the head (the insertion point i.e. location 1) of each tadpole is at elevation 0 and the tip of the tail (the orientation point i.e. Location 2 is at elevation 1), placing the Tadpole definitions on a 45 degree slope. You can define your own Tadpole Blocks using the same method. Once you have defined the linework, use the Create Block to make a block out of the linework, using the 2 point method.
Once defined if you want to keep a copy of the Block outside of your projects, use the Insert Block command to create an instance of the block(s) and then select the block(s) and export them to a DWG file in a folder on your computer. To use the block(s) in any project, simply import the DWG file into the project and delete the block instances, and you will have the block references to work with.
The following video shows how to utilize the Create Slope Indicators command
TML - Create Slope Indicators Command - Help Video
Use Case Videos
The following videos show the use of the Create Slope Indicators command in a work process context
Feedback and Enhancement Requests
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