Model Builder Images – Adjusting Detail

Model Builder Images – Adjusting Detail

Let’s look at a couple scenarios:

  1. You’re working in a remote area of the world and you’ve created a model of your site using Model Builder but when you open it, you notice that you don’t get any images, just a white screen with a camera with a “do not” sign on top of it.
    No Images in this Area

    No Images in this Area

    No Data (zoomed way in)

    No Data (zoomed way in)

  2. You’re working in an area that has quite a bit of data available via Bing but what you see when you open your model created from Model Builder isn’t the most detailed imagery.

    I know there's better data for this area.

    I know there’s better data for this area.

What do you do in these situations? Well, you adjust the Bing imagery via the Data Connection panel. Last month I showed you how you can connect directly to the Bing image sources for any model you have and how to adjust that. Well, when Model Builder creates your model for you, it does exactly that, it creates a connection to the Bing images that you can then adjust afterwards.

Open your Data Sources (click the orange “I”, the boxy looking icon, and then the Data Sources button).

Data Connect

Data Sources

In the Data Sources panel, right click on the “imagery” data source listed under Ground Imagery and choose “Configure…”

Configure Data Source

Configure Data Source

In the Configure Data Sources dialog box, switch to the Raster tab. At the bottom of the dialog you’ll see the options for the Bing imagery. By default, Model Builder chooses tile level 17 for the images. If you want better detail, change to 18 or 19. If you don’t see images in your area, change to a smaller number. Be forwarned, if you have a large area, changing to tile level 19 can take quite a while to regenerate the images.

Change Image Resolution

Change Image Resolution

Once you’ve hit “Close and Refresh”, you’re model will download the new data and display it in your model. I changed the model of the park (with the railroad) to Tile Level 19 (you can make out the cars and striping now) and the model that didn’t have any images, I had to change to Tile Level 13 (this model is in a part of Myanmar).

Now with images

Now with images

Much Better Image

Much Better Image

Traffic Simulation in InfraWorks 360

Traffic Simulation in InfraWorks 360

In the latest version of InfraWorks 360 (“InfraWorks 360 2016 R1” or “The March 2015 Release of Autodesk InfraWorks 360” or whatever they decide to call it) you can now do some traffic simulation! Yes! It’s really cool! This was technology that was acquired not too long ago and was available on Autodesk Labs called “Project Commuter”. This technology is now available in InfraWorks 360 as a preview (which means it might change, might be a cloud credit service, might disappear all together).

In this post, I’ll go over what assets you need in your InfraWorks 360 in order to run a simulation, how to set up your model, how to run the simulation, how to edit the simulation parameters, and finally how to visualize the results.

Needed Assets

In order to run a traffic simulation, you’ll first need InfraWorks 360. The InfraWorks that ships with the design suites (such as the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium/Ultimate or the Building Design Suite Ultimate). Next, you’ll need the Autodesk Roads and Highways add on for InfraWorks 360. Since we’ll be doing roadway design things, you’ll need the roadway design tools. For more information on what’s in the different InfraWorks offerings, click HERE.

Comparison

Setup Your Model

Design Roads Only

Prior to running the simulation, you need to set your model up correctly. First of all, your roads need to be design roads and not the preliminary roads. If you’ve created your model from Model Builder, you have preliminary roads. You’ll need to convert those to design roads. Assuming you have the Autodesk Roads and Highways tools activated, you simply select the road, right click, and choose “Convert to Design Road”.

Convert to Design Road

Convert to Design Road

If you don’t see the convert option, make sure you have access to the tools and make sure you’re in Edit Mode (right click and choose Edit Mode).

Online Model

To run the simulation, your model must be upload to the InfraWorks 360 cloud service. If you haven’t done this yet (or haven’t done it since you added the roads), make sure to update your online model. If you aren’t familiar with how to do this, simply click the double arrow in a circle icon at the top left corner of your model.

Publish Model

Publish Model

Run The Simulation

The traffic simulation tool will be found in the Roads and Highways toolset in the analysis tools.

Start the Simulation

Start the Simulation

After clicking the button for the first time (assuming you haven’t run a simulation before in this model), InfraWorks will ask you to define an area. Basically what you want to do is cross your design roads at the location where you want a traffic load to be located. Your design roads will be highlighted in blue so you can easily see your options. As the area you draw crosses a design road, it creates a traffic load zone (where vehicles come from and where they go to).

Study Area

Study Area

After drawing the study area, InfraWorks will bring up two asset cards, one for the traffic study area and one for the resulting animation. On the Traffic Study Area asset card, click on Run Simulation. This requires the model already be uploaded to InfraWorks 360 and that you have an active internet connection.

Asset Cards

Asset Cards

Once the simulation has been run, your model will show you the results. The results are in the form of bars of different colors. The red bars indicate an excessive wait time or queue length and the blue bars indicate an acceptable wait and queue. If you mouse over one of the bars, it will show you the wait and queue.

Results

Results

Edit Simulation Parameters

Once you’ve run the simulation, you can edit the parameters. Simply choose the study area, right click, and choose  “Traffic Analyst Panel”. This will launch the Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Traffic Analyst. Hint: Once you open it, click the TOP button on the view cube to find your model.

Traffic Analyst

Traffic Analyst

A couple things you might want to do, check your traffic loading and check your intersections. To see the traffic demands, go to the Demand menu and choose “Demands”. In the Demand Editor, you can change the demand from one node to another.

Demands

Demands

Another thing is to check your intersection configuration. On the Control menu, choose Intersections. In the intersections dialog, choose the intersection you want to edit in the pull down and then choose the turning movement. When you select the turning movement, it will highlight in the main window. Currently, there are control options: stop sign, barred, give way, yield, and free flow. There doesn’t seem to be an option to put in a timed signal but remember, this is a technology preview so I would expect to see it eventually.

Intersections

Intersections

Once you’ve set your demands and your intersection controls, simply rerun the simulation and your model will update.

Visualize the Results

As mentioned above, you can see the blue and red bars and they will show you the results if they are acceptable or not but, wouldn’t it be nice to actually watch the traffic flow? All you have to do (provided you still have the traffic simulation open in InfraWorks and you’ve run the simulation) is to hit the play button. You can change the display of the results bar to display per lane, per approach, or turn them off.

If you watched the video, you can see it’s a bit dark. This is because currently, the only way to view the results is in the editing mode and everything is darkened while editing. There isn’t any way to show the simulation outside of the editing mode so you won’t be able to show the traffic in a storyboard (at least not yet).

So, did I miss something? Have you played around with it at all? What do you think it still needs? Leave a comment here, I would love to hear your thought!

InfraWorks 360 March 2015 – What’s new?

InfraWorks 360 March 2015 – What’s new?

What’s new? That’s easy. Just go go HERE and it will show you what’s new.

What’s new that you should be using? That’s a different story. Here are my favorite new features in the March 2015 release of InfraWorks 360. I’m not going to go into detail on everything that’s new, I’ll just touch on a few of the things that I think are interesting. The topics I’ll cover are Model Builder changes, Drainage Network additions, the new Land Areas and Grading, and the new (and very exciting) Traffic Simulation.

Model Builder

Last release we were no longer restricted to rectangular areas to create a model from, we could choose an area based on a polygon (great for transportation projects). This year, we don’t even have to draw the area our self! Have a shapefile representing your area of interest? Use that to create the model!

Model Builder Area from Shape File

Model Builder Area from Shape File

In my opinion, this is a good start. Unfortunately, a shape file is the only file type that it currently uses. In Map 3D, it’s REALLY easy to create a .sdf file but a little more involved to create a .shp file. Can we use the Autodesk .sdf file format? Nope, not yet.

Another limitation is it must be a polygonal area. What I would love to be able to do is bring in a linear file (such as the centerline of the road I’m working on), apply a buffer width to it, and create a model from that. Perhaps in the next release.

Drainage Networks

Drainage networks is one area of InfraWorks that has seen a lot of improvements over the last few releases. It’s an interesting concept and I’m definitely excited about where Autodesk is going with this. So, what’s new in this version?

Outfalls

When you add a drainage network to your design road, it adds an outfall at the low points of your roads.

Outfall

Outfall

Inlets

When you select an inlet, it will show you the spread of water in the road as well as the contributory area to the inlet. Unfortunately, the contributory area is ONLY the roadway. It does not take into account any contribution from area outside of the pavement that will flow onto your road but, hey, it’s a start!

Selected Inlet

Selected Inlet

The blue outline shows the contributory area and the dark shaded area shows the spread of the flow. Additionally, the asset card gives you the hydraulic and hydrologic properties of the inlet. Things such as intensity, spread, capture efficiency, etc.

Analysis

You can “Inspect Performance” on your network. When you do this, InfraWorks will let you know if your pipe and/or inlets are surcharged as well as the EGL, HGL, and elevation of your pipe at any point along the pipe.

Inspect Performance

Inspect Performance

Land Areas and Grading

Now, this one is cool! We’ve been able to use coverages pretty much since the inception of InfraWorks but the grading around the coverage has been very limited. Sure, we can add a smooth radius to the coverage but in my opinion, it just doesn’t cut it. With the new Land Areas and Grading, we can apply a different slopes depending on the cut/fill condition as well as different materials to those conditions.

Land Area and Grading

Land Area and Grading

Traffic Analysis

This one is very exciting! You can run a traffic analysis directly within InfraWorks 360 now! It’s still in a preview mode but it’s coming! The capabilities are still somewhat limited but you should give it a try and provide some feedback to the developers on what you like, what you don’t like, and what’s missing. Look for a future post with additional details on the traffic simulation tools.

Traffic Simulation

Traffic Simulation

So, what do you think? Are you excited about the new functionality in InfraWorks? I know I am!