Best way to integrate contoured model with flat base?

Hi. I am building a model for a client. He basically wants a flat model with the exception of the elevated interstate and rail that pass through the site. I have the flat base fairly worked well and I have a partial model of the elevated elements. I need to figure out a good way to integrate the two so that the contoured section seamlessly rises out of the base map. They are separate components right now so they are not interacting directly. I tried dropping the contours a couple of feet (see below) which helped a bit but I don’t think it’s going to be the final solution. Any guidance is appreciated, and of course I’m looking for the most efficient way of doing so. Thank you.

Ryan; Have my self confused:
Is it possible to post the model of the elevated portion and expand a bit;
A terrain or contour in my mind goes along with hills, mountains etc so is the issue the tracks and road are to be built and user is worried excavation or ???;
Or is issue related to train road support and if so why the contour??
Or is the plan showing the road / tracks with some type of elevation skirt and you want ideas how to integrate with the plan view and other incoming tracks etc??

Hi. Thanks for the response. I don’t think I can upload the model, at least not today, due to its size and my internet connection. But basically it’s a proposed/conceptual redevelopment along a corridor. So the changes are some proposed buildings and roadway improvements. The contour model is the embankment for the raised interstate/railroad. The gap in the middle is the overpass that goes over the road. it doesn’t need to be exact to engineering standards. However, I need to show the road going underneath the overpass and there may be some signage connecting the upper and lower models.

In short, the contours are the embankments for the raised interstate/railroad. I need to show them as raised and going over the road going underneath it. if there is an easier way to achieve this without using the contours I am open to hearing it. Thanks.

Thanks: You will need to post both models and if large you could post to file sharing site like drop box etc and then post link here;
I assume the road is the one coming from north to south;
Your model shows the train/ road still going up in elevation or does it come back to some elevation;
Thinking you are expecting to much detail form this forum, you should get some general comments though;
The road will need maybe like 13 + ft’ of clearence over track;
For staring concept using center line ( maybe Bezier curve ) then some type cross section for road you could get some concepts drawn quickly using the follow me tool;
Make them components and layers so you could turn on off differnt views until you have some thing you like;
I would start by 3rd order Bezier at over pass to get some good tangents but others will have better ideas.

Hi. Thanks for the response, but I’m not sure I follow you. The road has already been redesigned, I’m just building a model from a 2D CAD drawing. Did you mean do a centerline for the interstate or the road going underneath the interstate? Either way I have the basic layout already, or did you mean the hill?

Based on the contours I have the surface of the rr/interstate are about 23’ above grade, but the distance from the ground to the bottom of the overpasses would be less than that.

I haven’t installed a bezier for SU yet… I am trying but am getting an error message when I try to download the extension.

Any uploads will have to wait till tomorrow, I can’t upload this size file with my connection at home. I did however, upload a couple more pics. The first shows the roads and rr surfaces raised in relation to the rest of the surface. The second shows with the contours turned on. One problem is the contours don’t seem to match up with the road, they overlap. So that will have to be fixed, I will need to figure out a way to integrate the embankment with the remainder of the surface, and match up the surfaces of the interstates/rr with the embankment. Also I’ll need to cut through the embankment to create the underpass. If there is an easier way of doing this I am all ears.

Also, I do not have much experience with the follow me tool.

But regardless thanks for the input, even discussing it helps me think about it.

I may have mislead you there:
IS the contour you have based on actual site survey/ I was thinking it was a place holder for question and not " real";
Once you can post model should have more comments from others;
If contour is real have you tried to just drape the rr/ road on it to see what the results look like; The thought for the Bezier curve was to put plane down center of rr/ road and then use it to investigate possible elevation profile for them. Making a cross section of rr/road then follow me tool SU could create them following that profile;
You may want to check this link there are some plugins that may help you Instant Road Nui | Vali Architects | Instant Scripts

No problem. Yes, the contours are from the site survey, although a side problem is that when I bring them in the slope runs right into the roadway so they don’t seem to be 100% accurate, which means I may need to manipulate them somehow to pull them back from the roadway.

I did upload the file to dropbox. You should be able to access it here:

Thanks again for the help.

Thanks got it next ttime suggest you make road a component, it is stuck to other primitive geometry and is head ach. Make max use of components is usually good idea. Present road has some very weird variation in profile and will probably not be acceptable to customer??

HI Mac,

So I redid the elevated road/rr. Deleted what I had, cleaned up the geometry a tad, and redid it as a second component. you’re right, it was a lot easier.

Think there is a miss under standing cad vs SU And what has to be done to import SU to CAD and use;
Su does not use layers fro geometry isolation but only for visibility control. Groups and components are used for that;
The road base is still at the z=0 level and is then abt. `20+ thick;
IMHO If you want to use SU starting over using the suggestions in this link would probably be best bet. I cannot not do from here in any sort of reasonable time even if you supplied the CAD file=> do not have PRO and cannot not use my version for any " commercial type" work. See this link for help file on the issue;

HI Mac,

I understand the diff between SU and CAD, I’m still in the early stages of practicing how to use layers/components to good use.

The objective isn’t to make an accurate road. The roads don’t need to have any depth aside from the surface, it’s just going to be a surface face that looks like a road. And the part that’s over 20’ deep isn’t really the road per se, it’s the base beneath it. I’m going to put the road and rr on that surface, and then use the sides to generate topography. The people it’s intended for may never see the top of the roadway/rr.

This is all conceptual, it’s not an engineering-level model. Many details are being simplified or omitted.

IHMO the contours you have look good. I spent some time to see what I could do, put most of stuff back to layer 0 and keep what thought you may want. Added some layers so you could " tinker"
Good luck think you would be close to home if the road was made component then it could be made to curve up for over pass and back down.
Components are very import because of the isolation of Geo and the number of plugins that you can use;
FYI Dropbox - File Deleted

Update FYI model went from 100mb to 17but still not happy with performance but will have to put in drop box max is ~3+


I’ll look at this a little later but just curious how did you drop the file size so significantly??? Thanks again if you want to see progress I can upload later versions. There were a couple of problems with the contours, first, I don’t think they were 100% accurate since the slope went into the street plus there are some retaining walls that they didn’t really fit in with. Not being perfect wouldn’t have been a problem but I wasn’t able to manipulate the form out of the lower roadway. Second, they really slowed my computer down. My computer’s not the slowest but it’s not the fastest, I usually don’t have problems with SU files, but with this it was like going at a snail’s pace.

So, I have been redoing the slopes using the from contours tool. I’m new to terrain modeling, I didn’t realize how useful that was, I think that will work out for the purpose of this model. Again, it won’t be 100% true to life but that’s not the most important thing here.

But, seriously, how did you reduce that file size??

I deleted a number oy the layeres you had that including primitive geo and put that geo back on layer 0 where in belongs. However, I was still have major slowness so opened up new SU instance and copied the model as modified over to that which made a major difference on model speed. I also have been doing some work on the contours to try and simplify. The model size is down to about 14 MB now but I would not recommend you use it for you effort. You had a number of options for trees etc shown as layers but since they were not components you can not turn them on / off and when those layers were move you have lost that.
Here is the state of the model as I have now.