Civil 3D Projects to SketchUp

Good evening all. Our engineering company has been getting into 3D modeling for our civil site plans. I’m wondering if there’s a workflow that anyone knows about that we can read up on when taking something the size of a 1.5 miles x 1/4 mile site plan and bringing that into Sketchup.

We messed around with exporting a TIN surface that came in beautifully (after some tweaking on the CAD designers end with various triangle quantities, not my forte so forgive me lol) as well as separately exporting test corridors for the roads, curbs, etc and those looked good as well. He just isn’t sure on how he should be exporting the whole site plan (surface layer and corridors in one file) so I can start doing my thing in Sketchup/Lumion.

You definately need to look at Valiarchitects extensions for roads and toposhaper by Fredo… both massive productivity tools for 3d terrain work

Example below of approx 100 hectare site, 1km x 1km with roads cut into terrain

PS, for those interested his is a snapshot from my SAMSUNG Tab S4 using Sketchup Viewer Android app, handles the file easily…

Trees added in Twinmotion 2016

PS… we patched this detailed terrain into a 3d terrain of the surrounded area covering approx 12km x 12km

Also we had no CAD vector data for the site so I hand traced the PDF contour plan In Sketchup… then used Toposhaper to refine and elevate the contours…


Is the background hill, too, covered in Twinmotion trees?

No, trees were limited to the 1km x 1km area
I used different materials to define, forest, parkland, road verge, grass, ski slope and landscaped garden area then them asked TM to map trees / grass/ shrubs etc to those areas automatically. very quick… almost instant and renders, although not high realism only took maybe 30 seconds at 4k and then straight into powerpoint … it was for a feasibility study… only 4 weeks from start to finish. modelling was 90% rendering / presentation 10%

Looks awesome! I’ve been using TwinMotion and Lumion. TwinMotion does render so much faster than Lumion but, as you said, less realism. I have been looking into the Valiarchitects full suite but was all of what you did from scratch in SU or does it somehow incorporate Civil 3D exports?

At this point, I’ve only taken the overall 2D site plan line work from C3D, filled the faces, and went from there. This project is going to include single family homes, paired cottages, apartments, hotels, retail-commercial plaza, and retail centers.

all done from scratch in SU… only had a dwg outline of the boundaries and PDF of a contour survey of the site.

  1. So took a high res screen capture of the PDF,
  2. imported and scaled it to the imported dwg in SU,
  3. created a separate translucent ground plane in SU over the scan
  4. traced the contours onto that plane [in top view ortho]
  5. isolated the contour traces
  6. used Fredo’s TopoShaper plugin to optimise, lift and form the terrain surface

Of course if you have a DWG contour plan you avoid having to scale and trace them… so much quicker

For the roads, a similar process

  1. create a translucent plane over the site above your model and terrain…
  2. draw your road centrelines on that plane in plan [ortho] view looking at your model below
  3. use "Instant Road Nui " to project those centrelines onto the terrain as roads.

before doing this always backup your raw terrain model as a separate SU model
as is it easier to start on a fresh terrain if you edit the road positions.

PS, I also use Artisan for terrain refinement, smoothing, face subdivision, stitching edges together etc…

Very interesting. Apologies for the delay, too many projects, not enough time lol We purchased the whole Valiarchitect suite and I’ve been dabble around with it. Loving the stairs and windows/doors plugin!

We do have DWGs of the contours since our civil guys are creating the proposed site plan. Bringing that in made it easy to create the overall terrain with the built-in Sandbox tools. Having some issues with our road centerlines creating the paths in one process. Probably just some trial/error I’ll have to go through. Our roads will consist of road, curb, green space, and sidewalk. During the first few tries the results were a little wonky. Do you know if its possible to do cul-de-sacs with Vali?

I have not needed to model a cul-de-sac… check the Vali architect tutorials… they are fairly good… Also their terrain tool allows easy modelling of surfaces and building a cul-de-sac component and stitching the road to it should be relatively simple.

Oh, also you can use surfaces rather than centrelines to generate the road, so just setout your roads on a 2d surface using circles to define your cul-de-sacs and project down onto the topo with the roads plugin…