OpenRoads Tip: Terrain Model – How to Extract Break Lines

I recently fielded a question where the designer needed to extract the break lines which existed in the OpenRoads Terrain model.  The designer could see them by toggling the display settings in properties but could not determine how to extract the break lines into separate and distinct graphical elements.

The following procedure will work for making graphical elements of any of the terrain model elements contained in the terrain model:

1. Open or create the DGN file which will contain extracted graphics.

2. Attach as reference the Terrain Model from which you wish to extract features.

3. Option 1. If you need the graphics from the entire Terrain Model, make a copy of the terrain.  Just use the Microstation copy command. CAUTION: Make sure that you snap when copying so that you do not move the position of the copied terrain.

See Option 2 below if you need only a portion of the terrain model.

openroads extract breakline graphic

4. You can detach the referenced terrain

5. Then select the copied terrain and turn on the visibility of the features you wish to make graphics. In this example, only the break lines and boundary are desired.

6. Finally, use Microstation’s drop command with Application Elements option checked ON to drop the terrain element to graphical elements.

openroads microstation drop application elements


Option 2: If you only need features extracted from a portion of the terrain model, then instead of copy the terrain from the reference file use the Create Clipped Terrain command.

3.A. Make a shape which defines the area of interest.  The clip terrain command only uses shapes and not fences.

3.B. Then use the Create Clipped Terrain command, which will make a copy of the terrain model in the active DGN but only the area within the shape.

3.C. Return to step 5 above.

openroads microstation create clipped terrain
Robert Garrett

Robert Garrett

Robert has over 25 years experience as a practicing engineer and is licensed in the State of Tennessee. After graduating from Tennessee Technological University, Robert worked for the Mississippi State Highway Department, Bridge Design Division. Then he spent 12 years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation in the Roadway Design Office and later served as Regional Manager in the Design Survey Office. From 2000 to 2006, Robert worked for Robert G Campbell and Associates in Knoxville, TN where responsibilities included roadway, site, and utilities design projects. Joining Bentley Systems in March 2006, Robert wrote specifications & documentation for software development. Duties included testing, customer feedback and ensuring the products met the needs of the civil engineering user base. He also developed training material for education both internally to Bentley and for outside organizations. He served as Product Manager for Utilities Products, including the new OpenRoads Subsurface Utilities Design and Analysis software. Robert also provided guidance and implementation services for new technologies. He is a frequent presenter and trainer at user conferences.

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