Join Eric Chappell for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with Model Generation settings, part of InfraWorks 2017 Essential Training.
- When you're thinking about presenting your model you may want to boost some of the visual quality settings to go from a working mode to a presentation mode. Let's look at some important settings you'll want to know about. I'm in the Chapter 06 Lynda Heights model and I've chosen a proposal called Presentation. I'll start by restoring the Bookmark called Clubhouse. And that'll give us a close up view of the Clubhouse building. And you can see right now the look of the building is that it's flat from a three dimensional perspective and the texture, or the imagery that represents the building is kind of painted on a flat surface.
Now the reason I point that out is because one of the first settings we're gonna look at affects the appearance of this building facade. So let's get to it. I'm gonna start by clicking the Settings and Utilities icon, which I already have, all the tools have been exposed. And then within that tool set I'll click Application Options. Now there are several sections to this Application Options dialog. I wanna click Model Generation. And of the settings here we're gonna focus on three important settings that I think you really need to know about.
Building Facade Detail, Terrain Simplification, and this last one, Pre-compute ambient occlusion. There are other ones in here, but I really don't think they're important enough to get into at this time. Let's look at Building Facade Detail first. You'll see the choices are No Facades, Low, Medium, or High. I'm gonna jump right up to High and click OK. Now nothing happens in the model, that's because I need to regenerate the model after making any changes to this section of Application Options.
To do that I just simply click the Regenerate command over here in the same tools that I've been working with to access Application Options. After a bit of time the model regenerates, but it also goes back to its home view. So it's a good thing I have a Bookmark, I can restore that Bookmark and go right back to where I was before. And you can see now that the look of this building is drastically different. It's got a three dimensional facade, it's got lots of detail, and it really is just gorgeous.
Now the thing to realize about this is if you've got a ton of buildings in your model, or you've got a really large model, or you've got a really slow computer, boosting up this Facade Detail setting could have an impact on the performance of your model and you may find that it's very slow to navigate and zoom and pan around. Now for my particular case, this is a fairly small model and I've got a pretty good computer, so it really doesn't affect me at all. Probably more because I've only got one building in the entire model that has a facade.
If I had several dozen or several hundred buildings then that might be a completely different story even with the good computer that I have and the relatively small model. So keep that in mind, there's always a balance between the visual quality and the performance of the model that you're going to have to decide how you wanna address that. So let's take a look at another setting. I'll go to Application Options once again and I wanna show you this Terrain Simplification option. This is pretty interesting because what it will do is it will take the tin structure, that mesh structure of the terrain and simplify it.
Represent it with fewer lines and larger triangles. So to demonstrate this let me cancel out of this command, I'm going to restore a Bookmark called Terrain, and then I'm going to hit the Wireframe option. So to find that I'll go to my core tools, on the Create tool set that I find by hitting the Create icon you'll see the Wireframe command, I'll just go ahead and click that. So here's a look at how complex let's say our terrain is right now, and this is a good place to look at it because it's fairly dense with this cascading, steep hillside here.
So now I'll go to my Application Options, go to Model Generation, and I'll change my Terrain Simplification to 50. It's kind of like a percentage, I'll change it to 50 percent. Click OK. Regenerate the model. As I mentioned earlier, regenerating the model is going to put me back into a home view. You'll find that when Terrain Simplification is turned on, when it's something other than zero, that regenerating the model takes a bit more time, but then once you regenerate the model you'll find that the model performs more quickly because the terrain is much simpler.
And if you find that right balance, that perfect number for Terrain Simplification you'll find that even with the simplified version you don't have much sacrificed by the way of accuracy or appearance of the model. For example, if I turn Wireframe off I don't think the model looks a whole lot different as far as the terrain is concerned, but it's a lot simpler and if I'm in a model where things are kind of slow this could really get me moving more quickly again, or if I'm in a model where I really want things to be accurate I could bump that back down to zero.
The last setting I want to talk about is Pre-compute ambient occlusion. And I can't really demonstrate that for you, but I do want to talk about it. With this check box on you'll find that regenerating your model takes more time because it's doing extra calculations with light. And without going into it too deeply, that's really what this setting is about. It's about taking a more complex approach to how light bounces around in the model. And with it turned off it's a simpler approach and you'll find that regeneration times happen more quickly.
In my opinion, when this is checked on you don't really see a big difference in the model, the changes are very subtle, so I don't think it's really, personally worth having this turned on in most cases. So now you know about a few key settings that will help you find the right balance between visual quality and performance.
- Exploring the InfraWorks interface
- Creating new models
- Importing imagery, terrain data, and more
- Creating and editing roads, coverages, buildings, and pipelines
- Adding trees, water features, barriers, and city furniture
- Styling your world with material and road styles
- Adjusting view settings
- Creating a snapshot, storyboard, or animation
- Rendering your model
- Analyzing your design
- Sharing the model