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Drawing Contours





Contours are lines of constant elevation that help us visualize a surface.

TPC uses the TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) to place the contours on the surface. See Creating a TIN.

Major and Minor Contours

Significant elevation changes can result in lots of contour lines. To accommodate this, TPC lets you specify both major and minor contour intervals.

Typically, major contour lines are drawn in a bolder color and thicker lines while minor contour lines are drawn in a less bold color and thinner line.

Contour Settings

You can tell TPC which colors, line types and line widths to draw contours in the Contours dialog.

Labeling Contours

You can add elevation labels to contours. This helps you identify specific elevations on the surface.

TPC embeds labels into the contour lines based on some interval in inches. So you can have a label drawn every 2", 4", etc. within any contour line.

You can specify a label interval of 0 (zero) to draw just one label per contour and place it as close as possible to the start of the contour - TPC moves the label into the contour line until it finds a contour segment long enough to hold the embedded label.

Restricting Contours to Elevations

You can restrict the contours so that only the contours between minimum and maximum values (inclusive) are drawn.

In the Contours dialog, specify the elevation range by enter both a Minimum and Maximum elevation. These values are inclusive, meaning the contours for the minimum and maximum values will be included.

 You can also limit the surface to drawing a single contour line by specifying the same value for both Minimum and Maximum.

When exporting a surface with restricted contours to CAD, the CAD file, when opened, will display just the restricted contours, as expected.

Smoothing Contours

Contours can be drawn as straight line segments between triangle edges in the TIN or they can be smoothed to better represent the constant elevation lines of the surface. See Smoothing Contours.

Related Topics

Contour Settings dialog
Contour Smoothing


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