Grading and Drainage
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Grading and Drainage

Jun 01, 2018
Video Length:  1:02:10
Presented By:  Amanda Berry

An accurate and clearly communicated grading plan is essential to the construction phase of a project. In this webinar you'll learn some simple grading processes using Land F/X annotation tools, as well as some basics in Civil 3D for more dynamic site modeling. We'll explore how to automate your grading workflow based on the needs of the project.

Webinar Contents:

Update: Added Z elevation capability for Spot Elevation!

At the time of this webinar, our Spot Elevation tool was not yet capable of assigning Z elevations. As of 2019, we've added Z elevation capability to the Spot Elevation tool. More information:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Design F/X Grading Tools
    • Spot Elevation
    • Slope Callout
  • Civil 3D Basic Grading
    • The Toolspace
      • Prospector
      • Settings
    • The Home Ribbon
    • Tips for Building Landscape Surfaces

0:00 – 3:23: Intro/TOC

3:24 – 18:14: Design F/X Grading Tools

Spot Elevation (4:24)

Placing a Spot Elevation callout (5:00)


Selecting a Spot Elevation style (6:15)


The Continue from Last option (type C) (7:55)

With this option, you can place an additional Spot Elevation callout by drawing a grading line from the last one you’ve placed, setting the grade percentage or ratio in the process.


Setting the precision (number of decimal places) on the drawing units (8:44)


Placing Spot Elevation callouts along an existing polyline, creating a slope that follows that polyline (9:15)


Placing a catch basin block and calling it out (11:30)


The Relative to Existing option for Spot Elevations (Type R) (12:00)

With this option, you can place Spot Elevation callouts and have their elevation calculated automatically based on the slope from another existing Spot Elevation.


Placing a Spot Elevation callout showing multiple elevations (12:30)


Placing an additional callout relative to the callout with multiple elevations (13:40)

Note that in this case the new callout will only show the top elevation from the existing callout.


Slope Callout (14:40)


Placing a Slope Callout showing a slope percentage or ratio (14:40)


Creating contours using Spot Elevation callouts (16:00)

18:15 – end: Civil 3D Basic Grading

The Toolspace (18:20)


Prospector (18:40)

Quick overview of COGO points, Point Groups, Surfaces, Alignments, and Feature Lines (18:53)


Settings (20:45)

The Settings control how everything looks in your Civil 3D workspace.


Quick overview of Surface Styles, Label Styles, and Multipurpose Styles (20:45)


The Home Ribbon (22:30)


Tips for Building Landscape Surfaces (23:59)


Bringing in a survey as an Xref (24:20)


Creating a surface (24:30)

We recommend giving your surfaces clear names and descriptions, which will easily differentiate them from each other.


Selecting a surface style (25:33)


Adding definitions to a surface (26:05)

Possible definitions include:

  • Boundaries
  • Breaklines
  • Contours
  • DEM files
  • Drawing Objects
  • Edits
  • Point Files
  • Point Groups
  • Point Survey Queries
  • Figure Survey Queries


Adding points from Drawing Objects (27:15)


Editing a surface (29:49)


Making minor corrections to contours using the Swap Edge tool (30:15)


Creating an additional surface (31:59)


Adding edits to the surface (33:00):

  • Paste Surface
  • Raise/Lower Surface


Adding a volume from the Volumes Dashboard (33:50)


Creating a proposed surface (35:30)


Pulling objects into the drawing from an Xref, such as the base file (36:20)


Creating Feature Lines from objects, such as polylines (37:00)


Assigning elevations to Feature Lines (38:30)


Adding Feature Lines to a proposed surface as breaklines (39:00)


Creating a slope on a proposed surface using the Set Grade Slope Between Points tool (41:10)


Inserting elevation points along a Feature Line (43:00)


Adding annotations (such as Spot Elevations) to the proposed surface (44:00)


Adding PI points (points of intersection) (45:30)


Using the Swap Edge tool to create a crown on the proposed surface (46:10)


Grading the surface (46:30)


Moving the surface using the Raise/Lower by Reference tool (48:30)


Grading a berm (49:30)


Grading a walkway (52:04)


Important: Grading groups should never intersect each other. Intersections should just miss each other.


Stitching multiple surfaces together (56:20)


Question: Once you’ve created your surface, is there a way to export it to Rhino? (59:12)

Answer: Possibly.The last few minutes of our Using Civil 3D with Land F/X for a BIM Workflow webinar show how to transform surfaces into 3D triangles and export those 3D surfaces into SketchUp. This same technique may very well work in Rhino as well, but we’re still in the testing process.


Question: Is it possible to use the Land F/X Spot Elevation tool to create points on a Civil 3D surface? (1:00:10)

Answer: At webinar time, no, because our Spot Elevation callouts did not include Z elevations. As of webinar time, this capability was on our wish list for added features. However, you can add your COGO points to Spot Elevations on PDFs you import into your drawings.

Update: Added Z elevation feature!

As of 2019, we've added Z elevation capability to our Spot Elevation tool. More information:


To open the Toolspace, click the Toolspace button in the Home ribbon. (1:01:40)

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