DRAFTSIGHT always being known as the best alternative drafting solution. Instead of comparing the price, getting more drafter started to pay attention to all the features, that the DRAFTSIGHT can offer to the drafter. In 2021, DRAFTSIGHT bring us in a lot of interesting features, such as sheet set manager, build in pdf import, image tracer. So today, we going to focus on, one of the hidden gems in DRAFTSIGHT, which is the TOPO tracer.

Topo tracer has been introduced in year 2020, same year when DRAFTSIGHT introduce image tracer to the world. This hidden feature, is more suitable for topo engineers, who study the behavior and shape of the landscape before developer start to develop the land.

What is the different between image tracer and topo tracer?

The operation steps are quite similar between these two features. You will need to import picture, before you start the tracing process. However, Image tracer mainly used to convert the line from the pictures to become drafting entities. Meanwhile, topo tracer, create the lines, to generate 3D landscape view for the topographic picture.

Let us go through the steps, to let you have a better idea, how to operate the topo tracer feature in DRAFTSIGHT.

Let us start, by importing the topographic picture into the DRAFTSIGHT. Make sure you use the correction scaling, base on your reference, and the rotation of the picture before you start the tracing process. Topo tracer function can be easily found under the Powertool section.

Import your topographic picture with the correct scale and rotation.

Topo Tracer can be found under the section of powertool in DRAFTSIGHT.

Once the picture is ready, highlight the image area that needed for the tracing process. Once you done the highlight area, the DRAFTSIGHT will pop-up asking if you wanted to go for auto-tracing or manual tracing.

Topo Tracer will give you the option to autotrace or manually trace.

If you go for auto tracing, it might take a while to process the tracing operation. Tracing process duration base on the hardware performance, and the complexity of the line. If the topo graph line consists of complicated curve line, the software will take longer time to trace the line.

If we go for the manual process, there will be a few buttons we need to know, before we start tracing the topographic curve line. We will have the start tracing option, split, join end to end, and update button.

Start tracing option, allow us to click on the curve to trace partial of the curve line, consider as first step to start your tracing process. When you complete first step, you can use the split option, to continue or modify existing trace lines. Usually, you can use this step to manual trace and complete the tracing region. Join end to end option, allow user to complete the traced region, by joining two broken lines. Update button allow us to update the tracing setting, before you start the second tracing process.

The 4 main option for you to do manual tracing in DRAFTSIGHT.

Next part, we will cover the option we need to aware, before we start to do the tracing process.

There are 4 setting or additional option allow us to set the height of the landscape. The first, will be the ground level, the base layer for the topographic map. Base on your reference or your project required. You may set the ground level on different height instead of zero. Then we can define the height for the second line, at the line elevation section.

Make sure each time you change this definition setting, you need to click on the update button. Line thickness, always refer to the tracing line in DRAFTSIGHT, mostly for visualize purpose. The last option, tessellation, is the section to control the width of the square used to trace the line segment.

The setting to define the height for different topo line.

After you generate 3D view in topo trace, it allows you to preview the landscape with different height.

That’s all you need to know, to kick start topo tracing in DRAFTSIGHT.

If you have any enquiries to ask, regarding to DRAFTSIGHT, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Henry Chai, Application Engineer, IME Technology Sdn Bhd