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Design Visualization Guide

The purpose of this guide is to introduce visualization tools and innovative practices to the Federal Lands Highway (FLH) designer with the goal that these techniques and tools will eventually be integrated into most FLH projects, and used whenever there are design issues or communication needs. The guide will help the designer learn to use commonly available software tools to produce visualizations that will help them better understand and communicate their designs. It is also intended to help the user better understand more advanced design visualization (DV) tools and techniques that are available, and allow more effective coordination with FLH visualization staff. The user will also be better equipped to provide required design and model data to outside DV consultants to facilitate the production of better and more effective presentations.

Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter is a basic introduction to visualization approaches and is intended to guide the user to the appropriate technique, level of modeling effort, and applicable technology or resource to communicate their particular design issue.

Chapter 2: Visualization in CADD

This chapter introduces the most useful and basic techniques in Microstation and Geopak to create 3D models of roadway designs, and navigate around those 3D models using Microstation viewport tools and cameras. The chapter covers the basics for rendering, saving and displaying visualizations from 3D models within Microstation. Also covered are advanced 3D modeling in Microstation and links to drawing and design resources.

Chapter 3: Presentation Techniques

This chapter covers tools for producing, manipulating, and presenting digital images. It includes some basic tools for enhancing images and guidelines for presenting them to an audience or including them in print production. Also covered are photo techniques and issues with both film and digital cameras.

Chapter 4: Innovative Technologies

This chapter presents some advanced tools and techniques for producing visualizations. Covered are 2D paint techniques- mostly using Photoshop, compositing with motion graphics software, 3D modeling and rendering, animation, real-time interactive models, and some emerging innovative tools. The chapter begins with some basic innovative tools that the designer should be able to adopt with relatively minor effort.

Chapter 5: Case Studies

This chapter includes a number of different case study examples, illustrating several different techniques and presentation technologies. Each section will guide the user through the process of producing Microstation based or digital paint based visualization examples, and show some completed design visualization products. The sections describe the basic workflow and technique used to produce each of the examples.

Updated: Monday, March 28, 2022