4 basic steps to get started

The general workflow with MAGNET Modeler for Autodesk has four basic steps:

1. Bring source material into AutoCAD

First bring your map and terrain model into AutoCAD. In general MAGNET Modeler for Autodesk expects that different elements are separated by layers in AutoCAD drawing. For example polylines for buildings are on one layer and areas for forests are on another layer and so on.

2. Create configuration or change the basic configuration

Next you describe how your map is going to be modeled. This configuration is carried out via MAGNET Modeler floating window. You get this window by pressing MAGNET Modeler button in AutoCAD. In this window you see a list of different types of objects MAGNET Modeler can model. Each object type has a list of layers and each layer has parameters that define the 3D modeling of certain type of object. So, for example if a layer "building" is listed in MAGNET Modeler Buildings section and it has parameters like nrfloors (number of floors)=3 and materials=brick, all closed polylines in this layer are modeled as three floor buildings that have brick walls.

If you want some single element to be different from the other elements on the same layer you can attach parameters to this element only. There is a floating toolbox for attaching element specific parameters to single elements. These parameters are saved with your map file and are read every time you generate the virtual model. Every object type uses materials of some kind. Materials are defined in Materials section. Materials have parameters like color, shininess, texture file name, texture size and so on. You can build yourself a material library that you can use in your virtual models.

3. Generate the model

After the configuration is defined and saved it is possible to generate the model. Model generation is automatic and you can use the same configuration for all of your maps. The virtual model is saved to a .vmpx file. This file is very compact and can easily be distributed via email. It has all the geometric information of the model but it does not include texture files.

4. View the model

MAGNET Explorer is used to view virtual models (.vmpx files). The program has a 3D window where you are able navigate the model.