Material Areas

Material areas are used to color certain part of the surface model with certain material. There are two different ways to color the surface with material area. You can define a layer with 3D faces or layer with closed polylines as material area layer. If you select layer with 3D faces, all 3D faces on the selected layer will be colored with selected material. If you select a layer with closed polylines, the area that polylines cover will be colored with selected material.

Material area reads AutoCAD polylines, arcs, circles, splines, ellipses, 3D faces, solid, polymesh and polyface objects . Material area elements are modeled in the order of the list. This is the only way you can model material areas inside other material areas. If polylines have z-value or elevation, the area is modeled flat in that elevation. Otherwise material area is modeled on the surface model.


layer  - Layer where elements that define the material areas are.

materials  - Name of the material(s).

description  - A descriptive text for the entry. If defined, will be shown instead of the long description.

info text  - Information text attached to items.

info URL  - URL link attached to items. The Explorer can launch a Web browser with the URL.

object data tables  - Autodesk Map object data tables that will be used for source of object information for the elements in the virtual model. The table list also matches wildcards e.g. “LTR*”

origin  - Coordinates for the upper left corner of the texture.

scale  - Scale of the texture.

rotation  - Rotation of the texture.


  • Yes= the lower left corner of the texture is put to the first vertex of the polygon. (The rotation is taken from first vertex > second vertex angle.)
  • Fit= scales the texture so that it will be rotated along first segment of material area polyline and scaled so that it will fit / cover the whole material area.


  • yes = cuts the existing surface along the border line into the surface model
  • no = creates a copy of underlying surface on top of it
  • patch = creates an optimized patch surface on top of the underlying surface. Optimized surface has much less triangles and is very suitable for road markings.

up_extrude  - Extrudes the material area up (positive distance) or down (negative distance).

in_extrude  - Extrudes the material area inwards generating inner area.

edge_material  - Material for the extruded edge.

flatten  - Flattens the surface inside the inner area (yes / no)

target_layers  - These material area settings affect only to surface on layers defined here. The default value (*) means that all surfaces are affected.

group  - The name of the group of these items.

auto_segmentation_distance  - Divides the original polyline with this distance and adds new points. This pa-rameter is useful for better control of follow surface and long arc segments.

auto_segmentation_angle  - Divides polylines using angle threshold so that resulting polyline will fall within this angle value. This has only effect for curved polyline segments like splines and arcs.

buffer  - Expand the material area outwards (positive value) or shrink inwards (negative value).