LandmarkCreating landscape area components


Workspace: Tool set

Landscape Area


Design Suite: Site Planning

Landmark: Softscape

Landscape area components define the sections that make up the landscape. For example, to indicate that a landscape is made up of rock fill, soil, and mulch, define a component for each of these items to illustrate their location and thickness. Components’ appearance can be specified for cross-section views, and they can be textured, creating realistic section views and rendered views, as well as accurate landscape estimates. If a material resource is used to define a component, the material typically provides the fill, texture, physical attributes, and construction information needed for drawings, renderings, and reports. The area of landscape components (minus any holes cut) can be calculated in worksheets; see Worksheet functions). The component designated as the Datum sets the reference point for the elevation of the landscape area.

When a landscape area with components is set to modify a site model, the components below the designated datum component modify the proposed site model and affect the cut and fill calculations. However, the site model contours display across the top of the landscape area normally, indicating the final surface as specified by the datum.

To display the components in 3D (for example, in a section viewport), select the Display the components in 3D option in the preferences/settings or from the Object Info palette.


The overall thickness of a landscape area is equal to the sum of its components. Component fill and pen style are only displayed in section viewports.

To define landscape area components:

Do one of the following:

To define a component while a landscape area or landscape style is being created, click Edit Components from the General pane of the Landscape Area Preferences dialog box.

To define or edit landscape components for an existing, unstyled landscape, select the landscape and click Edit Components on the Object Info palette.

The Landscape Components dialog box opens.

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.




Displays a sectioned preview of the landscape structure, including any defined components. The top of the preview indicates the top part of the landscape as it will be drawn.

Overall thickness

Displays the thickness of the landscape. The thickness is always determined by the thickness of the components; a landscape always has one component by default.


Select whether the datum is applied to the top or bottom of the designated component; the indicator in the Datum column updates accordingly. A datum is the reference point for elevation settings; for landscapes, it is fixed vertically (it does not change with any changes to the thickness or definition). The datum location affects the modification of the proposed site model.

Designate one of the components as the datum component by clicking in the Datum column.

In 3D, plant instances are placed at the datum elevation.


Select whether the landscape is of fixed thickness or has a tapered component to assist with drainage. Click in the Tapered column to designate the tapered component.


Lists the components that form the structure of the landscape, in order from top to bottom as displayed in the preview. To change the order of a component, click and drag within the # column.

If multiple components are selected, changing the order moves all selected components to the new location.


Click in the column to designate the datum component. An indicator in the column points towards the top or bottom, to show the datum location. To change the datum location, either click on the indicator to switch the placement, or click Top of component or Bottom of component in the Datum section of the dialog box.


If Tapered component is selected in the Surface section of the dialog box, click in the column to designate which component is tapered. The bottom surface of the designated component is flat, and the top surface is tapered to incorporate the drainage. All components above and below the tapered component are of uniform thickness to maintain the taper that the designated component brings to the overall landscape.

Other component settings

The remaining columns in the component list display the current settings for the landscape, from the Landscape Component Settings dialog box


Opens the Landscape Component Settings dialog box to define the components of the landscape


Opens the Landscape Component Settings dialog box to edit the attributes of one or more selected components; changes are made to all selected components. Alternatively, to edit a single component, double-click the component to open the Landscape Component Settings dialog box.


Duplicates one or more selected components; the duplicates are added to the component list right below the originally selected components


Deletes one or more selected components; the landscape thickness is adjusted accordingly

Below the Components list, click New to create a new component, or select a component to edit and click Edit.

The Landscape Component Settings dialog box opens. Specify the component thickness, name, and parameters.

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.






Provide a name for the component, which displays in the Components list in the Landscape Components dialog box


To control appearance and visibility, select a class from the list of classes present in the drawing, or create a new class. Select <Object Class> to place the component attributes in the same class as the landscape object.

Use material

Uses a material resource for this component; select a material from the Resource Selector.

The Section Fill, and Texture settings are set to the material’s settings, and the Section Fill parameter is disabled.


Specifies the component’s thickness; the thickness of a landscape is the sum of its components. A component must have a thickness greater than 0.


Applies the selected texture to the component. If the component uses a material, the texture is initially set to the material’s texture, but this can be overridden. Class Texture sets the component to use the texture specified by the component’s class; see Concept: Applying textures by class. If Texture is chosen, this setting overrides the object material and/or class texture; select a texture from the Resource Selector.

Section Fill

Specifies the component appearance in section views. If the component uses a material, the fill is set to the material’s fill, and the controls are disabled. Otherwise, select a fill style, or Class Style to set the fill attributes by class. Depending on the Style selected, select a color, pattern, or resource (hatch, image, gradient, tile).

Section Pen

Specifies the component appearance in section views. Select a pen style, or Class Style to set pen attributes by class. Depending on the Style selected, select a color, pattern, or line type resource.


Select the line thickness; to use a custom thickness, select Set Thickness from the line thickness list (see Line thickness attributes)

Make All Attributes By Class

Sets all fill, pen, and texture attributes by class, except those that come from a material

Remove By Class Settings

Removes all class settings for fill, pen, and texture attributes; does not affect material definitions with attributes set by class

After you click OK, the landscape’s Overall Thickness value changes to be determined by its components. As components are defined, they display in the preview.

If the landscape area is modifying a site model, once the components are defined, select the site model and click Update from the Object Info palette.

Creating landscape areas

Landscape area preferences

Editing landscape areas

Creating a custom landscape area tag

Creating landscape area schedules

Concept: Material resources

Using materials

Setting class attributes


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