Original Article Date: March 1, 2004
Shawn Foster contributes this little article that reviews the new Clip Volume and Clip Mask tools in MicroStation V8 2004 Edition.
Clipping! 15-yard penalty. First down!Okay, all American football jokes aside (or on hold for a sec...), clipping is an important tool for us inside of MicroStation. The ability to clip a huge area down to a manageable set of elements for us to use is paramount to creating sheets, plots, or just making it easier for us to work with big files.Reference clipping has been around, but as it names implies, it’s for references. Fence points, element types, clipping vertices, and other problems prevented us from getting a full solution and nothing really existed for active element clipping.Along comes MicroStation V8. An overlooked view tool from the first few releases of MicroStation V8 was Clip Volume. Clipping volumes allow a user to limit the elements seen in a view by using a shape or closed 3D primitive. Many people use it in 3D, since the tools name implies 3D, but it can be used quite nicely in a 2D file as well to restrict the amount of data you're viewing.The image below shows a typical floor plan without clipping the view. Note the amount of data presented in the view after doing a Fit View.
After applying Clip Volume to the gray shape, which is also known as the clipping element, MicroStation V8 presents only those elements within the clipping element.
What was needed was a way to easily place elements ad-hoc for clipping, and a way to create ‘holes’ inside of a clipped volume. From numerous tips and tricks sessions, we learned we could use the Group Holes tool to create a clip with masked holes, but it was a workaround.Well, here we are on the advent of MicroStation V8 2004 Edition, and now we have a new tool and an enhancement to an old one: Clip Masks and Clip Volumes which can be found on the View Control toolbox.Clip Volume has been updated to include more options in the Tool Settings window. These include:
The last two settings allow you to turn off the display of the element used for your clip, as well as clear the clip:
Clip Mask works very similar to the Reference Clip Mask tool, except that it works on elements in the view, reference element or not.You'll also notice that the tool settings are the same as the Clip Volume tool described above. What’s very cool about this tool is that you can create multiple masks within a clipped volume!In the following graphic, the green element represents the clip volume shape, and the orange elements represent the clip mask shapes.
Things to be aware of:All of the clips (volumes OR masks) are toggled ON or OFF via the Clip Volume switch in the View Attributes dialog.If you use Clear Clip Masks, you will clear ALL masks in that view. This is not an individual selection tool as it is with Reference Files.If you use Clear Clip Masks, and then undo, the shapes will return, but not the mask(s). You will have to re-apply the masks.If you undo the clipping elements, you can apply a View Previous to bring the clips back.AskInga Article #182