For each new project the software automatically creates a terrain with the dimensions 100 x 100 m. The terrain is also assigned its own layer entitled ‘environment’, which can be displayed, for instance, using the project viewer.
The terrain is set by default as visible, which means that if the ‘Show all’ button or the ‘HOME’ key is pressed, the software zooms out of the view until all of the terrain is completely shown. For normal planning it may therefore be advantageous to make the layer for the environment, together with the terrain, invisible. The easiest way to do this is in the project viewer by unchecking the box for the ‘Environment’ layer. Alternatively, the standard method using visible categories / visible layers is of course also possible.
As opposed to the way the software normally behaves, i.e. elements are always inserted in the current layer, all elements entered in the ‘Terrain’ plug-in, e.g. terrain forms, terrain areas etc. are internally always assigned to the ‘Environment’ layer, which as a rule is not active. This also means that the terrain elements can only be selected and edited, if beforehand the ‘environment’ layer is set as an active layer in the project viewer.
The terrain, and the terrain areas and forms which are situated on it, are proper 3D bodies, and not just surfaces for better orientation. This gives us basically the possibility of calculating not only surface areas but also the volume of areas and openings. Several further visible effects are explained in the following chapters.