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Feedback wanted | Basic terrain editing tools

Message 1 of 8
397 Views, 7 Replies

Feedback wanted | Basic terrain editing tools

Hi! We have made a lot of progress in making basic terrain editing tools available in Forma. The first iteration of this feature is to allow certain areas to be flattened out (terrainpad), while having the option to define a slope outside of this pad. 


Question: As we are close to releasing this feature, we would like to get some feedback on the current state of this feature. Does anyone want to test this feature and give us feedback on what you think?  


If so, it would be great if we could schedule a 30 min testing session with you sometime before July 5th. Please send me a DM if you are interested!  


Have a nice day.  



Arne Bjelland 

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Message 2 of 8
in reply to: arne.bjelland

Yes, please. I'm finding that the imported terrain in many geographies is inaccurate and needs tools to adjust. In my case, the imported terrain is enveloping the base buildings. When I enable 'flat terrain' the terrain is placed at 'sea level' and the buildings still at their geodetic heights. If there a way to adjust the height of the 'flat terrain' it may be helpful depending on the natural grade. In other words, Forma is unusable if a user can't edit the terrain to resemble reality.

Message 3 of 8
in reply to: jay.polding

I've just seen the new terrain tools released. They're pretty good. You just need to remember to draw a site boundary or zone first (I think). I like the 'smoothing feature'. 

Message 4 of 8

I really wish there was the ability to bring in raster topo files the exact same way that Infraworks does. Currently our region does not have very good quality topo from the built in topo importer. For me this makes the tool unusable as I am not willing to make design decisions around 30m topo accuracy when I can get lidar derived accuracy topo into Infraworks.  


Unfortunately, this means I don't get access to all of the new analysis tools in Forma. I would think accurate topo is a pillar that should come before anything else? 

Message 5 of 8
in reply to: jay.polding

Hi Jay and thanks for the feedback.
Two comments/questions:
1. Could a workaround to your challenge with either the flat terrain (positioned at the sea level), and the inaccurate terrain (enveloping your buildings), be to define an area of the entire site with a ground polygon and flatten this area with the terrain pad (in terrain mode). In the terrain mode you are able to specify the elevation of this terrain pad.
2. I see from the your next post that you found the terrain tools useful and that is great to hear. To understand how we can improve the terrain capabilities further, I am really curious about which workflows you would like to do with terrain in Forma and which capabilities is lacking to make those workflows be possible. Do you have any thoughts regarding this which you would like to share?

Thanks again for your feedback!
Message 6 of 8

Hi Steve!
We have low terrain accuracy in certain areas and we would like to improve this with local dataproviders. Which region are you working in?

To your question about raster topo files:
- which raster formats do you normally use in your workflows?
- are you able to export the terraindata as an IFC/OBJ so you can import the file and then convert the file to a terrain?

Message 7 of 8
in reply to: arne.bjelland

Hi Arne,


I was able to lower the terrain and build off that surface. I'm not very supportive of the 'flat terrain' approach because it doesn't pass the geodetic height to Revit. I think the short term fix would be for Forma to allow for importing of accurate terrain files. 

You asked which features I'm looking for in the future. There are three. First is data scraping city bylaws into Forma for automated zoning, setback and height regulations. The second is text-based AI prompts. Third, are more integrations from local software developers. This shadow colour tool is an example: 

Message 8 of 8

Hi Arne, 


I am working in Nova Scotia, Canada. I currently get .tif files from and they are georeferenced and come right in as topo to Infraworks very fast and easy. I have tested the accuracy against survey data and it is very close.


I could convert from infraworks to fbx to 3dsmax to obj but that is not ideal and I assume will not be georeferenced either so alignment becomes the next problem.  


I could also probably go infraworks to civil 3d to Revit to ifc (maybe civil 3d to ifc???) . Georeferencing would get dropped going the Revit route.

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