Daniel Ewald, landscape architect MNLA

Infraworks – Randomising trees in a forest area


Creating patches of forest with randomised trees in Autodesk Infraworks is a several step procedure, but necessary to get more realistic views from your model.

First step, open up the “Style Rules” palette and hit the green + to add a new rule (be sure to navigate to the ‘Trees’ tab on the left side, or else the vegetation models will not be selectable in the next step). In my rule I’ve added four different tree models in the ‘Style’ section. When you’re happy with your rule, hit OK.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 16.03.05

Next up, select a patch of forest in your model you want to apply your style to. In the picture below we have a decent sized area of homogeneous vegetation.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 16.03.32

Two-click (don’t double-click) on one of the trees to select the forest patch.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 16.03.42

Delete the contents of the ‘Manual Style’ field in the Properties palette.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 16.04.00

You will see some changes in the forest patch. Now, select the rule style in the Style Rules palette and click the green Refresh-symbol.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 16.04.20

Voila, you now have a forest area with greater digital biodiversity.

Screenshot 2014-01-31 16.04.45

Filed under: Infraworks, , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Sascha says:

    The step “Add the name of your style rule in the ‘Rule Style’ field below, and click ‘Update’.” isn’t necessary as it only sets the “Rule Style” property to an invalid style reference (the Style Rule is no style). This is why you see all trees rendered with the internal default style for trees after the ‘Update’.

    As you there no expression set for the “4_Trees” rule, applying the rule (Refresh) will affect every tree object, which get one of the 4 tree styles assigned (with equal distribution as all styles have a propability of ‘1’).

  2. neilcooper33@hotmail.com says:

    Thanks for this 🙂
    Do you know if this only works when you draw a stand of trees in infraworks?
    Most of the time i would use areas for the trees brought in from CAD as a data source. When i do this process on the data source trees, it will not randomise the trees in the same way… it will put a group of the same type of tree in one polygon, and a group of a different type of tree in another polygon.


    • Daniel Ewald says:

      That’s a great question, Neil! I’m not sure about this – you should probably ask a more experienced IW user – I’ve only tested the script on “native” Infraworks trees. Perhaps you need to import the polygons in batches, as in several smaller files – although I recognise that would defeat the purpose of your data source, I guess, which collects your tree objects.

      • Rick Oskirko says:

        Neil is right; I had the same result when did this independently a couple of days ago. Each polygon gets a forest of one species type, but each polygon will have a different species. Apparently a “Stand of Trees” (as used in Infraworks) is different from an imported vector file polygon.This issue should get attention from Autodesk.

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