Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting the Look you Want in InfraWorks - Part 2: Creating a Custom Road Style

Before continuing, you should probably read: Getting the Look you Want in InfraWorks - Part 1: Using the Style Palette

In the previous post, we created a new road and changed its appearance using the Road styles provided in the Styles Palette.  None of those "out of the box" styles really did the trick, though - so lets look now at making our own.

Right now, the road looks like this:

This road happens to be a two-lane asphalt road with asphalt shoulders.  It has a double yellow center line and white lane lines.

I'll start by copying the "Old Paved Road" style and naming the new style "Rural Road"

Then I'll edit the Rural Road style:

In the ensuing dialog box, we see several configuration settings that set the stage for how the style will be built.

They are:
  • Road Type - Choices are Road, Bridge, and Tunnel.  Your choice here will determine additional geometry settings (walls for bridge, pylons for tunnel, etc.)
  • Material Group - A group of materials that you choose from to build out the style (pavement, grass, paint, concrete, etc.)
  • Road Intersection Material - The portion of the road that gets twisted and morphed when another road intersects with it.
  • Lane Markings Material - The style will use this material as a thin dashed line that is drawn between lanes.  This is very limited.  It only does dashed lines and it only does the line between lanes.
  • Decorations - 3D models that are copied along the length of the road (guard rail posts, light poles, hydrants, utility poles, etc.)
Since I've discovered that none of the material groups really provide what I need, I'm going to create my own.  I'll Cancel out of this dialog box and go back to the Style Palette.  Then I'll click on the Material Group tab and click the green plus sign to create a new material group.

I'll click the green plus sign again to create a new material:

I'll enter Asphalt for the name and click in the Material column to open another dialog box.  Here I'll choose Surface Black Asphalt in the material list within the Roadway folder.

I'll add a Yellow Stripe material, this time picking a yellow color rather than a material (raster image).

I'll add a White Stripe and Shoulder material.  For the shoulder, I'll use a lighter asphalt material.

I'll name my new material group My Road.

Now, back to editing the Rural Road style.  I'll select my new material group and then create widths and materials to build out the road surface.

Now I'll apply my new style by dragging and dropping it on to the road and...much better!


  1. Hey Eric. Great post. How do you fix the intersection? The intersection of 2 roads don't work very well. Any suggestions?

    1. The answer might involve modifying the road style. Within the road style you can specify what type of material is used for the intersection. Also, when you set up a road style, you can assign a "type" to each part (roadway, bike path, sidewalk, etc.) When an intersection "happens" it tries to merge these parts together by name. Not a definitive answer, I know...but hopefully some clues!

    2. Cool, thanks. I will play around with it. If I get it to work correctly I will hit you up.

  2. Great Tip Eric! I do have a question for you though, is there a way to not have the lane lines trasition when you split a Design Road? For example, I don't want the yellow lines to go down to 0 when I split. A better example is, I have created a Road style to place thick lane markings for the start of a Runway. I then split the design road so there is no lane marking after the first 300 feet. The problem of course is all the thick lane marking merge to the center of the road at the transition.

  3. Hi Eric, great post. I've just tried this and it works great but my yellow line defaults to a white/grey colour??/ Any reason why this would be defaulting this way?

    1. Mine too! Frustrating!

  4. Hopefully you've figured this out by now, but if not... Double click on the material group that your road is using, then add a new material called 'Yellow Lane Markings', or something like that. Assign it a yellow color, instead of a texture/image. Now, if you double click on your road style, in the 'Lane Markings' drop-down, you should see 'Yellow Lane Markings.' Good to go!