InfraWorks is currently a tool for conceptual design.
So, if you're creating parking lots in InfraWorks, and you're trying to lay out every nook and cranny of every parking stall, island, etc. - you're not thinking about it right. It would be like trying to paint the Mona Lisa with a spray can, or chopping vegetables with a chain saw. You're not properly matching the job with the tool.
Anyway, with that in mind, we can make some pretty neat-looking parking lots with a little ingenuity.
First, I'm going to open AutoCAD (or Civil 3D, or whatever AutoCAD based product you have handy) and lay out a few short rows of parking stalls. Then I'm going to use a screen capture program like Jing or SnagIt to grab a "tile" of this layout (indicated in red below)
The resulting image looks like this:
You may need to go into an image editor (even Paint will do) and clean it up a bit.
Now I'll create a material in InfraWorks. I'll open the Style Palette and go to the Material tab. I think Land Cover is probably a good place for this so I'll open that folder and click the green plus sign to create a new material.
In the Define New Material dialog box I'll do the following:
- Pick Texture as the type
- Browse for my newly created image
- Set the height to 52 (20' stall + 20' stall + half of a 24' lane)
- Set the width to 10'
I'll name the new material Parking Stalls and then drag and drop it to a coverage area.
If you grip edit the coverage area and pay attention, you'll notice that the parking stalls always stay aligned with one of the sides. You can use this to your advantage by setting the direction of that side and rotating the coverage area to get a decent result.
To make more eloquent layouts you could experiment with different tiles, multiple coverage areas, maybe add some roads - but remember, if you're spending a ton of time getting the perfect layout - is that really what you should be doing at the stage of the project you are in? If so, maybe you should go into AutoCAD and lay out your parking there, and then import it into InfaWorks?
In a future post, I'll look at tricking a road into thinking it's a parking lot - even cooler!