How to Make a Topographic Profile – SketchUp and Layout

A topographic profile is a two-dimensional cross sectional view of the landscape. It provides of the relief of the terrain along a line drawn between two locations on a topographic map. In this tutorial, we will learn how to make a topographic section using SketchUp and SketchUp Layout.

Site Development Plan (Reference)

STEP 1: Open your SketchUp terrain model

Terrain model

STEP 2: Insert 3D entourage


STEP 3: View your model in ‘Parallel Projection’

Select Parallel Projection

STEP 4: Go to View> Face Style and select ‘Hidden Line’

Select Hidden Line

STEP 5: Draw a square or rectangular plane. Place it beside your model

Draw a square or rectangular plane

STEP 6: Using the Push/Pull Tool, drag the face of the plane vertically (perpendicular to your model)

Extrude face with Pus/Pull Tool

STEP 7: Again, use the ‘Push/Pull Tool to drag the surface, parallel to your model. This will serve as a guide for our elevation profile. Make sure to align the face according to the position of the ‘section symbol’ from the Site Development Plan

Use the Push/Pull Tool to drag the surface

STEP 8: Go to Camera>Standard Views>Front

Go to Camera>Standard Views>Front

STEP 9: Place the ‘Section Plane’ on face. Here, the elevation profile is created showing the cross-sectional view of the model

Place the Section Plane on face

STEP 10: Save your work> Send to Layout

Save and Send to Layout

STEP 11: In Layout choose your preferred template

Choose preferred template

STEP 12: Change the scale. To do that, Right click and select Scale and scroll down to choose your preferred scale

Choose preferred scale

STEP 13: Adjust all corners

Adjust corners

STEP 14: Fill the ground with a soil texture. To do that, click the ‘Fill’ and ‘Pattern’. Under ‘Fill’ option, click the white color texture. Go to ‘Pattern Fill’ option and select ‘Earth Compacted Fill’ texture under the ‘Material Symbols’. Close all corners from the terrain section using ‘Lines’ Tool

Fill the ground with soil texture

STEP 15: Make a topographic profile. To do that, click the ‘Lines’ Tool and select the ‘Stroke’ option with 2-3 thickness point. Then uncheck the ‘Pattern’ and ‘Fill’ option and then draw the line along the ridge

Make topographic profile

STEP 16: Fill the upper portion with white color texture

Fill the upper portion

STEP 17: Label each line with the elevation of the corresponding contour line

Label each line

STEP 18: Make a title block. Result so far

Make title block

STEP 19: To save your work, go to File> Export>Images and save in JPEG or PNG format

Save work

STEP 20: Add trees and entourage using Photoshop

Add trees and entourage

Final Output

Final output

Final Render Output

Final render

Thank you for reading.

Benedict Martin Caliwara

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