Root cellar and terrain problems

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Hello everyone,


I am slowly learning Home Designer but terrain is giving me a headache, as it just does what it wants and doesn't allow me to shape it as I want :/ Now I am trying to figure out how to model a root cellar (or a hobbit hole, if you prefer :) ) in Home Designer Pro 2020, that would be underground except for the entry side. Like this:



I have tried drawing retaining walls, flat terrain regions, normal walls etc but terrain either goes through them or creates odd spikes or valleys. I even tried draw it using slabs as I read that terrain does not go through slabs, but in my case, it does...


However, when I use "clean plan", those retaining walls cut the terrain as they should. Not sure what in my plan causes terrain to act wonky though. And it's too bad that we cannot edit those auto-created primary or secondary contours :/


So, here's my yard without the cellar. Everything looks quite okay still, except for that terrain going through my greenhouse...



Now here's what it looks like when I added retaining walls where I want my cellar, and then a flat terrain region on top of that:




I have no idea what causes these problems. Or, I guess it's because things are too close with each other, but that's where I want them to be :/ This software clearly needs a some kind of terrain sculpting tool or a bulldozer tool I guess :)


I will attach my plan (I emptied the house just to make the plan a bit lighter) here. There are some other oddness there as well, with pathways and bumpy terrain here and there. Maybe this is because my contour lines are not straight but curved? Then again, that's how they are in real life :/

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Terrain as a feature was added to Chief Architect and Home Designer back in the year 2,000. It has always acted like the add on feature it is. It must be thought of as separate from and different from Structures, room dialog boxes, etc. The terrain is showing in your greenhouse because the green house's floor is perfectly flat and the terrain is not. You can either make the terrain flat there or place a feature around the greenhouse and program that feature to be a "Hole in the Terrain" to remove the visual terrain from the interior of the greenhouse.

Bazarroworld outcomes with terrain are caused by the interaction of elevation objects in conflict one with the other by being too close to each other (which creates conflicting "orders" between the elevation objects). You want to allow the terrain to flow from one elevation value to another gradiently. If an abrupt terrain height change is required then one uses the tool designed for that purpose: "Terrain Break" tool.

None of this comes "easily" to anyone, it requires study of the Reference Manual and then lots of trial and error practice to learn how to obtain a result with certainty.



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Thank you David!

Too bad terrain features are not polished as well as other features in Home Designer are, as to me ability to shape terrain is maybe even more important than modelling the house, because my house will be built on steep(ish) terrain and I want to plan out my whole garden as well. In fact, before Home Designer I had my house more or less planned with Sweet Home 3D but it didn't have proper terrain editing tools. Then I tried to find whatever software had both architectural and terrain planning tools, and then I found Home Designer. Not only this software has amazing interior designing tools, to me it seems it also had the best terrain editing tools compared to other software. Hopefully the programmers focus on terrain a bit more, at least those bulldozer / sculpting tools would be much appreciated! :)  Or, at least an ability to modify/delete those secondary contours that Home Designer creates in odd places.


However, I managed to fix my greenhouse using that Terrain Break -tool, although I didn't get that to work with my root cellar. But with that I did like I did earlier when I tried to place my cellar elsewhere, and that was just that "Hole" in terrain. Yesterday in my frustration I just couldn't find that tool anymore, but that was in Terrain-->Feature menu :) So, I made a hole, and then I placed walls around it and two slabs: one as a floor, and one as a roof, and that did the trick. I guess I can just paint that roof slab with grass or something, and I can further model my cellar, add a door etc...




That reminded me of another problem I have: How to model a lake/seashore? I mean, it's easy to add pools or other water features where the bottom is on level, but how about if bottom slopes (the water becomes deeper when you go further, as in normal)? Now, I have just placed a big "pool" there: 



But was wondering, if it was possible to model it so that for example 15 meters from the shore, water is 1,5 meters deep. I tried to put a contour lines there, but that made the water level go down as well, which didn't look right at all :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Paladine, I am experiencing the very same issues that you are facing. Like you, I would really appreciate the software designers to make terrain sculpting tools awesome. For the very same reasons you described so well, I have a sloping terrain that needs grading and bulldozing because that all plays directly into design. That said, thanks are due to DJP for sharing the bit about the terrain hole tool. I'll work on learning what that can do for managing terrain issues. 

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