Converting a Polyline into a Terrain Perimeter

Reference Number: KB-00324
Last Modified: December 23, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier


In floor plan view, I have created a plot plan using the CAD tools. I would now like to convert this polyline into a terrain perimeter. How do I do this?


Chief Architect allows you to convert 2D CAD drawings into a variety of 3D objects, including a plan's terrain perimeter. This allows you to create a terrain perimeter that both bounds the 3D terrain and defines the property on which the plan will be built.

To convert a polyline into a terrain perimeter

  1. First, open an existing Chief Architect plan in which you would like to convert a polyline into a terrain perimeter, or open a new plan and draw a plot plan perimeter. 

  2. Click on the plot plan polyline to select it, then click the Convert Polyline  edit button. 

    • If you do not see the Convert Polyline button on the edit toolbar, try right-clicking on the polyline to display its contextual menu. In the menu, click on Convert Polyline.

    • If no menu appears, your contextual menus are not enabled.

      Please see the Related Articles section below on how to enable contextual menus.

  3. In the Convert Polyline dialog, click to select the radio button beside Terrain Perimeter, then click OK to close the dialog and proceed to the Terrain Specification dialog.

    If Terrain Perimeter cannot be selected in the Convert Polyline dialog, there are two possible reasons. 

    The first is that a Terrain Perimeter is already present, in which case you can simply delete it and then convert your imported polyline to replace it. 

    The other possibility is that the imported polyline is not completely closed. You can confirm this on General panel of its Polyline Specification dialog. An open polyline will read 'Not closed' under the Area heading, while a closed polyline will show a value. Only a closed polyline can be converted into a Terrain Perimeter. 

  4. In the Terrain Specification dialog, make any needed changes to the specifications for your terrain, then click OK button to close the dialog and finish converting your polyline into the terrain perimeter.

  5. Your terrain perimeter is now visible in both 2D and 3D views.

    To view the results in 3D, select 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Full Overview  from the menu.


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