Using Point Cloud and Terrain Themes in Autodesk InfraWorks

In the video above, we take a look at theming point clouds and terrain surfaces to get visual information on terrain data.

In this example, we are using an RCP file created from an LAS file in Autodesk’s ReCap program with an IMX file created in AutoCAD Civil 3D as the ground base.

Users can theme point clouds by selecting the “Build/Manage” icon and selecting the “Analyze Your Model” option.

Selecting the “Point Cloud Themes” option will open a dialog box, where users can create a name for the theme and select an analysis type. For the example in the video, we’ve selected the “Classification” analysis based on the return classifications.

In our example, elements such as vegetation and the ground were colored vibrantly to stand out.

Palette themes can be chosen by selecting the color next to the listed classification in the Point Cloud Themes window. These palettes can be changed as a group by selecting the “Palette Type” drop-down menu in the Theme Properties dialog box.

Unclassified points can be colored as well by selecting the color associated with the “Unclassified” and “Created, never classified” classifications.

Users will need to create a terrain theme to create a classification for the ground surface.

Users can do this by selecting the Build/Manage icon and activating the “Terrain Themes” option. Within the Theme Properties dialog box for terrain themes, users can create a name for the theme and select the analysis type.

For the tutorial’s example, we’ve selected “Elevation” and have changed the palette type to something more visually appealing and informative to help illustrate elevations.

Users can more effectively analyze data from a terrain model with combinations of point cloud and terrain themes within InfraWorks.

To learn more about Autodesk InfraWorks and for more tutorial videos on this and other programs, visit


About the Author

Jeff Morrow uses his consulting and management experience, combined with extensive application knowledge, to help clients solve unique design challenges. He specializes in the delivery of IMAGINiT’s AIM (Assured Implementation Method), a standard methodology for making a smooth transition to Autodesk’s Civil 3D from legacy applications. This methodology includes assessing client requirements, workflow analysis, structured training, content creation, management of the pilot project and enterprise migration to the Civil 3D application.