I have been trying to figure out what the best way is to place trees using GIS information. After some trial and error I have come up with a few ways to do it but I keep telling myself "there has to be a better way!". The GIS data consists of (autocad) tree blocks that represent individual trees and polyline outlines for tree areas. The tree areas aren't a problem, its the individual trees that I am trying to figure out. (100k+ individual trees)
Methods I have tried:
1. converting the tree blocks to short line segments in autocad, importing, assigning the short segments in FP as an area, setting the "thickness (open splines)" to something small and then try to adjust the settings to get trees to show up for each segment. This method kind of works, but it doesn't guarantee that a tree will be placed for each segment. The performance also takes a hit since the density needs to be turned up and collisions needs to be on.
2. converting the tree blocks to point helpers and creating trees using the tree editor>reference objects to place a tree at each point helper. The file size was huge when i did this (a file with just point helpers, no FP objects), and 3ds is barely usable.
3. creating a line between each point and then using the tree editor>creation tools>along path>in vertex position to place a tree at vertex of the lines. This works but it is a big mess of lines and is clumsy.
4. creating a surface in Civil 3D out of the tree points, importing into 3ds, and using tree editor>reference objects>face centers. This method seems the best and is also the fastest, but the trees are placed at the center of each face instead of at each vertex where I want them. I debated trying to generate a surface that would have the face centers at the points I actually want trees at, but I have no idea how I would accomplish this.
Is it possible to place a tree at each vertex of a surface instead of face center? This seems like it would be the best option if it is possible but I haven't come across anything on how to do this.
any help/suggestions are appreciated. thanks