How To Use Color Coding for Material Graphics

Color coding can be used on reports in OpenGround Cloud Professional to represent different soil and rock material types. Color coding can be used as an alternative to pattern-based graphics (Legend Codes), or in conjunction with pattern-based graphics.

How to Use Color Coding (Instead of Pattern-Based Graphics)

Color coding works much the same way as pattern-based graphics. A bitmap image is added to a Picklist for each material type.

However, the graphics are much easier to create because the image only needs to be a solid fill. So, there are no concerns with perfecting the image pattern and size so that graphics scale and tile well. In the example color coding components created by Bentley (see below), images are 100 pixels wide x 60 pixels high, but any size would work. New images can be created and edited in any 3rd party bitmap editor, such as GIMP, Paint.NET, or Microsoft Paint.

Color coded images can be added directly to the StratumDetails – LegendCode Picklist as is typically done with pattern-based graphics. Or, a new Picklist and header can be created for color coded material types.

Color coded graphics can then be added to templates in Template Studio in the same manner as pattern-based graphics, by using the Graphics Bar object.

How To Use Color Coding In Conjunction With Pattern-Based Graphics

Perhaps you are not ready to completely abandon pattern-based graphics, but would still like to incorporate color-coding. You could colorize all your images in a 3rd-party bitmap editor and re-add them to your Picklist, but that would be time-consuming and inflexible if you have multiple color-coding schemes.

An alternative is to overlay semi-transparent colors on your pattern-based graphics.

To do this, your pattern-based graphics would still typically be associated with the StratumDetails – LegendCode Picklist.

You would also need to add a “Color Coding” header that uses a Picklist. The values in the Color Coding header could be manually entered, or (for example), automatically populated based on the Legend Code or other conditions. The images in this Picklist would need to be semi-transparent (and accordingly in a format that supports transparency, such as .png.)

Then, in Template Studio, two Graphics Bar objects can be added to a column to show both the pattern-based graphic, and the color coding. Make sure Graphics Bar for the pattern graphics is higher up in the column list, which will make it print below the color graphics. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons in the ribbon to adjust.

Example Color Coding Components

Bentley has created component files with different example color coding schemes. For each scheme, there are 2 versions. One version will import values into the StratumDetails – LegendCode Picklist. The other version will import values into a StratumDetails – ColorCode Picklist. All images are about 67% opaque. The component files can be found in here.

Alternative Approaches

It is possible to create Legend Code pattern graphics with transparent backgrounds. Then, you can overlay the Legend Code pattern graphics on top of solid color-coded graphics. If you have existing graphic patterns with a white background, you can use 3rd party tools such as to remove the background. Images may first need to be converted to PNG or JPG format, which support transparency. The approach outlined above is generally easier to implement because it avoids converting many images to transparent, but this alternative approach might be preferable to some.

Color Coding Considerations

Many organizations struggle with consistent symbolization across all their deliverables. Perhaps over the years, their library of symbols has grown to an unmanageable level. They want to carry on with what they are used-to, but there is the daunting task of migrating all their symbols as they adopt new platforms to report, analyze, and model their data. Bentley encourages organizations in this position to strongly consider adopting color coding as it has the following benefits: