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TopoShaper    v2.6a

  • Overview
  • Quick Start
  • Documentation
  • Release Notes

Overview of TopoShaper

  • Sketchup version: SU2017 and above
  • Platform: Windows and Mac OSX
  • LibFredo6: v13.6a or above
  • Sketchucation ExtensionStore: v4.2.9 or above
  • Usage: Paid, Licensed under Sketchucation SCFLicense
    • Free Trial period (full features): 30 days from first usage
    • Perpetual license (3 seats): $12
    • Fredo6Bundle2022 license (8 plugins): $40
    • Information on licensing extensions at Sketchucation: this post

To purchase a license of TopoShaper or the Bundle of 8 plugins, go to this page

TopoShaper generates Terrains:

  • from a group of iso-contours, that is, contours which have a constant or quasi-constant altitude. The Terrain is generated as a QuadMesh
  • from a Cloud of Points (given as a group of Guide points). The Terrain is generated as an adaptive Triangular mesh.


TopoShaper::IsoContours works in 4 steps:

  • Selection of Contours , usually by pre-selecting a group containing the contours before launching TopoShaper
  • Cleansing Contours, which can be useful when contours are imported as DXF/DWG files. In version 1.0, the Cleansing covers the exclusion / inclusion of contours, their simplification, automatic and manual junctions and removal of small hooks. There is an Altitude Editor to set or modify the altitude of the indivdual contours.
  • Calculation of Terrain and Preview. The Terrain is computed on a rectangular grid. You can change the grid resolution and have option to configure the hilltops and basins.
  • Generation of the Terrain Surface as a quad-mesh surface enclosed in a group. Optionally you can include the Skirt and the contour map, with or without altitude labels.

The idea of this plugin was developed after some discussions in another thread initiated by Brookefox. You will also find there some models of contours to exercise TopoShaper.

Here are a few sample contours models from some kind Community users. This will help you to get familiar with TopoShaper::IsoContours.


TopoShaper::PointsCloud takes a group of Guide Points. If it encloses faces, they will form the Clipping Contours. Otherwise, the default Clipping contours are taken as the convex hull of the points. The Terrain is generated as an adaptive triangular mesh, where triangles are more dense where the altitude changes. The algorithm is iterative, by refinement of the triangulation until the Terrain is 'smooth' enough (specified by a smoothing angle). Points are part of the mesh (i.e. the terrain passes through the original points).

Discussion forum

Links to Sketchucation Forum: Main Post   Latest Release

Installation of TopoShaper

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you have first installed LibFredo6 v8.7 or above.

TopoShaper is released as a regular RBZ extension file on the Sketchucation Site.

To download the RBZ file, use the red button on the right side of this page:

  •  Download  If your are already logged in.
  •  Log in to get it!  otherwise, in order to log in or to register to Sketchucation as a new user (this is FREE). Then you will be able to download the RBZ file.

Then, you can install the RBZ file from within Sketchup, via the Sketchup Extension Manager

If you are not familiar with the installation of Sketchup extensions and Sketchucation, it is advised to watch the video LibFredo6 installation.

IMPORTANT: Whatever way you choose, you MUST quit and restart Sketchup to get TopoShaper (and LibFredo6) properly loaded.

After the installation, you should have the following footprint in the Sketchup Plugins directory:

  • Sketchup versions: SU8 to SU2018 - certified for SU2018
  • Platform: Windows and Mac OSX
  • Language: English, French, Spanish partial (by Oxer) , Chinese partial (by guanjin) - thanks to all kind translators
  • Menus: by default, it is installed in Tools > Fredo6 Collection > TopoShaper...
  • Icon toolbar: TopoShaper

Permission to use this software for any purpose, subject to license, is hereby granted

Distribution of this software for any purpose is subject to:

  - the expressed, written consent of the author

  - the inclusion of the present copyright notice in all copies.

Video Tutorials on TopoShaper

IsoContours - Overview

IsoContours - Altitude Editor

Points Cloud - Overview

I recommend you watch the video by Rich O'Brien, which is a true commented tutorial on the IsoContours functionality (thanks Rich):

There is also a quite comprehensive presentation of TopoShaper by Tutorials Up

Quick Start for IsoContours

1) Selection of Contours

Just preselect the group containing the contours and launch TopoShaper

Alternatively, you can interactively select contours one by one like for Curviloft and Curvizard.

2) Cleansing of Contours

The most appropriate working view is the 2D Contour map where all functions are available. You can select / unselect one or several contours by clicking on them. Click anywhere but on a contour to unselect all contours. When you have some contour(s) selected, a small button palette appears near the mouse cursor. This allows to include / exclude contours, as well as to simplify / restore contours.

Simplified contours are shown in green. The tooltip shows the number of edges after simplification and the original number. Use the 2 dedicated buttons to refuse or accept simplification Exclusion of selected contours is managed by clicking on the red-cross button. Automatic Junctions are shown in Red. If you click on a junction, you can ignore it. Manual Junctions can be created by joining two contour extremities, via a standard click-drag-release operation. Only of extremities of similar altitude can be connected.

3) Calculation of Terrain and Preview

The Terrain is calculated on a rectangular grid. TopoShaper offers working views in 3D and 2D for easier visualization

You change its resolution (number of cells or dimension of cells), via a dedicated dialog box. You can also enter the X, Y resolutions or dimension in the VCB.

4) Generation of Terrain

This step creates the Terrain surface as a quadmesh (following Thomthom convention for diagonals). The quadmesh is created within a Group at top level of the active model. You can optionally include the Skirt and the Contours as subgroups of this group

5) Post Edition

Some information is preserved as attributes of the Terrain Group so that you can edit them later on. Just select a Terrain and launch TopoShaper, or start TopoShaper with NO selection and mouse over a terrain group (it will be highlighted in red) and click. You will go directly to the Calculation / Preview step. From there you can change the grid resolution and then include / exclude skirt and contours.

Note: It is always a good idea to check the tooltips and contextual menu to see available options[/list]

Test Files

If you wish to exercise TopoShaper on some models, I regrouped in this post a few iso-contours models (published on Sketchucation) coming from kind contributors and with their implicit permission.


Here is the documentation, in English.

TopoShaper::IsoContours Toposhaper - Iso-Contours - User Manual - English - v2.0 - 22 Dec 14.pdf

TopoShaper::PointsCloud Toposhaper - CloudPoints - User Manual - English - v2.0 - 22 Dec 14.pdf

Note: If you drop the PDF doc files into the Plugins directory, you can access them from within Sketchup via the menu Windows > Tools > Fredo6 Collection... > TopoShaper> Documentation...

There is also a service API for calculating silently a Terrain from isocontours. Here is the documentation with examples: TopoShaper - Isocontour API.pdf

Links to Sketchucation Forum: Main Post   Latest Release

Release History

TopoShaper 2.6a – 24 Apr 21: Performance contextual selection menu

TopoShaper 2.5c – 29 Oct 19: Bug fixing in Isocontour generation

TopoShaper 2.5b – 11 Apr 19: Fix another bug preventing TopoShaper to work correctly in SU2019

TopoShaper 2.5a – 16 Feb 19: Fix a bug preventing TopoShaper to work correctly in SU2019

TopoShaper 2.4a – 19 Dec 18: Small adjustments and new plugin page

TopoShaper 2.3b – 06 Dec 17: Increased grid resolution up to 2000

TopoShaper 2.3a – 17 Jan 17: Certification SU2017 and maintenance release

TopoShaper 2.2a – 13 Nov 15: maintenance release

TopoShaper 2.1a – 25 Mar 15: bug fixing and introduction of an API for calculating terrain from isocontours.

TopoShaper 2.0a – 30 Dec 14: major release introducing the functionality of Generation of Terrain from a Cloud of Points, as a Triangular Mesh.

TopoShaper 1.2a – 19 Oct 14: support of non-ascii usernames

TopoShaper 1.1b – 02 Mar 14: Fixed a bug preventing to reload existing generated terrains

TopoShaper 1.1a – 07 Nov 13: Major release introducing

  • an Altitude Editor
  • The possibility to superimpose an background image for the Cleansing step
  • the generation of contour map with adjustable altitude Labels

TopoShaper 1.0b – 26 Apr 13: Small adjustment update

  • integrate Spanish SP (oxer) and Chinese (guanjin) translation
  • integrate new toolbar icon designed by Cadfather
  • Add the capability to generate the Contour 2D Map geometry -
  • Fix warning problem with architectural units in dimension dialog box

TopoShaper 1.0a – 25 Apr 13: Initial public release