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louderthan11

Convert Topo Maps to 3D in Cinema 4D?

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Does anyone know of a way to convert a topographic map to a 3D mesh in Cinema 4D? I haven't done much digging yet but it's an idea we had and I was wondering if it is possible . . .

Cheers!

 

-Jordan

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Hi,

It all depends on how detailed your results should be. If accurancy is not a big deal, you might find elevation maps of the globe in medium resolution. Then use it as a displacement map.

However if you need a really detailed model, that will be a bigger challenge.

You might want to check this site (http://srtm.csi.cgia.../inputCoord.asp ) or this site (http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org/) or this site (http://www1.gsi.go.jp/geowww/globalmap-gsi/gtopo30/gtopo30.html) and grab all the elevation data in DEM format. Then use Landserf ( http://www.soi.city....dserf/download/ ) to export a black and white depth map in fairly high resolution ( or just use printscreen instead of export- i dont remember how i did it :]) then use PS to connect all these screenshots, and you're done :) You have a depth map of 90' accurancy for the whole globe :) the detail on these are just amazing: http://renderhell.com/hun.jpg

 

ps: you might download GEOTIFF-s if you want to avoid DEM conversion. As i said, it all depends on how detailed the mesh should be.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Cheers,

Csaba

Edited by mcs

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Thanks for all the help guys. Just spent a couple hours figuring this out. Here is how I did it:

1) Downloaded DEM files in SDTS format from here: http://data.geocomm.com/dem/demdownload.html

2) Converted those SDTS files (.DDF file extension) to "native" DEM format with this program: http://www.fountainware.com/download/gis/sdtsetup.exe (I'm on a Mac Pro. I used Crossover Mac to run this one. I couldn't find any current SDTS -> Native DEM conversion software that worked on Mac OSX. This is the one program I tried that worked in Crossover)

3) Opened the DEM file in Landserf http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~jwo/landserf/download/ and then Edit > Edit Raster to change the color table to B&W.

4) Saved that image.

5) Loaded that image into a Relief Object in Cinema 4D. Works great!!!

 

Thanks for all the help guys!!

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Does anyone know of a way to convert a topographic map to a 3D mesh in Cinema 4D? I haven't done much digging yet but it's an idea we had and I was wondering if it is possible . . .

Cheers!

 

-Jordan

 

Have you been looking at Paul Everett's Gigashader plugin?

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I have not seen that until just now. I can't seem to find that plugin on his site tools4d.com anywhere . . . it appears it may have been replaced with something else but based on the descriptions of his plugins I'm not sure. You have any more info? The plugin looks like it would certainly make the process a lot easier.

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Wow. Thanks for posting that. Much simpler to use than landserf. I also sent Paul (GigaShader Plugin) an email asking about it. Apparently he is still selling it but only with support. I'll post more after I get more info from him.

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Should you come up with a proper workflow with that SimpleDEM app,

please share if you can.

 

The few times I've needed a geo map into Cinema I've always ended up

clicking around that Nasa site, redirecting myself into oblivion without a

clue how to get -anything- useful out of it :) !

 

Cheers

Lennart

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I certainly will once I get into the project some more and figure some more things out. The workflow I posted above works, just use the SimpleDEM app rather than landserf. The only real issue is using Crossover to run that converter app as the USGS doesn't proved topo data in "native" DEM format for whatever reason. I'm gonna look into other formats as well and see if anything else works well.

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Hey we do a bit of this stuff too. We've used geographic-imager within photoshop for mosaic-ing together all the data from the USGS site, the USDA, and various sites from the states that the locations are at. That way we can create a very large photoshop file that has the DEM data plus the high res photo data, all geo-synced together. Then save out tifs from there for each shader channel we need (DEM->displacement, photo->color, photo+color correction->bump, etc.) Sometimes the Geotiffs even have an alpha that is infrared or something that really brings out the water, which we can color correct to use as a reflection/specular matte. Using Google Earth to help figure out exact elevation ranges and using real units in C4D also help keep everything accurate.

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