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plugin for DEM manipulation

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2005, 11:57 AM
doonee doonee is offline
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plugin for DEM manipulation

hi all..

does anyone know, by any chance, if there is a PS or PSP etc plugin
out there, designed to faciliate the manipulation of greyscale digital
elevation models ?

the followng link may be known to many, but it nicely illustrates the concept
of DEM manipulation, so im adding it ....

http://www.shadedrelief.com/dem/dem.html

regards
d.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2005, 12:44 PM
Racc Iria's Avatar
Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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I'm not quite sure what you're asking. I read through the information at the link you provided. It's my understanding that the DEM image being edited in Photoshop would just use the standard tools available and that the image would just be a standard 2D flat view from directly overhead.

Special software or a 3D modeling application using a displacement map is needed to translate the lightness values into 3D "terrain."

Can you edit a such an image in Photoshop? Yes, I've done it (although a long time ago). Is there a way in Photoshop to view it in 3D while you paint on the 2D image... none that I know of.

However, what I've done in the past is have the image applied as a displacement map on a higly subdivided plane in a 3D application. While that application is open, launch Photoshop and load that same DEM image. Paint the changes, then switch to the 3D app and update the displacement map. Go back to Photoshop make more changes, switch back and update the image, etc. It's pretty quick working that way once you've got it set up.

--Racc
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Old 08-10-2005, 01:35 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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http://www.reliefshading.com/softwar.../CartaPGM.html

Craig
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:02 PM
doonee doonee is offline
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@racc

Quote:
I read through the information at the link you provided. It's my understanding that the DEM image being edited in Photoshop would just use the standard tools available.
Yes, the people from that article appaar to be working with standart tools and suggest their use.
I just wondered whether there were, as is so often the case, any specialzed or workprocess smoothening gadgets in the form of plugins etc floating around. (There are dedicated height field editors out there as well, but i was curious of what was possible with Photoshop).

Quote:
Is there a way in Photoshop to view it in 3D while you paint on the 2D image... none that I know of.
*That* would be a great idea for a plugin, but i didnt think of that when i was asking.

Quote:
Paint the changes in PS, switch to the 3D app and update the displacement map. Go back to PS make more changes, switch back and update the image, etc.
Good idea!.
I will check this out.
You did that with MAX, correct ?

rgds
d
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:05 PM
doonee doonee is offline
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@craig

thanks craig !!

d
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:52 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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doonee...

Yes, I was using MAX.

I remember a long time ago when I was doing this, there was a program called VistaPro which was basically a terrain, sky, and plant generator and renderer. It came with a lot of grayscale DEM images based on satellite scans of the Earth. I used some of those as a starting point, and using the dual application process I described above made the changes in Photoshop.

I do remember however that the results were a lot better when I started with one of those base images than trying to paint one from scratch.

--Racc

Last edited by Racc Iria; 08-10-2005 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:46 PM
doonee doonee is offline
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racc

VistaPro is still around, and still has a community, but it uses a sort of customized DEM, known as VistaProDEM, a simplified (?) format fancied by other apps from that time, like GenesisII.
Nowadays, I would say, Terragen or Vue5I, who both import greyscale BMPs, have become more popular.

The dual application process you describe is sounds cool, how do you get your work out of MAX tho ? (supposing you would want to get out.)

I'd like to find out how i can increase (invented) detail on my DEMs, maybe add a riverbed (like shown in the link).
Another thing id be curious about is whether i can manage to add 'fake forest bumps' to these DEMs, groups of large amounts of small semi-spheres, slightly raised above surface level, to see if i can get away with using these
as distant forests.
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:59 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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you know, this may sound silly, but there are game engine and game engine editors that work in 3d and can handle the import of .pcx files and others probably, that can translate the .pcx data into 3d imaging. and at least one older game engine could handle grayscale imports for terrain. also, the quake engine, which drives many of the top 3d games these days, has a free editor. i dont know if it allows for dem import or any other type, but it's worth a look.

Craig
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:06 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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Quote:
From doonee:
VistaPro is still around, and still has a community, but it uses a sort of customized DEM, known as VistaProDEM, a simplified (?) format fancied by other apps from that time, like GenesisII.
Nowadays, I would say, Terragen or Vue5I, who both import greyscale BMPs, have become more popular.
The version of VistaPro I had allowed you to export the proprietary DEMs as a standard grayscale image format, which you could then edit with any image editor. I never bothered to upgrade to newer versions and eventually stopped using it. No particular reason, I just let it die. I do use Terragen on occasion.

Quote:
From doonee:
The dual application process you describe is sounds cool, how do you get your work out of MAX tho ? (supposing you would want to get out.)
I'm not sure what you mean here. The purpose for me was to generate terrain for use in 3DS Max. So, once I had the scene the way I wanted it, I would render the animation in whatever format I needed. For the purpose of this discussion I was just suggesting using Max to view the terrain in 3D while painting the changes in Photoshop thus allowing you to see how the changes you made to the DEM would be reflected in a three dimensional interpretation of the grayscale image.

Quote:
From doonee:
I'd like to find out how i can increase (invented) detail on my DEMs, maybe add a riverbed (like shown in the link).
That's why I started with an existing image based on real world data then used the Clone/Stamp and other similar tools in Photoshop to get more realistic results.

Quote:
From doonee:
Another thing id be curious about is whether i can manage to add 'fake forest bumps' to these DEMs, groups of large amounts of small semi-spheres, slightly raised above surface level, to see if i can get away with using these
as distant forests.
My guess is that this would look more like "3D Fish Scales" or "raised pockmarks" rather than a forest. If you are going to use MAX to render your scene, I would just create a real loy-poly count tree trunk with a couple of branches. Create the canopy of the tree using a deformed sphere and make the leaves with an RGB foilage map and an opacity map. Then group that together and put a bunch of 'em off in the distance. The Scatter modifier might be useful for that.

Or, if you really need a lot of them, render one of the trees as an image with alpha, and map that onto a flat plane, add a Look-At constraint that points at the camera, then make as many instances as you need of the plane and position them in the scene. Rendering will be a lot faster.

If you plan on importing your custom DEM image into something like a VistaPro or a Terragen, just let that application render any trees, or foilage, etc.

Which reminds me, you never really said what you wanted your final output to be.

--Racc
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2005, 05:13 PM
doonee doonee is offline
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@craig

that don't sound silly at all ...
a heightfield is a heightfield, whether 'invented' or not.
(not too sure tho if quake has heightfield, as would flight simulator etc.)

Dayton Leveller, for example, is used for both games and 'real life' stuff.

However, I'm somewhat determined to learn how to mess with these DEMs in PS.
The thing is, and i hope that *this* doent sound silly. i cant even do the simple stuff in PS, like create an evenly shaded sphere and such (which i google for and shamefully download if i need one), hence the hope for a 2D/3D greyscale plugin. I guess just i got to work up on all this to become more competent when messing with DEMs in PS.

Last edited by doonee; 08-10-2005 at 06:30 PM.
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