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Terrain 6

Digital Elevation Model (DEM) landscapes are just a collection of heights or elevations that represent a rectangular area of the real world or an imaginary world.

Elevations are sampled at regular intervals in the North-South and East-West directions.  Typical sample intervals or X and Y spacings are 10, 30, 90 and 1,000 meters.

AccuTrans 3D reads landscapes from several different file types.  Many file types use the DEM file extension but the file format is different.

  • ASCII height files.
  • Binary height files.
  • CDED DEM files.
  • Contour line files.
  • Contour map files as 256 color BMP and 32 color IFF.
  • MicroDEM DM files.
  • Scenery Animator (Amiga) files.
  • USGS 1-degree DEM files.
  • USGS GTOPO30 files.
  • USGS SRTM-1 files.
  • USGS SRTM-3 files.
  • USGS SRTM30 files.
  • USGS STDS files.
  • VistaPro files.

AccuTrans 3D displays the landscape as a 3D wireframe mesh or a 3D solid rendered surface or as a 2D contour map.

The 2D contour map uses 4 colors for elevations below sea level, one color for sea level and 239 colors for elevations above sea level.

The colors used in the 2D contour map are displayed on the 3D landscape.

Editing tools are available for painting or cutting and pasting brushes on the 2D contour map so that the elevations of the landscape can be altered.  For greater flexibility save the contour map to a 256 color BMP file and alter the map in your favorite paint program.  Create a new contour map of any size in your paint program, save it as a 256 color BMP file and then have AccuTrans 3D convert the BMP file to a 3D landscape.

Save as a 3D mesh to any supported 3D file format.

Save as heights only to an ASCII or Binary file.

Save as a contour map to a 256 color BMP file.

Save as longitude and latitude profiles to a DXF file.

Save as either an ASCII or Binary XYZ file.

Texture maps can be displayed on any landscape.  Just specify the texture file name and AccuTrans 3D automatically calculates the UV coordinates and displays the texture map on the 3D landscape.  The lower left corner of the bitmap is placed at the SW corner of the landscape.  Once the texture map is displayed the 3D landscape including UV coordinates can be saved to any 3D file format that supports UV texture coordinates.

Without writing to a file, the landscape can be converted to a 3D object including UV coordinates and with the lowest elevations of the landscape deleted from the 3D object.   In the example picture, the 2D contour map was saved to a BMP file.  The landscape was converted to a 3D object and the triangles at sea level were deleted.   The BMP file was then applied to the 3D islands as a UV texture map.

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