Author Topic: Help with digital cave data  (Read 7997 times)

Offline rcallicotte

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Help with digital cave data
« on: April 12, 2007, 03:55:27 PM »
I found this data and it is related to a Florida cave, perhaps underwater.  But, I have not been able to figure out what to do with this data.  I understand DEMs a little, but can anyone give some help transforming these to something usable as a DEM or TER file?  Anything will help.

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Offline Oshyan

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 05:52:43 PM »
The files are in vector format. Terragen 2 cannot read any vector formats currently. Although you could use something like Global Mapper to load the file and view it, even converting it into a raster file (image), due to the volumetric nature of a cave and the limitations of heightfields it wouldn't really be useful in Terragen after conversion. If you could use a 3D modeling tool to convert it into an object then you could use that, but I'm not aware of any specific programs that would make that possible (although I'm sure that it is possible).

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Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 06:00:53 PM »
Thanks Oshyan.  I'll keep looking.  There seemed to be promise with a program called Compass, but I'm not sure.
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Offline Cyber-Angel

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 03:10:39 AM »
You know (Sorry to go of topic) but if its mapping data of real caves you want then DEM files may not be the way to go Terragen would need to support 3d Mapping formats ideally LIDAR (Light Imaging Detection and Ranging) (Laser Radar essentially but I don't know weather any cave systems have been mapped using this equipment as it is quite heavy not mention expensive.

Then Terragen would need the tools to turn data points into a mesh (Similar to those used else where in the 3d scanning industry when you have scanned a Marquette that you wish to use as the bases of a CGI character) that could be understood be the landscape engine in Terragen.

That might be a better way of doing real caves. What would be nice is if you could do caves by procedural methods but that might be beyond hightfeilds and other current terrain generation methods maybe some thing will come along in the future but what that is at this juncture is hard to say.

Regards to you.

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Offline king_tiger_666

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2007, 11:04:14 AM »
looks much like a total station to me. would be time consuming to do a cave using this technique..

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Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 11:05:38 AM »
I think it would be very cool to see some sort of procedural texturing to create caverns.  The world of Myst come alive...
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Offline king_tiger_666

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2007, 11:06:40 AM »
cyber angel something like this http://www.tcmacaves.org/lidar/index.html ....

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Offline cyphyr

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 01:34:19 PM »
I opened the file in Global mapper and you can see a screen capture below. Looks like a very simple "route" map rather than a full volumetric data set.
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Offline SeerBlue

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2007, 01:54:27 PM »
Compass ( http://fountainware.com/compass/ ) will output a 3d dxf file, if you can find a plot file of a cave you want (there is one demo cave file with the program), and you can convert the dxf file to obj with Accutrans (http://www.micromouse.ca/) and the obj will open in Terragen. From a quick look/test the cave appears to have volume, but I could not get "inside" the passages as it is hit and miss with no obj visible in the preview window and the demo file in compass is of the fulford cave , a series of winding tunnels. Perhaps if a dxf or compass specific file of a larger cave such as Carlsbad could be found it would be doable. The other thing is that the caves are pretty basic in shape, so in the end it would probably be better to create one in a modelling app.   
 I rendered a quick obj from the compass demo file but kept it above ground, after quite a bit of move and render I gave up on trying to get into the tunnels.
 SeerBlue

Offline Cyber-Angel

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2007, 01:55:20 PM »
Unless you can get the technology for LIDAR physically smaller in size then you are simply not going to get a LIDAR system that deep underground as some of the crawl ways and passages in certain caves barley allow a person to get through let alone bulky, fragile, expensive LIDAR equipment.

There are places in caves where it would be totally impractical, unfeasible and/ or impossible not to mention potentially life threatening to set up that kind of equipment and one of the rules about caving is that you do nothing witch is going to endanger your life or that of any one you are with; underground when you are hours away form the surface and help you need the people you are with just as much as they need you if the expedition is going to be both enjoyable and safe.

Right now the state of the art 3d mapping technology is not really suited to deep cave mapping not is the narrow often clustraphobic situations that are a common occurrence nor if your hanging on a B-Lay with a shear drop beneath you.

This means that LIDAR while you will be able to do much with it, it also means that there is going to be gaps in you data set which will have to be filled in at a latter time.

Regards to you.

Cyber-Angel  

Offline dhavalmistry

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 01:59:52 PM »
From a quick look/test the cave appears to have volume, but I could not get "inside" the passages as it is hit and miss with no obj visible in the preview window and the demo file in compass is of the fulford cave , a series of winding tunnels.
 SeerBlue

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Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007, 02:33:28 PM »
Is this object underground or above ground?

my TG2 crashed everytime I try to take my camera inside an obj and render...
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Offline dhavalmistry

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2007, 06:29:21 PM »
above the ground
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Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Help with digital cave data
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2007, 07:14:20 PM »
Since I don't have the resources (time and money) to experiment with the cave data to make an object of value [I'll do this later when I have both time and money to do it], I have begun creating a cave system with just TG2TP.  The only file missing from this TGD is the image for the surface shader for the Plane. 

When you open the TGD, after you've arranged your own texture for the missing image and generated both of the Heightfields, your point of view will be in the cave looking at the fork.  The tunnel left goes narrowly for about 1000 metres and you are "sitting" in the main cavern.  It's a beginning....
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