real world terrain data seem to be a big NO

Started by AlanR, December 09, 2015, 08:09:02 am

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SO reckon its time to give up, as no matter how i try to bring certain real world data in, there is problems, in works great in one way, but a problem somewhere else comes up. Terragen can produce some stunning results, if its something thats not real, but high rez digital elevation models, seem to be a no no, if its not positioning problems, its banding/stepped results, 32 bit geotiffs from global mapper cause errors. tried from world machine, still no good, tried re projection the data to geographic, have horrible artifacts on the edges, still looking for a good, reliable workflow, but last day on this, before reverting to the normal, 3d mesh and vue route!
any help from a guru or planetside themselves would be much appreciated


Could you share a chunk of data here to try out for us?
TG handles large datasets very well, actually quite a lot better than Vue (some sense of understatement here, serious).

So there must be a way to make it work.


December 09, 2015, 11:41:29 am #2 Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 11:46:22 am by AlanR
I am currently trying geographic imager, its a geo imaging plugin for photoshop,, and so far its looking good, have converted all my data to geographic, wgs84, grom osgb36 and exported an asc file from global mapper, imported it into photoshop, Yes you heard correct, did some clean up, mainly edges and outputed as a asc, and now everything is smooth on the 5m terrain (10km*10km) am now trying to do the same for a detailed area we surveyed with a UAV (2cm) 1km*1km to add into terragen, if it works, I will be very happy, and purchase geographic imager :). basically been after a full proof workflow for GIS data for visualisation, realy wanted to use terragen rather than Vue, as it produces better renders, vue is good, in some ways,
will keep you informed


That's great to hear :)

2 cm resolution? What the...??

Can you show how (insane) that looks? :)


just over 1cm resolution, , usually stick between 5 and 10cm for larger areas :)



If you could please, can you explain how you use the plug-in with respect to TG? So, say you take any average data from USGS (30 meters like non US terrains tend to be on that site) Then what would this plug-in be helpful for if TG is the renderer?

I looked at the web link you gave, looks interesting, what can you add?

It has been eaten.


Best use, in my workflow, is blending different resolutions together,, but it could be used for all sorts, creating your own textures, editing textures/geotiffs, beauty lies in the fact it retains any georeferencing


So perhaps overlaying one terrain onto another and blending it so that you get one new terrain with features from two different places, perhaps? OR the differing resolutions must be from the same terrain since the files have coordinates attached? Can coordinates be altered?


Also, I watched your video. Its pretty cool. Can you tell us about how you process the data? So for example, you have a drone, camera, and the hardware needed. You collect some data. Then what soft are you using from there to get your models? For me I have easy access to 123Catch. But I am curious about something that you would use to make what you showed us in your video.

I know this is leading off topic by expanding. But It is interesting.
It has been eaten.


hi its just a basic photogrammetry process, the actaul flying, planning, well, thats a different matter, all the info is out there, would take me to long to go into it here :)


Hi Alan. I'm glad to hear you may have found a workflow. I must say it's rather a surprise to hear that you felt Vue was handling the data better. Were you using the *same* data and workflow in both? Because as far as I understand Vue's GIS data import is rather limited currently, at least compared to TG3. So are you importing the data natively into Vue, or converting to geometry (e.g. OBJ)? If it's geometry, have you tried that approach with TG?

Overall can you give a concise and specific list of the issues you're seeing?

The edge issues you mentioned could be potentially solved by border blending, but you do need clean data with non-zero values coming in. You can try to use TG's empty data filling method, but processing in a more dedicated GIS app is probably preferable for that.

Badger, if your use is just with common USGS data sets, then the software he's using is way overcomplicating things (though I know that's how you like to work :D ). TG imports most USGS formats very well by default.

- Oshyan


Hi Oshyan
Think I have it now, I was making some simple fundamental errors when exporting data from global mapper, building up a number of files in different formats, so took a little time out, deleted everything, other than the raw data, and started again, downloaded a demo of geographic imager, in order to tidy up edges, and everything seems to be good now. Vue:, yes OBJ via global mapper dxf export, and 3d studio max, but realy didnt want to do it this way, as its a lot of faf! :)
The job is for a client, most of the high rez data is what we have collected/created, and the client will just drop the full brief on me in a few weeks, so need to get the basic terrain sorted, all the extra stuff, such as bringing in models(obJ)ie buildings, trees, and a few other things, i am fine with as well as populating via texture maps or painting, as I have done this a number of times with generic landscapes. so looks like all is good in the world again
I think the main issues were becaus ethe data we created was very irregular in shape, so by bringing in base 2 terrains also brought in invalid data, hense the messy edges, now I have some basic low rez terrain in the background of what I have experted, blended in photoshop, via geographic imager, and done that way, so I have 2 terrains that now fit neatly together, before bringing into terragen, its a bit of a lesson for me, get the data right, dont blame the software :) will post an image, when i have the main set up done


a quick render, the foreground is a 10cm data set, its a cove with some very old fish traps near us :)


something borrowed,
something Blue.
Ring out the Old.
Bring in the New
Bobby Stahr, Paracosmologist


Quote from: AlanR on December 09, 2015, 03:13:49 pm
hi its just a basic photogrammetry process, the actaul flying, planning, well, thats a different matter, all the info is out there, would take me to long to go into it here :)

thats pretty impressive for photogrammetry, I assumed it was LIDAR when I first saw you use visualSFM?


Hi MdHarrington
been a bit of a delay, sorry, just doing another project, now I have terragen 4, yes, photogrammetry from a UAV, using agisoft for the processing, have pretty much got the workflow down now, and am very happy with the results, havnt bought geographic imager yet, but so far, that looks like the only real solution for editing geotiffs graphically, unless someone knows of a cheaper solution?