Author Topic: height maps  (Read 8086 times)

BMcIsaac

height maps
« on: February 19, 2012, 07:27:39 pm »
February 19, 2012, 07:27:39 pm
I encourage you to get a copy of the nvidia tools from their site and play with height maps in Lumion....er...maybe not if you are like me and play when I should be drawing lines.

My question is when working with 256 shades of gray it is hard while painting to differentiat the subtle differences and on a 2048X2048 mat you are close to the action anyway cause one pixel is approx a meter. I know that layers are best but I end up flattening too often to merge layers and colors. So far I find it best to start with black 0.0.0 and work my way up the contour with paint...but I have to really work hard to see the color differences. The magic wand works set at a tollerance of 1 pixel but still it is tedious.

Can somebody share their experience?

Gaieus

    Reputation: 44
Re: height maps
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 07:33:16 pm »
February 19, 2012, 07:33:16 pm
What I did once when playing around with height maps in Lumion was that I modelled my terrain in SketchUp, painted it with a gradient materials projected from the side, went to parallel projection top view and simply exported the image which I used in Lumion afterwards.

An 1024x1024 pixel image (to my best knowledge) will be imported as a 2048m x 2048m area in Lumion. Also, black is 0 metre and white is 200 metre heigh so you need to follow this rule in SketchUp (i.e. you must remain between these heights).

My terrain came in "stepped" too however because of the pixellation of the height map. Certainly we should have a better way...

BMcIsaac

Re: height maps
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 07:56:21 pm »
February 19, 2012, 07:56:21 pm
Hi Gai...funny you should mention SU as a solution...I had the same thing in mind but your  idea of the projection is pretty ingenious....That would get you a good start at it but as you say there is a lot of smoothing required and always color adjustments to get it layed out in the right shape...that's when my eyes start to give in.
Thanks for your help I'll try that next and see how it comes along...cheers!!

Re: height maps
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 10:36:18 pm »
February 19, 2012, 10:36:18 pm
Don't forget about the tips about terrains and ability to adjust height in Lumion via Photoshop 32bit image.

BMcIsaac

Re: height maps
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 11:30:54 pm »
February 19, 2012, 11:30:54 pm
Thats how the above image was made...32...dds, setting 32f. What I am after is ideas for making the PS image easier to see.....cheers!

Re: height maps
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 04:26:21 pm »
February 20, 2012, 04:26:21 pm
Just double-checking but have you already reduced the Exposure/Gamma in:

Photoshop -> View -> 32-bit Preview Options

As you already know, this format is for HDR photography, and was never intended to be used for manual work on terrains, so ideally you'd want to convert an existing heightmap to a 32f DDS texture.

BMcIsaac

Re: height maps
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 03:30:36 am »
February 21, 2012, 03:30:36 am
Yes I am using the 32f  dds....I have been ajusting the exposure but not with the 32 bit preview. Thanks Morten!
I'm using dem files and microdem, converting them to gray scale height maps. It works but it is not very granular.  I'm not sure there is enough image data coming from GE or if there is I don't know how to get at it yet.
So I have been experimenting with painting which actually works well but it is difficult. To do a detail job I need 40-80 layers in PS because of the terrain in my area..it is good fun but to much time is involved. I need to find more detailed dems or point clouds or HM for my area. I have just started to look.

The only thing that concerns me about this experiment is the lack of control I will have with the terrain after for roads, curbs gardens etc.  If only I could lay an image over your terrain once it is sculpted. ..once again thanks!

Re: height maps
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 11:47:20 am »
February 21, 2012, 11:47:20 am
Yes, the editing options for the native terrain in Lumion are currently somewhat limited and haven't really changed since Lumion 1 was released. I hope that the developers will find the time to overhaul this functionality in the not too distant future.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to have to edit a 32-bit heightmap using Photoshop's HDR magnitudes of white.

It would be so much easier if an imported terrain mesh would "behave" just like the native Lumion terrain, ie, collision snap when moving/ALT-copying multiple objects etc.

Gaieus

    Reputation: 44
Re: height maps
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 12:57:15 pm »
February 21, 2012, 12:57:15 pm
...I hope that the developers will find the time to overhaul this functionality in the not too distant future...

...It would be so much easier if an imported terrain mesh would "behave" just like the native Lumion terrain, ie, collision snap when moving/ALT-copying multiple objects etc.

...and painting on...

I promise once this is achieved, I will not post any annoying feature requests again.

Architectural Innovation

    Reputation: 13
Re: height maps
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 04:05:44 pm »
February 21, 2012, 04:05:44 pm
Amen, Brother Gaieus! Preach on!!

 :-D


...and painting on...

I promise once this is achieved, I will not post any annoying feature requests again.

Littlemeister

    Reputation: 2
Re: height maps
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 03:06:43 pm »
February 22, 2012, 03:06:43 pm
If you read on ARchitecture and the steps of going from an idea to living in it, then one of the first steps is to Know your terrain where your gonna build. The terrain is almost everytime a very important factor to consider. Some architecture is on mountens, some on rocky ground, some between sea and ground, some in the sea, under the sea, in the mountens, under the mountens, on hills, on rivers, under rivers... And so on. Very important, and should be easy, fast and powerful tool to use.

Re: height maps
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 03:10:36 pm »
February 22, 2012, 03:10:36 pm
(ADMIN: Moved modelhead's suggestion to the Wish List section)

Re: height maps
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 11:42:01 pm »
February 22, 2012, 11:42:01 pm
I'm using dem files and microdem,

What's your source for DEM's?  Thanks.

BMcIsaac

Re: height maps
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 12:27:30 am »
February 23, 2012, 12:27:30 am
I learned how to do it with GE. You can get DEM data from GE if you have the GE plug-in that I have circled in the image. Then you use microdem to convert it to a height map.
I would like more detail I think although I haven't quite got the hang of the decemating settings in microdem...it is very powerful it seems in the right hands. I think I could improve what I have with more experiment.
But still it is a good question cause I would like to get local DEMs but haven't had a moment to start looking around....I imagine my architects could provide the point clouds or dems and even the local municipal office may have them.

amores

    Reputation: 1
Re: height maps
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 12:54:36 am »
February 23, 2012, 12:54:36 am
Tutorial to extract heightmaps from Google Earth in GEM

1/ Install MicroDem program on your PC.
 
2/ Open Google Earth program and double click the Google Earth plugin file SRTM41.kmz http://www.google.pt/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=srtm4.1&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ambiotek.com%2Ftopoview&ei=DYFFT4aGGJOz0QWQr_SWBA&usg=AFQjCNGEHpKF8UOLlI6d7hhLDHhN9OEodQ (A new line “SRTM4.1” appear in the left menu of Google Earth). Double clic on it: You see the earth divided into sectors with numbers.
 
3/This sector is too big to be imported, so you have to zoom on a lightest sector:
On the left of STRM 4.1, you will see a triangular icon. click on it and you will see a folder "elevation". click again on the 2nd triangular icon: you see all the sector of the planete earth.
Double click the link "data for STRM 36_03": A windows appear (wait 4/5 seconds)
 
4/ you can read: “Preview the tile in GE: srtm_36_03 : Click here to visualise terrain and access 1 degree tiles" : Clic on it, and you will see the initial sector now divided in 5x5 sectors, and the initial satellite view of Google Earth appear now in color with the elevation. Each new sector have a code. In my case, i want the heightmap of the sector STRM 36_03_5_5 that correspond to the village of Brettevillette.
 
5/A new line "elevation preview" appear in the left menu of Google Earth with a new triangular icon. click on it and you will see 2 folders: "Global legend" and "Local legend".
 
6/Now click the triangular icon of "global legend", and click the triangular icon of "Data"
 
7/Double click on the link "Data for: srtm_36_03_5_5": A windows appear, and then you have to choices to download the data: FTP or HTTP. Clic on HTTP to download the file. (take a long time to download it)
 Now you have finished with Google Earth.
 
8/ The file is zipped: STRM_36_03_5_5.zip: Unzip it to have a file like that: STRM_36_03_5_5.asc
 
9/ Open MicroDEM program:
- Go to menu “File”, then “Open” and then “Open DEM” and clic your ASC file.A colored map of the sector appears but it’s too big to use it in GEM.
 - Zoom on the map with the 6th menu (windows zoom) on the land you want to catch.Then you have a new zoomed colored map.
 - Right clic on the map: “Display parameters”, then “Elevation” and choose the gray scale option.
 - Right clic on the gray map: Copy to clipboard.
 Now you have finished with MicroDem.
 
10/ Open Photoshop (or any program like Gimp etc.) :
 - Create a new file, and copy paste the gray map. Crop the image to delete the 2 scale menus.
 - Save it as TGA file.
 
11/ copy this file in the folder: “your Assault Squad folder”\resource\map\multi
 
12/ Open GEM Editor: Create a map (F2 Menu)
- Menu Heights => Import Heightmap => Map/Multi and you will see your TGA file ine the list. Clic on it and you have automatic the heightmap.
 
Note that the Gem Editor don’t accept to high TGA files and if you map is too big, you may have problems.