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DEM's and Borders the Easy Way


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Blender 2.93 and later

Mapping-- Coordinates --Generated---- now part of the Displacement setting
Influence --Deselct Color Select –Intensity  -- now part of the BSDF shader color/specul;ar etc

However  I am using another method in Blender 3.1 that seems to give  reasonable result

Blender 3.1 (make sure the Render Engine is set to Cycles),

8kBorderGE image and 8kBorderDem4096 were both created using the snipping tool in Google Earth both saved as RGB pngs

In the first image I have created a mesh (Import Image as Plane) with the 8k RGB border texture and added the 8kBorderDem4096 texture I will use for the displacement

Main settings are

Mapping -- Extension --Extend --this gives a clean edge to the border by extending the edge pixels
Clamp -- Deselected -- this allows the full colour range to be used in the displacement

All other settings can be left as default though it may be necessary, depending on the dem to set the Color Space to Linear to get better results.



Next the 8k border mesh has been subdivided 20 times and Displacment modifier added, Texture coordinates must be set to UV although no UV map is required.


and lastly the final settings for alignment to the terrain


In the Item pop out you will notice that the Z Location value is different to the Z value in the Dimensions -134.69 and 138 respectively this is to show the GE border area more clearly otherwise it would be mixed in with the border image.

Regarding the Dimension Z value (138 in this case) this is normally the highest point of your terrain over the whole border area but can differ due to monitor colour settings and displacement strengths so it is always best to adjust to imported GE terrain.
Highest point can easily be found by running cursor over the area in Google Earth and checking the elev figure in the bottom right

Don't forget to set shading to smooth (Object-Shade Smooth) and Ctrl-A (Set Scale and location if mesh reset to 0) before exporting i3d

When time permits I will be overhauling/updating all the tutorials to reflect the latest updates to links and software.

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