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Hans Jakob M?ller

Texturing terrain models


Is there a smart way to map a texture like an aerial photography or a map image to a terrain model. It was quite difficult and very time consuming up to VW 2008. With improvements like Parasolid and attributes mapping tool I would expect it to be both easier and faster. I find it almost impossible, but I'm sure there are some tips'n tricks I've been missing out. In VW2008 you could not texture a DTM directly, but by converting it to a mesh you could map a texture by clicking on a horisontal part of the terrain and then rotating, moving and scaling manually you could achieve an approximate fit. The biggest problem then was: 1) If you did changes to the DTM or the mesh you would have to do all the fitting over again. 2) The terrain would not receive light in Renderworks with mesh smoothing turned on resulting in either a black or a coarse, edgy looking terrain.

Are any of theese problems fixed in VW2010? Mapping a texture to a terrain mesh should be quite simple as both the scaling, rotation and placement should be set by the image, from top, north/south and reference to global coordinates (like it actually works when importing 2D bitmaps). If you don't use global coordinates there should be a local coordinate, let's say the lower left corner (or center) of the image linked to the corresponding point of the terrain. If the extent of the image doesn't match the terrain exactly all you'd have to do is move the texture horisontally. What I've seen in VW2010 so far seems quite random and not very intuitive.

One thing I've noticed is that mesh smoothin now works on very small meshes (like a tree trunk from a VBvisual plant). As an architect I need a more or less photorealistic representation of the site, a couple of hundred meters of surroundings in all directions to show neighbouring bulidings, roads, vegetation etc.

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