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landscape object based on grayscale image

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Andrew Wilsonlandscape object based on grayscale image
by on Dec 14, 2011 at 5:31:44 pm

I remember once upon a time (I think it was with Infini-D) that I could create a landscape object but instead of using the internal fractal noise, I could apply a gray-scale image to it and the whites would be tall and the darks would not extrude at all.

I'm trying to take an image of a printed circuit board but have parts of it extruded out pretty aggressively. A bump map didn't do it and the displacement didn't work great either.

I thought I once did it as a landscape object but can't remember how. I have an image (of the PCB) that's going to be the texture of the object and then I was going to take that image into Photoshop and draw the white and gray shapes on it to create the extrusion.

Thanks for the help.

Andrew Wilson
WestView Digital Video & Design

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randy johnsonRe: landscape object based on grayscale image
by on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:48:55 pm

I think a mix of modeling and displacement can generally get everything right; however, you are looking for the relief object (found with the primitives) It tends to look more like a license plate pressing though...


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: landscape object based on grayscale image
by on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:28:17 pm

Displacement is your best bet, but you need to enable the subpoly option and make sure you have enough subdivisions to give the desired result. It also depends on your bitmap. 16 bit or higher is desireable. You also don't want sharp borders between color/grayscale areas, so you might need to add a little gausian blur in PS.

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Jack CookRe: landscape object based on grayscale image
by on Dec 15, 2011 at 1:09:49 pm

I'm actually working on a project like that now. I used a plane with a Displacement Deformer and put the grayscale image in the deformer's Shading tab. You need to have many segments in the plane for the detail to work, and play with the height in the deformer to get it to look realistic. I was making an underwater canyon using bathymetry data; and the client then wanted the walls of the canyon to be jagged, but the information wasn't there in the grayscale image, so I ALSO used a Displacement channel in the material and turned on the subpoly option, and applied it to a polygon selection I made of the canyon walls. I used one of the built in noise options in Cinema as the displacement. So, I ended up using the Displacement Deformer to actually make the terrain, and then a Displacement channel in a material to get finer detail. Using the Displacement deformer allows you to see the terrain before rendering and it's easier to work with that way. If you only use Displacement in a material you'll see only a flat plane until you render, which makes it hard to work with other elements in the scene in relation to the terrain.


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