View Full Version : Loading DEM files not working. Aargh!

Thomas M.
02-20-2007, 06:05 PM
I downloaded a set of DEMs from the USGS web site (GEOTif). In 3DEM I stitch the single files together and save them as USGS ASCII DEM. In Vue5 I can open the file and even export it as a .lwo object. Unfortunately Vue5 is unintelligent while exporting and handles the file like a pixel image (even distribution of points on the grid when seen from above). This way the file gets incredible large, while the mountains are still pretty rough and undefined.

So I tried to use TextureScape and DEMScape. But everytime I try to run DEMScape with 8.5 it crashes with an "Abnormal program termination". I don't know whether this is related to the file or whatsoever.

Any help is urgently needed.


P.S.: I need to use DEMScape to get an object with loads of details in the mountains, while the plains just consist of a few triangles. Exporting an object from Vue with the necesarry amount of detail (and then reduce the model with Gemloss) crashes the Vue export.

02-20-2007, 06:33 PM
couple of things. I think the USGS DEM's are 32 bit and you need to convert them somehow to 16 bit. Also DEMScape reads in STM's so you need to convert the USGS GeoTIFFs to STM's before giving them to DEMScape. I believe Marvin has tools to do this on his site.
Best Regards,

Thomas M.
02-20-2007, 06:48 PM
Nothing I could find of Marvin's page. A bit wired, as the USGS GeoTif (or ASCII DEM) seems to be the only "standard" which is available these days from the USA.

I'm a bit stuck now, as I can't learn Vue5 now in the middle of my project as time slips away.

There has to be a way to get this DEM into LW...

02-20-2007, 07:30 PM
The only way I found was to use a program called 3dem.exe which allowed me to create a grayscale image. However if i remember correctly, exporting 16bit never looked quite right. Hope it helps.

02-21-2007, 01:00 AM
Here's a link to a python script that will take some DEM data files and convert them to 16 bit RAW images that can be loaded into Photoshop. Works well once everything is set up. The web site has a pretty good description of the process.

I used it on the Mac, but it also works on the PC. Good luck



P.S. I really wish there was just a Photoshop plugin that would take care of this!!

Thomas M.
02-21-2007, 01:29 AM
There's not an option in 3DEM to export grayscale images. Probably you used to export the screenshot (which is possible), but that's not going to work.

I just had a look at the Python stuff. Probably I won't get around it. But why is all this stuff only working with SDTS files? This stuff seems to be non-available for free download since years.

In case Marvin is around, I'd be glad to get a tip from him. Otherwise I'm open for any input. Can't be that difficult, can it?


02-21-2007, 07:29 AM
3DEM is great to view, convert, and merge DEMs. Then open the DEM in Accutrans and save as a Lightwave file.

02-21-2007, 07:49 AM
Use Accutrans 3d. www.micromouse.ca . You'll never look back.

02-21-2007, 08:26 AM
Thanks exception :)