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Reading DEM Files
Is there a way to import DEM data into a DS Terrain Object?
If so, how?
If not, is this on a list of features requested?


You can load it, but some formats are simply not supported.


Here is what I have found so far that may work for you:

DEM files seem to have multiple formats, so if you try to load it raw into Dreamscape, you may get either an illegal file format, or MAX will hang. I used 3DEM (google it) to load the original DEM file, and this product seems to load everything clean, no matter what the format is internal to the DEM file. I then exported the DEM file using 3DEM, to a Terragen file. Dreamscape can read these files also. I have noticed that if Dreamscape can not read the DEM file, then it will not be able to read the Terragen file output by 3DEM either. No problem...just load the Terragen output from 3DEM into the actual Terragen program, and resave it, and voila, it loads into Dreamscape no problem.

Both 3DEM and Terragen have free versions, so no cash out of pocket for all of this work.

But I do have a question for the Dreamscape guys. Apparently loading the Terragen file causes some exaggeration of the data. The proportions of the landscape look like they are 3-4 times larger than they should be, so nearly flat land becomes hill, and hill becomes mountains with very steep peeks. Any idea on how to dial this down once it is loaded?

I tested the DEM file proportions by loading it into Polytrans, and the proportions look fine; in fact, Polytrans has a factor by which I can scale the DEM data up or down. It would be a cool thing to add to Dreamscape. But right now, I just need to way to scale the whole landscape within the editor. Maybe using the levels?
Hi Rod,

I will take a look at why Terragen files are improperly scaled.
As for height - can't you adjust it by using Height spinner ?

Hi Rod and Kresimir,
Must have missed your original responses, thanks.

I can import a DEM file saved by 3DEM as a USGS ASCII DEM, but not a TIFF DEM (which is not a problem--just agreeing that no all DEMs are created equal).

However, I've noticed that when importing the DEM files, the terrain is mirrored along the y-axis. Has anyone else noticed this?

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