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Updated instructions on importing real topography into Bryce?
Posted: 17 March 2013 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]
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(New Bryce user here.)

Are there updated instructions available for importing real topography into Bryce? I’ve been working with instructions here: http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/tutorials/bryce/bryce-terrain20

However, the US Geological Survey website listed in the instructions (http://seamless.usgs.gov) has been replaced with a new one (http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer). The instructions say to get the “1 Arc Second” version of the GeoTiff topography data. However, the website says the 1 Arc Second version has been discontinued, but a 1/9 Arc Second version of the GeoTiff data is still available. Unfortunately, when I load the 1/9 Arc Second data in the 3DEM software recommended in the instructions, only part of the map is visible along the bottom of the screen—not the full map.

Are there updated instructions for getting this data into Bryce available? Or is there a way to get the 3DEM software to properly use the 1/9 Arc Second topography data?

Many thanks!

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Posted: 19 March 2013 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hello cryan
I am surprised that no one has come forward to help with this, a very friendly and knowledgeable forum, I have tried a little with this subject too, for some reason though, just find it all a bit of a rigmarole, If you have any luck with your search please come and share it.

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Posted: 19 March 2013 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I would have offered some help here, but I have no experience using DEM data.

I’ve just this minute downloaded the elevation data (which is available at 1 arc second).
In that data was an .hdr file… sadly Photoshop wont recognise it as it’s a Radiance document.

I’m having a look at downloading Radiance but the download server for the software is the slowest I’ve encountered for a while and apparently installing it on a Mac isn’t particularly easy.

If I get a result to share I’ll share it later. smile

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Posted: 19 March 2013 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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After trying the download for the software to read the Radiance file more than six times now and it failing everytime, I either have to find an alternative or give up. grin

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Posted: 19 March 2013 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I could give it a try, Dave. Is there a way you can send it to me - or at least the link where I can get it?

It’s been a while since I last used DEMs, that’s why I decided not to give an answer. Chances are that I’m either wrong or have outdated ideas.

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Posted: 19 March 2013 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I just selected an area of Utah/Arizona from the nationalmap.gov website that cryan linked to in the OP.
I downloaded the ‘elevation’ data and ended up with a zipped file containing loads of data files.
Photoshop only recognised the .hdr file but wouldn’t open it.

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Posted: 19 March 2013 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The site is loading indefinitely. I can’t probably access it from Europe.

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Posted: 19 March 2013 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The site would not load for me, just hangs at the loading bar, but then switched browser form my usual firefox to comodo and got connected. looks like a lot going on, for a web app.

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Posted: 19 March 2013 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Cryan…I use DEMs all the time, but they are the Moon and Mars’s DEMs, and have no problems to make them finally show up as 16-bit grayscales - essential for non-stepped terrains. I did try this site initially when you posted, but the darn thing just hung up (saying it was loading, but nothig coming through). I tried again today, too, but same.

I’ve never wanted to access the Earth DEMs as I’m not interested, however, if I could get access I would look into it more. I did read some time ago about the whole GeoTiffs’ use, and I think came across some YouTubes on how to use the USGS/Data. So, You might want to do a Google in that area.

For your reference: The Moon and Mars’s DEMs have a different format - .IMGs are the onee I use to convert to a 16-bit png,  and from there easy peasy then to load into Bryce the usual way as recommended in that Pdf link you gave. There also are .jp2 DEM files, which are much smaller, but as I don’t have CS Photoshop (have only an old version of Elelements 2.2 that can’t open 16-bit files).

Jay

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Posted: 20 March 2013 01:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Success!

I still can’t get the topography datafiles from http://viewer.nationalmap.gov to work. But I found an alternate data source at http://data.geocomm.com/dem/demdownload.html (as of March 2013).

To do this, follow the old procedure at http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/tutorials/bryce/bryce-terrain20 EXCEPT go to the geocomm website and download the tar.gz files for the areas you are interested in. I used the 10 meter version, rather than the less-detailed 30 meter version. You’ll need to set up a free account at geocomm, and you can download the datafiles for free, or order them on disc for a small fee.

Use 3DEM software to open the datafiles (by clicking on ‘File/Load Terrain Model’ in the menu, and select “USGS DEM” as the file type. Note that you can open multiple geocomm topography datafiles if you put them in the same directory and select them all, merging them into a single map. When the resulting map is visible, click “File / Save GeoTiff DEM’ in the menu. No projection change seems necessary.

From there, follow the old instructions to use GEOTIFF4 to generate the black-and-white elevation map image that you can import into Bryce/Carrara.

The resulting topography sure looks like the mountains outside my window…

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Posted: 20 March 2013 02:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Great news Cryan, be sure to post your results in the ‘Show us your Bryce renders’ thread. smile

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Posted: 20 March 2013 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Here are the Boulder Co Flatirons modeled using this technique

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Flatirons-1283527469.pngFlatirons640479629.png
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