On this video linked from the CinemaPlugins' DEM Earth page http://vimeo.com/72896915
..there are a couple shots of the entire globe. The creator mentioned that it used "a full earth elevation map (greyscale) Paul created for us"
Is this map available somewhere? and/or can DEM Earth create an object representing very large areas (ex: all of Alaska)
For huge areas there are different ways to approach it.
1. Use the dem earth object. Set it to 90m. zoom out. Lots of downloading. I don't recommend doing such a large area with 30m. If you then need a particular area at a higher resolution, just embed a smaller, region of interest using ASC.
2. ASC import. You already have some data and you export it as ASC from global mapper. you then drag drop the ASC file into c4d, and DEM Earths ASC importer will create an accurate static mesh for you. This is the best way there is to get a single mesh into c4d.
3. turn off downloading and simply embed your asc file into a DEM Earth object.
you just need to understand that if the downloadable data is too much, or you have your own data set, the ASC loading facilities of DEM earth allow you to do anything you want, with your own data.
I need to build a map of the whole continental U.S. it doesn't have to be incredibly detailed but it has to be accurate.
Can I do that with this plug in or is too large an area for it to work?
RE: entire globe , do you have 180GB of ram? its not possible using this real data set, but I am working on a different solution for this.
You can the set Zoom level to below 1.0 , just manually enter 0.5 or whatever. the slider itself is locked to minimum 1.0 just so you don't accidently initiate a huge download event , just by moving the slider too far left.
I'm still out of luck on doing something like an entire globe, but a few options for large-area representation:
1. After setting the DEM-EARTH object to its max size and minimum zoom-level (anything greater than 1 seemed to work ok for me) – if you still need to represent a larger area then possibly using "Current State to Object" on multiple DEM-EARTH objects (each offset N or W) and then connecting the resulting geo may help.
2. Alternatively, another thing I did was access the actual height-map data that DEM-EARTH downloads. On Mac it is something like:
~ > Library > Preferences > MAXON > cinema 4d… > Dem Earth
The 30m data is stored as 16-bit TIFFS, which can be stitched together in Photoshop or whatever (I used a simple script I wrote for AE) – and then you can apply the resulting image as a displacement map to a plane-geo, or use a displacer deformer, etc.
Option 2 seemed the most promising but was eventually a dead end for me– the resulting image I got represented all of Alaska (I had to resize the image down somewhat so my computer could handle it) but the image had some sort of distortion to it – the same land-area looks smaller the farther it is from the equator – I think this is caused by whatever projection was used for creating the map (?) but, whatever it was, I didn't have any luck "flattening" the image. If anyone knows a solution to this please let me know!
3. What I ended up going with – creating my own height maps from DEM-EARTH:
Create a DEM-EARTH object (zooming it out as far as possible, etc)
Add a light pointing down at the DEM-EARTH object– ambient illumination turned on, specular off, linear falloff and then adjust the parameters for the falloff until the lowest part of the geo is near black and the highest points are near white – this basically creates a height map.
Then just use a top-camera (orthogonal) and render it out at high-res and probably 16 bit so you don't lose a ton of height-detail like you would with 8 bit.
After that, just repeat and repeat – each time shifting the coordinates of the DEM-EARTH object.
Finally take all the renders and stitch them together. There seems to be some distortion, but it is decently manageable by just scaling (though for my project I didn't need things super super accurate… so your mileage may vary)
Anyway, hope that helps – and again, if anyone knows how to "correct" the map distortion I'd be very interested in learning how