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DesignWorkshop Terrain Machine


The DesignWorkshop Terrain Machine creates solid terrain models, in the DesignWorkshop standard model format, based on your data. The data is entered in the form of a tab-delimited two-dimensional grid of elevation values, or as an ASCII picture generated by Email Effects. There are two ways to create a terrain model, enter the elevation of each point in the "Elevation Data" field below, or paste a picture into Email Effects and the paste the results into the below field.


If you are entering the elevation of each point each data value represents the height of the land form at that point in the grid. Each value in a given row should be separated by TAB character, and each row of data should be ended with a RETURN.

The data for a small terrain model will look like this:

2.7	3.4	4.5	3.6	2.9
2.2	3.0	3.8	3.1	2.0
1.6	2.3	3.0	2.5	1.5
1.9	2.5	3.5	2.4	2.0

This data format is actaully just the basic spreadsheet data format, and in fact you can prepare your digital elevation model data in any spreadsheet, and then just copy and paste the array of heights into the data field here.


If you use the Email effects method, you must have Email Effects preferences set to "Default A". This gives a character set of .:;-~I1+=XC4SO8D%$ when pasting in pictures. Start in Photoshop or some other image editing software.

Make an image representing a plan view of the terrain, such that the darker a pixel is, the lower the elevation, and the lighter a pixel is, the higher the elevation. The fianl image should be small, each pixel represents an elevation point in the model. A 50 pixel square image gives nice final results. Finally copy this image and quit Photoshop.

Now open Email Effects. Be sure your preferences are set to "Default A". In the tool bar chose the Picture Tool (it's the second tool from the left). THen make sure the Picture Mode is set to Direct, rather than Proportional (this is the button on the far right of the tool bar). Then paste your image into Email Effects. Use the Select Tool and drag a bounding box around your image. Use the copy command to place this in the clipboard.

Finally, put the cursor in the Terrain Machine textarea and choose Paste from the Edit menu. The terrain that is generated will probably have to be scaled in DesignWorkshop. A pixel that is black will have an elevation of 1. A pixel that is white will have an elevation of 19. Pixels between white and black will have an elevation somewhere between 1 and 19 depending on how dark the pixel is.


With either method, you should also enter the horizontal distance between each point in the terrain grid in the "Terrain Grid Spacing" field below. For instance, if each elevation value is five feet from the next (in both horizontal dimensions) enter 5.

When your data is complete, click the "Make Me..." button below, and the chunk of landform will be automatically created on the server, downloaded over the Internet to your workstation, and (if your web browser has the application set for the ".dw" file extension) opened in DesignWorkshop for immediate use.


Return to the Terrain Machine


Related DesignWorkshop utilities:   Lathe Machine | Snake Machine | Terrain Machine | Tree Machine
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