View Full Version : Converting topographic contour lines into elevation and/or 3d ?

06-18-2012, 02:11 AM
Is there a lightweight program (laptop w/2gb ram) - free, or very cheap - that a visually-inclined / math-blind artist like myself can use for this? I'm working on a regional/city map, non-digital at the moment. But I really need a computer to help me out. My brain is twisting into impossible configurations and it's sorta painful. =\ And I haven't gotten to the city part yet. Never done that either. =P

06-18-2012, 05:11 AM
For converting topographic maps into DEMs, the BLACKART program worked fairly well (see http://www.terrainmap.com/rm33.html for information).

06-18-2012, 02:18 PM
Thank you!

06-18-2012, 05:19 PM
You can do this in Sketchup (http://sketchup.google.com/). It turns your topographical contours into 3D. You can export the result as an image. Or, you can export the shadow to use as an overlay on your map.

06-18-2012, 09:06 PM
Thanks Bhoritz! I just downloaded sketchup and the artisan plugin trial. We'll see how well it works on my little laptop. =)

06-19-2012, 12:41 PM
Hmm. Looks like you need SketchUp Pro with the sandbox tools, unless I'm missing something. The artisan plugin, well, some of it, is beyond my computer's abilities. Brain freeze. Oh well. I shall continue saving up for a new magic box.