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Natural Graphics
11-26-2013, 08:14 PM
This week Natural Graphics has released Terrain Texture Shader, a new free application for Mac OS X that creates highly detailed images from terrain models. This software is based on an algorithm developed by Leland Brown and presented at the 2010 NACIS conference.

Natural Graphics developed the user interface and additional features, giving you easy access to this relatively new terrain rendering method. Terrain Texture Shader is a multi-threaded application, capable of running on both 32 and 64 bit systems with Mac OS 10.6 or higher. The software, based on an algorithm developed by Leland Brown, renders DEMs as georeferenced images with increased contrast and detail.

A practical use of texture shading is for mapmakers to merge it with shaded relief. The two techniques when combined can improve many terrains, clearly depicting drainages and revealing small details. Depicting rock textures in alpine mountains is another use for the software that shows promise.

Brett Casebolt
Natural Graphics

Neyjour
11-26-2013, 09:03 PM
Wow...that example of Yosemite Valley looks amazing! What a shame it's for MAC only...I would have loved to try this out. By any chance, do you have plans to release a PC version sometime in the future?

feanaaro
11-26-2013, 10:55 PM
Interesting... if I could make it work. I have my tiff elevation maps in greyscale, yet it refuses to import, because they are not "16 or 32 bits per pixel", even though they are...

Natural Graphics
11-27-2013, 07:28 PM
Interesting... if I could make it work. I have my tiff elevation maps in greyscale, yet it refuses to import, because they are not "16 or 32 bits per pixel", even though they are...

I need to re-phrase that error message to "16 or 32 bits per channel".

My guess is that your grayscale TIFF is ARGB with 8-bits per channel (32-bits total per pixel).

If you would like, you may send me a link to the TIFF file and I will verify it.

The reason for the message is that 8-bits per channel will not produce acceptable results with texture shading -- instead it will have a terraced look, or possibly end up looking like a contour map.

Brett

Natural Graphics
11-27-2013, 07:32 PM
Wow...that example of Yosemite Valley looks amazing! What a shame it's for MAC only...I would have loved to try this out. By any chance, do you have plans to release a PC version sometime in the future?
Thanks. Yes, I estimate a January or February release date for the PC version.

feanaaro
11-27-2013, 08:07 PM
I figured that the bits were "per channel", however when I tried to convert the TIFF image in photoshop to 32 bit greyscale it still did not worked.

Neyjour
11-27-2013, 08:12 PM
Thanks. Yes, I estimate a January or February release date for the PC version.

Wonderful! Thanks. :)

Leland Brown
11-28-2013, 12:06 AM
There's also a command-line driven program to do texture shading, which is available now for Windows as well as Mac. (The source code is also included, so you could even compile it for Linux or another operating system if you want.) It's not as user friendly, and it has no additional features except to compute the texture shading, but it's the exact same core algorithm as in Terrain Texture Shader. You can download the software and user guide at app.box.com/textureshading/ (https://app.box.com/textureshading/). My slide presentation from the 2010 NACIS conference is also there, for anyone interested in what the algorithm does.

waldronate
11-28-2013, 03:32 AM
It's always interesting to me to see how image processing operators get applied to terrain systems to generate interesting results (in this case, an HDR tone mapping operator of the sort described in Local Laplacian Filters: Edge-aware Image Processing with a Laplacian Pyramid (http://people.csail.mit.edu/sparis/publi/2011/siggraph/) - it's a goo dpaper because of the review of lots of other tone mapping algorithms). I wonder if pushing alpha high, thresholding the image and using that output as input to a distance algorithm would yield interesting results...

Hai-Etlik
11-28-2013, 05:07 AM
It's always interesting to me to see how image processing operators get applied to terrain systems to generate interesting results (in this case, an HDR tone mapping operator of the sort described in Local Laplacian Filters: Edge-aware Image Processing with a Laplacian Pyramid (http://people.csail.mit.edu/sparis/publi/2011/siggraph/) - it's a goo dpaper because of the review of lots of other tone mapping algorithms). I wonder if pushing alpha high, thresholding the image and using that output as input to a distance algorithm would yield interesting results...

Maybe, there are already distance surfaces that use vertical weighting. I remember modelling forest fires as an assignment for my spatial analysis class using the NIR/R/G bands of a Landsat image and a DEM. The fire spread up hill more readily and down hill less readily.

waldronate
11-28-2013, 12:52 PM
I expect that there are lots of useful distance surfaces out there, but I was thinking of this as a generalization operator of the landforms that would be simply controllable using this operator as the input to the process.