This camera angle is probably a bit too low, but it shows the type of effect I woud want on a larger map.
Last edited by Hai-Etlik; 08-21-2009 at 07:57 AM.
You can pseudo-project an image back from a 3D view to get a 2D view using the perspective and scale tools in Photoshop. The attached images show a trivial example in Wilbur.
The first one is a basic 2D image generated from a height field.
The next one is the height field and image from the first step in Wilbur's 3D viewer. The 2D distortion will eat a lot of resolution in the squished part of the image so I stretched the window to get it as large as possible. With a real 3D app you can render to a large resolution. (I overdid the 3D angle a bit so it's a little overtall for the mountains.)
The final one is the middle image pulled into Photoshop and some basic processing done to it. I applied the perspective filter to pull the top of the image out until the sides were vertical. Then I used the scale operation to stretch the perspective-distorted image back to its original square proportions.
This process gives you something like plan oblique relief from a generic 3D app with no need for special projections. It works better if you can put a bit of a horizontal barrel gradient into the height field before you render it. These techniques are from Tom Patterson's discussion at his web site (the http://www.shadedrelief.com site and http://www.shadedrelief.com/dem/dem.html ).
Ok, I'll have to take some time and test these techniques out. Thanks for the advice