Anyone know a way to generate real life geography into terrain?

I am making a game set in the San Juan Islands (Google Maps) and I want to make a terrain map that more or less resembles it. I tried painting the heights in Terrain Editor. Turns out I suck at that. Is there any product or method of generating an in-unity terrain equivalent of a real life area? Or, better yet, does anyone know where to find a terrain file of the San Juan Islands?

:)Short answer, google it :slight_smile: sorry could’nt resist.

Now for some help.

San Juan DEM Data

now that you have the data how do you use it.

try importing into either VTbuilder or Wilburx64 ( both free gis tools )

Wilbur is the better of the two, with it you can import,process and export your gis data

esp to PNG format, wich you can load into GIMP or PhotoShop and most importantly,

convert to RAW format wich can then be imported into unity to create a terrain

This is the work flow i use

1: Open VTBuilder Virtual Terrain Builder ( only program i found that supported Australian DEM files you might be able to start at step 5)

2: Layer Menu → Import Data->Elevation Data->OK->Select Directory, File, Then Open

3: Convert and save the file in TerraGen Format
ElevationMenu->Export to->TerraGen->OK

4: Close VTBuilder

5: Open Wilburx64

6: File Menu->Open file saved in step 3:( if skipping 1-4 open your DEM,TER,BT etc file)

7: Crop Image to size
ToolBar->Right Click Dotted Square->Selection Options
DropDown Style->Fixed Size
Enter Width and Height Fields to suit your needs( unity 129x129, 257x257, 513x513 etc )
Canvas Left Click, postion selection rectangle to desired position
Surface Menu->Crop to Selection

8: Convert To PNG
FileMenu->Save As PNG Surface(*.png)
Click yes when asked to save in 16Bit format

9: Start PhotoShop CS6
FileMenu->Open File saved in step 8:
if needed flip horizontal and or vertical,

10: Convert To Raw and Save
FileMenu->SaveAs-> Select Directory, Enter File Name, Format (*.RAW)->Save
RawOptions Dialogue->Select IBM or MAC Byte order->Save, Exit PhotoShop

11: Start Unity, create terrain import RAW data.

Many heightmaps of real-world locations exist - maybe you can find one? These are greyscale images that you can import and assign to a terrain. I don’t know the relative scale of these islands, but keep in mind a single Unity terrain object is not sufficient for handling very large areas. Many square kilometers, yes, depending on how much fidelity you want, but hundreds or thousands, absolutely not. For huge-scale maps, you must use multiple terrains which load and unload as needed. You could still use a heightmap for multiple terrains by writing a script to divide the heightmap image into cells, assigning each cell’s heights to a terrain in your grid-of-terrains.

You can using Sketchup. Check this video:

Yup I use sketchup max tile size is on 2000x2000m but you could make a few. DTM is a bit big think its 60m so its not too acurate for use in a fps but flight sim or something its cool, benifits are that you get the base image too, so you can kinda go into realistic building placements and stuff

And its FREE

You want to download some raw Digital Earth Model (*.DEM) datasets,
then use an optimized pipeline to get that data into the Unity Terrain Editor.

The two basic tools are:
a) Virtual Terrain Project – windows only DEM viewer / editor / exporter

b) PhotoShop (or similar)

Here are the quick steps. I’ve only found Windows sw so far.

  1. download the DEM data you are seeking. Google “San Francisco DEM, Mount Fuji DEM, etc” to find sources.
  2. DEM data comes in varying resolutions, from coarse (10 minute rez) to ultra-fine (1/9th arc second rez), and is constantly being upgraded.
  3. You may have to download several datasets in order to determine optimal resolution / size trade-offs for your scene.
  4. Open the DEM data in vTerrain
  5. Export to BMP
  6. Open the BMP in Photoshop
  7. change mode to greyscale
  8. change mode to 16-bit
  9. Here, I tend to adjust levels and curves in order to make a significant difference between the ocean floor and coastal terrain.
  10. resize each tile to 1024 x 1024
  11. export as TIFF, IBM format, non-interlaced.
  12. Open Unity Terrain Editor
  13. Import RAW…

Repeat for each 2km x 2km tile.
Be sure to add fog and adjust camera clipping planes to prevent graphic glitches
I tend to make linear fog from 1km to 6km,
and make camera near plane of 0.4, far plane of 5000.

Rock on.