Monday, August 24, 2009

BAD Terrain Data! NAUGHTY Terrain Data!

What happens when the Google Earth terrain data doesn't cut it?  The satellite picture is fuzzy.  The skyscrapers seem to be lying flat across the ground.  A hill appears when there is no hill in real life.

You want to make a 3D model that integrates with the terrain nicely, but you can't! What do you do? Do you surrender? Or do you FIGHT?

Prolific SketchUp modeler Chigirinsky contacted me about a model with this type of problem. The finished model can be seen above. Chigirinsky says
The bell is [the] main hero of my model... [but] to show it accurately and distinguishable one has to choose proper contrast and a "small-grained" background. Otherwise, the bell will be lost visually.
In this case trees cover the site, and there is no obvious way to integrate the small bell with the ground photo. Chigirinsky decided to create a terrain skirt using handmade textures in place of the Google Earth image.

What's YOUR solution?

EDIT: It appears the terrain imagery has been updated around the bell model, rendering a "skirt" unnecessary. Looks great! This model is included in the 3D collection called Place of Worship