This tutorial will walk you through one of the simplest operations you can do with the VTP software: to import elevation data, prepare it for visualization, then walk/fly over the resulting terrain.
Let's suppose you're starting with a USGS DEM file. For this tutorial, you can download kilauea_30m.dem.zip (330k).
You can import the DEM several ways. You could use the menu command Layer: Import Data and specify type Elevation, then browse to your DEM file. Or, you can simply drag-and-drop the file into the VTBuilder window. Either way, it should be displayed:
Note that VTBuilder doesn't mind if the file is inside a Zip archive, so you don't have to unzip it.
Use the menu command Area Tool: Set to Full Extents. This tells VTBuilder that we are interested in the area of the entire DEM. Note that a dashed-line box appears around your data.
Use the menu command Area Tool: Sample Elevation. We are going to send the output to a BT file, so select Output: To file, then browse to the Elevation folder on your Data path. If you are on Windows and installed the VTP software with default locations, then this will be in
C:/Program Files/VTP/Data/ElevationGive your output file the name
Because we will be using Terrain LOD, click the box for Sampling: Size constraint.
Your dialog should look something like this:
Press OK. VTBuilder will do a series of rapid operations then tell you the file was successfully written. You can now close VTBuilder.
Launch Enviro. When you see the startup dialog, press Terrain Manager:
Note that you have only one data path, which is
../DataSelect this path, and press Add Terrain. Enter the name "Kilauea". You now have a new terrain definition (stored in
Select it and press Edit Parameters. This will open the Terrain Creation Parameters dialog, which has a large number of options which you don't need to worry about. Fill in the following values:
- Name: Kilauea Crater
- Elevation: Grid Filename: use the drop-down to select
- Elevation: Vertical Exaggeration: 1.4
- Texture: Derive Texture from Elevation, using drop-down
default_relative.cmt(A nice set of artificial colors.)
- Ephemeris: Initial Time: Set: Hour 7.
(7 AM in the morning, which in this part of the world gives nice dramatic shading.)
That's it, press OK, then OK again on the Terrain Manager dialog. Back on the Startup dialog, select Terrain: Kilauea Crater:
Press OK on the Startup dialog. Enviro will open its main window with a 3D view of your terrain:
The initial location of your camera is right in the middle of your terrain, looking north. You can use the Simple Mouse Navigation to fly around and get a larger view:
That's it! Now you can go back and try many other things:
- Try using your own Elevation data.
- Try loading several Elevation files into VTBuilder, which can merge and resample them into a single output file.
- Explore the many options in the Terrain Creation Parameters dialog.
- Explore the many styles of navigation in Enviro, including the Locations dialog which can store, recall, save and load points of view and camera animation paths.
- Explore the data-creation features of Enviro, including planting trees and importing 3D models.
Remember there is documentation online: