VTP Software Tutorials

Tutorial 1: Convert and Display Simple Elevation Data

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.

Step 1: Locate your Data

Let's suppose you're starting with a USGS DEM file.  For this tutorial, you can download kilauea_30m.dem.zip (330k).

Step 2: Import

 Launch VTBuilder:

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.

Step 3: Resample and Export

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/Elevation  Give your output file the name kilauea_513.bt

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.

Step 4: Describe your Terrain

Launch Enviro.  When you see the startup dialog, press Terrain Manager:

Note that you have only one data path, which is ../Data  Select this path, and press Add Terrain.  Enter the name "Kilauea".  You now have a new terrain definition (stored in Kilauea.xml):

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:

That's it, press OK, then OK again on the Terrain Manager dialog.  Back on the Startup dialog, select Terrain: Kilauea Crater:

Step 5: Run

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:

Remember there is documentation online: