Largest Terrain Imported from Google Maps to Blender?

I want to create a map of the Caribbean. With islands and main land and water. This will be something i can drop a sail boat into and spend a couple of hours sailing around. I have tried several ways to do it from youtube tutorials for blender and photoshop and they didn’t work. Is this just too bog of an area?

10km is a safe maximum radius for an area, then precision starts to suffer.

depending on your computer, you may not have the ram to fit the whole resolution.

here is where i get my height maps. geotiff.

There are several games that have huge maps of the Caribbean. Pirates of the Burning Seas and Naval Action. Since asking them how they did it didn’t work I was hoping someone here knew. I know its possible just need to know how it would be done.

For huge datasets, games rely on streaming data from external source and dynamic topology refinment.
Also move environment instead of camera to minimize precision issues.

Take a look at github terrain

Here is an in-depth tutorial:

  1. Download and install BlenderGIS addon (to import Georeferenced raster) and 3DEM software (to convert .hgt files into Geotiff DEM) (Direct Download Link).

  2. Go and pick an area to download its data. Unzip the file. Depending on the area you select, you will get multiple .hgt files.

  3. Launch 3DEM software, select DEM File Type: SRTM Data (hgt, bil). Find and open one of your .hgt files.
    (Note that you can also open all of them and export a single GeoTiff DEM but i find it harder to work with in Blender, so i recommend opening and exporting one by one.)

  4. File > Save GeoTiff DEM , ignore the message and hit okay, give it a proper name.

  5. In Blender, make sure you enabled BlenderGIS addon. From left toolbar, open GIS tab, set ‘Scene georeferencing’ to ‘Web Mercator’.

  6. Go to File > Import > Georeferenced raster , change import setting mode to ‘As Raw’ , Subdivision to ‘Subsurf’ and ‘CRS’ to ‘WGS84 lation’. Pick your GeoTiff DEM file you just created and import. You will notice that the addon created 2 modifier to your mesh: Subdivision Surface and Displace. Tweak those parameters as you wish.
    (Note that if you choose ‘Mesh’ for Subdivision, it will create a very high-res version, around 1,5~ million faces) (Optionally you can switch to Cycles render to see the mesh better).

  7. Repeat steps for other .hgt files. Notice that other GeoTiff DEM files will correctly place to their coordinates.

I hope this helps, good luck! :slight_smile:

Here is the result:


Thanks for that. I am having trouble with the last step. Once imported into Blender all i get is a long vertical line. Any suggestions?

Did you set scene georeferencing to web mercator as explained at step 5?

Edit: I think import option CRS has to be: WGS84 lation . That should fix it. I’ll add this to the steps.


Edit: solved! Thanks to the BlenderGIS developer, who got back to me on GitHub.

The options are in the bottom left of the import window for the georeferenced raster import. They pop up when you import SHP files (which I had been doing earlier), so I guess my brain just couldn’t get beyond that.

Now importing happily. Thanks for the tutorial.

Old message preserved for posterity …

Thanks for the nicely written tutorial. Much appreciated. It got me quite excited, but sadly when I import my

GeoTIFF it is just a blank rectangle. I know the file has height data, because I can see it using the Manifold viewer.

I notice that I don’t have the CRS option in the BlenderGIS addon (see attached images). Maybe something has changed recently. There is a Spatial Reference System option in Preferences, but I don’t think that is the same thing. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

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