Re: calling all uber geeks

From: Joe Smigiel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 04/20/04-10:17:13 AM Z
Message-id: <>

>>> 04/20/04 11:20 AM >>>

Here's my thinking on this, along with a couple of questions. First, the
questions, if I recall correctly, an stl file is a 3D file, and if that
is correct, then what I am guessing you want to do is make a 'textured'
surface print? The rest of my comments are based on this assumption, of
making this textured print.

I think the answer you are looking for in this case might be in the
realm of terrain mapping. When I was in architecture school in the
early/mid 90's I would take arial or sattelite images and be able to
make a 3D terrain model into which I could insert my 3D model of the

Here's a bit of the theory of how it worked. The arial photos would be
in greyscale, adjusted so that pure white was the highest point of the
ground, and pure black would be lowest, and the shades of grey would be
somewhere in between. The software would interpolate the pixels and
build a 'mesh' that would approximate the surface.

Although the only time I made any physical 3D
prototype was of a building model, and it was pretty cool to see
something come out of the screen into a piece of platic.

Once, late at night in the school's computer lab, for kicks, I had taken
a photo of my face and made a mesh out of it.. it was pretty weird
looking, but then again, some say I am too :-)

As for software, I am a bit out of touch in this realm, as I last did
anything like this in the late 90's, but being the pack-rat that I am, I
probably have some of the software backed up that I could refer to and
point you in the right direction.

I hope this helps,


Dwayne and Barry, et. al.,

This sounds a lot like what KPT/Metacreations Bryce software is able to
do. You can import a digital photograph and make a terrain
map/wireframe representation from it with highlights representing higher
elevations. It might be worthwhile checking into the software although
I'm not sure it can save files as the specific 3D extension you need or
if you could export them to the model machine. There were a number of
saving options available but unfortunately I cannot check the software
as my computer is now running Mac OS-X and the Bryce software I have is
for OS-9. The software lets you manipulate elevations by
burning/dodging, "eroding" the surface, etc. The software is generally
used to create pictorial digital landscapes.

Received on Tue Apr 20 10:33:53 2004

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