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Texture2HeightMap Bundle

This section introduces heightmap and extrusion solutions based on plug-ins and custom HLSLobject shaders. These CPU and GPU solutions have different merits (see comparison for details). To get inspired, visit the application showcase. LDR and HDR textures are supported. Compound height maps are supported. See Technical Discussion for details.

This collection enhances and stabilizes some previously published work, it is geared to speed up serious project developments. This solution package provides acces to both robust Texture2HeightMap solutions (Plug-In, and HLSLshader) , including annotated demo *.cgr. Trials are here not available. Initial e-mail support is granted. Plug-In compiled for 4.2.3. only. A version for 5.0 is under investigation. Read the manual pages.

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Plug-In Texture2HeightMap

Terrain HeightMap with Collision Detection


The plug-in Texture2HeightMap produces a hight map. It constructs a plane with a amount of vertices corresponding to the texture resolution. The vertices are then extruded to the amount of the weighted RGB value of each pixel. The maximum supported texture resolution is implementation dependent, test indicate an upper limit of 2048 or more.

This plug-in produces regular 3DObjectData, which can be stored and reused. Collision detection is supported. This custom channel is most suitable for occasional usage. The channel is optimized for robustnes, it accepts only textures of equal with and height. The 3D ObjectData size is normalized, and fits under normal conditions into the upper half of a standard box.

Textures can be of any origin. and of any color model. The plug-in sees just tree streams of 8 bit data. Advanced features include to set individual Value weights to each color channel. This enables elevations below zero too. A switch an be set to clamp negative results. This allows creative solutions (see Application Showcase).

Acknowledgement: This channel is a spinoff, based on the forum contribution Heightmap Channel. Programming sources and free versions of a HeightMapChannel.dll are available there as well.

Further technical discussion can be found [here]. This solution is sold as part of a bundle.

HLSLobject Texture2HeightMap

Earth with HLSLobject Texture2HeightMap


The custom HLSLobject channel Texture2Extrusion uses shader programming. This shader resides in the GPU and is good for high-frequency usage. It is applicable for almost any 3DObjectData input, notably for (imported) planes and spheres. As the original 3D ObjectData is not modified, collision test are not meaningful. The custom HLSLobject channel is made available as part of a cgr. Copy it from there into your new project.

The use the MedaTexture channel as texture source will result in very dynamic changes. Another way to produce dynamics is to modify texture content with the SetTexturePixel plug-in.

For more examples, see the Application Showcase. Further technical discussion can be found [here]. This solution is sold as part of a bundle.


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