DEM Data & Greebling
Digital elevation model data or DEM is a kind of topographical data collected by satellites which can be used to recreate accurate 3D reliefs of landscapes. Clearly the potential use of DEM in C4D is huge, below are some of my first experiments with DEM. Using a simple octane mix material I overlaid a diffused white material and metallic black border with gold graphic details. The landscape I selected was a valley in Idaho which had an interesting ravine. Though the Data is originally collected for scientific purposes as much as it is used for visualisation, the ability to find implement DEM data from across the globe makes it an incredibly valuable resource.
Revisiting this technique with more GPU’s (as Octane is a GPU renderer) should allow me to render some higher quality elevation maps, perhaps using them not as miniatures but as terrain on the horizon. DEM could be used for anything a top down miniature map for a war room or a huge mountain range. In much the same way as Greebling, it's a great way of introducing complex visual information into a scene without having to create a large amount of geometry or spend hours modelling.
Greebling is something that we’ve all seen but most people aren’t aware of the word. It’s a kind of visual technobabble, most typically used on the exterior of spacecraft, from Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey to Lucas's Star wars greebling is everywhere. Its the paneling on the side of millennium falcon and the trenches on the surface of the Death Star. Originally used on practical models and miniatures in film it is great for adding visual information to a scene through textures without introducing new geometry.
Using Octanes dirt map I gave a golden edge to the greebling material and ended up with somewhat of a microchip aesthetic, like tiny golden circuitry. depending on the displacement of the texture the effect can be a subtle paneling across a surface or an extrusion city scape of high rise buildings. I used a software called JSplacment to create the black and white greebling texture maps, it allows you to manipulate and customise randomly generated shapes to create mosaics of techy information. I learnt about Jsplacment from Nikolaus Schatz who learnt about it himself from pixelrocket.
Check out some of my other projects below.