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HomeMotion GraphicsCreate Actual-World 3D Terrain in C4D with DEM Earth

Create Actual-World 3D Terrain in C4D with DEM Earth

Animating maps generally is a tough and tedious course of. Let’s learn to expedite the method.

I’ve been creating cartographic visualizations in Adobe After Results for the previous few years, and many consumers are asking for more and more advanced animations. There’s a rising demand for 3D visuals like detailed 3D terrain with extruded buildings. These components are particularly exhausting to drag off in Adobe After Results, so I’ve just lately jumped over to Cinema4D.

Why Cinema 4D, you ask? DEM Earth is the reply.

What’s a DEM? 

The DEM in DEM Earth stands for Digital Elevation Mannequin. It’s basically the peak information of a particular space, and it displays the elevation ranges of the naked floor. 3D applications use this information to generate stunning 3D terrain. 

What is DEM

Nonetheless, manually creating 3D terrain with DEMs generally is a headache-inducing expertise. Simply try my try inside Blender. That’s why DEM Earth for Cinema4D is such a sexy and highly effective device. You get to skip a boatload of steps within the mapmaking course of.

So what can it do? Nicely, let’s have a more in-depth look. 

What You Can Do With DEM Earth

Generate Landscapes

The actual energy of this device is within the identify. DEM Earth mechanically downloads DEM information for you through the GeoCoder device. Merely kind in a location or a set of coordinates, and a brand new object will probably be created with the terrain already generated. That is implausible, particularly after experimenting with doing all of this manually inside Blender. 

DEM Earth Generate Landscapes

As soon as your object is created, you may transfer across the earth through a easy click on and drag or by manually tweaking the offset controls. Zoom in or out of the map through Space Zoom. To go to a totally totally different location, seek for it within the Geocoder once more. 

In case your terrain doesn’t have sufficient element, you’ve got a number of choices to spice up the standard. First, you might crank up the subdivisions all the way in which as much as 1000. You may also head over to the Information Supervisor dialogue field and swap the dataset to the next decision dataset (if it exists). 

To magnify the elevation of your terrain, try the remapping part of the Object tab. Or, if you happen to’re feeling loopy, crank up the Y scale. :/ 

Apply Textures

When including an object, the fabric ought to default to certainly one of a number of gradients presets. You possibly can swap between current gradient profiles within the gradient tab, relying on the topography with which you’re working. Or create one thing customized to suit your scene. 

DEM Earth Apply Textures 1

So as to add an current skilled map texture, go to the Map Loader tab. You’ll first must test the disclaimer checkbox, which basically explains that a lot of the imagery is underneath copyright. It’s your accountability to determine what imagery you should use relying on the place your content material finally ends up. Sadly, that is nonetheless a big impediment to creating map animations. 

DEM Earth Apply Textures 2

Subsequent, choose the imagery set, and obtain the layer. There are numerous choices from Bing, Google, Carto, Stamen, and others. To get higher-resolution imagery, bump up the Stage quantity. 

Pin Objects to Your Map

Pinpoints are an enormous a part of the DEM Earth workflow. They can help you connect a 3D object to your map and have it dynamically scale and transfer together with the panorama. There are a number of methods so as to add a pin to your map. 

DEM Earth Pinpoint 0

The GeoCoder device has a Make a Pin button, permitting you to rapidly add a pin after looking a location. Within the instance above, I searched the capital metropolis of Dominica. Discover the brand new label. A PinPoint is just an annotation that won’t seem in a render. 

With my new pin on my map, I’ll add a map marker beneath the pin within the Object Supervisor after which zero out the coordinates. Voila, my map marker is completely positioned and can dynamically transfer with the map. 

DEM Earth PinPoint

Oh yeah, and use the Route device to rapidly draw a path between two Pin Factors. VERY cool.

Simply Obtain Map Options

Lots of the instruments in DEM Earth will can help you pull information from OpenStreetMap (OSM) instantly. In case you’re unfamiliar, OSM is a library of open-source map information created and curated by customers worldwide.

The Poly Object device means that you can search Administrative boundaries and rapidly apply them to your mission. Use them to attract borders or masks elements of your map. They’re additionally glorious for isolating alternatives when downloading different OSM datasets.

DEM Earth OSM 1

On this instance, I used the Poly Object device to go looking the admin boundaries of Manhattan. I then used the Sensible OSM device to obtain all buildings (and simply the buildings) inside these boundaries. Sensible OSM can pull many options into C4D, together with highways, waterways, and so on.

With the constructing information utilized to my map, I can now use the Sensible Extruder to deliver this dataset to life.

DEM Earth OSM 2

What’s unbelievable is how snappy the response is when working with this information. I can’t think about making an attempt to do one thing comparable in After Results with the Cinema 4D renderer.

Remaining Ideas


I’ve solely had just a few weeks to mess around with this highly effective plugin for C4D, however I’m wildly impressed. And as you’d anticipate, I’ve solely scratched the floor of the huge characteristic assortment you’ll discover in DEM Earth. To see all of the options, try the product web page right here.

Now again to my maps…

For extra on 3D, try the next articles.



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