MoI for modeling of terrains

 From:  Michael Gibson
3551.2 In reply to 3551.1 
Hi David, another possibility would be a "heightfield" approach where you have the terrain as a bitmap image with different brightness pixels for different elevations.

Then you can use something like ZSurf to build a surface based off of that bitmap.

See these links for some discussion on ZSurf and a download link for it:

But it looks like you have some fairly steep slopes there, that may be more difficult to do with ZSurf.

Another thing that can work for this kind of stuff is the Patch command in Rhino, which can fit a surface through a set of contour lines. It may also be difficult to do things with steep slopes in it, but if you have Rhino available that could be something to try.

> Another question: any tips for made the surface between
> any curves who form a "Y" profile? (see the lat picture)

That's the kind of difficulties that you'll run into trying to use Loft for something like this that may have branching or separating profiles.

Instead of lofting, you could solve this by doing a different style of terraces by having each level only extruded straight instead of directly lofted between them. (which I see you mentioned - that solves this kind of problem though)

See here for an example:

Also I think that Pilou has a link in that thread there with some information on a terrain tool for SketchUp, that could possibly help you out for this task.

- Michael