I have an different use for 3d than games. I am trying to visualize terrain that has changed over time - e.g. land as it was 1 million years ago, 500k years ago and 10 years ago. I have what is basically a heightmap for each “age” and associated color data for each vertex, but I have several different display needs:
- Display one or more of the terrains at the same time. Since it is a sediment model, the younger terrains will always have a greater y-value than older terrain, so I am not worried about overlap.
- Display a 3d cube that can be sliced along any plane (XY, XZ, YZ) and show an interpolated view of that surface. I don’t know if that is clear, so an analogy might help. Assume I have a multicolored block of clay. I want to be able to chop it in half and look at what the exposed walls of the pieces look like.
- A combination of those two. Basically, starting with a scene that has all of the terrains in a stack with empty space between (#1), I want to be able to slice them and see what it looks like as in #2.
So, I am trying to figure out the best way to accomplish all of this. I have taken a look at the terrain capabilities and it looks like a perfect fit for #1 except that I need multiple layers and the ability to slice into it to accomplish #3. I have also looked at directly building the meshes for each layer, but that looks like the sliced-views are still difficult and it is more work to build the meshes than using the capabilities built into the terrain tools.
I was wondering if someone had tackled this, or a similar problem before.