Blender can make mountains from height maps, and this is a tutorial to show you how. The height map I've used is represented by a grayscale bitmap. Black being the lowest point, white the highest. Blender is able to deform a mesh based on the pixel colour of a texture. Download the following height map of two New Zealand mountains, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.png, for use in the tutorial.
The height map was created by University of Otago - National School of Surveying who have published it at Koordinates, and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Blender is free, and open source, from blender.org. It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. This tutorial is for Blender versions 2.5 & 2.6.
When Blender is first opened there is a cube in the middle of the screen. To delete this, Right Click on the cube >> press X >> Enter.
|Next you will need a heightmap to work with. So download Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe.png. This is an image of two mountains found on a volcanic plataeu in the North Island of New Zealand. You can make your own heightmaps by opening your favourite photo editor or painting program and using a grayscale palette to draw high areas in lighter shades and low areas with darker shades. At the end of this tutorial you can read about sourcing heightmaps for other parts of the Earth.|
|After it is imported you'll see a gray plane in your 3d viewport.|
, from to . This will prevent your model from looking strange by putting the texture in the right place on the plane.
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