The Terrain plugin for 3DS Max allows you to generate landscapes from real world elevation data in a couple of clicks. The plugin makes use of DEM data that is available freely on-line but instead of you having to locate the right DEM file for your needs, patching them together and importing the data manually our plugin allows you to directly set a latitude and longitude coordinate and the plugin will automatically locate the right data and import it into 3DS Max and generate a mesh to your desired level of detail. You are free to drag the location around and zoom in or out and the plugin will fetch any new data it needs and rebuild the mesh automatically. The data will be stored on your system so future alterations will not require data to be re downloaded. The elevation data is sampled at 90m intervals and also for the US you can select 30m interval data for even more accurate terrains.
The plugin allows you to color your mesh based on height with a user customizable color table. The sea level can be changed and you have the option to cap the mesh. At any time you can change the mesh density and you can select to use a given vertex budget or set the distance to use between vertices etc.
Another major feature of the plugin is the ability to use Google Earth to generate textures for your terrains (you should have Google Earth Pro if you plan on using the images for commercial use). You can tell the plugin the resolution of the texture you want to apply to your terrain mesh and it will automatically produce the texture for you.
You can find videos of the plugin at the Plugin Website
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