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Conversion of bitmaps to heightmaps

To create a heightfield from a bitmap with the idea of creating in the end a 3D mesh all you need to do is use the File menu, Open Image File... item, select the photo (or any bitmap image really), and click on OK:

Getting a heighfield from a bitmap or photo

Just for fun I'll use a bitmap which creates circular ripples:

How to create a heightfield from a bitmap

h You'll see in the center of the righthand window the words:

"Click here and drag mouse to rotate"

If you click and drag the mouse in that window you will be able to view the 3d heightmap from various directions:

Heightfield viewed from direction A Heightfield viewed from direction B

Depending on your final use for the heightfield mesh you have created, you may want to reduce the height of the ondulations. You can do that by changing the Mesh Height edit box. The two bitmaps above have a setting of 5, setting it to 1% would give you a heightfield like this:

Heighfield with reduced height Heighfield with reduced height

The heightfield can be saves as a DXF mesh or an STL (Stereolithographic) file which you can import into your CAD or CAM program.

Here is another screenshots showing an hexagonal object rather than a flat one:

For another conversion example click here.

3D printing and PhotoToMesh have been combined to create a great teaching resourse:

Bas Relief of Saturn for 3D printing...

In this way sight impaired students can get a real feel, excuse the pun, for the shape of distant objects, or objects too small to touch.

PhotoToMesh is a Windows program and you can download a free demo by clicking on the button below:




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