Create a hilly landscape from multiple control points in surface layer?


I have a large surface layer rougly 100x1000m with a surface layer with a control point grid of around 2x2m. I used this small grid in order to create a narrow river running in the landscape (surface). Now I want to create a hilly landscape next to the river.

My problem is that whenever I select multiple control points and use gumball to increase the height, all control points move up uniformly and thus the hill becomes a plateau. I am looking for something where the innermost control point of my selection moves further up than the outer most. So that the shape becomes a more organic slope.

Is there a quick way of doing this? I need a relatively quick way since there may be many many many… hills in this landscape.

2 quick ideas:

1: use an image height map. That way you can create your hills and rivers in something like photoshop (although there are plenty of tools capable of this, even online).

2: if you want to actually move grid points then I would use Grasshopper. There you can build something where you pick a point and it selects the surrounding points and moves them up as a function of their distance from the moving point and you could use Graph Mapper to adjust the slope.

Option 1 I think will be better in your case unless there is a reason you need to stick to that 2x2 m grid of points.

Thanks for your suggestions!

  1. How does that work in Photoshop, since you dont have any z values? I was thinking I could adjust height data in GIS in a DEM, but I thought it may not be very easy.

  2. This seem like more straightforward to me, although I dont actually know how grasshopper works. Will try to figure it out tonight!

Hi @Eliash
SoftMove and SoftTransform might be of use.
HTH, Jakob

1 Like

For 1 it is just a black and white image. Just take a look at some images:

It might be easier to draw the kind of landscape you have in mind and it’s actually easier to adjust because you can use all image filters. Say you want your landscape smoother > blur the image, etc.

Doing it in Grasshopper is certainly not a beginners task, but gives you a lot of freedom to adapt. Actually you would probably use Grasshopper to apply the height map image, but that is a lot easier.

Thanks! Will try it out.

  1. Are you saying I can make height maps simply by drawing in a grayscale? Fascinating, I never thought about that.

  2. I saw on youtube some tutorials for Graph Mapper in Grasshopper, but would you recommend any specific resource for this purpose of learning? What makes it so hard for a beginner you think?

  1. yes. I don’t know if you can do it straight in Rhino. There you would use it as a displacement texture. I think you would use this: Displacement properties | Rhino 3-D modeling and then ExtractRenderMesh | Rhino 3-D modeling. Of course that means you would end up with a mesh.

You can also use Grasshopper for this and would have a lot more control over it.

  1. Well it involves quite a few steps and I think 1 or 2 plugins. I can show you a simple example for strategies 1 and 2 tomorrow when I am back in the office.

Work in progress, SoftMove was quite helpful when I learned how to work with it! Thank you :slight_smile:

However, some curves got totally messed up. Is there a way to reset a bunch of control points to a certain height?

Try setptcommand and only tick Z

1 Like