Three-dimensional terrain models are used not only for geographical analysis but also for entertainment application such as movies and video games. These applications do not require exact numerical values for models. It is only necessary to make terrain model look natural. However most existing methods for terrain modeling require precise numerical control. Some systems allow the user to paint 2D height fields for terrain models, but it is not easy to edit 2D height field appropriately to obtain a scene that has a specific appearance from a given viewpoint.

We developed a system where the user can design the terrain model more intuitively. The user edits 3D geographical model by drawing 2D strokes on the model directly. Whenever a stroke is drawn, this system generates a terrain model whose silhouette conforms to the stroke on the screen. The system also supports the construction of more natural look by adding a noise.


  • Demo(source) - Sun Java™ 1.4- runtime is required.
  • jogl ver. (source) - Sun Java™ 1.4- runtime & jogl are required.


Nayuko Watanabe, Takeo Igarashi "A Sketching Interface for Terrain Modeling" SIGGRAPH 2004 Posters