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About the Authors

Igor V. Florinsky

Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology, Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Pushchino, 142290, Moscow Region, Russia,

Sergey V. Filippov

Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology, Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Pushchino, 142290, Moscow Region, Russia,


Three-dimensional modeling is one of the data processing steps, which is important for further adequate perception of the information on spatially distributed objects, phenomena, and processes. Three-dimensional terrain modeling based on digital elevation models (DEM) using simple orthographic and perspective projections is a standard procedure implemented in many commercial and open-source geoinformation systems. However, features of standard geoinformation tools may be insufficient for three-dimensional visualization solving major scientific problems. In this article, we describe and illustrate a methodology developed to generate three-dimensional terrain models using the free open-source Blender package (its brief characteristics are presented). As an initial data, we used a testing DEM for a portion of the central part of the Arctic Ocean floor extracted from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean Version 3.0. The developed methodology for generation of three-dimensional terrain models includes the following key stages: (1) Automatic creating a polygonal object by means of a special Python script; (2) Selecting a vertical exaggeration scale; (3) Selecting a method for smoothing the geometry of a three-dimensional model; (4) Selecting a number of lighting sources and their location; (5) Selecting a material for the model surface and a shading method; (6) Overlaying thematic textures on the three-dimensional model; (7) Rendering the model. The developed methodology will be used as a basis for the implementation of the project on the creation of an information and computing system for morphometric modeling of the topography of the Arctic Ocean floor. The system will be designed for information support of hydrographic, marine geomorphological, geological, geophysical, and oceanological studies in the Arctic Region.


visualization, digital terrain modeling, 3D modeling, computer graphics, Python.


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For citation: Florinsky I.V., Filippov S.V. THREE-DIMENSIONAL TERRAIN MODELING: APPLICATION OF THE BLENDER PACKAGE Proceedings of the International conference “InterCarto/InterGIS”. 2018;24(2):250–261