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Bird's Eye Views

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Tom Patterson of the U. S. National Park Service has published a 32 page paper on the creation of bird's eye views. The paper, published in NACIS’ fall issue of Cartographic Perspectives, is available on his Shaded Relief website and is in pdf format. Also available are numerous examples. From the abstract: “A brief historical review looks at the antecedents of current NPS products dating back to the Renaissance. The practical second half of the paper focuses on how the NPS now designs these bird’s-eye views with 3D software, with an eye toward cost savings. Topics include viewing parameters in a 3D scene, preparing DEMs, modeling buildings, designing trees, and creating environmental special effects.” Patterson points out in his paper that “If the output from 3D software has a visual fault it is the tendency for it to look hyper-realistic—too smooth, shiny, and simulated.” The paper contains numerous tips for the creation of a realistic bird’s eye illustration.

By way of Cartotalk.

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