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I'm very new to blender but keen to learn more. I have used a lot of 2 and 3D modelling packages as well as a number of GIS applications.

I'm just trying to work out if I can model a fluid flow over a surface, ie a DTM (digital Terrain model) which I understand needs impotent as a tiff or similar image file.

What I want to do is simulate flood water across a surface/DTM.

If so, is there somewhere that would help me get started?

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    $\begingroup$ Will you add more to your question, making it more specific? Also when you say DTM do you mean "demographic transition model"? $\endgroup$ – David Apr 22 '15 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand what exactly you mean by flow, but maybe this answer will help you: blender.stackexchange.com/a/26048/1853 $\endgroup$ – cegaton Apr 22 '15 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Blender has no built in support for most of the formats used in GIS software. DEM, DTMs and other geo-referenced formats need to bee converted to somehting blender can read. If you can get Elevation Maps as Tiff, JPEG or PNG then you can use those to displace a plane to recreate terrain elevation. See blender.stackexchange.com/questions/27451/… $\endgroup$ – cegaton Apr 23 '15 at 1:23
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Starting with a landscape.

enter image description here

Place a plane where your water should be.

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(It doesn't have to be that big I just made it big for clarity, all you need is the plane to be as big as the water surface.)

In Edit Mode subdivide the plane.

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Add a subdivision Surface modifier and a Displace modifier.

In the display modifier select Texture. (A new one will be created if there are none)

Assign the texture to be used as displacement. I used a wood Texture, but it's up to you how you want the water to flow.

Play with the Strength settings to get the right height for the displacement.

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To animate the displacement.

Create an Empty and add a couple of keyframes for the motion.

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On the displace modifier set the Texture coordinates as Object and Assign the Empty as the object.

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A different way to do this in a less computationally-intensive way is not using a displacement for the geometry, but simulating the displacement on the plane.

On the material node use a Texture and connect it to the displacement input.

enter image description here

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And animate the texture coordinates to simulate the water flow.

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