I am new to blender and here for a very specific task. I have a fixed geographic area defined by tif image (geotiff). Each pixel of this image has a height value. I have 100 such images of the same area, but value of pixel varies.

Case 1: Following a tutorial as here (Raster extrusion ) I am able to extrude pixel height for each image.

Now, I would like to add all these images as a sequence with increasing and decreasing heights. And make an animation to export to fbx animation.

Case 2: The second option i thought of is: I would like to animate these pixies based on the values they hold. For example I just keep one image, and for each pixel of this image be able to read a time series data file at different time frames. That is, imagine a text file having pixel ID, pixel height. So timeframe one is value v1, timeframe two is value v2..... till value v100. So the extrusion of pixel value varies on this sequence of values coming from a text file.

I feel the second case will look more elegant because then blender can interpolate pixel extrusion values between these timeframes. And again, I would like to export it as fbx animation that can be imported to unity.

Any guidance will be great help :)


You can use your images as an image sequence in Blender.

If the names of the images files are like this : enter image description here

You can setup this image sequence for the displacement modifier (like in the tutorial of your question).

Simply, use these parameters in the texture panel :

  • 1 : indicate here the first image
  • 2 : set the image sequence option
  • 3 : indicate the number of frames you need

enter image description here

Now to animate you can or use Alt + A (Esc to stop), or open a timeline view and move it manually.

enter image description here

Note : your second approach let think about "shape keys", but a shape key only allows to interpolate between 2 shapes of the mesh and not through the several steps you need (or there is something I don't know).

  • $\begingroup$ Hi, I am not sure of the second approach. Its just an idea. Here I explain more. $\endgroup$ – BKS Jul 5 '16 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, second approach, Its just an idea. Here I explain more. Examples I see online of blender animation are about moving one object (e.g.. cube) from x1,y1, z1 to x2, y2, z2. Keeping this in view. I was thinking that the raster image remains at a fixed location of the scene. Lets say the raster is extruded based on pixel height as in the tutorial. Now the upper face of this extruded pixel has certain z value. In my case, I was wondering if I can read, at each time frame, a z value for this upper face. I am assuming this can come from a text file that has pixel ID, time, pixel_value. $\endgroup$ – BKS Jul 5 '16 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Ok, but surely you'll need to code in Python (Blender allows to develop addons) to do that, as I don't know another way to read and use such files. But maybe someone else will give this kind of answer. $\endgroup$ – lemon Jul 5 '16 at 11:16
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, I am unable to get this image sequence. When you say: You can setup this image sequence for the displacement modifier . Do you mean I extrude all images individually and then add them to the scene? or can I apply modifier to all images at once. $\endgroup$ – BKS Jul 6 '16 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ all images at once. But you have to set the names of the files as shown in the example above $\endgroup$ – lemon Jul 6 '16 at 11:47

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