Hi !

I'm looking for an 'effect' or plug-in to do some contouring / posterising beyond side-effects of other tools.

I'm playing with gray-scale height maps, that can be used as bump-map in eg Poser Superfly renders to add surface detail or, applied to a ground plane and displacement dialled up, up, up, become topography.


This is a convenient work-around for eg dozen megabyte, FBX mega-poly terrain models, whose complex geometry routinely chokes PoserPro 11.3 (x64) despite my custom CAD Tower's 8 cores, two GPU cards and 32 GB RAM...

Sometimes such models include a height-map, per my fun example above. Else I take the texture map, or even eg a Google Earth map snap-shot, convert to gray-scale. Sometimes enhancement required, sometimes not. IrfanView's familiar image tools handle such well.

Going the other way, from gray-scale height map to plausibly textured terrain, is harder.
IIRC, the technique is 'contouring', often with algorithms developed from 'posterising'. Dedicated 'terrain modelling' software usually offers an elevation-coded gradation of colours from valley-bottom to bare or snow-capped heights.

Does IrfanView have a plug-in or effect that can morph a smoothly gray-scaled height map to 'many' contour bands ? From 'sand-pile' to 'layer-cake' / 'bread & butter build' ??

Or directly apply an elevation-coded colour gradation to the gray-scale ??

I've had a play with the 'standard' effects, can't see any obvious solutions. The nearest candidate produces too few zones...

Ideas ??