Satellite image texture for landscape

Hey guys, I am working on project where I need to have large landscape (8 km x 8 km). Landscape will be covered with high res satellite image (similar quality as highest google maps zoom). However, this would require some mega texture, because 4096x4096 is not even close to required quality. I can think about one solution which requires me to create landscape in 3ds max, cut it into smaller parts and then apply different material to every chunk. Do you have some suggestion on how to reach that quality without hacks ? What is proper way of doing something like that ?

There’s a plugin for 3ds Max that can get terrain meshes and get satellite textures from Google Earth: Terrain «

If the resolution of google-maps is ok for you, then you can bring this in:


TerreSculptor also reads and writes most Digital Elevation Model files, including SRTM data etc., which you can download the DEM data for free from a number of locations and government websites.
DEM data covers pretty much all of the earth at various resolutions.
TerreSculptor will spit out a heightmap file that you can use in UE3, UE4, and most other engines.
You can then either obtain high-resolution textures of that region from a number of sites, including Google, or better yet simply generate weightmaps or splatmap files and use high quality tileable textures for grass rock etc. which will look much better.
I did a licensee tutorial back on the Unreal Engine 3 documentation on using Google Earth overlays and such, and while they are passable for flight games, they are too poor quality for on-ground games.

If you would like more information on TerreSculptor reply back or google it.
It is available in free and paid editions.
The TerreSculptor wiki also has a list of DEM file web sites where you can download digital elevation data.

Thank you guys, that plugin is awesome, but I guess 200$ is too much for uni project. However, what do you suggest me to do with satellite image with size like 10000x10000px ? Maybe split it to 1024x1024 textures and split also mesh into same chunks ? Or do you have some easier solution on your minds ? :slight_smile:

You can map multiple textures onto a terrain in Unreal. You get one set of textures per block. Blocks are much smaller than the full terrain.
So, you can perhaps hack it like so:
Define one “layer” per source texture you’re using. Then, fill block 1 with exactly all layer 1, fill block 2 with exactly all layer 2, … and map the textures to layers.
The cooking mechanism will strip out the textures that are not needed from each block.
It may be hard to deal with the edges, though, as each edge vert wants a different texture depending on which block it is.

Or define a large number of terrain objects, one per source texture :slight_smile:

Yeah, you’d have to split it up. Note though that with some really high numbers of maps you run out of GPU memory, so it depends on the size of the surface and the amount of detail you want.