Buildings in 3D!
I recently figured out there’s a fantastic addon to Blender which can import buildings from Openstreetmap data. The result is that you can render a real city, or edit it to your will, with all the goodies that Blender 3D has. Neat! The possibilities are endless.
- download the importer script
- go to the Openstreetmap web site
- select an area of a map you want in your Blender 3D
- click open the ‘Export’ tab next to map
- Click ‘Export’ button below the map
- find your download .osm map data file
- open Blender
- import the .osm data: set parameters, and go!
Openstreetmap is done by people, for people. It’s basically 2D vector map, which has a lot of metadata on objects.
The key called ‘height’ in Openstreetmap data
The metadata associaeted with buildings in Openstreetmap is being used to create the 3-dimensional building. Whereas we might at first be tempted to think that Openstreetmap map data would leave us guessing the building heights, this is luckily not true. There’s a key called ‘height’ in OSM data.
You can quickly create realistic grounds for your fictional or real city. This, in fact, has been a dream of mine for a long time. I kind of vaguely imagined that there would be possibility to do the import, but how feasible? Well, it’s totally feasible!
The result to expect of city data from OSM
- 3D lowpoly buildings
- typically buildings consist of 6..50 faces
- real walking paths (walks) will be represented as Blender’s “Paths”
- you can set the vertical scale before Importing. This decides how much height a building will get for each ‘level’ in Openstreetmap
- you can modify quite easily the .py python importer source code to change details of the import for your needs
Step-by-step: import Openstreetmap map data
Here’s the steps to follow:
- install the addon to Blender (instructions)
- activate the addon in Blender’s menus (User Preferences)
- select a rectangular area from Openstreetmap web page
- Export the area from Openstreetmap
- Import the exported .osm file into Blender
I’m practising visualizing things and places, for a Teknovelho novel that I write. Wait.. ‘a’ Teknovelho novel? Yes.
TV 1 begins the series. Do you know h.. ahh. Okay, it’s still in Finnish. I hope that I can bring it to English one of these days!
Back to the track: it’s somewhat therapeutic to visualize things, compared to the book-writing agony.