What program do i need for underwater maps

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by globalmark, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    May 3, 2008

    I want to draw some 3d underwater maps - covering Basic Topography , but also sometimes wrecks, sand and rock formations, if i can add fish would be great - I need a simple Program that I can draw (model, whatever it's called)
    So need to show Surface bottom - underwater formations/reefs, wrecks, marine life , coral patches etc.

    I want to print out and use where I work in diving.

    Any advise or what program should I use would be great cheaper the better also. As I have only ever used 2d drawing maps before but want to try 3d.

    thanks Mark
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2010
    Why do you want to make rough approximations yourself?

    Would you not want to use an automated 3D sonar mapping system?
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2008
    yes I would love to use underwater sonar system, However I usually dive in Remote locations round the world and thats something I do not have,is very expensive,and not something the Average dive centre has usually so hand draw map or a Basic computer drawn map is the thing most would use for dive briefings but i would like to try and draw a 3D map - so Suggestions on programs would be great.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    If you're using DEM I would personally use Global Mapper Gold or Esri.

    But it really depends what you're after, will the mapping be ingested into other applications, or it is purely graphical (no need for mapping) then you could do it in Illustrator or Photoshop then put it into MAYA or 3DSMAX and extrude the typography from the bump mapping (I do this on broadcast 3d Maps).
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2008

    No the maps don't need to be in other Applications if they are finished then I will print Laminate and use when Briefing on Dive Boat- Just something fairly simple that can give a good reprensation of reef, rock formation, etc maybe i can add a few arrows for current direction, text to write depths, contours, maybe even some fish, corals etc.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Then I would probably go with Illustrator (of Inkscape, it's free), it will allow to to trace a bitmap then add the things you want plus there will be no loss of quality depending on the output.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2008
    hi ezekielrage_99

    Thanks for that I will have a Look on google to see if it's what i need but sounds about right
    thanks for the info
  8. macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2007
    May I suggest Sketchup - Google make a free version and although it is 3D software so you have to learn a few more concepts than 2D software such as inkscape - it is the most accessible of all the 3D programs I have ever used and there are plenty of youtube vids, here's one:


    It is maybe a little more suited to making maps with depth but you do have to learn how to manipulate stuff in 3D, this vid is really usefull in teaching the basics


    Hope that is interesting,

  9. thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2008
    Hi dan

    Thanks for that info and Links , had a Look and Play seems good , but cannot find yet how to make odd shapes , most underwater is random rock formations or reefs , so need somehow to draw a basic mound (small mountain not uniform).
    Thanks for the Help I will continue to play maybe i can find on utube how to do that.

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