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Click here to see whats new in version 5.0

Available for Mac and Windows.

Mac version supports 32 and 64-bit Macs!

Fast, realistic ray tracing and intuitive controls
It's easy to adjust the lighting, shadows, reflection, and many other settings. You can learn the program and get great results right away!

Natural object creation tools
Create rocks, clouds, bushes, oak, redwood, palm and sweetgum trees with the built-in object generators.

Visual terrain loading screen
Just click on the state map to quickly locate and load the area you want. Easily loads and combines multiple areas.

100% coverage of USA
Fourteen 3D terrain CD-ROMs (available separately) contain over 54,000 high resolution terrain models. The program CD-ROM includes 960 models.

Imports USGS terrain models
You can load and combine USGS DEMs (7.5 minute and 1 degree), SDTS DEMs, and GTOPO 30 files. See what Natural Scene Designer can do with USGS terrain models and map overlays.

Imports and renders 3D objects
Objects can scaled, rotated, and moved.

360 degree panoramas
Natural Scene Designer can create 360 degree panoramas from any location. Then you can interactively view the scene in all directions. See an example.

Exports terrain models
You can export a terrain as a DEM, DXF, 3DS, grayscale, PGM, or 3DMF file along with a matching color map.

Ray tracing, optimized for natural landscapes, provides the greatest level of realism. A Quick Test renderer allows you to check scene composition instantly. The ray tracing renderer features anti-aliasing, shadows, reflections, and transparency.

Mac OS X Support
Supports Intel and PowerPC based Macintosh computers running Mac OS 10.4 or higher. .

Dual Processor Support
Utilizes dual processors simultaneously during ray tracing resulting in nearly a 2X speed improvement!

The built-in animation system lets you draw a camera flight path on the map and create an animation. The camera can be set to automatically bank (like an airplane) around curves. 3D objects and clouds can be set in motion during an animation. They are saved as QuickTime movies. Animations can be rendered in multiple sessions.

Terrain Editor
Includes a built in terrain editor. You can easily change the elevation in areas of the terrain, or use tools to raise or lower it, while blending it into the surroundings. The previous terrain edit can be undone if desired.

QuickTime VR
Natural Scene Designer can create 360 degree panoramas from any location. Then interactively view the scene in all directions using a movie player program. See an example.

Terrain Models
The CD-ROM included with this program contains nearly one thousand 30 meter terrain models of California and Nevada. A Mars terrain with a matching photograph overlay is included also. Natural Scene Designer can automatically combine multiple adjacent terrain models, so you are not limited to working with only one at a time.

Map Window
The Map window shows a shaded relief view of the terrain. It also shows the current camera location, field of view, flight path, and 3D objects placed in the scene. The program can zoom in on an area of interest up to a magnification factor of 512X. A profile mode is available to show the altitude changes of the camera flight path.

Camera Window
The Camera window always shows the current view. Push buttons let you easily pan or move the camera viewpoint.

Input File Formats
Natural Scene Designer imports Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), SDTS files, NED files (BIL, GridFloat, TIFF DEM), SRTM (Space Shuttle) and GTOPO 30 files from the U.S. Geological Survey. 3D Studio (3DS) and QuickDraw 3D (3DMF) objects may be imported and placed in scenes. Textures (if present) are mapped to the object and rendered.

Output File Formats
Natural Scene Designer exports grayscale DEMs, grayscale PGM, USGS DEMs, 3DS, 3DMF and DXF files for use in other 3D programs. Rendered images can be saved as TIFF, JPEG or PICT. Animations are saved as QuickTime files. 360 degree panoramas may be saved as QuickTime VR movie files.

Trees and Bushes
Add realistic bushes. redwood, oak, palm, and sweet gum trees to your landscape scenes. The size, leaf and bark colors, leaf percent, elevation range and density of coverage can be changed.

The size and shape of each rock, its color, texture, and other parameters are adjustable. A wide variety of rocks can be created.

Sky and Clouds
To add realism and depth, Natural Scene Designer lets you choose sky colors or a blend to create a gradual transition from the sky zenith to the horizon. The amount of haze is adjustable. Natural Scene Designer uses fractal methods to create realistic cirrus and cumulus clouds. You can set the cloud altitude, density of coverage, speed and their direction of movement during animations.

Natural Scene Designer can ray trace water realistically using it's natural properties of transparency, reflection, and refraction. Add lakes to a landscape by clicking over the desired lake location in the Map window. Specify an ocean level to fill the terrain below the chosen level.

System Requirements - Mac
A PowerPC or Intel based Macintosh running MacOS MacOS X 10.4 or later, 512 MB of RAM, and a CD-ROM drive.