P3D v4 Basic Tutorial to Create New Mesh ?

Hi Folks,

I've messed with DEM over the years - is there a basic tutorial around somewhere on the steps involved to create a mesh in P3D ? I found only one video - in English - but that gentleman used Global Mapper for file processing and I'm not $500.00 worth of interested in this process - I'm a freeware guy... I also found a great tutorial from LockMart that did work around Ranger Creek in Washington - but it only focused on the photo imagery and not the improved mesh...

I know how to find and download the DEM - seems only the old USGS Earth Explorer has GEOTIFF format that I'm familiar with - I couldn't find any GEOTIFF's on the new USGS TNM Site...

So - yeah - I can download a GEOTIFF and I know how to use Resampler to create the new mesh defining it in the INF....

I did download QGIS and OSGeo4W - but honestly - I'm lost with it... I had used FW Tools in the past but that was a long time ago...

The parts I'm missing:
  • If some of the higher resolution data on the TNM site is better - I don't know how to process it...
  • If I only want a small subset of the GEOTIFF from Earth Explorer - what do I use to crop out the section I want - identifying the coordinates for Resampler ?
  • Any other intermediate processing between source files and feeding it into Resampler required ?

Last edited:
Hi Scott:

Do you have an example Geographic location in mind ?

How high of a resolution elevation source would you like to utilize ?

Prepackaged DEM / DTM data in 1 degree x 1 degree extents is commonly seen, although IIRC Earth Explorer allows selection / extraction coordinates.

After drawing a selection polygon in a GIS application, one can set elevation data points outside an area intended to be displayed ...with a NO_DATA attribute

That NO_DATA attribute can be can then be defined as a NullValue parameter value in the INF ...so it won't be rendered in FS at run time.

A mesh display priority work-around for smaller custom mesh areas to display on top of Geographically larger coverage extent BGLs is discussed here:


Hi Gary,

Thanks as always - yeah - been improving an area around KIWI - Wiscasset ME - just for my own amusement - and some of the hills seem a bit off when comparing to the photo terrain I put down - I realize I could work it with flattens - but since moving to P3D I've used nothing but default mesh - I don't know how much of an improvement I could make - I was curious - so I just wanted to try creating some improved mesh in the local vicinity of the airport to see if it improved things - and - to figure out how to do it... I'll check your link - LOL - I do search before posting - thanks again...

Hi again:

You have some rather good elevation data for that area available from the state GIS dept., and you could make up to a 2-Meter resolution terrain mesh. :idea:

The data is in a Digital Elevation Map (aka "DEM") format, and could be used to generate a Raster data set for FSX or P3Dv2.x/3.x/4.x SDK Resample via QGIS.


"MEDEM2 is a digital terrain elevation model of Maine with a 2 meter by 2 meter square grid or data spacing. Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is the terminology adopted by USGS to describe terrain elevation data sets in a digital raster form. The standard DEM consists of an array of elevations from ground positions at regularly spaced intervals, cast on a designated coordinate projection system. Elevation values are in meters. The data are a combination of DEMs from various lidar collections in Maine ranging from 2006 to 2012. The data overall are accurate to RSMEz 15cm. Where overlapping projects came together, the ArcGIS mosaic raster tool was used and the values were "blended" using that tool. For details on that process see the Esri documentation for that tool."

http://www.maine.gov/megis/catalog/ > Elevation and derived products > Digital Elevation Model - 2m from lidar (4/08/2013) <




NOTE: You may also be able to directly access desired MEDEM2 data in QGIS via the WMS feature option:


NOTE: Since MEDEM2 appears to omit the immediate ICAO KIWI airport area, you may be able to find local LIDAR coverage via NOAA's data listings:



And, of course, as you may already have discovered, there is even more detailed data available via the EarthExplorer web portal system. ;)

Hope this helps a bit more with your consideration of the source data options available for your example project area. :)

Last edited:
Hi Gary,

Plenty to digest - I’ll try and get some time to mess with this over the weekend... Thanks for your patience and sharing that wealth of knowledge of yours - once again - much appreciated... Have a good weekend...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk