Topographical (contour lines) material for sculpting

  • April 04, 2015
  • 1 Like
  • Blender 2.8x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: shadowphile
  • License: CC-BY
You must be logged in to download.


'Topo' material: Elevation contour lines to use while sculpting landscapes. Designed for sculpting, not rendering.

New 3.0 Version, renamed to 'Bandsaw'. New: Color by slope instead of elevation. Zoom into the slightest changes in slope angle. Tilt world axis! Good for tilted strata or overhangs, or perhaps mapping the slope of a road Shaded contours, more line controls, cleaner panel layout. 100's of nodes in this material for the dweebs to mess with; hopefully they like vector mathematics!

New 2.0 version, tutorial on youtube: Same as embedded video below. Its 14 minutes long and I walk through how to set it up and take advantage of all the features. It has sound and my boring voice but at least the sound is high quality. :)

New features compared to 1.0: -Now lines are the same thickness regardless of the slope. Very flat slopes used to spread the lines widths so much they would completely spread out. This took a lot of tricky math but the results were worth it. -Line width control. -Turn lines on and off. -Renderable. (this is supposed to be a tool for sculpting but renderings look really nice.)


  • lendrom profile picture

    Hey. It looks very nice. I've recently worked on some similar concepts - materials for rendering some 3D GIS analyses on terrain models - slope, aspect, contour lines, hypsometry... materials for some of them are on: But your materials look much more advanced than mine. I'm really interested in how you made the contour lines so smooth. I definitely must examine your nodes setup deeper. Thanks for sharing. lendrom

    Edited April 28, 2015
  • shadowphile profile picture

    Posted Lollipop 2.0 today. Total redesign. Thanks lendrom: ver 1 used a side-projection method of pre-rendered gradient contours because I couldn't get certain nodes to work. The advantage is that it is resolution independent (of the model). The gradient resolution from top to bottom was 4096, could have used a lot more if necessary.
    But....I worked out the node problem and now have a much better version. Now all graphics are calculated based on normals and height, etc. Lines are not quite as smooth but..ahem...the lines stay the same width regardless of the slope, which is very cool. Took some tricky math. It now has more controls because everything is calculated. Take a look.

    Edited April 30, 2015
  • rovy profile picture

    Thank you for your work, it seems awesome! However the file seems to be broken, i get a .html file instead of a .zip, i don't know if i'm the only one

    Written July 09, 2018
  • melonmonkey profile picture

    hey there, sadly the download button leads me to an error 404. is there any similar material i could use?

    Written November 01, 2019
  • shadowphile profile picture

    Hi, just discovered this! I will be fixing this asap. This was one of my favorite projects since I haven't seen any contour shaders. I haven't check this in 2.8 either.

    Written December 03, 2019
  • shadowphile profile picture

    Actually, keep a lookout. After testing in 2.8 I intend to delete this post and repost with revamped add and pics. Also, since the site changed I've lost all of my likes and I had a very high ratio of likes per download!

    Written December 03, 2019