Surface Chart 3D Terrain Generator

As a teenager I owned an Amiga 500 – that’s actually how I started (seriously) programming. Oh, the Motorola 68000 CPU was just great to write code on.
One of the neat things about the Amiga community were the “demos” that would come out. Demos are like a music video for your computer with emphasis on creating real-time graphic effects.
They were all about pushing the boundaries of what the architecture could achieve – quite a lot like the Excel community really.

One of the demos that really stuck in my head was a fractal landscape / terrain generator. I was fascinated that a computer could draw realistic mountains.
I’ve always wanted to make one – just for fun – so recently I set about learning how.
It came as a surprise when I discovered that a terrain generator could be developed using only worksheet functions and a Surface Chart.

Here is a sample picture. It’s actually a Surface Chart! Every time you press F9 a new picture is generated.
3D Terrain

You can download it from my website:

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12 thoughts on “Surface Chart 3D Terrain Generator

  1. Amgia demo’s!!! lol, Jesus on e’s – classic, there’s a whole world of emulators out there now… good fun if you have the time!

  2. The Amiga was an awesome computer and years ahead of its time. The OS was an excellent example of what could be done with such minimal resources.

    One of the best Amiga demos I ever saw was Phenomena Enigma.

    As for terrain generation, I remember an application called Vista Pro that capable of generating very realistic mountainous scenery.

  3. Steve,

    I agree – absolutely years ahead.
    I’m still very passionate about that computer.
    Copper, Blitter, 3D gfx, 4ch Audio built-in from the start. Not to mention Motorola 68000 – which is a dream to write on. I dont think any other computer has had it’s capabilities explored more than Amiga.

    Enough of that – I’m ranting…

    I saw on J-Walk Blog the other day about a scenery generator called Terragen


  4. hi Dick, the file broken link, please new link to donwload terrain file.

  5. I don’t have anything that was stored on Rob’s site. If you can’t get it from, it can’t be got.

  6. Hi Dick,
    you have the Excel file? the link is broken, not have in WebArchive.
    or you hva the email of Rob van Gelder or someone people have this Excel file?
    thank you.

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