The Tinman 3D SDK is a software development kit for real-time three-dimensional terrain rendering, processing and analysis. It consumes unlimited amounts of geodata and processes them into ready-to-use terrain modules. Using these, Tinman creates a global coherent three-dimensional representation of the terrain: a fully textured and adaptive continuous level-of-detail triangle mesh. The terrain mesh is used for interactive rendering and real-time spatial analysis. Via export, third-party applications can benefit from efficient terrain geometry: precise tessellation and minimal resource consumption, both at the same time.
Integration into existing software is easy: the Tinman 3D SDK is self-contained and has no third-party dependencies. It is available in C++ (ISO/IEC 14882:1998) and C# (language version 3). Tinman features a concise abstraction layer, which enables it to run on virtually every platform. Support for Windows, Linux and Macintosh based systems on 32-bit / 64-bit architectures is built in. Real-time rendering can be performed through any API that supports vertex / index buffers. Ready-to-use bindings for Direct3D (9 or higher), OpenGL (1.5 or higher) and OpenGLES (1.1 or higher) are included.
Rendering a terrain with the Tinman 3D SDK is simple: only one vertex / index buffer and one draw call is required. High throughput is easily achieved for multi-pass scenes. Tinman generates seamless terrain geometry and textures. All vertices have well-defined tangent-spaces, enabling robust surface shading. During runtime, terrain data is streamed in incrementally while conserving I/O and GPU bandwidth: from local data, networks, the WWW or external media (e.g. DVD). Up to 256 per-vertex materials can be used as metadata, for example to blend between texture layers or to specify ground properties for physics simulations.
Built-in features of the Tinman 3D SDK cover common use cases and widespread file formats. All internally used binary data formats are fully interchangeable: between programming languages, operating systems and machine architectures. Due to its open design, the core feature set of Tinman can be modified and extended - even without touching its source code. Ready-to-use bindings to well-established third-party libraries are wrapped in a separate add-on, including: Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (geodata import), FreeImage (image loading) and Bullet Physics Library (terrain mesh collision).