Tinman 3D // Realtime Terrain

Software for terrain processing, rendering and analysis

2017-10-06  Tinman 3D SDK / RC3 has been released.
2017-08-10  Tinman 3D SDK / RC3 is coming September 2017, including the Workshop Application and Source Code packages.

The Tinman 3D SDK is a commercial software development kit for real-time 3D terrain rendering, processing and analysis. It is being used in various sectors of the software industry, for example:

  • Aviation - georeferenced terrain for FDA/FDM/FOQA
  • Desktop GIS - terrain database creation
  • Edutainment - fulldome terrain rendering
  • Video Games - terrain editing and export

Tinman 3D - Concept

Tinman 3D consumes arbitrary amounts of geodata and processes them into ready-to-use terrain modules. At runtime, these terrain modules are combined in order to create a coherent and highly accurate 3D representation of the terrain: a seamlessly textured and adaptive continuous level-of-detail triangle mesh. This terrain mesh is used for interactive rendering, real-time spatial analysis and data export to other software applications (for example as a part of the content pipeline).

Tinman 3D - Concept

Integration into existing software is easy: the Tinman 3D SDK is self-contained and has no mandatory 3rd-party dependencies. It is available in separate editions: C++ (ISO/IEC 14882:2011) and C# (language version 4). Tinman 3D is based on flexible abstraction layers, which enable it to run on any platform (e.g. 32-bit, 64-bit) and on any operating system (e.g. Windows, Unix). Real-time rendering can be performed through any modern graphics API (e.g. Direct3D, OpenGL).

Rendering a terrain with the Tinman 3D SDK is simple: only one vertex / index buffer is required. Advanced culling and batching techniques ensure optimal performance by minimizing draw calls. High throughput is easily achieved for multi-pass scenes. Tinman 3D generates seamless terrain geometry and textures. All vertices have well-defined tangent-spaces, enabling robust surface shading. Efficient streaming and on-the-fly caching of terrain data is performed during runtime.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

The screenshots and videos on this website have been screen-captured from the Tinman 3D Demo application (using FRAPS).

These third-party geodata have been processed by Tinman 3D to generate the terrain imagery on this website:

Google Earth™ High Resolution Imagery

© 2014 Cnes/Spot Image, DigitalGlobe, Flotron/Perrinjaquet, GRAFCAN, Landsat, NASA, Southern Nevada Water Authority, TerraMetrics, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency

References & History


Cloddy - an efficient algorithm for real-time 3D terrain rendering - is developed by Matthias Englert , the founder of Tinman 3D.

2008 - 2011

The Cloddy SDK is an experimental software development kit - created by Matthias Englert , allowing the Cloddy algorithm to be integrated into any software.

Matthias Englert co-founds BiteTheBytes, aiming to market the Cloddy SDK.

Being a prototype, the Cloddy SDK provides elementary features only and lacks stability and robustness. Despite its premature state, it does prove its commercial value in the industry.


EIGA At E.I.G.A. 2010 (European Innovative Games Awards), the Cloddy SDK wins the Advancement Price in category T - Innovative Technology - Press Release / PDF .

Airbus Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) choose the Cloddy SDK as the terrain engine for their in-house E.V.E. software (Eurocopter Virtual Environment).

Evans & Sutherland

Evans & Sutherland choose the Cloddy SDK as the terrain engine for their digital planetarium software Digistar .

Flight Data Vision

FDV Flight Data Vision choose the Cloddy SDK as the terrain engine for their Professional Ground Station suite.

United Navigation

UNav United Navigation (Becker & Falk) choose the Cloddy SDK as terrain engine for the development of next-generation navigation systems.

2012 - today
Tinman 3D

Tinman3D After leaving BiteTheBytes, Matthias Englert founds Tinman 3D and creates the Tinman 3D SDK , which replaces the deprecated Cloddy SDK prototype.

BiteTheBytes continue to use the Cloddy SDK prototype as their in-house terrain engine.

Flight Data Vision

FDV Flight Data Vision replace the Cloddy SDK with the new Tinman 3D SDK , allowing advanced terrain features to be used in their Professional Ground Station suite.

AIRTEC Congress

Attending AIRTEC Congress as speaker and presenting the Tinman 3D SDK .
Real-time fusion, visualization and analysis of high-precision DSMs and orthoimagery

Evans & Sutherland

E&S Evans & Sutherland replace the Cloddy SDK with the new Tinman 3D SDK , bringing exciting new terrain features to their digital planetarium software Digistar .

Slides of our presentation held at the congress of the 11th AIRTEC International Aerospace Supply Fair:
View the embedded image gallery online at:

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