35 votes
Date Updated: 
Author Name: 
Marc Lorenz

Populate:Terrain assists in creating and optimizing terrain surfaces from contour lines or from existing meshes. The quad based output allows for easier later remodeling, for example using push/pull painting. The regular face size reduces rendering issues (GI, displacement) and you can use Turbosmooth on it.

Populate:Terrain is a scripted plugin for Autodesk 3ds max. It assists in creating and optimizing terrain surfaces for architectural visualization applications. Populate:Terrain fixes imported meshed CAD models or directly converts contour lines. The result is a clean quad based poly surface with user definable grid size.

1: Spline Shape 2: Converted to mesh with 3ds max 3: Converted with Populate:Terrain

1: Contour lines 2: Converted using the 3ds max Terrain Compound 3: Converted with Populate:Terrain

New feature in 1.8, trimming with a spline shape:


Version Requirement: 
3ds Max 2010 or higher.


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miauu's picture


Attached to this post is the script, version 1.87, saved as ms file. I have no problems to run it in 3ds Max 2014.

populateterrain_187.ms 126.68 KB
Jón Benjamínsson's picture

Syntax error

Hey there.

Im new to 3dsMax so probably I am doing something wrong, but when i run this script i get this message:

--Syntax error: at <, expected
--In line: < !

Have you any ideas what to do?

Regards, Jón

miauu's picture


Visit this page: https://github.com/mxdsa/populateTerrain
and download version 1.87.

elle23's picture

versione 1.8

Hello, I can´t find the new version 1.8 of Populate Terrain script. Can anyone help me?

StormBrig's picture

Thank you for fixing it.

Thank you for fixing it.

Stockson1's picture

Please help me, this script

Please help me, this script is not working in 2019 version, can anybody tell me why. Is there any other similar plugin?
Thank you good people...

mxdsa's picture

updated for max2019

I received the source code and permission from the original author to update this to work in 2019. Find the script here:

jla's picture

the download link is

the download link is literally two posts below your's.

but i will re-post it here anyway https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fveb2k65ajal0um/AACorZACSZ6Alh057hUbN-7Fa?dl=0

clarasallo's picture

the script doesn't work

Hello, I can't download the script. Someone can help me? Thank you. You culd send it to my email: [email protected]

thewool's picture


Hi, could you also post "Populate:Panels" to drop box?



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