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3-D Model of Area-51

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posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:00 AM
Today I had the idea of trying to create a 3-D model of Area-51 and its buildings. It would function similar to a game, except you use it within your web browser, or offline if you download the whole package.

Some of the techies might be familiar with a concept called 3DML. Its old but its simple and easy. The file size is also pretty low.

Heres a screenshot of the standalone program with some test buildings I made.


To be able to view the project, you have to download flatland rover for your browser. Its small, about 1.43 megs.

The entire virtual Area-51 would be about 2 megs tops, so its easy for dialup users and broadband.

My question is this. Would it worth while to do this project? Would anyone actually view it at all? This would take quite some time.

It would not be 1:1 scale, but it would be very large. Big enough that it would take you awhile to look around. The buildings would be accessible etc. Just to make it more realistic. Example in the screenshot is a small hangar.

If people show interest, I may make it.

I dont have a very reliable host though.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:07 AM
I" think this would be really cool, and although it wouldnt unlock any secrets, it would definitely be fun to play around with.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:10 AM
Hey, I like it. I think you should go through with it.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:42 AM

Originally posted by Dulcimer
My question is this. Would it worth while to do this project? Would anyone actually view it at all? This would take quite some time.

I would want to view it and think this is a good idea. I know you can easily retrieve pics but I thought I would help out and provide some satellite images of Groom Lake and Area 51.
external image

Other Images can be seen here:

Good Luck

[edit on 6-7-2005 by Charlie Murphy]

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:14 AM
Ive put up a small sample world for people to try out. See if you think its worth it.

First off go to this page and download Flatland Rover for your browser

NOTE I have only tested this with Internet Explorer and it works fine. Im not sure if firefox will work, but it may. Give it a shot.

Note 2: Performance will depend on your PC and your graphics capabilities. You can change how flatland rover works, draw distance etc. You will notice in my small world demo that the default draw distance doesnt allow you to see buildings all over, but they fade in when you get close.

Note 3: To move around either use your mouse, or use your keyboard keys, up down left right etc. With your mouse on screen you can see an arrow showing you which way to go.

Note 4: When you go to my page without rover installed for your browser, you will be redirected to download it.

Note 5: Yeah I placed the start point in a dumb area, turn around to see the buildings.

Note 6, yet another note: NO THIS IS NOT THE FINAL PRODUCT !

Now a question:

Would you A: Rather see more detailed graphics


B: Simple graphics

I like simple graphics because of my dialup.

This model is based on a small scale of Area 51. See the 4 large white hangars in the image posted by Charlie Murphy? This is what I test modeled sort of. To a small scale.

One thing I would like to figure out is where the hangar doors are etc.

Anyways, the final product, if I do it, will be better and larger.

Hopefully this works for you. Heres the URL

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:18 AM
BTW the sample world is only about 700 kb.

If I were to reuse graphics and models (there are more in the package than you can actually see, they just have not been used) it would never get much larger than 700kb.

The only thing that will increase the file size is textures, such as the walls, floors, dirt, roads etc.

I tried to keep them small for the dialup folks.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:28 AM
Jepp, those things are familiar to mee... post when you're ready with the program...

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:36 AM
Looks nice. Size isn't a problem for me but it obviously is for you, so simple graphics are fine imo.
Are you gonna have some anti-gravity lookin' aircraft and the Aurora in some of the hangers? Does the program allow that?

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:39 AM
I don't think a better quality satallite picture of Groom Lake exists than this one.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:44 AM

Originally posted by Nventual
I don't think a better quality satallite picture of Groom Lake exists than this one.

The first image is of the 4 Hangars Duclimer made. It is very up close and not bad resolution, and this was from my previous link:

I checked it out Duclimer and looks good so far, but you have alot ahead of you to say the least. If we have alot of members skilled with Flatland maybe they could help out?

[edit on 6-7-2005 by Charlie Murphy]

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 02:03 AM
Its actually not that hard to do. The hardest part is picking out nice looking textures. Ive changed them since.

Once you have suitable textures its only a matter of basically "drawing" it in ascii characters.


This would make a "U" shaped building, with the opening of the U being the hangar door. The " . "'s represent ground.

Each symbol is given a shape. The "#" make walls 1 level high, the " . " make one floor tile. Its pretty simple once you get on to it.

Level 1


End of Level 1

Say you want a taller hangar (which I will most like do, although scale is hard to do as I have little control over the object sizes) you add another level

So this becomes level 2

Level 2


End of Level 2

So now you have put another set of wall blocks on top of level 1 and the " r "s stand for roof.

Although my symbol use is different and more confusing !

Its quite simple. The only challege comes in lining up the levels, but a simple copy and paste of level 1 makes it easy.

Anyone could add to it if I posted the ascii maps.

I havnt decided what scale to use yet.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 02:14 AM
Ive been using this map for some help.

It gives me a guess as to what the function of the building is.

This gives some size indications.

I will most likely do the left side of the map, and maybe omit the runways to the far right.

Im just wondering how large of a map this program can take. PC strain becomes and issue with large maps as well.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 02:38 AM
Hell i think the program is awesome.

Nventual, that is the best sat photo of Dreamland I have ever seen

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 11:56 AM
I started working on it again this morning. Started over with a new map size. Its about 4 times as large as the demo stuff I showed.

I have from the 4 large hangars, down to the end of the housing units done.

I dont know how much I will do. Until I get bored maybe.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:20 PM
If you want somewhere to host the file, I'll do it for free.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 02:20 PM
I uploaded my latest results

Again follow the instructions before on how to use it.

Current version is 717 kb in size.

The map includes the four major hangars down to the housing units, if you were to look on a sattellite photo or map. Rough textures are in place so its not the best looking. Most buildings use the same texture.

Lighting is in place inside the hangars so they appear to light up in spots.

You can go inside the hangars and some of the buildings.

But not bad for only 717kb !

Maybe once Ive covered most of the area I will up the texture quality, but for now it works.

Total Code = 513 lines

Check it out at

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:23 PM
Awesome idea now people wont have to make those lets break into area 51 threads
and no human life will be spared lol but i love the idea i cant wait to see it when your done. Also one thing do i have to download the whole program to see the complete version?

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:36 PM
The only program you will ever have to download is flatland from:

Once you have it for your browser, you can view the model in your web browser anytime from:

As of now, no new updates. Ill work on it again later.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:49 PM
Okay man. Good Luck and happy programming!

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 12:06 AM
I finished a very good portion of the area. I would guess I did around 40 percent of the "interesting" areas, that is, hangars, buildings, housing, etc, some runways.

Textures remain much the same. I add a few little things like signs, lights and a fleet of ufo's in one of the hangars hehehe.

Overall its not bad. Pretty large.

Ive decided to make it open source. Ill share all my files so if anyone wants to try their hand at it etc, feel free.

If you want to try, first download all source files to your pc so you can edit them at your leisure.

You can get them from

Get all the block sets.

Then edit the area51 3DML file. I do it in notepad. Yes this whole thing was done in notepad.

Edit all the block set paths to either that of the flatland website or your pc directory where you put them.

Edit all the textures you wish to use.

Looking at my version, the symbol use should make sense once you try.

#=basic wall
w=housing wall
0=paved / runway
,=metal floor tile
.=ground or dirt
$=ceiling tile
h=croosbeam (hangar ceiling)
i=crossbeam light
s=road sign
v=street light


If your wondering about the screwy symbol usage, its because of the program blockset presets.

Here is a .txt version of the 3DML file for anyone who wants to see how it works. All 500+ lines of it.

Have fun.

[edit on 7-7-2005 by Dulcimer]

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