Height mapping

How would one go about creating and rendering a “height map”. Essentially I have a 3 dimensional array where the values are (x, y, alpha) - where alpha is the value at each loacation x, y. I would like to render a 3 dimensional view of this data, and eventually allow the user to rotate the view to examine various aspects of it. What I don’t understand is how to implement this in OpenGL. Drawing the base is simple enough, but how do I represent the ‘height’ at each location? Is there a clean way to produce something like a texture that would be the top of the display? Ideally, I would like to vary the color to help show the various heights. I found an app that does this thing much like what I would like to do (Compaq Array Visualizer: http://www.compaq.com/fortran/aview/ ) - it’s probably easier to view the page than decipher my message…

I would appreciate any tips or suggestions that folks can provide - thank you in advance.

[This message has been edited by Pilz (edited 08-15-2001).]

Check out http://www.fatech.com/tech/opengl/appstools/tg/ and tutorial 35 on http://nehe.gamedev.net/.

Hope that helps…

Thank you for a prompt response… I thought I had been all over NeHe’s tutorials, but apparently I gave up before I got to #35. Thanks - it’s exactly what I needed!