Ras Laffan port. LNG terminal 3D model.

One of the most complicated terrain databases we have made recently is Ras Laffan Port, located 80 km from Doha, Qatar’s capital. It is one of the largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ports and the world’s biggest artificial harbor.

Ras Laffan Port 3D model the world's largest LNG export facility
Overall view of the terrain database

Any LNG infrastructure is a challenging task for 3D modeling. It is primarily due to many pipelines, tanks, and the overall complexity of such sites. It looks like some unsolvable puzzle if you don’t have precise CAD data. And this is compounded if we are talking about real-time applications because cylindrical objects are the most costly meshes in terms of polycount.

Complicated 3D terrain database
Complicated structure – detailed LNG jetties, flare stacks, pipes, roads, and breakwaters

We haven’t had CAD data or any other particular sources except publicly available materials from the Web, so our database is not an exact representation of a given area but a highly precise artist’s impression. We’ve used Google maps to create an accurate shoreline shapefile and locate essential landmarks. Thus, customers can place the database 3D models above their geo-specific terrain to get an accurate geographic representation. The location includes the main and outer breakwaters and the north LNG basin with detailed berths and flare stacks.

Despite the plenty of different details in the scene, only two models are dominant and define the big picture: an LNG jetty and a flare stack. So we have given special attention to these 3D models. We have found several good photos of the jetties and successfully used Modo camera matching for reproducing proportions and dimensions of the details. We’ve used the same 3D modeling and texturing approaches for our oil platform model (for more information, see the “Oil platform 3D modeling” blog article).

LNG jetty 3D model
LNG jetty
Flare stack 3D model
Flare stack

We’ve created several types of stones to make the breakwaters’ appearance realistic. We have done some of them as a tiled texture and others as the real geometry maintaining the balance of performance and fidelity. We haven’t paid much attention to recreating real road nets and pipelines because it’s hard to imagine how a customer can use them in such a database.

pipelines 3D model
Breakwater 3D model

The database is available as a set of FBX files or as the complete Unity project. Please contact us for a license. QMAX LNG carrier and LNG jetty 3D models are also available on TurboSquid.

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