For those interested, I’m working on a sand dune macro. Here the result so far:
I took some time studying the sand dunes of the sahara using Google Earth and found some interesting things.
First off, in contrary to my believe, deserts are not just an endless series of dunes but instead have “hero dunes”, just like you have “hero mountains” in mountain ranges as well. Those hero dunes distributed very evenly, almost in a grid like pattern.
Then, when zooming in on those hero dunes, you see some funny characteristics emerge. It is split up in two sides, I guess caused by the main wind direction in the area, indicated by the red arrows. You have a wind swept zone that almost has no “tentacles” and is very steep and abrupt (blue) and then on the other side you have tentacles emerging that spread out to the sides and to the back (green).
Then, in that green area, you sometimes have spots of smaller dunes, the classical sand dunes I had in mind when researching this subject. These dunes follow, what seems to be a Voronoi cell like distribution.
With that in mind, I started to build the macro. I would like to hear what you guys think of it! You can download a .zip file with the output from above, so you can take a closer look at the dunes yourself.