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Creating a 2D height map from a model

Question asked by Peter Alley on Aug 5, 2020
Latest reply on Aug 6, 2020 by Krzysztof Szpakowski

I have seen many questions about taking a 2D height map and creating a 3D model from it.  I want to do the opposite.  I want to take a model I have made, and turn it into a 2D image with a color gradient as a height map.  Preferably I'd be able to do this in the direction I'm looking at it, but along specific axes would also work.

Does anyone know how to do this, either with solidworks or other software?  I currently have access to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw and Adobe Acrobat if those help.