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masterchange

Canyon Modelling

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Try using ZBrush or some other sculpting software. Also take a look at software like Terragen which has erosion simulation features that give that rocky appearance and a realistic "worn-out" look to your terrain. It acts on the heightmap using algorithms that model a parametric erosion.

I'd confidently say that the texture maps are the most important part of that canyon you linked to. If you could look at the wireframe you'd see it's nothing out of this world. It's the texture maps that do the trick.

Reference is a 'must' for this. No artist (even those that worked in that Red Dead game) try to build something without looking at reference. Collect real-life canyon photos and panoramas so you have a library to look at when sculpting\modelling\texturing.
Lighting also helps a great deal to increase the realism: one directional light at the sun's position, whichever hour of the day it may be; optional shadows and lightmaps. 

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