Color corrected satellite images are great for fast and easy draping over terrain if you're using VNS, which is designed to handle non-geographic projections. The Landsat images in this tutorial are UTM projected. WCS works in the geographic coordinate system, so non-geographic images must be reprojected first.
Where's a good place to find satellite images from almost everywhere on the planet in an easy-to-use interface that's free? Check the Global Land Cover Facility at the University of Maryland.
There's a great AlphaPixel utility that does all of this Photoshop magic for you and is a big time saver when processing lots images. Check out the PixelSense demo and see how it works for you.
1. Download bands 1, 2, and 3 and the respective metadata files. I'm using Path 37-Row 35 (Grand Canyon) data from the ARIA server at the University of Arizona in Tucson. If you're using your own images from the Global Land Cover Facility site, those bands have filenames ending in 10, 20, and 30, respectively. Your data will likely be in a different format but this tutorial assumes that we're working with the following files.
2. In Photoshop (I'm using 7.0), Open As > Raw and select file.
3. Confirm that Dimensions Width and Height match the NS and NL values in metadata (header1.txt).
4. The image is grayscale. Ctrl+A to select the entire image and Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard. Create a new Photoshop image with a white background and RGB Color Mode. The size will default to the clipboard image size, which is what we want.
5. Open the Channels window, activate the Blue channel, and Ctrl+V to paste the band 1 image. Save the image as a Photoshop file (PSD).
6. Open As > Raw and select the band 2 file, data2.bsf. Select All, Copy, select the Green channel in your PSD file, and Paste.
7. Open As > Raw and select the band 3 file, data3.bsf. Select All, Copy, select the Red channel in your PSD file, and Paste.
8. We've got RGB, but it's not going to look very realistic draped over terrain.
9. Image > Adjustments > Auto Color to let Photoshop color correct the image. Not too bad.
10. Here's what the original image in Step 8 looks like with the Applied Science Fiction Digital ROC filter demo. Manual Contrast and Brightness adjustments to the Step 9 image can get you to the same place without the plug-in.
11. Here's what the final corrected image looks like draped over Grand Canyon terrain.
12. Here's Adam Hauldren's description of an alternative method.