Just found Terragen, what is possible for me to do?

Started by Aleitheo, March 13, 2011, 08:00:45 pm

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Aleitheo

Hey there, I came across the program recently and felt that it would be able to help me out with a project. I basically want to know how much I can edit terrain while still having the feel of it being natural.

- Can I alter the shape of the coastline and have the program create something that still looks natural (Basically can I make a rough shape and the program create something that fits that shape?)

- Can I insert mountains and have them flow into the surrounding geography

- Can I "paint" roughly where certain biomes/environments go and have them neatly flow into each other?

- Can I "paint" a rough path for a river to flow

- Can I insert assorted geographical features such as cliffs, plateaus, ect. where I want and have them flow into the surroundings

- Can I create a contour map with just the contours (black and white for the purpose of easily viewing the contours) and can I set the parameters of the increments

- How easily can I do each of the above as a person that has yet to try this program

- Can I view the results as a non-perspective birdseye view

- Would I be able to create a large area (size of Australia for example) that has the detail to zoom in pretty close (able to see a 50 square mile are)

- Would I be able to create a large mountain (5km high) within this area.

- Will the program create "random" mountains, rivers, forests, ect. without having to ask me to place each and every one?

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If you could answer these I would be grateful. If I can get the hang of the program and it can do what I want to I will likely end up looking into getting the full version

Snowflake

As newbie i can answer general to TG  :P

The Learning curve is slow to initial familiarity, because it is in opposition to other CG-Application (like VUE) not visual, its mostly numeric setup with dozen of settings per node. And often its many try and error to find the accurate settings you need for the result you want. 0,5 or 0,8 or 1,2.....

And after this you have find out the best detail settings between noticeable quality and rendertime  ;)

Also for Photorealistic High Quality Images / Animation there are not many Tutorials out there at the moment (almost basic Lessons without focus on realism results).

So its up to you to find this out - but if you see the images its a lot of possible with TG....

Xenonnoble28

I'm also kind of a Newbie, but I've been using Terragen for about 3 years (I started out with Terragen classic as a freshman in High School)
I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability

Terragen 2 is a program that is designed so that the possibilities for what kind of terrain you can create are almost endless (if you have enough skill) so you can edit the terrain by quite a bit and still have it feel realistic.

- If you want to create a specific shape for the terrain you're going to use I would suggest making that in Terragen Classic first, and then exporting the terrain file into Terragen 2. you can then edit more detailed things in Terragen 2

- You can insert any mountains you want in the original Terrain file that you make in Terragen classic

- You can "paint" where certain biomes/environments go, but that's fairly advanced (You could use the painted shader to determine where surface layers apply if you want to determine biomes by color or plant populations)

- Terragen 2 will draw a river for you if you provide the start and end coordinates  (you can alter depth, width etc...)

- You can insert assorted geographical features by painting them in in Terragen Classic, or by inserting a heightfield shader (which you can edit to an almost unlimited degree, but can get very complicated)

- I don't think you can create contour maps in this program, although you might be able to export the terrain files into another program that will do it for you

- You can control anything you want about the camera. you can point it straight down for a Birdseye view

- Terragen 2 creates entire planets, so you could zoom in from an entire planet down to as small as you'd like to go (centimeters even) so yes

- You can alter the height of the terrain you've already created in Terragen Classic, or add a New mountain with a Heightfield shader. It would be possible yes.

- If you built the continent using a massive Heightfield shader (which would be quite slow to render) it would create a random terrain, so  you could theoretically not place anything at all.

The picture I have included is the continent that I created for the project that originally got me started with Terragen. It was made Entirely using Terragen Classic.

inkydigit

Hi There Aleitheo,

in answer to you questions:

- Can I alter the shape of the coastline and have the program create something that still looks natural (Basically can I make a rough shape and the program create something that fits that shape?) - YES

- Can I insert mountains and have them flow into the surrounding geography - YES

- Can I "paint" roughly where certain biomes/environments go and have them neatly flow into each other? - YES

- Can I "paint" a rough path for a river to flow - YES

- Can I insert assorted geographical features such as cliffs, plateaus, ect. where I want and have them flow into the surroundings - YES

- Can I create a contour map with just the contours (black and white for the purpose of easily viewing the contours) and can I set the parameters of the increments - YES

- How easily can I do each of the above as a person that has yet to try this program - with a little practice you can do all of this and more!

- Can I view the results as a non-perspective birdseye view - YES

- Would I be able to create a large area (size of Australia for example) that has the detail to zoom in pretty close (able to see a 50 square mile are) - YES

- Would I be able to create a large mountain (5km high) within this area.- YES

- Will the program create "random" mountains, rivers, forests, ect. without having to ask me to place each and every one? - YES

sylink

inkydigit, how do you insert cliffs and mountains into the terrain?

Is this a feature with TG I know nothing about or do you have to use 3rd party apps to edit the heightfields?

I've always wanted to tweak the terrains, but I don't know of a way to do it beyond using more detailed heightmaps.

rcallicotte

Do a search on this forum.  Many people have experimented and you can find many such experiments.  Also, there is a File Section, where you can see others share their experiments and objects for you to download.  That's one way to learn. 


Quote from: sylink on March 14, 2011, 10:29:56 am
inkydigit, how do you insert cliffs and mountains into the terrain?

Is this a feature with TG I know nothing about or do you have to use 3rd party apps to edit the heightfields?

I've always wanted to tweak the terrains, but I don't know of a way to do it beyond using more detailed heightmaps.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?


Aleitheo

Thanks a lot for the help everyone. Like Xenon said I will likely start in Classic first, it's probably best that I don't overwhelm myself with features to the point that I end up with a mess of samples of each thing I can do.

Also thanks to Inky for the tutorial, I had a quick red of it and it looks as if it will be pretty useful for what I plan to do. Is there by any chance a good source where I can find more similarly written tutorials that cover other parts of the program?

Snowflake

Quote from: inkydigit on March 14, 2011, 11:00:33 am
a good place to start is here:
http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=7733.0
:)


This link point my sentence above ::)

QuoteAlso for Photorealistic High Quality Images / Animation there are not many Tutorials out there at the moment - almost basic Lessons without focus on realism results.....