Looking to create a spherical map from Terragen for reflections in Modo.

Started by DLombardi, September 02, 2011, 06:03:20 pm

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So... I'm new to terragen.  When I say new, I mean I downloaded the free trial 2 days ago, and will most likely be purchasing a license later tonight.

That being said.  I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to properly create an environment render to be used in another application... in this case Modo.  I'm creating an animation of a Plane in flight so I'll need to create a sequence for the background.  From what I gather you render 6 cameras facing 90 degrees to each other to get your faces for a cube.

Beyond that though... how are these being reassembled into a spherical map that can be used as a reflection.  Is that something that can be done in Nuke?  Or even say... mapping six sides of a cube in Lightwave and rendering a 360 field of view camera in there to get the map extracted into a single image?

I've searched this topic for 2 days now, and everywhere I go I see posts saying... it's on the forums.  And so far the few links I've found are either dead links to tutorials, or someone who clearly is comfortable in scripting in python linking to pages that 50 to 60 links to cmd line apps (way over my head).  Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.


Awesome thanks.  This certainly explains the process.  But it looks like I'll have to completely build my own setup.

I'm doing an animated camera in motion.  So the rig in the demo that uses animation to go to the 6 faces of the box won't work.  I'll need to have 6 separate cameras.  And as for PTGui. I've already blown what little budget I had for software due to mistakingly purchasing Ozone with it's "Super-Fast Rendering Technology" that takes 2 hours for a basic proxi render that is unusable.  Besides... I don't think PTGui can stitch animations... could be wrong on that.

I appreciate the quick response.  It's good to see an active user base when jumping in to a new piece of software.


QuoteIt's good to see an active user base when jumping in to a new piece of software.
You'll see that this is a very nice community, with a lot of helping hands on board. With all the potential of TG2, and the sometimes difficult ways to achieve stuff, you'll need some advice now and then.


On the Terragen side, if you're rendering a sequence then you need to create 6 cameras where each camera's position is animated along the flight path but its rotation is fixed to a side of the cube. If you're importing your camera motion via a chan file, then you can uncheck "import rotation" and "import fov" so that your rotation and FOV setup is not changed each time you import a new chan file.

You mentioned Nuke. Nuke has a node that will take 6 images representing a cube and convert them to a spherical output, and this works for sequences of course. I don't remember the name of the node. I have rendered animated cubes like this and converted them to spherical maps using both Nuke and Fusion.

Another approach you might try is to map the images onto a cube in Modo. Then you can either reflect that cube directly in your renders, or if you want to bake a spherical map then you should be able to re-render from a spherical camera in Modo (assuming it has this option).

Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


Modo does come with a Spherical Camera. I think it was 501 that newly introduced this camera.


or you could use TG2-Batch (if you can handle the install instructions) which will take each frame and create a skybox for you at the camera position. Just choose the Tile/pano option and dimensions

It will autostitch and output in equirectangular projection