Animation panel feedback

Started by jo, July 26, 2012, 08:02:32 AM

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Hi everyone,

It's good to see a healthy number of posts here in the animation forum. I thought I would ask if anyone has any feedback about the animation panel, with the curve editor and dopesheet, introduced in v2.4.

Have you used it? If you have what would you like to see added or improved?

Have you created animations without using it? Is there anything preventing you from using it?

Have you checked out the documentation for the animation module? You can find it here:

We still have a lot we want to do with the animation module and related tools. What we have now is intended to be useful basics and something to build from. There are some obvious things to be added, such as being able to edit motion paths directly in the 3D Preview and having a spline in the curve editor which lets you edit tangents. However it would be great to hear any feedback you have about the animation module tools which are new in v2.4.




I did when it first came out, but have been learning about three other things in the meantime.  This means no quality time with the TG2.  But, I like this documentation and will sort some of this out in the next week.  It looks good.
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?


I've been using it mainly to copy-past keyframes at periodic frames. For examples every 100 frames I will change the camera blur value for a duration of 10 frames and get back to the original value. It's pretty handy for a 2000 frame animation.

I also like the fact that it is possible to choose the type of interpolation between frames.

Keep up the great work guys!!!

I am passionate  about the art and science of digital aerial mapping, photogrammetry, geospatial information, VR and 3D modelling.

lat 64

I just now jumped in with both feet into the animation panel. I found I love it for diagnosing what I did wrong on anything.
I found it very useful when matching animations from more than one object—like moving an object along the same path as a light source.
My posts are usually intended for new users because I am one so I suggest opening a panel after you make some animation to study it. This way you can watch the correlation and then start to really "mess" things up ;D


I'm a half century plus ten yrs old. Yikes!


Couple of comments:

The keyframes are extremely difficult to grab onto.  You have to click exactly on them to move them around and I often find myself repeatedly clicking on them trying to hit just the right spot.  Either increase the size of the keyframe dot or expand the area around it sensitive to the mouse. 

Jump to next keyframe button needed.  (or at least I didn't see it)

As near as I can tell these curves don't have any kind of handles on them to adjust the TCB.  This makes smoothing out animations difficult because you need to add keys to force the curve to do what you want which can create other problems. 

Having to activate a channel before you can edit it first is a pain.  If I can see a point on any curve, I should be able to grab it and move it.  Having to click on the appropriate channel letter first and then going back to the curve editor after to move the key slows down the workflow with a lot of unneeded mouse clicking back and forth between the channel box and graph editor. 

Hot keys, similar to Maya's animation editor would be great.  In fact, as Maya has become an industry standard for animation, copying their hot keys would be useful and intuitive to animators, so for example highlighting a key, hitting W, (for translate) and then moving the key without having to then again click right on it would be awesome.  Having the option to constrain to an axis by hitting the CTRL key would be useful too. 

Overall the editor gets the job done but it just feels very basic and lacks the polish and depth found in other packages.  I'd rather see other things in TG added first, like wind effectors on plants, but since you asked for feedback that's my $.02 for what it's worth. 


Supervisor, Computer Graphics
D I G I T A L  D O M A I N


Hi Greg,

Hadn't checked this thread in a while but thanks a lot for your feedback. We'll definitely take it all into consideration.

Regarding activating channels, being able to click on things aside, there are hot keys to switch between channels without going back to the node list. The keys are X, Y, Z and R, G, B. They change to the appropriate channel. Nominally they're for vectors and colours but you don't have to remember when to use X or R etc. as they correspond to the same thing. X or R will always select the first channel. In fact the colour ones match the colour of the curves.

You can also use A to advance through them.




My own two cents:

It works pretty well for a basic fly-through, but one thing I miss is the ability to add procedural modifications to the curves.  For instance, I use Blender as my main 3D app.  I can design a camera move in that and then add a subtle noise filter to the animation to give it a nice touch of 'operator error' since no camera move is 100% smooth in real life.  Importing a .chan file of this is easy enough, but it would be great if Terragen could do it natively.


Hello world !

The animation pannel seems like a good start, but not really something full to me, having options like "keeping the camera at a fixed distance from the generated ground would be nice, I'm trying to make a "walk through the forest and setting the height key frame by key frame is quite exhausting...

I don't know how to export that all to another program (not witch program to use) for making it easier.

Being able to define some "movements functions" would be nice rather than doing it all by hand.

It also would be nice to be able to use the power of the GPU of the graphic card, if possible at the same time than the CPU for computing. I've been trying to find an external software to do so without success :'(

Adding some automations" would be really great in fact. :)

Also, being able to show or not the path of the camera AND the objects would be nice
Typically, having a line/curve for the movement of the sun would be usefull. Same for objects, I'm trying to create "glow worms" and animate them, it's not easy... at all...

Thank you :-)

PS : If what I speak about already exists, thank's to point me toward a tutorial or something that explains how to :-)



Hi Zepeu,

I think that the issue always seems to be Terragen is good at generating terrain and not hugely great at animation work or built-in setups for creating specific types of rivers, roads, shaders etc. A lot of this has been worked on by the community here and there are files to help, but the animation tools are still very basic. Unfortunately, animating is not particularly well integrated at this stage. If you need to animate cameras a certain way, take a patch of terrain out of TG, import it into another package and animate the camera there.

There are a few ways of getting terrain out. My favourite is to make a new camera pointing straight down and use a micro poly exporter to export an obj from a new render node. Keep render detail setting low or you can end up with HUGE filesizes. Bring that into your 3D app of choice, animate your camera, then export it as an FBX. Then you can import that into Terragen. It might come in at a different scale depending on your FBX settings. Ideally work near 0,0,0, in TG, ie the top of the planet. You can work anywhere on a planet of course, but doing it on the top is less of a headache most of the time.

Glow worms may need animating over terrain this way too perhaps.

I agree seeing motion paths would be nice sometimes.
GPU rendering is not possible with TG right now, based on someone else asking the same thing a short while back.


Hi everyone,

I'm new to Terragen and have downloaded the free terragen 4 trial! I have created some landscape stills but want to be able to animate them so you are able to fly through the landscapes i create. I can't find out if i can do this on the free trial and if i can how to do so!! if anyone can help that'll be amazing.



Hi Lydia, Can be done but it is extremely tedious going frame by frame and you will need some other software like after effects to retime things. You best to grab Terragen 4 Pro its on special still I think. You can create some amazing fly throughs not sure how other people find it to be. But I find it outstanding for that.



I've downloaded terragen creative because it was cheaper, can you still go the fly throughs on there??


I don't have the Creative version but if you check the comparison here:

It says it does have animation features so I guess that would be possible, though you can't import camera data via FBX or chan so you would have to animate inside Terragen.

Motion blur is limited to 2D motion blur which may or may not affect the realism of a flythough.

p.s If you felt you wanted to upgrade, now's the time to do it with the 4th of July sale  :)

Didn't read all the posts  :) Ditto what Flythru said



QuoteIf what I speak about already exists, thank's to point me toward a tutorial or something that explains how to :-)

If you have the Professional version of Terragen and Maya you can check out my script:

and tutorials / walkthroughs:


Terraman can import terrains exported via the Micro exporter as described in ajcgi's post. It also includes predefined camera rigs, that make animation like flyovers very easy to achieve.