Terragen 3 pre-release FAQ

Started by Oshyan, June 13, 2013, 01:46:02 am

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June 13, 2013, 01:46:02 am Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 10:37:51 pm by Oshyan
I know what you're thinking, "Holy crap, Terragen 3?". Yes, it's true. If you're here, you've probably already seen the news of the upcoming release and the major new features, and no doubt you have some questions. If you're still in the dark, be sure to check terragen3.com before continuing!

Now, about those questions. We put together an FAQ to try to answer as much as we could up-front. Ok, technically these are not all "frequently" asked questions, most of them haven't been asked before at all in fact, but we figure they soon will be. So we're preemptively striking with some answers to non-frequently asked questions too. ;)

How much will Terragen 3 Professional cost?
Final pricing will be announced soon. For now we can tell you it will be an increase over Terragen 2, but will still be very competitively priced.

Is that the complete feature list?
No, we're still fine tuning the feature set and we'll announce the complete list of features a little later. There are also many smaller features, new shaders, performance improvements, and bug fixes too small to mention in the initial announcement, but many of which are still very cool, for example a Vortex Shader!

What happened to Terragen "Deep"?
We decided that this was a product that occupied an awkward space in the market in terms of pricing and features, so Terragen Deep has been retired. The high-end functions have been expanded and moved into Terragen 3 Professional, while the core functionality will be available at a lower price point in Terragen 3 Creative.

Terragen 3 Creative - What's that?
Terragen 3 Creative is a new product that will make Terragen's powerful core tools and technology available at a lower price than was possible with Terragen 2. Of course it will not have all the features of the Professional version, but we have done our best to create a product that is of maximum use and value to non-professional users. The full feature set will be announced in a future update on Terragen3.com.

Will I be able to use Terragen 3 Creative for commercial purposes?
Yes you will, we do not intend to explicitly limit this use, although Terragen 3 Professional will be the ideal product for serious commercial work.

Why the name "Creative"?
This is a product made to appeal to the artist, people who are creating and rendering in Terragen because it's exciting, fun, and expressive. It is not a super limited "basic" or "light" version, and so that naming didn't fit. It's also not intended for high-end professional use, even though it's still a very powerful product, and commercial use will not be explicitly prohibited. We felt like "Creative" was a fitting name, even if it is a bit unusual.

Will all the features in the Terragen 3 announcement be available in Terragen 3 Creative?
No, there are several features that will only be available in Terragen 3 Professional, for example Render Layers and Elements. However a good majority of these features will be included in Terragen 3 Creative.

Will there be a different (simpler) interface in Terragen 3 Creative?
Not at this time, no. We see Terragen 3 Creative as a product that enthusiastic, dedicated artists can use to create imagery that is as complex, detailed, and realistic as they want. We are trying to limit that as little as possible, and we feel that the node-based approach to scene construction and the powerful but sometimes complex tools that Terragen users are familiar with are an important part of that capability. We intend for Terragen 3 Creative to bring the core capabilities of Terragen to an even broader audience than ever before.

I own Terragen 2 Deep (with or without Animation). How much will it cost to upgrade?
We will be providing very affordable upgrade pricing. Our existing customers are a top priority and we want to see as many people as possible being able to use the new features of Terragen 3 and create better and better work. Specific upgrade pricing will be available closer to the release in July.

What version should I upgrade to if I own Terragen 2 Deep?
You should upgrade to Terragen 3 Professional when it is available as it will maintain all of your existing feature set, and add many new tools and capabilities. Terragen Creative would be somewhat of a downgrade in a couple areas, so we won't be providing a migration path to it for owners of Terragen 2.

How many products are in the Terragen 3 line-up?
Just the two, Terragen 3 Professional and Terragen 3 Creative.

What are all the features of each Terragen 3 version? How do they compare?
We'll be releasing a full feature comparison closer to the release date (but definitely before release day).

Are animation capabilities still being sold at separate price points?
Yes, we feel that animation is an important feature, but one that not every user needs so we'll continue to offer both non-animation and animation versions of Terragen 3 products.

Will there be an animation option for Terragen 3 Creative?
Yes, there will be.

Will there still be a free version of Terragen 3?
Yes, absolutely. We have found this approach to be very beneficial both to us as a business and to the community and we plan to continue it.

Update 1:

Will the interface be significantly different than Terragen 2?
No, the overall interface remains largely the same, with some enhancements and new tools of course. We will make UI changes as needed to facilitate important new functionality or improve workflow, but we want to avoid confusion and retraining as much as possible.

Update 2:

Will there be a "grace period" for those who purchase Terragen 2 close to the release of Terragen 3?
Yes, we will provide upgrades for those who purchased after the June 12th initial announcement. We will contact qualifying buyers directly, following the release of Terragen 3.

I have some other question, will you answer it?
We are happy to answer any questions we can, but we have shared pretty much everything we're able to discuss at this point. You are welcome to post questions, just keep in mind we may not be able to give you much more detail until a bit later. We will add important new questions and answers to this FAQ as they come up.

Terragen3.com will be the best source of new information through to the release, so keep checking back on a regular basis, subscribe to the RSS, or better yet sign up for the newsletter (and a chance to win a free copy of Terragen 3 Professional!).

- Oshyan


I was kind of hoping for procedural erosion but hey, a person can dream. Still, interesting news.


June 13, 2013, 08:03:31 pm #2 Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 11:45:13 pm by Oshyan
Sounds awesome! I'm hoping that Enhanced 3D preview means multi-threading and a substantial speed increase.

Really like the improvements to GI as well (ref: the comparison images on terragen3.com) - "ultra fast" sounds great!

Is it safe to infer that, as individual instance population control is now possible, then population caching comes along with that?

Object Mesh deformation - does that mean deformation is available with Ray Trace Objects on? Or is that something else?

Great job guys!



June 13, 2013, 10:48:18 pm #3 Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 11:08:18 pm by TheBadger
QuoteI have some other question, will you answer it?

Is this a Vue killer? Are you guys planning on taking over this very special part of the VFX market? I feel like dancing, can I?!!!!

No seriously, I'm really asking... Is this going to be the best terrain soft at any price? The answer before was an arguable yes, depending on what you wanted from it. But now? Because its sounds pretty damn impressive, even to a lay person like me.

Congratulations Planetside!!! Im proud to use your software in my work.


Oh Yeah, one more... Will you continue to support T2? Will these forums just add a T3 section, or is everything about to change?
It has been eaten.


:o  Yikes! This is wonderful.  I've been waiting for the day.  I like what I see so far.   

I love this presentation and thanks to you guys in Planetside for keeping your customers in mind as you move forward.  Great move!

So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?


QuoteSignificantly improved population control including per-instance editing and color variation

YES!!!! Now I can go nuts on being absolutely specific in my placement of object when Im designing a shot! Big thanks for this one!
It has been eaten.


I like the background image on terragen3.com ... Is that all TG3?


June 13, 2013, 11:53:48 pm #7 Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 12:05:51 am by Oshyan
Well Chris, there's always next year, right? ;)

Micheal, yes the 3D preview will be faster, as well as having some other improvements.

The new GI is much, much faster compared to equivalent detail in TG2 (actually TG2 can't even really match the equivalent detail, even with super high GI detail and GISD). The GI prepass still must be done, so that part takes the same amount of time, but the results are better for equivalent render time in all cases. Note that this affects surfaces only, you still need potentially higher GI settings for clouds in some cases. But it's pretty sweet regardless.

Population caching is also a yes.

Mesh deformation only displaces the vertices of the object, it is not the same as micropolygon displacement or subpixel displacement. But yes, mesh deformation works with raytracing.

Badger, yes, we are stone cold killa's - you may commence dancing. ;)

We will continue to support TG2 for licensed users but of course we won't be selling it any longer, nor making it available for download, or supporting the free versions. The forums will probably convert to a general "Terragen Discussion", "Terragen Support" approach since now we could have any one of 3 program generations being discussed.

Oh and yes Michael, that image is pretty much all TG (except the birds and stars I believe, minor post work). It's from Jeff Boser, aka Darthvader1.

Thanks for the support and enthusiasm everyone!

- Oshyan


Congratulation on the new release guys :)

I understand that pricing has not been announced etc. but as someone who literally is just about to buy TG2 today I am now a little unsure of what to do.

Any steers, as to when it might be best for me to purchase? Or should I just wait?

Appreciate this is a rather selfish question, but not an unreasonable one I hope!



Congratulations Planetside! Great visual impact on the introduction site: http://terragen3.com/ Quiet, clean and powerful.

QuoteMesh deformation only displaces the vertices of the object, it is not the same as micropolygon displacement or subpixel displacement. But yes, mesh deformation works with raytracing.

So as long as you don't have a very high poly object the procedural 'bumps' won't add real displacement?


Hi Steve, it's a little bit of a difficult question to answer at this point and it's rather personal to you and your situation. If you need Terragen capabilities before the July release, you should consider buying now; as we mentioned the upgrade pricing will be very reasonable. But if you can afford to wait and see, well that would be the way to make the most informed decision, of course.

Thanks for the positive critique of the site Ulco! And thanks of course for use of your imagery there. I love how that scene and your bridge model show off the new Global Illumination tech. It's obvious but not in-your-face, so to speak. I look especially at the area around the stairs up to the tower on the bridge, for example; the light occlusion there is much more realistic.

As for the displacement, think of this as a way to do what some were experimenting with for procedural wind, but allowing for raytraced objects and thus higher quality. In other words it does not add or change any capability to how TG renders models (and the limitations of that, e.g. no displacement in raytracing mode), but it lets you displace/deform the existing mesh vertexes procedurally.

- Oshyan


Excellent  :D
Really happy with the improvement to the GI engine and the spherical camera.

Some questions:

- TG2 files readable? (I suppose yes but haven't seen in the FAQ list...)
- Spherical camera, so we're finally able to render out a 360° panorama with all elements? (Again, I suppose yes but feel like I need to ask to believe it :) )
- Any improvements to rendering/shading clouds? Like using noises for density, color etc.
- Win/Mac render clients? Any kind of job render management?
- Finally, can we see more images?  :D

Anyways, the feature list is so far exactly what I would've been asking for. Looking forward to the release!


YES, please show more TG3 images!!!!


This is a really good new. Especially with the new GI the rendering (already stunning) will be even more photorealistic.
Can we know how much faster it is ?
Could it be possible also to see some more pictures and particularly what the new 3D preview looks like.

Thanks again.


Again congratulations Planetside on this milestone!

If I'm allowed by Planetside I will post some TG3 renders soon.
I have a couple on disk which show off the new GI pretty good.

Oshyan, if I may post them, is it appropriate to post them here or do you prefer to create a separate thread for that in this forum section?
I can imagine you prefer to keep this place tidy.