A few more newbie q's

Started by SteveR, July 11, 2013, 04:38:01 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

SteveR

Hi all, having had some time this week to do some experimenting with TG2, mixed results but I am seeing the power. I think that's the nature of the game with TG2. I am working on my first proper scene and I wonder if I can ask a few qustions as I develop it. It might be the best way for me to learn TG2, just to actually get on and try and achieve something I want :)


1. Feel really dumb asking this one, how do I add several terrains without them being linked/layered on top of each other. I have a foreground terrain and I want to add a distant terrain as well in my example and possibly also add a image driven terrain.

2. Even dumber (lol!) how do I import a DEM file???

3. I've had fun using images to drive a heightfield, despite my testing can I just confirm the best resolution for the source image? Is it fair to say the higher the resolution the smoother the peaks (using blurred grey scale images) - I tend to get very sharp/narrow edges/peaks when I try this.

4. I noticed that 3D Direct did a Terragen set of training videos/seminars with some of you guru guys here, they look cool, would they be useful for the likes of me - newbie hobbysit bloke?

5. I don't suppose there is a hidden auto-save in TG2, getting more crashes than I'd like. I will survive :) but given the experimentation style of learning I feel I have to do it's a little frustration to get an effect I want and then to loose it!!  (and because I am struggling to remember/work out the node settings it's dificult for me to get it back!). Ctrl-S is my friend I know ;)


sorry for the q's, really appreciate any thoughts

Thanks
Steve

Dune

I'll answer the first: you should see TG as modeling/sculpting a sphere (the planet). So there's not really stacking of terrains, in principle it's all one terrain. You can distinguish between terrains (displacements and/or colors) by using masks like distance shader (distance from camera), simple shapes or maps you've drawn in Photoshop.
Third: higher resolution, better results indeed. Keep maps smooth, but don't use gaussian blur or you'll get steps (in my experience). Add small-medium big displacements in TG.
Four: they are very useful!
Five: CTRL-S indeed, I click it all the time.

Oshyan

2: Only GeoTIFF is supported for DEM formats in TG2. You can load it with the Heightfield Load node. TG3 supports a much wider range of DEM formats (all 3 default formats that USGS now provides, ArcGrid, GridFloat, and IMG, among others).

5: There is no auto-save, but you can save incrementally with the toolbar save button (it expands to offer more options). There is no shortcut key for incremental save, unfortunately.

Regarding crashing, if you are encountering anything reproducible, or consistent crashing (as you seem to describe), please do let us know. Email us at support AT planetside.co.uk with some details and we'll try to track down the problem(s). If you do so, provide as many system specs as you can as it may be driver related.

- Oshyan

SteveR

Thank you Dune and Oshyan for your answers.

Been a while since I used DEMs (VistaPro possibly!) so I had forgotten there were several varieties - explains the issue I was having. Out of interest are they all DEM formats 2d formats, x, z and height? Or are some of the formats 3d, as in there are x and z position and a value at each resolution point of altitude (so it is a 3d cube of points, if that helps my explanation at all!!)? Thinking the 3d version might provide references for overhangs and things.

I will go and look at the masking nodes, I'll look at the distance one, any other commonly used ones it would be worth me getting used to sooner rather than later? Clearly an important part of TG2.

Thanks for the tip about not nusing Gaussian blur, tends to be my default so I will experiemnt some more.

As for the crashes don't worry too much, but thanks for the offer.  TG3 will be along shortly so we will see how that goes and take it from there. They are quite frequent and seem to happen in various places, such as moving a node up or down in the node list, hitting Ctrl-R, changing values in a node and so on. I expect this sort of application to crash occasionally, it compex and intnesive in many areas of the computer but it is doing it a bit more often that I think it should. Possibly me experimenting too much and driving bizarre/difficult to anticipate situations in the software. My set up is Win8 Pro x64,  core i7 @4.5Ghz, 8Gb, GeForce 460GTX SC 1Gb. nVidia drivers are up to date as of about 4 weeks ago so I will just check for any newer versions as these can often be the culprit. My other stuff like Modo/Zbrush seem to be fine. Anyway, lets not worry too much until TG3 is here :) A short cut key for save incrementally would be very handy though generally speaking - it can be a good way to work :)

Thanks again guys,
Steve


jo

Hi Steve,

It sounds like you might be changing settings while TG is rendering. We very strongly recommend against doing this, even though the app doesn't prevent you doing it. I'm talking about changing settings during an actual render, not while the 3D Preview is rendering.

Regards,

Jo

SteveR

No, I don't change the settings whilst doing a proper render.  I do of course make pretty much all my changes whilst the preview render is progressing whcih I guess should be fine and is indeed the point :) Thank you for the suggestion though.

jo

Hi Steve,

In that case I'm not sure what's up. Generally TG is pretty stable. Sometimes when people have been having stability issues like this it's come down to hardware issues, such as dodgy RAM. You might want to search the forum for something like "memory test" or "memtest".

Regards,

Jo

SteveR

Thanks Jo, I'll get around and do some more tests over the weekend hopefully.

jaf

Very small values in some fields can cause problems.  I don't remember off hand, but it was something like .001 or maybe less (there's a thread somewhere where it's discussed.)  The developers would have to put exception code all over the place to make it "un-crashable" and would probably cause a big performance hit.   

Use the incremental save often.
(09Jul20) Ryzen 1800x, 970 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD, Corsair Vengeance 64GB DDR4 3200 Mem,  EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Graphics 451.67 (09Jul20), Win 10 Pro x64, Terragen Pro 4.5.38 Frontier, BenchMark 0:10:02

Oshyan

At 4.5Ghz your i7 is no doubt heavily overclocked. While I'm sure you have it that way normally and it's quite stable (my own i7 was at 4.6Ghz for a long time with no problems, so I know it's possible), I will say that Terragen seems to stress overclocked CPUs almost more than anything else. Even other major 3D apps don't always seem to do this. If you're willing to try as an experiment just going back to stock clock speed, maybe only for 24hrs (while working with TG), that would be interesting. I understand if not though. Overclocking is of course always a risk (albeit a small one with good cooling).

- Oshyan

SteveR

Thanks for the comments all.

Jaf, I'll keep an eye out to see if there is a pattern with small adjustments, thanks.

Oshyan, my PC was OC'd "professionally" by the original supplier about 2.5 years ago - it's an overclocked sandybridge 2600k and has been totally stable from day one, I beleive that the i7 will burst to 4.5Ghz rather than sit there at thet frequency all the time. However I hear what you're saying and it would be an interesting test. Not done any OC'ing myself for absolute ages but I would imagine my BIOS has some config save slots, so I should be able to save my curent BIOS settings there and then revert back to stock settings for a bit. I will give it a go at some point, but probably not this though week I'm afraid.

Also, I have a suspiscion (intuitive thing rather than evidence based) that it is to do with the preview render and since TG3 has this re-written I wonder if this will solve the issue anyway.

Thanks
Steve

Oshyan

The TG3 preview is definitely improved/changed, but the fundamental tech is similar. Still, it will of course be interesting to see if it has an effect in the issue. If it is a 3D preview problem, you might be able to do some tests by closing it and messing around a bit. That would be most effective if you could get a better sense of what steps might lead to the problem though (even if you can't narrow down to the specific cause).

- Oshyan

Matt

July 13, 2013, 09:54:41 pm #12 Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 09:57:20 pm by Matt
Quote from: SteveR on July 12, 2013, 05:42:05 am
A short cut key for save incrementally would be very handy though generally speaking - it can be a good way to work :)


In Preferences you can turn on "Always save project files incrementally", then you can use the standard save shortcut (Ctrl+S or Cmd+S) to do an incremental save. I often prefer to work this way.

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

SteveR

Ah, thanks for the heads up re the incremental save, had not noticed that! V. useful.

Thanks for the comments everyone, cheers.
Steve