Increasing the resolution of the 3D preview..?

Started by yesmine, February 16, 2014, 05:57:59 PM

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I'm working with a digital elevation model (DEM) and need to place my camera at a very specific location to get the right viewpoint (i.e. in the center of where a road would be). But even when the 3D preview has finished rendering, at it's final resolution the terrain is still too 'fractalized' (is that a word?) to tell exactly where I am on the DEM.  Is there a way to have the 3D preview window(s) render/display at a higher, more detailed resolution? It's very difficult to tell where things are, even comparing to an image of the actual terrain, at the default resolution.

If this isn't already built in, it occurs to me that it would be nice to momentarily press a key and have the display jump to a full resolution for just the length of time you hold the key down. Then I could at at least tell exactly where my position is on the DEM terrain.


Hi yesmine,

I seem to remember the preview window of early version of TG3 being set to render at a higher resolution from previous versions due to increased performance. For some reason this was dropped back to its previous level. I think the next version of TG3 increases the preview window's performance even further so maybe this is something that could get added back with some future update.

Perhaps it may be better to add it as a user preference so users can decide the maximum detail level.


Yes for the short time we had the higher resolution it was useful but having it as an option, i.e., press a button and it renders at the higher resolution press the button again and it goes back to its previous resolution.


Thanks for the replies...I do think it would be nice to be able to momentarily see it in hi-res. I've just begun working with TG3 again after pulling my hair out with VUE crashes and having it sucking my 8-core machine into oblivion, so I'm still learning.

In this case, I have a very particular location where the camera needs to be on a path, within about a 5-10 foot area. The DEM is easily viewed in 3DEM or any number of other programs (same one I'd used in VUE), and it's detailed enough to see what I need to see. But with TG3, it's been difficult to find the viewpoint because of the resolution problem. I've had to create a camera high above the terrain, looking straight down, and then back in and out enough to get some idea where I am--then render that view (more time waiting) so I can then guess I'm in the right place. Because the location is atop a low rolling hill, I finally generated a jpg of the DEM in another program to compare that with the terrain in the fractalized TG3 preview, looking for the vague light/shadow outlines in the fractals to be sure I was in the right spot. That works...but if I could just render the preview momentarily in hi-res it would be much easier. (I think others have also said this, but the constant redrawing of the fractals every time you touch something, losing the picture and waiting for that last 20%, is a bit frustrating. Perhaps a very simple smooth shaded view could help for these quick looks.)

Even so, I'm actually not at all complaining about the program, nor am I disappointed with the learning curve. I used TG2..actually started with .09. The interface takes some getting used there a 4-view orthographic display I haven't found yet? Most other 3D apps have it, so there must be a reason and it would be somewhat familiar. Wind animation for vegetation would be huge, maybe the biggest drawback for me at the moment. But my first test render of the above DEM looked very nice, the fractals adding more detail is excellent, and it looked much more realistic than the VUE version. So I'm pretty positive about the results I'll eventually get.

Thanks again...


Sorry to hear about the issues you're having with this. It's actually the first time I can recall hearing about such precise placement issues due to limitations of detail in the 3D preview, but I certainly see how it can happen. We do have plans for various improvements to the 3D preview, some of which would certainly help with these issues. An option to increase detail as a user preference would certainly be good, I agree. I'll see how feasible that is to do in the shorter-term.

Other than that I'm glad to hear you're enjoying working with Terragen again. :)

- Oshyan