New User Help Making Mars Terrain

Started by peepo, September 14, 2018, 06:41:36 am

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I'm a total newbie to Terragen (but have experience of Modo and Houdini). I've just worked through the your first terrain tutorial on this website, which was very helpful. Im very impressed at what it can do out of the box!

Are there any tutorials that could help with created a Mars like terrain - the background hills/mountains are ok, but how would I go about creating foreground rock debris like this ref image:

Any tutorials covering the main principles/techniques would be helpful, and I can take things further from there.

Many thanks!


Welcome peepo. Good to have you on board. Did you try the search function for mars, and rocks, and fake rocks and words like that? There's lots to be found here.
The principle for these rocks is that you use fake stones in several sizes, displaced and colored by power fractals, and merged through a merge shader set to highest raise, or just stack some differently sized rocks onto eachother.


Thanks Dune!

I'm really excited about the possibilities with Terragen and have started to dig around in the forums now. It seems like a Mars terrain is a rite of passage :-)

Thanks for the heads up on the technique. I can break down the scene into hills/mountains, sand, rocks.

It makes sense for me to tackle one thing at a time whilst I'm learning this incredible software.

Im hungry for tutorials - are there any good project base ones available? Im up for paying for them too.




Thanks Dune for the helpful reply.

That site looks great - some really nice work there. There were some links on tutorials, but lots of dead links, and also content seems to be from 2010.

To be honest, your product is amazing, and looking at the planetside showcsse, it's used a lot in file and tv which is great BUT the lack of tutorials is very bad for a newbie.

I was all ready to buy, Im still really keen, but now wondering if I should be directing my efforts towards Houdini instead as it's a lot more supported with training videos......


Learning curve of Terragen is steep, but results can be astonishing. And you have the community here, which is very friendly and helpful.
Another helpful link:
And this:
And this:,15582.0.html


hi peepo, welcome from me as well. A little tip I pass on to newbies cuz I was once is, download the free presets file from :

and add them one at a time to see what they do to the terrain or atmo etc. There are also some .tgd files that I found very in informative
It's all about learning through reverse engineering heh heh. I often load a preset simply as a start point and tweak it, and if it's working I
add another Surface layer and add another preset, tweak etc....good luck and have fun cuz if y ain't havin' fun yer doin' it wrong as my mentor was fond of sayin'
something borrowed,
something Blue.
Ring out the Old.
Bring in the New
Bobby Stahr, Paracosmologist


Hi peepo, welcome. Ulco/Dune is an enthusiastic and skilled Terragen user, but not an official representative. ;)

There is currently a relative lack of official project-based tutorials. That's something we're working on, although I can't say we have specific plans to do something like an in-depth Mars scene in the near future. Most of our content will be more basic and general for now, building on the First Scene document, and then augmented by short-form technique-specific video tutorials. Covering use of Fake Stones and other techniques to quickly build up a complex, realistic ground look is a good idea for one of the earlier video tutorials or for a series, so I'll add that to our list and try to prioritize it, but it's not something that would be immediately available unfortunately.

In the meantime there are, as Dune mentioned, a lot of resources here on the forums, but in discussion threads, and in the File Sharing section. You can use the Search function and limit to a specific forum with the Advanced Search page here:
So for example if you wanted to search just the File Sharing section.

The NWDA store and Luc Bianco's store also provide some good ready-made options. Here's Luc's in addition to NWDA linked above:

- Oshyan