Author Topic: Why are there "no" video tutorials on Terragen, for many years?  (Read 878 times)

Offline lookdev

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Why are there "no" video tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« on: December 10, 2018, 04:38:43 AM »
Of all software I use or come across, Terragen is definitely the one with almost no video tutorials, and this hasn't changed for many years.

I started with the PLE a few years ago, then parked it because there were no tutorials. Yes there is geek at play / vladimir chopin, Let's not talk too much about that, let's thank the guy very much (covers some basics) and let's keep it at that.

2 years later bought the license in a hope to get it started, then I've parked it again, because there were no tutorials.

How come over so many years there are consistently no tutorials. some parts of the documentation are clearly outdated showing screenshots of older versions, parameters defined with TBC..

There is just about enough to find your way in the interface. I can confidently say I have no clue how to get one step further.
I see interesting cliffs, 0 tutorials.
It seems to have interesting clouds, 0 tutorials
Anything you may want, 0 tutorials.

While I'm advancing at the speed of light on the most complicated VFX software on the planet (Houdini), my beginner/interface level in Terragen is the same for many years and there is no sign it will ever be better.

Just search for anything and add the word "Houdini", you will be shocked at how many tutorials there are and they cover it thouroughly, enough to make you an expert, enough to make you love it.

Now take anything Terragen does and search for a tutorial.... you'll find nothing. I guess for the coming decade it won't change but I have no idea why?

I have a film production company trying to build in-house vfx.

Imagine you buy production equipment and set up your factory. All machines have user manuals except one.
Wouldn't you be surprised today (December 2018) if you were asked to put the factory on hold, and start experimenting and discovering with trial and error without user manual how this machine works, while all other machines are readily usable.


It's about the factory, not the machine. The objective is not to learn Terragen, the objective is to make Visual Effects for our own films . We were told Terragen was good at what it does, but this machine is put on the side in the factory, collecting dust.

P.S. Just to clarify what I mean, a tutorial is one that teach you the techniques to achieve a result you can use in a film. Referring to video tutorials made mostly by users but also some by the company.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 06:02:35 PM by lookdev »

Offline René

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2018, 05:17:15 AM »
I assume you have already looked at the User-contributed Tutorials, can't you find anything there that meets your needs?

Offline bobbystahr

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 01:05:38 PM »
Have you checked out File Sharing here. I've learned tons of stuff from downloading and running stuff from in there. Bear in mind TG is a work in progress and is not a mega corp like most of the others with lots of coders...here we had an affordable program with regular updates but only one guy doing the heavy work. If you can't figure out something best practice seems to be post a query here and you will have it answered often by many helpful TGers...at least that's how this old pensioner got up to speed.
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Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 01:42:41 PM »
I assume you have already looked at the User-contributed Tutorials, can't you find anything there that meets your needs?

It would be great if you could point me to any one that goes beyond the basics or is not terribly outdated, I coulnd't find one. E.g. your portfolio has interesting cliffs, I'd love to make something like that, but I can't find a tutorial that covers cliffs.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 02:49:24 PM by lookdev »

Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 01:52:17 PM »
Have you checked out File Sharing here. I've learned tons of stuff from downloading and running stuff from in there. Bear in mind TG is a work in progress and is not a mega corp like most of the others with lots of coders...here we had an affordable program with regular updates but only one guy doing the heavy work. If you can't figure out something best practice seems to be post a query here and you will have it answered often by many helpful TGers...at least that's how this old pensioner got up to speed.

I'd love to reach the level where I can understand from files, there is a huge gap between the interface type tutorials and analysing files.
It's a pity because It's a great software clearly adding more great stuff, and I can't get past the basics.

The return on time invested is not worth it. If I use that same time I learn a 100 times more in another software, no matter how complicated.

Is it not strange to learn Houdini terrains faster than Terragen terrains? Houdini is not even meant to be a terrain software.
Why do I even think of bringing Houdini Clouds in Terragen? because there are great tutorials on how to create any type of cloud in Houdini, and 0 tutorial on clouds in Terragen.
Why am I gradually convinced that I should skip Terragen in the pipeline and take World Machine and Houdini Terrains straight to Clarisse? At least in Clarisse I can import anything I want incl Houdini clouds in less than a minute.

Have a look, enough to get you lost:
https://www.sidefx.com/tutorials/
https://www.isotropix.com/learn/tutorials#

It doesn't have to be made by the company.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 02:49:59 PM by lookdev »

Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 02:09:19 PM »
Isn't this frustrating? see for yourself, 0 tutorials:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cliffs+terragen
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=terrains+terragen
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=clouds+terragen


I've just closed a 2 week learning period of Terragen with roughly 0 progress. Will I have to parked for the third time?
The subscription pricing option is interesting but what's the point if I can't use it.

I'm absolutely sure Terragen can do this:
https://artofvfx.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ShannaraChronicles_FirstLook.jpg

We'll be filming in a few months adding CG environments similar to this, will we be able to make it in Terragen? (this is one of many we need)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 03:02:05 PM by lookdev »

Online archonforest

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 02:50:24 PM »
Actually I found some TG tuts on YouTube. Some of them was useful some not.
The lack of Documentation and tutorials are definitely a problem and the scene is not changing since long time. The learning curve of TG is not short and a bit steep. If you have a strong 3D background and a good understanding of math then you can learn it way faster than an average person. If I would you and if I would make my living out of my 3D pipeline I would skip TG and use something else. Perhaps you can learn TG out of your work time and one day when you know enough you can integrate TG in your pipeline.
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Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 03:00:50 PM »
Actually I found some TG tuts on YouTube. Some of them was useful some not.
The lack of Documentation and tutorials are definitely a problem and the scene is not changing since long time. The learning curve of TG is not short and a bit steep. If you have a strong 3D background and a good understanding of math then you can learn it way faster than an average person. If I would you and if I would make my living out of my 3D pipeline I would skip TG and use something else. Perhaps you can learn TG out of your work time and one day when you know enough you can integrate TG in your pipeline.

If one can handle Houdini (worst learning curve), any other software is piece of cake. I'm flying in Houdini, so Terragen in presence of tutorials would be dead easy.
I have to skip Terragen in the Pipeline for the third time! this really doesn't sound good.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 03:05:56 PM by lookdev »

Online archonforest

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 03:10:26 PM »
If TG is very important for you then try to hire a TG artist here on the forum who can do the needed pipeline step for you.
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Offline KlausK

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2018, 03:21:53 PM »
It is a topic which comes up again and again - for a good reason.
Documentation is lacking. It is that simple. Like you, I do not like it.

Search for "Documentation" and you find threads where members of staff answer (more or less), why.

The forum here IS the part where the documentation and the tutorials for TG are.
Scattered all over the place, sometimes not easy to find just the right answer to the one thing that is not working,
but it is here somewhere, for sure. I do not like that either.

There are tons of files which you can load in TG look at.
Even if you do not understand why every node is where it is, changing values and observing the effect it has, helps understand stuff.
Ask here, and you will be helped for sure.
"How do I do this?" will get you not really far, I guess. And shure you can do this (the pic you posted).
Maybe hire someone and pay him for making tutorials for topics you need?

It is a time consuming and not very easy to do thing, after all.

All in all I would agree with what archonforest suggested. Skip TG until you`re ready to change your attitude towards learning TG.

All of this is not meant to be mean or a stupid remark towards you in any way (English is not my native language).
But I think you are wasting your time.

Again, search for "Documentation" and you find threads where members of staff answer (more or less), why.
my2c / CHeers, Klaus


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Offline Dune

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 03:44:21 PM »
That sort of environments are indeed quite possible in TG. But TG isn't easily captured in tutorials; there are so many ways to do stuff. It's like a tutorial for building a house, not easy. So not a lot of users will spend the time making such a tutorial. I guess you'll have to learn the hard way. 

Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2018, 03:53:26 PM »
It is a topic which comes up again and again - for a good reason.
Documentation is lacking. It is that simple. Like you, I do not like it.

Search for "Documentation" and you find threads where members of staff answer (more or less), why.

The forum here IS the part where the documentation and the tutorials for TG are.
Scattered all over the place, sometimes not easy to find just the right answer to the one thing that is not working,
but it is here somewhere, for sure. I do not like that either.

There are tons of files which you can load in TG look at.
Even if you do not understand why every node is where it is, changing values and observing the effect it has, helps understand stuff.
Ask here, and you will be helped for sure.
"How do I do this?" will get you not really far, I guess. And shure you can do this (the pic you posted).
Maybe hire someone and pay him for making tutorials for topics you need?

It is a time consuming and not very easy to do thing, after all.

All in all I would agree with what archonforest suggested. Skip TG until you`re ready to change your attitude towards learning TG.

All of this is not meant to be mean or a stupid remark towards you in any way (English is not my native language).
But I think you are wasting your time.

Again, search for "Documentation" and you find threads where members of staff answer (more or less), why.
my2c / CHeers, Klaus


Klaus, I welcome what you said wholeheartedly but that time is long gone of spending a lifetime trying to be good at one software.
If you're in production, you know how fast things need to be learned and delivered, and it is perfectly possible in all CG/VFX software except Terragen.

Common have a look at this 5 year old comment by somebody else:
http://www.cgscenery.com/arid_dl/
"I appreciate the share; but I am at the beginning of learning TG2 and have no idea what to do with the contents of the file………..
Please keep up this wonderful service; it may just make the difference between many people actually learning TG2 rather than getting disheartened [as the perpetually unfinished user guide at the Planetside website is apt to do] and chucking it in and going to Vue…………."


Now (about 2019) there is a lot more than Vue.




Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2018, 04:06:01 PM »
That sort of environments are indeed quite possible in TG. But TG isn't easily captured in tutorials; there are so many ways to do stuff. It's like a tutorial for building a house, not easy. So not a lot of users will spend the time making such a tutorial. I guess you'll have to learn the hard way.

Dune, thanks, I appreciate it, but this is learning the hard way:
https://www.sidefx.com/tutorials/

By the way you mentioned how to build a house as an example, here are some tutorials:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+build+a+house

There is a tutorial for anything you can think of, except Terragen.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 04:12:42 PM by lookdev »

Offline lookdev

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2018, 04:20:03 PM »
If TG is very important for you then try to hire a TG artist here on the forum who can do the needed pipeline step for you.

Great idea IF we do it for the right reasons, not for the wrong reasons.
Right reason would be: time constraint, somebody exceptionally good that will deliver better than internally. An example is ILM outsourcing water simulations to Scanline. That's a perfect right reason, scanline is the go to for water.
Wrong reason: there weren't enough tutorials (one would even be ashamed to mention it as a reason)

If we can't make 3D environments in house, what would we be good at? It's one if the easiest in the pipeline.
I prefer to outsource what I can do, not what I can't do, it helps a lot to understand the billing.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 05:40:39 PM by lookdev »

Offline Hannes

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Re: Why are there "no" tutorials on Terragen, for many years?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2018, 04:49:57 PM »
Right reason would be: time constraint, somebody exceptionally good that will deliver better than internally. An example is ILM outsourcing water simulations to Scanline. That's a perfect right reason, scanline is the go to for water.
Wrong reason: there weren't enough tutorials (one would even be ashamed to mention it as a reason)

If we can't make 3D environments in house, what would we be good at? It's one if the easiest in the pipeline.

If it's one of the easiest things to do, what's the problem?
ILM hires Scanline for water. Because ILM can't do it as well as Scanline can obviously.
If landcape is easy, then do it on your own.
But I'm not sure, if it's possible to watch some Houdini tutorials for example, and afterwards you're a master. The notion of watching some TG tutorials and afterwards creating a stunning landscape like your reference is just unrealistic. I see a lot of 3d stuff made by long time users of certain 3d apps, and it doesn't look good. Tutorials can help, and actually there are some (look at the User contributed tutorials in this forum), but you'll have to learn the software. Yes, it's not easy. Do you think, someone who watches some tutorials about cooking (and there's a lot!!!) could be a chef in a restaurant?

If some studios want to have a certain look, and they feel, TG can create that look, then the only way is to hire an experienced TG user to do it, as Klaus said. Or you'll have to learn it yourself. And if you think, it's easier to do it in Vue, then do it in Vue. Or Houdini. If you're able to, after watching some tutorials.

I really hope all this doesn't sound offensive, but I have the impression, that a lot of people, who are constantly complaining about missing tutorials are just not willing to take the time and learn how to use the software. We had no tutorials as well, when the first TG version (after the classic one) was released. And there were no tips and tricks in the forum, because the forum didn't exist up to that time. But we've learned it!

 

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