Layout workflow between terragen and other 3d app.

Started by xuanprada, May 10, 2019, 04:00:46 AM

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What would be the best way of working between Terragen and other 3D app, in my case Maya and Houdini?
I'm talking specially about layout and set dressing.
I usually do these tasks in Maya and then export alembics to Houdini to continue the work there. Is there any way to get the same camera and basic object placement in Terragen?
I tried to import single objects but they appear in origin instead of the place where they should be placed in Maya.
How are you guys dealing with this? Any help would be much appreciated.

The other way around seems to work just fine, but rarely you are establishing the layout in Terragen.


Just to give you an example.
Let's say that I have a shot with a wooden cabin placed somewhere in a field, and I just want to take the camera of the shot and the cabin into terragen to do all the environment work based on the camera and the position of the cabin.



I do all my layout in TG and move my 0/0/0/ objects from the TG 0/0/0 to wherever I need them. But I've also worked with objects that have an original location off 0/0/0. Only if they are very far from 0/0/0 you may get into trouble as the TG world is a sphere, and the object might float or have an angle relative to ground.
Camera's can be exported as fbx as I understand, though I've hardly used that.


I see, but that is not viable for me. I'm trying to fit Terragen in a vfx production pipeline where previz and layout departments do their thing way before any Terragen work is involved.


My script Terraman should help you transfer geometry and cameras from Maya to Terragen:


There's a tutorial video for a slightly older version of the script, but should get you up and running:


That's great, thanks a lot.
Can I then assume that there is no native way of doing this? I'd be surprised not to have an alembic exporter/importer, or similar.


QuoteI'd be surprised not to have an alembic exporter/importer

That would be great - the present method in the script is a bit of a hack considering Terragen can't import animation natively at present.

QuoteI tried to import single objects but they appear in origin instead of the place where they should be placed in Maya.

Non-animated objects should export fine and in place with the script. The obvious problem with obj though is that basically just records the world position of the vertices in the file and the pivot point is always at the world origin.

That's something to be aware of when exporting an animated object - the script will temporarily center the selected object at world origin on export, then restore it again. The next step is to write out a .chan animation file which can be loaded in Terragen to translate the imported obj to the desired animation positions/translations. (told you it was a bit of hack  :) )

So if you plan to animate an object to bring into Terragen, always make sure it's translations/rotations can be reset back to the world origin - don't freeze any transforms.