Blue nodes descriptions explanations and practical use info

Started by james adamson, August 07, 2020, 05:57:13 am

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james adamson

Hi all.
After being away from Terragen for a few months I have just jumped back in and it is clear that to get the best from Terragen a greater understanding of the blue nodes and some trig is required. A maths course is on the horizon and the books recommended by Oshyan. I have been reading up on some of the threads around this topic and it seams it's quite contentious with lots of various points of view around whether more explanations for nodes should be available or should people just experiment until they get it and study up on ones math skills?
All are true imho, although that being said, experimenting may take one on a voyage of discovery in creating some wild and wonderful landscapes but what it will not get you unless you are very very lucky is a recreation of what is in your head. I just took a look at DanielO's crater shader from way back. Its great and seemingly very simple. I can see the blue nodes are used essentially to create a mask for the crack displacement. I also can understand the concept of the redirect node, but in this setup I can not figure out why it is there or how the PF'S that go into it are plus or minus or why i they are there at all. So with that in mind and as a new user I would have no way of coming up with that solution unless there was some resource that outlined the blue nodes and what they do like the one Hetzen is kindly dedicating his free time toward. But also what scenarios they could possibly be used in, as to give some opening as to where one would start experimenting. Many of the descriptions on the wiki are also of the mathematical process not how they would be used visually, this is after all a piece of VFX software and it does feel like the descriptions on the wiki assume we are all coders and not VFX artists.
Otherwise it is just fumbling around in the dark unless the artist in question Has some decent maths for graphics knowledge, and there are a lot of us out there that do not. At the same time I accept this is a different kind of program and whilst having a good maths knowledge is beneficial in all the software I use nowhere does it seem more fundamental than in Terragen so a small amount of hand holding would not go amiss. Again to reiterate a point made by Dune way back. Where there is a will there is a way. Most definitely, but many artists are using up to two three and four other apps with Tg just a part of the puzzle so some rudimentary descriptions of when and where certain nodes have been used to achieve x y or z would be very helpful as a jumping off point and aid in a more linear learning process and also be a big time saver.
Finally I have achieved more than I thought I would on Tg using nearly all red, some blue for masking purposes and that is down to this forum and all the help and feedback. I have come across nothing like it.
Cheers peeps.