Technology Preview 4 available

Started by Matt, June 30, 2008, 07:47:58 am

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June 30, 2008, 07:47:58 am Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 07:51:01 am by Matt
Terragen 2 Technology Preview 4 (Build

We have just released an update for licensed pre-purchasers of Terragen 2. Emails are being sent to those pre-purchasers who have subscribed to receive email announcements from us. This update is also available through the the automatic update checker in Terragen 2, so you do not need to wait for your email.

This is a recommended update.

Please allow up to 12 hours for emails to arrive. If you are eligible for this update and think you are not on the list or have not received an email in due time, please contact explaining the situation and we will make sure you are sent information about the update. Please also remember that spam filters used by your ISP or mail provider may sometimes prevent legitimate emails from Planetside from reaching you, so please check any spam folders you may have access to for emails with the subject "Terragen 2 Update: Technology Preview 4".

Changes from (Tech Preview 3) to (Tech Preview 4)

Fixed a memory leak that was recently introduced into the atmosphere/cloud integrator.

Improved speed of renders that use more than 1 thread. The main application thread was doing unnecessary work due to a recent bug.

Fixed a bug in the rendering of populations with multiple threads. This bug resulted in parts of objects being missing in some buckets (tiles).

/LARGEADDRESSAWARE: Able to take advantage of the /3GB switch supported by some 32-bit versions of Windows and 4GB of address space on 64-bit Windows. This allows Terragen to use more virtual memory than the 2Gb which it was previously limited to.

Render nodes have two new options to control the "subdiv cache", which is used to render ray traced shadows, reflections and GI rays:
    Size of subdiv cache in Mb: The total amount of memory allowed for the subdiv caches. Each thread has its own subdiv cache which will be allowed only a portion of this total. The default value is 400 Mb. There is a hard minimum of 50 Mb per thread.
    Preallocate subdiv cache: Specify whether the entire quota of memory for subdiv caches is allocated at the start of each render, rather than only allocated in increments when needed. This usually increases memory use, but may help to identify memory allocation errors sooner rather than later during the render.

The ray tracer is more robust with small subdiv caches, although demanding scenes will still benefit from large subdiv caches.

Ability to override the detection of the number of processor cores, in Preferences -> Startup.

Changed detection of number of cores.

Only renders with maximum threads set to 0 are rendered completely within the main application thread, otherwise a separate thread is used for bucket rendering. This is technically a bug fix. The difference between 0-threaded and 1-threaded renders remains because it may be useful for debugging.

Ray tracing of non-subdivisible objects (imported objects and Grass Clump) and populations now uses a different hierarchy structure (BIH) which uses less memory and allows faster rendering. This change also eliminates a conflict between threads that could potentially cause problems.

Improved memory handling for scenes with a very large number of instances.

Populator v3 no longer automatically repopulates when a parameter change occurs in clouds or other shaders which are connected to the planet, unless they also influence the population through other connections. This does not eliminate all situations where repopulation occurs unnecessarily, however.

The number of micro triangles is reported when a render finishes.

Fixed a crash in Image Map Shader with Through Camera projection and no camera attached.

Fixed a bug that would render parts of the atmosphere completely black where the rays went below its floor altitude, often affecting planets in the distance.

Improvements to Global Illumination and render prepass:
    Improved prepass sample distribution.
    Option to supersample the prepass (in render node settings). This takes more image samples in the prepass without increasing the total number of GI light samples. This provides a better coverage of GI on small parts or edges of objects and clouds, with a smaller increase in render times than a similar increase in GI relative detail.
    GI blur radius can be changed by the user (in render node settings).

Some changes which may improve GI consistency in 3D Previews on the lowest detail levels, although these levels may be noticeably slower in some cases.

Added windowed/marquee zooming to the network view, see Mouse and Key Settings for the bindings.

Pressing the return/enter key when an object/shader is selected in the 3D Preview will open its param view.

Added new object selection/centreing functionality. The 3D Preview reset camera position button now has a submenu for the "Centre on object or shader" item which lets you centre on the currently selected object as well as all other objects/shaders in the scene. The 3D Preview context menu has two new items, one of which does the same as just described and another which lets you select any object/shader in the scene.

The "More Settings" tab in the render node param view has been renamed "Extra".

Mac only: Fixed a problem with undo in edit text fields.

Mac only: Fixed a problem with the render node param view tabs, where the tab buttons had become wider than the control and param view.

The Errors and Warnings dialog now displays its list items much more quickly.

Set Look At Point and Pick Focus Point are working again in the 3D Preview.

Errors and Warnings now only displays a maximum of 250 errors and 250 warnings. It also only updates a few times a second instead of constantly.

New Notifier function node ( Functions/Debug/Notifier ), intended to help debug node networks.

Navigation panel in 3D Preview is now opaque to clicks and mouse movement, aside from dragging.

Fixed a bug where using the context menu in the 3D Preview could lead to it not having full interactivity subsequently.

Improved drawing of node connections across multiple views when connecting and disconnecting.

Fixed some interaction problems between dragging the crop region and objects in the 3D preview.

Two new command line options:
    -no3dpreview: Do not open the 3D Preview automatically.
    -nonetworkview: Do not open the Network View automatically (except in Node Network Layout).

Windows only: The program folder contains a batch file called tgdNo3DPreviewNoNetworkView.bat which launches Terragen with the -no3dpreview and -nonetworkview command line options.

LWOMicroExporter now supports %04d to insert frame number.

Changes to Update Checker:
    Automatic update notification dialog only shows once per day.
    The update notification dialogs have a new button labeled "Ignore New Version" which causes Terragen to ignore notification of that particular update in future. Note that if you ignore a version it will also be ignored if you use Check for Updates or Check For Updates Now. You can clear the ignored versions in Preferences -> Software Update, allowing Terragen to notify you of these updates.

A "Check for Updates" item has been added to the Help menu.

Some aesthetic changes to node network rendering which may make it look a little cleaner, especially when zoomed out.


Matt Fairclough
Planetside Software
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.