Feature Request (Future version of Terragen) Procedural Crystal Generator

Started by Cyber-Angel, January 28, 2007, 01:49:39 am

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In the future I would like to see Terragen become more geologically aware; to this end for the sake of realism in Terragens output Terragen should have a procedural crystal generator.

Many rocks found in nature such as azurite, calcite and halite have crystal structures and these are a most fundamental part of rock structure and should be included if and when a suitable methodology could be found to render them.

There are different types of crystal structures and shapes found within different rock and mineral types and Terragen would have to take this into consideration the six main types are:

•   Cubic

•   Hexagonal and trigonal

•   Monoclinic

•   Orthorhombic

•   Tetragonal

•   Triclinic

If its possible one day to have this then Terragen renders will increase in there realism I can think of no other terrain system that dose this. 

You could have the system have a drop down menu with the main rock forming minerals of which there are thirty and have these broken down further into their respective classification systems (silicates etc), ideally the system would give a description of the mineral in question and be smart enough to give the user some indication where it would normally be found (terrain type) and site as example other minerals that are also found with it (This may require some kind of expert system).

This is so the procedural crystal generator generates the correct crystal type for the mineral/ rock in question and where a given rock type is composed of more then one mineral type the system should generate these automatically. This system would work with Subsurface Scattering and similar effects.

Just an idea for the future.

Regards to you.



Interesting idea.  However, I can't see this being needed except for in very specific situations.  Most of the time, crystals and minerals are not found in nature in their pure state but rather as amalgams of different minerals.
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Volker Harun

If terragen would be a geological program that is supposed to produce clos-up shots of our planet's surface, I would agree with you.
Else, at the moment it is a versatile program. And shading, adding objects of interest is up to the artist. That is what I always liked about terragen.  :D
But maybe somebody feels like making a plugin. ;D ;D ;D



Good idea and one that can be kinda faked at the moment, if you guys saw the thread about crators being used to make tree you know what I mean.


The world is round... so you have to use spherical projection.


Taken from the core feature set description:

"Render entire planets, sweeping vistas, tiny rock gardens, or anything in between."

I keep this in mind when requesting new features, yes rocks are composed of an amalgam of different minerals and I acknowledged that fact after a fashion in my post.

The fact is, is that you cannot get away from crystal shape and structure as it is part of the geomorphology of every rock in existence and there are people who like to get in close to their terrains as there is more to TG2TP then Orbital planet shoots and high altitude vistas not that there's any thing wrong with those.

Like I said before in another post its to do with the detail, we CG artists are trying to sell the illusion to non artists (Our Public) that what they are seeing is real; during a life time we all pick up a great deal of information about the world we live in and to a greater or lesser degree we know what landforms of different kinds look like take a small peace of that information away and some thing dose not seem right, we may not really know what it is, but some how it looks less real, not so convincing, thus any thing that our software can do to help sell the image the better of we are.

Look at it like this in the past with Terragen you had to use image overlays to create certain effects that you couldn't do due to the limited functionally of the software, many of these effects (though not all) can be achieved in TG2TP using the expanded feature set and things look better then they did before of coarse there are times when image overlays are still needed, but there may come a day when the feature set of Terragen is expanded to make this technique obsolete.

Image maps and there like only work from certain camera angles and distances, any one familiar with a game called quake (The first one" and games like it will have seen what I mean with the use of bitmaps fine from a distance and certain angles for which that where designed but up close that's a different story.

I would never suggest any thing that would make Terragen less versatile that is not my aim, if I have understood the Idea of Terragen correctly which is to render natural phenomena in a photorealistic manor then there is no escaping crystal size and structure and grain in rocks.

Surely, the idea of a comprehensive landform generator and renderer would have to work on both the small and large scales at the same time.

Regards to you.



Volker Harun

I understand your point  :D

I agree that the overall benefit for all would be a porgram with lots of features that allow satellite images as well Macros of flowers or crystalline structures.
On the other hand there could be a stable and versatile program finished within one year (hopefully) or the team of planetside is working on ice-, dirt- and stone-, cloud- and atmosphere-presets. I prefer the first point.

The second part would base on the existing shaders. In my opinion everything (except transparency) is already included. Maybe some crytall structured objects need to be imported. But I think of fractal shading and not of image-overlays. I think of displacements and maybe translucency.  ;)



Quote from: old_blaggard on January 28, 2007, 02:30:56 am
Interesting idea.  However, I can't see this being needed except for in very specific situations.  Most of the time, crystals and minerals are not found in nature in their pure state but rather as amalgams of different minerals.

Unless you wanna make superman's hide-out  ;D
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I like this idea. I was thinking about creating a scene that included some crystal forms the other day.



What I referring to here is the crystal system to which a mineral in a rock maybe identified a description of crystal systems can be found at this Wikipidia article for clarification of this subject area, to avoid any misunderstandings:


Also note that I asked for this to be included in a future version of Terragen now if that happens to be TG3 so be it.

You could get really crazy with this system and go into areas that Terragen is highly unlikely to ever go into such as geochemistry and fracture and shear mechanics of rock, but then Terragen would be a vary different beast all together.

If indeed Terragen dose ever get a procedural crystal generator then if will have to consider aniscopic media and polarization as well as crystal optics among other things if you where going to implement this correctly.

Regards to you.