Creating specific terrains

Started by jwdenzel, December 21, 2006, 04:40:41 pm

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Another newbie question. (But aren't we all newbies to TG2 anyway right now? ;-))

In the old TG programs, you could literally draw your terrain with pencil and eraser tools.  Is that functionality included anywhere in TG2?   I realize the power of fractals of course, but how would I "fine tune" a landscape to look just how I wanted it to?   Are we just going to have to be stuck with what the random terrain generator give us?

Semi-related question:  How can I import a DEM file and use it?

Thanks in advance


Currently there are no "paintbrush"-type tools for working with terrains in TG2. We do intend to add these before final release and they will be more capable than TG 0.9. For the time being from within TG2 you can use an imported image mask, or use another procedural or heightfield as a Blend Shader to make somewhat more explicit changes to a terrain. Alternatively you can just edit your terrain in another application that supports .ter (Wilbur, Leveller, Geocontrol, World Machine, etc.).

For importing DEM's you will need to convert to .ter first. Currently only Mars MOLA data is natively supported. We will support more DEM formats natively in the future. I recommend 3DEM or using Mapmart which has an option for direct download as .ter

- Oshyan


One thing I think I've noticed with 3Dem is that if you export the whole terrain then it sticks it up on a sort of pedestal but if you just export a selection, it's flat. 

I need to do some more messing around to confirm this though.  Anyone have any favourite DEMs ? Mine seems to be Mt Rainier at the moment


 The pedestal effect has been discussed before on Yahoo list I think (can't provide the link). It's because your terrain may have a min alt of >0 m (300m for eg). TG2 is actually getting it right. You'll have to normalise the heights to 0 alt elsewhere or you can use a translation node (not sure of the correct name) to lower the terrain.



It was me discussing it :)

It only appears to be a problem when I export the whole area from 3Dem.  I have a feeling that does something screwy with the altitude or something like that - maybe the edge of the DEM has a negative altitude ? I've never bothered to look at the raw data that closely heh

It's easy enough to get round, I just export an area as a .ter file instead - that seems to sort the problem out


If indeed we are going to have brush based sculpting tools then they should be aware. That is to say that they must respect the procedural or fractal method (In the case of height fields) that the terrain to be sculpted was generated with in the first place. Brush based sculpting tools have always had the fundamental flaw of producing overly smooth terrain that looks nothing like the original terrain.

Any one who has ever used a brush based sculpting system weather that be in Terragen 0.9.43, Bryce or any where else will tell you that the sculpting brushes never respect the terrain that is been sculpted, there is a great opportunity for TG2 to change this.

The sculpting tools must be live and have a definable area of influence as well as presets, the ability to change the angle and brush tip size (Think Photoshop) would be a grate asset. This live sculpting brush would work in the 3D Preview and would work at both the Macro and Micro Level of Detail.

The human mind perceives a great amount of detail around us, this detail maybe small and much is filtered out by the brain to prevent information overload; however when absent this detail is missed thus the mind has problems perceiving the viewed image as real this is the quandary of CGI generated terrain.

If the plain is to use the Deep Edition of TG2 in motion pictures then the micro detail is of  concern if any TG2 elements are going to be anywhere close to the camera position in any given shot.

Regards to you.



a tablet support for sculpting would be nice.... i think its not so hard to program it, even some freewarez like opencanvas has this option