Terragen 2.1 Free Non-Commercial Edition

Started by Matt, March 01, 2010, 03:00:55 am

Previous topic - Next topic


Terragen 2.1 Free Non-Commercial Edition is now available. You can download the latest version here:


This update is the free non-commercial edition only. If you are a licensed user of Deep Edition or Deep with Animation then you probably already have Terragen 2.1, but if you have not updated yet you can use the Check for Updates feature in Terragen 2.


Thanks to Ryan Archer and Franck Doassans for these images.

Top Changes

  • Ray trace objects for faster, higher quality rendering of objects and populations

  • Reduced render time and multithreading enhancements

  • Population and object rendering fixes

  • Black triangle fix

  • New shaders

  • New populator features

  • UI improvements and fixes

  • Safe saving fixes/changes

  • Windows drag-and-drop and file association fixes


Performance warning dialog is no longer shown if you have more than 4 cores. Threading performance has improved enough that this is no longer an issue, though there are still improvements to be made.

Reduced render time: The Render View shows an unfiltered, aliased preview of each bucket while it is rendering, and then computes the anti-aliasing pixel filters when the bucket is completed. This shortens the total render time, especially with high anti-aliasing settings, certain pixel filters, and anti-aliasing bloom. Finished renders should look the same as before.

The renderer now has an option called "Ray trace objects". This uses an adaptive ray tracing pass to render objects, with quality determined by the anti-aliasing settings. This affects any objects which can be used in populations, i.e. imported objects, the built-in Grass Clump and the built-in Rock object. "Ray trace objects" usually gives superior quality images of populations compared with the micropolygon renderer, and often with shorter render times. Very good results can be obtained with anti-aliasing presets between 5 and 8. Displacements applied to these objects are not seen by the ray tracer, but the displacement information is interpreted as bump to affect shading. Anti-aliasing adaptive sampling settings can be completely customised, or you can use the preset values for each anti-aliasing level.

"Ray trace everything" option in the render node. This may be useful in scenes where atmospheres and clouds can be rendered more efficiently by the adaptive ray tracer than by the micropolygon renderer. For most typical scenes, however, this option should be disabled.

The Quick Render node in the default project has anti-aliasing set to 2, now that anti-aliasing has a greater impact on render times for objects rendered with "Ray trace objects".

Fixed two serious bugs with the rendering of populations. One bug caused the level-of-detail calculations to be incorrect and reduced image quality, the second bug caused objects close to the camera to be rendered incorrectly and possibly had other side effects which might have affected stability. All of these problems have now been fixed.

Improved responsiveness of the user interface while rendering.

Other changes which improve multi-threading performance.

Fixed the "black triangles" bug (bug 143).

Fixed a bug in ray tracing faces that are parallel to the object's bounding box sides (bug 149, possibly bug 139).

The number of motion blur time steps used by the micropolygon renderer is always the square of a power of 2, to cooperate with some changes to the pixel sampler. 1 step is used for AA 1; 4 steps for AA 2; 16 steps for AA 3 and 4; 64 steps for AA 5 to 8; 256 steps for AA 9 to 16.

"Lock subdiv to frame" option in the render node. This allows the subdivision of ray traced geometry (i.e. shadow-casting and reflection-casting geometry) to be calculated the same for all frames in an animation, based on a chosen frame number. This avoids certain animation glitches and works best if the view does not differ greatly from the chosen lock frame.

Slight change to how surface normals are rendered close to silhouette edges.

Various other improvements to the ray tracer.

Slight speed improvement to "GI surface details".

Improvements to GI coverage at low sampling rates in Cloud Layer V2 and Planet Atmosphere and possibly other situations.

Added a new shader called "Simple shape shader". It's a colour and displacement shader which can create circles and polygons. An application which springs to mind is use as a blend shader.

Added a new shader called "Shader array". It's a colour and displacement shader which can create a rectangular array of one instance of another shaders. It's a bit like like a populator for shaders, although it is designed for a regular grid rather than random placement. The shader array has a "Limit effect area" param which limits the effect to a certain area. The "Boundary padding" param controls how far outside the outer rows and columns the shader array effects are applied. If you adjust the boundary padding to tightly enclose the shaders used in the array rendering performance will be improved.

Added a Contour shader which creates topo map-like contour lines.

Added an Arctan2 scalar function node which implements the atan2 function.

Added a PI scalar function node to the Constants group which outputs PI.

Cloud Layer V2: New parameter "step optimisation". Larger values allow the clouds to render faster by skipping over larger regions with negative density values, but artefacts may be introduced if the parameter is set too high.

Cloud Layer V2: Get Altitude and Get Altitude in Texture function nodes now work correctly when used in density shader/function networks.

Cloud Layer V2: "Ray fuzziness" parameter. This randomises sample positions around the ray cast from the camera, by an amount that is relative to micropolygon size.

A populator's area can be rotated on any axis. Object spacing has independent control in X and Z. There is also a new parameter to control the randomness vs. regularity of the object rows and colums.

The populator has an option to clip instances to the region seen by the camera, reducing memory requirements, the time taken to create instances, and render times. Beware that if you use this option, shadows and reflections will not be cast by objects that can't be seen directly by the camera.

The populator has an "Ultra quality" render quality setting, even higher than "Very high quality". This is currently for testing purposes, and is not recommended for normal use. The populator's render quality setting only has an effect when "Ray trace objects" is disabled, i.e. using the original micropolygon renderer.

Other minor improvements to the rendering of populations with the micropolygon renderer, although we now recommend that you use "ray trace objects" instead.

Fixed a bug with Planet Atmosphere's "enable secondary" parameter. It now affects GI contributions and higher reflections depths.

The Default Shader's reflectivity and specular roughness can be controlled by image maps and by functions, just like all the other important attributes. Specular roughness can even be different in each of the RGB channels if you supply a colour image or function.

Reflection Shader: higher light depths only use 1 sample for soft reflections, regardless of the samples parameter, to greatly reduce render times in some situations.

Fixed a bug in Compute Terrain that gave incorrect texture coordinates when "smooth surface" was enabled.

Power fractal shader v3: Changes to feature scale cause recalculation of the number of octaves. Previously this only worked with lead-in scale and smallest scale.

Corrected a few minor problems with the ray tracing of imported objects and the Grass Clump. This fixes some minor problems in reflections, GI, and direct rendering of objects using the new ray tracing mode.

Sliders for "GI relative detail" and "GI sample quality" now only go up to 3, to suggest that higher values aren't needed in most situations. (Higher values can still be entered by hand.)

The anti-aliasing slider now only goes up to 8, although higher values can still be entered by hand. Now that objects can be rendered using ray tracing, anti-aliasing usually doesn't need to be set as high as before.

Enable/disable of multiple nodes in the network view can now be undone with one undo instead of several.

Nodes which don't have an Enable param (i.e. groups, Heightfield generate) can no longer have their enabled state toggled in the network view.

Projects are now marked as modified when nodes are moved or resized.

Fixed a problem with network view bookmarks where mouse over highlighting could become disabled.

Disabled sunlight nodes are no longer displayed on the perimeter of the 3D Preview navigation compass.

TIFF/GeoTIFF added to the list of file filters in the Heightfield Load dialog.

Fixed window parenting problems with some floating param views.

Changed the network view zooming behaviour using the mouse or mouse wheel. The network view now zooms so the network view location under the mouse stays constant. This lets you position the mouse anywhere in the view and have that area stay more or less in view. Zooming using the keys still happens around the centre of the view.

Improved the network view behaviour when you paste nodes. Pasted nodes are always centred in the view and the view will fit to them if necessary.

Tweaked some node param view layouts.

Windows only: Window contents now resize properly when using Aero Snap on Windows 7.

Windows only: Split pane splitter bars now look better on Windows 7 both in Windows 7 and Classic themes.

Fixed some problems with opening render node param views while rendering. The "active" render node can not be changed while a render is in progress.

Changed default project so that platform-specific defaults are used for render output filenames. (The default project does not specify the filenames.)

Made some changes to param view management.

Crop region drag handles now stay a constant size independent of camera configuration. They also show up for orthographic cameras now (bug 142).

Added "Reset orientation" item to the Reset camera button menu. This resets the orientation of the orthographic preset cameras.

Fixed a bug where the network connections could become different to the actual network state (bug 145).

Fixed a Parts shader node bug which prevented proper update of node names in network view and project view lists (bug 146).

Mac only: Fixed a bug where items in hierarchic lists might not update immediately when their text was changed (bug 147).

The camera's field of view (in perspective mode) can now be specified using focal length and film aperture (film back) parameters.

The camera has more options for importing .chan files.

Removed the Copy to render camera, Choose camera and Reset camera buttons from standalone heightfield/shader preview windows.

Nodes in the network view now have a plus icon on the right to show when they have internal nodes.

Network view node tooltips now say "Has internal nodes" if a node has internal nodes.

Deep version has "Reveal Key File" item in the Help menu, which ... reveals your key file.

Mac only: Worked around an edit text field display problem on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, where edit text fields with text in them could appear blank or have the text truncated.

Fixed a bug where scrubbing the time line (next/previous frame buttons) didn't make the 3D Preview update.

Fixed a crashing bug which was caused by connecting an input of an internal node to the output of its containing node.

Some changes to the way floating param views are handled.

Node connections are highlighted when you mouse over a node input or output in the network view.

The width/height/aspect ratio of the 3D Preview now updates when you change the relevant values in the render node.

Fixed a bug where the Tan scalar node would be created instead of the Arctan scalar node when you tried to create an Arctan scalar node.

Made some improvements to mouse handling in network view bookmarks.

Some changes have been made to the project file safe saving. Please let us know of any problems saving project files.

Mac only: Safe saving changes made above allow you to save project files on drives/volumes/partitions other than the OS volume ( i.e. secondary hard drives, thumb drives, network drives etc. ).

Fixed a problem where nodes inside other nodes (aside from Group nodes) didn't show up in "Assign shader" and similar submenus.

You now insert clip files into the internal networks of nodes.

The Network View you insert a clip file into now zooms to fit its contents. This helps out with the situation where newly inserted nodes might not be inside the current view area of the Network View, which can give the impression no nodes were inserted.

The 3D Preview display problem characterised by thick bounding box lines and incorrect clipping should now be fixed.

Added Undo support for Group Capture Nodes and Group Release Nodes.

Parameter views are managed a new way internally. You can now only have one parameter view open for a particular node. You should now not be able to open a param view in a floater while it's being shown in the main window. This should also address the problem where a param view in the main window wasn't closed properly and new ones drew over the top. This was most evident on the Mac. Please let us know if you experience any odd behaviour with param views.

Labels in the network view, such as node names, can now be truncated when they are too large to fit in the node. You can mouse over them to see the full name in a tooltip. Added a preference to the Network View prefs panel which allows you to set whether or not node label text is truncated.

Tooltips are always shown for nodes in the network view. Previously you could turn this on or off using the "Show special tooltips" preference.

A number of changes have been made to the network view bookmarks, on the left hand side. The bookmarks now have a fixed size instead of stretching and squashing as the view is resized. When there are too many bookmarks to all be displayed at once scroll buttons appear and you can scroll through them. Bookmark labels are truncated if they are too long for the bookmark, but you can mouse over the truncated bookmarks to see the full name in a tooltip.

Render nodes no longer have their "Camera" parameter set to "Render Camera" by default, which means you will need to make the connection to the camera of your choice manually when you create a new render node.

Colour parameters can now be animated.

Addressed a crashing bug if you tried to set a keyframe on the Project "Current frame" param. This param is no longer animatable.

Added a "Break connection" item to node input context menus.

Node inputs or outputs which have an invisible connection to a node in a different level of the hierarchy ( i.e. a node inside a group which has a connection from a node at the same level as the group ) now have little arrows to the left of them to give an indication there is actually a connection.

Customisations to mouse wheel bindings (i.e. zooming in or out) are now recognised in the 3D Preview and network view.

Added specific bindings for zoom in and zoom out to the 3D Preview.

You can now zoom in and out in using keys in 3D Preview, although none are set up by default and you will need to add them in the Customise Input Bindings dialog.

Conflicts between bindings are handled a bit better in the Customise Input Bindings dialog.

"Save as" File menu item now has a Ctrl-Shift-S/Cmd-Shift-S shortcut.

Menus like "Go to Group" in the network view context menu, which list groups, are now in alphabetical order.

Fixed a problem with node resizing when resizing diagonally.

Fixed a bug where Painted shaders in default project files would not be registered properly.

In some circumstances the default project file would show up in the File menu "Open Recent" submenu, this has now been stopped.

Windows only: Fixed a problem on Vista where menubars were not drawn properly when a secondary view window was first opened.

Windows only: You can now drag and drop files on "Choose file" buttons in param views again. These are buttons whose icon has a little folder and an arrow, such as beside the "Filename" param in the TGO Reader or "Image filename" param for the Image map shader.

Windows only: TG2 will now open a project file which you've double clicked on in Explorer, or dragged and dropped on the application icon, as long as project files are associated with TG2.

(End of changes)
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.