Planetside Software Forums

News => Announcements => Topic started by: Matt on January 18, 2018, 07:47:37 PM

Title: Plan for 2018
Post by: Matt on January 18, 2018, 07:47:37 PM
Hi Terrageneers!

I hope 2018 is being good to you all so far. I've been semi off-grid for a few weeks (concluding with a brief but wonderful trip to wintry Iceland!) but there is a lot going on at Planetside behind the scenes. So let's talk about what we have planned for 2018!

First off, Planetside is growing. This year we are adding new programmers to the team. Terragen 4 sales have been good so far and I'm reinvesting as much as I can into accelerating development. I'll have more to say about this soon.

Subscription plans will be available as an option, beginning some time in the first half of 2018. Anyone who prefers to buy perpetual licenses (like before) will be able to - we are not taking that option away from anybody. Adding subscriptions is a way to give people a choice. We want our users to have more options to license Terragen in whichever way works best for them. We think that will attract additional customers who might otherwise walk away from the price of a perpetual license, so we predict this will increase the size of our user community and that is going to be better for everybody.

What features and enhancements to Terragen do we have planned for release this year?

* Faster rendering (expected in 4.2)
* Post effect adjustments in Render View without requiring re-render
* LUTs and other post effects
* Various improvements to the 3D Preview, especially the RTP
* Grouping/hierarchy for objects, lights and cameras
* Rotation and scale modulator inputs for populations
* VDB import/export for clouds
* Brute force GI / path tracing

Finally, in the second half of 2018 I want to show you a prototype of a new tool for creating landscapes. I can't say any more yet; you will just have to wait and see! :)

Matt
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: archonforest on January 18, 2018, 07:58:34 PM
Exciting news!! 8)
No plans for a detailed user guide? ::)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: paq on January 18, 2018, 10:32:52 PM
 * VDB import/export for clouds

 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: cyphyr on January 18, 2018, 11:05:13 PM
Congratulations on the expanded workforce.
Looking forward to all the new additions especially ... well all of them :)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: mhaze on January 19, 2018, 12:05:57 AM
All good, looking forward to these developments.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: KlausK on January 19, 2018, 01:10:59 AM
Sounds promising! Pretty nice improvements feature wise.
But getting more coders onboard is my favourite part of the plan.
Cheers, Klaus.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Dune on January 19, 2018, 06:20:04 AM
That's good news, Matt!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Kadri on January 19, 2018, 04:19:22 PM
Sounds good (except subscription, but with perpetual licenses still there no problem for me) :)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: bobbystahr on January 19, 2018, 04:57:00 PM
Wow, lotta good stuff there and really good to hear sales are going well enough to add programmers. I had a feeling that was going to happen as no program really does what TG already does so well. A bit disappointed there was no mention of a greyscale transparency update but I am patient...just old. Hope it happens in my lifetime hee hee hee.
Thanks Matt and 2 thumbs up on your vacation to Iceland...I'm sure it was restorative in many ways. And 3 cheers on the path TG's taking....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: zaxxon on January 19, 2018, 06:21:21 PM
Welcome and exciting news.  :)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Hannes on January 19, 2018, 07:00:10 PM
Yessss! Thumbs up!!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: SILENCER on January 19, 2018, 10:37:02 PM
Sounds boss, I'm in.

Heirarchies, that's  a win.
It's all a win.
Any progress on alembic or maybe MDD import?
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: t0mr1ddle on January 21, 2018, 01:37:16 PM
 :)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: OldFlak on January 24, 2018, 08:01:39 AM
Hi all :)

This is great to hear.

Quote
Subscription plans will be available as an option, beginning some time in the first half of 2018.
This is good news! However I have been waitng for this to be implemented for some two years now - so I really hope it gets introduced.

There are only two things that have stopped me using Terragen
1) Can't get a decent render for skyboxes for use in game engines - the six renders are slightly different shades so they don't match correctly
2) Waiting for the subscription model.

Waiting in anticipation :) :)

OldFlak....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: ajcgi on January 24, 2018, 09:48:03 AM
Yes to all of that, Matt ;)
We could really do with the LUT and VDB stuff. That's great news.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: sboerner on January 26, 2018, 03:46:59 PM
Great news, Matt. Something to look forward to this year, and so nice to hear that Planetside is thriving!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: KlausK on February 02, 2018, 01:54:31 PM
I know it`s getting old and boring, but... get the WIKI up to date also.
First and foremost the Node Reference. Please.
CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: bobbystahr on February 02, 2018, 02:44:06 PM

There are only two things that have stopped me using Terragen
1) Can't get a decent render for skyboxes for use in game engines - the six renders are slightly different shades so they don't match correctly
2) Waiting for the subscription model.
[
OldFlak....



Hhave you tried this? A lot of users without the 360 camera used this to good effect in the recent VR challenge to get their spherical renders together.

Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: archonforest on February 02, 2018, 04:14:40 PM
I know it`s getting old and boring, but... get the WIKI up to date also.
First and foremost the Node Reference. Please.
CHeers, Klaus

It is old but not boring. The lack of docs almost turned me away from TG to Vue or something. And I am sure it does turns away people. Thus they loose income...
Guess PS got enough money otherwise they would be more interested in this subject.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Hubert_Holin on February 02, 2018, 11:13:32 PM
Bonjour et bonne année (sorry if I am a bit late…)

The mythical SDK?  ;)

Thanks for the information, and good luck for 2018!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: OldFlak on February 03, 2018, 01:09:56 PM

There are only two things that have stopped me using Terragen
1) Can't get a decent render for skyboxes for use in game engines - the six renders are slightly different shades so they don't match correctly
2) Waiting for the subscription model.
[
OldFlak....



Hhave you tried this? A lot of users without the 360 camera used this to good effect in the recent VR challenge to get their spherical renders together.



Sorry for long delay in answering - holidays are sweet!

Yeah, I used that for my projects. The six sides all line up perfectly with that method, but the renders are slightly different shades, so you can see where they join. Which is a little disappointing - I really want something better than Bryce - lol!

OldFlak....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Oshyan on February 04, 2018, 01:53:37 AM
The SDK remains available on an individual basis and at our discretion to those who inquire directly with us. It is PC-only at this time.

Mismatches between skybox renders are almost all due to GI differences. You can solve this with appropriate use of the GI cache, which is only available in licensed versions of course.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: digitalguru on March 01, 2018, 11:47:14 AM
re: skybox

just seen this, might help:

https://jaxry.github.io/panorama-to-cubemap/

http://gonchar.me/blog/goncharposts/2150

https://www.360toolkit.co/convert-cubemap-to-spherical-equirectangular.html
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: DutchDimension on March 03, 2018, 01:49:00 PM
I agree with those mentioning the documentation. It's by far the worst docs I've ever read for a commercially available 3D DCC software. (I've read many over the years).

2-6+ year old pages are the norm it seems. As well as entirely missing chapters. Many new features have no explanation at all, leaving users to guess at their functionality. A chronic lack of screenshots (especially in the guides sections) to help, you know, guide the novice. And where there are screenshots they are old and outdated. Formatting is inconsistent and the labeling/naming has discrepancies between the App and the Wiki (and I'm not just talking about Colour vs. Color). Node reference tabs split up across multiple pages (why?!). And overall, it feels like it is written by programmers, rather than by (tech)-artists for artists. Too dry and in many cases needlessly repetitive. I could go on....

If you want to grow your user base, you absolutely have to start taking this seriously. It's been bad for as long as I can remember and it is partly to blame for TG's reputation out there in the VFX & games industry (awesome quality, but too much of a hassle/difficult to invest time to learn it). Terragen is a tough cookie to crack in and of itself but the Wiki is the bouncer that chases off many brave souls.

As many new/improved things as I would like to see in TG, instead I'd say hire one less programmer and pay for a good tech writer. Don't just rely on "donations" from your user base. That's something that needs to be in addition to a solid documentation, and not serve as the band-aid.

Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I've spent the last few days reading through the Wiki and it gives me the same painful flashbacks from when I last read it........ back in 2011!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: bobbystahr on March 03, 2018, 01:51:33 PM


Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I've spent the last few days reading through the Wiki and it gives me the same painful flashbacks from when I last read it........ back in 2011!

Time maybe better spent inside TG tweaking and trying stuff. I spent the longest time at the start avoiding the WIKI and discovered delightfully many things and stuff I couldn't grok I asked about here...generally promptly answered, often in an entertaining(to me at least)manner.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: DutchDimension on March 03, 2018, 03:00:44 PM


Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, but I've spent the last few days reading through the Wiki and it gives me the same painful flashbacks from when I last read it........ back in 2011!

Time maybe better spent inside TG tweaking and trying stuff. I spent the longest time at the start avoiding the WIKI and discovered delightfully many things and stuff I couldn't grok I asked about here...generally promptly answered, often in an entertaining(to me at least)manner.

Perhaps I should've worded that better. As in: "I've spent the last few days reading through the Wiki as I experimented and stumbled around inside TG". I actually did end up creating a few test cases and proof of concepts for shots we are currently working on.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Upon Infinity on March 04, 2018, 07:03:21 AM
As far as the wiki is concerned, perhaps users could submit videos on how to accomplish certain tasks, and have Oshyan do a voice over explaining it.  Just throwing it out there.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: ajcgi on March 06, 2018, 11:15:38 AM
As it's a wiki, could it not be more open source so it can be edited and updated by anyone? Sometimes I come across a check box or slider I don't know the function of, it's missing in the wiki and then I find the answer via the forum. Well that answer could easily be placed into the wiki by anybody. What I Know Is...

As far as the wiki is concerned, perhaps users could submit videos on how to accomplish certain tasks, and have Oshyan do a voice over explaining it.  Just throwing it out there.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Oshyan on March 06, 2018, 08:28:46 PM
It was open edit access for years and there was unfortunately minimal contribution. Of course it is not up to our users to ensure complete and accurate documentation. Matt will be posting an update here soon which will outline how we plan to address this long-standing and understandably very frustrating issue.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: D.A. Bentley on March 13, 2018, 06:21:33 PM

1) Can't get a decent render for skyboxes for use in game engines - the six renders are slightly different shades so they don't match correctly

OldFlak....

OldFlak,

Did you ever figure out your SkyBox issues?  I have been getting perfect results using a 360 Camera, and then creating the cube faces after the fact in some other tool.  Some engines will just import the Equirectangular Pano and automatically convert to the 6 cube faces (Unity for example).

Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: OldFlak on March 17, 2018, 10:01:11 AM

1) Can't get a decent render for skyboxes for use in game engines - the six renders are slightly different shades so they don't match correctly

OldFlak....

OldFlak,

Did you ever figure out your SkyBox issues?  I have been getting perfect results using a 360 Camera, and then creating the cube faces after the fact in some other tool.  Some engines will just import the Equirectangular Pano and automatically convert to the 6 cube faces (Unity for example).

Sorry for lengthy delay answering.

No I haven't solved the issue, I am pretty sure it just can't be done with the free version, so gave up trying and have been working on PBR assets instead.

Is the 360 camera operational in the free version, or does that require the paid version? Any tutorials on how to use that feature?

OldFlak....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: KlausK on March 17, 2018, 11:18:24 AM
Maybe it`s time to check out this site: https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-product-comparison/
CHeers, Klaus ;)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: OldFlak on March 17, 2018, 11:33:17 AM
Maybe it`s time to check out this site: https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-product-comparison/
CHeers, Klaus ;)

Yes, been there before :)

Is the 360 degree camera the spherical camera? - if so it is only in the professional version which is $900 AU
The GI Cache is in the creative version, which is $450 AU

I am not complaining about the prices if, I had the cash I would gladly pay but it is a little out of my reach, which is why I am hoping the sub is affordable, if\when it comes :)

OldFlak....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: KlausK on March 17, 2018, 11:41:21 AM
Yes. Spherical camera is the 360 camera.
Did you look at this topic: https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,21257.0.html ?
Has a scene file and youtube video and a good explanation on how to create cube maps.
If you read that already too, I am out of ideas...
CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: OldFlak on March 17, 2018, 01:38:36 PM
Yes. Spherical camera is the 360 camera.
Did you look at this topic: https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,21257.0.html ?
Has a scene file and youtube video and a good explanation on how to create cube maps.
If you read that already too, I am out of ideas...
CHeers, Klaus

Thanks for the feedback KlausK, yes I have been using that info and works fine except the 6 sides of the cube are not the same shade so while everything lines up you can see the seams since one or more of the six sides are slightly lighter or darker.

OldFlak....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: DutchDimension on April 02, 2018, 04:20:33 PM
Matt will be posting an update here soon which will outline how we plan to address this long-standing and understandably very frustrating issue.

- Oshyan

Hi Oshyan,

any update on when this might happen?
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Matt on April 03, 2018, 06:18:56 AM
Hi DD,

We are planning to hire someone to help with the documentation and/or other training materials which we haven't focused on enough. We'll post more specific requirements soon. But in the mean time, if you know of a good technical writer with some experience with graphics software, or a 3D software expert with prior experience making tutorials or docs, I would like to get in touch with them and see if we can work together. You can either PM me here, contact us via our website, or send an email to contact at planetside.co.uk

Matt
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: archonforest on April 03, 2018, 07:07:34 AM
Guessing this is a paid job so perhaps one of the Pros like Dune could write stuff up.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Oshyan on April 03, 2018, 07:44:09 PM
Yes, absolutely it is paid. Details on the job opportunity(ies) will come soon.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: WASasquatch on April 04, 2018, 01:25:02 AM
Guessing this is a paid job so perhaps one of the Pros like Dune could write stuff up.

Would be nice to dissect and learn from some of Ulco's work in general. :P
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Dune on April 04, 2018, 05:10:48 AM
I intended to post something on April 1 that I was giving away all my files  ;D :P
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: DutchDimension on April 06, 2018, 07:15:11 AM
Hi DD,

We are planning to hire someone to help with the documentation and/or other training materials which we haven't focused on enough. We'll post more specific requirements soon. But in the mean time, if you know of a good technical writer with some experience with graphics software, or a 3D software expert with prior experience making tutorials or docs, I would like to get in touch with them and see if we can work together. You can either PM me here, contact us via our website, or send an email to contact at planetside.co.uk

Matt

I know a one or two technical writers, yes. But they are wholly unfamiliar with Terragen and terrain generation principles in general. With Terragen being quite a niche software and the number of adequately experienced users being but a fraction of its user base, finding a good candidate will be a challenge.

Having said that, my recommendation would be Martin Huisman, though he'll be somewhat busy with other adventures for a while. :)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: ajcgi on April 06, 2018, 09:50:27 AM
Hi DD,

We are planning to hire someone to help with the documentation and/or other training materials which we haven't focused on enough. We'll post more specific requirements soon. But in the mean time, if you know of a good technical writer with some experience with graphics software, or a 3D software expert with prior experience making tutorials or docs, I would like to get in touch with them and see if we can work together. You can either PM me here, contact us via our website, or send an email to contact at planetside.co.uk

Matt

That is fantastic news!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: archonforest on April 06, 2018, 05:04:14 PM
Perhaps Geekatplay can be asked? He seems to be a pretty talented person with lots of 3D knowledge. I think he could do this if someone can help to correct his English. (I bought several videos from him and had a hard time to understand here and there as he got a strong Russian accent.)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Alexn007 on April 11, 2018, 04:07:20 AM
Vdb import/export. Fantastic!!
Thanks guys!!
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: bla bla 2 on April 22, 2018, 01:50:32 PM
Iam for  VDB import/export for clouds  :)
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: bsm3d on May 12, 2018, 11:53:52 PM
Congrat's ! -> Open VDB, Post-effetcs, etc and Waiting for new terrain modeling tool !

As I'm on EDU side I'm really waiting new documentations to help my students :)



Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Suppybird on July 21, 2018, 04:10:11 PM
Please release quickly Export OpenVDB. Every time new build come out, I jump and see the changelog immedialy just to read if it has OpenVDB features or not.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Oshyan on July 22, 2018, 01:12:40 AM
OpenVDB export is in beta testing. It will come sooner than later. Import will take longer.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: astrofalcon on August 20, 2018, 06:11:58 PM

Hey Oshyan, Is there any chance I can get on testing the beta? I'd love to put the new OpenVDB feature through its paces!

- Shawn


OpenVDB export is in beta testing. It will come sooner than later. Import will take longer.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Oshyan on August 21, 2018, 09:37:51 PM
Will follow-up with you via email.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: OldFlak on September 07, 2018, 10:21:28 AM
Hey people :)

Subscription plans will be available as an option, beginning some time in the first half of 2018.

So we be well into the second half of the year now, is this still going to happen?

OldFlak....
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Matt on September 07, 2018, 06:05:12 PM
Yes. We shuffled our priorities, but subscription options are coming soon. I stress options because we'll continue to offer perpetual licenses and maintenance plans.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: freedomfries on September 20, 2018, 08:09:11 PM
I'm excited about the .VDB import/export functionality. This would give studios another reason to buy/use Terragen. Easy, great looking clouds that can be rendered in other applications?

Yes PLEASE! When can we expect that ?
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Oshyan on September 23, 2018, 10:50:30 PM
VDB export is currently in testing and is being fine-tuned for things like correct scaling and density export. There is a discussion thread about it which you may want to read through and participate in here:
https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,24626.0.html

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: Suppybird on October 24, 2018, 07:29:05 PM
Still waiting OpenVDB with animation. I can wait thousand years for this awesome feature :D
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: sjefen on October 25, 2018, 09:44:14 PM
Would it be possible to get an option in the render node to do a clay render? It's not just because I think clay renders are beautiful  :), but it could also help with setting up the lighting. It's much easier to see what needs to be done with the lighting if everything is white or grey. Makes it much easier to see how the light and shadows play around in the scene.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: René on October 26, 2018, 05:49:55 AM
You could add, as a workaround, a grey surface shader at the end of the nodes setup that would cover all the other colors. It's not quite the same, but it works for me.
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: sjefen on October 26, 2018, 06:14:19 AM
I know, but this is very time consuming when the scene starts to get very complex
Title: Re: Plan for 2018
Post by: WASasquatch on November 08, 2018, 10:32:59 AM
About the landscaping tool.... :3