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General => Terragen Discussion => Topic started by: CredePendrel on May 21, 2019, 07:36:18 pm

Title: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 21, 2019, 07:36:18 pm
Hey Everyone

Very new Terragen user here! I have experience with Blender and World Machine but am always blown away when I see Terragen renders. I am just playing around with the free version until I get the handle on the workflow before looking at one of the subscription levels.

I have created a few of my own basic renders and have looked over the internet for example projects to reverse engineer; I specifically found one called Dune's Beaver Lodge in the NWDA store. I rendered the Beaver Lodge file without changing anything and it created a beautiful crystal clear image.

My renders so far seem hazy or like the "atmosphere" is really heavy and I am unsure if there is due to my render settings (or lighting) or the limitations of the free terragen version?

Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: Dune on May 22, 2019, 01:24:17 am
First of all, welcome to the forum. Secondly, a kind word of advice; it is better to post renders (or any images) as jpg's. Small (as not to overload the server, like with png's), and easily viewed. A pdf has to be opened separately, which will discourage people.

Haze has to do with the size of the scene. It's all world space, so the larger the terrain you see, the more hazy in the distance. If you search for 'haze settings' or 'atmosphere settings' you'll probably find heaps of threads covering all questions ever asked about this. And it's good to experiment with settings too. Just change one variable at the time (maybe even with an extreme setting, don't forget that you can use the slider, but also fill in numbers manually, even negative), render a small crop and see what happens. Or check it out in the RT/PT preview window.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 22, 2019, 08:02:17 am
Thank you for your kindly advice; I have replaced my images with a better format type. After posting, I began playing with the Atmosphere sliders as you suggested and did find that lowering the haze values did clear up the render better. I hope to continue working on my Terragen scene after work today.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on May 22, 2019, 11:37:57 am
Nice productive thread.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 22, 2019, 07:30:23 pm
Hello again!

I was able to play with this scene a bit more this evening. First I dialed back the atmosphere and lightning values to clean up the "heaviness" I was seeing in the background. Then, obviously I found the Fake Rock shader...I know its not realistic but it was a feature I came across in a random terragen video; and I'm learning.

I am however having a hard time controlling the "bump" on the Procedural Grass shader and Fake Rock Shader. I dropped the displacement multiplier by more than half; but that didn't seem to do anything. How can I achieve a smoother look in the shaders?

Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: Dune on May 23, 2019, 01:13:33 am
It'll be smoother if you don't use any displacement, obviously, but with a combination of fake grass and stones it's also possible to use a merge shader with 'highest raise'. Stones (either one stone or a mix of sizes and colors (also merged with highest raise)) and fake grass, thus merged takes the grass displacement off the stones, as they are highest.
For fake grass to work nicely, you need quite some detail, say 0.6 minimum (don't go higher than 1, or render time will soar), and fake grass is really only good for mid to far distance. Use (free) grass models as populations for front and try to match the colors for the transition.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on May 23, 2019, 10:00:57 am
Are you referring to the Procedural Grass.tgc from the freebie preset collection or the Grass Clump?
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: Dune on May 23, 2019, 10:15:23 am
I don't know about a freebie preset, but am referring to a tiny fake stone based grass. The grass clump is very handy too for mid to distant.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 23, 2019, 10:40:16 am
I am not exactly sure if that was directed at me or not, but I used the Procedural Grass.tgc that I imported from the Library. I am currently looking into the Merge Shader as per Dune suggestion.

This is the result of my Merge Shader. Under the MixControl tab I choose Highest (raise) and under the MergeMode tab I unchecked Merge Colour box. This seems to have the unintended results of the green mixing with the grey stone colour BUT the bump was been removed from the stone.

Back to the drawing board....
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on May 23, 2019, 01:41:14 pm
Quote from: Dune on May 23, 2019, 10:15:23 am
I don't know about a freebie preset, but am referring to a tiny fake stone based grass. The grass clump is very handy too for mid to distant.


Procedural grass.tgc is a blend of a number of FS shaders, some for mud clumps and some for grass
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: Dune on May 24, 2019, 01:32:54 am
Why unchecking the color tab? If you kept that checked the green would not be on the bigger stones.
@Bobby; probably Dandel0's fake grass mix.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on May 24, 2019, 02:44:08 am
Quote from: Dune on May 24, 2019, 01:32:54 am
Why unchecking the color tab? If you kept that checked the green would not be on the bigger stones.
@Bobby; probably Dandel0's fake grass mix.


Yeah I believe you're correct.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 24, 2019, 08:45:03 am
Quote from: Dune on May 24, 2019, 01:32:54 am
Why unchecking the color tab? If you kept that checked the green would not be on the bigger stones.
@Bobby; probably Dandel0's fake grass mix.


The reason why I unchecked the Colour merge, is that in the 3d preview when I left it checked there were large patches of grey (from stones) mixed with the green grass. In the node network, the Procedural Grass Shader is the main input to the merge shader, and the fake stone is Shader A. Should these be reversed?

Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: Dune on May 24, 2019, 09:06:20 am
That's not the right way to do it. After the base colors add a (no color) surface shader and add the merge shader to the child input. Fake stones shouldn't have that input, first slot can be left empty. If you want your stones to have color and displacement use the surface shader input for some (mix of) PF's.

You can stack a whole lot of surface shaders after the base color, each masked at will and use child input for additional texturing (or the color/displ tabs of course).
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 24, 2019, 10:49:22 am
Understood Dune. Will go back to the node setup and make some more adjustments. I found the Pop Grass clump this morning and things are already starting to look nicer and more importantly, make more sense.

Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on May 24, 2019, 11:29:33 am
well that's coming along nicely...I did this before I came back here so I'll post it anyway but what you've go looks pretty good as well.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: CredePendrel on May 24, 2019, 11:38:04 am
Thank you very much bobby! I really appreciate it; although incredibly overwhelming at first it is slowly making more and more sense. Your render looks great, I love the grass here. I intend to take a look at your proccgras FF setup.tgc later on today.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on May 24, 2019, 11:49:29 am
Quote from: CredePendrel on May 24, 2019, 11:38:04 am
Thank you very much bobby! I really appreciate it; although incredibly overwhelming at first it is slowly making more and more sense. Your render looks great, I love the grass here. I intend to take a look at your proccgras FF setup.tgc later on today.


You're very welcome...the baby steps at the start is where the learning happens.
Title: Re: New User Question
Post by: bobbystahr on August 30, 2019, 01:04:34 pm
Quote from: Dune on May 24, 2019, 01:32:54 am@Bobby; probably Dandel0's fake grass mix.
that's the one, I think it's included in the freebies pack at the PS site. or at least similar..not attributed to anyone in the freebies pack.