Sexy Smooth Displacement

Started by Zylot, December 21, 2006, 10:06:23 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Here's my tutorial on Sexy Smooth displacement, or "How I did this." by Zylot

Displacemernt is a fun new feature for Terragen 2 that can do some amazing things.  The trick is control.  Sometimes, you don't want sharp jagged displacement, and you certainly want to limit it to specific areas (flat ground or slopes, certain heights, etc...).  Well, the last part is easy, since you can apply displacement right from a surface layer.  Controlling the details of the displacement, however, is a bit more of a trial.

So how were these large orange rocks done? 

1) Create a new terragen scene.  Get a heightmap shader and set it to generate.  make it about 1000 x 1000, and position it where you want it.

2) Set the border blend to around .5 so it's not too sharp.  Then set the feature scale to around 10-20k for prominence.  Now hit generate.  You should have an ugly large verticle jagged outcropping on your otherwise flat pristine planet.  YAY!

3) Ok, now make a surface layer restricted to steep slopes.  Make it whatever color you want.  Alright.  Now, hit the displacement tab for that layer, click the ...  next to "displacement function" and slap a new power fractal on it.  Now set the displacement multiplyer to around 500.   Wait for the preview to load.  Now doesn't that look wonderful. ;)

4) Ok, now for the fun part, here's where we get this thing looking decent.  Goto the new power fractal for the displacement.  first thing, goto the noise tab.  Set it from perlin to billowy.  Now, goto the color tab, set contrast to 1, make sure low is black and high is white.  Everything set, good, goto the scale tab.  Set the scale size to around 1000 to start with, make the lead in scal around 500 and the smallest scale a good 200 - 300.  See how the noise in the little box got smooth.  That's what we are looking for. 

Following that, you should now be able to tweak it to your liking and get an effect you want.  You can scale the noise in the tweak noise tab on it's x or z to control stretch of the features, and the scale size and lead ing / smallest in that ration change the size of the displacement patterns.

That about settles it, happy rendering.


Sorry.. where is the "heightmap shader" I must be going blind



There should be one when you first start up Terragen 2 under the terrains tab


Hi Zylot,

Where do i find the 'blur'.  I cant find it to safe my life - more like its staring me in the face going boo! im here and Im just too daft to spot it :rofl:!


I'm sorry I used the wrong terminolgy, you are looking for Border Blend.  I edited the main tut as well.


oh bli - i guessed right! :lol: Thanks for that Zylot :)


Cool idea, this looks like it works much better than using the crater shader to make strange rock formations.

MeltingIce Network | Wii Number: 3881 9574 8304 0277


old_blaggard - A great Terragen resource with models, contests, galleries, and forums.