Heightfield Load

From Terragen Documentation from Planetside Software
Jump to: navigation, search
Heightfield Load


The Heightfield load node loads heightfield data from a file. It supports Terragen terrains in TER file format as well as many image types, including GeoTIFFs. The Heightfield load node will automatically try to load georeferencing data for TIFF files. The georeferencing data is loaded from TFW files, which should be in the same location as the TIFF.


  • Name: This setting allows you to apply a descriptive name to the node, which can be helpful when using multiple Heightfield load nodes in a project.
  • Read from file: When checked, or enabled, the heightfield will load its data from the specified file. Clicking on the File button to the right provides options to open, reload, or add a file to the library, as well as the Open file dialog window.
    Read from file options.
  • Georeference: When checked, or enabled, the heightfield will be positioned, that is georeferenced, according to the settings in the fields below, and the radio buttons for position centering on the Heightfield shader will be disabled.
  • Auto georeference from file: When checked, or enabled, the node tries to load georeferencing information for the loaded file. This setting is enabled by default, so that when a new node is created and a file format chosen that supports georeferencing the information will be loaded automatically. If georeferencing information is found, the “Georeference” setting is automatically enabled. This setting is automatically disabled when a value is entered into the “Corner lat long” settings below.
  • NW corner lat long: This sets the latitude and longitude of the northwest corner of the heightfield.
  • NE corner lat long: This sets the latitude and longitude of the northeast corner of the heightfield.
  • SE corner lat long: This sets the latitude and longitude of the southeast corner of the heightfield.
  • SW corner lat long: This sets the latitude and longitude of the southwest corner of the heightfield.
  • New heightfield: When checked, or enabled, the node creates a new blank heightfield.
  • Number of points: This setting defines the resolution or number of points in the X and Y directions for the new heightfield.
  • Size in metres: This setting defines the size in metres in the X and Y directions for the new heightfield.


  • XY Size (metres): This setting displays the size of the heightfield as loaded from the file. By default, when an image is loaded Terragen makes each pixel in the image one metre in size. For example, a 300 pixel wide image will be 300 metres across. This setting is editable in order for you to easily copy values from the field. Changing the setting’s values will have no effect on the heightfield itself. Also be aware that when the heightfield is georeferenced, the XY Size will not be correctly represented.
  • Height Range: This field displays minimum and maximum heights as well as the height range from the heightfield.

A heightmap or heightfield is an array of height values, usually in a grid which describe the height at specific points in a defined area. Heightfields are used to represent real-world and virtual terrain in a specific, easily converted format. Most heightfields can be represented as simple image data in grayscale, with black being minimum height and white being maximum height.

A single object or device in the node network which generates or modifies data and may accept input data or create output data or both, depending on its function. Nodes usually have their own settings which control the data they create or how they modify data passing through them. Nodes are connected together in a network to perform work in a network-based user interface. In Terragen 2 nodes are connected together to describe a scene.

A shader is a program or set of instructions used in 3D computer graphics to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This can include arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption and diffusion, texture mapping, reflection and refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. In Terragen 2 shaders are used to construct and modify almost every element of a scene.

A single element of an image which describes values for color and/or intensity, depending on the color system which the image uses. Groups of ordered pixels together form a raster image.