Heightfield Shader - Colour Tab

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Heightfield Shader - Colour Tab

Description: The Colour tab has parameters that allow the shader to create colour information based on the heightfield. It's important to note that just turning on these parameters will not show any colour if the heightfield shader is connected into the terrain part of the node network in the normal fashion. You will also need to connect the heightfield shader output to a shader which handles colour information, for example by connecting it to the Colour function input of a Surface Layer shader.


  • Apply colour and shade: Check this to allow the shader to generate colour information.
  • Diffuse colour: This sets the diffuse colour for the heightfield. The diffuse colour can be affected by the Shade by height parameter below, and may be blended by the Border blending, Blend by heightfield and Blend by shader parameters on the Location tab.

  • Shade by light: If this is checked the heightfield shader produces a standard Lambertian diffuse surface that is illuminated by the lights in the scene (like most shaders in Terragen), whereas if this is unchecked the shader will produce a luminous surface with the colour specified by Diffuse colour and its diffuse colour output will be black (0). If you use this shader as a blend shader or function for another shader then Shade by light should be checked so that it outputs the expected diffuse colour.

  • Shade by height: If this is checked the Diffuse colour is multiplied by a value depending on the heights of the heightfield. The lowest parts of the heightfield will be black (0) and the highest parts will be the diffuse colour, with other heights being some shade in between.

Back to: Heightfield Shader

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 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 parameter is an individual setting in a node parameter view which controls some aspect of the node.