Main Window User Interface Elements

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The Terragen user interface (UI) is based around multiple “layouts,” tabs that are accessed through buttons in the top toolbar. Each layout consists of tools and functionality specific to particular aspects of the scene.

The top toolbar and layout buttons

Below the tabs on the left is the Node List. This displays the node in the scene that are relevant to the current layout. The nodes are displayed in a hierarchical list.

The Node List

Just to the right of the Node List is a small shader preview window. This generates a realtime preview of the currently selected node, when applicable (not all nodes can be previewed).

The shader preview

Below the node list is the Node Properties pane. This displays the settings of the node currently selected in the Node List.

The Node Properties pane

In the upper-right is the 3D preview, which shows a progressively rendered real-time display of the current scene. The elements of the scene that are shown will vary depending on the selected layout.

The 3D preview

Below the 3D preview is the Node Network pane. This displays the network of all nodes in the scenes. When you select a layout, the view in this pane will focus on the group of nodes relevant to the current layout. (There is also a Node Network layout which gives you a larger view of the entire node network without the 3D Preview pane).

The Node Network pane

At the very bottom of the user interface is a toolbar that includes the animation timeline and controls.

The animation timeline, animation controls, and error and warnings display

At the far right corner of the bottom toolbar are the errors and warnings. When you click either of these, it brings up a window with details on any errors and warnings triggered so far.

Several of the windows in the UI can be resized by placing the mouse cursor between windows where a double-ended arrow appears, and then dragging them. The 3D Preview pane and Node Network pane can be expanded or closed completely with the buttons in the upper-right corners of these windows. If you close one of these windows and wish to display it again, use the Preview and Node Network options in the View menu.

In a graphical user interface (GUI) on a computer a toolbar is a row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when clicked, activate certain functions of the program.

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 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.

The Node List is a part of the Terragen interface that shows a list of nodes along the left side of the application window. The Node List generally shows only those nodes that are relevant to the current Layout (e.g. Terrain, Atmosphere). It sometimes includes buttons or other controls that are specific to a particular Layout as well. The Node List is hierarchical and each level is collapsible.