Terragen Import-Export Reference
This reference describes Terragen's import and export capabilities. This introduction gives a quick overview of what can be imported and exported from Terragen. For more information please refer to the Import and Export sections below.
TG can import and export several object formats. It can import and export Wavefront OBJ and Lightwave LWO2 formats. You can also export objects to the native TGO object format, as well as open them of course.
You can export terrain geometry using a Micro Exporter node. A Micro exporter can be connected to a Render node and it then exports all rendered terrain geometry. You can export terrain geometry to OBJ, LWO2 and TGO formats.
Animation data can be imported from .chan/.mov files. You can also export camera data (motion and field of view) to .chan format.
TG supports importing and exporting heightfields in a number of heightfield/DEM formats, including many image formats. It can load georeferencing data from GeoTIFFs.
TG can read and write many image formats at various bit depths.
You can't export an entire TG scene and have it open intact in another application. For example it would not be possible to export TG shaders etc. and have them work in other applications. Generally speaking the idea is that you can export enough from TG that you can set up scenes and animation in another application and then import relevant parts, such as camera motion, back into TG. You can then use TG to render the landscape/environment, for example, and composite elements rendered in other applications with output from TG. TG has already been used in this fashion in a number of complex and high profile projects and integrated into studio pipelines.
Importing Animation Data from .chan/.mov Files
This describes how TG can import animation data from .chan and .mov files.
See the Micro Exporter node page for information on using the Micro exporter node to export terrain geometry. The Micro exporter is able to export geometry for procedural terrains including displacement and overhangs, which is not possible when exporting terrain as a heightfield.
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 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.
DEM stands for Digital Elevation Model (or Map). A DEM is similar to a heightfield. DEMs are normally generated from real world measurements of a planet's surface, for example Earth or Mars.
Literally, to change the position of something. In graphics terminology to displace a surface is to modify its geometric (3D) structure using reference data of some kind. For example, a grayscale image might be taken as input, with black areas indicating no displacement of the surface, and white indicating maximum displacement. In Terragen 2 displacement is used to create all terrain by taking heightfield or procedural data as input and using it to displace the normally flat sphere of the planet.