Terragen Tips and Tricks

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Render settings recommendations[edit]

Some tips on how to optimize your render times and quality thanks to Oshyan.


From water - A method of creating a waterfall effect via displacement shaders, with a shared demonstration .tgd, located on the Planetside forums.
From clouds - a method of creating waterfalls from cloud objects with a painted shader.

Redirect and Warp Shaders[edit]

Details about how they work with displacement. https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=7035.0

Converting xFrog Trees and Plants in TG2 to TGO[edit]

When the xFrog plant or tree is not in the TG2 native format of TGO, then this will help you transform that object for use in Terragen 2.

1. Take the LWO xFrog tree and all associated files into PoseRay.
2. The branches are all adjusted by setting the UV for each to Cylindrical and x=0, y=0, z=1. Weld UV Coordinates is checked.
3. Hit update under UV for each branch changed in #2.
4. Go to each Material in Basic Texture Properties and make sure that the TIF files are used as the Bump Maps for all.
5. Go to each leaf Material in Basic Texture Properties and make sure that the TIF files are used Transparency Maps; invert mapping is unchecked.
6. Make sure under Material / Finish that the Metallic check-box is unchecked.
7. Hit update under Basic Texture Properties for all changes in #4, #5 and #6.
8. Export object as an object file.
9. Bring into TG2 and adjust any changes that didn't go through, like displacement maps or Alpha maps.
10. Under the Opacity tab, make sure that for each texture associated with that leaf, that it has its Opacity set for 1, that it has the appropriate TIF file and that it has Use Alpha Channel checked.
11. Once everything is completed in TG2 for the object, save this new object as a TGO.

Power Fractal Lessons[edit]

Power fractal shader lesson by Volker Harun of PS forums. https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=2287.msg22357#msg22357

Loading Trees from Bryce[edit]

Files exported from Bryce in obj format can be read into TG2 with the following file modifications:
1. OBJ files
- the mtllib line at the top of the file will have the filename surrounded by quotation marks. These marks must be removed.
2. MTL files
- any map field (such as map_Ka) will have quotes around the filename. These quotes must be removed.
If you do this then the mtl file wil be recognised and loaded - creating a suitable shader. Many aspects of the mtl file will not be loaded but the essential map_Ka will be imported.
- e.g. specular maps, ambient maps, reflection maps are not imported.

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.

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.