Terragen Tutorials

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Beginner Tutorials[edit]

These tutorials will generally consist of the very basic knowledge to get started making simple scenes or cover very basic topics.

Terragen 2/3 User Interface Overview[edit]

A comprehensive User Interface introduction in a 3 part video series, created by Martin Huisman.

Beginner Video Tutorials by Neuspadrin[edit]

Some beginner video tutorials hosted on youtube, along with some helpful files, links, and tips.

Learn how to create nice looking 3D cumulus clouds in just 3 simple steps. Cumulus Clouds Tutorial In 3 Simple Steps.

Making of "Golden Forest"[edit]

by Ryan Archer

This is a step by step tutorial of how the image "Golden Forest" was created from original concept through to postwork added. It shows how easy it can be to create powerful and dramatic scenes with a particular focus on lighting, fog and vegetation. Making of "Golden Forest" alternate link Making of "Golden Forest"

Layman's Tutorial[edit]

By Kaltook

Confused? Never played with a terrain rendering program before? Might want to start here

Introduction to Animation in Terragen[edit]

By neuspadrin

A quick start guide to animation of how to animate the camera and objects.

The Node Network and Clip Files[edit]

By neuspadrin

Goes over some of the basics of how to use the Node Network view, and how to use Terragen clip files (tgc).

Get Started With Terragen 2[edit]

By schmeerlap

This is a step-by-step introductory tutorial to give the beginner a hands-on exercise by creating a mountain scene, "Ben McDuff". Its aim is to build the user's confidence as he/she progresses through the exercise. It is intended to provide the user with an easy ride over the program's perceived steep learning curve. It is in pdf format for easy access.

Creating a Tower from a Crater Shader[edit]

By schmeerlap

This tutorial shows you how to create a tower from a Crater shader, how to apply displacement to it, and how to confine the displacement to the tower. It also includes instruction on how to insert a clip file into your scene. The tgd of the scene is included for reference.

Intermediate Tutorials[edit]

Cover slightly more advanced topics, but still skirt around more advanced things such as lots of node network view usage and much math, etc. Made to be understood by those with a firm knowledge of the basics.

Creating a Realistic Earth Render from Public Data[edit]

by Steve Boerner

Using the Painted Shader to “Paint” clouds into the sky[edit]

by Mr_Lamppost

An easy to follow step be step tutorial showing how the Painted Shader can be used to control the positioning of clouds in a scene; effectively allowing clouds to be “Painted” onto the sky.

Please note the the Mr_Lamppost pages are very much under construction so many of the links to other pages are not working yet. Everything needed fror this tutorial works fine though.

Splitting Objects with PoseRay[edit]

How to Split Objects into Multiple parts by Ryan Archer

This is a partially obsolete tutorial on how to split Object files into multiple pieces using PoseRay. Still of use for removing any elements of an object you do not need to see or waste resources rendering. Splitting Objects with PoseRay

Parting Sea Tutorial[edit]

By Mohawk20

This is an unfinished, quick and dirty tutorial to create your very own Parted Sea in just a few minutes (and then wait a long time while it renders).

Wet Shores Tutorial[edit]

By Kevnar

A very nice and simple explanation on how to get shores to look wet in a scene.

Intro to the Fake Stones Shader[edit]

By Neuspadrin

A intro into how to use the fake stone shader with other shaders to make boulders. You can also download my final tgd file

Eroded Fakestones[edit]

By Kevnar

A quick tutorial on how to get stones to look eroded.

Masking with Get Nodes[edit]

By Kevin Kipper

An introduction into using blue function nodes to create masks that "favor depressions" and "favor rises" of the terrain.

Texturing with Surface Layers[edit]

By Kevin Kipper

An introduction to using Surface layers to texture a mountain's rocky cliffs, grass areas, and snowy peaks.

Advanced Tutorials[edit]

These are the high end tutorials to cover advanced topics and might involve math, crazy node networks, or about some of the advanced nodes.

Blending Terragen with GIS Data[edit]

GIS Data primer by Ryan Archer

One of the greatest benefits of Terragen is that you can quickly and easily import and use real world data and information in any of your renders. There is a great deal of data available for free download on the internet, but it can be fairly confusing to both find what you need and then figure out what it is you have. I will try and make sense of a few basic ideas and you can take it from there. Some knowledge about geographic information systems would be of benefit, but should not be totally necessary. Blending Terragen with GIS Data

USGS Elevation Data with Terragen 2[edit]

by Ryan Archer

Terragen 2 allows the import of georeferenced DEM (Digital Elevation Model) data in the GeoTiff format. This allows anyone to quickly and easily load real world locations to be rendered in Terragen 2. A major difficulty to this process is both finding and figuring out exactly what to do with the data that you download. This tutorial will provide an overview of how to use the USGS Seamless Data Viewer to obtain DEM, Satellite and Raster Map information as well as how to load this data into Terragen 2 as easily as possible. Some knowledge about geographic information systems would be of benefit, but should not be totally necessary. USGS Elevation Data with Terragen 2

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.

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.

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.