Terragen 3 users, we have a new update for you. Terragen 3.1 is here!To get Terragen 3.1, use the "Check for Updates" feature from the Help menu in Terragen 3.
If you render on the Mac or on Linux, there may be some differences when you render in 3.1. There were some differences between Mac/Linux and Windows renders, so we've corrected the Mac and Linux versions to match the Windows renders.
The main themes for this release are "speed", "objects" and "georeferencing". Here are some of the highlights for me:
The 3D Preview and Shader/Heightfield Previews are now faster than ever before, as all phases of the preview are now multi-threaded and some other aspects have been optimised.
Atmosphere and cloud rendering is now significantly faster in many cases. Thanks to Danny Gordon for the scene that helped me to find the problem here.
There are other cases where 3.1 now renders faster.
One of the most exciting new features in 3.1 is the ability to anchor populations to other objects, not just terrain. In other words, you can populate on an object. If you haven't seen it already, check out the live demo that Oshyan gave earlier in the month, showing some of the new things you can do with the new population features, as well as many other new features in 3.1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7Rp4Go8jLs
Terragen 3.1 has two new objects: Cube and Octahedron. These are "displaceable objects", like Disc, Lake, Plane, Planet and Sphere. They can be positioned, rotated and scaled. Corners are rounded using a "Round radius" parameter (Cube) or "Roundness" (Octahedron). The roundness may be important when applying displacements.
Spheres can now be rotated. If you scale a sphere non-uniformly (i.e. stretch the sphere), this can be very useful. The Sphere also has some other options that are important when the scaling is non-uniform, and you can now rotate and scale in the 3D Preview.
There are lots of other improvements to objects including double-sided rendering of Discs and wireframe previews of all the displaceable object types (although the wireframe doesn't show displacements from shaders). The download page has a complete list of all the changes we've made.
Jo has developed a new "Geog Image Map Shader" node which can load georeferenced images. It can be used as a colour shader or a displacement shader. This is great for aligning orthoimagery with georeferenced DEMs. He's also added a new option to both the Image Map Shader and the Geog Image Map Shader called "Use alpha/transparency for direct blending". This blends/masks the image with underlying surfaces based on its alpha channel (or any transparency generated through keying), without having to mess about with masking shaders. If the alpha channel needs to be inverted, no problem; there's an option to do that.
I've made some small but useful improvements to the Heightfield Shader to help out with georeferenced terrains, or even just terrains that are positioned far away from the origin or the top of the planet.
Jo has written a new back end for the Painted Shader to replace the less-than-ideal system that I'd written earlier. The new back end should greatly improve stability with large amounts of painting. It removes problems with doing things like painting from the terrain onto the sky. It also fixes the problem where you would do a lot of painting, save the project and then find TG would crash when you tried to open the project.
I've fixed some rendering problems with spherical camera, particularly near the top and bottom of the image. Spherical renders now render faster too.There's a lot more to this update, which you can read about on the download page. To get Terragen 3.1, use the "Check for Updates" feature from the Help menu in Terragen 3.