Author Topic: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!  (Read 4533 times)

Offline Oshyan

  • Planetside Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 11675
  • Holy snagging ducks!
New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« on: March 11, 2016, 05:11:46 AM »
Terragen 3 is Free

You can use the Free version of Terragen 3 to enter the VR Challenge. Terragen 3 Free is available for Windows and Mac for 32 and 64 bit installations. Download here:
http://planetside.co.uk/products/download-terragen-3

Beginning Documentation and Tutorials

Our official documentation is here in our Wiki:
http://planetside.co.uk/wiki

GeekAtPlay provides several good tutorial video collections, some available for free streaming:
http://geekatplay.com/terragen-tutorials.php

TerraLive was a live streamed demo and tutorial event for Terragen that remains relevant and valuable to this day:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,15342.0.html

These older introductory tutorials for Terragen 2 by Martin Huisman are also still very useful and applicable to Terragen 3:
http://cgscenery.com/basic

An older but still relevant post on render setting recommendations for beginners:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,6442.0.html

Resources, Example Files, Plant Models, Shaders, etc.

We offer a sampling of free Terragen example scenes, surface shaders, plant models, and more in the Free Downloads section of our site:
http://planetside.co.uk/products/download-terragen-3
(scroll to the bottom)

We also have 5 beautiful, high quality, and free Xfrog models for download here:
http://planetside.co.uk/products/xfrogplants-free-samples

The File Sharing section of these forums has a wealth of various kinds of scene and clip files to perform a wide variety of functions. It can take some digging to find the real gems because there are a lot of posts, but there is some great content there, and all shared for free.
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/board,14.0.html

New World Digital Art (NWDA) offers a large selection of high quality Terragen shaders, projects, plant models, and more, including sophisticated techniques for creating procedural roads and railroads, arches, beach waves, sand, and even whole planets, plus a lot more. This content will likely be one of the most valuable quick-start resources.
http://www.store.nwdastore.com/

Xfrog offers a huge variety of high quality plant models. You can download some free Xfrog objects on our website and at Xfrog.com
http://planetside.co.uk/products/download-terragen-3 (scroll down for free object sampler)
http://xfrog.com/category/samples.html

You can buy large collections of Xfrog models at a very good price in our online store:
http://planetside.co.uk/buy/buy-xfrog-plants

Silva3D also offers a good selection of affordable plant models:
http://www.silva3d.com/

Luc Bianco also offers a small but very high quality selection of pre-made TGDs and effects such as cumulus clouds, rocks, etc. that can be easily modified and used in your scenes.
http://www.lucbianco.fr/store/

Also don't forget to check out the Fractal Procedural Erosion shader available in a free public beta here:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,20752.0.html

A selection of Silva3D and Xfrog objects also comes with licensed versions of Terragen 3.

Finally, any other provider of 3D models in OBJ format should be compatible with Terragen 3. That includes ArchModels, Dosch, and many more. Models from Speedtree and Plant Factory are also compatible. (Plant Factory assets cannot be used in the VR Challenge due to licensing restrictions, but we do have license to use SpeedTree models.)

Advanced Techniques

Those of you with a lot of experience in other shader-based apps, especially those with node networks, will generally have a leg-up on learning Terragen. Use of other applications like Zbrush with Vector Displacement and other such functions is also very useful. Below are a bunch of different ways of working with Terragen in advanced ways that may be informed by your experience in other apps.

Function Nodes (how to build shaders from scratch)

Function Nodes are mathematical shader operators in Terragen that allow you to build your own unique shader networks to do creative new things. They're not for everyone, but if you're a shader wizard in other applications you might be able to pull off some really cool things very quickly. Here are some examples of how to work with Function Nodes in Terragen 3:

A Function Only Landscape, Parts 1-4:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,1166.0.html
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,1167.0.html
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,1168.0.html
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,1169.0.html

Function-based landscape:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,195.0.html

A Double Helix:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,1871.msg18265.html#msg18265

Building sand dunes:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,18400.0.html

Vector Displacement

Vector Displacement is one of the most effective ways of bringing in detailed sculpts and other complex geometry from applications like Mudbox, Zbrush, etc. Using the following tools and methods you can get very good explicit control over terrain shapes, while still benefitting from Terragen's powerful procedural displacement and texturing functions.

Long discussion of how to use Vector Displacement Maps in TG3:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,16110.msg157010.html#msg157010

Vector Displacement instructions for Zbrush:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,16480.msg161370.html#msg161370

Example Vector Displacement files:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,20084.0.html

Adjusting Vector Displacement:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,16183.msg157879.html#msg157879

Applying externally edited texture maps to Vector Displacement in Terragen:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,19551.msg192136.html#msg192136

Exporting Vector Displacement from Terragen (for modifying/sculpting in other apps):
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,21240.msg212990.html#msg212990

Tutorial for exporting Vector Displacement from Terragen (see above):
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,21311.0.html

This list may be updated periodically. The most recent edit date will be noted here.
Last Edited: March 11, 2016

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 03:26:33 AM by Oshyan »

Offline Danny

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1264
    • New World Digital Art
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 01:50:49 PM »
Models from Speedtree and Plant Factory are also compatible.
Last Edited: 3/10/16

- Oshyan

Is Speedtree content allowed in this contest? I was under the impression that its not allowed due to the lack of licensing
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 02:00:51 PM by Danny »

Offline Dune

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12599
  • Corkscrew Bird
    • www.ulco-art.nl
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 02:56:06 PM »
This thread is not about the contest and you're right. So, no (unfortunately).
In case you still haven't seen enough of my work: www.ulco-art.nl

Offline Danny

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1264
    • New World Digital Art
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 03:13:53 PM »
This thread is not about the contest and you're right. So, no (unfortunately).

It's in the VR challenge section of the forum?

Offline archonforest

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3200
  • !AMIGA RULEZ!
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 05:14:20 PM »
This thread is not about the contest and you're right. So, no (unfortunately).

It's in the VR challenge section of the forum?

Looks like it was misplaced?
...many rooms to explore but the doors look the same...

Offline Danny

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1264
    • New World Digital Art
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 06:39:51 PM »
I am not sure, maybe they obtained a license. Worth asking

Offline Matt

  • Planetside Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 2821
  • I'm the crazy one
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 08:42:29 PM »
Is Speedtree content allowed in this contest? I was under the impression that its not allowed due to the lack of licensing

As of right now, no. But we are going to get clarification on that from Speedtree so this could change. I'll update the post.
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.

Offline Hannes

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3558
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2016, 04:23:21 PM »
As the others wrote, I guess this thread is at the wrong place?!

Offline Mohawk20

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1570
  • Custom worlds on request... habitable on delivery.
    • Terrabits.eu
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2016, 05:05:25 PM »
I think Oshyan posted this thread here to help everyone who wants to participate in this contest, no matter their skill level...
Howgh!

www.Terrabits.eu - New and improved!

Offline Oshyan

  • Planetside Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 11675
  • Holy snagging ducks!
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2016, 08:29:46 PM »
Mohawk is correct. This thread is specifically written with the short contest deadline in mind. It will be useful afterward and applicable to many people in general, but at the moment it's specifically important to those wanting to participate in the VR challenge.

- Oshyan

Offline Hannes

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3558
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2016, 08:55:00 PM »
Ah, I see!

Offline Oshyan

  • Planetside Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 11675
  • Holy snagging ducks!
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 02:07:55 AM »
SpeedTree content/models are now officially OK'd for use in the contest thanks to SpeedTree publisher IDV!

- Oshyan

Offline bobbystahr

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7935
  • Turn, and face the Strange Ch Ch Changes...D Bowie
Re: New to Terragen? How to build something great, quickly!
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2016, 01:39:24 AM »
SpeedTree content/models are now officially OK'd for use in the contest thanks to SpeedTree publisher IDV!

- Oshyan

 :)  if only I had em, too bad they're not in the prize package
something borrowed,
something Blue.
Ring out the Old.
Bring in the New

bobbystahr

 

anything