Author Topic: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map  (Read 7600 times)

Offline digitalguru

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Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« on: March 14, 2016, 02:50:55 PM »
Hi all,

I've just posted a video tutorial on how to export a Terragen terrain as a vector displacement map.

Useful for rendering in an external application as vector displacement, or exporting the terrain to a sculpting program to refine and then re-importing to Terragen.

Terragen project files attached.

Hope you find it useful, comments and feedback very welcome!

https://youtu.be/bTKfAeEPDhY

Offline zaxxon

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 09:43:39 PM »
First off:  that is one seriously well done tutorial! I watched thru it twice and was able to follow the steps as well as the logic, and it will definitely serve as a great reference for anyone who wants to export TG terrains into other 3D apps. I'm glad you showed some of the steps in using the VDM in Mudbox.  Having used an earlier .tgd of yours and successfully creating a VDM in .exr format I still had issues bringing it in to Mudbox. Specifically in using  an 8k plane created in Max (using meters as units), or in scaling up a native Mudbox plane. The plane is just SO big and adjusting the far clipping plane seems a bit tricky. :( Also, I received an error message in Mudbox in the 'Sculpt from Map' tool that I had "multiple exr images". I'm sure there is some sort of error in my application of these steps (I seem to have a penchant for complicating even the most straight-forward of instructions!). To my mind this is a very significant technique, and is a big boost to the appeal of TG. I'm a big fan and user of World Machine, however even WM can't accomplish the varied lateral displacements that TG produces. Thanks again Digitalguru (indeed!), great job at following up on an offhand comment and researching and creating this super workflow! 

Offline digitalguru

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 09:58:58 PM »
Hey Doug,

Glad you liked it  :)

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The plane is just SO big and adjusting the far clipping plane seems a bit tricky

Just set your Mudbox cameras Far Plane to 1,000,000

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Also, I received an error message in Mudbox in the 'Sculpt from Map' tool that I had "multiple exr images".

You probably have a couple of files, with a number appended at end like - "terragen_vector.0001.exr" or similar - Mudbox thinks it's part of multi UV tile (UDIM) set. You can simply rename the file to a unique name without any numerical characters and reload.

Hey, you might know this, when you set a file name in the Render Sequence/Output tab, Terragen will always create the "%04d" token evern if you only render out a single frame or a sequence of only one frame - is there a way to turn that off?

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 04:07:56 PM »
Tear it up Zaxxon!  8)

Thanks DG!

It has been eaten.

Offline Hannes

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 09:59:04 AM »
Wow, thanks a lot. This is quite a tutorial!!!

Offline bobbystahr

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 02:39:03 PM »
Well done tute...should move terrain creation for TG along nicely for anyone with Mudbox or the like. Some day I hope to have it as well, but am simply pleased that such a straight forward tute exists for those who can use it now and me in the future. PS should hire you to write tutes and wiki entries as you have a very palatable style.
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Offline Dune

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 03:09:13 PM »
Good tutorial indeed. A lot of people will benefit from this! I've got one comment, but not having done this myself, I might overlook something... why not just check off render atmo and render planet in the planet node to have just the RGB view, or disable the planet when rendering the exr? And when working on the scene, disable the planet copy?
In case you still haven't seen enough of my work: www.ulco-art.nl

Offline digitalguru

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 03:23:50 PM »
Absolutely, you could do that and enable it with your way of working in TG.

As Matt mentioned in the other post, Terragen has a lot of flexibility with the low level tools to approach it in many different ways.

For me, setting it up this way means all the nodes can stay attached, and nothing needs to be re-plugged or turned off. If I need to re-render the vector map I just select the bake render node and render to disk.



Offline Dune

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 07:53:04 AM »
Thanks, DG.
In case you still haven't seen enough of my work: www.ulco-art.nl

Offline digitalguru

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2016, 02:12:11 PM »
One example of using this method I overlooked could be to "bake" out terrains.

If you have a terrain that takes a while to compute (the new erosion node or the alpine fractal for example) the terrain could be baked out to the vector map and then brought back in as vector displacement replacing the original node setup.

It would be interesting to see if other users could bake out some of their more extreme terrain setups using this!

This one comes to mind from mhaze

http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,21241.0.html

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 08:08:23 PM »
Why would this thread have over 700 views but the tut only have 52? Don't want to change the topic at all, but it seems very strange. OR does youtube only count views from logged-in users or something?

Anyway, I watched the tut and used it. Thanks a lot for doing it DG! Really made sense of the discussion in the other thread. Would like to hear your or any voice in future tuts if you make any. But even with out sound it was very helpful. You even went into Mud a bit which was nice to see.

And of course I will take the opportunity to prod Matt to make this process a one click (or two if he insists) function.

Yet another thank you for your time and effort.
It has been eaten.

Offline digitalguru

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 09:45:11 PM »
Thanks Badger, glad to hear you found it useful!

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Why would this thread have over 700 views but the tut only have 52?

LIke I noted before, maybe this is more a niche feature in Terragen and many users might not need it. It would be interesting to see how many other folks use Terragen in conjunction with other programs. I'm using it a lot now (especially on my VR entry I'm working on now!).

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Would like to hear your or any voice in future tuts

Oh, I'm a terrible narrator, you don't want to hear that! Maybe I'll put some music on the next one :-)

Seriously though, it would be great to hear if other guys are doing similar things combining TG with other 3d apps, like somebody mentioned - maybe setting up a "pipeline" thread. ILM use Vue for a lot of their shows, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't use Terragen! Especially with the new cloud and preview features coming out in V4...

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And of course I will take the opportunity to prod Matt to make this process a one click (or two if he insists) function.

That would be good, my 2 cents would be addition of Deep export in OpenExr, would be such a great tool to comp images with all that depth information.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 09:50:35 PM by digitalguru »

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2016, 11:04:40 PM »
Quote
LIke I noted before, maybe this is more a niche feature in Terragen and many users might not need it. It would be interesting to see how many other folks use Terragen in conjunction with other programs. I'm using it a lot now (especially on my VR entry I'm working on now!).

Yes, thats what I mean. I don't believe it is a niche area for pros. Look at how people use z and mud to build terrains for unity and unreal (for example). This vector stuff opens any soft that can deal with vectors to any other soft that can deal with vectors. And completely removes the need of objects (for terrain at least). Its a universal transfer system. no obj, no fbx, no max, or other bullshit, this file or that nonsense.

I am guessing that the people who are most interested in what you figured are the people just least likely to use their free time in a place like this... Being that they work 8-10 hours a day and don't want to play with it in their personal time. and probably understood what you did from the other thread so did not need a tut.
Or maybe I am wrong and this does not work as well on magical studio computers that cost more than my life and use software written by god?
Anyway, its one or the other, thats all my delicate ego can believe after harping on this for over a year now. :D

Then again, people are slow to catch on sometimes ;)

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Deep export in OpenExr

I think you brought this up before, but I don't know much of anything about it. I guess this is something a compositor would understand well?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 11:12:28 PM by TheBadger »
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Offline bla bla 2

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 10:57:59 AM »
And to export the texture is that possible ?

Offline Oshyan

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Re: Export Terragen terrains as vector displacement map
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2016, 07:36:07 PM »
ILM are using Terragen now too. :D

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