Terragen 3 allows you to create and manipulate highly realistic terrains, both heightfield and procedural. You can load existing heightfields to replicate real-world terrains and gain additional control by using a 3rd party terrain editor, or leverage the powerful built-in procedural functions to achieve global-scale terrains of nearly infinite detail, from the smallest pebble, to the largest mountains. You can combine the benefits of both terrain types in one scene, seamlessly. Even your heightfield terrains can be enhanced with the power and flexibility of procedurals.
Using 3D procedural functions, go beyond the limits of heightfields to create truly realistic terrains, including sheer cliffs and even overhangs. Let your imagination run wild and create out-of-this-world terrains.
Georeferencing of digital elevation data is a snap. This works automatically with certain GeoTIFFs, including those downloaded from the National Map Seamless Server, an excellent resource from the USGS. Lat-long values can be entered manually if automatic georeferencing is unavailable or needs to be adjusted. Fractal details can be added automatically to imported elevation data.
Terragen™ 2 Mars Animation
This animation was entirely rendered with Terragen. Minor colour adjustment and filtering was done outside of Terragen. Elevation data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) was used to displace the surface of a Mars-size sphere. Because the resolution of the data is limited, fractal noise and procedural rock strata functions provided additional (but fictional) detail to render pleasing images from very close to the planet's surface. Atmosphere and surface colours are purely fictional. Fractal noise shaders and relief-dependent shader distributions were used to colour the surface. The satellite Phobos is approximately to scale in the animation, but its shape is not real.
Requires QuickTime 7 or a compatible MPEG-4 player
You can get QuickTime 7 here
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Going into TRON:Legacy I had experience supervising shows requiring a lot of atmospheric work so I wasn't particularly concerned about that aspect. The deeper we got into the show however the more and more demanding the work became. Tron:Legacy was a show on a different level, and it required solutions and results both artistically and technically on a different level. Terragen delivered! With it artists filled the "grid" with heavily art directed and detailed cloudscapes. And you couldn't rely on any "tricks" because this was a stereo show that demanded a completely immersive experience.
I think its would be a crime to only mention the software and not the designer and programmer behind it, Matt Fairclough provided to us unbelieveable support, custom coding, retooling, and improving aspects to the software allowing the art direction that was needed. I will never hesitate to recommend Matt and his software to anyone needing "world building". I dare you to try it, you will not be disappointed!
Chris Harvey, VFX Supervisor - Prime Focus
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