Animation Overview

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The Animation Module is only available when you purchase a Terragen 4 license. You can purchase it here.

Animating Node Parameters
Most nodes in TG4 have many parameters which can be animated. These params have an Animation button. Clicking the Animation button pops up a menu which lets you perform operations like setting and removing keys and importing animation data.

To animate a param you need to set keys for it. You can use the animation button to set a key for the param. A new key will be created and inserted at the current frame. The current frame can be set with the Main Window Timeline, the Animation Panel or in the Project settings. Params with more than one coordinate, such as vector or colour params, can have each coordinate animated separately. In that case the Animation button will give you the option of setting keys on all coordinates or individual coordinates.

You can tell when a param is animated because the colour of its text fields will change from black to green or blue. When a text field is coloured green that means the param is animated and there is a key set on it for the current frame. If the text is coloured blue that means the param is animated but there is no key set at that frame.

When a param is animated you will be able to edit the animation for it in the Animation Panel. Only params which are animated will show up in the Animation Panel, so you need to set at least one key on a param before it will be available for editing there. You can then use the Animation Panel to insert and delete keys, as well as change key positions and values.

Nodes with animated params are drawn in a special way in the network view, making them easy to spot. Animated nodes have a green circle with a white "A" drawn to the right of the node box.

Previewing Animation
You can use the playback controls in the Main Window Timeline and the Animation Panel Timeline to playback animation. Animation will be shown in all 3D Previews. This means you can view animation playback from multiple perspectives at the same time. You can also scrub through animation using the slider in Main Window Timeline or by dragging the frame cursor in the Animation Panel views.

By default TG4 attempts to play animation in realtime, or 24 frames per second. However if some frames take a longer time to draw this can mean that subsequent frames get skipped to try and maintain realtime playback. If you want to see each frame in the animation you can use the Lock playback to frames button in the Main Window Timeline or Animation Panel Timeline to see every frame in turn.

The Animation Panel Timeline has additional playback controls which let you do things like loop playback.

Rendering Animation
You can render animations using the controls in the Sequence/Output tab of the Render node. The Sequence first/last/step params let you set which part of an animation to render. The Render Sequence button will start the animation rendering.

Alternatively you can also use the command line interface of TG4 to batch render frames or render frames across a render farm.

Back to the Animation Module Reference

A vector is a set of three scalars, normally representing X, Y and Z coordinates. It also commonly represents rotation, where the values are pitch, heading and bank.

A single object or device in the node network which generates or modifies data and may accept input data or create output data or both, depending on its function. Nodes usually have their own settings which control the data they create or how they modify data passing through them. Nodes are connected together in a network to perform work in a network-based user interface. In Terragen 2 nodes are connected together to describe a scene.