Glossary

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B[edit]

bucket
When Terragen renders, it divides the image up into buckets or tiles. Each bucket is rendered separately, allowing multiple buckets to be rendered at once. It also allows memory to be used more efficiently.
bitmap
bitmap image
In computer graphics, a raster image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Bit-mapped image formats in Terragen include raster heightfield terrains, image-based textures and masks, object textures, and rendered images saved to disk.
bounding box
The bounding box is a box which surrounds (or bounds) an object or shader. This box shows the maximum extents of the item inside it. Sometimes abbreviated as "b-box".

C[edit]

context click
Context clicking shows a contextual menu. On Windows this would normally be done with a right click. On OS X this could be a control-click or a right click.

D[edit]

DEM
DEM stands for Digital Elevation Model (or Map). A DEM is similar to a heightfield. DEMs are normally generated from real world measurements of a planet's surface, for example Earth or Mars.
deprecated
Deprecated items are still supported and available to use but their use is not recommended. Such items will be removed at some point in the future. In most cases an alternative is recommended and that should be used instead.
displace
displacement
Literally, to change the position of something. In graphics terminology to displace a surface is to modify its geometric (3D) structure using reference data of some kind. For example, a grayscale image might be taken as input, with black areas indicating no displacement of the surface, and white indicating maximum displacement. In Terragen 2 displacement is used to create all terrain by taking heightfield or procedural data as input and using it to displace the normally flat sphere of the planet.

G[edit]

GUI
Graphical User Interface, a general term that refers to the interface of any program running in a modern graphical operating system and which does not operate exclusively from the commandline.

H[edit]

heightfield
heightmap
A heightmap or heightfield is an array of height values, usually in a grid which describe the height at specific points in a defined area. Heightfields are used to represent real-world and virtual terrain in a specific, easily converted format. Most heightfields can be represented as simple image data in grayscale, with black being minimum height and white being maximum height.

L[edit]

luminance
This is essentially the brightness of the colour. Terragen converts RGB colours to greyscale by taking the luminance of the colour.

N[edit]

node
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.

P[edit]

parameter
A parameter is an individual setting in a node parameter view which controls some aspect of the node.
pixel
A single element of an image which describes values for color and/or intensity, depending on the color system which the image uses. Groups of ordered pixels together form a raster image.
procedural
procedural function
In general a “procedure” is a series of steps that should result in a specific and reproducible outcome. In Terragen 2 a “procedural” is a mathematical function describing output which may be visualized and sampled to create anything from terrain to clouds.

R[edit]

raster image
In computer graphics, a raster image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Bit-mapped image formats in Terragen include raster heightfield terrains, image-based textures and masks, object textures, and rendered images saved to disk.

S[edit]

sample
A sample refers to a value or set of values at a point in time and/or space. The defining point of a sample is that it is a chosen value out of a continuous signal. In Terragen 2 it is usually a mathematical (procedural) function that is being sampled.
scalar
A scalar is a single number. 1, 200.45, -45, -0.2 are all examples of scalar values.
shader
A shader is a program or set of instructions used in 3D computer graphics to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This can include arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption and diffusion, texture mapping, reflection and refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. In Terragen 2 shaders are used to construct and modify almost every element of a scene.

T[edit]

toolbar
In a graphical user interface (GUI) on a computer a toolbar is a row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when clicked, activate certain functions of the program.
topography
A detailed graphic representation of the surface features of a place or object. The features themselves; terrain.

V[edit]

vector
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.
virtual memory
Virtual memory is provided by the operating system to allow a program to use a larger amount of memory than the size of the installed RAM allows. For Terragen this means that it's possible to render scenes it might not otherwise be able to, but virtual memory is slow to access and this means rendering can slow noticeably.

When Terragen renders, it divides the image up into buckets or tiles. Each bucket is rendered separately, allowing multiple buckets to be rendered at once. It also allows memory to be used more efficiently.

In computer graphics, a raster image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Bit-mapped image formats in Terragen include raster heightfield terrains, image-based textures and masks, object textures, and rendered images saved to disk.

In computer graphics, a raster image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Bit-mapped image formats in Terragen include raster heightfield terrains, image-based textures and masks, object textures, and rendered images saved to disk.

In computer graphics, a raster image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Bit-mapped image formats in Terragen include raster heightfield terrains, image-based textures and masks, object textures, and rendered images saved to disk.

A heightmap or heightfield is an array of height values, usually in a grid which describe the height at specific points in a defined area. Heightfields are used to represent real-world and virtual terrain in a specific, easily converted format. Most heightfields can be represented as simple image data in grayscale, with black being minimum height and white being maximum height.

The bounding box is a box which surrounds (or bounds) an object or shader. This box shows the maximum extents of the item inside it. Sometimes abbreviated as "b-box".

A shader is a program or set of instructions used in 3D computer graphics to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This can include arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption and diffusion, texture mapping, reflection and refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. In Terragen 2 shaders are used to construct and modify almost every element of a scene.

Context clicking shows a contextual menu. On Windows this would normally be done with a right click. On OS X this could be a control-click or a right click.

DEM stands for Digital Elevation Model (or Map). A DEM is similar to a heightfield. DEMs are normally generated from real world measurements of a planet's surface, for example Earth or Mars.

Deprecated items are still supported and available to use but their use is not recommended. Such items will be removed at some point in the future. In most cases an alternative is recommended and that should be used instead.

Literally, to change the position of something. In graphics terminology to displace a surface is to modify its geometric (3D) structure using reference data of some kind. For example, a grayscale image might be taken as input, with black areas indicating no displacement of the surface, and white indicating maximum displacement. In Terragen 2 displacement is used to create all terrain by taking heightfield or procedural data as input and using it to displace the normally flat sphere of the planet.

Literally, to change the position of something. In graphics terminology to displace a surface is to modify its geometric (3D) structure using reference data of some kind. For example, a grayscale image might be taken as input, with black areas indicating no displacement of the surface, and white indicating maximum displacement. In Terragen 2 displacement is used to create all terrain by taking heightfield or procedural data as input and using it to displace the normally flat sphere of the planet.

Graphical User Interface, a general term that refers to the interface of any program running in a modern graphical operating system and which does not operate exclusively from the commandline.

A heightmap or heightfield is an array of height values, usually in a grid which describe the height at specific points in a defined area. Heightfields are used to represent real-world and virtual terrain in a specific, easily converted format. Most heightfields can be represented as simple image data in grayscale, with black being minimum height and white being maximum height.

This is essentially the brightness of the colour. Terragen converts RGB colours to greyscale by taking the luminance of the colour.

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.

A parameter is an individual setting in a node parameter view which controls some aspect of the node.

A single element of an image which describes values for color and/or intensity, depending on the color system which the image uses. Groups of ordered pixels together form a raster image.

In general a “procedure” is a series of steps that should result in a specific and reproducible outcome. In Terragen 2 a “procedural” is a mathematical function describing output which may be visualized and sampled to create anything from terrain to clouds.

In general a “procedure” is a series of steps that should result in a specific and reproducible outcome. In Terragen 2 a “procedural” is a mathematical function describing output which may be visualized and sampled to create anything from terrain to clouds.

A sample refers to a value or set of values at a point in time and/or space. The defining point of a sample is that it is a chosen value out of a continuous signal. In Terragen 2 it is usually a mathematical (procedural) function that is being sampled.

A scalar is a single number. 1, 200.45, -45, -0.2 are all examples of scalar values.

In a graphical user interface (GUI) on a computer a toolbar is a row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when clicked, activate certain functions of the program.

A detailed graphic representation of the surface features of a place or object. The features themselves; terrain.

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.

Virtual memory is provided by the operating system to allow a program to use a larger amount of memory than the size of the installed RAM allows. For Terragen this means that it's possible to render scenes it might not otherwise be able to, but virtual memory is slow to access and this means rendering can slow noticeably.