Main Page Revamp Draft
Welcome to the Planetside Software Wiki
This is the primary documentation repository for Planetside Software's Terragen environment modeling and rendering product. This documentation refers primarily to the latest version of Terragen (currently Terragen 4). Whenever the general term "Terragen" is used, it is referring to this most recent version, unless otherwise specified, e.g. "Terragen Classic".
This wiki contains official information as well as community-written content. Official documentation is clearly delineated from user contributed information by section below. We hope you find this to be a valuable resource and we encourage you to contribute any information you can in the community-generated areas. For help on how to use and contribute to a Wiki system, check the Help section.
If you are a licensed user of Terragen and you need direct support, you can contact us via our contact page.
Fundamental Terragen Concepts
Articles in this section cover concepts fundamental to understanding and using Terragen.
What is Terragen?
An explanation of Terragen's design and purpose.
Some conventions of Terragen and how it differs from other 3D graphics programs.
Nodes, the Node Network, and the Nodes List
Nodes are the fundamental building blocks of a Terragen scene. Learn more about how they work and are represented in the UI.
Shaders provide color and texture for the terrain in a scene.
Heightfield and Procedural Terrain
Terragen allows the use of both heightfield and procedural terrain. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Fundamental Rendering and Shader Concepts
This explains some of the fundamental concepts behind rendering and shaders in Terragen.
Terragen's user interface is tailored to creating and rendering procedural landscapes and skies. This section will give you an overview of the Terragen user interface.
Tutorial 1: Creating Your First Scene
A step-by-step tutorial on how to create a basic Terragen 4 scene.
Tutorial 2: Adding a Lake
A guide to adding a lake to a Terragen scene.
The Default Scene Explained
When you open Terragen the first thing you see is a "default" scene, with basic terrain, planet, and atmosphere. This page explains how the default scene is set up.
User Guide Part 1: Fundamental Concepts and User Interface Overview
The User Guide is a series of documents that give an overview of all the major work areas of Terragen 4 and how to construct a basic scene. It is designed to be read through completely over time. Please note: this document is currently being updated for the latest version of Terragen. We apologize for the inconvenience.
User Guide Part 2: Fundamental Rendering and Shader Concepts
This part of the User Guide explains some of the fundamental concepts used for rendering and shaders.
Terrain and Water
Detailed information on creating and controlling terrain and water features.
Surface Mapping and Shading
Detailed information on applying surface maps, i.e. texturing, in Terragen 4. This section is oriented toward surface maps as applied to terrain, but much of the information also applies to object texturing.
This is a guide to using the Animation functions in Terragen. It has information and tutorials about creating animations using TG4.
This is a guide to using the Library and Library window in TG4.
Network View Guide
This is a guide to using the Network View in TG4.
Painted Shader Guide
This guide explains how to use and get the most out of the Painted Shader.
This is a guide to using Populator nodes. Populator nodes help you to quickly and efficiently add many objects, such as trees, to a scene.
Working with Clip Files
This page introduces Clip files, how to create them and how to use them. Clip files let you save nodes or collections of nodes so you can use them again or send them to others.
Working with Objects
This is a guide to working with objects in TG4. It covers topics such as importing objects, creating objects, manipulating them in the 3D Preview and much more.
A Guide to Rendering with Ray Trace Objects and Defer Atmo/Cloud
How and when to use the rendering options "Ray trace objects", "Defer atmo/cloud" and "Ray trace everything".
Clouds Following Terrain Tutorial
Get an in-depth understanding of the new cloud control functions in Terragen with this tutorial by Martin Huisman
Terragen Node Reference
Describes all the Terragen 4 nodes.
The Glossary explains terms relevant to Terragen.
Input Settings Reference
Lists all the input settings, such as mouse clicks and hot keys, that can be used in various views.
Describes the menus in the Terragen 4 menu bar.
Describes the different windows used in Terragen 4.
Gives an overview of the Animation Module as well as a reference for animation related windows and views.
This reference describes Terragen 4's import and export capabilities.
Describes the project gathering process, which allows you to gather a project and related assets into a single folder.
Explains what Global Illumination is and how to use it in Terragen 4.
Explains the Render Layers system in Terragen 4 Professional, including Render Elements.
Describes Terragen 4's preferences, which let you customise how the application behaves. You can find out about Terragen 4's preferences here.
How to run Terragen 4 from the command line on Windows, Mac and Linux, and descriptions of all the command line options.
Find Terragen-compatible software, 3D models, content, and other resources.
Terragen Community-Generated Content
Terragen 2/3 Tips and Tricks
Some quick tips and tricks for using TG2.
Terragen 2/3 Tutorials
A list of tutorials, from beginning to advanced, to take you through how to do certain things with TG2.
Tutorial planning Area
A list of planned or desired tutorials
Objects and Object Collections
A list of objects created for Terragen by the community and a list of stores and collections available for free or at a cost.
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.