Preferences - Startup Panel

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The Startup preference panel contains setting relating to application startup. There are two groups of preferences in the panel, one relates to project creation and the other to detecting the number of processors/cores your computer has.

Project creation preferences
Project creation happens when the application starts up and when you choose New from the File menu. You can choose either to have the default project settings loaded, or you can choose a project file you've created. This lets you have customised settings for newly created projects. For example, you might like to have the camera in a certain position, or you might like to always use a certain set of surface layers or clouds.

It's very easy to use custom project settings:

  1. Start Terragen and then set up the project how you want it.
  2. Save the project.

  3. Open the Preferences and select the Startup panel.

  4. Change the project creation popup to "Load from file".

  5. Click the "Choose File..." button and choose the project file you saved in Step 2.

  6. Click the OK button to accept the changes to the preferences.

Now every time you start Terragen, or choose New from the File menu, Terragen will create a project using your custom settings. You don't need to worry about accidentally saving changes to the file you chose in step 5, once the settings have been loaded it is no longer used.

If you want to make changes to your settings you can open the project file using the Open item in the File menu. Make your changes, save the file and the next time project settings are loaded the new changes will be used.

Processor core detection preferences
When Terragen starts up it attempts to detect the number of processors or cores your computer has. It uses this number to help decide the most efficient way to utilise your computer's processor(s) during rendering and other processor intensive tasks.

For various reasons Terragen may not correctly detect the number of cores on your computer, in which case you can use these preferences to set the correct number, or you may want to explicitly set that number instead.

You can override Terragen's automatic core detection by checking the "Override automatic number of cores detection" checkbox. Terragen will then use the number you enter in the "Preferred number of cores" field as the number of cores available when it is deciding how to best utilise your computer's processors. To remind you that the override is turned on the system information text in the Splash Screen and About Box, which displays the number of cores detected, will be followed by "(user override)". Here's an example :

System information (64 bit):
Found 2 processor cores (user override)


  • Project creation: This popup lets you choose whether to use the default project settings, or have them loaded from a project file you've created. When the "Use defaults" option is selected the controls below, related to custom settings, are disabled.
  • Current file: This text displays the name of the project file which is used to load custom settings when the "Load from file" option is selected in the popup above. If there is no project file chosen then the text will say "None selected". If there is no project file selected then default project settings are used regardless of the setting of the Project Creation popup.
  • Choose File...: Clicking this button opens a Choose File dialog which lets you select a project file to be used for loading custom settings. This button is only enabled if you have chosen the "Load from file" option in the Project Creation popup.
  • Reveal File: Clicking this button will reveal the project file chosen for loading custom settings in Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac). It is only enabled if you have chosen the "Load from file" option in the Project Creation popup, and there is a project file selected.
  • Override automatic number of cores detection: When this checkbox is checked, Terragen's automatic number of core detection will be overridden, and the number you enter in the "Preferred number of cores" field below will be used as the number of cores available.
  • Preferred number of cores: When the checkbox above is checked you can use this text field to set the number of cores Terragen will use when it is deciding how to best utilise your computer's resources. See above for a discussion of why you might want to do this.

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