Project Assets Window
The Project Assets window, new in v2.4, displays all the assets used in a project. The assets of a project are things like object files, images used for texture maps and masks, heightfield files and so on. Essentially assets are the separate files the nodes in a project refer to. The window displays information regarding the project assets, as well as having the ability to quickly show nodes using assets or show assets in Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac OS X). It can also generate a report of all the assets used.
The Project Assets window is opened from the Show Project Assets item in the Project menu.
The Project Assets window has two viewing modes for the assets. The first is the Node view. This displays all the nodes in the project which refer to assets. The list shows the name of the node, the param which refers to the asset and the name of the asset. The Asset view shows all the assets in a hierarchic list. This shows the asset names at the top level and then lets you display all the nodes and params which refer to that asset.
Sometimes assets are found in locations other than that specified by a param. For example they might have been found in a User Content folder. If an asset is being loaded from a location other than that originally specified it will have a little magnifying glass icon displayed next to it.
Some assets are displayed in orange in the list. These are assets which may exist but which are unusual in some way. An example of this is an Image Map shader which uses an image sequence. TG2 cannot yet tell if all the image assets in the sequence exist so it highlights the asset in orange to let you know it might be something to check.
If there is some problem with an asset, for example its file cannot be found on disk, it will be displayed in red in the list. If you want to see only assets with problems in the list you can check the Only show assets with problems checkbox.
You can use the Project Assets window to generate reports about the assets. You can either save the report to a text file or have it copied to the clipboard. The asset report has a simple format. Every asset is listed with three lines like this:
Asset: File path of the asset on disk
Node: Path of node in the project
Param: Name of the param which refers to the asset
- Asset list: This list shows the assets. It can be switched between Node and Asset views, as described above, using the two buttons below the list. Select a list item to see further information about it displayed below. Double clicking a list item will open a param floater for the node.
- Node view button: This button switches the asset list to Node view.
- Asset view button: This button switches the asset list to Asset view.
- Only show assets with problems: Check this checkbox to make the asset list only show assets with problems.
- Refresh button: This button will cause the list of project assets to be refreshed. You might want to do this after fixing a problem with an asset, for example.
- Node path: This item displays the path of the node in the project.
- Asset path: This item shows the file path of the asset on disk. This might be different to the path actually specified in the node if the asset was found in a User Content folder or similar.
- Reveal in Explorer/Finder: Click this button to show the selected asset in Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac OS X).
- Save Report: Clicking this button will prompt you to save an asset report as a text file.
- Copy to Clipboard: Clicking this button will copy an asset report to the clipboard.
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.
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 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.