Difference between revisions of "Heightfield Shader"

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'''Node Type::''' Displacement Shader
'''Node Type:''' Displacement Shader

Revision as of 09:11, 22 May 2013

Heightfield Shader

Node Description and Purpose:
The Heightfield Shader is the basis for any heightfield terrain. It takes data from a heightfield operator node (such as a Heightfield Generate) node and turns it into displacement. It's also used to position the heightfield and control various aspects of its appearance. One very useful thing it can do is add additional fractal detail which can greatly improve the appearance of the heightfield, especially if it's relatively low resolution.

Node Type: Displacement Shader


  • Heightfield: This parameter links to the heightfield operator used to generate the heightfield data.
  • View heightfield button : Click this button to view the heightfield preview. This is different from the shader preview normally shown.

Location tab

  • Flip x: If this is checked the heightfield is flipped (left becomes right etc.) along the X axis.
  • Flip y: Check this to flip the heightfield along the Y axis (top becomes bottom etc.)

  • Position centre: Click this to position the heightfield around its centre.

  • Position lower left: Click this to position the heightfield using its lower left corner.

  • Position upper left: Click this to position the heightfield using its upper left corner.

  • Position: This parameter sets and X and Z position of the heightfield.

  • Border blending: This setting controls how much of the heightfield is blended around its edges to smooth it into the surrounding terrain. The value ranges from 0 to 1. The value relates to the size of terrain. If you use 0 there is no blending performed and the heightfield will potentially have a hard edge all the way around it, like a vertical cliff. A value of 1 means that the heightfield will blend all the way across its width and height. This will effectively make it flat.

  • Stitchable border: TBC

  • Blend by heightfield: Check this and choose another heightfield to blend this heightfield by the other heightfield. TBC
  • Blend by shader: Check this to blend the heightfield using the specified shader .

  • Fit blendshader to this: TBC

  • Invert blendshader: Check this to invert the shader specified in the Blend by shader parameter.

Additional tabs for Heightfield Shader[edit]

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.

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.

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

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.