Terragen 4 User Guide Part 2: Fundamental Rendering and Shader Concepts

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This part of the User Guide explains some of the fundamental concepts used for rendering and by shaders in Terragen 4.


The Displacement page explains displacement.

Global Illumination[edit]

This Global Illumination document from the Terragen 4 Reference explains global illumination (GI) and how it works in TG.

Procedural Data[edit]

This page talks about what procedural data is, how TG uses it and how it compares to static data.

Rendering Methods[edit]

This page discusses the two rendering methods TG uses - micropolygon rendering and raytracing.


This page explains the translucency effect available in several shaders.

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.