View Full Version : still: Terragen work

06 June 2004, 08:49 PM
Hi all,
I am a new user of this forum. I am a Frenchman, from Marseille, and I am working with Terragen since two years.
Here is one of my last renders, thanks for comments and critics !

06 June 2004, 09:59 PM
wow some nice work you got there there is just to much light i think :)

06 June 2004, 11:47 PM
Amazing. Simple amazing man.

06 June 2004, 11:57 PM
very very nice. That is really beautiful! What software? How about a wire. Front page nomination!

06 June 2004, 03:08 AM
Terragen doesn't make wires. it's all voxel base or something like that. Basically, crazy displacement mapping. Amazing what that program is capable of...

06 June 2004, 07:14 AM
Yes, there is a lot of light in this one, indeed !
Another render, which won 2nd place at a Terragen french contest some months ago :

06 June 2004, 07:40 AM
could you remove some light ?

i would love to see that with less light :)

06 June 2004, 09:06 AM
This is nothing special.

Ok, it looks good, but with Terragen and some knowledge about it you can make this in half an hour. So no frontpage nomination from me.

Less light will help the scene just quite a bit.

Nice image, but nothing really special. Sorry don't flame me. :blush:


06 June 2004, 01:51 PM
An half hour, 20 hours. Where is the difference? Terragen is a freeware program and I love the results of it. Especially the watersurface (great program to make own skyboxes for 3ds max).
You see the people love it too :) .

06 June 2004, 05:31 PM
The difference is: 20 hours.

It is a handy programme, but building this world from scratch up is, I think, a better achievement than let terragen make it for you (and it does that almost automatically, you just have to do simpel adjustments, especially when working with it for 2 years).

And that is how it is. I like the renders, they are good, dont get me wrong. But I don't think it's frontpage material.

But for a Terragen contest, it's not bad at all. Case closed, I said what I wanted to say, that's all.


06 June 2004, 05:38 PM
Hi Cannonball !
Thanks for commenting.
I think that you are right and wrong at the same time !
Making a Terragen pic takes me a lot of hours. You're right, it is possible to make a quick render with TG, but not like these ones.
I spend a lot of time on making terrain, working with Photoshop and others apps like Mojoworld or World Machine to make a good terrain. Then setting surfaces and atmospherics takes also a long time.
My best renders takes me sometime more than 2 or 3 days of works, really !
Then Terragen is not a freeware, there is a demo version, with a few limitations, and I play with registered version, to help program development.
Thanks again, Cannonball ( I like a lot old country tune "Cannonball rag" by Merle Travis and so on ! :)
See you

06 June 2004, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by Cannonball
[B]The difference is: 20 hours.

It is a handy programme, but building this world from scratch up is, I think, a better achievement than let terragen make it for you

I also want to say, that I never "let Terragen make" a terrain for me !
I make "manually" my terrains with different programs, as World Machine or Mojoworld, which let mer use some complex fractal algorithms to make a good terrain, but it is NEVER easy ! :hmm:
I can also draw a complex terrain with Photoshop, sometime, depending on the mood I'm looking for.
See you

06 June 2004, 07:49 PM
but building this world from scratch up is, I think, a better achievement than let terragen make it for you

Then why do programmers spend their lives pushing the limits of their programs and cos spend millions to get things done in a single click ?

Why not build a full length movie in assembly language, rather than buying expensive 3D apps, if you want to achieve something big ?

IMHO, in CG, the achievement is always a combined one.... of the hardware enginneers, programmers, businessmen, the artist and the leave one out and you are back in stone age of CG......

What is achieved here is that terragen [or vue or whatever], lets your creativity fly and do something in 20 min, so that you have a bit of more life to spend on better things than to do a 20 hour donkey work......

06 June 2004, 07:58 PM
I actually forgot to write about the image itself... :p ...happens...

The textures are really impressive...but in first pic, the white horizontal lines mess things up...what are they?
In the same pic, the clouds look procedural....

06 June 2004, 08:00 PM
White horizontal lines are ... strata ! :p
And clouds, in the both pics, are 2D "pure Terragen" clouds.

06 June 2004, 08:31 PM
Hi there Olivier :)

I think Your Terragen renders are pretty good, specialy second one. However, You should realise, that there folks are working with litle different kind of 3d applications, where all is achieved by hard "hand" work. They just don't know or doesn't have experience with apps like Terragen. So they can judge about Your images in most cases only from pro 3d app user viewpoint (hence the wondering about procedural or good textures lol). In they world texturing is very important part and its the thing that they can appraise.

However, some of this forum users tried Terragen or saw a lot images by Terragen and impression from this experience wasn't the best. Hence sometimes very snuby or negative response. Or loud WOW from peoples, that doesn't know about Terragen :)

Yes, Terragen main purpose is landscape modeling - there all is tuned for that. With few click You can achieve pretty atmosphere effects that can be achievable in LW or MAX by very hard work and render times. There are OGO Taiki for LW and Dreamscape for MAX with very similar results, only the render times arn't comparable :) Though, to achieve great looking scene without some mistakes, You should spend a lot time - just like in MAX and other apps. In other hand, You can judge about amount of work only if HAVE EXPERIENCE in Terragen. Otherwise, I agree, Terragen renderings all looks pretty photorealistic the same :)

PS. Thats why I hesitate to show there my Mojoworld renderings, becouse people here working more on objects or characters :(

06 June 2004, 08:34 PM
btw, I don't see there problems with lights.. it look great for Me. Maybe there are peoples with Apple computers, that uses different gamma?

06 June 2004, 08:39 PM
Hi Armands ! :beer:
Glad to see you here !
I agree with your analysis, I just want to show some of my TG pics in others places than Renderosity or 3DC... I like a lot the critics here, this is a much better constructive place than other 3D forums.
And I am happy to receive any critics or negative comments, it's good for my progression.
Nevertheless, I think you should show here your awesome MJW works...
See you

06 June 2004, 08:50 PM
Yes, CG Talk is generaly good to receive constructive criticism until some starting to tell Ya about how easy or speedy they can set up such scenes :) Its great to see Your renderings here! Even if I'm not Terragen fan anymore ;)

06 June 2004, 11:00 PM
Hi hillrunner,

I personally like your images too and don't see anything wrong with the lighting. Terragen is a great program that lets you achieve near photorealistic landscapes easier than with other programs, but that doesn't take away from your art. From what I have heard, the end result is what matters, and not what you had to do to get there.

For those claiming that they can slap a scene like this together in twenty minutes, with the freeware version, I'd like to see it.

Also, just because he is experienced with the program and can do things faster with it than most, doesn't take away from its worthiness. That's like saying that if I where to create a scene in LightWave that took me a week to setup, and it takes someone else a month that mine is not as good because I didnít take as long... :shrug:

06 June 2004, 11:38 PM
Completely agree with Mohh, anyone saying they can create something like this in 20 mins, lets see it! The result is all that matters and this art is simply b-e-a-utiful! I really like the lights... doesn't seem to bright to me. The only thing that bugs me a little is the clouds in the first one seem a little flat. Not sure how else to explain it. Just would like to see a little more depth is all.

Great renders, thanks for sharing!


06 June 2004, 12:35 PM
I have tried the programme, a claim of 30min is simply outrages....
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Simple but prevail wisdom: talk is easy

06 June 2004, 01:52 PM
Well Oliver, you stated that you make very good terrain with algoritmes and other software. Well, ok thats fine, but I'm sorry, I can not see the difference. When Terragen makes the terrain for me, I like it as much as your renders. Someone with the knowledge of 2 years should make these enviroments quite fast.

The texturing, lightning and other stuff is simple to find in the programme and with some knowledge, you can easily make a nice render like this.

Sorry, but I still find making a terrain from scratch more special and therefor I don't think that this is frontpage material. I that's the comment that started this debate. People talking about the 30 minutes I mentioned. That wasn't the essence of the post.

It's like making a walkcycle with charachter studio. It's a tool, and it can look great, but I find it much more special when you made the walkcycle yourself (and shows your feeling and skills as an animator).

You clearly stated that you made this terrain on a difficult way. Algoritmes and other software. I find that much more special, and so I like your renders much more.

Other comment: add more detail, more objects....people, dry trees, i dunno....

06 June 2004, 01:54 PM
And trying the programma isn't saying you know how it works. I know it a little. And I'm sure that without the algoritmes and other software, Oliver can make a beautiful render in an hour...or less :scream:

06 June 2004, 02:51 PM
Nice work. Any chance you can post a wire?

I am a huge fan of terrains and environments, and have had little luck with terragen. Only because I cant get those great results to export to another Software. I think one of the features that reallly rock in Terragen are those procedural textures.

A couple crits. The sun looks too "small" in both images. Photographing landscapes tends to "blow out" the sun and it would occupy a larger part of the sky.

The composition in both images could use some work. Both seem very "balanced" to me. The first one more than the second is too centered. Since these images stand alone as pieces of art, with no subject other than landscape, the compositions needs to be very interesting. Remember the "edges" of your canvas. This can make or break a finished artwork, whats happening around the edges, alot of artists tend to work on whats happening inside the image and neglect the rythym around the edges.

Overall, well done and worthy of 15 minutes of my day!

06 June 2004, 04:09 PM
hillrunner I like your images man :)

:applause: there's so cool terragen stuff...

Cannonball envy:) ha ha ha so you payed thousands of dollars for 3d Studio max.. AND I'M SURE that you can't make such a cool andscape (even so simple without people and trees) with 3dsmax. And the guy makes such a cool pictures for FREE for 20 mins like you said :) that's a DEAL I think :))))) just kidding..

you have to respect the people's work man ! cya

06 June 2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by boboroshi
Terragen doesn't make wires. it's all voxel base or something like that. Basically, crazy displacement mapping. Amazing what that program is capable of...

I've learned that you can import the terragen file into Lightwave to produce a .obj wire

06 June 2004, 05:52 PM
Just another little pic (2mn06 sec work :applause: )

06 June 2004, 10:48 PM
Excellent work here! I really love good strata maps, they add so much to an image.

As to the Terragen debate, my feeling on it is that while it may not be as powerful and versatile as larger rendering/modeling packages, that's mainly because it's built solely to do one thing, and do it well. So no, I can't make a character model in Terragen. I can't make anything, really, but a landscape - but that's ok because most of the time, that's really all I want to do anyway.

I also really like Terragen because the learning curve is very distributed. The beginner can start up the program and not be utterly overwhelmed by the complexity of the interface and the countless buttons and windows that, say, MAX and Maya are comprised of. In terragen, you can start as simply as you like, and with practice slowly become more adept at managing the advanced options - there's as much depth there as you need, but you don't need to see it unless you want to.

I myself tend to view my own Terragen work as a kind of photography - except of course that you now have control over every aspect of the shot, instead of being subject to the bounds that nature imposes on me. I spend days working on images, and I think the work I put into them shows in the final product. I make all of my texture-maps by hand now, and I use World Machine's amazing "flowchart" interface to tailor-design my terrains to my own (somewhat exacting) specifications. I also design every aspect of the atmosphere myself. I could let Terragen do all of that for me, but I've moved well beyond the stage where I feel I need to - I get much better results on my own anyway.

In short, that's the beauty of Terragen. It starts you off simply, and you can progress as far as you like from there, instead of dropping you into the deep-end headfirst like my attempts with Max and Maya have felt like. Who learns to ride a bike without training wheels, anyway?

06 June 2004, 11:25 PM
2mn06 sec work
LOL :applause:

That's fantastic! That image is great too. I wish I could do something remotely close to that. I guess I should take the time to learn how to use Terragen. I'll have to check out your tutorials, since you've inspired me to check Terragen out once more.

06 June 2004, 11:43 PM
These look pretty darn nice to me... as for it being "easy" well IMHO who really cares how "hard" something is.

It's like people giving others grief about using poser models... because it's "cheating" or some nonsense like that.

Tools are tools and whatever gets you the best results the fastest are the best tools as far as I'm concerned... and despite the tool, the artist is the one who has to use it and some are definately better than others in that respect.

06 June 2004, 12:08 AM
I think that's all true what you ppz say about appz just suited for special purposes.. but there's an exception... this one.

(I remember the same disquisitions when first appered works made with zbrush.. now looking at the results.. anyone profess to have forgot his opinions..).

nice design, nice light, nice surfaces, nice photograph, a real work.


06 June 2004, 03:26 PM
Well, this is never-ending discussion about Terragen versus real artwork made by hands with very hard work in other 3d application :p I have read tones of this theme in other 3d forums, sorry...

It all becomes from peoples various experiences:

First, there are peoples who don't know, what the Terragen is and they wondering about realism in these scenes and are saying - wow! what a great work! - without really knowledge, whats behind these scenes

Second, there are peoples, who have very litle experience with Terragen or have seen tones of Terragen renderings all around Internet and have enough of it and don't wanna see any Terragen render, no matter how good it is. They count Terragen as nice view generator for the masses, nothing more.

Third, there are people, who knows about Terragen for few years, worked with this app and have some knowledges in other landscape modeling applications such as Vue, Bryce, World Builder and so on.

So listen - there always will be really barren discussions between these groups, becouse they have very varied knowledge about the SUBJECT! Don't You think so?

For example, first group will admire almost every Terragen rendering, Second group will reject almost every (again!) Terragen render becouse of delusion and only peoples from third group will be really objective about the subject, and can tell You, is it really good Terragen scene or maded in 20 minutes.

What can I say? Hillrunner is a long runner in Terragen and sure know what He is doing with the application. He sure isn't the guy, who got Terragen only right now and is rushing to publish first "real 3d" in every corner of Internet (as many of first group is tended to do and is the thing, what really hates Second group lol)

So I can tell, that in these scenes by Hillrunner is involved some hard work, atmosphere setup is excellent, materials are great and terrain is almost as good as Terragen can provide :rolleyes:

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 11:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.