nullstream weblog - Terragen

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January 29, 2005 10:49 PM PST

Ok, time for a new photoblog post. Hate to see the Thailand post off the front page, but we are still blessed from the banner.

Terragen is a freeware 3D landscape generation and rendering application for Windows. It was designed to render actual USGS and planetary data. After reading about the data from the probe landing on Titan being rendered by Terragen, I decided to check it out. I'm an old fan of Kai's Power Tools and Bryce, which was an exceptional landscape based rendering tool.

The interface to Terragen is pretty rough, but it sure can generate beautiful pictures. In many ways Bryce back in 1996 was more advanced in terms of 3D procedural textures and solid modeling tools, but Terragen seems more scientific for some reason. The cloud and water modeling is excellent as are the shadows. All in all, Terragen is a great tool for rendering landscapes, and doesnt (yet) try to be as artsy as Bryce. Don't expect to throw together scenes like these your first time out!

These renders are not by me. They are from Terraworlds, a fan site.

Rendering of Mt. Ranier elevation data.

Rendering of Mars elevation data.

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