Terragen

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"Planetside Software" redirects here. For the Sony video game, see PlanetSide.
Terragen
TG2 Deep UI.png
Terragen 2.0.1.1
Developer(s) Planetside Software
Stable release 3.1 / February 25, 2014 (2014-02-25)
Development status Current
Written in C++
Operating system Windows, Mac OS X
Type 3D computer graphics
License Commercial, Freeware
Website Terragen 3 Page

Terragen is a scenery generator program for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X developed and published by Planetside Software. It can be used to create renderings and animations of landscapes.

History[edit]

Terragen Classic
Developer(s) Planetside Software
Stable release 0.9.43 / September 7, 2005 (2005-09-07)
Preview release 1.9.99.1 / July 31, 2008 (2008-07-31)
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Type 3D computer graphics
License Commercial, Freeware
Website Terragen Classic for Windows
Terragen Classic for Mac

Released in stages (tech preview and beta) to a participating community, Terragen 2 was released to pre-purchasers on 2 April 2009.[1][2] Terragen 2 is offered in feature limited freeware and full featured commercial licenses.

Planetside Software released the first public version of Terragen 2 after more than 3 years of development of both the core technologies and the program itself.[3][4] Since then there have been several released updates to both licenses of the software along the development cycle with a series of technology previews and a beta release. The "final" build was released on April 23, 2009 and more updates, including feature modules are expected to be released later.[5]

Planetside released Terragen 3 in August 2013.[6] Version 3.1 was released in February 2014.

A highly reflective lake, showing off the possibility for photorealistic renders in Terragen Classic
Julia island from Terragen Classic. It can be combined with other tools (here land-mapping as a Julia set)

Terragen Classic[edit]

Terragen Classic is popular among amateur artists, which can be attributed to it being freeware, its intuitive interface, and its capability to create photorealistic landscapes when used skillfully. It can also use DEM (digital elevation model) files, and other graphic surface maps for rendering.

A commercial version of the software is also available and is capable of creating larger terrains, renders with higher image resolution, larger terrain files, and better post-render anti-aliasing than the freeware version.

The terrain is generated from a two-dimensional heightmap. The program contains facilities for importing and exporting heightmaps to images, for use in other programs.

Use in media[edit]

Rendering software contributed by PlanetSide proprietor Matt Fairclough was used by Digital Domain for effects in Star Trek Nemesis. Terragen Classic was used in The Golden Compass and the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man, games, and many TV commercials.[7][8][9]

An image from what is now known as Terragen Classic appeared on the April 16, 2001 cover of Newsweek, and Terragen was used for animations in Brandy Norwood's "What About Us?" music video. The classic version was also used by numerous artists such as Joan Fontcuberta ("Orogenesis" series)[10] and the French photographer Mathieu Bernard-Reymond ("Vous êtes ici" series and "Pôle" series). Terragen Classic was used to create skyboxes for 3D video games such as Serious Sam.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Planetside Forums
  2. ^ Pre-purchasers get release early
  3. ^ M. Larsson, M. Wrenninge, and D. Roble, "Inter-frame caching for high quality terrain rendering", ACM SIGGRAPH 2004 Sketches, p. 9 (2004)
  4. ^ Matt Fairclough, M. Wrenninge, and M. Larsson, "Robust rendering of high resolution terrain", ACM SIGGRAPH 2004 Sketches, p. 10 (2004).
  5. ^ Beta Release announcement
  6. ^ "Terragen 3". Planetside Software. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Terragen 2, Planetside.co.uk
  8. ^ "About us: Matt Fairclough, Proprietor and Lead Developer". Planetside Software. From 2000 to 2003 Matt was also a Technical Director at Digital Domain in Venice, California. He is credited in The Time Machine, Star Trek: Nemesis, and The Day After Tomorrow. Matt initiated the development of Digital Domain's proprietary terrain renderer which was used in the films Stealth, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima and other films and TV commercials. Much of its core technology went on to become Planetside Software's Terragen 2. 
  9. ^ "Planetside Home: Change the landscape with Terragen". Planetside Software. Terragen has been used to create visual effects for many films including The Golden Compass and The Wicker Man, dozens of games and countless TV commercials 
  10. ^ Joan Fontcuberta. New York: International Center of Photography. Retrieved 10 July 2008.

External links[edit]