Landscapes Galore + mini tute (whoops corrected)

(paradox) #1

I was recently playing around with the idea of how to get height maps from Terragen into Blender and I came up with a quick and easy method.
But first here is a link to a new page on my site called Landscapes. 6 landscapes using this technique.
Also I redid one of the mountains using Radiosity you will find it at the bottom of my Experiments page.
To use this method you will need Terragen and I thought Photoshop but I found last night a free image program called ImageTool which you can also use.
Sorry I don’t know if terragen is available for linux or if there is a linux based image conversion program.
Anyway to start, open terragen and create a terrain, don’t worry about sun ect all we need is the terrain data. Then in the terrain generator window choose Export - save your file as Raw 8 bits. This creates a greyscale raw file.
Next load that file into Photoshop where you can save as Targa or import it into ImageTool where you can save as high quality jpg.
Now the easy part. Open Blender and scale your plane up to a large size. (corrected part left out- edit mode select all vertices subdivide 6 times)
Add a material, add a texture - Image Map (use your converted picture).
Now F9 hit noise button 5 times or until height you want. Set smooth. Sometimes you will want to do a fractal subdivide and set smooth depending on the look you want.
Wala - a landscape using displacement mapping and the terragen greyscale map. Now just add materials, textures, lighting etc.
Hope this is useful, have fun. Any comments on the landscapes or the technique is truely welcome.

(EnthroneD) #2

great lookin landscapes there mate! especially 1 & 6. however…didnt linuxgraphic have a similar tut on land generation??? …and if i remember correctly, u needed only gimp to create the noise map. anyway…great work!!

(paradox) #3

Thanks for the comment EnthrondeD, glad you liked the landscapes.

however…didnt linuxgraphic have a similar tut on land generation??? …and if i remember correctly, u needed only gimp to create the noise map. anyway…great work!!

Linuxgraphic may have had a similar tut, not familiar with it. And you can use gimp to create a noise map for land generation, displacement mapping for Blender has been covered several times, but in this case I was trying to show how to use displacement mapping to convert a terragen landscape to Blender. I had tried to use gimp but it would not load the raw 8 bit data file that terragen created which is why I looked online to find another free app (ImageTool) that would work for those who didn’t have Photoshop. But I do appreciate letting me know about the linusgraphic article and the comments and of course the compliment.

(paradox) #4

Duh what a day, first I post a mini tute and leave part of it off. Then I tell EnthroneD that I was not familiar with the linuxgraphic article. But later thinking about it I think ‘Hey, isn’t Blender Cafe on linuxgraphic org?’ which means that not only am I familiar with that article but I have it in pdf form. It’s called easy landscape modeling or something similar and it does show how to make landscapes from gimp generated greyscale. In fact I used the techniques for lighting, and env maps in many of the landscapes I made. I also recommend this tutorial at Blender Cafe for anyone wanting to do landscapes. Just wanted to set the record straight. But if you want to use displacement to put terragen terrains into Blender then my mini-tute should be another way of doing it.

(BaDbOyHeRe) #5

ive used this process countless times and I still consider it to be one of the cooler features. I even used it to model wood carvings and partial sculptures/engravings.

P.S. Il like landscape #1 and 6 also


(S68) #6

Very cool, paradox.

Smart application of the noise function :slight_smile:

I’d bet you can make even more detailed stuff by splitting your TGA in 4 or 9 square chunks and use each for a separate subdivided plane. THis way you could baffle Blender 64k vertex limit and have truly big and detailed landscapes!

I cannot test this untill monday, but I promise you I’ll do…

Your textures looks great too, and the skyes are wonderful.

Keep it up


(stephen2002) #7

also, I am hopeing that everybody didn’t forget Ter2Blend! This contains all of the scripts necessary for dealing with Terragen landscapes in Blender (and you can even render the landscapes in Terragen and composite, which will make a much more realistic look)

(paradox) #8

Thanks for all the responses. BaDbOyHeRe - I agree noise displacement is a cool and useful effect. Stefano, that sounds interesting I will be looking forward to what you come up with. Steven2002, I did not forget the Ter2Blend script I have used it in the past and will use again in the future. But the reason I use this technique too is 1. My meshs from the Ter2Blend script always are so big. 2. Sometimes I don’t want to create a detailed landscape in Terragen and try to duplicate it in Blender. I just want to create a quick terrain then import to Blender and create everything else, lighting, details, world, camera angles from scratch in Blender. The mesh in the last picture #6 was 11,282 vertexs. This method often allows a lower vertex count mesh and I can create details with texture and moving around the mesh parts to get the effect I want.
This was not to be a replacement for ter2blend but another alternative.
Thanks everyone good to get the comments and opinions.

(Timonides) #9

About terragen, it hasn’t been ported to Linux, since there’s no need to…

Linux users have terraform, for such purposes… :wink:

(actually terragen was originally created because windows users got jealous about terraform… :stuck_out_tongue: )

Excellent landscapes paradox… keep the good work up…


(malefico) #10

Cool images. Great landscapes. Me like it big egg. Ugh ugh.


PS: Great texture work !

(paradox) #11

Thanks skontar and malefico. And malefico you made me laugh :slight_smile: I saw your comment about the egg and was puzzled then about 4 hours later I remembered that on my radiosity page there was a picture with a giant egg in it, he he I’m a little slow sometimes, lucky I wasn’t drinking anything or I would have been choking like Dream master :wink:

(snailrose) #12

Hey nice technique 8)
I really like all the landscapes
but #1 is the coolest :stuck_out_tongue:
This will come in handy later on for a possible blend

Great work

(paradox) #13

Thanks snailrose. Number one was one of the first. I think the plus side to that picture is besides being simple the lighting creates a nice mood.
One thing too is the shadows on the side of the hills, moutains were also created or enhanced with a negative light. I sometimes use negative lights when an area or object is not quite getting the right shadow from the other light. I have also used negative lights effectively in radiosity solutions like the desert scene on my radiosity page.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

(Alltaken) #14

this is the first method i ever tried for landscaping.

it is a very good way to get landscapes into blender from any scource that exports an image.

as well as height maps from the net of real world places.

there are three (and probably more) ways to get terains from terragen to blender.

  1. ter2blend (very good for compositing shadows between terragen and blender)

  2. my method (dxf export- very good for exact copys at high resolution of terragen landscapes and tetures)

  3. this way (very good for quick landscapes from any program with image export options, also good for things like waves etc… also smaller file sizes than my method)

all of these methods are very good and can be used for different applications.

the landscapes are nice
and i am interested where you got the sky textures from

(paradox) #15

Thanks alltaken, I agree on your comments on the methods, which you use depends on what you trying to do, file size, and detail. As for the sky textures most are from Noctua graphics which has lots of free textures. I used most on a world sphere, although I think one is sky texture as background buffer and one which not sure if I showed that example is using a sky texture as a texture in the world buttons then adjusting the world colors. The link to NOCTUA Graphics is

(Alltaken) #16

thanks for the link it was rather helpful (i’m currently downloading all they got)

there is another texture site that i first found a long time ago which i like.


you might be interested because they are all seamless and have zip files available.

(paradox) #17

You’re welcome and Thanks. Always looking for good texture sites when I’m not busy making my own.