Node-Based Terrain Shader!

This doesn’t need much in the way of introduction - just “I tried nodes and fell in love with them!” :smiley:

So, my first serious node-based work: a terrain shader. The basic idea is that you can take any terrain mesh, apply this node material, customize your settings, and you’re left with a terrain textured to your liking!

Workflow / capabilities:

  • Create any number of materials (e.g. grass, sand, stone, brown grass, snow)
  • Link them into the node material for the terrain, following the fairly obvious pattern
  • Select the height range at which your material can exist (via a ColorRamp, so allows for fade-out)
  • Select the slope range at which your material can exist (via a ColorRamp, so allows for fade-out)
  • Mix 'em together!Here’s my sample. My goal is to get this to the point where I can get Picture 3 reasonably close to Picture 1.
    Picture 1: Beatiful, close-to-photorealistic Terragen render (yes, created this in Terragen originally)
    Picture 2: Node material setup (yes, comes with explanatory notes!)
    Picture 3: (What is definitely too cartoonish) Blender render
    I’m having trouble attaching the .blend file (I did zip it down to 1.6 Mb… but now it says ‘invalid file’). Help? (I see it has to be an image file; where do I put the .blend so I can link to it from here?)

Alright, Blenderheads - C&C away!! (Oh, and comments for the water and sky are allowed, also. :cool:)

Definitely very interesting approach to this sort of thing, I’m quite impressed by your results.

My dear gosh!!!:eek: That has to be the best usage of nodes that I have ever seen!!!:yes:
Are there cloud shadows on the mounatin in the first image?

Very impressive nodes work! I can’t wait to see more!
Great work, keep it up!

Five stars from me!


Use less saturated colours and a nicer lighting setup (blue tinted hemi + yellow sun) - that’s got a lot to do with why your render looks cartoonish.

I’ll be eagerly watching this to see how it progresses.

Thanks everyone for the comments! It’s great to hear encouragement like that! :slight_smile:

TV Crash - That’s what I was hoping to hear! :smiley: And yes, Terragen rendered cloud shadows in the original image. Once (if?!) I manage to work out how I want to control the sky, I’ll try to reproduce some of that. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll use a sky cube for the sky, and just create a “shadow map” (cloud texture) that I map into the terrain nodes to darken the final color.

broken - Actually, I do have that as my lighting setup. But I agree a lot of tweaking is in order. Especially with the separate materials - thanks for the saturation tip!

Keep the comments coming! Oh, and I have an update rendering at home as we speak… Shouldn’t be too many more hours for a quick fly-through animation! I’ve tweaked the ‘bumpiness’ system a little (working off the ‘note’ that you can see in my nodes setup). The ground should look more realistic now… er, soon.

that is a really nice approach, keep working on it!

For me this looks like a use case for the UVProject modifier.

Nice work Caius.

Nave you seen this from the A.N.T Landscape thread:

At the bottom of the page there is a post from Jimmy Haze showing a node based terrain generator that seems to be quite similar to what you’re trying to do.

where do I put the .blend so I can link to it from here?

I use eSnips. is also good and you don’t have to set up an account. The downside is the file has to be uploaded or downloaded at least once a month or they delete it.

Wow, great work.
How did you also do the water?
Oh yeah try,
to upload your .blends