Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Tutorial - Basic Texturing

Basic texturing and object/population distribution

Part I - Texturing

So, you've got a terrain, it's all grey and somehow you don't get it managed to apply any colours? Then here's the place to read on.

First, we're going to add a 'surface layer'(sl) under the 'shaders' tab. Or, if you want to use the node-network,
right-click->create shader->other surface shader->surface layer.
Then connect the base colours output into the input of the surface layer and the sl's output into the terrain input of your planet.

Now everything (except for the sky :) ) in your preview window should look white.
Because that's more boring than we had before, we're actually going to add colours now, yeah :)
(Just keep in mind, the white layer appearance is quite usefull when we need to restrict that layer to a specific heigth/slope range - visibility!!!)

Allright, then to the colours. We'll be using powerfractal shaders for now, as you keep experimenting you will find other ways of colouring too.
Powerfractals are giving us just that, a fractal noise, which can be adjusted in colour/scale/kind of noise/etc. Diving into that too deep would be too much for now i guess, and a major part about the fun behind terragen 2 is the experiments.

Good, now let's actually add one of those beasts. In the node network view, in the shaders group (that's where your surface layer should be) press
right-click->create shader->colour shader->power fractal shader v3.

If you are using the navigation tabs: goto shaders, select your surface layer and press
'add child layer'->surface shaders->colour shaders->power fractal shader v3.

Now we'll take the powerfractals (pf) output and let it go into the surface layers 'colour function' input. Voila, the white layer in your preview window should look grey now. 2 steps forward, 1 step back, huh? :)

The fun part: going crazy with those colours.
Double-click the powerfractal node in the node network view. That brings up it's settings. On the first tab you see the settings to adjust the scale of your pf, you can do it right now, just to get a first feeling for it.

The second tab is what we're looking after now, the colours tab.
First, click the checkbox saying 'apply low colour'. Now we've set the colour range from 0=black to 1=white. You can change the colours now by just pressing
the colour buttons next to the sliders. Take anything you want to use for your scene, after all, it's YOUR scene :D

Adjust the other settings to your likage (keep experimenting!), go to the renderers tab and perform a quick render.

To see what just 1 powerfractal can look like, check out my image 'The power of GI', the bigger planet's surface was made from 1 surface layer and 1 pf.


child@play said...

this is just the first in a series of basic tutorials. i'll be linking to explanatory pictures as soon as i got them rendered/screenshots taken.


Ainsworth2005 said...

Cool! thanks :-)