View Full Version : Using Terragen For Battlemaps

05-13-2008, 12:00 PM
I freely admit that my artistic talent is... lacking. :) However, I like fiddling around with Terragen from time to time and it occurred to me that you should be able to create semi-credible battlemaps for outdoor combat. Does anyone have any experience doing this? What tips and tricks should I be considering?

05-13-2008, 03:32 PM
Dont believe ya. You'll have to post 20 or 30 of them ta convince me :).

Oh ya, make them original and very good too.


05-15-2008, 12:54 AM
Ok, no giggling at me. I fiddled around with this for a bit, for an encounter on a beach, while fording a stream.


What I did was create the terrain in Terragen, then position the camera about 80 degrees above the scene, thinking that it would gain some depth if I wasn't looking exactly straight down. Then I fiddled with the light and whatnot to get something that looked presentable.

05-15-2008, 07:48 AM
Nice work! An entry into this month's challenge perhaps?

05-15-2008, 11:37 AM
Terragen, both the old .9 version and the new TG technology preview can produce some stunning images for mapping, here are a few links to some old renders done for me-dem, perhaps in the first age :)
Carn Dum (http://www.me-dem.org/images/rsgallery/original/zoom_carndum_1.png)

Carn Dum2 (http://www.me-dem.org/images/rsgallery/original/zoom_SeerBlueDrape_1K.png)
and Enedwaith (http://www.me-dem.org/images/rsgallery/original/zoom_map_quad_enedhwaithjpg_1.png)

These are all Terragen.94, and a little photshop for borders and text, and the terrain is Leveller/Photoshop, and surfacing is all Terragen.

Another use for the new terragen, tgtp, is imagery for tree and plant textures, as the technology preview supports object import. Several members of the Terrragen forums (http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php) have made amazing plants,trees, and grass models which are free for use (creative commons in most cases). So you get free models and a use a free program, not much beats that.
The set up for rendering the images of the models is quite easy if you have used TGTP, but can be a bit of a "huh?" if you have not.
I will write a tutorial if there is interest, with the files needed.


05-17-2008, 10:35 AM
Seerblue, that's some very pretty stuff. That's precisely what I'm talking about. Sweet.

Now, since I have zero experience with Leveller, and my experience with Pshop is pretty limited, can you make a very, very simple (use small words please) tutorial on how you did those?

Thanks for the linkie. I see I have much homework. :)

05-17-2008, 12:14 PM
Sure, I will try to have one by tomorrow, it will be pretty basic, I will also include some links to terragen related sites where you can download surface and atmo files, sometimes looking at how someone else did there surfacing/clouds/lighting really helps...SeerBlue

05-17-2008, 01:45 PM
Spent a while pressing the 'next' button through that large gallery in the forum. Tis real pretty stuff. The clouds are perfect. The water, ever so nearly perfect and the lighting is awesome too - looks like a high dynamic range and global illumination judging by some nifty lighting under some ledges. Foliage just keeps getting better each year too. There must be a bucket load of 'man hours' research and programming in that app.

05-19-2008, 08:23 PM
I stumbled across Terragen a couple of years back I guess and I've been messing around with it since then. It's been great for doing images for my online games. It occured to me that you should be able to use it to do mapping, but, I've yet to really figure out how. :'(

05-21-2008, 07:12 PM
Guess I should have said this coming Sunday to get a little tutorial together, I thought I had all my old files on disk, so I could do some screen caps and cut and paste from work I did, but it all went with my last dying hard drive.
So I am knocking something together as I get time. SeerBlue

05-25-2008, 12:32 PM
Wow, not finding much time available, but I did find some links to sites I used when I first did the orthographic renders above. The first is terragen tutorials,
There is even a tutorial for adding stuctures, the only thing I did different than this tutorial is I added the structures in Leveller, using a mask, white for buildings, black for nothing, and loaded it as a selection in Leveller (after ensuring it was the same size in pixels as my terrain,) and then used the flat add brush set to varying heights in meters to get different building heights (as in the Carn Dum render) , once I was happy I exported the terrain out as a terragen ter and rendered it in Terragen with surfacing. The best way to get the top down look is to set the camera to orthographic in the camera settins, and click auto setup, then it will position itself over the center of the terrain at a height that shows the whole terrain.
Then before you render ensure you are outputting an image the same scale as your terrain,,,if it is 600x800 pixels, output 600x800, or 1200x16000, and so on. That way you get the full terrain imaged.
The other thing is to limit the effect of atmosphere you have to set the settings in the atmo panel down to about zero for haze and atmospheric blue.

The second link is to Terrasource, a link site to get the other things needed to use terragen. 94 to its best, like FEO, cam path, and so on.
Look through cweids tut's, the y explain terragen alot better than I can. and download the free files.SeerBlue

06-01-2008, 10:46 PM
Very cool Seerblue. Will check on this soon. Thank you very very much.