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Planetside Terragen 4 Professional v4.1 (build 4.1.11)
Software » 3D | : SonyQ (8.08.17)
Planetside Terragen 4 Professional v4.1 (build 4.1.11)

Program Name: Terragen 4 Professional v4.1 (build 4.1.11)
Program Type: 3D Landscape
Developer: Planetside Software LLC
Homepage: _
Release Date: 08.08.2017
Interface Language: English
Platform: Windows 7 SP1/8/10, 64-bit ONLY
File Size: 19.91Mb

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Terragen is a powerful solution for rendering and animating realistic natural environments. Create entire worlds from your imagination, or import real world terrain datasets and use Terragen to create the most realistic visualisations possible. You control the weather, landscape, rivers, lakes and oceans, suns, moons and stars. With Terragen you have complete control over the shader networks used for terrains, textures, micropolygon displacements, clouds and object distributions. You can reorganise the planetary shading pipeline to suit your goals. Place grass and trees wherever you want, as well as other objects in native TGO or OBJ format that you have modeled in third party software.

Windows only: Installer creates an application called Terragen 4 which is distinct from Terragen 3. You can have Terragen 3, Terragen 4, Terragen 4 Alpha and Terragen 4 Beta installed at the same time if you want.
Library files, Preferences, Custom Bindings settings and automatically-saved renders of Terragen 4 are stored separately from those of Terragen 3, Terragen 4 Beta or Terragen 4 Alpha.
Updated license text (company name and jurisdiction).
We have a new icon and a new splash screen.

Intels Embree ray tracing core is now used to accelerate ray tracing of imported objects and non-displaceable built-in objects (Card, Rock and Grass Clump), and populations thereof. This provides an incredible speed boost in many scenes. Please note that RAM requirements have increased to support Embree.
Fixed a bug that was hurting the speed of ray traced shadows, independent of Embree.
Optimised ray tracing for scenes with no populations and scenes with few populations compared to individual objects.

Ray Traced Preview (RTP) mode. This can be toggled on or off with the new RTP button on the 3D Preview, or by using the r key (can be customised) if the preview has keyboard focus.
If a render crop is enabled, the RTP renders without shading, atmosphere or lighting on pixels outside the crop region. This way you can do faster region-of-interest previews.
The non-RTP micropoly previews initial detail depends on the number of cores/threads if the HD button is pressed.
Accelerate empty space in clouds is ignored in previews because it greatly reduces interactivity (even though it helps full renders).
The 3 Button Mouse preset has the same bindings as the Universal preset for orbiting in the 3D Preview. That is, either Alt+LMB or MMB.
r is no longer the default for resetting previews. r is the default key for toggling RTP.
Context menu in shader and object previews has a Reset Preview command because there is no longer a default shortcut.
The Alt-R keyboard shortcut has been removed from the Reset button on the 3D Preview to reduce confusion with RTP toggle key r.
Read more about the RTP here:,21730.0.html

Ozone factor added to planet atmosphere. This controls the absorption strength of a simulated ozone layer in the atmosphere, which absorbs red and green light to produce bluer skies especially during sunrise and sunset. It strongly affects views from high altitude too. The height profile of the ozone layer is hard-coded to simulate an average Earth atmosphere, but automatically scales in proportion to the bluesky exp height if it varies from the default of 8000. When bluesky exp height is at the default value of 8000 the ozone layer occurs between 12km and 63km, peaking in density at around 20km. Density also changes in proportion to bluesky density to produce realistic results in a variety of setups.
The default project has ozone factor at 0.5. Newly created planet atmospheres also set ozone factor to 0.5.

New node: Cloud Layer V3. This has a new voxel-based light scattering algorithm and lots of other improvements.
New node: Easy Cloud. This node will improve in future versions as we refine the cloud models and add more controls.
The Add Cloud Layer menu has 8 new items to create Easy Cloud nodes for low-level and mid-level clouds of different sizes. Some other volumetric cloud presets in the Add Cloud Layer menu (labeled Generic) now use Cloud Layer V3 instead of V2.
Cloud Layer V2 has a new option: View from space shading model. It changes the behaviours of various parameters to avoid problems that are typically more visible when viewed from very high altitude. Added this to V2 for now, not V3, because this option is going to be most useful for global cloud layers and V3 doesnt support those yet.
The Added Cloud Layer menu has 3 new items to create global cloud layers: Global: Dense, Global: Thin and Global: Very Thin. These use Cloud Layer V2 and enable the new View from space shading model.
Cloud Layer V2 and Cloud Layer V3 show the cloud base altitude as a non-editable parameter.
Previously saved Cloud Layer V3 nodes will give a warning that scattering_colour is an unknown parameter, but this is OK.
Cloud Layer V3 and Easy Cloud enable move textures with cloud by default. In these nodes it also works slightly differently from Cloud Layer V2 to allow world space shaders to stay in the same place even when this option is on (this hasnt been properly tested).
Cloud Layer V3 and Easy Cloud require Localise to be enabled and prevent you from disabling it. The default radius is 50km.
Parameters for 2D shadow map and voxel buffer are no longer restricted to Professional edition; they appear in all editions of Terragen 4. This applies to all cloud nodes.
Voxel buffer resolution in clouds is now controlled by a millions of voxels parameter, which aims to generate voxels that are as uniformly scaled as possible.
Removed the anim button on some shadow map and voxel buffer parameters which we cant safely animate.
Corrected behaviour of clouds when both 2D shadow map and voxel buffer are enabled. This is going to change the look of renders that had both of these checked.
Voxel buffers in clouds are now generated on the fly instead of at the beginning of a render. This allows them to be previewed more effectively and also reduces some render times.

OBJ Reader no longer multiplies diffuse colour by 0.5 when reading materials.
Object readers file sequence has parameters for Sequence first, Sequence last, Frame offset, Loop and Ping pong. In order to use file sequences, it still relies on d or some other valid formatter to be in the filename.
Reorganised GUIs for object readers and object generators, using two sets of tabs, resulting in cleaner, less busy layouts, and putting the Rock-specific and Grass Clump-specific parameters nearer the top.
Populator3 and Populator4 try to find a planet to link to whenever a valid terrain shader is connected, if the currently connected planet is invalid (which it may be after duplicating a population). They do this by searching downstream from the linked terrain shader, and then searching downstream from shaders higher up the main chain from the terrain shader in case the terrain shader is a distributary that doesnt output to the planet. They also do this OnFirstCreate(), but this will only work if a terrain shader called Compute Terrain exists. As a user you still have to connect a terrain shader after duplicating the population, but at least now you probably wont have to go to the Anchor tab to connect the planet as well.

Image bloom and starburst effects in the render node. They are post processes when render has finished.
Experimental atmosphere bloom. This is a post process that affects atmosphere and clouds.
The render node detail parameter is now called Micropoly detail in the GUI.
Default defer atmo/cloud is ON. Default anti-aliasing is 2.
There is a new rendering option called Defer all shading. This feature is BETA and might not always work correctly. Sometimes it can corrupt the final image (weve seen this when its combined with GI Surface Details).
Partial-opacity shadows. The renderer can now render partially-opaque shadows of non-displaceable objects. Partial opacity is achieved with the Default Shader by using opacity less than 1 or using an opacity texture or opacity functon (many vegetation models already do this, with partial opacity occurring on anti-aliased edges in the texture). For now, this only works for shadows, while opacity visible to the camera still works as before: it can only be either 0 or 1 and each pixel will jump to whichever value is closest. The RTP has an extra capability thats not in the main render: the RTP can render these partial opacities visible to the camera as well, but well change this in future to match the capabilities of the main renderer. Please note: Partial opacity is not the same as refractive transparency in the Glass Shader and Water Shader. If you want to use this new feature to render semi-transparent shadows of glass-like objects, we recommend that you use a separate INVISIBLE object for casting shadows with reduced opacity, while keeping the visible object fully opaque (opacity 1) with shadows turned off. This will avoid surprises in future versions of Terragen that can render partial opacity visible to the camera.
Render GI Settings have been rearranged into 3 tabs: Prepass, Image Pass and GI in Clouds.
Render GI Settings have a new parameter Cloud GI quality. This affects the accuracy of the background/indirect lighting component of TG4s new clouds (Cloud Layer V3 and Easy Cloud), but doesnt affect Cloud Layer V2. Low quality settings tend to produce flicker in animations or sometimes blotchy looking lighting in the clouds, but render faster. Each step down in the menu represents an increase in the quality by doubling the number of light samples, but also an increase in render time.
Render nodes default TIFF compression mode is LZW. If a project is loaded that was saved with v3.3 or earlier, TG4 will apply the new LZW default, but projects saved with v3.4 will already have some settings written to the project and 3.4 defaulted to None.
The Surface Depth render element can be output as TIFF. It is no longer forced to be EXR like most other render elements; it will be output as TIFF when the extra output filename ends with .tif or .tiff (either 8 bit or 16 bit according to the chosen TIFF options).
Those render elements that are not forced to be EXR (Rgb, Alpha and Surface Depth) are forced to be TIFF (.tif or .tiff extensions are allowed). Only EXR and TIFF are supported for render elements (extra output images). Before this change, non-TIFF and non-BMP extensions would be allowed in the filename but this would mask the fact that they would really save as SGI RGBs. Now they will be saved as TIFF and have the extension .tif.
Fixed bug in trTransform::Normal(). This fixes bug #197: Displacement is incorrectly scaled when object is scaled.

Fractal Warp Shader now has a scale filter input, which logarithmically scales the maximum feature scale of the fractal. A value of 1 allows warping at all scales. A value of 0.5 filters out scales greater than 1 thousandth of the main scale parameter. A value of 0 filters out scales greater than 1 millionth of the main scale parameter. BTW, a similar idea would be nice in the Power Fractal.
Fake Stones Shader has inputs for a scale function and a tallness function.
Glass Shader has a specular roughness function parameter (like the Default Shader).
ReflectiveShader has a specular roughness function parameter (like the Default Shader).
If the Water Shader is enabled it calls the input shader so that the input can affect opacity, but sets {doCo,doCd,doCs,doCe} to false before doing so. This allows the opacity trick that was broken by a change in March 2008. The behaviour is unchanged for disabled water shaders (they simply call the input).
New function: Voronoi 3D Cell Colour function node (a colour analog of the existing Voronoi 3D Cell Scalar).
New functions: AddMultipliedColour, AddMultipliedScalar, AddMultipliedVector, MultiplyComplementColour, MultiplyComplementScalar.
Default Shader now works as a value source (outputting its diffuse colour) when plugged in as a function or mask to another shader. Most other shaders already do this.

The cameras default stereo mode is now Parallel (was previously Off axis). Also, if a cameras stereo mode is Parallel, the control for Zero parallax distance is disabled in the GUI.
Middle Mouse Button is now included in the default bindings for Basic Pan, except in 1- and 2-button presets. Basic Pan is used for scrolling in the Network View and the Animation Panel, by default.
The default bindings now allow you to use either Tab or n to open the Quick Node Palette (in the Node Network). If youve customised bindings you may need to reset bindings to see this change, or you can add this binding yourself.
Network View Preferences Use line smoothing now defaults to True on Windows as well as Mac.
Prevented improper image flipping when adding previews to projects.
Gather Project errors are a little more specific.
Errors are printed to stderr instead of stdout.
No longer prints to console when creating or destroying nodes.
Adjusted the automatic colour choice of node labels so that they dont change from black to white when the network view goes into dark mode (which happens automatically when choosing a dark background colour).
Some GUI background colour changes.
Temporarily disabled the up/down steppers in parameter views.

Terragen 4 Product Comparison >>

What's new in build 4.1.11:
- The Linux render node is now built against the VFX Reference Platform CY2017.
- Fixed Bug #693: Pausing a render could cause the application to freeze.
Faster Shaders
- Approx 2.2x speedup of the Voronoi functions used by by Power Fractal Shade V3, Fake Stones Shader and non-smooth Voronoi function nodes.
- Approx 1.4-1.5x speedup of the smooth Voronoi functions. These are used by Power Fractal Shader V3 when filtered by a Smoothing Filter Shader and are also used by the Smooth Voronoi function nodes.
- Alpine Fractal Shader V2 is now about 12% faster.
Faster/Cleaner Cloud Rendering
- Terragen 4.1 now renders Cloud Layer V3 and Easy Cloud in a different way from 4.0. There is a new global control called Voxel scattering quality in GI Settings (on the GI in Clouds tab). This affects all cloud layers of type Cloud Layer V3 and Easy Cloud, and is independent of the cloud layers individual quality parameters. The default value of 50 usually produces better images in less render time than Terragen 4.0.
Because of the above change, the Quality parameter on Easy Cloud and Cloud Layer V3 is now called Ray-marching quality in the GUI. It is no longer an overall quality control.
- The default value for ray-marching quality on Easy Cloud has been reduced from 0.75 to 0.5 for faster rendering in most cases.
- Reduced one of the main causes of variance in clouds that causes flickering, where clouds are lit by specular highlights or high values of glow power in the atmosphere or surrounding cloud layers. Now that this has been improved, you might be able to use lower settings for Cloud GI quality and that will reduce render times.
- In Render GI settings on the GI in Clouds tab there is a parameter called Cloud GI max ray depth. This applies to Cloud Layer V3 and Easy Cloud. It limits the maximum ray depth at which cloud voxel scattering includes light from other parts of the scene. If you have many cloud layers in the scene its especially important to keep this number low (e.g. 1 or 2) to prevent long render times due to light interactions between cloud layers. This part of the renderer should be improved in future to allow higher ray depths without excessive render times.
More Cloud Control
- Masking input for Easy Cloud. Not only can this be used to control the placement of clouds, you can also use it for interesting effects like making the base of the clouds more wispy or adding more variety to the clouds.
- Increased the slider range for cloud altitude and cloud depth from 20,000 to 30,000. As usual, values outside this range can still be entered by hand.
Cleaner Atmosphere Rendering
- Removed an unnecessary source of noise in atmosphere, especially noticeable in relatively short rays or when using a small number of samples. In many cases atmospheres will now render more accurately and with less noise.
- Atmospheres no longer have a parameter to control sample jittering; samples are always jittered.
Faster Previews
- Changed how the RTP samples/refines the image. This improves parallelism towards the end of the render, reducing total render time.
- Changed how the RTP chooses how many threads to use on systems with 24 or more threads (12 or more cores with HT), to reduce the CPU load without sacrificing speed on hyper-threaded systems.
- Changed how the 3D Preview in non-RTP mode chooses how many threads to use for various passes, reducing the CPU load but also improving speed, especially on hyper-threaded systems with 24 or more threads (12 cores with HT).
32-bit EXR
- 32-bit EXR for rendered images: When saving EXR images from the Render View, you can choose between 16 bit (half float) and 32 bit (full float) precision. We also added an EXR Options button to the render nodes Sequence/Output tab, next to the TIFF Options button. You can use this to choose between 16 bit (half float) and 32 bit (full float) for EXR files rendered with Render to Disk and Sequence Render (including command line rendering).
- 32-bit EXR for heightfields: Heightfields saved to EXR now save to 32-bit float precision.
- When saving heightfields to EXR, a single-channel EXR is produced with data in the Y channel.
Better GI
- Fixed some problems with the interpolation of GI cache samples at render time (affects renders with cache files and without cache files).
Renderer Changes
- Pixels are updated with final anti-aliased quality more frequently while rendering is in progress. Pixel reconstruction has been optimised so this shouldnt add much to render times. Some renders will finish slightly faster than before.
- Boosted the speed of some renders by ignoring bump mapping in certain types of GI and reflection rays where we believe its unlikely to be important to the final image.
- New command line args -oxsubfolders and -oxsubfolders=no which override the create subfolders option in the projects render node.
Improved Merge Shader
- Merge Shader has a new option to select between different texture spaces that are used when evaluating the inputs. They are designed to solve some problems such as correctly aligning displacement with colour/shading.
- Legacy works as it did previously, so colour/shading doesnt always match with displacement.
- Current texture space (most uses) is similar to Legacy with some improvements to the state of the normals to give more correct results. However, in this mode colour/shading doesnt always match with displacement.
- Undisplaced space (for alignment) sets texture coordinates and normals from the original undisplaced surface to ensure alignment between colour/shading and displacement, but is not ideal in all situations. For example, if the Merge Shader is on a side branch (e.g. as a Child Layer of a Surface Layer) and the texture coords or normals were modified higher up the main branch before the side branch is evaluated, the modified texture coords and normals will be ignored. In this case Current texture space (more uses) is a better choice.
Smoothing Filter Shader
- New shader: Smoothing Filter Shader. This asks upstream shaders to smooth away details at the specified scale. The scale can be modulated with a function input. However, it only works in a few specific cases at the moment. We need to modify the code for each shader to make it react correctly to the smoothing request. Currently only three shaders support smoothing: Power Fractal Shader v3, Cloud Fractal v3 and Fractal Warp Shader. Wed like to add smoothing support to more shaders in future.
- Obey downstream smoothing filters is an option you can turn on or off for each Power Fractal Shader V3, Cloud Fractal Shader V3 and Fractal Warp Shader.
Other Shader Changes
- Power Fractal Shader V3: Better colour continuity and Better displacement continuity parameters on the Tweaks tab. When enabled, the shader uses more precise math to remove C1 discontinuities in the variation feature. It also changes how the smoothing of ridges and gullies is performed (in Perlin Ridges, Perlin Billows and Perlin Mix flavours) to give nicer results. Better_displacement_continuity is enabled automatically for newly created nodes, but not for existing ones.
- Image Map Shader: When you switch to Camera projection the shader automatically enables position_center and sets the position to (0.5,0.5,0.0). As in previous versions, it also sets the size to (1,1). You still need to adjust the size parameters match the aspect ratio, but all other settings should be good.
- Image Map Shader: When you switch to UV Projection the shader automatically sets the position to (0,0,0). As in previous versions, it also enabled position_lower_left and sets size to (1,1).
- Reflective Shader: Prevents negative roughness when using a roughness function. Negative results are now clamped to 0.
- Transform Input Shader: Added Use undisplaced space option.
- Transform Merge Shader: Added Use undisplaced space option.
- Changes to the OBJ Readers .mtl reader: If index of refraction (IOR) specified by Ni in the .mtl is 0 or less, we use the Default Shaders default IOR of 1.5 because the value in the .mtl is surely wrong. If the .mtl has an IOR between 0 and 1, Terragen uses its reciprocal (1/x) so that the value is greater than 1, because Terragens reflective shaders currently only work with IOR greater than or equal to 1. If the .mtl doesnt specify Ni then we continue to use the Default Shaders default IOR of 1.5 as we always did.
Lighting Controls
- Light Source and Spotlight have parameters to enable/disable light surfaces and light atmosphere just like Sunlight has.
- Some parameter labels have changed in Sunlight, Light Source and Spotlight nodes.
- Image File Processor (Professional Edition only) has an option to apply some experimental HDR processing.
Other Preview Improvements
- Fixed bug #578: Wireframe and texture previews were incorrectly clipping when Use vertical fov was selected on the camera.
- Fixed bug with RTP projection when Use vertical fov was selected on the camera.
- RTP displays elapsed time (seconds and tenths of a second) if more than 5 seconds have elapsed, or if finished.
- Changes to the update checker system. When software updates are available for download, the window that shows the updates has changed. Recommended Updates (Release builds) are shown separately from Optional Updates (Frontier builds). If maintenance has expired and there are new versions that fall outside of the maintenance period then it also gives you a button to renew your maintenance.
- Other changes to the update checker and update notification system.
- When using Gather Project, the Project Assets folder is now called Project_Assets (has an underscore).
- Some changes to the handling of license key files. In some circumstances Terragen will attempt to update key files with new information from the server at
- View menu and 3D Preview context menu no longer show the item to open the 3D Preview in a new window. This will be added back in a future release.
- There are fewer situations where no parameter view is shown below the Node List at the top left of the GUI.
- Some API changes, but they should not affect end users of third-party plugins that are already published.

System Requirements
64 bit version of Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, or Windows 10
Minimum 4GB of RAM 8GB or greater recommended
Minimum 2Ghz CPU Dual Core or better recommended

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/ See also:
  • Planetside Terragen 4 Professional v4.0 (build
  • Planetside Terragen 4 Professional v4.0 (build
  • Planetside Terragen 3 Professional + Animation v3.3 (build (Win32 ...
  • NWDA Preset Packs for Terragen 2
  • Planetside Terragen 2 Deep Edition v2.
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