In Terragen 2 Surface Mapping, in other words texturing, is accomplished using one or more “shaders” - nodes that affect the surface of objects and terrains, controlling colour, displacement, and other aspects. Basic surface mapping focuses on a small number of shader nodes, primarily the Surface Layer and Fractal Breakup nodes. You can also accomplish a wide range of spectacular and more unusual effects using the power of the Node Network. We’ll cover the basics here for now and you can refer to the Advanced Techniques sections (when available) to learn more.
If you haven’t already done so, click on the Shaders tab to get started.
The Shaders List
On the left you will see the Shader List showing all the current shader nodes in the order in which they are processed. Nodes at the top of the list are at the bottom or base of your surface map and they will be covered by nodes further down the list (depending on distribution settings). This is similar to how the Terragen 0.9 surface map system worked. Child layers are also present and again work similarly to Terragen 0.9 – child nodes are restricted to the coverage of their parent, but they cover the parent as well.
At the top of the Shader List you have buttons to add a standard layer and child layer. Under Add Layer your first and most frequently used option is Surface Layer. A sub-menu shows you additional Surface Shaders you can use. Child layers can only be added when an appropriate parent layer is selected, generally a Surface Layer. Not all shader nodes allow child nodes. Please see the Node Reference for details on additional Surface Shaders and child layer compatibility.
As noted above layers higher in the list are covered by layers below them, so naturally it is useful to have a way to rearrange and otherwise manipulate each layer. The Move buttons at the bottom of the Shader List will move the currently selected node up or down. You can also completely remove the selected node by pressing the Delete key. Currently you may only have one node at a time selected.
Just as in other node lists, clicking on a node in the Shader List will bring up its settings on the bottom-left. Additionally, like the Terrain and Atmosphere layouts, a small realtime shader preview is shown to the right of the node list for any currently selected node. The preview is currently just a simple flat square, but the standard camera controls can be used in this area to adjust your view. This can be useful when experimenting with displacement since the default view is directly from above.