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Tired of generating the same old terrains within Terragen? If you have a paint program like Paint Shop Pro (PSP) or Photoshop you can spice up your terrains with filters and plugins. This tutorial shows examples of using them on existing terrains. Part 2 discusses using filters and plugins to generate terrain maps from scratch.

On Filters and Plugins on my Links page, you'll find a wide assortment of filters and plugins. The key here is to experiment until you stumble on an interesting effect.

original terrain

This is the original 257x257 terrain generated within Terragen. You may download it HERE. The following was then done:

  • Import into PSP
  • Convert to 16 million colors (24 bits)
  • Apply filter or plugin
  • Convert to greyscale
  • Export to new raw file
    (Header=0, Interleaved, RGB order)
  • Import into Terragen
  • Render

Click on the images below to see enlarged views.
PSP has a unique, built-in filter called Hot Wax Coating. Make sure to have the fg color set to white. Here, it was applied twice. Download.ter hot wax - raw hot wax - finished
This uses the Jama 3D plugin. Using the Harringbone preset, the background was painted black before exporting to provide a base for water. Download .ter and world file jama 3D - raw jama - finished
Paint Engine simulates a large number of painterly techniques. Here, the glow preset was selected. Download.ter Paint Engine (glow) - raw Paint Engine (glow) - finished
KPT is a commercial plugin collection. I have version 3 and used the Twirl plugin for this terrain. The difference blend mode was also selected. Download.ter KPT - raw KPT - finished
Andrew Buckle has created an enormous collection of free filters. The Down Hill II filter was used for this one. After importing the modified raw file into Terragen, I used Bound Vertical to increase the maximum height to 35 before rendering. Download.ter AB DH2 - raw AB DH2 - finished
This uses the Fabric 2 generator filter from Krusty's collection. The heights were then bound from 0 to 22 before rendering. Download.ter Krusty - raw krusty - finished
Axion produces a filter called Flare Effects for creating lens flares and star-like effects. It will not work on a white surface. Here, I've used a star-like preset. A black circle was added to the center for a crator. Add some smoke and flowing lava via post-processing and you have a volcano. Download.ter axion - raw axion - finished
Blade Pro from Flaming Pear may be one of the most amazing plugins out there for graphics work. For more info, check out the BP section on the main TCP website. I've used my preset #16 to generate this terrain.Download.ter blade pro - raw blade pro - finished


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