Demenzun Media – aka developer David Green – has released TerreSculptor 2.0, a new ‘open use’ version of its intriguing terrain generation and editing software.
The release makes the software, including features previously only available in the commercial edition, completely free for personal, commercial, and academic projects.
A free tool for generating procedural terrains or editing real-world elevation data
First released publicly in 2012, TerreSculptor enables users to generate procedural terrains or edit existing heightmap data, then export the results to DCC tools or game engines in a range of common file formats.
Users can generate terrains based on a range of procedural noise types, including Perlin noise, adjusting parameters via sliders or numeric inputs, with the results displayed via a real-time 3D preview.
There are also presets for a range of common landscape types, including mountain ranges, lakes and rivers.
It is also possible to import height maps generated in other software at up to 64-bit resolution, or to import real-world elevation data in a range of common formats, including DEM, GeoTIFF and HGT.
Once inside TerreSculptor, terrains can be modified via a range of “Photoshop-like” filters, including both general operations like flip, rotate, blur and invert, and landscape-specific processes.
The latter include four erosion types – hydraulic, rain, slope and thermal – and the option to set the water level for the terrain.
Visualise terrains directly or export them to other DCC tools or game engines
Terrains can be visualised directly inside TerreSculptor, as shown in the video above, by setting terrain colours and assigning skydome environments via a simple real-time workflow.
Alternatively, heightmaps can be exported to other DCC tools or game engines – which can be done at resolutions up 65,536 × 65,536 if you have enough memory – in a wide range of file formats.
The software can also generate accompanying weight maps from the terrain – options include slope angle, altitude and by flowline – which can be used as masks in other software.
There are also separate tools for splitting terrain into tiles, and for generaring normal and splat maps.
It is also possible to export 3D terrains as OBJ or 3DS files, or in Terragen’s native TER format.
Learning TerreSculptor: some legwork required, but the documentation is there
At the time of writing, the online documentation for TerreSculptor 2.0 is still a work in progress, so you may need to do some experimentation to find out what all of the features do.
However, there are a good range of video tutorials, including dedicated guides for exporting to Unreal Engine, on Demenzun Media’s YouTube channel.
(Some show the old Professional edition of the software, which had a slightly different interface and menu structure, but it isn’t usually hard to work out where commands have moved.)
It is also possible to download archive builds of TerreSculptor, which include a more comprehensive PDF manual – albeit for version 1.0 of the software.
System requirements and availability
TerreSculptor 2.0 is available for Windows 7+ only. It is free to use on commercial projects.
If you like the software, read David Green’s blog post on his decision to make TerreSculptor available ‘open use’, and consider backing future development of the software on Patreon.
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